Mix & Match

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Mix & Match

Over the weekend I did something that may have been somewhat drastic, and I did it on a whim. But I have a sneaking suspicion that it will end up being great. I have for a while struggled with what to do with kits I've purchased. I had been sticking them in a folder and then once I use them, moving the kit folder to an "archive" folder. Let's be honest, I like using new things, so I'm rarely tempted to go back and reuse a kit. And so I had been considering deleting them, but couldn't quite bring myself to do it. This weekend I was suddenly compelled to mix all my old kits together into a giant mish mash of stuff. I made a few different themed folders like "warm" and "cool" and "autumn" and then just divided kits into these folder. So if a kit was giving me a "warm" vibe, I put it all in the warm folder. I like having a lot of options to choose from when I'm scrapping, so this should suit me better. I generally find most kits pretty limiting, which is another reason I don't like to reuse them. Now I can just putz around in my different folder and pull out whatever catches my fancy.

Honestly I'm feeling pretty good about my random whim, but I know if there's one thing that gets digiscrappers going it's organization! Just thought I'd share on the off chance this sounds good to you, or so you can feel shivers of horror race down your spine smiley

I'm still working on splitting old kits up, but here's a quick look at my folder right now:

Oh like the idea of the mix folders. HUMMM

When I first started scrapping I mixed everything by theme but now I keep the kits together. The good thing about PS is you can pick and choose and use things when you want to. You don't need to retain a giant stash. That said I have a giant stash lol.

I have to laugh I am in the very beginning process of moving 2 laptops over to an external hard drive. Every night I force myself to pick a folder and hack at it until its done. LoL eventually!!

I am in the "feel shivers of horror" camp.... smiley I would have just tagged the previews with "warm" "autumn" etc and then searched by tag. But I am a naturally OCD-prone person, so order is always better than chaos for me. smiley

OMG my OCD is kicking in! When I started digiscrapping I had no idea on how to organize and I mish mashed them, it took forever to get it back how it was. I sort by store - designer - kit

this is similar to how I do mine, I rarely use only the items in a kit, so I have mine seperated by theme so when i'm doing a page I just go see what I have for say Beach/ocean and use what i like

I guess I'm in the "Lou Smith camp".

For crediting, and other, purposes I've always kept my kits in folders by designer (or store) and keyword/tag the papers, elements and reviews with various categories of my choice (like color & theme). Did you know that Adobe Bridge lets you tag/keyword your .PNG files too by creating a 'sort-of' database with the info.

Tagging/key-wording allows you to use multiple describers/categories on your files so you don't have to 'pigeon-hole' them into just one category.

I did a bit of that method when I first started digi scrapping but now I don't and kind of wish I hadn't done that with those other kits but oh well. I like it when designers do a good job of naming items in a kit. I often just go to my digi scrap file and search for ribbon or flower or button, etc and then find what I want. I do a lot of layouts mashing several kits together so I do tend to reuse many kits.

I usually keep everything in their kits too. In saying that for things I use often like digital stamps and templates I have dedicated files on my computer. Each file still has their name and designer for crediting but this way I dont have to go through a whole lot of kit to find exactly what I want.

I hope it works well for you Marisa. I may be a good idea to transfer your current system 'as is' to an external hard ve so that if the new system doesn't work you wont have as much work to go back.

smiley That sounds like a great idea, Marisa! I think the 'cool' and 'warm' categories as first dividers are an approach that is so smart. I have been thinking about how to re-organize and pretty much left it at the thinking smiley I was starting to ponder about styles as the first subdivider like realistic, vintage, classic paper ....... and then, as you say, all the new kits come out and why spend time on re-organizing my old stuff when the current organization hasn't really failed me? So I just re-organized the tools a tiny bit smiley, not so much the kits.
Like Tiffany, I like searchable file names and not elements named element_01.

Bina said "Like Tiffany, I like searchable file names and not elements named element_01."

Same here. I keep each pack inside a folder, and search across folders using the file name. And I try to give descriptive names to the files I create, including the name of the main color so that it's easy to find back everything pink.

I guess I'm in the "Lou Smith camp".
For crediting, and other, purposes I've always kept my kits in folders by designer smiley

I have zero OCD, and my stuff is a hot mess. Everything is in alpha order according to artist name, unless it it CU4CU - then it goes into folders that are listed by element type (ribbon, button, animal, photo frames, etc.) CU4CU papers are filed under "Solids", "Patterned", "Watercolor", "Vintage", etc. It's the best I can do.

Oh, my! Keep those kits together! I for one (as a designer for many years) hate when kits aren't credited. I hope if you do mix kits, that you are making sure that the designer initials are there. When I first started I mixed everything together too. When that one person asks where that unusual item comes from and you don't know... uugh!

Someone suggested backing up your original files with kits together... that is a good idea... in case this plan doesn't work for you.

Sorry to be a downer, but that's my opinion. Agree to disagree is fine! LOL!

I have organized stash by groups. Always kept kits together, while placing the fit folder within the correct area. Winter, summer, fall, spring, kids, wedding/romance, camping, nature, elements (with added folders for the different types of elements within the folder), and so forth. The theme for this month blog train is about kids so I will download to a folder with the train name, month and year. When finished downloading I will put the folder in the kids folder. This makes it so much easier when starting a layout. When doing a layout I will create a folder for the layout on my computer hard drive, than go through and collect what I may want to use. Place the items within the folder and put the external hard drive away and I am ready to create.

This also makes it easier since I have 2 external drives with digital art and craft items. I do not like deleting anything unless I really do not like the item or there was a problem with the item.

Wow awesome idea... I think it will look fab. Whoo....

I am right there with you! Same system, except I have some store names thrown in there. Although I have been debating putting kits into folders by theme...

Gotta say- my one HUGE pet peeve is when items in a kit are labeled "1," "2," etc. IDK why people do that. Esp. CU items! I have those sorted by type, not designer (why do I need a folder to have a flower AND a map?), and it makes it almost impossible to credit properly. Sigh...

I guess I just do this via tagging. I keep all my downloads in store folders, and then by designer (so I don't buy stuff over and over again, because I have a memory like a sieve), but I use Adobe Bridge (used to use Picasa, but they discontinued it smiley ) to just add tags. Then I can do directed searches if I need a wider assortment.

I started doing something like this recently as well. I used to be pretty haphazard in how I stored things, but that was mostly because I didn't use other people's kits much to make my Project Life pages, and anything I did need beyond the freebies I'd collected I would just get from Pixel Scrapper when I needed it. But once I started my monthly faves layouts I had a reason to buy kits, which has been very fun, and I started to accumulate material at a much faster pace.

Ever since participating in the Lilypad month of challenges I have been putting my kits into folders by store and designer (because for those challenges I had to use primarily Lilypad materials, and credit everything). But since I was making a layout a day during that month I was able to see that I often need something to finish off a page, something that isn't in the kit(s) I'm using. So I made a "Scrap Materials Quick Find" folder with folders inside for all kinds of elements I might need to finish a page - stitches, fasteners, neutral papers, buttons, frames, any and all elements in neutral colors that might work on any layout - and whenever I use a new kit I copy the relevant items from that kit into the Quick Find folders. I make a copy of them rather than move them because I'm neurotic and there's no way I'll ever break up a kit for good smiley

I still don't mix kits much when I scrap, beyond the few elements I'll pull from the Quick Find folder, but I feel like this is a step in that direction, which is exciting.

I have all my files in store, designer then just alphabetical. My digi stamps are in Designer, LOTS of designers, but I usually do a search of my files if I'm looking for something, it's great when an unexpected item comes up when searching for an "8" for example.

Laurel Stone wrote:
...IDK why people do that.

There are a few reasons that I can think of as to why they number their files:

  1. They cannot think of a creative, uniquely, identifying names.
  2. They assume that their files will stay within their kit folder, not combined with others.
  3. Their store owner requires it.
  4. To avoid creating too-long of a file name.

Hi ! Mixing kits in folders is one of my favorite tricks. But because while I too find kits somewhat limiting, I do like having all the matched sets together also. I'm a little OCD...& a scrap hoarder, so I have a HUGE library of folders with mixed & matching items, plus the original sets each together in folders in a separate file.

I thought I might get a few responses to this smiley

Again, if this system doesn't work out, I'll just delete it and get new stuff. I never used it anyway, so if I use it at all it will be a win. I love just browsing through to see what catches my fancy. If I need something specific I just search for it at Pixel Scrapper.

I used to struggle with all of this. Then I started using Adobe Bridge. It is totally free and incredible for finding your stuff. You just tag everything with all the different ways you might want to search for it: Marisa Lerin, Good Day kit, embellishment, flower, pink, no shadow, etc) and leave it wherever it is. In Bridge you look for all your flowers by Marisa Lerin that are pink, or all pink flowers, or all Marisa Lerin embellishments, or all Good Day kits, or any combination. You can search by file type (PNG, JPG, etc) and much more. It's so powerful and I never again have to worry "where should I put this so I can find it?" or have to re-name files so that I know who made that asset. I just leave them where they are, tag everything, and don't worry about it again because Bridge will find whatever I am looking for whenever I need it.

By the way, for things that I've gotten from Pixelscrapper I use the site to find things and then I go to my computer to get it because the site tells me the file name (or download it if it's not on my computer).

I have one external for stores/designers. I have a second external for miscellaneous files like spring, holidays, favorite word art, houses,
seashore, road trip, etc. I copy favorite bits and pieces or entire folders to these files every time I do a back up. If I want something
specific (and quick) I can refer to these folders.

I have been doing the same thing! I thought I was the only one!
I put every kit into a theme folder like winter, travel, baby, etc. Each kit usually stays together but I add a variety of descriptions to the folder name like "doodles, trees, blue or alpha" What ever might describe the stuff inside. When I'm ready to do a page if no one kit has what I really want, I go to the theme folder and use the windows explorer search bar to look for specific items like stitches. This makes it extra easy to find a fun alphabet that might be inside a kit. I just wish more designers would give their individual graphics descriptive names. "button" is a lot more functional for my method than a number or abbreviation, but the folder tags make it work!

I also put my kit folders inside themed folders (plus a "miscellaneous" folder that's getting too large - maybe I'll split it into "warm" and "cool"!). Then I put a copy of the thumbnail of each kit into its themed folder, so I can open the folder and quickly see what each kit looks like.

I think I would like THEMES - I am trying to get my items organized in themes -TFS your idea! NIce work!

I love that idea Marisa, altho I am to OCD to break up kits. I did break up things into different catgories, like kits, alphas, elements, ect. But now its just store and/or designer name.

Another perk to Adobe Bridge which I discovered recently is Collections. You can create your own virtual kits this way. You just go thru your stash, add your items to a collection name you have created and they are all stored there virtually, so they do not move around. I rather like that aspect as I can never make up my mind about things. But then again I am the least organized person lol!

Nice thing about collections is, it can also be for temporary projects. So I go thru and gather my "supplies" for a project and add them to my latest project collection. When the project is done I just delete the collection if I can bring myself to do it smiley Which doesn't do anything to the actual files. Realistically, I'm not sure I would ever delete the collection if I use one haha!