Showing posts with label Stuff I Did. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Stuff I Did. Show all posts

Monday, November 3, 2014

The World's Easiest Scrapbook - 2 Easy Steps

Having completed 31 days of de-hoarding, I am feeling overly qualified to dispense organizational advice.

You're welcome!

When the Peanut was a baby, I used to scrapbook.  During his naps I would pull out all the papers, stickers, embelishments, inks, chalks, pictures, etc.  I always had quite the scattered mess lying around and have quite a few half finished scrapbooks to show for my efforts.

As he grew and naps became less frequent, I had less time to work on these scrapbooks.  So, all the materials got packed away for "someday" when I have time again to complete the project.

In the meantime though I have kept all those little mementos through the years that should go in a scrapbook.  The problem is that they usually end up in some box or drawer somewhere, with no context to give a clue what or when they come from.

What to do with them?

It took way too long for the realization to hit me that a scrapbook doesn't have to be a Pinterest perfect project to be worth keeping.

Organizing and keeping those mementos doesn't have to be some sort of arduous task!

And so I created the World's Easiest Scrapbook for myself.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Eyesore Wall Turned Gallery Wall

There is a wall in my house I like to fondly refer to as the problem wall.
This ugly little wall is nicely located right between the front door and the laundry room door.

The designers of this house put a lot of thought into the location of all the eyesores.  Where should we stick all these ugly things?  Doorbell speaker, alarm speaker, thermostat, smoke detector, motion sensor.
We could put them on the wall next to the laundry room.  Tucked away where no one will ever see them.  But you know what would be even easier?  Sort of but not really.  We could put them a few inches away on the wall that is visible from the entryway, and the hallway, and the stairway, and the dining room, and the living room, and you know EVERYWHERE!  Oooh ya, let's do that.


And not only is the stuff not pretty, it's about as ugly as possible.  The alarm speaker and motion sensor are newer.  Yes, we could put this stuff around the corner but this wall already looks ugly.  Let's just add to it.  Ahem.

The smoke alarm is not even functional so I should really remove it.  Even though I know the wires leading to it aren't live, (had them checked) it still makes me nervous to just take it off and have those wires floating in the wall.  So, I will wait until someone who knows what they are doing can remove it.

Let's not even mention the fact that the thermostat is crooked.  Crooked.  For really.

The doorbell is an... antique.  I am not totally in love with the style.
The first thing I did when we moved in was try to eliminate all the brass everywhere.  I did remove the decorative thingy off the front and was considering painting the brown part.  I also removed the side chimes and discovered they are in fact functional so back they went.
After spending much time/energy/angst trying to change it, I decided to just embrace it and work with it.  After all, it is part of the history of the house and would a plain speaker box really be any prettier?

Plus, brass is back in!  Bring back all the gold things we finally managed to get rid of!!!  Right?  I'll never fully understand trends.

At first, I fixated on covering all the uglies but I was worried about the functionality being compromised.  I also worried that covering them would just end up looking like I had covered something up.

Then as I was browsing gallery walls on Pinterest, (I have always had a bit of an obsession with gallery walls) I realized the ones I loved the most had a mixture of frames and other oddities.

So, if I surround the ugly stuff with pretty stuff maybe people will notice the pretties and ignore the uglies?!

Obviously I NEEDED to run right out and start buying stuff to hang on my wall!

Except that wasn't really in the budget.  So, I decided to work with what I had and I could always add to it later.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Old Fashioned - TT

Theme Thursday is back!  And not a moment too soon.

True story.

Here I was hanging out on my computer willing a blog post to just write itself and I could not come up with a single thing to write.  Actually I have been writing something all week but it's just turning into a big old mess (big surprise) so I decided to step away from that one for a bit.

Then I thought I would check Facebook for some inspiration.  Which of course really means get sucked into the social media vortex and never emerge.

Instead, literally (for real) the first thing I saw was a post from Cari announcing the return of Theme Thursday thanks to a hijacking from Madeline at A Dash of Snark.  For which I am eternally grateful!

The theme this week is Old Fashioned.  The theme could not be more perfect.

Yesterday, I had the random impulse to sew something.

Now, in my usual lazy manner, I didn't want anything too difficult.  Just a quick little sewing project.  No real planning, no purchasing any supplies or materials, and most definitely no pattern.

Then I saw a tattered old pillowcase I had thrown into my fabric stash.  I really like the fabric on the pillowcase but it had come apart at the seams.  Literally.  (For real again.)

So, I cleaned off my sewing table.
And by cleaned off, I obviously mean moved the pile of stuff off the sewing table and onto the dining table.
Set up my sewing machine and decided the machine needed a better cover than the plastic one it came with.  What would be cuter than a cover made from an "Old Fashioned" pillowcase??
That plastic cover totally clashes with the "old fashioned" sewing table hand me down and the "old fashioned" crystal lamp from my husband's grandmother.
I cut the pillowcase in half to fit the machine.  All it really needs is a hem.  But that's not a lot of fun.
Much better.

I looked at what was left of the pillowcase.  Just enough for a little skirt for the princess.

Lazy style.

Here is my detailed tutorial.  I am using super technical sewing terms here and didn't bother taking any pictures so try to follow along.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Orange Hallway

I love color.

Bright, happy, color.

The brighter the better.

Which is why I choose bright colors for the walls in my house.

When we moved in all the walls were white except for the living room.  That was dark fake wood paneling.  That was the first to get painted.  I refused to even move in until it was painted.  I had always wanted a green living room and a blue dining room but my husband wasn't really excited about the idea of green.  So, we compromised with blue.

Later I painted the dining room green.  WINNING!

The kitchen will be yellow someday.  And for some odd reason I decided to paint the downstairs bathroom a beige color.  I don't really know what came over me but for now I actually like it.  The red shower curtain helps.

The kids room is Periwinkle and someday my room will be teal with red accents.

We have a small entry way space which I decided to paint a taupe color since it was right in the middle of everything.

Which left the hallway.  The hallway leading to the kids room, bathroom and master bedroom.

What color to paint it?

There is one special spot where I can stand in my dining room and see the dining room, living room, entry way, hallway and kids room all lined up.  I love to see the green, blue, and Periwinkle together and wanted to add another happy color to the mix.

The sweet spot.
But what color?

Friday, April 5, 2013

Toy Organization - FAIL

Jenn is being all helpful over at her blog and teaching us how to properly fold a towel.  Complete with video.

I have had the flu all week and my voice is doing the whole raspy thing so I will spare you the video.

But I thought I could teach you a little something too.

You see, awhile back I came up with a clever way to organize the kids toys.

Then I procrastinated for awhile.

Tried one way and it didn't work well.

Came up with a plan B.

And now I will show you my amazing system to organize and store the kids toys.  Something that will allow them to easily identify their toy storage so they can clean up their own room.

Too good to be true?

Let's find out!

I started with several cubes from the Target Itso collection.  I like these cubes better than the smaller cube shelf ones you see all the time because these are bigger.  Also the cubes are plastic and snap together easily and come apart easily.  This works well for us because we are frequently having to empty out the room when Gremlins attack.  Also they are more water resistant.

Fabric bins of various sizes and colors (Itso brand, the other brands are too small) work well in the cubes to sort toys into.
The problem is, all the toys end up thrown together randomly into the bins and then to find anything, everything gets dumped out creating a huge never ending cycle of mess.

Then I end up spending an entire day sorting toys into various cubes and trying to explain the system to two oblivious children who immediately go back to doing it the way they have always done it.  And all my sorting efforts are just wasted time.  Much like any other form of housework...

Obviously the bins need to be labeled.

But trying to write out cute little labels for the toys won't work well until my kids learn how to read.

I thought about little picture labels but they needed to be really specific for the kids to see what kind of toy when into each bin.

Pictures...  Hmm...  Oh, photos.  Right.  That could work.

But how to attach the photos.

My first attempt was to simply scotch tape the pictures to the bins.  That didn't hold.  The pictures ended up falling off and getting destroyed or lost.

Plan B.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Mission: Take Back My House - Part II

My house was looking better and better so I decided I needed to keep the ball rolling and take the Christmas decorations down.

They all came down on January 10th.  All packed up in their boxes and I even moved the boxes back into storage the next day.

It isn't even February yet and the Christmas tree is down!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Mission: Take Back My House - Part I

First of all, I'm going to make it very clear that I am a messy person by nature.  My husband is a messy person by nature.  We are both pack-rats.  I can't organize to save my life.

It's important that you understand this so the following doesn't come off as some kind of excuse.  I'm not trying to say any of this is actually responsible for my messy house.  Only that when you combine two messy people who collect and treasure clutter and then add other challenges to that mix, well, you end up with my house.

And when I say other challenges I think we all know who I am talking about.

Yep.  I'm pointing at you Pipe Gremlins.

But I am not going to cower in fear any more.

It's time to take a stand.

For the time being, the water is staying where it belongs, you know, in the pipes.  That is, aside from the bathtub leak.  But we have fixed that problem by not using that bathtub.

Ha!  Take that Gremlins!

The furniture is staying where it belongs along with clutter keeping to it's designated spaces.

So, I have decided to reclaim my house.

A long long time ago, before the first attack, I had plans.  I had ideas.  Things were happening.  I was painting trim and horrible brown posts.  I was arranging furniture in certain ways.  I was getting creative with what I had.  Heck, I was even scrapbooking!

Then came the Gremlins.  There's just something about having all your living room furniture stuffed into your dining room that suddenly takes the focus off the little bit of trim that didn't get finished.  You know, when you were interrupted by your son making a mad rush to the bathroom, only to return and find the curtains had been painted by your daughter.

Somehow that just fell to the background.

And let's be honest.  I gave up.  I just didn't care anymore.  Really, what was the point of finishing the trim?  Nobody would ever notice anyway because no one would ever be invited over to a house they could barely walk through.  Even if they did there were plenty of distractions.  "Why is your daughter's dresser in your dining room?" would probably be asked before, "Why is there a strip of green painters tape under that trim?"  And so that tape stayed there for well over a year.

Not to mention the fact that, when you have just spent thousands of dollars on fixing water leaks, that $20 curtain rod becomes a bit of a strain on your budget.

Finally I am giving up on giving up.  I've had enough of living my life according to the rule of the Pipe Gremlins.  Which pretty much says, "If you attempt to improve your home in any way, we will create another disaster to derail you."

I'm taking the risk.  Tempting fate.  Risking the wrath of the Pipe Gremlins.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Stuff I Want: Doors / Stuff I Did: Curtains

When I walked into my house for the very first time and saw the living room I fell in love.  Not as much with how it looked then but with how I envisioned it looking.  It had so many of the features I was looking for.  I instantly felt at home.  I just knew it was the ONE.  It was actually the first house we looked at so, because we didn't want to be the people who just bought the first house we saw, we went around looking at all the other houses.  Then we came back and bought this one.

This is what the house looked like.
This is actually the picture from the listing (with my husband's notes) because we, in our enthusiasm to move in, never took any before pictures.
What I loved?  The stone fireplace.  The space.  The two story vaulted ceiling.  I hadn't really wanted a two story house but if I was going to have one I wanted the stairs to be spectacular.  When I saw that railing it took my breath away!  How cool is that railing?  I had never seen anything like it.  Best of all check out those doors!

Ok.  Maybe not those doors in particular.  But the doors they could be!

Something like...

Source: via Rachael on Pinterest

Except white.  With Bordeaux shades.  Exactly like this.

Shortly after we moved in I decided to price my new doors.  Just to know.  So that the next time I had a few hundred dollars burning a hole in my pocket I would be prepared.

I gave the salesperson all my specifications.  I knew exactly what I wanted and would settle for nothing less.

He gave me the grand total.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Stuff I Did: My Less Ugly Bathroom

Remember my ugly bathroom?
Ugly counter top!

Ugly dated cabinets.
More specifically, do you remember what was under the sink in my ugly bathroom?
Well for obvious reasons something had to be done about that.

So, while I was waiting for Vanilla Ice to swing by and fix my bathroom . . .

I decided to take matters into my own hands.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Time Warner Made Me Clean My Room (Almost)

As will inevitably occur, when one has a three day weekend, with oodles of time to do things, like blog, and read blogs, and blog some more, the internet decided to go down.  It seems it decided it deserved a vacation, just as much as the next person/artificial intelligence.  Which of course left me staring at the little blank icon at the bottom of the screen, willing it to come back on, as I futily clicked the refresh button, repeatedly.

Refresh? No.

The cable company promised to get right on it.  They would schedule us for Wednesday.  Wednesday?  It was only Sunday!  What to do for an entire 3-4 days without internet or cable?!?!?

Refresh? No.

There was only one obvious solution.  Start honing my Angry Birds skills.
I quickly learned some very important lessons regarding that game.  It's a whole lot easier to "play" when my 4 year old is the one playing.  Somehow it got a lot harder when I tried it.  Also it's slightly addicting.  People really aren't just saying that.  And I no longer feel bad for those little pigs.  DIE PIGGIES DIE!!!!!

Refresh? No.
During Angry Birds breaks (the Nook batteries don't last forever) I had to find something to do.  I was going stir crazy!  

Refresh.  No.

Obviously it started affecting my sanity, because I started to consider cleaning my room.

Have you seen my room?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Have I Mentioned I'm a Geek? Dallas Comic Con

Yesterday my family and I attended the Dallas Comic Con.

Ok, you can quit the eye rolling.

Yes, I really know how much of a geek I am.

No, I did not dress up.  Unless you count the Superman shirt and the "mommy costume."

For those of you who have never had the opportunity to attend a comic book convention (and I am sure you would have gone if at all feasibly possible) allow me to give you a glimpse into the excitement and wonder that is Comic Con!

Now, just in case you are thinking that only weirdos attend such events I can assure you there are plenty of normal people there.  Even some celebrities.

Like have you ever heard of Stan Lee?  Or Carrie Fisher?  Or Leonard Nimoy???  Yeah they were there.  Ok, Leonard was only there on Saturday and we were there on Sunday so he wasn't there the same day but still . . .

They weren't the only celebrities to attend.  The convention was full of famous celebrities wandering around mingling with the commoners.

Have you ever browsed through stacks of comic books only to realize the person browsing next to you is actually . . .

Monday, April 18, 2011

Stuff I Did: Yet Another Shelf

I'm posting a bit late today because I was pretty busy all day working on assembling a shelf for the kid's room.  I know what you're thinking . . . "It took you the entire day to put together one shelf?"  Of course not.  That would be crazy.  I actually put the shelf together about a month ago.  It has since been laying down right in the middle of the floor of the dining room.  We have been walking around it, tripping on it, kicking it, falling over it.  See, as I am apt to do, I got the sudden urge to put together the shelf before I really thought it through.  My husband then, as he is apt to do, pointed out the flaw in my plan.  We had not yet entirely finished the floor in the kid's room and so had no place to put the shelf.  So it sat there.

Shelf on the Floor
This weekend we finally put in the last few pieces.  What took us so long to finish it?  Well, we haven't had a free weekend for awhile.  We have had people in hospitals and bridal showers and birthday parties.  In all honesty though I might have procrastinated a teensy bit actually ordering the last few pieces.  Maybe because I kept forgetting or wanted to wait till payday.  Maybe because I knew once we had those last few pieces I would have to get serious about getting that room clean and back in order.  Hmm . . . probably mostly the latter.
Unfinished Floor
What did I spend today doing then?  I spent the day putting the back on the shelf.  Logically I realized that I should probably leave the back off the shelf if I was going to be leaving it lying in the middle of the room.  I figured the kids would be climbing all over it and step right through it.  It was a pretty good call I think.

I had the bright idea awhile back to use wrapping paper to cover the back of the shelf and make it all pretty like.  It was of course right after I had finished assembling the last shelf.  I attempted to take the back off but that was not an option.  Rather than the nails coming back out, the cardboard-like back threatened to rip right apart.  So I decided it wasn't worth the effort.
Pretty Wrapping Paper
Today I did attach the pretty paper to the back of the shelf before I nailed it on.
Shelf with Pretty Wrapping Paper

Smart right?
Closeup of Shelf with Pretty Wrapping Paper
I am proud to announce the shelf is officially fully assembled.  I think it came out well.  It looks all pretty and stuff.
Pretty Shelf - See I can be all crafty like!
Once I get all the toys and books put up on the shelf it will probably cover it up of course.  But I will know.  It's all pretty underneath all that stuff.  I even have the pictures to prove it.
Like how I coordinated the colors of the paper with the lids?  Totally on purpose . . . ;)
After it was all finished I was exhausted!  Had to take the rest of the day off.  I'll work on the rest of the room tomorrow . . . maybe . . .

Yes, I do realize I just wrote yet ANOTHER blog post about a shelf.  Maybe I should have named my blog Shelf Obsessed Non-Domestic Mama?

Monday, January 31, 2011

Stuff I Did: New (Puzzle Foam Mat) Floor

This weekend was spent installing a new floor in the kids room.

You may recall our incident with the pipe gremlins that resulted in one ruined carpet and two kids without a room of their own.

After all the plumbing was repaired and enough time had elapsed to be relatively sure (holding our breath) that there would not be a re-occurrence (again) the time had finally come to install a new floor.   I still really wanted to put cork in but we were and are still wary about possible future leaks.  Excess funds haven't exactly been flooding in (pardon the pun) either so we had to come up with a more economical solution.