Sunday, January 31, 2010

Organization! New Craft Room Shelves.

For those of you who have been at my house before know that I have a deep dark secret. No, it's not that kind of secret. It's not really all that bad of a secret but it is one of those things that has been bugging me FOREVER!

One of the bedrooms in our house is designated as Mom's Craft Room. (I have no intention of giving up the space either). Somehow it has also been dubbed the dumping ground for all things without a home. Grrr. How does that happen? Does anyone else have this problem? Anyways, this month my project has been to do something about the clutter. I mean, come on! How can one expect to be creative in an environment like this?
In this picture you can probably see some of my works in progress. For example, the red thing in the middle is the top half of my red recliner that is STILL waiting for me to finish the bottom half.  I really need to get that done! And my Jerusalem painting is still sitting on the easel waiting for me to put the last finishing touches on it so it can hang above the fireplace.
And who can sew in these conditions?
I will say that it didn't look this bad until we started building the shelves and needed somewhere to set things but it was still BAD!
A few patch jobs later...This is what we built...
All we did was cut some plywood on our table saw and router the bottom edges. There wasn't quite enough storage space, and it looked a little boring to me so I decided to add some cube shelving in there as well. Here is a picture of it before it was painted. I'll post more finished pictures when I get the chance.

The room is sooo much better now! I can actually work on things now and can find what I am looking for. WOW! We also plan on adding one or two more shelves to the other side of the room, putting some white peg board underneath to hang my set of tools, And eventually making a special rack to hang the rolls of vinyl for the vinyl cutter. It will be awesome! But first we need to remedy the issue with the kid's room. Our little Ethan has outgrown the crib. Bunk beds and toy shelves are in the works as we speak.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

How to Make a Fast and Easy Ice Pack

I've been meaning to do put this up ever since my "boys, brother's, and boo boo's" post. In that post I told you about the ice pack I made after getting tired of re-wrapping the baggies of ice in a towel over and over again. I just had to come up with a solution.

I took something that I already had lying around. Something that wasn't being used anymore, and turned it into something useful for right now. A baby burp cloth! It is so simple, and yet so brilliant that I can't believe I didn't think of it earlier!

All I did was take an old rectangular burp cloth and turned it into a pocket. I folded the cloth part way up "hamburger style" (I left enough so that I could have a flap with a button hole). I sewed the two sides up with a simple straight stitch (no hemming involved). Then on the flap part I made a button hole with my sewing machine. I then sewed on a button where the hole overlapped and wha la!

Just put the ice in a baggie, put it in the pocket, button it up, and you're all set! It was FREE and we've used it multiple times since. It's amazing how ice cures all of life's troubles when you are a toddler. Now my problem is that I only have one of them. I guess I'll be making another soon.

Monday, January 25, 2010

XOXOX blocks

I don't do a whole lot for Valentine's Day. Personally I think it is a silly holiday. I'd much rather show my love all year long with words, actions, and things other than chocolate, candy hearts, and a card. But the other day I was at my local Craft Mart just browsing for fun. I didn't buy anything but I saw some blocks in the window that just shouted at me. I thought, "I can do that!" SO I did!

I cut up a 2x6 that was sitting in our garage rafters since we moved in. I cut five pieces at 7.5" long, and sanded them with the belt sander.

The next day I got out the paint. I used some left over paint from a couple other projects we've done in the past. (Check those posts out Here and Here.) One can of paint was left here with the house for wall touch ups and the other is one we got at walmart called "va va voom red." I painted the outsides of the blocks white and let it dry. Then I painted the inside rectangle with a couple coats of the red. This is what it looked like. Notice the flaws in the board? Not a big deal, it give it character.

As I let that all dry, I printed out five x's and five o's with my vinyl cutter. One "x" and one"o" for each each board.

Doesn't it always seem the paint takes way to long to dry? Especially when you are excited for the finished product! I put all the letters on and wha la! I really like how they turned out! I plan on putting them up on the half wall that divides my living room and family room. What's great is that you can see it from both sides! One says xoxox and the other is oxoxo. Way cute and the best part....It was FREE! How's that for crafting on a budget?

Here's Another look at the finished product...I just put those fake rose petals around it for fun. I also think this project could be done in so many fun ways. Just think, you could modge podge different fun papers on for the background and die cut letters in a coordinating paper. Or you could change the colors of the paint to include pink and red, add glitter, maybe some raffia tied around a couple of the letters, make it say "I luv U" or "Love" with a heart for the 5th block. So many possibilities! If you do make some I'd love to see what you come up with. Have fun, and Happy Heart Day!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Boys, Brothers, and Boo Boo's

Ok I'll make this short and simple. They say a picture is worth a thousand words...So here it goes.

Little Brothers

+ Mini Wood Stool



And if Little sister gets an ice pack for her head then why not...

little brother too?

All this combined = quality hang out time on the couch.

aaawwh how sweet.

Stay tuned for my ice pack case I made after I got tired of re-wrapping the bags of ice in the towel. It was WWWAAAAY EASY! And the best part...It didn't cost a THING!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

A Little "Light" on the Subject.

Today and yesterday I have been working on a little project on updating our bedroom lamps. Although I am grateful to have them, they have driven me crazy from the time we inherited them. However, new lamps weren't and still aren't in the budget. So what do I do? I find a way to make something old, look new, That's what! Besides I think it is fun.

When Dan and I moved up from Rexburg we inherited these lamps from Dan's Grandmother's house. At the time, we had hardly any furniture of our own. We ended up having to sell most of it when we moved, so we were happy to get them.

They sure weren't the prettiest things to me. I have never been a fan of brass, and I don't think I ever will be. Also the lamp shades were nothing to jump up and down about. Unless of course you were throwing a fit like me and decided to do something about it.

This is the before. Dust and all. Not very pretty is it?

I thought they still had some potential left, and that's where it all started. First I took the bulbs out and took the pieces apart. They were all screwed together by the center rod. It came apart pretty easily. Once the pieces were disconnected I had to undo the wiring. I marked all the joining wires with 1, 2, or 3 dots of craft paint first so that I would know which wires went together when it came time to reassemble everything.

I masked off all the wiring and light bulb openings. Then I took a can of my new favorite! (Oil Rubbed Bronze Rustoleum spray paint) and painted all the pieces. I saw lot of you other bloggers out there using this stuff and decided to give it a try. It is AWESOME STUFF! I love it!

Here's a close up of what the paint looks like. It is sooo much better in person though.

I let everything dry and then brought it back inside to reassemble. This is where things got iffy. I had a really hard time get it all back together. I did eventually get it to go back together, but not quite like it needs to be; it is still a little loose. And all that struggling scuffed up parts of the paint that I have to now go over it again with a second light coat.

For the second lamp though, I ended up just taking the glass pieces off and painted it all while it was still assembled.  Oh well... you live and learn.

The lamp shades were probably the part I disliked the most. They definitely needed to GO! I decided to try and salvage the shade part to recover with some white canvas fabric. The lines from the glue were still visible but it was looking much better than before.

After being almost done with the first one I couldn't wait to take a picture so here it is. Sorry about the lighting. It was dark outside and I didn't have time to fiddle with the camera settings. Also, excuse the messy table. That's a project for another day.

Here's a side by side comparison. Better, don't ya think?

My husband doesn't think it is an improvement and thinks I am crazy to have done it. He wasn't exactly fond of the previous look either but oh well... everyone is entitled to an opinion. But that's not keeping me from doing it. I like how it turned out. Don't you think it looks so much better? He does however like that the new shades make the room brighter. So I guess there is one good thing about the whole project right?

I tried to avoid it, but I did end up having to go and buy new lampshades.  Bummer.  I broke the second one trying to get the old crinkle stuff off of it. It was glued on better than the first and the old plastic underneath just shattered. Oh well. I will post a picture of the finished project with the new shades once the second one is finished.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Our New Wood Storage Rack

The other night after the kids were in bed Dan and I had what we call a "garage date." It may not sound very fun to you but Dan and I enjoy working on projects together in the garage. We were originally planning on building some shelving for my craft room (which is going to be saaawwweeet by the way!). But instead, decided to get better organized first.

Our garage has been looking a little crowded lately with this...

There was wood everywhere! Stacked on tables, leaning against walls, and propped up against cabinets.  It was getting annoying and it was time to do something about it. So, Dan drew up a tiny sketch on some notebook paper and away we went. It took us about two hours to build. Not bad, considering we were just winging it. It turned out really good too.

It fits perfectly between another one of our cabinets and the door to the laundry room. It has a divider in the middle so we can separate the long pieces from the short ones and there is a bar to prevent things from falling over onto our cars. And for my little distribution I came up with the solution to the sharp edges.

All it is, is some stick on foam strip. Dan brought some home from work the other day that they were throwing out. It worked perfectly. All I had to do was cut it, peel off the back and stick it on. Now I don't have to worry about the kids running into it as they race to the door when we get home from running errands.
And here's a look at the space we cleared up...

Much better!

Now on to my craft room shelves!!!! I can't wait!
Or maybe some bunkbeds for the kids. Ethan climbed out of the crib this morning and was there to greet me when I opened their bedroom door. That could be a problem. 

Here's one more look at the Wood Storage Rack...

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Let it SNOW Let is SNOW Let it StyroFOAM

Do you ever feel like you do nothing but clean and clean and clean and clean? Please tell me you do. It is actually quite comical really. After reading my story I think you will understand my frustration or lack thereof.

Yesterday I woke up to the sounds of my husband getting ready for work and him telling me goodbye for the day. Then after he left I dozed off again. After a couple more hours I awoke to the sound of Mega Bloks being thrown against the kid's bedroom door. I shouted for it to stop and then thought nothing of it. I got out of bed and then headed to get the kids ready for the day. When I opened the door I found my 22 month old walking across the top of the dresser, his sister inside his crib and toys EVERYWHERE. At least nothing serious had happened, and I got Ethan down asap.

A little later after breakfast it seemed like there was nothing but whining and fighting and complaining on and on and on. I got to the point where I had enough, and both kids went back in their room to settle down and play "quietly" or at least until I was ready again. Tell me I am not the only one on that one either. 15-20 minutes past and it got WAAAAY too quiet. And you know that is never a good thing with little ones.

I went to check on them. When I opened the door this is what I found.

Pretty isn't it? Hopefully my kid's bedroom isn't the only one that looks like this either. Minus all the white stuff of course. That wasn't there before, I promise.

The kids had taken a picture frame box that was on top of the dresser and took out all the packing foam, broke it up, and were putting it in front of the humidifier fan and watching it blow up like snow.

Ignoring the fact that I was going to have to do to a lot of clean up; it was actually quite funny. Hence the pictures. And they were having so much fun too.

So I guess constantly cleaning is just something I am going to have to continue getting use to. I'll just have to enjoy the little moments while I can. Sigh...What now?! Where's the vacuum?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Calling All Supermoms!

I was reading and catching up on some of my favorite blogs today and ran across this post from Thrifty Decor Chick. She has a great blog and she always makes me feel better knowing I am not the only one out there who feels a certain way about something. Her post today hit right on! It's called "What's your problem area." And no she wasn't talking about body parts. Instead its about housekeeping and staying organized. I loved it! Go on and check it out.

After being gone so long for Christmas vacation there is A LOT of cleaning up and re-organizing to do over here, and I haven't found the up an at em's to get at it all yet.
There's new toys to find a spot for, clothes to go through to make room for the new ones, decorations to be put away, cars to clean out from the trip... and yada yada yada. And somehow still keep the kitchen clean and the laundry caught up. Tell me how? 

To refer back to Thrifty Decor Chick's post, I think my problem area is well...the entire house to be exact. I cannot keep anything clean. Wait....yep...not anything. Although the bathrooms are usually always clean, if you don't count my make-up bag, deodorant, and others constantly strewn on the master bath counter. It is sad I know and it drives me nuts! It seems like everyday I have the same goal which is to get organized and have that oh so wonderful "house fit for company." I do manage little feats that last for about five minutes; but then I turn around and find it back where I started. But oh the joys those two munchins (who are the source of the chaos) bring, outnumbers the stresses.

Don't get me wrong, the house is filthy or anything. It is clean; it is just full of stuff. 

Today my goal is to at least get the two front rooms done. I still have a bag full of Christmas wrapping paper sitting next to the Christmas tree that also needs to be put away.

Thank You Cards.

Last night I was in need of a retreat. I have spent the last two days working really hard on potty training and taking care of my sick 22 month old. Needless to say I was worn out and needed to do something fun for a change. I'm not saying that I don't love my kids and I do love the cuddle time I get when they are sick (it's the only time they let me cuddle them) but it was draining and I needed a change.
I decided to start making thank you cards. I have been wanting to catch up on all the Christmas Thank You's too so I was being productive at the same time. Woot woot! Dan got me two giant stacks of VERY cute scrap-booking paper for Christmas so I broke that out. There's nothing better than new craft supplies!  I made a total of 5 cards last night using 3 different papers and still have TONS leftover from those sheets.

Aren't they cute?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Don't give up on me yet

Hey everyone! I haven't abandoned you all. I am just getting back into the swing of things from being gone so long for Christmas and the New Year. I promise to let you all know how things have been and what the Glenn's have all been up to here soon!
I just wanted you all to know I am still here and will still be joining the fun again.

Here's are a few pictures I took while in Boise over the Christmas break. It was so nice to see the snow and sunshine!