Monday, January 30, 2012

Made for Monday

Some people go to therapy, some take prozac, others run and I like to glue stuff but lately I have had the desire to progress to a more technical form of glue, also known as sewing. I have considered sewing classes, but most are offered along with making items such as a quilt and I just don't fancy spending hundreds of dollars on something that will look like some amateur made it, namely me and I wouldn't buy a quilt even in it's perfect state. Gasp, I live in Utah, am a home maker and don't like quilts! I'm the one.
My other option was to pay $25 plus supplies, for a class, where I could make a pillow case. HHmm, I just can't get the math to work out on that one, so I am going it alone.

If you have yet to venture into a fabric store by the name of "Material Girls" then keep it that way. This place alone, has caused my need to buy fabric, thus forcing my need to learn to sew, thus causing my need to clear out a cupboard to store fabric which I must now buy, along with all the other fun gadgets that are must have's. I admit I took a little convincing that my new "cutco" knife wasn't going to work as well as the pizza cutter circular thingy but since that point WAS made, I probably need one in every size? as well as the king size cutting mat and ribbon storage? Don't you think?

Can you just see this space, begging to be filled?
Anywho, my first daring project, an IPAD cover.
I figured if it looked all pretty, then I wouldn't have to search for it. Boys don't think floral fabric is cool, at least mine don't.

So I made this last night, whilst listening to Les Mis and wiping snot down my face ( Not quite as bad as when we saw it live in London)

Here it is (images taking completely on manual mode, indoors with no flash for my teacher Heidi :)
I have decided already that sewing isn't the problem as much as , reading the pattern. I need to learn the language. e.g instruction- "sew in the ditch" ??????
Now on to my next project.
I kind of like the idea of "Made for Monday" maybe that'll be a theme.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Felt Good

Sometimes it just feels good to do something simple, with no brain required, like crafting with felt.
Thanks to pinterest, I can no longer be satisfied with the same mantel decor, year round and last years won't possibly do, when there's new pins to be copied daily.
In the past couple of weeks I've made several, really simple crafts thanks to Youtube tutorials and blog posts, all linked to me by the wonderful world of "pinning"

First off, a simple skirt for Asha, made from ruffle fabric. One straight stitch and an elastic waistband and I look like a sewing diva, which I am absolutely not.

Second I made a ruffle scarf or 5. Well once you get started it's pointless leaving leftover wool. These make great gifts.

Then my latest creation. The Valentine wreath.
Boyd actually said to me "what are you going to do with that?"
It is true, crafty items, however much I love to create them, don't stay in my house for long, it's just not a crafty place. So for now it sits on my mantel waiting a better home.

Also by way of exciting news, I am going to take a couple of photography classes in a few weeks so my blog pictures won't be so awful.

Friday, January 13, 2012

If it works for you.

I've seen a lot of info lately on getting organized. Little file folders for the counter, buckets with lids and draws, uniformly labeled with pictures so that a 3 year old can tidy up. Yeah right. The sad thing is, many of us are desperate to clear the clutter that appears every day, as soon as someone walks in the door with mail or a bag of any kind but these ideas rarely work.
I am guilty of rushing to walmart, or target if I'm feeling really posh, to purchase matching linen totes and a label maker, in hopes that this will cause my people to want to keep things picture pretty. The trouble is, they do absolutely nothing for the mess unless you actually use them.

So I will share with you some of the best advice I ever got from a professional organizer and also share that if you follow the rule, it works.

RULE- Do not start, by trying to organize! I knew you were going to like this.
Spend the next few weeks, watching your families behaviors and patterns. It will feel a bit like one of those nature shows on TV, you could walk behind them with a video camera, whispering in a British accent, "notice how male of species, can't seem to reach hook, 3 inches above where he dropped his outer garment"
Then it's time to plan your attack.
After you have gathered the data, you are far more equipped to come up with a plan that works for you and your people.

Here are a few of my wins.

Wet shoes often come off at the front door and rarely does anyone return to retrieve them So an open topped basket tucked in the corner, quickly solves that problem. When the bucket is full, rarely as this is not our main entry, a quick yell to collect shoes and we are good to go.
Oh and by way of observation, I have noticed people are far more quick to offer to remove shoes when you have a wood floor than they do with carpet?

This is storage in the basement. Not painted and pretty but very functional. Cheap Ikea shelves, of course, that you can add on to and place at any height you want or leave huge gaps for things like luggage. Very easy to build, no skills required.
Duct tape and sharpie for labels and you are organized.

Our back/main entry and most used corner of the house has always been a pain point.
I would kill for one of those mudrooms I see on the pinterest, with matching umbrellas and rain boos set on decoupaged baking trays but alas, I don't have a bedroom sized space attached to my garage door so this is what is working for us.
(this one is a semi win)

Particle board shelves, the height of an average shoe and painted white, is a great place for me to put all the shoes left on the floor, right as you walk in the door.
That's why I call it a semi fail. "They" still don't put shoes away but I can, very quickly, when it is bugging me.

A very small wall, but with 2 sets of coat hooks, we have a place for coats, hoodies, aprons and a dog leash.

Sometimes the things already attached to the wall deter me from using it but just by cutting a hole for the phone, (yes people, I have phones plugged in to the wall and so will you when you have lost enough cordless ones to go this route) we have a great space.

This cool feature, however, is an epic fail. It was designed for gloves and hats/winter or goggles sunblock etc/summer with the added function of a seat for putting on shoes or being on the phone but it is actually just a shelf where we dump anything needing to go to the garage or being brought in from the car.

This is a cool wire rack I found at claires that fits inside my closet perfectly. It is right where I get dressed and I can see everything so no more bundles of things in a drawer.

Most simple but most used, tub on the stairs for things needing to go up.

Finally my favorite thing, the kitchen counter clearer. Partial win, partial fail.
I had a small wall, again hindered with light switches but I used it anyway. It has evolved as things worked, I added to it.

The wall hanging file folder where I can put mail and school papers, the tubs for pens, lego guys and the odd marble found on the floor. WIN. The family home evening board that doesn't get used but was a gift so I feel obligated to have it hanging. FAIL. The awesome notice board which my kids look at, as the rest of us not living in the past use a phone calendar, is a WIN/FAIL. Win because I like how it looks and makes me happy, Fail because it only works as long as I update it and I haven't much this month but I will now ;)

So what do you think? What are some of your awesome organizational tips. Please do share.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


Have you ever wondered, if wearing a really bad, white wig and dropping a hammer, whilst shouting "ORDER," would cause instant calm to come around you and silence?
I'm sort of having that feeling today and no hammer was necessary.
There's still decorations to take down, let's face it, they could stay until next year without anyone else noticing, the fridge is bare and this beautiful winter sunshine is reminding me that I haven't dusted or... well anything cleaning wise since...ages ago.

Yet all is calm here. No anxiety ridden deadlines, no offices to decorate, weddings to plan, Christmas to prep for. Just a few things on a task list that aren't life or death and a quiet moment with kids in school to reflect on some of the recent merriment.
There was the bachelor party that took place in the back of a truck, coolest thing ever.

Of course, Santa came in very strange attire as per tradition of finding whatever you can around the house.

We had our last Christmas with ALL our kids, unmarried anyway. (Notice how the table is growing)

There was something else?
Oh yes I remember, A WEDDING!!

I'll post more wedding pics when we get the good ones back.
Then we rang in the new year with some of our oldest buds in the U.S. Lauren, Whit and their family.

Along with a little dancing.

and some huge fireworks, I love that they are no longer illegal.

So, I raise my glass to erasing the first 9 months of 2011 and propose a toast...

To You all!
my friends,
and other blog stalkers...
To 2012,
our best year yet!