Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Grand Finale: Craft Room Makeover

The craft room makeover is finally finished! Whew! It's been quite a month and I'm so happy with the way it has turned out. You may remember that I decided to organize my craft room/office since it was one of my projects to complete on my 30 Before 30 list. This room was in major need of a renovation as you can see from the before pictures. Since this room is both the craft room and the office it needs to be a very functional space.

My nephew's girlfriend Jennie came over and made an amazing video of the completed room for me. She is so talented and I love the video she made of the room. I felt that pictures alone couldn't give the full affect of the transformation that took place in here, so here is the completed room tour:

If the video doesn't play for you, here is the direct link to the Craft Room Makeover Tour.

I took this project on as part of the 29 Day Organizational Challenge at I'm an Organizing Junkie.  It's funny because I had been living with the chaos of the room for so long I had sort of gotten used to it. But once I decided to start organizing, I really got going and couldn't stand it anymore.

The steps I took to get started: I made lists of things to work on and projects that needed to be completed. I like making lists because it keeps me goal oriented and I can see the progress as I check things off.  Then seeing the before pictures and looking at the progress I was making really kept me motivated. I also had my sister come over and help me. We did an entire day of cleaning and organizing. It was great having her here because it kept me from getting distracted by all the little things.

The hardest part of the challenge was deciding what was really worth keeping. Of course I felt like I loved everything in here as I came across it or had the thought that it could be useful. I kept having to remind myself that if I hadn't used it recently that I probably wasn't going to anytime soon. Once I saw how much space I was creating, I started feeling better about the purge.

One of my biggest purges was fabric. Luckily my sister-in-law Cassidee is planning a project for her Gold Award in Girl Scouts that will need a lot of fabric, so I sorted through and pulled out everything I thought she could use. I also had a huge drawer of scraps and another bag under my desk. I went through all of that and narrowed it down to a small drawer of useable scraps. I also purged a lot of the decor in here. Most of that ended up going to my sister because it just happens to match her house. I really wanted to try and have the place not look like it was the room of "leftovers." The rest of the stuff I purged went into a pile to donate to Goodwill.

The best part of the whole challenge came just a few days ago when my husband was doing some work from home and I was working on some sewing. We were both in here, spread out in our areas and not in each others way at all. The most amazing thing was that there was still plenty of room to walk around too! The room is completely functional for us now and that was the main thing I set out to accomplish. 

One of the best finds in organizing the room was the 4-tier shelf I got from Lowe's. It was only $15! It fit perfectly in the closet and allowed for so much more storage space. I used a bunch of dollar store shoe boxes to organize my craft odds and ends. My sister Aspen came up with the idea for the cute labels that we put on them. I made them all with my Silhouette and the designs all came from their online store. I also got a new file box for my coupons. The old one had a broken lid so it wasn't very functional. All the couponing stuff is on one shelf and should stay nice and organized. I also know exactly what is in each box now, which makes it so much easier to find everything.

Another great find was the Closetmaid rack I used for the ribbon and paint on my wall. It's original purpose is for canned goods in the pantry but it's the perfect size for all my ribbon. I don't have to search through totes and boxes to find everything anymore. And as luck would have it, I had a bunch of mason jars that my mother-in-law gave me for Christmas and found that they were the perfect thing to sort all the buttons and embellishments into. My buttons are all sorted by color now which is so awesome!

The boxes on the shelf that hold my Silhouette and scrapbooking supplies came from Ikea and really help contain everything so that I can find it. Before they were all mixed together in a big under-bed box. Everything would get lost in the big box and I never really knew what was in there. I found out that I had 3 boxes of photo corners. The funny thing is that I can't even remember the last time I used photo corners. The pots under the shelf that hold my scissors and paintbrushes also came from Ikea. I seriously love that store! They need to build one by me so I don't always have to drive to LA every time I think of something great I need. I found it so helpful to have the painting stuff accessible the other day when I went to paint something and I could see all the brushes I have as opposed to the mess of Ziploc bags they were in before.

The best thing I did in the room was rearranging the furniture. I don't know why I didn't think of it sooner but it is so much nicer in here. With the new layout, there is an "office side" of the room and a "craft side" of the room. Everything I need is in it's own area and very organized on top of that.

Overall the biggest thing I've learned from this is not to buy more craft supplies than I need for the project I'm working on. I have so much stuff - mostly fabric - that I bought just because it was on sale. Most of it will probably never get used and ended up going in a donate pile. If I can keep that in mind in the future, I know that it will be a lot easier to maintain this room.

The greatest piece of advice I can give you in tackling an organizing project of your own is that you NEED to get rid of things. If you haven't used something recently, it needs to go. If it's not functional, it must go. If it's not your style, let it go. The thing is that if you decide a year from now you want it again, there will probably be something better available. It's not worth the clutter to hang on to things because it might be useful.

I will also be linking up at these parties.

Pin It

Sunday, February 26, 2012

6 Great Organizing Ideas

While I've been working on finishing the craft room makeover, I've come across A LOT of great organizing ideas over on Pinterest. I thought that rather than keep them all to myself, I should spread the love and share some of them with you.

I'm an Organizing Junkie has a round-up of their favorite organizing links going on. Plus their page is one of my very favorite organizing sites!

Family Circle gives a great list of "18 Things You Can Get Rid of Today." I know that there are a lot more things I need to get rid of in the list. 


This is one of the best tips I've seen this year: turning your hangers around at the beginning of the year to help weed out your closet. Ray and Jen tell you all about it.

Total, "Why didn't I think of that?!" moment!

Simplify 101 has great tips on how to organize your glove box in 15 minutes.

As soon as I found this, I went right to my pantry and put all of the different wraps into magazine boxes I had from Ikea. It's amazing how much it helps keep them more organized if you don't have a drawer for them.

The craft room should be done in a day or so and then I will get everything posted on that. I can't wait to show you all everything I've done!

I'll be linking up to my favorite parties.

Pin It

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Cozy Caterpillar

After spending a couple hours out shopping with my one year old nephew, I realized that babies go through a TON of socks! He would go into the store with two socks and inevitably by the time we left there would be one lonely sock on his foot.

I realized that the perfect gift for his first birthday would be some baby socks. I mean the more he has the better, right?! Especially since he seems to be constantly losing them.

I didn't want to just throw a bunch of socks in the bag and call it good either because that just didn't seem fun. So I came up with the "Cozy Caterpillar" baby socks gift. It's super cute and easy to make!

About a dozen baby socks (boy or girl)
1 pipe cleaner
2 mini pop-poms
2 buttons
Green shredded paper
Note: I have double stick tape pictured but I found that Elmer's glue dots worked better for part of it, so I ended up using both
Not pictured: Container to put it in (I used a cookie tin)

Step 1: Take one of the baby socks and roll it up as seen in the picture.

Step 2: Take the first baby sock and put it down inside the foot of the matching sock.

Step 3: Starting at the opening of the sock, roll it around the foot so that you end up making a ball.
Step 4: Do this with all the remaining socks. Then decide which pattern you would like your caterpillar to have. There was only one red sock with mine, so I made that the head.

Step 5: Cut 2 pieces of pipe cleaner, each about 3 inches long. Wrap the bottoms together to form a "V." Bend the base of the "V" and attach it to the top of the head with the glue dots. Using the glue dots again, attach the pom-poms to the tops of the pipe cleaners and then attach the eyes. You can see why I changed it and went with the glue dots instead. The tape just looks messy!

Step 6: Place a piece of double stick tape on the bottom of each sock and attach them to your container. The double stick tape worked perfectly for this.
I made a zig-zag pattern with the socks. First, to get them all to fit and second because I thought it was cute and wiggly.

Step 7: Finish by filling in around your caterpillar with your paper shreds. I made mine by running 2 different colors of green paper through my shredder.

There you have it! A cute and fun way to give baby socks!

I will be linking up to my favorite parties this week.

Pin It

Monday, February 20, 2012

Much Needed Workout Motivation

There's a much younger and skinnier me stuck with a magnet to the fridge. It's supposed to remind me of the weight loss goals I have set for myself. Sadly, I've reached a bit of a plateau and lost some motivation. The biggest problem - I LOVE FOOD!!! Diets are no fun because they are so routine and usually have weird food that I have no interest in eating. Or you have to take some sort of diet bar, shake or pill and that never seems to work out well. The weight just comes back when you stop eating/ taking them.

So with Lent starting this Wednesday, I realized it was the perfect time to set some new goals. First, being healthier with eating choices - not eating out and instead cooking at home. That in itself should help a lot. Second, it has become very apparent that I must start working out, as much as I have tried to avoid it.

I've been browsing Pinterest for some ideas to help motivate me to get going with a workout routine. That place is always full of great things and this time was no exception!

Rock My Run is one of my very favorite Pinterest finds! They upload new running playlists every week. Everything is upbeat and great for working out. Now if I could just use them for working out instead of singing in the shower!
Source: via Andi on Pinterest

I love this visual reminder of weight loss. Vases and marbles are definitely going on the shopping list!

Not just to tell people, but to know that I am not anymore.

Source: via Andi on Pinterest

I love this because I look like a hot mess after I workout!

Can I get as an audio track every few minutes on my playlist?

Absolutely REASON #1!  I have to remind myself that, "Endorphins make you happy!" to quote Elle Woods.

What are some of your tips or motivation for helping lose weight?

I'll be linking up at my favorite parties this week!

Pin It

Thursday, February 16, 2012

What's in a Name?

There are a lot of really cute family name art pieces out there. I've even made a few for around our house. But the latest project I have been working on had me a bit puzzled. What kind of family art do you create for a "modern family" who may not all share the same last name?

Being the Shakespeare lover that I am (and having just recently watched the movie) the famous Juliet quote popped into my head:
What's Montague? It is nor hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part 
Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!
What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other word would smell as sweet. ( Romeo and Juliet, Act 2, Sc. 2, 43-47)

Being a family doesn't mean that you all have to have the same family name, what matters is that you are family. After a little bit scribbling and a whole, whole lot of erasing on my scratch pad, I finally settled on this design.

I made the lettering with my Silhouette and I used the LDJ Forever Friends font. The "Our Family" is available in the Silhouette online store. The vinyl is from Expressions Vinyl in light brown. Expressions Vinyl is one of my favorite places to shop for vinyl. They always have good discount codes for their email subscribers and Facebook friends.

I really love how it turned out because the names are all connected - like a family is! It's perfect because all of the people I know with modern families can now have name art too!

I'll be linking up to my favorite parties this week.

Pin It

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

DIY: Subway Art Frame

My roommate's birthday was a few weeks back. I already had part of the gift planned - some really cool Stila eyeshadow and a few other make-up things, which I love and knew she would too. But I wanted to do something a bit more personal since she's so dear to me.

I came across this darling Subway art over at Kiki & Company. It was just the thing I was looking for!

Side note - so my friends and I always call patterns for projects "recipes" and I've had a hard time not doing that lately but I just can't help it! So...

You will need a blank wooden frame, acrylic paint (I used Apple Barrel by Plaid White and True Teal), scrapbook paper, white cardstock, Krylon Triple Thick Crystal Clear Glaze, sponge brush, and craft glue (I used Aleene's Quick Dry Tacky Glue).

Step 1:  
Remove the glass (or in my case plastic) from the frame.  Prime frame with 2 coats of white paint. Let dry thoroughly in between layers. Then paint 2 coats of your desired color (also drying well between layers) and let dry. 

When it is completely dry, spray the entire frame with the Krylon Triple Thick Crystal Clear Glaze. Be sure to do this in a well ventilated area like outside (my roommates always gets mad when I do this in the house). Let the frame dry really well before handling again - ask how I know about that!

Step 2:
While that is drying, you can pick out your Subway Art for the frame. Like I mentioned, mine came from Kiki & Company. You can also do a search for "Free Subway Art" on Google for more ideas.

Funny thing was that I was trying to use the red and teal design on Kiki Creates. I didn't realize until it printed that my printer was out of magenta ink. Luckily, I love the way it turned out. To make it fit in my frame, I scaled it down to size in Photoshop and printed from there. I printed it on white cardstock to help the colors really stand out and make it sturdier. 

Step 3
This is my favorite part of any project - embellishing! I chose to make some 3D flowers and leaves with the colored cardstock. I love it because it is two-sided! I used my Silhouette to cut them and then glued them to the frame with the craft glue. You can find some ideas to make handmade flowers on my Favorite Flower Tutorials Round-up.
The best part of this project is that you can decide how you embellish the frame. You can use ribbons, buttons, stickers or vinyl cut outs. Personalize it and make it your own.

It turned out perfectly and she loved it! The best part of giving it to her was that I could finally take the sign off the craft room door warning her to stay out!

Pin It

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Cleaning the Dryer Vent

I'm sure you've all seen those commercials for things like the Lint Lizard or wands that promise to clean out all that lint trapped deep within the dryer vent. Well being the frugal cheap person that I am, I figured I could come up with some way to clean all that out without having to purchase yet another thing from an infomercial. Side note - I have just about been banned from watching infomercials because I will buy almost any cool thing I see on TV!

This project started because we found out that we have an electric dryer in this new place. If you don't have one, don't get one! They are ridiculously expensive to run compare to gas dryers. I've been searching for tips and tricks to help it operate more efficiently and found that if I cleaned the lint trap (which apparently is also a big cause of dryer fires) it might help it run better.

The wheels in my head got spinning!

You will need a wire hanger, Swiffer dry cloths, and painters tape (or another good and sticky tape).

Straighten out the wire hanger. Then lay the cloth lengthwise along the bottom of the hanger. Secure both ends really well with the tape.

Remove the lint trap and use the wand to clean down inside the lint duct. It will get out all kinds of crud that you had no idea was in there!

Nice and dirty Swiffer cloth that I just took off and threw away. Let's hope this helps the dryer run a bit better now!

Monday, February 13, 2012

So Pinteresting #3: Lovely Quotes

With Valentine's Day just around the corner, my Pinterest finds this week are of course inspired by love! There are so many famous love quotes and poems out there that are wonderful but my husband and I tend to be a bit quirky. There are some more traditional quotes in here and then I threw in some more unique ones for those that are like us. Enjoy!

Source: via Andi on Pinterest

Source: via Andi on Pinterest

Pin It