Posted in Crafts

A few crafty things

I haven’t been posting about the crafty things we’ve been doing around the house lately because there simply wasn’t time to post about them with the whole organizing thing going on.  I say “we” because I usually manage to talk one of the boys into crafting with me.

Here’s our own little spin on the Valentine’s Subway Art that’s so popular right now:

Greg helped me stamp the extra bits and add the colorful tape.

Here we made some of those Apothecary Jar Candlesticks:

Apothecary Style Jar with springs of sparklies

This one has Valentine’s Bunting wrapped around it (we made that last year for a different candle holder, but it works better here)

Apothecary Style jar with Valentine Bunting that Ben helped me make last year

Here’s our Valentine’s Mobile (remade a bit from last years to work with the new light fixture):

Our "new" light fixture with a Valentine's Mobile from last year that the big kids helped make

Here’s the flower arrangement the big boy helped me make by mixing flowers we already had with some more of those fun sparkle sprigs (it’s beautiful to me because my eldest never wants to craft with me):

Flowers David helped me arrange & photograph

Speaking of flowers, Ben helped me make these little beauties (which hang above my computer):

We made these out of scraps of paper leftover from another project. His is the big red one, mine is the little lavender one


Last we have the Snowflake Valentine that Greg helped me cut out and then helped me stamp the background paper (silver, which is pretty in the house, but not so easy to photograph) for:

Greg learned about making snowflakes at the library and wanted to try making a snowflake heart! 🙂

Sorry about some of the bad photos today, guys.  We managed to leave our battery charger somewhere and I haven’t been able to charge the good camera (and since I’d just charged it during Christmas I didn’t notice the charger was gone until now).

Edited to add: I linked this up to A Glimpse Inside’s Catch a Glimpse Link Party and to Polly Want A Crafter?: Link Party 18.

Posted in My Own Personal Weirdness, Organizing

ABFoL Organizational Challenge, Day 21 (last!)

Today, the last day of the Challenge, we were challenged to do a space of our own choosing.  Now I don’t know about y’all, but organizing my house has three main steps: 1) Identify the area to be organized. 2) Make surrounding areas messy while organizing target area. 3) Blissfully stare at newly organized area.  Did you notice something missing?  Something important?  CLEANING UP THE SURROUNDING MESS! Yeah, that’s the part I never get to.  So today I headed into that room that contains all the mess.  You know, that place you stash everything when your mom/neighbor/friend says they’re on the way over. In our house we call it the Room of Requirement.

Here’s an incomplete before (I totally should have photographed the closet, but I went in not intending to deal with that today; just imagine stereotypical boy mess):

Did that scare you?  AIE.  It scared me.

Here’s the after for the closet:

left side of the newly organized closet
right side of the newly organized closet

Here are many afters for the rest of the room:

This one gives the best all over affect of the room.  See how it’s more like a second living area now?

Starting over on the left next to the closet, the kids art & playdoh supplies
The Lego chest with Art Gallery above
The window corner with MegaBlocks & Art/Memory Bookshelf
My craft overflow shelves, scout supplies, science stuff, TV, & solitary games cupboard
Next corner: spare craft/computer/sewing table with light above
The crib-turned-daybed (the fourth side can also be a stand alone full size headboard). The blanket color is really not that lurid in real life, I assure you. It's pretty & subdued & nothing I do in the image editor fixes it.

So that’s it.  A minor miracle, if I do say so myself.  The kids are, naturally, scared to go in there now.  Whee!

I’m very glad to have joined all of you on this 21 day adventure.  My house is cleaner and tidier, my husband is, I think, happier with the house, and the kids are just happy that I’ve mostly ignored their room for the last couple weeks. I may do their room tomorrow. This got to be addictive. I can’t wait for another challenge!  🙂

My craft overflow shelves, scout supplies, science stuff, TV, & solitary games cupboard
Posted in Crafts, My Own Personal Weirdness, Organizing

ABFoL Organizing Challenge, Day 20

Day 20 was to organize our photos.  Mine were mostly organized already, since I’m a scrapbooker.  The other day I tackled the Drawer of Doom, which was the place that I put photos from events already scrapped.  I re-integrated those back into the main storage units, but didn’t take photos of any of it.


Here’s where my digital photos live:

(I have my parents photos scanned in, so it goes back to the year they got married)


…and in each folder, it looks like this:



Here’s where my non-digital files live:


This is my Creative Memories storage box.  I got it way back when I worked as a consultant.  They don’t give you enough little white tabs per bin (only two and I need about 4).  So I use my own labels.  Could use some tidying up, I guess, but it’s fully functional the way it is and I”m the only one that uses it, so it’ll stay this way for now.

The other boxes look something like this inside.  These are all mismatched boxes that I’ve painted purple so they match.  I made tabs for all the months inside (this one is relatively empty because it was the year my first son was born and that year has been scrapped to death.  In the back are all the negatives in their sleeves, all labeled according to event.  The photo place I used back then labeled the back of each picture with it’s photo ID, so all I really have to do is look at that to find the right negative. A very nice system.


The big white box holds all my big wedding photos, the ones that aren’t in the wedding scrapbook.  The little clear blue box holds the weird little negative boxes that some of my older film came trapped in.  The negatives are still in there.  I hope to one day soon have them all converted to digital so I can stop worrying about not being able to get those negatives out again.  (That top purple striped box is empty currently.  My middle son would like to use it for his scrapbooking box – he just learned to scrapbook last night at cub scouts and he’s all excited about it.  I am, too!)


Posted in My Own Personal Weirdness, Organizing

ABFoL Organizing Challenge, Day 19

Day 19 was to clean out your master bedroom closet.  Mine wasn’t too bad off, just some stuff that could be better grouped and labeled.  My clothes are already coordinated, first by sleeve size, then color order.  I did my husband’s the same way.  Moved the two storage drawer sets together, took out some extraneous stuff, and put the shoes back on the racks.  It didn’t take that long, but between a sick kid and my parents visiting, it made for a long process.

Posted in My Own Personal Weirdness, Organizing, Saving Money

ABFoL Day 18

Today’s challenge was to put our keepsake/memory stuff in order. I laughed long and hard at that, told a friend about it, laughed long and hard with her, and then went home and spent 6 hours working on it before giving up for the night (dinner was nearly ready at that point – so glad I have a lovely husband that cooks).

I didn’t do a before picture: our memory/keepsake stuff takes up many, many boxes in the garage and a giant storage bin out there and several smaller bins and drawers inside the house as well. I went through two storage drawers and another box full of stuff today (which only leaves one more drawer and one more box inside the house to do, as well as all the garage bins).

The after picture is just of the utilitarian folders that I made that sort of resemble what ABFoL did for her kids stuff (they’re not decorated yet – I figure on Sunday I’ll have the kids dig through the scrapbook paper and let them choose their own papers,yay for money saving stashes,  but today they weren’t here while I was working). I have one folder per kid that covers pre-school, divided out by year (2’s, 3’s, Pre-K4, Pre-K5; the eldest two’s stuff is still in the garage and will have to wait for another day) and one for K-2 and another for 3-5 (our eldest is currently in grade 4). Each tab(leftovers from high school & college!  money saving FTW!) is labeled by computer tab printouts.  Then I made a folder for stuff more belonging to my spouse and I divided by year (rather than school year). I’ve basically gotten done all of the folder setup and stuff from the last two years, with occasional forays into 3 and 4 years ago as well. I will start again on Sunday (as tomorrow is the Sabbath) and try to at least get through another couple years of stuff (which is actually fairly well sorted out in the garage, just hard to get to since all our “emergency water” bottles are currently living in front of those bins).  In the meantime while I struggle to get through all these things, I have set up a folder for each kid and one for the spouse and I in a bin near the other filing stuff to file assorted papers & memory things as time goes by.

Posted in My Own Personal Weirdness, Organizing

ABFoL Day 17

Today’s challenge was to revamp our mail station. Now I’ve had lots of problems with my mail station over the years and I’ve tried many things and none of them have worked. So today what I did was go through all the junk that piles up that shouldn’t have, one load on my bakers rack and one load that had been on my baker’s rack before our last guests came over, which I’d dumped into our laundry basket.

So I spent a lot of time digging though the giant pile (on my bed, of course), putting things away in their various places: lots went to the kids room, lots to the craft area, and lots went in the “keepsake” pile. Here’s what that looked like when I was done: one empty laundry basket, one trash can full of trash, one smaller laundry basket (twice emptied) full of recyclable paper. The keepsake pile went into the Room of Requirement in the keepsake drawer of doom (it’s overflowing). Then I moved the paper shredder up under the computer area to be closer to the mail sorter. I made a folder for the mail sorter to keep ads & coupons in for the Nicholas to look at and filed away things from the to-be-filed folder. Tomorrow when I get time I’ll clean out junk drawer #2 and return the mailing supplies to it (it has about half of them there right now, but some got moved while I was doing Christmas cards & thank you notes after Christmas and never made it back into the drawer because one of the kids jammed the drawer full of junk during one of our cleaning rushes New Year’s Eve).

(There’s no photo of the shredder because, well, I thought it was super boring)

Posted in My Own Personal Weirdness, Organizing

ABFoL Challenge, Day 16

Today’s challenge was to clean out the fridge. Mine wasn’t too bad off, but it took me most of the day because I took out one shelf/drawer/ledge at a time and cleaned it off at the sink, put it back in, and let the fridge have time to cool back down before moving on to the next shelf/drawer/ledge. I didn’t use any extra organizational stuff because the one thing that needed it (the seeds for our garden) had been organized a few weeks ago (using another old fruit container and labels and then alphabetized).

Once I got everything clean and dry I reorganized:

The main compartment:
top left: leftovers top right: seeds & medicine
middle: leftovers
bottom: dairy products & juice & stand-up produce
left drawer: wine, vermouth (& beer if I get some again) right drawer: produce

The stuff in the door:
tippy top: eggs & butter
top left: taller glass bottles top right: asian & mexican & italian condiments
middle left: sandwich condiments & syrup middle right: more italian condiments & powdery stuff
bottom: salad dressings, sauces, whipped cream, & jams/jellies

Posted in Crafts, My Own Personal Weirdness, Organizing

ABFoL #15 & my scrapping rules

Well, today was an easy day on the challenge, as I had already done all my medicine when doing my medicine cabinet & linen cabinet earlier in the challenge. Instead I spent my day organizing old photos (the drawer of scary is mostly done now; just the unlabeled to figure out now) & scrapbooking Christmas 2010 for each of the kids, plus my own album.

This brings me to my new scrapbooking rules for the year:

1) I have to scrapbook something every week, preferably one event per child plus one event for my own scrapbook.
2) I have to use what I already have in my stash, with the exception of glue/tape, unless I totally run out of background papers (unlikely, but that’s the next thing I might run out of).
3) I have to finish last month’s photos before I start this month. If I get past last month, I need to go back through the photo stash and scrap something else from the already printed photos.
4) I have to wait for the photos to go on sale on one of my printing sites or stores before printing anything new. In desperation (meaning there were no sales this month and I’m out of past photos to scrap), I can print locally for regular prices.

Posted in My Own Personal Weirdness, Organizing

ABFoL Organization Challenge, Day 14

Today’s challenge was to clean out your bathroom under-the-sink areas.  I have two bathrooms, but both cupboards were already clean (I did them a couple weeks ago).  Here they are, all clean & tidied:

So instead I cleaned out the drawers/other cupboard in my two bathrooms sink areas.


Here’s my sink-side drawer:

Mostly I just took out some stuff that needed to live in the “extras container” I made yesterday or on my bedside table (my mouth guard & glasses case), and put in another longer organizer leftover from one of the other rounds of organizing. The small darker organizer holds my barrettes & bobby pins, the bigger white one underneath holds the longer hair bands & ponytail holders.  The front white container holds all my makeup (and no longer contains any jewelry or safety pins).

Here’s the cabinet under the drawer:

I took out all the kid pictures (why were they even there?  no idea), put the curling irons into a basket, as I don’t use them that often, and my hair dryer stays out by itself, as I use it all the time.  In the back lives my travel bag, filled with all the little travel sized items.  The bottom shelf holds my velcro curlers (not often used, so at the back), largest headbands (the kind with long tails hanging down to mimic a scarf), the roller brush that needs to go to my mom’s house, and my weekly facial/special hair oil type stuff.  All tidy now.  No more swearing at the tangled cords for me!

Next up, the kids bathroom:

I organized that top drawer with a rubbermaid bin that holds all their toothbrushes (why so many for 3 kids?  no idea!), toothpaste, dental floss, etc.  The other side has their hairbrushes, combs, travel bag, and first aid what-to-do card (in case I hit my head again and require first aid).  Middle drawer (kid towels, hand towels for that bathroom, and kid washcloths) just got refolded and stacked.  Third drawer (swimsuits) got checked for size, the too-small-for-anyone one’s removed for goodwill, and the rest refolded & restacked.


I really hope that those places aren’t on tomorrow’s list for tidying, but if they are, well, I have a whole other project that I was needing to do this week anyways that I’ll do in it’s place.  🙂


Posted in My Own Personal Weirdness, Organizing

ABFoL Organization Challenge, Day 13

Yesterday was Day 13 of the 21 day challenge, but as we do Saturday as our Sabbath, I’m doing my cleaning today instead.  Today’s challenge was to clean out our medicine cabinets.  Now I’ve been looking at everyone else’s and for the most part they are doing those little behind-the-mirror places, but I don’t have one of those.  I have a big closet o’ medicines and other supplies in my bathroom.  So that’s what I did.  (The medicine stuff for the kids bathroom was covered when I did the linen closet, which is the giant cabinet in their bathroom – even bigger than mine.)  I discovered a) disgusting black mold in the top of the top two shelves, b) lots of extra razors & tampons,  only 7 items that went into other cabinets, and d) only 4 items that went into the trash.  Other than the mold, that was actually pretty good.  (And the mold was only there because we have no ventilation in that bathroom.  No vent, no fan, and no working window.) I took stuff out of all the cupboards, scrubbed the whole cabinet down with bleach, regrouped some of it according to who used it or how often it was used, and put it all back in.  I removed the annoying under-the-shelf shelves out because they just made it harder to access stuff in the back and used the ice bin I’d removed from the freezer to store some stuff upright that I normally didn’t see in there (massage related books & supplies).  I moved the tiered shelving I took out of the spice cabinet for the most frequently used medicine and put the extras & not-often-used stuff behind it all.  I moved some of the cleaning supplies down below the sink, a few odds & ends out into their various homes, and tossed four expired supplements.