Welcome to my Crafting Blog! I'm an avid Stamper, Scrapbooker and all things Crafty! I'm looking forward to sharing my crafting adventures with you!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Everything and the Bathroom Sink

My bathroom vanity had been a problem since we moved into the house in 2009.  It just got worse with the birth of our daughter and additional items needing a home.  Last winter, I spent some time reorganizing.  I was first inspired by Alejandra when she shared her organizing tips on her bathroom vanity.  I think what spoke the most to me is her tip of "seeing" what you will use.  This organizing project came in several parts.

Part One:  The Before

Um, yes, embarrassing.  
So you can see everything is just thrown under there in a bunch of different ways in a variety of drawers and bins.  Just became a dumping ground.  First I did an inventory of my belongings.  I also decided to organize medicines and first aid using this method found at Ask Anna.

Part Two:  First Reorganization Effort

So armed with an idea and a plan,  I went to the Container Store after seeing Alejandra's video and bought their Stacking Bins.  I couldn't buy as many as I wanted because I was on a tight budget and as you will see later, I'm kinda glad I didn't.  I originally planned to make mine look like exactly like hers. 

I bought three large and three medium bins with plans on buying more the following month.  So I came home and emptied my cabinets out and started to organize what I had.  You would not believe how much stuff I haven't used IN YEARS!  Out it went.  What I was left with was one side that was organized and the other still lacking.  I also didn't like how hard it was for me to get things out of the top of the large stacking bin all the way on the left.  The medicine/first aid tubs I created (found in the second photo) weren't working well either and were very sloppy sitting in the cabinet.  This arrangement lasted about a month before.......

Part Three: Final Organization - The AFTER

I really liked the stacking bins and decided after moving things around and playing around with some configuration ideas I ended up purchasing one more large stacking bin, and an over the cabinet basket.  So after getting these new goodies home, I unpacked and reorganized again and I have to say 9 months later, I'm still super happy with the result. 

Left: Paper products, QTips and other random items, First Aid/Medicine Bins.  Not shown, travel bags are housed behind the tubs.

Right: Feminine products, Hair products I don't use every day, travel items, extra makeup, nail polish, hair spray, and styling gel.

On the Door: Hair Dryer, Hair Brushes

 I used some light blue scrapbook paper and my label maker to label each stacking bin.

 I also used some patterned scrap booking paper and a label punch along with my label maker on the tubs to dress them up a bit. Our bathroom is brown and blue so these labels match well.

I put some of those bathroom cleaning items we use daily in the small space left behind the center of the cabinet.  

I usually try to wipe down the bathroom sink each night with the Clorox wipes.  They are the best.  Weekly cleaning supplies are found elsewhere.  More on that later!

So that's it!  Loving my bathroom vanity now.  Not only is everything organized but it is also functional!  Score!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Organizing Warranties & Manuals

A while back I found a fabulous organizing site online - Alejandra.tv
If you haven't seen it, check it out, specifically her video section......it's an organizing motherload!!! One of her videos talked about using Staples Better Binders to hold warranties & manuals.  Click here to watch the video.

I really liked how her binders turned out and since I was tired of looking at the stack of manuals that was about 4 inches high in my basement, I decided to make my own.  I bought 2 - 2" better binders from Staples that coordinated with some patterned scrapbook paper that I had on hand.  I got lots of the gusseted binder pockets and went to work organizing with my label maker and Post It Flags.

Binders & Sections in each:
  • Stuff that Comes with the House (stuff that most likely will not move with us, if and when we ever move)
    • Kitchen Appliances
    • Water Heater
    • Washer/Dryer
    • Heat/AC
  • Everything Else
    • Baby Items
    • Toys
    • Handheld Devices
    • Electronics
    • Appliances
    • Tools/Outdoor
Now when we get new items or we need warranty information or product proof of purchase, I know right where to look.  They also look much prettier than that stack of manuals.  =)

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Canvas Totes

So what do you give the best preschool teachers ever on a budget?  As a teacher I love receiving gift cards.  Yes I know, it's impersonal, but it is really what gets used the best.  As a Mama, I want to give my daughter's preschool teachers something that shows how much I appreciate all the time they spend teaching my daughter. So I decided, I would do both.

Now what to make? Who loves Pinterest? Me! I found this great idea from It's Great to be Home!  What teacher doesn't like books?  So here's the plan, I'm buying small $ gift cards to a book store and giving them a monogrammed tote that they can carry their books or other small items in.  =)

Materials (I got everything from my Personal Craft Stock or Michaels)
6 Canvas Totes - $9.99 for 3 pack
Sponge Brushes - $2.49
Dolies 10 pack - $1.99 - I got 10"
Black Fabric Paint - $3.99
Spray Adhesive - Already had
Exacto Knife and Self Healing Mat - Already had
Shallow Container for Paint - Already had
Mono Adhesive - Already had
Tweezers or Small Pliers - Already had
**Note if you have a Silouette Cameo then you wouldn't need the Knife, Healing Mat, or the Mono Adhesive**

Following the directions on the It's Great to be Home blog, I didn't have any trouble!  They were perfect.

First I laid out my doily on the bag and measured the space where I wanted the letters to go.  Then using Microsoft PPT, I made the letters for the Monogram.  I used Kimberly Geswein's Be Still and Know and made them about 3 inches tall.  Then I printed them.

Next I cut them out by hand.  Time Consuming!

Then I positioned them on the doily in the location I wanted.  I used some Mono Adhesive to attach them and cut them out again.  If you have a Silouette you can do the last two steps directly onto the doily and save yourself a LOT of time.

I ironed the bags and then began the process of monogramming.  I used a Spray Adhesive and followed the directions for the Temporary Adhesive.  I positioned on the bag and smoothed it out and made sure it was stuck.  Like is mentioned in the blog, this step is super important to keep any paint from seeping under the edges and ruining your beautiful work.

Once the doily was firmly in place I started to dab black fabric paint in the open spaces using the doily as a stencil.  I didn't brush but did a up down dab method. (Don't know the official term for this)

Then using small needlenose pliers, I pulled up the doily very carefully and discarded it.  Then I admired the result.

Turned out pretty good huh?

This is definitely an EASY project.  It is time consuming though.  Start to finish it took a few hours.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Kitchen Progress - Counters

So tonight I spent some time in the kitchen again.  It's finally getting there.  Now I didn't take a photo of it but the sink right now is a mountain.  Everything that I found that needed scrubbing went there and since the dishwasher is full of clean dishes that need to be put away.....so they are awaiting their turn. I still need to finish the sink area, scrub down the stove and clean on top of the fridge before moving on to Mt. Carrie as my husband calls it, AKA my Mountain of Mail!  I've been putting that off for a good while now.....I guess at some point I'll have to deal with it right?!?

Sorry I don't have a lot of before shots but here are the after shots.  It's starting to look more like it did when we first moved in.

When I sent this photo to my husband, his remark was "What is that on the counter? Is that our breadbox."  Yes, we haven't seen it in that long.

Yes I know there is a painted square on the wall......it's a long story.  Short Version: we were testing paint colors and wanted to cover it up with a photo if we didn't like it.  =)  The photo is down because we are going to paint this wall on Thursday.

Can't wait to write on the Martha Stuart Chalkboard labels I added to my jars there on the counter!

On another note, yesterday had the most gorgeous sunrise and sunset.  They were both breathtaking.  I didn't get a photo of sunset but I did get the sunrise.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Blinds - the Good, the Bad and the Disgusting

So the other night after I finished organizing the island I decided I was going to scrub down the stainless steel garbage can and clean it up with affresh and a microfiber cloth.  Works Wonders!!

Well when I pulled the garbage can out from its hold, I found a mess behind it.  There was stuff on the walls, floor boards, tile, and even the blinds.  YUCK!

So the walls, floor board and tiles were easy enough.  Used my trusty Magic Eraser and some additional cleaning solutions, zip zip.

The blinds.......well the blinds were another story.

First I started with just the dirty blinds.......then I found that as I was cleaning that section of the blinds that the uncleaned ones were now a different shade of white than the ones that I had just cleaned.  So I tried the wipe technique to clean all the blinds......you know where you close the blinds and just wipe down with a wet cloth and then dry afterwards in the same manner.  Well that would be great if our blinds didn't have wood grains in them.  All of the dirt and grime settled in those tiny grains and UGGG it looked HORRIBLE.......

So what did I end up doing?  Yeah, you guessed it.  I washed each blind one piece at a time!  It took forever.  I ended up only doing one set of blinds last night.  I'm going to do the other two tonight and Tuesday night until they are finished.  Can you see the difference below??

So what's the lesson I learned from this.........keep on top of the cleaning on your blinds, not to buy blinds with wood grain on them, or buy something other than white in the future.

But this set sure is nice now that it is finished!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Organizing the New Kitchen Island

So for our anniversary this year the hubs and I went in on an Island for our kitchen.  We found that the counter space has just not been working for us when we were preparing food.  We ended up settling on one from Target.  Some of the features that I like:

  •  it is on wheels so it can move around when needed 
  • the back of the island can open up and become a bar counter for additional seating if we need it
  • the top is a butcher block, enough said

Many of our cabinets and drawers that hold items other than dishes are oddly shaped.  The drawers we used to have our silverware in were so narrow that we had half our silverware in one drawer and the other half in another drawer. The cabinets that hold our larger cooking items have this weird half shelf in the back that is hard to get to.  In the front there is a cabinet frame between the doors (hopefully I'm explaining this right) so that I can put larger items in but I have to put them in at an angle and take them out at an angle.  Sometimes it frustrates me to no END!  So the island is going to help with some of these frustrations......

In the drawers we put our  utensils, serving pieces, and knives.  I'm still looking for a container to put the knives in, but I can't find one that is the right size right now.  The other bins are old recycled containers that I found in the basement that we weren't using.

The cabinet part of the island has two pull out shelves, which I LOVE.  We used them to put some of our food items that are too big for our pantry cabinet.  At first I had trouble with the chips and bagged items on the left side because when I would pull out the shelf some of the stuff would fall down behind the things on the bottom.  So, I found this great basket at Target today.  At first I thought the basket wasn't going to fit because of the dimensions on the sticker.......but it didn't look as big as it said.  So I took it over to the hardware section and double checked it with a tape measure.  Guess what it was 1 inch shorter than the sticker said and it fits perfectly!  Now my bagged items don't fall out when I pull out the shelf.  The bottom of the shelf holds our casserole dishes organized by shape along with our mixing bowls and collender that we use very frequently.

While I was at Target I couldn't resist getting a wire bowl for fruit.  Right now it is holding potatoes because I haven't made our run to the store yet and the potatoes are for dinner tonight.  LOL.  Also I opted to keep out my set of Mixing Bowls that are from Crate and Barrel.  Someone got them for us for our wedding shower or wedding and can I just say how much I LOVE THEM!!   I use them all the time.  What I love about them:

  • there are 5 and they come in all sizes
  • they are nesting so they conserve space
  • they are good for mixing and serving
  • they come in fun colors
Crate and Barrel redoes the colors on them each season but they always have them.  If you are looking for a great gift for someone getting married they are a fabulous buy.  Find them here!  

So far my 365 days of cleaning hasn't progressed as well as I wanted it to but it is getting there.  Slowly but surely.  Stay tuned for the next post on blinds and why it is important to clean them frequently.

Monday, December 31, 2012

Easy Notepads

This year I made a planner for my cousin as her Christmas gift.  I also did a little notebook project for her hubby that loves the Boston Bruins.  As I was finishing up their items, I saw this post on Pinterest.

This got me started to think I could make them both little notepads to go with their items.  Well the Padding Compound was super expensive and I didn't have time to order it seeing as how it was now 7 days before the holidays.  So I did some research and found this idea at Skip to My Lou.

To do this project you really only need binder clips, a home printer, basic knowledge of creating items on Word/PPT, Sillicone Sealer, and Patience.

Silicone Sealer.  I got at Target for like $3 I think.

Notepads ready for the sealer.  I clipped with binder clips at the sides and bottom.  However after I added the sealer I had to very carefully move the clips from the bottom to the top.

Hard to see but I'm trying to show the sealer.  Yeah, it's clear.......

Finished notepad

See you can tear the sheets off!

Gather materials
  • printed papers for padding
  • silicone sealer
  • binder clips
Attach binder clips to sides and bottom.  
Run sealer along the top edge.
Wet your finder and smooth out the sealer. 
Then carefully move the binder clips to the top edge.  Be careful not to let it touch the sealer you just applied.
Let it dry for 3 hours.  
Reapply sealer.
Let it dry for 3 hours.

TIP:  Skip to My Lou recommends putting a blank sheet at the front and/or back.  The Silicone will drip down a bit and if you like clean lines like I do, it will bother you on your front page.  So it's nice to have a blank page you can tear off and throw away when you are done.

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