Thursday, January 31, 2013

An Update

It's been a while since I looked at the old To-Do List.  And guess what?!  We've marked quite a bit off.  That's so exciting!  Our house is nowhere near done, but it's come so far.  Get ready.  We're marking stuff off!


Rip out skanky old vinyl flooring (I like to call it linoleum because that's what we called it when I was a kid) [edit] We didn't end up having to rip it out, according to the good ole internet, I could patch any holes (which there were a few), make sure old flooring was firmly stuck (thanks staple gun) and prime the old flooring before putting down my new tile.
- Put in shiny new peel and stick vinyl tiles.  Done and done!  And it only cost about $40.
- Do a happy dance that the first thing you are greeted with upon entry to our house is not curling up linoleum with holes in it.  Classy.
Find a skinny bench to store shoes under so I can hide the shoes I like to kick off when I come in the door though (Not too skinny of a bench though, I have big feet) [edit] I ended up buying this table at a garage sale for a bargain.  As a bonus, it has great storage.
-Paint over terrible crackle finish 
-Paint weird white trim brown
-Paint front door 
-Paint closet & laundry room door 
-Paint ugly barnwood door frame 
- Add quarter round at the baseboards to finish floor

- Paint walls and paneling [edit] I may still want to repaint the actual hallway so the lower (formerly paneling) part of the walls is a darker color or so that the top part is a lighter color.  Or maybe paint the bottom part a darker color.  I can't decide.
- Replace carpet with wood laminate floors.  This is actually in the works.  It's happening soon.
- Hang art [edit] Even though this is one of the places there is actually stuff up on the wall, I'm not entirely happy with all of it.  I think some of it needs to change.

Guest Bathroom
- Paint walls
- Paint vanity & cabinet
- Replace sink/countertop  Thanks to my dad and Craigslist, $50 later we have a new sink
- Install new cabinet hardware
- Rip off strange single cabinet door
- Add crown molding around ceiling
- Trim out mirror
- Buy new faucet
- Install new towel bar
- Consider putting a shelf above the door
- Trim out upper cabinet?

 Kitchen/Dining Room
- Rip out skanky old vinyl flooring.  It's covered with paint and has holes in it.  So attractive! [edit] After further investigation, we don't have to rip out the old floor.  We can just tack down the loose places and put down underlayment.
- Replace sub floor by dishwasher that is soft from the great pre-dishwasher installation leak of 2011.  Ug.
- Beg Dad and sister's boyfriend to install pretty new wood laminate floor [progress] We're getting close on this.  It's picked out.  I can't wait until it's actually done!
- Bake Dad butterscotch brownies in appreciation for new floor installation
- Add quarter round at baseboards to give the floor a more finished look.
- Run water line to freezer so our ice maker will make ice.
-Try to convince someone that building a seat under bay window for better kitchen seating is a great idea and that they want to help me build it
- Rearrange/replace art.  Hopefully a mini gallery wall.  [progress] New art is up in one place and I love it.  The other art I want I am either going to make or suck it up and buy.
Paint trim
Paint walls 
Paint cabinets 
- Buy fridge
- Install dishwasher
- Relocate door knobs in a normal way
Repaint ceiling fan fixture and overhead kitchen light 
Install new backsplash 
Build exposed shelves on end of cabinet 
Replace ugly pink Formica countertop 
Replace brown cast iron sink with a shiny new sink 

 Living Room
- Find art
- Hide light sconce cords (yes, there are cords for our light sconces, it's tacky and I can't help it)
- Find cute turquoise end table [edit] I didn't even have to buy one, turns out I owned a table I could repaint.  Amazing.
- Buy lamps with turquoise accents.  At least one anyway
- Replace carpet with wood laminate floors.[progress] It's coming soon!
- Paint trim
- Install trim around sliding glass door
- DIY Dresser to become TV cabinet
- Replace old TV with shiny new one
Paint fireplace mantle
Paint built-ins by fireplace
Replace movie theater light sconces with normal ones 
Rewire overhead light in a safe way 
Paint walls 
Paint other ugly barnwood door frame 
Hang pretty curtains
Buy new couch and chair

- Paint walls
- Hang curtains
- Find a better storage solution for wrapping paper and craft supplies.

- Get rid of leaning CD rack
- Organize craft supplies
- Purge clutter, keep only what I use

 Master Bedroom
- Find a bed frame and start sleeping like a grown up.  We are too old for our bed to sit on the floor  [edit] We picked out a bed, it's getting delivered soon.  I can't wait! [edit] Delivered and in place!  I bruised the top of my foot.
- Get organized, that room is a disaster!
- Learn to put away my clothes.  Geez.
- Find art.  Notice a theme?  We have a lot of very empty walls. [edit] one wall has art, now I just need a couple other things.
- Paint horizontal stripes on wall behind the bed.
Install double closet rods and built in shoe rack 
Hang pretty curtains 

Master Bath
- Find real curtains to replace blinds.  [edit] Made roman shades with my mom.  Love them!
Buy bathroom rugs that actually match the bathroom  Thanks Dollar General!  $15 and it's exactly what I wanted.
-Paint walls 
Repaint built in cabinets
Hang art

Guest Bedroom
- Paint walls (get rid of crazy red and blue)
- Hang curtains
- Fix closet doors or at least get new knobs
- Paint trim?
- Install new overhead light
- Wish for a closet light

- Finish painting bar
Paint door (inside and out)
- Think about refinishing trim on stairs
- Desperately wish for a good way to paint the top half of the walls in the stairway
- Replace linoleum by door
- Rip out old carpet and replace it with something better.  Maybe carpet squares.  I was thinking about that this morning.
Paint walls 
Paint bar (most of it anyway) 
Knock out weird shelf in the bar and put in a mini fridge 
Hang art 
Buy fancy new TV
Make curtains out of sheets because I am cheap and it requires no sewing 

Basement bedroom
- Paint walls
- Install new overhead light
- Make curtains
- Replace baseboards
- Buy new switch plate cover that doesn't look like a light switch grill

Basement bathroom
- Paint walls
- Paint ceiling
- Install floor
- Buy shower curtain
- Consider cleaning horrifying shower
- Paint vanity
- Replace sink/countertop
- Replace faucet

-Paint outside of house -- shutters, trim, siding.  I got a quote for someone to come paint it for us.  The amount was horrifying.  But my Dad said he would help me do it.  Huge sigh of relief.
- Power wash house (that should probably come before the painting)
Power wash deck
Stain deck
- Paint and install trim around sliding glass doors [progress] The basement door is done, now we just need to do the upstairs door.
- Demo front side walk
- Put in new paver walkway
Trim shrubs 
Plant flowers (and actually kept them alive!)
Buy pavers to replace front sidewalk 
Put in pavers to expand downstairs patio 
Desperately wish to rip out shrubs
Pick shutter color 
Repaint garage doors (it's so fancy now!)

Do you make a house to-do list?  Or do you just get things done as you think of them?  Our to-do list just keeps growing.  But at least I keep getting to mark things off.  That's pretty great.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Pulled in too many directions

Last night I worked on painting the outside of the dresser.  I got one coat of chocolate brown on everything.  I ran out of time to get a second coat done.  Funny, my husband likes to have dinner.  And I have a meeting tonight so I'm not going to be able to finish until tomorrow.  I could've probably gotten a second coat done last night if I'd rushed but I wasn't happy with the brush marks I was seeing.  I've read about using Floetrol to reduce brush strokes.  I've never used it, I've just gone with however my project turned out.  But since this dresser is going in the living room and is smooth wood (vs the barnwood doors I've painted or the trim that has a bit of a pattern) I want it to look nice and smooth.  So I think I'm going to pick up some Floetrol on my way home tomorrow.  Anybody have any experience with Floetrol?  Did you love it, hate it, don't care?

So, since I'm at a temporary standstill on the dresser due to my work schedule today I've been thinking about drawer pulls.  (My husband makes fun of how I say pull, he never understands what I'm saying).  I've just been looking at Lowes online for ideas.  I want something that will not make the dresser look like bedroom furniture.  I'm also kind of anti drawer pulls that stick out on the ends.  When I was in middle school, yes middle school, I ripped my overalls pocket on the drawer pull in my mom's kitchen because they stuck out on the ends.  Man, I loved those overalls.  I don't have a picture, but trust me, they were super stylish.

These are some of the ones I'm liking...

I realize the last one has the ends that stick out that I said I didn't want.  But, it's so sleek and pretty.  So I may just have to be a grown up and keep my clothes away from the drawer pull.  And the more I look at it, the less I like the fourth option.  And number two kind of reminds me of a bathroom towel bar.  So I guess it's really between 1, 3, and 5.  What do you think?

Anybody else out there replacing furniture hardware?  Or have problems ripping their pants on cabinet pulls?

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

New spaces, New faces

You may notice a few new changes around the old blog.  Thanks to a few handy little pins on Pinterest, I made a couple of updates.  And I may be ridiculously proud of myself.  The new header, that's just thanks to me being crafty.  And Microsoft Publisher.  I decided it was time for a more streamlined header.  And I like it.  And then I realized my header was slightly similar to another blog out there.  Completely unintentional.  Oopsy.

And I added that "Posts you might like" bar under each post. What?!  Man, I am so impressed with myself.  In the whole scheme of blogging, it's probably not impressive at all.  However, I'm usually fairly tech challenged.  But I can google like crazy.

So, really probably not that exciting, but...  I'm also working on streamlining my categories and making it easier to find related things.  Fingers crossed that it works out how I have it imaged.  We'll see.

What are you working on this week?  I'm hoping to finish my dresser project tonight, last night my plans got derailed.  Anybody else get ridiculously proud of minor accomplishments?

Monday, January 28, 2013

Showing off my drawers

Dresser drawers.

I had big plans of getting the dresser turned TV cabinet done this weekend.  I worked on it Saturday.  I got all of the turquoise done.  And I'm in love.  In.  Love.  I was going to paint the rest of the dresser on Sunday.  Instead I watched three movies with my husband and we bought a new TV.  A pretty, shiny, new TV.  It's kind of beautiful.

Anyway.  Back to the dresser.  The drawers all had to come out.  Three of them came out very easily.  The other two, my husband got out without too much trouble.  Turned out there was a funny little latch on the bottom keeping them in.  No big deal.  The last drawer required tools and a small amount of cursing.  The track on the bottom of the drawer had been replaced and didn't really work properly with the runner in the dresser.  There were tools.  There was finagling.  It finally came out.  And we can just fix the drawer with parts from one of the top drawers that's not going back in.  Perfect.

So, remember this is what we started with.
Not bad really.  Not really the most gorgeous piece of furniture but not nearly as hideous as it should have been to have only cost $30.  Those drawer pulls are going away and never coming back.  Just in case you were curious.  I don't think even spray paint can make them better.

So, this is where we're at now.  Yes, I am really painting in our spare bedroom in the basement.  This is a project I would normally do in the garage but there are two problems with that.  First, the garage is completely, I mean completely full of crap right now.  Second, it's winter, which is not conducive to doing projects in the garage with much success (without freezing anyway).  So, the bedroom it is.

All the drawers got a coat of turquoise paint on the inside and the out.  I also painted inside the dresser, just where the top drawers were.  That's where the shelf is going to go.  After I'd started painting the inside, I realized I hadn't really consulted my husband on the shelf being turquoise.  Oops.  He didn't seem to mind.

And if you're curious, right now this project is up to $50.  I spent $20 buying paint at Lowes Saturday, a quart of turquoise and a quart of brown.  Tonight I'm planning on getting at least one coat of brown on the rest of the dresser.  Hopefully two.  Depends how much I can get done between getting home from work and my husband getting off work.

What did you do this weekend?  Anybody else impulse buy a big TV?  Or actually get a project finished?

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Lovely Linens

Unrelated to my linen closet...  I truly love my job.  It's amazing.  And fulfilling.  However some days it's also very hard.  Yesterday was one of those days, I came home completely drained in every way.  One of those nights when you want to lay on the couch, wear yoga pants, and have someone bring you something delicious to eat and drink (that doesn't require much chewing because you are too tired to chew).  And watch fluffy TV.

One of those things happened.  The fluffy TV.  Hooray.  Our DVR in the living room died the other day (the second electronic item we've killed lately).  So, no recorded shows.  I hadn't realized how attached I was to the DVR.  But I'm pretty sure after receiving the new one yesterday I may be even more consumed.  We got whole home DVR set up so now I can watch anything on any of our DVRs.  My life is complete.  Happy sigh.

And now back to the linen closet.  I'm in love.  It makes my heart happy to have things pretty and organized.  So, I pulled everything out of the linen closet and sorted it.  A give away pile and stacks for towels, beach towels, things I needed to save but don't regularly use, and blankets.  So, here's how it got reorganized.  Same order as yesterday.
Very tippy top shelf (that you can barely see):  extra kitchen towels (we got a thousand for wedding presents) and quilted table topper
First shelf:  blankets, ones we seldom use
Second shelf:  beach towels (yes, they're all super girly, my poor husband)

Second shelf (again):  Hey beach towels, what's up
Third shelf:  Bright colored towels and hair towels (you have hair towels too, right?  They're smaller and perfect for turban-ing your freshly washed hair)
Fourth shelf:  Blue towels and a basket

5th shelf:  (awkward picture, oops)  Sheets, they're basically sorted by size.  And a sliding drawer full of candles.
Under the shelf:  Extra blankets we use more frequently and extra pillows.

And the best thing is, this project cost me nothing at all.  And I have a good sized bag of stuff to donate.  So my closet is cleaner and I'm doing a good deed.  Double score!  I had dreams of doing small towel bars on the inside of my door for sheets or blankets and baskets to sort the sheets and towels but for now we're going the no money reorganization route.

How do you organize your linen closet?  Are you still holding onto weird random things that you're not sure why you still have?  I got rid of the empty comforter bag in case you were curious.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Linens N Things

With the start of the new year, it seems like everyone is on the organizing bus.  It's really the perfect time of year.  A new year means a fresh start and we (or I, anyway) see a new year as a time to clean out, purge, and get rid of all the clutter.  I am guilty of keeping things I no longer have a need for.  I convince myself that someday I might need it.  So, in 2013 I'm trying to get rid of those things that I don't really need or want.  And I'm trying to get rid of the piles.  Today I decided it would be the linen closet.

Our linen closet is tiny.  It's really big enough for what we need, I just have too much stuff crammed into it.  A lot of that is stuff I could get rid of and never miss.  So, that's the goal.  Pull everything out and keep what we use and get rid of what we don't.  I run into a problem though.  There are some things that have emotional attachments that I want to keep but we don't use.  So I need to find a better solution for those things.

So, here we go with how the linen closet looks right this instant.  Get ready, it's not organized in a logical way.  If a shelf is too full, I'm terrible about just shoving stuff in where it will fit.  It's just not working for me.
On the top shelf:  a quilt and a fleece blanket
On the second shelf:  some towels.  Apparently not very many though.  The rest are in the dryer.
On the third shelf:  a blanket (that we never use), beach towels, and kitchen towels
Third shelf again...
Fourth shelf:  sheets, pillow cases, and a beach towel
Fifth shelf:  a quilted table topper, a microfiber blanket that has holes in it from moving
And in the floor of the closet:  some extra pillows, a basket, a plastic drawer full of candles, an empty comforter bag, and another blanket.

Okay, seriously no order to that at all.  That's all going to change.  I can't wait!  Come back tomorrow to see how she looks then.  What are you organizing in the new year?  How does your linen closet look?  Please tell me it's at least occasionally as messy as mine.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Dressing It Up

Well, here's the deal.  I went shopping with my sister yesterday.  I didn't do any dresser revamping at all.  Disappointing!  I did pin some ideas.  I have great (I hope!) thoughts for what I'm going to do.  First, here's a refresher of my living room.

So, brown and turquoise.  And tan.  So that's what we're working with.  And I've been pinning a bunch of stuff.  I'm just still debating on the outside color of the dresser.  I'm kind of between cream and brown.  As you can see from the pictures, all of our furniture is dark brown.  Our built ins are brown with a turquoise back wall.  I know for sure that I want to paint the inside of the drawers the same color as the back of the built ins.

I mean this is gorgeous!  Obviously the dresser is grey instead of brown or cream but it's still absolutely gorgeous.  I just love the idea of a pop of color inside.

Obviously the outside of this is turquoise and I've promised to not have more than one piece of brightly colored furniture in the room.  But I think the combination of dark wood with the turquoise is gorgeous.  Love it!

I desperately love this.  I pinned it ages ago.  I love the stenciling.  I love the white with the pale turquoise.  It makes me think cream and bright turquoise would be okay.  I'm going to paint the inside of my top drawers (that are going to become shelves) turquoise for a fun visible pop of turquoise.

So, those are just some ideas.  I've pinned tons more.  I think these are my favorites though.  On my dresser I really want to take out the divider between the two drawers and put in new dividers to make three separate openings at the top.  I'm not sure how well that will work out though.  I really just need to take the drawers out and do some staring at the dresser to see what will work best.

What new house projects are you working on this winter?  Anybody else completely over-analyze all their projects and paint colors?  I think I need to go back to just going with my gut, my gut was usually smarter than my serious thinking thoughts.

Monday, January 21, 2013

The Holy Grail of House Projects

So Friday I couldn't blog.  Believe me, I tried.  I even started it Thursday night.  However, all I could do was whine about paint colors for the hallway.  And trying to find the right floor.  And then I just gave up on all of it.  It was one of those weeks where you feel like everything you touch turns to crap.  And believe me, it was.  So, I didn't even post.  I walked away.  And I just need to go delete that whiny business from my drafts.  Ug.

Friday night things changed.  Like a complete 180.  I had given up on finding the perfect floor.  It didn't exist.  But I stopped at Sutherlands on my way home, sure that it would be pointless, that they would have nothing. Oh boy, I was wrong.  They had at least four different flooring selections I loved and all of them were in our price range.  In my price range enough that we could even afford to do the living room and hallway too.  So I called my dad.  My husband was at work, so my dad was the next logical person since he's our installing expert.  He agreed that he would help do all the floors and I promised not to make him do them all in one weekend.  When my husband got home from work, I dragged him back to Sutherlands.  And we made our final floor selection.  Shaw something Hickory.  I forget the actual name, but I love it.  It has lots of variation. Is light-ish but not unattractively so.

Surely picking out good flooring was enough.  Not so though.  Saturday had no house projects at all, totally fine.  Well, actually I cleaned.  I already need to vacuum again (this is why I hate plants inside) but I did clean.  But yesterday, yesterday was the truly magical day.  Remember how I said I wanted to find a Craigslist dresser and refinish it to put a new TV on in our living room.  Remember how we're dealing with this ridiculous TV situation right now?
And it still looks like this.  Minus all the dust and Crown Royal boxes.  It's pretty ridiculous.  But, since we have new floors coming I declared that I wanted to have the TV situation under control and ready to be fixed by the time the floors were done.  So that means before the day of living room floor installation, the old dead TV has to go to electronics recycling and the tiny TV cabinet and big honking 32" TV has to go back to our bedroom.  That way when the new floors are down, we can bring in the new TV cabinet and new TV.  It's a good dream, right?  Pretty reasonable, I think.

So I've been trolling Craigslist, looking for the right thing at the right price.  I wanted to spend less than $100.  Really I wanted to spend less than that in my ideal world.  So yesterday while we were watching playoff games, I was searching Craigslist. And then I found it.  I wish I'd taken a screenshot of the ad because now it's gone.  But, I found a solid wood dresser for $30.  I called and yes they still had it.  I dragged my poor husband away from football to go check it out.  An hour away.  Have I mentioned I have the best husband in the world?  I do.  We got there and it was perfect.  I still can't figure out why the guy was selling it so cheaply other than just wanting to get rid of it.  I'm so unbelievably excited about it.
For right now it's in the spare bedroom in the basement, waiting to be worked on.  Those drawer pulls are coming off.  The whole thing is getting painted (a color still to be determined).  And the inside of the drawers are getting painted turquoise.  Oh, and the top drawers are coming out to be turned into a shelf for the satellite box, XBox, and Blu Ray player.  I could not be more excited.  And I still can't get over the fact that it was $30.  I think I may be able to get this whole project done for under $50.  Here's hoping.

So, how was your weekend?  Anyone else wishing that hadn't made MLK day plans so they could be home refinishing furniture?  Did you score any sweet furniture finds over the weekend?  What color do you think I could paint my newly acquired dresser?

Thursday, January 17, 2013

And it Happened

I'm not sure exactly how.  But somehow I'm all of a sudden done with the great office reorganization.   I thought I still had a lot to do, turns out most of what was left was taking out bags of trash and bags of donations.  Five bags all together.  And I still have a bag of paper to take to recycle.  Sheesh, can we say hoarder?  But man, it feels good to be done.

I didn't end up really even having to buy anything new.  I think I spent a grand total of nine dollars.  Yes, really just nine dollars.  No, it wasn't a complete overhaul.  No, it doesn't look like it's out of a magazine, but it's practical and I think it will be easy to maintain.  So where did I spend my nine dollars?  I bought four mini buckets and five bins from the Target Dollar Spot.  There's still a little styling to be done, but at least the organization is done.

So, in case you forgot, here is the mortifying, I can't believe I am showing you, before picture.

Eek, why am I still showing you that horror?  Last night when my husband got home, he even commented on what a disaster the office had been.  Geez.  So, without further ado....  BTW, I'm still totally blown away that I'm done.  I still can't figure out how it all came together in one last run at it.  I'm not complaining though, because as I finished, the last episode of Glee available on Netflix wrapped up too.  So, here we go.  First I'm going to show you my drawers.  And I just laughed a little because I'm immature.

The drawer of crafty goodness.  What's in the bins?  Beads are in one, clothes pins and magnets in another, and chipboard letters are in the third.  There's also a bag full of more beads (I may have a problem).  And a spindle of CDs that contain wedding pictures, CD sleeves and a calculator.
This drawer is sew much fun!  Ack, I'm terrible today.  This is left over fabric/scraps, a bin of sewing supplies, and a baggie with embroidery floss and buttons.

The newly organized closet.  Sitting in the floor we have wrapping paper, a milk crate with more paper goods, and my ridiculous hoarder amount of yarn.  Up on the shelf are boxes with keepsakes in them.  There's also a box full of ribbon.  And a Rubbermaid full of bottlecaps (left over from those bottlecap trays).  Hanging on a hook in the closet is a bunch of Thirty-One bags.  And hanging on the closet door is a shopping bag full of gift bags.

So, what's in that pink milk crate in the closet?  Big mailing envelopes.  A variety of scrapbook paper.  A ton of card stock.  A card making kit.  And a three hole punch.

The bookshelf.  I have way too many books for the shelf, that's why there's overflow in the milk crate.  Keepin it classy.  On top of the shelf are my ribbon jar and paint storage.  I still think my paint storage is my favorite part of the office.

And a view of the whole office.  So organized and fantastic.

I'm still at that point of walking by the door and being completely in love with my organized office.  It makes me so happy.  What I'm not showing you a picture of is my embarrassing CD rack.  I got it as a gift in college.  It's tipped over a couple of times and now it has a serious lean.  It's pretty bad.  But I have plans for that.  I'm dreaming of a six drawer (or bigger) dresser for our living room to put a new TV on (when we get one anyway).  I'm envisioning storing movies and music in the additional drawers and getting rid of that ridiculous CD rack.  Ug.

So, how are your winter organizing projects going?  Anybody else find themselves all of a sudden done?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

One Drawer at a Time

Okay, first off, my clever title got me sidetracked.  Once upon a time I took dance.  For like ten years of my life.  We did competitions and the like.  One of my competition pieces was a duo with another girl.  We had clown costumes.  Not like dance costumes that cutely looked like clowns.  Actual clown costumes.  I wish I had a picture.  It was hilarious.  So, for your entertainment, here's a little video with the song.  Unfortunately there is no video footage to prove we did this dance.  Just trust me.
You're welcome.

And now back to normal.  Ish.  I'm slowly chipping away at the office/craft room.  I'm still having problems figuring out what to do with everything, trying to come up with an organization system that will work well and will be easy to maintain.  Yesterday I was a Target buying a new iron (my old one had a small incident and um, it needed to be replaced).  So I stopped by the Dollar Spot and grabbed some storage bins.  Specifically four little buckets and five little bins.  I figured it would give me a good start.

So I went home and transferred all the supplies that had been in random containers - a coffee mug, plastic cups, and a decorative box - to my new matching buckets.
What do I store in my buckets?  From left to right:  pens and markers; paint brushes and crochet hooks; scissors; and hole punches and wire cutters.  Yes, I have multiple pairs of wire cutters.  Sheesh.  These may not stay lined up here on the desk, but at least it's a start.

And I've started organizing the drawers to go back into my drawer organizer.  I think the front of the drawers are eventually going to get covered in scrap book paper and made a little cuter.  But for now I'm happy to have at least one drawer organized.  So this is the paper supplies drawer.
In this drawer is my stash of cards.  Most of these are just blank cards.  There are also Christmas cards (that I do not remember buying), thank you cards, and a few party invitations.  A big box of invitation envelopes, I had two boxes that I combined.  These are leftover from wedding save the dates, and well, it's always good to have that size of envelope on hand.  Then there's the tub of sticky stuff - glue dots, scrapbooking squares, scotch tape, double sided tape, masking tape, and glue sticks.  It's so nice to have these all grouped together, that way they're not all rattling around the drawer and I can easily see what I have without having to dig.  There's also a stamp pad, a few stamps, and a couple of paper punches.  And it's totally easy to look in and see what I have.  Love it!

I mentioned before that I had organized my paint.  Well, with no overhead light in our office, it's next to impossible to take a good picture.  Especially since it's practically dark by the time I get home.  But, we'll just pretend this pictures looks fine, okay?
So, the paint on my lazy susan is organized by color.  The top shelf has tubes of paint (those are not organized by color), big bottles of paint, and all the blues, greens, and purples.  The bottom shelf is definitely organized by color.  Whites, yellows, reds, and black/grey.  Duplicate bottles (or bottles that are a very similar color) are behind the outside row.  I am so in love with this update.  The paint used to all be in a drawer in the closet.  It was so hard to see what I had and know if I had what I needed for a project or not.  Now it's all out at eye level and I can tell exactly what I have.

In the tall jar I'm storing all my curly ribbon.  Once again, it's great because I can see what I have.  It's also pretty and colorful.  And the best part is, neither of these projects cost me anything.  The lazy susan was a leftover from our kitchen.  The jar was a gift for Christmas.

The office is nowhere near being done, but I love seeing little areas starting to come together.  How are your winter projects coming along?

Monday, January 14, 2013

On Winter

Here's the thing.  I hate winter.  Winter and I have never gotten along well.  When I was in high school my car slid into the giant ditch by our school gym because of snow.  Ever since, winter and I have been enemies.  I hate being cold.  I could really truly wear flip flops all year long.  I never really have any need of it getting below 65 degrees.  So, how do I survive those long, cold months?

Bogs.  I just bought them this year.  But I am IN LOVE with these shoes.  Yes, they were expensive.  But they are totally worth it.  They're warm.  They're grippy.  They have handles so they're super easy to get on and off.  And they even fit my beefy calves.  Bogs didn't tell me to say these things, I simply love them.  And I wore them to work this morning with my leggings and sweater dress (the best winter outfit).  I didn't slip on my way to the car when I crossed my snow & ice covered driveway.  My feet were toasty warm.  These shoes have pretty much changed my life.  I bought mine on Amazon.  These are the Classic Mid and they're PERFECT.

Hempz Lip Balm.  It is the most amazing stuff.  Most lip stuff makes my lips peel.  It's terrible and gross.  And my lips are horrible all winter.  Until one day at Beauty Brands I grabbed a tube of Hempz Lip Balm on a whim.  I used to use their tanning lotion in college and loved it.  I am completely  in love with the lip balm.  It's all I use.  It's kind of pricey (to me anyway) but totally worth it.  An $8 tube will last me at least all winter and even a little longer really.  It's not flavored or tinted but has a great scent and a nice sheen.  It also layers super well under some pretty lip gloss.

Neutrogena Hand Cream.  I've used this since I was in high school.  I swear, my skin is ridiculously dry all winter long.  I keep a bottle on my desk at work, one in my purse, and one at home.  I try to slather it on a couple times a day.  It's amazing stuff.  It's thick but not greasy.  And it doesn't smell funny.

Hot orange cranberry juice.  This is not a real thing.  To my knowledge, you can't buy a bottle of it.  I buy orange juice (usually concentrate, because that's what my mom always bought) and make a pitcher.  And I buy cranberry juice, I like the 100% juice over the juice cocktail.  Then I just mix them, about half and half and heat it up.  Man, it's so delicious.  And it's great in the morning because I'm not a huge coffee drinker.  And it's equally delicious cold.  I highly recommend it either way.

Furry shoes.  Seriously.  I've been in a committed relationship with furry moccasins for  about three years now.  I bought three pairs (one for me, my mom, and my sister) about three years ago when there was some super crazy Oprah coupon.  Mine are kind of worn out and smell because I always wear them barefoot but I'm totally getting a new pair soon.  I love them so much.  I call them my winter flip flops.

So, those are my favorite winter things.  BTW, nobody paid me for any endorsement.  These are just things I love that get me through the winter.  Do you hate winter as much as I do?  Or do you cheer when it gets cold or snows?  What are your "Go To" winter items?

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A Craftier Craft Room

Okay guys, get ready for some truly horrifying before pictures.  And ever worse, there are no beautiful before pictures.  I'm still working on that.  So, I'm warning you.  It's seriously an embarrassing, hot mess.  A true disaster.  While, I'm being honest....  This is not the first major office/craft room overhaul.  And it's because I'm a slob.  Maybe it's more that I'm lazy.  I know, I started working and blogging about this on Monday.  But it's going to be a process.

The problem boils down to me not putting things away.  I am so much more likely to put things away if I have a good, practical storage system.  Like the bathroom overhaul.  It has totally stuck.  It's easy to keep things put away in there because everything has a home and things are easy to put away.  I mean, my flat iron is almost always on the counter, but that's really the only thing out of place.  It gets used every day though and put away for company.

In the office, I go in and grab supplies for a craft project, then I go to the living room to work because the office space is such a disaster I don't want to spend any time in there.  Then when I'm done I just throw my supplies back in, they never get put away.  The desk is covered with bottles of paint and random crafting supplies.  Papers are laying on top of and near the file cabinet, waiting to be filed.  There are books scattered everywhere.  My CD rack (yes, I still have one) is tilting dangerously to the side.  After too many moves and falling over a couple of times, it's not in the best shape.  Don't believe me?  Here are the pictures to prove it.

To be honest, I'd already started working when I took my pictures.  The laundry basket is usually in the closet.  It's filled with yarn.  Yes, that whole basket is full of yarn.  The drawer sitting in the chair is supposed to be in the drawer thingy that has previously lived in the closet.  And please excuse the terribly lit pictures.  Our office is next to impossible to photograph well.  

So, do you have a room that's an absolute disaster?  How do you organize your crafty supplies?  Do you have a great system you want to tell me about?

New Year, New List

I love lists.  It's a serious problem.  But I've been thinking about what I want to accomplish around our house this year.  Realistically we may not get everything done on the year list, but it's nice to have goals.  So, here we go.

Replace kitchen floors.  That, that is for sure happening.  And soon.  Or as soon as I actually pick out what I want.  Have I mentioned I am so cheap?  I picked out floors.  Beautiful floors.   They are, however, going to cost in the neighborhood of $700.  Ug.  Our kitchen is under 200 square feet.  I know, maybe $700 isn't really that bad.  But remember, I'm cheap.  And I have a $500 gift card from the nice people at Young House Love and and I'd really rather not spend more than that on my floor.  Is that so unreasonable?  I don't think it should be.  Especially since my labor is free.

Finish painting the outside of the house.  We started last summer/fall and only got two sides completely painted.  I know, this is totally trashy and weird.  It got cold.  My sister was sick.  Our house is awkward and hard to paint.  My dad promises to come as soon as it's warm out and help us finish.

Replace the front sidewalk.  Man oh man, this thing has been embarrassing long before we bought the house.  It's really just broken concrete that happens to vaguely form a path.  It's terrible.  We bought pavers last summer to replace it.  They've been stacked in our driveway for at least 7 months.  We may have actually originally purchased them in the spring.  We've really got to get that done.

Make up my mind about painting the hallway.  I'm so undecided about this.  I thought I was going to paint it over Christmas break.  Our hallway has two sections.  The first part of the hallway, when you walk into the house is all paneling, both walls, floor to ceiling.  Super attractive.  Then you turn and walk back toward the bedrooms and the walls change, the bottom half is paneling, there's a chair rail, and the top half is just normal wall. 
It looks vaguely more attractive than this in real life, but not much.  I thought (wrongly) that it would be clever to leave the seams in the paneling their original color so it would look striped.  Well, it looks like crap.  So that's where the debate comes in.  Paint all of the bottom a dark turquoise and leave the top tan.  Or paint the seams tan and leave the bottom tan, painting the top half a light turquoise.  Like one of these.
So yes, I've had paint samples taped to my wall since before Christmas.  Charming.  So what do you think?  I don't want to be the crazy turquoise lady.  Our living room has tons of turquoise accents and I don't want to go completely overboard.  The hallway is kind of dark (thanks 1970s!)

I'm also going to finish that bathroom mirror project.  Fingers crossed!

What kind of home improvement projects do you have planned for this year?

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

A Bathroom Update

Don't you love it when you imagine a project going super smoothly and then you hit a ridiculous snag.  So, we've been working on the bathroom.  Back in December we installed a new sink and got rid of those ridiculous extra mirrors.  It was magical.  I was in love.  Even without paint, it was a thousand times better.

So I had plans of framing the remaining mirror.  We measured twice, cut once.  We grabbed some trim at Sutherlands and painted in a pretty silver.  Headed to the bathroom, all ready to install the trim.  And it didn't fit.  We of course realized this after we'd already glued up two pieces.  The two pieces that didn't match up.  Ug.  Massive fail.  And then I cracked the mirror.  Even bigger fail.  But the walls are painted.  So I'll still call it progress.
That picture is terrible.  I don't know why.  The green tape is around the outlet to mark off where the cover goes, I need to sand the wall a bit.

Where are we now?  Um, the trim is leaning against the wall and I'm pouting.  I need to trim the offending piece and then the trim is going up.  And I'm going to pretend the mirror isn't cracked.  It'll be fine, right?  I think I can make this work.  I'm going to figure out a way to make it work.  And you'll never see the crack behind the trim.

There is a success story though.  Remember back in November when I organized under the vanity?  Well, it's better now.  Even better than before.  In November it looked like this:
What you may not know though, is that I painted the inside of the cabinet before the big sink install.  Come to find out, the under sink was even grosser than I originally thought it was.  I ended up having to get my little broom and dust pan and sweep it out.  There was that much grossness hanging out under there.  Gravel.  Seriously.  Gravel.  So, after sweeping, it got two coats of white paint.  Amazing.

So at least my organization has stayed in tact.  And most of our projects have gone as planned.  So I guess it's not the worst that the trim didn't turn out perfectly.  We'll get it straightened out eventually and it'll be great.

Non-related.  Since I've quit taking birth control, my face is a disaster.  An absolute disaster.  I have had, at all times, at least four zits on my chin.  It's like I've gone back to my adolescence.  Ug.  I shouldn't complain, I've always been lucky to have very clear skin.  But now the zits are on full blast.  Not cool face, not cool.

Anyway.  Any great projects over the weekend?  Anybody else have a massive failure with trim?

Monday, January 7, 2013

January Projects

I'm a huge slacker.  I admit it.  The holidays threw me off a little in blogging.  And my office/craft supply storage is an absolute disaster area.  It's truly embarrassing.  I mean you can barely walk in.  I got a tiny bit of a start on it tonight.  I have one of those cheap-o plastic storage drawer things.  Well, in my cleaning out, I broke two of the wheels.  But I completely emptied one drawer out.  Success!

Where did I put the stuff from that drawer?  Glad you asked!  I had an old two tier lazy susan leftover from our apartment kitchen.  It was just stowed away in our basement with nothing on it.  So I pulled that out and now it's holding all of my craft paint, organized by color of course.  I also stored glitter and glue on the top.  I wish I could say this was an original idea.  It wasn't.  But, it still made me feel pretty clever.  I saw this amazing idea on Pinterest.  Her storage solution actual came from Harbor Freight but I went with what I had.  No sense buying something when I have something sitting around that would actually work.

And I have bigger and better plans for my sad little storage drawers.  First I'm going to yank those wheels off.  Then it's getting the star treatment.  Okay, I don't know if plastic drawers can really get a star treatment, but I'm going to make them prettier either way.  I think we're going to get a coat of spray paint on there first. And then I'm thinking some scrapbook paper.  Like this.

So the office still isn't pretty.  Sadly this is the second office overhaul since we've moved in.  I just need to figure out storage solutions that work.  It's a room I just struggle with.  I suck at putting things away in there. Maybe it's because I know it's not a permanent office/craft room.  Some day it will be a room for one of our kiddos when they come on the scene.  But I need to use it for what it is now and not keep waiting for the future.  Because in the present, it's driving me bonkers.

Anybody else have a serious disaster area for a craft/office?  Any great storage solutions you want to share with me so I can quit closing the door when company comes over?

Friday, January 4, 2013

Love is in the air

Okay, Christmas is over.  New Year's is past, that obviously means it's time to decorate for Valentines, right?  Here's the thing.  I think Valentines is about the goofiest holiday there is.  Next to April Fools of course.  I've never been into celebrating Valentines.  Like at all.  I know, totally un-girly, right?  I've never gotten into getting flowers and candy for Valentines.  Not that I complain when my husband shows up with flowers.  I love flowers, I just prefer when they come un-mandated by Hallmark.

So, back to decorating.  Maybe my little Valentine Grinch hard grew one size, I don't know what it is.  But I've started decorating for Valentines a little.  Okay, let's be honest.  A lot.  I may have spent my entire day yesterday making craft projects.  With the Christmas decorations down, my doors were looking a little naked, so it was obvious that I had to make a couple of new wreaths.  

Today I'm sharing my front door wreath with you guys.  I did a little Pinterest investigating and came up with some wreaths I loved.  The great thing was I already had almost all the yarn I needed.  I'm still kind of in love with yarn wrapped wreaths.  So for my first wreath I grabbed a charcoal grey yarn and a pale grey yarn.  I loved the contrast.  And I cut a few hearts from bright pink felt and hot glued those bad boys on.  My inspiration had yarn wrapped over the hearts argyle style but I kind of liked it plain so I left it alone.

I think I may need to hang it from some ribbon instead of just hooking it on the wreath holder.  We'll see.  

Anybody else already decorating for Valentines?  Am I the only crazy one?

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Hi Ho Hi Ho...

it's back to work I go.  Man, I miss Christmas break.  Man, I miss sitting around in yoga pants, being lazy.

Back to work means half of my high school and junior high students want to change their schedules.  And I get phone calls (in the midst of schedule changes) wanting to know if I have ten minutes to talk.  Ba ha ha ha.  So, needless to say, today has been a very busy day.

A day full of wishing I was still home doing crafts like a crazy woman.  And wearing yoga pants.  Mostly really the yoga pants, because I really do love my job.

So, maybe I'll be back later with a sneak peak at some fun crafty projects.  Man, I wish someone would pay me to do sweet crafts all day long.  And watch Gilmore Girls and Glee all day long.