Sunday, December 12, 2010

Coffee Cozy from Goodwill Sweater

A few weeks ago, I was sitting at home, feeling sorry for myself (thankfully, I can’t even remember why now).  I was surfing the Web, trying to find something that would make me smile when I came across a new blog: A Little Junk in My Trunk.  This blog is awesome for so many reasons, but what really got me jumping up and running out the door to Goodwill on that day was this coffee cozy made from a Goodwill sweater.

So, with one of these in hand:


and a few of these:


and one of these:


I got to work and produced this:


Not so much to look at, until you pair it with one of these (found for 25% off at Fred Meyer!):


And you get this:


How cute is that?  I’m thinking Christmas presents here!

Dee has full instructions here, if you want to make one yourself!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Kitchen Feature

My kitchen was featured yesterday at Envy My Cooking!  You can check it out here



Check out the rest of the site too!  There’s are tons of great recipes and many more kitchens featured.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas Art

Have you all seen the great Christmas art that people are posting all over blogland for FREE?  Perhaps you have (I’m really behind in my blog reading, so everything seems new and different to me!),  but just in case you haven’t, I thought I’d share a few with you.

eighteen25 has a very cute Christmas subway art download that I just had to print out immediately! 

Christmas Subway Art at eighteen25 (eighteen25)

It’s actually big enough to have printed at 16x20, but I didn’t want to wait, so I printed it out at 8x10, popped it in a frame, and was done!

I loved that so much, that I went on the hunt for more Christmas art to print out.  That’s when I found several cute little prints at Mine for the Making

I printed the two below, but she has several more cute graphics here.  I printed these out in 5x7.

christmas_subway_art from Mine for the Making jingle_on  from Mine for the Making
(Mine for the Making)

These graphics, plus a few more ornaments and decorations and my art shelves now have some Christmas spirit!



Thursday, December 9, 2010

Old School Tissue Paper Craft

My girls have been REALLY into art projects lately.  Seems that’s all they ever do.  They don’t play with their toys much anymore, but reading or art projects keep them happy for hours.

We were at Michael’s the other day and I wanted to buy them some supplies that would be new and exciting.  We walked by a huge pack of tissue paper and I remembered a craft that I had done many times as a child.  I had never seen or heard of the girls doing this particular project, so into the cart went the tissue paper and off we went to home.

Do you all remember doing this project?  You cut little squares of tissue paper, wrap them around the eraser end of a pencil, then dip them end in glue and press the tissue paper into a design. 



I did this project quite a bit when I was a kid, but my girls had never seen it before.  Is this project now considered old school?

We spend a good hunk of the afternoon crafting together.  It was a good time for all.  And we got some pretty artwork out of it:



Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Possession – Part 2

A few days ago, I shared with you how my kids had suddenly become possessed by little beings that loved to purge and clean.  This was a little bit scary for me – I mean, what if they became dangerous? – but I made the best of it and got a clean play room for my troubles.

I decided to press my luck and suggest making some changes to their bedroom.  These new little creatures whole-heartedly agreed, so we moved our party upstairs.

Here was their room before:



Again, I had given up while we waited for the backhoe.  (Actually, we had already started cleaning when that last picture was taken, so the floor is fairly clean and one of the dressers is missing.)

The girls share a room and they each had their own dresser.  One dresser was in the closet, the other was in the corner to the left of the window in the picture above.  High on my successes in the play room, I convinced the girls that it was a great idea to share the dresser in the closet (supplemented by a couple of bins).  This (and the fact that we had just removed a bin full of stuffed animals and moved them all to the play room) would give us more room to rearrange their furniture.  They thought this was a fantastic idea.  In fact, I thought they might hyperventilate!

I didn’t tell them how I was going to rearrange the beds, so they were flitting around excitedly the whole time.  The room is so small and crowded, that I had to rotate the beds a few inches at a time: move the bed, move the shelves, move the other bed, etc.  Eventually, the room ended up looking like this:


(Can you tell I have budding artists in my house?  The walls are covered in art work!)

So. Much. Better.  I knew we had done good when, a few hours later, I was heading into the girls’ room to put something in the closet.  Usually that’s a nightmare because the beds were so close to the doors and there was always stuff on the floor in front of them.  I felt my blood pressure rise in anticipation, but suddenly, I remembered: the room was clean and spacious now!  And, just like that, all the tension left me.  Now THAT’s what organizing is supposed to do for you!

When I asked the girls if they liked their new room, this is what they said:


Sunday, December 5, 2010

My Kids Were Possessed – So I Made the Best of It!

A few weeks ago my girls and I all had the day off.  Thing 2 had recently been making noises about wanting to purge her toys.  This scared me a bit, so whenever she said something like that, I would slowly back away so as not to let whatever was possessing her know I was on to it.

Anyway, on this particular Friday, I decided to make the most of Thing 2’s sickness and I suggested we clean out the playroom.  She immediately agreed and off we went.  I first suggested that we take everything out of the play room so we could then bring back in only the things she really enjoys.  She was like a machine: back and forth, pulling things out of the room.  And all the while, she had a smile on her face!  Who IS this girl?  In fact, she was having so much fun, that Thing 1 joined in the fun.

This is what the play room looked like when we started:



Pretty sad, huh?  It had been getting worse and worse and, eventually, I just gave up asking them to clean it because I knew it was going to take a backhoe anyway.

After everything was out, the girls decided what they wanted to bring back in.  I sweetened the pot a bit by telling them that, since they really enjoy doing art projects the most, we could use the proceeds from whatever we sell to make this the most awesome art room ever.  That helped.  I also told them that, if they reduced their stuffed animal supply by half, I’d give them each $5 extra dollars to buy more art supplies for the room.

I’m happy to say that this is what got left out of the room:


(It doesn’t look like much, but it actually represents a fair bit of stuff.  AND notice the bin full of stuffed animals that are going to find a new home!)

I’m not happy to say that that pile is still sitting in my dining room.  I want to sell the stuff, but it’s not garage sale season and Craiglist-ing all this stuff will be such a pain!

Here’s what the play room looks like once again:



But, the best part of this process is that, about 3/4 of the way through cleaning the play room, I got a brainstorm about how to rearrange their bedroom so it wouldn’t be so crowded.  I came running down the stairs and said, “I just had THE BEST IDEA for your room!  But I’m not going to tell you until we finish cleaning the play room!”  I am not lying when I tell you that they jumped up and down!  And then, I swear this is true, one of them said, “This is fun!”

Stay tuned to see the amazing bedroom transformation!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Completed Picture Shelves


You may remember that I showed you how I made some really quick and inexpensive picture shelves for my family room.  Here’s what they looked like before:


The frames were too orange-y for me, though, and I knew I wanted to paint them white.  Several weeks passed as I got busy doing other things, but those frames were driving me nuts every time I walked past them.

Finally, I buckled down and got to painting.  It takes a long time to paint so many frames!


And here’s the finished result:


Ahh, that’s much better…



I’m linking this up to:

Chic on a Shoestring Decorating
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