Sunday, August 31, 2008

Tips & Tidbits

I thought as part of a new "series" on my blog I would go around my house from time to time and share with everyone some of the ways I stay organized in this crazy, busy world we live in. I have a passion for organizing and paying attention to details, so it has just become a way of life for me, but, for others, I know it's a daily struggle. If anyone has a specific question about an area that they may be having a hard time with, leave me a comment and I'll do my best to pass on a "tip or tidbit" that might be useful, along with photo or two, because they are always fun.
Today's tidbit accompanies a picture of how I keep my paper scraps organized. I have a white wooden carrying "box" that I picked up on clearance at Target many years back. I think it was originally made to hold silverware, but I use it to hold my paper scraps. Anytime I have a scrap of a significant size, I always cut it to have straight sides and place it in this box. It sits on a stand near my window so I can easily reach for a specific color at any time. Saving your scraps keeps you from wasting your full sheets of paper for times when you might just need a small amount. Also having these scraps has sometimes sparked my inspiration because I use the scraps and available colors I have instead of reaching for that full size piece of paper. Maybe I was thinking to use red and when I couldn't find a red scrap I opted for pink instead and the result was better than I had planned. This is an easy and affordable way to stay on top of those piles of paper we all want to throw away.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Golf Cart Organization

Well, this is truly an example of how much I enjoy looking for organizational tools everywhere! One of my favorite things to do is to take something and re-purpose its use to make it functional for my needs. My husband brought these old golf cart baskets home for me and it was LOVE at first sight! My first thought was to hang them from hooks on a narrow wall I have in my craft room, but as I started doing some de-cluttering on my shelves above my desk and I found that they fit perfectly and I loved the way I could see inside the baskets at all my stuff! My husband was also impressed and I am so thankful he saved them from the garbage can. I can't wait to collect a few more.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Inspired Already

In my previous post I described a certain uninspired "funk" I was in for the moment. Well, once I got my hands on a new circular Halloween stamp I purchased (which was sitting in my supply basket), I was immediately struck with an idea. I recently found an idea for a mini-coaster clipboard. Well, because I don't have any extra restaurant coasters sitting around, I decided to use the next-best thing, black chipboard. Once I decided on my note paper, I chose the size for the chipboard. Using some Halloween patterned paper from my stash, I covered the chipboard on both sides. I also attached a small piece of the patterned paper to the black binder clip. It still needed some "jazzing" up so I added a patterned strip of paper and a few punches from my scalloped set. I also decided, on this one, to use a "Thank You" stamp instead of the Halloween spider stamp. It will make a good hostess gift for my upcoming party.

Living in Abundance

My inspiration today is coming from my "new supplies" basket. I've found that after I purchase new supplies, if I come home and put them away, where they belong, stamps with stamps, stickers with stickers, etc., I forget what I purchased which equals not using them for the original purpose with which I was inspired by them to begin with....does that make sense? Anyways, I'm in a little bit of a funk today, not knowing what direction to head in, so I'm going to look at my new supplies and let it dictate what I'll do next. By the way, right now I'm in the middle of Halloween projects for school and my neighborhood, preparing for a Stampin Up party in a few weeks, PFA projects which include a Christmas Festival, and getting ready for an all-day crop, not to mention the everyday stuff that goes along with raising a family. Just a little bit to think about. Do I sound cranky? I hope not!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Cover to Cover

I finally finished two projects that had been on my "wish" list for quite some time. Anytime I have a sewing project I want to complete it sits on my "wish" list forever, or at least until I gain enough courage [and patience] to tackle it. This week was a really weird week. It was back to school, but only for 3 days and then we were all forced to stayed inside while tropical storm "Fay" brewed. Luckily, we didn't have any damage at all, not even a minute without electricity. What we did have was ample time to spend in the craft room getting some of my projects completed. I was able to sew a cover to fit my sewing machine and a cover to fit my Cricut machine. This floral fabric is my absolute favorite and I have it sprinkled all over my room. I was lucky to find it the other week on clearance for $4.00/yard so I scooped up several yards for these projects and more to come. I love the pom-pom trim...I also have it on my window curtain. Now my machines can stay dust free while looking pretty at the same time.

Homemade Goodness

We tried our hand this morning at cooking up some homemade donuts. Well, not really homemade, when you consider they are made from pre-formed biscuit dough....but who really has an extra hour or so in the morning to wait for dough to rise? Anyways, this recipe was shown on the Paula Deen show a few days ago. We went to Publix and got the same biscuits she used. After we rolled them out and punched small holes in the middle using my apple coring tool, we fried them up at 350 degrees for about 3-4 minutes each. After they cooled off a bit I dunked some in powdered sugar and then glazed some with a sugar+milk icing. Well, I can honestly say I've never tasted a "bad" donut and these sure were yummy.....but right now my walking shoes are calling me because I'm going l-e-a-n for the rest of the day. Try some, you'll like them!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Tissue Cozy

Here's my first attempt at a sewing a tissue cozy - "cozy" sounds cuter than "holder" don't you think? I found this pattern on-line. It's a little bigger than the little Kleenex packs, and actually fits a Puffs To-Go pack. I didn't even know Puffs had to-go packs...I found these at Walgreens. This first one turned out pretty good and I think I will give it to Abby for her backpack. (She has a matching headband I made from this fabric also.) Check back because I think I will try some kind of embellishment on the next one. It's raining and that makes the perfect sewing weather.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Water Bottle Re-Do

I decided to make another water bottle tag since I forgot to take a picture on the first day of school. I was too excited about many things, the girls' first day in their new classrooms, new clothes and backpacks, and the freedom to be creative for a few hours! It's amazing how unbelievably easy these are. This one varies a little bit from the ones I made on Sunday. Instead of the red flower and embellishment as you see here I actually had an apple sticker affixed to theirs. Teachers + apples, appropriate, don't you think? I also think it would be cute to customize the label on the water bottle but I am feeling too anxious today while I am having fun getting lots of little things done. Maybe next time.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Back to School

So, we made good time this morning getting ready for the first day back to school. I have one in 3rd and one in 1st this year. We took our annual back to school picture in the kitchen and then headed out the door for the easy walk to school. I came up with the idea last night to make decorated water bottles for the teachers instead of the usual "apple" gift. I watched a tutorial on "You Tube" and then put them together in just a couple of minutes last night before bed. The only thing is, I guess in all of my excitement about getting back in the groove for school I forgot to take a picture. Oh well...I'm sure I'll make a few more. The teachers were very happy about their special treats.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Clearly Inspirational

I made a clear card this morning for a teacher friend of mine who is expecting her first baby. I thought I would put something together a little non-traditional. I've had these transparent sticker sheets for a while now and they jumped out at me this morning while I was looking for a little inspiration. So, I grabbed my stash of transparency paper and put together this really adorable card, my first clear card. It's really easy, just cut the transparency to size, score the fold and back the inside with a colored paper so that your embellishment (mine being a transparent sticker) still shows visibly from the front. I found that if I went with a colored paper on the inside of the card it would have altered the color of my little bird and I didn't want to go in that direction. I also used a "Congratulations" rub-on and embellished it with a few stick on gems. I used a vellum sticky-dot adhesive to adhere the white cardstock to the transparency (from the back so it didn't show). I hope she likes it!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Puppy Party Thank You + One

I borrowed a friend's Doodlecharms Cricut cartridge and made these really cute Thank You cards to give out as part of our Puppy Party last weekend. They took a bit of time to put together but I think it was worth it. They are so cute! Also, while I had her cartridge (I'm not sure I want to give it back....) I used it to cut out a school bus with our school's initials on it, "SPCE." I put together a quick card, borrowing the format of the puppy card, and I am going to use it to send to the restaurant who catered our teacher's welcome back breakfast Monday was awesome and they did such a good job. I thought they deserved more than just the standard school letter.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Happy Birthday Hubby

Today is my hubby's birthday! Happy Birthday Dear! Wow! I can't believe we've made it this far...I remember when I thought 40 was old, but I feel so young (on most days at least). We had a small celebration last night with the girls....just sharing a few little gifts with you, things you've mentioned lately that you wanted but were too humble to buy for yourself. We will celebrate tonight with a nice steak dinner (cooked on the grill, of course) and homemade desert! And your other desire today...taking a trip to a huge used book store in town...I think I can accommodate that request. Best wishes for a terrific day! We are so glad to have you in our lives!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Celebrate with a Card

I put a few scraps together this morning to make two cards. One you can see here and one is in my "Today's Creation" section. This one turned out to be my favorite. It's really simple. I used my scalloped nesting dies and my new Quickutz scalloped border die. I was also able to use a stash of rub-ons I've been hoarding for quite some time. I love the jewel embellishment too - gotta give a little bling once in a while.

Altered Clothespin

I picked up a few giant clothespins at Michael's the other day. They were on the clearance table for 59 cents. These are not as nice as the ones you can buy from A.C. Moore, but I thought they would be o.k. for what I intended to use them for. I worked on this one yesterday in between the many "things" I had to do, and with both girls in the room distracting me. This came together in minutes! I'm using it to hold my bills which I will pay on-line when the time is right. What do you think? Scraps of your favorite paper serve a good use along with a few swipes of Mod Podge. I also got to use my new Tim Holtz sanding block.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Puppy Party - A Few More

Well, the big day arrived and the girls had a BLAST! We had a total of 11 girls and 1 really brave boy attend the party along with a few parents. It was definitely the fullest my house has been in a long time. I took a few more pictures to share with you along with a picture of the birthday girl and her Momma....that's me!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

"I Want it Painted Blue"

I was able to get my hands on a really adorable chandelier via the freecycle website. I saw the posting and I knew right away what I wanted it for...."Abby's room." The owner of the chandelier picked me and even delivered it to my house. After a few modifications, turning the lights in the opposite direction and painting it a really cool color of blue (which Abby chose herself) it is now hanging as the focal point in Abby's room. I had hopes to really snaz up her room this summer, but I've come to realize it will have to get done during the school year, because we have simply been busy with "other things." Sometimes, that happens. She doesn't seemed to be too bothered about it anyways. I just thought I would share the pictures from her room. I really love the color she picked out...I would have gone with the standard [and safe] white or maybe the pink option....I love it!

Puppy Party a few days Prior

As promised, I have a few pictures to share of the games & stuff we will have on Saturday for our puppy party. I have been known to not take any pictures beforehand, have the event, the event is over and " pictures." So, this time, I decided to take some BEFORE the big day! I'm so glad I began the preparation on all of this stuff way ahead of time....back in June, because now I can sit back and have lazy mornings like today and not be so stressed out. We are taking the birthday girl on a fun-filled day at the beach and pool on Thursday (her official birthday) and Friday will be left for cleaning and decorating. And, sometime in between, maybe beginning tomorrow, I will cook the cake and decorate it. The pictures today include a "Feed the Dog" game board that my crafty husband made, a "Dog Bone Count" guessing jar which is also another game the kiddos will play, my famous goodie bags stuffed with really neat stuff, and our "Welcome" sign for the front door. I've also made paw print lollipops out of chocolate which I will share later. And, I took some really inexpensive plastic bowls from Target and put each child's name on the front with a paint pen. We will use those for their "dog bowls" to serve with cake and ice cream. We've really been able to accomplish a lot on a small scale budget and a big bank of imagination. I can't wait for Saturday!!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Teacher's Breakfast

I've been working on the school's Welcome Back breakfast for the teachers and staff. It is going to be held on Monday, August 11th. I can't believe our summer break is almost over....I'm a little glad, but also a little sad. Anyways, with Abby's birthday party fast approaching (this Saturday - pictures to come) and this breakfast two days after that....I've stayed pretty busy, but also organized and prioritized at the same will all work out...I just know it. Anyways, I've also had some help and that is always a "good thing." (BTW - it's Martha's birthday today!! Happy 67th!) Here are some quick pictures of the centerpieces we will have on our table along with the table placecards so that the teachers and staff know what area of the room they will be sitting in. We will also have individual apple placecards at each person's seat. I hope I can remember to bring my camera on Sunday during our set up so that I can share with you how everything looks. (The buckets were a steal at Target for 25 cents/each and the giant clothespins were found at A.C. Moore for $1.00/each.)