July 30, 2010

Mission Organized

One of my favorite blogs, O My Family, is hosting a link up about home organization.  I love Allison's blog - she has a great writing style that draws you in with her honesty and humor and did I mention her adorable little boy?  I highly recommend that you stop over and visit (if you haven't already, there aren't many that are not familiar with her blog.)

So here is my feeble attempt at organization- enjoy!

In theory I am an organized person - well I think I am an organized person - okay I want to be an organized person.  I love the actual act of developing a system, putting things in order and watching the chaotic disappear.  The problem for me always lie in the maintaining of the organization.  I am sure I am not alone but it always seems that once life starts moving it gets harder and harder to take the time to follow my own rules.  The double whamy lies in the fact that by not taking a LITTLE bit of extra time from the beginning to maintain my organization, I create more work for myself later on.  Yet, I never ever learn.

I try though.  Oh boy do I try.  Let me show you some of my attempts.

I love magazines!  I spend way too much money on them.  These three are my favorites...Real Simple, Better Homes and Gardens and Country Living.  I leave the most recent copies out for others to read and take the all the old copies and cut out all the pictures and articles that interest and inspire me.

Here is a stack waiting to be cut up.  Every once in awhile I sit down with my scissors and a good movie and cut, cut, cut.

I take these cut-outs and put them in plastic sleeves in a binder for easy reference.

Things like tips for organizing (appropriate for this post.)

Or pretty gardens with pretty roses.

I keep a copy of our home's layout for reference.

And swatches of fabric and paints for each room.

And other goodies like pretty furniture, recipes, color schemes and whatever else catches my eye.  I love just flipping through the binders and rediscovering all the fun items.  It never fails to inspire.

Another thing I did to assist with this home decorating thing was creating my own paint chip fans.  A while back I was tempted to buy one for $20 and decided that it would be better to just create my own with various different paint brands and in the colors that I like.  I knew I didn't want any bright, crazy colors in my home so why have them cluttering things up.   They were super easy to create.  I just grabbed a bunch of inspiring colors and a ring, whole punched the chips and strung them together.   The fan is great for more than just paint.  I find myself just referencing it for various color combinations.

Another huge tip I have learned over time is that with a small home, the key to organizing is buying furniture for that purpose.  It can look pretty too.  Here are a few pieces that we bought to hold our essentials and keep them tucked away and out of sight.

I posted about this wardrobe recently here.  I bought this wardrobe at the Land of Nod outlet for $99.  Best money I ever spent.  It so cutely holds all my crafting items which can get quite messy and cluttered.  I think I am going to use the pole to hold ribbon or wrapping paper soon.  

We built these to hold the electronics for our TV along with photo albums and other knick knacks.

This bench at the end of our bed not only looks nice there and completes the room but it also holds our linens, toilet paper and some other stocked up goods.  It was free so I simply gave it some coats of paint.

This space in our kitchen use to have bench that stored things but it left our garbage and dog bowls out in the open.  Plus we needed more countertop space to set things - it really isn't for cooking.  One thing that has made all the difference when we are trying to head out the door are the hooks for our keys.  We simply just twisted them in and now we always know where our keys are.

Another must in our kitchen are glass jars.  I love that they look cute on the counter but can hold some of our practical, daily items for easy access.  Plus it clears up our cabinets for more unsightly necessities.

Let me just end with some images that I would love to implement (and keep) in my house.

Aren't they beautiful!?  Now go organize - you can do it!

July 29, 2010

Tile Shopping

We are finally going tile shopping tomorrow night.  I am super excited to begin the process of picking out tile for the kitchen.  I know we won't walk away with anything tomorrow but I really just want to see what options are out there, price ranges and different materials and start getting an idea of what works for us.  Our current tile now is not only ugly but it also is severely cracked with hardly any grout left.  It makes me a little worried about what condition the subfloor is in but we will get to that when we get to that.  The top reason why we need to get new tile though is because of the dogs.  The cheap ceramic that we have now is way too slippery and the dogs are constantly slipping and falling.  It is very hard on their hips and Berners already are prone to major hip issues.  So since we love our dogs and want them to live long and full lives we want to make our house safer for them - well and I really just want new floors.  Lastly, I want something on the darker end since the dogs also track lots of dirt into the house.  I think our kitchen can handle a dark floor too since we have white cabinets and appliances and really light walls.  Here are a few images I snagged off the internet to show you what I am thinking.

Sooo we will see what we come across tomorrow.  I will try and remember my camera to share some of our favs.

July 28, 2010

Garden Update: An Overgrown Mess

This is what the garden looks like now.

This is what it once looked like (you can read more about it here or here).

Last year

Early this spring


Now again

And I've already had some cucumbers and they were huge and yummy....still waiting on the tomatoes and zucchini.  The asparagus has to grow out a year, as with the raspberries and the broccoli grew but I never harvested it and the peppers seem to be stunted but the mass growth of the tomatoes.

If you were not virtual friends, I would share some produce - unless you are a real friend, well not real but a live, in-person friend (you know what I mean) and would like some - just let me know.

Back to the Baby Hats

Once the warm weather hit I put down my yarn and needles and headed out to the yard to pick up some larger tools.  It's funny how much I actually missed knitting - I mean knitting is not fun but it is a creative outlet that I enjoy and I just love mixing my love for knitting and babies.  I really fell in love with this newborn earflap hat I put made.  I am contemplating making a larger version for myself - mostly due to the super soft lining I put in.  Check it out:

and the lining - I wish you could feel it, so so soft

The best part about it though is that it is super tiny - for a brand new baby.  It would have to be a winter baby - perfect for the cold trip home.

I've also been working on a blanket for myself.

It's hard to tell in the photos but I am almost finished.  I just need to get back to it.  That is another reason why I love baby items.  They are super tiny and fast so I did get bored with the project and can always be trying new things but when you work on a larger project it gets old fast.

So I'm happy to be back to the knitting, especially the baby hats.

July 25, 2010

DIY: Chalkboard Mania

Since the chalkboard bottles were such a hit - I know this because it has come up in conversation with many of you but you all can share your thoughts with me on the comments below too....not to beg...well okay I am begging but seriously share some comment love with me.  That's how I know what you like and what you don't like - anyway since you loved the bottles I thought why not take my chalkboard spray paint and go crazy with it.  

free pots

don't mind the fact that I blurred out some of the information

I had a few more ideas that I didn't get around to trying - maybe you can try them.

tags for baskets and bins
table tops
candle holders
inside cabinet doors/pantry doors
spoons/knives as garden labels/stakes

Oh and I forgot to mention - don't spray paint anything that you will eat out of - it is very toxic paint.  So keep that in mind as you paint bowls, plates, mugs etc.  I recommend painting only the outside of mugs and cups to make a fun label.

So hope you got some fun, inspirational ideas.

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