Keep Track Of All Those Activities In One Space!
By Amy Trauntvein
I received this calendar for review, but all opinions and pictures are my own.
When you’ve got a house full of kids and adults who are busy, you’ve got a lot of activities, appointments, practices, lessons and everything else to keep track of! Jen at Calendarsandchores.com must have seen me in her crystal ball because she asked to send me one of her beautiful and functional calendars to check out, thank you Jen! Oh yes, I‘ve got a smart phone with a calendar and all which I use, a lot, but I needed something that my whole family could see every day and also add to as things come up. (Large Magnetic Calendar seen here with 6 weeks and bonus Memo strip $82.00)
This magnetic calendar is the perfect solution, because it is a perpetual calendar! What’s that you say? It means that when your week is over, you wipe everything off the top strip, and move it to the bottom of the calendar to start filling in for later weeks! You see, each “line” is it’s own magnetic strip that you can organize yourself and it all fit’s on the included frame any way that you fancy. When my calendar came, I slapped that thing on the wall and got to filling it all in!
So many of my kids activities are for multiple kids so instead of using one color per kid, I use a certain color per activity/lesson. I’ve got 2 kids in the high school marching band, so I used Red for their school color, I have 3 kids in piano/vocal lessons with the same teacher so I use blue for those, I have 2 kids in gymnastics and I picked orange for it and so on and so forth.
I adore the magnetic pencil cup! ($10) Not only is it cute, but it holds all the extra month labels that aren’t in use, and my wet erase markers (I like them better than dry erase for fine tip writing and they don’t smudge) right where I need them. No more looking in drawers and wondering what my kids did with them! They stay right here. Period.
The weekly Menu List ($4.50) comes in handy for those busy nights that I just don’t want to figure out what to fix for dinner.
And Memo strip (included in calendar kit) with categories of Upcoming Events/Grocery/To Do/Notes section you can use in place of one or two of the “weeks” on the calendar, if you just want to post a month at a time. See bottom of the calendar…
The calendar comes in many colors and styles and sizes, but I love the Antique White frame with the Vintage White magnetic strips. They are perfect for my living space! As you can see, I chose to use all 6 weeks and even figured out a way to let me know when the next month is coming up. I separated the two months a bit and stuck the September strip between the two. Easier for my kids to know what month they are looking at.
I am so happy with my new calendar and so are my kids. No more, “Mom, what time is practice? Mom, what day is the party? Mom, when is picture day?” They can just look themselves. Thank you calendarsandchores.com! You’ve just made my schedule a whole lot easier to handle!
Love To All! ~Amy
I have been married for 23 years to my awesome hubby, Todd and we have 4 equally awesome kids who keep me young! Our favorite thing to do together is travel. I enjoy gardening, yoga, walking and saving money! I am very active in my church and am currently serving the children, and I love volunteering at my kids’ schools doing whatever I can to help the teachers and staff.
Lands’ End Organizing and Storage Solution
By Amy Trauntvein
I received this set of Lands’ End Canvas Storage Totes, but the pictures and opinions and storage ideas are my own.
I adore Lands’ End! With their classic designs and high quality, you can never go wrong when choosing a Lands’ End product. So when Lands’ End offered to send me a set of their Canvas Storage totes AND give a set to one of our readers, I was ecstatic! Set of 5 Canvas Storage Totes (value $195.50 online)
Lands’ End also asked me to come up with some creative storage solution for my beautiful totes and let me tell you, this was no easy task! Only because I had TOO MANY ideas for each size! But in the end I chose one storage idea for each tote that worked best for my home.
Extra Small- I do a lot of cooking and baking and so I keep my cookbooks out on my kitchen counter. I like having them out because I use them so much, but everytime I’d grab one, they’d all fall over. The Extra Small Canvas Storage tote was the perfect size to hold my cookbooks! No more books toppling over whenever I need one. And it looks cute too! I do have other cookbooks in a cabinet, but these are the ones I use most.
Small- I use tablecloths, a lot of tablecloths. When we moved into our new home 8 years ago, I bought myself a nice, solid hard wood dining set. Then my kids started using my beautiful table and chairs. Yeah. So now, to preserve the top of my table from craft projects, spills and whatever else they come up with, I use tablecloths which help immensely! Since I’m always changing out my tablecloths almost daily, I need easy access to them. I’m kind of embarrassed to show you where I use to keep them, but here it is… In a lower cabinet all stacked up and ready to fall out at anytime.
No longer! I was able to fit all of my table cloths into the Small Canvas Storage tote and find an open spot at the bottom of my pantry. Just open the door, and there they are! All neat and tidy and ready to be used.
Medium- During the summer, we go swimming. A lot! Not only do we go to public pools, but we have some great friends to own a pool and invite us over many times during the warmer months. I have needed a bag large enough to fit all of our towels, sunscreen, goggles, sunglasses and pool toys and the Medium Canvas Storage tote was the perfect fit! It held it all, plus had some room to spare!
And when the season is over, I can just take the entire, filled bag and store it in my hall closet ready for the next year!
Large- One of my favorite things to do when the day is done, is to snuggle up in a cozy blanket with my hubby and either watch a movie or catch up on our favorite TV shows. I have invested in some pretty awesome blankets but where do I keep them without it looking a mess all piled up in a corner? I used a big basket in the past, but it quickly fell apart. Not so with the Large Canvas Storage tote, this thing is top notch and sturdy! I also love how it matches my blankets…
Hamper- I wanted to do something different with the Hamper, but what else do you do with a hamper besides hold dirty laundry? I put it in my youngest daughter’s closet to hold all of her dress ups! I used to store her dress ups in a large plastic tote with a lid, but as with all those big plastic totes, the lid was hard for her to get off and pretty bulky for her to pull out too, AND it was so full it was starting to bulge and hard to get it closed. Not with the hamper, it’s plenty large enough to hold all her pretty things, shoes and all, and with no lid, there’s no more, “Mom, I need help!” Also, with the sturdy metal support rods, I’m not worried about her breaking the supports.
I love these Land’s End Canvas Storage Totes for their quality, functionality, gorgeous construction and finally, for helping me find some great storage solutions in my home!
Giveaway- Land’s End is giving one of our readers a full set of 5 Canvas Storage Totes as seen here (color may vary). One set contains the extra small, small, medium, large and hamper. Retail online $195.50.
Also be sure to go over to visit Toni at A Bowl Full of Lemons too! Her awesome organizing blog is having a giveaway of the Lands’ End Storage Totes too!
Love To All! ~Amy
I have been married for 23 years to my awesome hubby, Todd and we have 4 equally awesome kids who keep me young! Our favorite thing to do together is travel. I enjoy gardening, yoga, walking and saving money! I am very active in my church and am currently serving the children, and I love volunteering at my kids’ schools doing whatever I can to help the teachers and staff.
A Bedroom Redo For My Daughter
by: Amy Trauntvein
You can redecorate a bedroom on the cheap also!
The time had come, all too quickly, for my oldest child to leave the nest (sob!). He embarked onto college and now is in California serving a mission for 2 years and will be heading back to college once he’s back, so that meant changing up bedrooms, much to my 2 middle children’s utter excitement! My second child inherited the “bachelor pad” downstairs so that left his bedroom empty. It didn’t take long for my 13 year old to lay her claim on a new (bigger) bedroom along with her complaint that her current room was “way too young” and “way too pink”! Yes it was pink, 2 colors of pink in fact along with bit of purple too. Yes, we agreed it WAS time for a change, and time for her new room to reflect a more grown up style.
First, she needed a new bed. The one she had was fine, but it is a twin bed and with all the sleepovers she has, I wanted to find her a full size so they could stop sleeping on the floor or even worse, squishing themselves both onto the twin bed! Man, I could have gotten some great pictures!
As luck would have it, about a week after deciding to get her a new bed, a good friend and neighbor was having a yard sale and selling a whole bedroom set! Full-size bed, nightstand and dresser! Lucky me! The set was a very sturdy, solid wood but a honey brown color. No problem! I just ran to my nearest home improvement store and bought sand paper, primer, and white paint. It took me about 4 days to refinish it all in the garage. We also repainted an old desk she had ,white with black drawer fronts, and the chair shiny black.
Once the furniture was ready, I needed to tackle the bedroom walls and repaint. Boring beige, not a fun color for a teen girl!
I had noticed that the white baseboards were no longer white. After living in the house for over 7 years, they had really yellowed so after taking off all the electrical covers to prepare for painting, we taped off the carpet and tackled the baseboards. Yellowed trim does NOT look good with any color!
When painting trim, if the walls are getting new paint too, you don’t have to be exact on the top. The wall paint will cover your overage as long as you don’t leave any ”clumps” of paint.
Emily loves bright colors and had decided on turquoise with black accents. As luck would have it once again, my sister had 2 gallons of brand new turquoise paint that she wasn’t going to use. We popped open the lid, and it was exactly what she wanted, thanks Rachael! I was a bit worried at first, since it is so bright, but once it was all up, I loved it too and it totally matches my daughter’s personality. Here’s the room mid-painting. My hubby had taught me how to paint edges without taping which saves a TON of time and even looks better since you don’t have to deal with paint seeping under the tape. If I paint again sometime I’ll show you how.
Painting finished, furniture getting put back together and figuring out where to put everything. It only took me a day to do the trim and walls. Sorry about the lighting, it was late. :)
The final product! She absolutely loves her new “grown up” room!
The scrolled mirror and picture frames were all white before, I just bought some glossy spray paint and made them all black instead of buying new.
The storage cubby came from my second child’s room which he no longer needed so we gave it a clean coat of paint and bought the two black fabric drawers to match. The top outer shelves hold her favorite books and the middle top shelf houses keepsakes from around the world (her own trips and presents from grandparents trips). And look! Open shelves to grow with!
Every girl needs a spot for jewelry…
And no “grown up” girl should be without a vanity table….
Emily LOVES nail polish and has quite the collection. She used to hold it all in an ugly box in her closet that honestly was overflowing. Why not display all the beautiful colors? Bowl from Michael’s craft store, $7.99- 40% off coupon. Cheap and easy! My kind of idea.
Onto the closet… When we bought the house, all the closets came with the standard wire shelving which we quickly tore out. Sorry, to me I dislike the wire shelving. So we re-purposed it in our garage for storage and hung solid shelving with a double shelf and rod on one side and a single rod on the other for dresses and other longer items. The top rod holds her school uniform tops, sweaters, skirts and jackets and the bottom hold her everyday tops. The metal basket on the top shelf holds new items I’ve bought on clearance for the upcoming season, (flip flops, shorts, swimsuits etc.) and the metal basket on the bottom shelf hold her belts.
We also have realized how much unused space is in the ends of bedroom closets so my hubby also built four shelves to hold “stuff” as I call it. Top shelf (not seen) holds items for Marching Band that she isn’t using until the fall. The second shelf hold keepsakes that she still wants, but doesn’t necessarily want displayed. The third shelf hold her school uniform pants and shorts (easy access in the morning). And the fourth shelf holds all of her “layering” tops (cami’s, plain short-sleeves) also for easy access. They just got all jumbled up and wrinkled in drawers when she was looking for just the one she wanted. Bottom floor are her flip flops and sandals and come warm weather, we will put her boots there and bring out the sandals for easy access too.
Other side of the closet… Her dresses. Top shelf holds more keepsakes including a quilt she made with her Grandma and Great-Grandma this past summer. She gets it down and uses it, but it stays in the closet so no one else can. ;) And look! More open space on the bottom rod….Yay! We did A LOT of purging before she could move in to her new space. She only kept things she loved and used.
I gave her a crate that we already had to hold her bags/purses in one neat spot inside the closet.
When we got her bed set up, I wondered how I was going to do a bed skirt since it has side boards and going without one completely wasn’t an option because the naked box spring would show. Not good. We found a perfect solution. I just bought a single fitted sheet in black (the contrast color of her bedroom and sheets) and covered the box spring in that. Nice and neat! And since I can see under her bed now, no shoving stuff under there and telling me that her room is clean. Yep.
As for the black embellishments on the walls, they are vinyl wall stickers. I bought mine out west on clearance last summer at their big warehouse clearance sale, but I’ve seen the exact ones I have here at major retailers in the home decor section. Target, Kohls, Meijer. My favorite is the chandelier. I was so excited when I found that one!
I hope you had fun joining me on my daughter’s room redo and I hope maybe this has gotten your wheels turning if you’re thinking about a room change! Since I know I will get questions on where I purchased things, I have included a shopper’s guide…
The Home Depot ~ Paints–White (no color added), Semi Gloss by Glidden ~Sweet Rhapsody, Egg Shell by Behr ~Black, Glossy by Glidden ~ Drawer Pulls
Target ~Comforter Set ~Sheet Set ~Black Fitted Sheet ~Accent Pillows ~Curtain Rod ~Sheer Black Curtains ~9 Square cubby shelf ~Black Fabric Drawers
~Metal Baskets (bought a few years ago)
Michael’s ~Glass Bowl
IKEA ~Sphere lamp
Kohl’s ~Dress Form Jewelry Holder
Various Major Retailers ~Vinyl Decor
Love to all! ~Amy
I have been married for 23 years to my awesome hubby, Todd and we have 4 equally awesome kids who keep me young! Our favorite thing to do together is travel. I enjoy gardening and puttering around my yard. I am very active in my church and am currently serving the children, and I love volunteering at my kids’ schools doing whatever I can to help the teachers and staff.
Chalkboard Jar Labels Using Chalkboard Contact Paper
I have seen some of the cutest chalkboard labels on the large jars in kitchens from other creative blogs. It inspired me to go out and find the large jars for my kitchen counters.
Most of the chalkboard labels that I have seen made was by using the chalkboard paint. Although that is a great method and more than likely over all less expensive, I did see someone who used chalkboard contact paper and I decided I wanted to try that.
I searched local stores and called all around but did not find any stores that carried the blackboard or chalkboard contact paper. I ended up finding it online and purchased it there. I then went through the same thing with the chalkboard markers. I also ended up purchasing them online.
Here are the link for the chalkboard contact paper Chalkboard Contact Paper, 18″ x 6′ and here are the markers I used Liquid Chalk – Works like a Marker Dries like Chalk – Set of 8 Earthy Colors . Since these were hard for me to find, I thought I’d make it easier for you. But just so you know I did go ahead and set them up as affiliate links with amazon – I keep no secrets from you guys. I also went ahead and posted the widgets on my sidebar for you if you want to come back to them later or send a friend to find them.
I bought my jars at Walmart for the 1 gallon jar which I paid $6.97 for and the 1/2 gallon jar which was $4.87. But the 3 gallon cookie jar which I’m going to also show you I got at The Container Store and I paid $19.99 for that! I know… crazy difference, but I wanted the larger size and Walmart didn’t have it. (I have since seen the 2 gallon jar at Walmart and it was I think only $9.99 – ugh)
I also got out my x-acto cutting mat and knife so it made a nice clean cut.
I decided on the shape for my labels. That came down to which stencil I had! lol
So I went to work. I made sure not to waste any of my chalkboard contact paper, so I cut as close to the edge as I could.
Then used my x-acto knife to cut along the edge.
Once I had cut out the pattern I decided on which marker I was going to use. I picked the yellow because it showed up nice and bright. These markers are pretty cool. You shake them up and then you have to hold them down for a little bit (longer than I expected, I thought at first they weren’t working – but like a minute or two before the tip fills with ink)
I also decided to put the little dots on the edges of my labels. DaNita from Delightful Order always does that on her printed labels and I think they look so cute. (of course I messed up a couple, so practice spacing!)
Then I just peeled off the back and placed them on the jars. I started from the center and pressed down and wiped out with my finger to make sure all the air was out and it was pressed firmly down.
I did this for all of the jars. Here are the three smaller jars.
For the cookie jar I wanted the label to be a little larger since it was twice as big, but I didn’t have a larger stencil with the same design.
It was nice that there was a grid on the back of the contact paper, as I just free handed outside the line where I did the stencil to make it larger.
You may think that it seems strange that I did not do the traditional Flour & Sugar canisters.
The flour and sugar are not things that I use everyday in this house. I actually don’t use the flour very often at all… (can you say box mix?).
But…. my husband makes his bowl of oatmeal every morning and puts brown sugar and raisins in it. So it only makes sense to put this in the jars.
I considered getting a smaller jar for the raisins too… but I thought it might end up looking too crowded in this space on my counter. The refrigerator is directly on the left and the stove is just on the other side of the coffee maker. So his raisins are in the cupboard above.
On the other side of the counter is the 2 gallon cookie jar.
Can you believe there are four different bags of cookies in there? Well…. there are actually two of the four that only had part of them left. But there is still more room in this for more!!
My only concern for these darling jars is that there is no rubber seal. So I am hoping the cookies don’t get stale this summer. Sometimes looks out weigh the practicality right?
My husband did find that the brown sugar did become harder, quicker. He used a cellophane wrap over the top before the lid was put on.
This project was originally compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for #collectivebias 4/6/2011. But I’m reposting this post Feb 2013 and was not compensated again for it.
Chalkboard Labels For Your Pantry Baskets
I got my labels completed for my pantry baskets…. I told you I was going to do them!
There are so many uses for this chalkboard contact paper. I have several other things in mind!
But I want to show you how I made these simple labels for my baskets in my pantry.
I took some of my old business cards (they are such a good size for so many things) and used those for the basis of the chalkboard labels for the baskets.
I cut the chalkboard contact paper so that it would go over the sides just a bit and would fold back and cover the entire card.
When I fold it over I make sure to make a crisp edge and I smooth it out so there aren’t any air bubbles or creases in it.
Then I trim the short edge of the card. I do pinch the edge so that the contact paper adheres to itself to seal the edge.
I used the hole punch and punched a hole in the center top so I can hang it.
I used the same color chalkboard marker and basic design so that they matched the jar labels I made and showed you yesterday.
I looked for twine to tie the labels on, but evidently we didn’t have any. I found some fishing line and decided that would actually work really well.
It won’t show much and it will take care of the problem I worried about … getting through the thin basket weave.
And it looks like this:
I was pleased how they turned out… what do you think?
One of the other little things I did was to use these little buckets that I hung from my wire over the door can holder.
Remember I mentioned that I didn’t like the baggie that was holding the chip clips in my pantry? That I was sure there was something cuter? I decided this was cuter!
I had a 2nd bucket that I used and wasn’t sure what to put in it….. but had an onion sitting on the pantry shelf and thought… ok.. done!
So of course I made labels for these pails too. I used the business card as the stencil and cut out a piece of the chalkboard contact paper. I wrote the name on it with the markers and stuck it on the side of the bucket.
I think they turned out cute too… don’t you?
Adding little touches like this, makes your pantry look a little cuter, but it also makes it functional by letting the family know where to put things away.
And of course that makes me happy!!
You can find the Chalkboard Contact Paper, 18″ x 6′ and the markers I used Liquid Chalk – Works like a Marker Dries like Chalk – Set of 8 Earthy Colors at the two links I have here. They are affiliate links, but that’s not why I’m giving them to you. I had a hard time finding both products and thought I’d make it a little easier for you all.
This post was revamped and reposted from 4/7/2011
Make Your Own Thanksgiving Place Holders
There are SO many cute ideas on the web! I found a zillion, and I wanted to share a few with you. Place holders are a great way to organize your Thanksgiving Day table. There are no guesses as to where people will sit. Bringing family together can sometimes have some of it’s own rewards and issues with it. There are times that it’s just much easier to figure out ahead of time where people should sit.
What a simple neat idea this is. You really could use any kind of fruit for something like this. Or a little pumpkin! I saw the same idea with a pear too, while I was looking for neat ideas to show you.
I have several more ideas on my pinterest board. There are so many cute ideas that I couldn’t possibly list them all here. The beauty of pinterest is that we can pin them there and save them! People can be so creative! Most of these you will need to be sure you plan ahead for. Know which guests are coming so that you can be prepared.
Easy To Make – Do it Yourself Desk Set
Some of the plastic containers you get products in are really nice, and I decided to make a diy (do it yourself) desk storage set out of three different ones.
I do not normally keep storage containers like these, unless I have a specific use for them. I love do it yourself projects, but I see too many people keep SO many things like this… with the intention of “some day” getting to it. Only keep enough containers for the specific do it yourself project you want to accomplish. It will decrease the clutter… and you will be able to save up new containers when you are ready for your next DIY project. But I thought I could make a nice little set for my daughter’s desk by recycling plastic storage containers and some decorative tape.
I kept two different tea mix containers and took the labels off.
I then took the labels off the two tea containers. Both of these labels came right off… easy peasy.
I then had two naked containers, like this one!
I then took my decorative tape. This is duck tape that I got at Target or Joanne’s. (I can’t remember which) You can decide how you want to place your decorative tape on the container. You can cover it completely, or make stripes up and down or a single one around…. like this one.
Here is the other container.
I also kept this larger round nut mix container. The label for this container was glued on.
I could have spent a lot of time and soaked it off… peeled and gotten it sparkly clean first… but heck – I’m covering it with tape. So I just taped over the label.
Here is the finished product. You can use the lids on your containers if you want.
Here is the finished product that you can put pencils in.
There are so many things you can use something like this for. This do DIY desk set is going on my daughter’s desk in her room – but I could also see something like this being really cute in a craft room. you could store beads, or any kind of craft supplies in these. Ideas are endless.
Decorating Ideas To Decorate My Bedroom
I have found several decorating ideas and want to share them! I am excited to redecorate our bedroom. I have known the headboard I have wanted to put up since last year when I found it on a blog. My husband actually has started this portion of the project already.
This is the picture that the gal above found her inspiration for her headboard. The one thing I love on both headboards is the white creamy color. It has such great contrast with the walls.
Here is another picture, I think it is actually the inspiration that the woman above found to do her daughter’s bedroom headboard. This one is so beautiful, but the wall is not acting like the headboard in this case. My wall will be my headboard, since we don’t have one. We also have two windows positioned on either side of our bed, just like these two pictures do. I guess that must be a popular configuration for a bedroom? lol
Dave has the wood slats up, not painting is the next question. I really didn’t know what color to go with. So I searched pinterest for color inspiration and this is what I came up with. I love the deep dark brown against the white. I’m going to go with it.
I bought a couple of the little sample paints at Home Depot for Behr paint to test colors. We still need to buy the paint and get the paining done. I really need to also refinish the dressers. Time is the main factor here. Don’t look for the finished product in the next week, not sure when it will be completed. But as soon as I get it finished, I’ll certainly share it with you all.
Link Up Your Posts or Get Some Organizing and DIY Ideas
You can find some really awesome organizing and DIY ideas if you just look around the internet. I went back to the Better Homes and Gardens site and found some more neat ideas for you guys.
Make a cute bathroom set that will match perfectly. Just grab a couple of those terra cota planters that you can find at garage sales for practically nothing and decorate them. You could use these for many purposes other than in the bathroom.
A screen door transformed into kitchen storage – I LOVE this! I don’t have a kitchen it would work for, but would be so cute in the proper place. Take an old screen door and paint it, put in plexi-glass and some screws and you have a perfect storage area that looks great. This could also be really useful on an screened in porch.
Look carefully at this towel rack. It is the back of an old chair. There are shower knobs at the top to hang the shower brush off of. Really cute.
You can find the link for my button on my top “Buttons” Tab. (right now I only have the Organizing Mission Monday button, so it is fine to continue to grab that)
1) Link to your specific post – not your blog
2) Please Link back to my blog with my button or link (link just above underneath my button)
3) Blog post related to Organizing or Cleaning or DIY or crafts or decorating are WONDERFUL!
4) No sales pitches or web sites.
5) Feel free to link up more than 1 post.
I also have a Pinterest Favorite Pin Friday Linky Party! Be sure to watch for that!
Looking for other link parties? I have a whole list of them. Thumbnail via day above and keep scrolling down to find a more extensive text lists by day on my link party list. If you aren’t sure how to link up… see my link party tutorial here. It is simple. If You Are On A Reader and Want to View
This party will be open until Feb 26, 2012 at 11:59pm
I’ll Share My Favorite Pinterest Pins with You, Please Share Yours With Me!
I have been having so much fun with Pinterest lately and I know many of you have been too. I wanted to be able to share some of my favorite pins with you and I wanted to be able to follow your boards, and of course have you follow mine.
I am taking screen shots of my favorite pins and linking them back to my pinterest boards I have them on. My suggestion to you, if you like them, go to the board and grab and repin it. You will see who created the pin (these are NOT from my blog.. I found these pins on Pinterest and love them) It will benefit the person who originally posted the picture on their blog and you can credit them for their awesomeness!
You can see this pin on my “Fashions I love but Can’t Wear” board (click on picture), but it is also on my Favorite Pin Friday Board
I love this idea. How simple and useful. She took shower curtain rings and put them on a sturdy hanger. Great way to hang your scarves!
You can find this pin on my Closet pinterest board (click on picture) but it is also on my Favorite Pin Friday Board
This is a great way to use space, keep things organized and also a cheat sheet for your measurements.
You can find this and more on my kitchen pinterest board (click on pic) but it is also on my Favorite Pin Friday Board
This is such an awesome way to store the kids balls in your garage! So simple… so cheap and yet so useful!
You can find this pin on my Mud Rooms and Garages board (click pic) or you can find it on my Favorite Pin Friday Board
I would encourage you to create your own ”favorite pins board” OR I’ll be happy to try and link you up to mine (we have to follow each other, but sometimes it still won’t let me find you (any hints I’d appreciate it) OR make a post on your blog like I did (with a different name please) and link.
I just created the #FavPinFriday hashtag. I searched for it and there were NO results for that or #FavoritePinFriday… so coolio! So use it when you create your posts or tweet out your board.
1) Link to your specific pinterest blog post
2) Link to your Favorite Friday Pin Board
3) Or link to any of your pin boards – It’s easy!
4) Please Link back to my blog with my button or link -if you can. If you are linking just to pinterest, I would appreciate a tweet instead.
5) Please follow my pinterest page!
6) Follow the Favorite Pin Friday Pinterest Board – and I’ll do my best to add you as contributor if you leave a link below & you have followed it (if it will let me.
7) I in no way am trying to “steal” anyone or not give them credit. I did a screenshot of pictures I have on my board, you can see the creator in the upper right corner. Their pins will get more attention, and hopefully more repins, which will benefit them greatly! Thanks for repinning them!
8)Looking for other link parties? I have a whole list of them. Thumbnail via day above and keep scrolling down to find a more extensive text lists by day on my link party list. If you aren’t sure how to link up… see my link party tutorial here. It is simple. If You Are On A Reader and Want to View All the Great Link Up’s on this post please click at the top of this post to go to my blog. (I end up always messing up that link, so it’s easier to click up top! lol)
This party will be open until Thursday at 11:59 January 12, 2012
Organizing, DIY & Craft Projects
I’ve done a couple DIY projects that people have seemed to have really liked. One of my more popular DIY projects has been my chalkboard labels. I used chalkboard contact paper and chalkboard markers to create them.
You can use these labels for most anything.
I had so much fun with this project and still love them on my counter.
I loved my easy and cheap cord organizing solution, using toilet paper rolls and duct tape.
How To Clean A Chalkboard Painted Wall
Chalkboard walls are tons of fun!!
But they are also messy! Something I didn’t really think about when I painted two different walls with chalkboard paint.
I was getting ready for my son’s graduation party and had just finished painting the chalkboard walls two days before. I knew I had to do something to “cure” them.
Preparing the Chalkboard
1) Painting – 3 coats. Make sure to measure the area you are going to paint to make sure you have plenty of chalkboard paint. The quart went pretty far, I still have some left after all I did. Follow the directions on the can.
2) Cure – After it has completely dried. Chalk up the entire board. It is easiest to use the side of the chalk.
3) Erase and Use
How To Clean Your Chalkboard.
I’m sure you have lovely drawings all over your chalkboard
1) Erase using a chalkboard eraser. (Actually I grabbed a wipe board eraser at the store instead, so I still have to buy one)
I wish you could have seen the chalkboard dust flying while this process was going on.
Guess what you have now? You have a lot of chalk dust all over your baseboard and floor.
Then of course if it isn’t cleaned right away you have the kids and dogs walking through and tracking the chalkboard dust. (not that I would know)
Now that you have erased everything, it is going to look something like this.
I am guessing it would have come a little cleaner with an actual blackboard eraser rather than the dry erase eraser that we used, but you will still have chalk residue either way.
2) Use a rag and wet it, but be sure to wring it out good.
Wipe the wall down and let it dry. It will still have a film on it when it dries.
3) Use a little bit of mild dish detergent or liquid soap and wipe it down again.
4) Rinse it with clean water again.
It should look much better. Mine wasn’t quite dry when I took the picture, so there are a few streaks.
Suggestions if you decide to have a chalkboard wall in your home:
1) Have a dust buster near by
2) Realize it will get messy, so plan where you put your chalkboard wall
3) Use chalkboard markers only. Although I found them to be much harder to use on a vertical wall. I had to go over the wording several times when I was writing the Congrats Tim on the front wall.
4) If you have children with allergies, consider the chalk dust first.
5) Plan ahead and it will still be fun.
6) If you can’t stand dust or mess…really consider your options before you paint a chalkboard wall in your home.
Chalkboard Walls, Chalkboard Mini Chest of Drawers, Chalkboard Picture
I got a quart of chalkboard paint and went to town!
I showed you in the other post how I painted the front of these little drawers with chalkboard paint. I love how it came out. If you hadn’t seen my dining room makeover post, then you might want to check it out. But I hung this on the wall in my dining room.
I also took the chore board (the bottom one) and turned it into a chalkboard.
Here it is during the process
This is where I used it when I finished with it. It is hanging in my dining room. I found this saying on a sign at the store and revised it for our blended family.
The first Chalkboard Wall in my house.
Then I took the whole wall that the job board used to hang on…. and chalkboarded that!!
I hung the new chore board up. I had planned to use it in my dining room, but was advised not to.
The kids are loving this wall.
You can see some of their lovely artwork.
Plus it looks nice in the kitchen
But I wasn’t finished yet!
I created a second Chalkboard Wall in my house!
This wall is in the entryway. Dave walked in while I was in the process and he just saw…. black wall. He thought I was losing it.
Our front door is just to the right in this picture. So this is in the entryway.
This came in really useful for my son’s recent graduation.
We used the wall as a giant card for everyone to sign as they came in for his graduation party. I got pictures of all of the messages and he will have this and not have to worry about keeping some big poster or card.
It also made a fun backdrop for pictures.
What have you made with chalkboard paint? It is So fun!
I’m posting this on these lovely blogs
Handy man, Crafty Woman – Wicked Awesome Wednesday
Organize & Decorate Everything - Home Decor & Organizing Party
Blue Cricket Design – Show & Tell
Creating a House of Grace – Twice Owned Party
Tip Junkie – Tip Me Tuesday
A Bowl Full of Lemons – One Project at a Time
I’m an Organizing Junkie – 52 Weeks
My Dining Room Reveal!
The decorating of my dining room took a little longer than I planned, but it is finished. (Well… ok, almost finished. I still have to finish the chairs. They will be black) It also inspired my new blog design … you’ll see!
Let’s go over the “before” pictures. By the way… your input really helped me.
I was told to move the corner china cabinet either out of the room (not an option) or into the corner in front to the left (that is where it went, so you won’t see it in the after pictures, but it is there)
I was told to move the pie safe out. I did that.
I was told to move the old lady flower swag out from over my window.. I threw it away. (It was falling apart when I took it down)
I was told to refinish the dining room table. I did that.
I’m going to show you a few things first (I love to tease)
I painted. Periwinkle. Actually it is from Glidden (although I had them match it with Behr paint) called Fresh Hyacinth (it is in the blue palette)
I did an extreme chandelier makeover
I redid the dining room table
I refinished the Ikea Hemnes sofa Table
Refinished the mirror and added some curtains.
I added a little fun
And some more fun…
So are you ready? Can you picture it yet?
Don’t forget.. the chairs will be all black soon.
Here are a couple other shots
And the other side
So let me take you on a little tour around the room.
The little white lamp is a for a candle. I found it at Old Time Pottery. The black one is the one from our farm that I painted black. The shade was already black. But we tried two different bulbs in it and it blew them both, so we won’t be plugging it in. I found the table runner at Hobby Lobby.
This plate server came from Hobby Lobby and the two plates came from Old Time Pottery. It has already come in handy for my son’s graduation party.
This wire bowl I found at the Salvation Army store for .99. I figured I would find something to put in it. When I was at Michael’s I saw this lemon display that looked so real. I thought it would work great. They tend to look at little orange in the picture, but in real life they look really real.
Remember those four little mirrors that I got from Ikea? I painted the two of the white and then I thought they needed a little bling. So I found the stickers at Hobby Lobby to put on them.
I haven’t put anything in the baskets yet. I’d like to figure out a liner for them first. But I did find a couple other things that worked well for the little slots above the baskets.
I found this at Hobby Lobby and it worked so well with the runner that I had to get it.
I got this wire basket at Old Time Pottery . I was looking for something to put napkins in.
Here is my other fun fine for only .90 at Old Time Pottery. It matched the look of the one I got at Hobby Lobby. I don’t don’t think we will put our silverware in it. I might get an extra set for it, or put the serving utensils. But it even had the same white stitching on the outside of it.
On the wall above it we have the mirror that I refinished.
Thankfully someone told me that the wall sconces went the direction I have them. Remember this? That is how I thought it went. Funny thing is when I was ready to hang them, my husband kept telling me that I was putting them upside down. LOL (yes, I did admit to him that I had first thought they went that way too.)
I found this cute “We” decoration at Hobby Lobby.
I also found the cute candle holder with the bling at Hobby Lobby. I showed you the “laugh” mirror above, that is what is right behind this candle holder.
Here are the other two mirrors.
I found these stickers at Hobby Lobby.
I love our letter “J”. It was gold, but I painted it the Dover white also.
Here is my plate wall. I found all the plates at Old Time Pottery. If I had more time (once I decided I was going to do a plate wall) I would have hit some garage sales etc. But I didn’t pay more than $2 for any of the plates.
I was pleased how it looked. The kids and my husband didn’t get it. “Are you going to write something on them?” “What else are you doing with them?” and of course, “Why are you hanging plain plates on the wall?” But they all admitted after the room was completed that they thought they looked good.
Here is my china cabinet hiding in the other corner. My sister said she would have painted it too.. but I just couldn’t bring myself to do that. I was so excited when I found this china cabinet (many years ago now). I looked all over for one and finally found it in an Amish store. I don’t mind that it is still brown, you don’t really see it when you first walk in anyway.
I took a dry erase board and used chalkboard paint on it, to create this. I then saw the saying (which I changed up quite a bit). My artistic ability isn’t the greatest. My son thought it looked like hair coming out of the coffee cup. I said… “No, it is whip cream and I added some brown to make it look like chocolate.” After I took this picture I added a lot more white and it does look a bit better now. I used the chalkboard markers to write on this.
I saw this plate at Hobby Lobby and passed it by on several trips. But when it was 50% off and only $5, I couldn’t resist it any longer.
I’m down to one wall to go! lol
I found my curtains at JC Penney’s
I purchased the black curtain rod and pull backs also. I didn’t have any curtains up before. I just had mini blinds (which I am going to replace as soon as I get some nicer wood ones – white of course). The curtains are nice, they are lined and I love the look of the fabric with the room.
The last thing is my “black wall”.
I told you in my sanding post I had that little chest of drawers that my mother loved. I painted it black and used chalkboard paint on the front of the drawers. I used my chalkboard markers to write the numbers on the drawers.
I found the trivets at Old Time Pottery. I had planned on using them actually, but I decided they looked much better on this wall.
Thanks for visiting my new dining room! What do you think?
Don’t forget you can link your decorating, organizing, DIY blog posts to my Organizing Mission Link party!
I’m linking this up to these lovely blogs!
Creating a House of Grace – Twice Owned Tuesdays
Tip Junkie – Tip Me Tuesday
A Bowl Full of Lemons – One Project at a Time
Thrifty Decor Chick – Before and After Party
Ask Anna – Weekend Warrior Link Party
Handy Man, Crafty Woman – Wicked Awesome Wednesday
Organize & Decorate Everything – Home Decor & Organizing Party
Blue Cricket Design – Show & Tell
I’m an Organizing Junkie – 52 Weeks
Refinishing Dining Room Accessories
We had this mirror up in the dining room. I wasn’t sure if I was going to use it or not. I knew I didn’t want to use it the way it was.
I purchased this from Old Time Pottery thinking I would use it.
But I decided to refinish the mirror instead.
Taping it off isn’t as easy as it seems. The blue tape didn’t want to stick that great to the edge of the glass. The wind would blow and it would flip the paper up. lol
But I did get it taken care of.
I found this little lamp on my husband’s work bench. He brought it back from the farm, intending to get rid of it. I never thought I would have used it. It had a gold stem….
But after I finished with it, it looked like this. I’m not going to show you the shade yet…. you’ll have to wait on that.
I bought a light switch cover and decided to paint it too.
I found these cute little mirrors at the Ikea store when I was there. I bought two of them that were painted black and two that were not painted.
Of course I painted the unpainted ones… my Dover white.
Then I spiced them up a bit.
I had this little chest of mini drawers that my mom gave me. She loved it.. so of course I love it even more because of that. You can also see the little lamp before it was painted too.
First comes the primer
Then I painted it. There’s something a little special about this that I’ll share later.
There you have it! You have a clue of some of the accessories I have in the dining room. The finished dining room is coming up soon!!!
Refinishing a Sofa Table
I originally wanted the black/brown Ikea Hemnes sofa table. I traveled to Cincinnati, Ohio to the Ikea store there (two hour drive) and they were out of the black/brown. ugh. I had my mind made up that I wanted that sofa table, so I decided to purchase the gray one and I would just paint it.
You can imagine my surprise when I opened the box (a few weeks later) and found it was white. It wouldn’t have been a problem other than the fact that the white cost $20 more. I can’t complain though, at Ikea you pick out the furniture yourself. I did have someone help me, but I didn’t check the box or the receipt. My first thought was, even though I wanted this black, my dining room accent colors are black and white…. so maybe it will look fine the way it is.
We moved it inside to where it would go, but I didn’t like it. This is bright white, my Dover white is just a shade off bright… more of a light ivory.
I also decided it would be easier to paint it put together. Anyone recognize this photo from my Guessing Game Post?
If you have never purchased anything from Ikea that has to be put together, you are in for a surprise when you look at the directions. No words…. only pictures. Really!
In steps the handy son…
The reason I wanted it put together first was because if you are painting you are going to want the project off the floor a bit. Otherwise you will have one side always having to lay down on the ground etc.
I had decided that I was going to paint the top, sides and front. I was going to leave the inside of the cubbies white.
I sanded the areas I was going to paint. The sides did not sand very well. I don’t think they were wood at all. I think it was more of a melamine or something maybe.
Then I primed it … and then used the same high gloss black paint that I used on my dining room table.
I taped off the edges so that the white wouldn’t get blotches of black on it. This was the first coat. I used three coats.
Then I used the MinWax top coat that I used on the dining room table. I only used it on the top of the sofa table.
I used three coats of this protective coat, sanding in between coats as instructed.
The sides never did turn out great. The paint just didn’t cover well.. what ever that material. But no one will really see the sides, so I didn’t stress.
Picture baskets in the bottom….. You’ll have to wait to see it in my finished dining room….. a few more days.
Refinishing The Dining Room Table
When I asked all of you what I should do to decorate my dining room, one of the things that I heard (and had been thinking about) was to refinish the dining room table.
My Inspiration Picture
I found an inspiration picture on Thrifty 101′s blog. I loved how the black shiny table top looked. I had been wondering what it would look like to have the two tone with black on top and after seeing hers, I was sold! What was even nicer was that she had the whole tutorial on how she did it. I followed it step by step too!
I first sanded the whole thing. Correction – the kids sanded 90% of it. I just got the places that were missed. You can see more on my sanding adventures on my post from yesterday about the Skil sander.
Once it was sanded I made sure that I wiped off all the dust particles. Then I primed the whole table.
Then I started with the legs. I used Dover white Krylon spray paint. (I have no idea why I didn’t get a picture of it… I have used it on anything “white” in my dining room.)
It took several coats. I was having a difficult time because the weather was not cooperating. It was very rainy and cold. So I was waiting for the proper weather. But I figured it made much more sense to do the white legs (with spray paint) first… then then finish with the black.
Next step…. start painting the top of the table. I made sure the legs were finished first. I wanted a high gloss finish, so I made sure to pick out the high gloss. I also made sure it was water based paint, since it was our dining room table (a point that Michelle pointed out on her post)
The guy from Home Depot recommended using a sponge roller to put on the paint. He said it won’t give you the lines that paintbrushes do and will give a smoother look than a regular roller.
The weather was being a little kinder, so it didn’t take me quite as long. I put on three coats.
The next step was to apply the coat of Polycrylic coat. I picked out the same thing that Michelle used (I told you I followed her directions! Why recreate the wheel?)
What I wasn’t real excited about with this step was that you have to sand inbetween coats. I was scared to death to do that first sanding! Of course it looked all scratched up and I wondered how the next coat would look clear and smooth. But it did. The can recommended three coats.
After the second coat…. I came out to find several little “star” shapes appear in the top coat. It was almost like a wind shield crack look.
Of course I was kind of freaking out thinking the whole thing was going to be ruined. But I have no idea why it did this. It was still a little cooler that day (60′s) and had been rainy the night before. That is the only thing I can think of. So…. I decided to sand a little deeper on those spots to see if they would go away.
You can imagine after the 3rd coat of top coat I was very scared to come out and see if it had happened again. I was relieved to see it was ok. There is still one small place that you can see if you look for it. But not bad, and I don’t think anyone else will notice it.
So here it is…
I’ll give you a little sneak peak of it in the dining room. But since I’m not revealing my dining room makeover for a few more days… you can’t see too much.
I am loving it. The chairs have not been done yet. I am going to paint those all black.
Stay tuned for more dining room progress before the reveal.
Making a Chain Cover Without Sewing
I knew that I wanted to make a chain cover for my new chandelier makeover, but I didn’t know how to do it. One of my problems is that I don’t have a sewing machine anymore.
So… what did I do? Of course…. I went to the internet to look. My search came up with “In My Own Style” blog. She had an entire tutorial step by step.
I first wrote down the supplies I was going to need and headed to the store.
I found the fabric I wanted (be careful if it frays easily. Mine really did and I did a lot of clipping of little threads)
What you will need:
1) Fabric – Measure the length of the cord to cover and double it. (I needed 16″ total in length) It needs to be 7″ wide.
2) Sticky sided velcro (make sure long enough to go the length of your cord)
3) Fabric glue
4) Needle & thread to match fabric (don’t worry, not much sewing)
Here is how I worked – I took my laptop upstairs to my room and followed what to do …step by step.
1) Heat up your iron
2) Iron your fabric
3) Turn the fabric in 1/4″ on all side. Press as you go.
Get your fabric glue (or you can use iron on fabric adhesive) This was the only brand that Joann Fabric’s has.
4) Then apply a thin coat in between the 1/4″ folded edge. Press lightly and let it dry for a few minutes.
Once it has dried…thread your needle (and use a needle threader if you are as blind as I’ve become for close up work)
5) Make a single stitch the length of the fabric – down each side. This will be going over the 1/4 ” fold. Only use a single thread (don’t double your thread). Knot the starting side.
I kept my stitches about this same size. If you look back behind the needle you can see a couple of the stitches. This worked fine. It is ok to go smaller, but remember you are going to be using this thread to do your gathering. If you want your gathering a little smaller looking, then it might not be a bad idea to make your stitches smaller.
Knot the end side also.
6) Mark the length that you need your chain cover to be. I laid the tape measure out on my table so I had a guide. I don’t have a fabric board that has nice measurements already on it. (Wish I did for something like this)
7) Take the thread and on one end gently pull it (gathering fabric as you do). I did a little on one side, then went to the other side. I didn’t want to have one side all gathered up and have them be really uneven.
8) Pull equally on both sides until the fabric measures the length you need.
I held mine up to make sure it looks like it will fit.
I did not get a picture of applying the velcro. I needed all my hands.
Get your Velcro ready to be used.
9) Apply the sticky Velcro carefully along the edges of the fabric right over top the gathers. I’m going to use one of Diane’s photos from In My Own Style. It helped me to understand that the velcro really would stick to the gathered edges.
Pay attention to what side you are sticking the Velcro to. One has to go on the finished side and one has to go on the unfinished side. I just rolled the fabric so that it would be right side out and pretended to wrap it around my chain. You can easily tell which side to stick the velcro on when you do this.
10) Clip any loose threads or frays you might still have. Attach the chain cover to the chandelier and position it to best cover the entire chain.
I love how this turned out!
I didn’t have to worry about waiting to get my chandelier back up on the ceiling (once it’s makeover was complete) because I didn’t have my chain cover finished. Dave hung it back up and I finally got a chance to get to the chain cover yesterday.
It’s especially good if you aren’t making over your entire chandelier, you might just want to make the chain cover.
No sewing machine.. so easy. Just follow the steps. Thanks so much Diane for showing me how to do this!! I was thinking I was going to have to pay someone to make this for me. Ugh… that would have been dumb.
Low Cost Makeover
Our outdoor house lights were in need of a replacement or makeover real bad. They looked terrible. The brass on the light fixtures was all wearing off. I actually thought one of the lights had caught on fire at some point because it was so black looking.
Enter the terrible house lights. Two of the four. These two were by the garage, and there are two more by the front door.
We went to Home Depot to look for new lights. Hubby picked out some gosh awful ugly ones that were only $30 for two. (No wonder they were so cheap, no one liked them). Of course the ones I liked were all over $50 a piece. We certainly weren’t in the mood to spend over $200 on the outdoor lights.
So I thought, if I am redoing other items in the house with spray paint, why can’t I redo these lights too? So Dave took them all down for me and I disassemble them.
I first used primer and primed everything.
I gave them 2 coats each.
Dave wanted me to get the spray paint that gave the stone appearance. Why not?
It was so strange going on. I felt like I was spraying a thick sand on the lights. This was the first coat.
I painted all the little screws that would show and the backs etc.
Notice this picture? It was one of the ones in the guessing game post.
The pieces of glass were so dirty.
Each light had five panels of glass. I used ammonia and water to clean them.
I sprayed on two coats.
Putting these suckers back together was not real easy. I’m sure there was probably an easier way, but I didn’t know of it. I used two of the triplets to hold and the third to grab the pieces.
Each one was a little easier than the first though.
I then used a Stone Sealer spray that was recommended.
Here is the finished products.
I think it came out great. I never minded the shape of the light, just the worn off brass finish.
Now to get them hung back up.
I was a little concerned because up close it didn’t really seem to match that great. But from a distance it blends in just fine.
I was really happy how they turned out. Instead of spending $75 on lights that I thought were really ugly, or spending well over $200 on lights that I liked – we spend about $24 (the primer, paint and sealer were all around $8 each)
Don’t forget to link up to my Organizing Mission Link Party this week if you have any organizing, cleaning or DIY posts!
Guess What Each Uncompleted Project Is.
I have not been able to complete all of the projects I started this weekend. Mostly because of the weather change. Rain and cold are the forcast all week. Not great for painting when the temps are in the low 50′s and humid.
I, or I should say we; because the whole family helped – did get a lot accomplished this last weekend.
I’m going to give you a few picture hints. Let’s see if you have an idea of what project they are from.
I have my part of this project finished, but I need my husband to help with the last little bit.
This is only about 1/2 way completed
Hmmmm…. what could these be for?
This needs some finish work. It is about 80% completed
This project is about 98% complete. Any ideas what these are?
So how do you handle things when timing doesn’t work out? Are you calm and collected and think…no big deal. Or are you anxious and frustrated?
I have to admit that usually I tend to get anxious and frustrated. It depends on what the situation is, and what the project is.
But I like schedules, I like to be on time, I like to do what I say I’m going to do. I don’t like it when things slip. But I’m far from perfect and I do let things slip and slide at times. I am occasionally late for things (especially if I am not sure about the directions! lol) but I hate it.
I will get these projects completed as soon as I’m able. I’m anxious for them to be completed and for you all to see them.
I want to hear your guesses!!