{Site currently under construction. Grace for my mess?}

Monday, January 31, 2011

By Request -- Coffee Can Upcycle

Hi Friends,

Someone mentioned wanting to see more of the coffee can storage that you got a peek at in my laundry room makeover, so here ya go.  Another free and fun trash-to-treasure makeover using only what I already had on hand (office tags, rubber stamps, empty coffee cans, and leftover wrapping paper):

Started with this:

And here's how the finished project came out:

And here they are in my sewing area, holding all my notions:

This would be a really cute way to organize scrapbook supplies also, and dress up a crafty space at the same time.  Use scrapbook paper, wrapping paper, newspaper, book pages, etc., and any size can -- juice cans, veggie cans, large coffee cans, etc.  I'm thinking I'll have to start saving every can we use from now on (especially if I hope to EVER reign in my abundance of scrapbook supplies)!

Have Fun and Get Smitten!
Linking up to: 

  mmm button The Girl Creative

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Free Valentine's Printables

Hi friends.  I have to be honest, with all these boys in the house, a birthday next week and a big trip ahead of us in a few weeks (we're going back to Oregon for a visit, YAY!) I had kind of planned on skimming over V-day this year.  Much as I love love and all things that represent it, I just wasn't feeling in the groove.  BUT, hopping around Blogland and seeing all your adorable creations put me in the mood to at least do a cute table display and a "mantle" (which is actually the top of a sideboard in my dining room, since we don't have a fireplace or a mantle in this house).  I haven't done the mantle decor yet, but I did put together a little printable for anyone that needs some Valentine's cheer.  Just print it out and pop it any old frame you have lying around, and ... voila!  V-Day Decor.  Or cut it out and slap it on some red cardstock... instant Valentine to give your sweetheart.

 To use, click on the image above (to enlarge), then right click to save it to your computer.  You can then use your own software to adjust the size if needed.  You're welcome!  :)

Edited to add:  Here's another little printable.  I needed two, so I thought I'd share the other one I made too, in case anyone else can use them.  Thought it was worth remembering the ultimate gift of love when celebrating on this hearts and candy day.

Linking to the always wonderful Saturday Night Special at Funky Junk Interiors:

Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special mmm button

Thursday, January 27, 2011

My $2.34 laundry room makeover

Sew, I loved my new 'sew' sign sew much (see below) that I decided I sew had to have another one.  ;)

Only this one says 'Wash', to go above the washer/dryer.  While I was at it, I figured I might as well take this whole creativity blitz a step further and just makeover the whole darn laundry/sewing room while I was in there.  I needed some cheeriness, and that turned out to be just what the doctor ordered.  Without further ado (and, with apologies for the sub-par photo quality)...

First, the awful(ly embarrassing) BEFORE shots:

Aaaannnndddd.... the AFTER: 

 This room truly is a multipurpose room.  Our back door is the one with the red curtains, and it gets a pretty fair share of foot traffic.  This is not only our laundry and ironing room, but our mudroom, sewing room, storage room, kitchen extension (our 2nd fridge is in here), coat room, and bottled water central (we can't drink the water on campus -- it's horrifically icky, so we go through a LOT of bottled water). 


The bones of this room are terrible -- ugly wood cupboards, 80's linoleum, and busted, yellowing walls with crooked switch plates.  My decorating challenge is (always) that I can't paint the walls or anything attached (like, the awful cupboards), or change the flooring or do anything remotely permanent.

The photos don't show it but I hung bulletin boards down the side of the refrigerator in there, and hung vintage prints of 50's housewives giving laundry tips on them for another touch of cuteness.  Best of all, the only thing I bought for this room was the $2.34 tension rod that I hung the brown curtain across (it's peeking just to the left of the "s-e-w" signs and hides a massive shelving area which stores my fabric and sewing supplies and other house miscellany).  The red polka dot containers in the sewing area house my sewing notions (and were made from used-up coffee cans and wrapping paper).  I already had the shelving and stuff on hand.  Yay!

Ok, I know... waaaaaaay too excited about a laundry room, but a girl's gotta get excited about the little things, amiright? 

Weird lighting, I know... sorry.  The sign says 'sew'.  Every room in this house has fluorescent overhead lighting, including the bedroom (yuk!  Hellooooo migraines), so I compensated with a little table lamp.  Not so great for photo-taking, but much easier on my poor aching head.  Does anyone else get migraines from fluorescent lights?  No?  Just me then...

Well, that's it for my little laundry room.  Next is my the master bedroom (which I'm aiming to do for less than $20 and that's a MAJOR job... so wish me luck!).  So far, I've stuck to my "do something creative every day" project and its felt GREAT.  I think I underestimated the value of creative work in my daily life.  Good on the endorphins, methinks!

Thanks for stopping in!

Have fun and get smitten...

Monday, January 24, 2011

S-E-W Cute!

I started my self-challenge (see previous post) off on a good note, by making these wall letters to hang in my laundry/sewing room.  I wanted the individual letters but they were too spendy since my laundry room is supposed to be a $0 makeover.

Super easy project, which could have been even easier.  I just used some thin canvas boards that I had on hand, (which I think you can buy for under $1 a piece) and printed the letters out on regular paper.  I then used an X-acto knife to cut out the letters, trace them onto the boards, then filled them in with Sharpie and freehanded the "stitching" around the letters with a yellow-orange permanent marker.  It would have been even easier using the Cricut for the stencils or even using vinyl (which I plan to do for a matching set that says "WASH" for the laundry area, just to speed it up a tad).  Then I stuck some sticky tabs to the back to hang, and voila!  Cute!

The Cure for What Ails Me

Here's the thing.

My current life circumstances and, as much as I hate to admit it, my own negative attitude, have had me in a pretty deep slump lately.  I'm feeling rather caged in and penned up, straightjacket style, of late.  Because I tend to be a "life is what you make it" person, this helpless feeling of not being able to change things for myself (at least not with my dignity intact) is adding fuel to the woe-is-me fire. 

If there's anything I hate, its a pouter.  I can't stand when people whine and gripe about their life and do nothing to change it, and here I am griping it up with the best of 'em.


"If you don't like something, change it.  If you can't change it, change the way you look at it."


I'm committing to take action, over the next several months, to change the way I look at things.  There are a few major players in the misery game for me.  One is a lack of opportunity/time/space to be creative and the other is, as silly as it sounds, living in an ugly house.  Since I spend approximately 99% of my life inside my house (working, living, teaching, parenting, etc.), it's been a real battle to have to do all that living amongst fluorescent lighting in every room, obnoxious floral print couches, and 80's swag curtains.  That's something I can't change.  Really, living here comes with the territory of our work out here, and I'm pretty limited in the amount of creative freedom I have when it comes to this house and its contents.  However, there are things I can do, and the back of the house (our "apartment"), which consists of 2 bedrooms and a bathroom, is basically mine to do with what I please (as long as I don't wish to paint or wallpaper or do anything else permanent-ish).  The kids room is pretty decked out already, but I'm realizing how much I need a peaceful sanctuary from the chaos that comes alongside this kind of work.  Also, I know that little changes can make a big difference, and a sprucing up here and ruffled pillow there will give me a reason to smile, at least for a moment.

Anyway... my project... I am promising you, oh elusive and possibly nonexistant reader of this here blog, to undertake something creative every day.  And I don't mean daydreaming or thinking, but actual hands-on making or doing.  I am not going to limit myself to decorating -- I've lots of writing ideas piling up in my brain, so that will count, too, but I am going to make creativity a priority in my life, again, if for no other reason than the happy distraction it will serve for me.

I will try, as often as possible, to share my results and tread back into the blog world again, where I can find some inspiration and companionship in this creative journey.

But be easy on me.  Carving out time to pee alone is a monumental task on most days around here, so there will be days when I blow it.  Still, even if its 5 minutes at a time, I purpose to do whatever I can to beautify this home, one day at a time, and express my oh-so-tortured creative brain.  Deal?

Now, to get the kiddos set up with an assignment and begin to tackle my laundry room.  Photos to come...

Sunday, January 23, 2011

In Which I Pout and Whine

I miss Oregon.

I miss my family and my church back "at home".

I miss freedom and quiet mornings.  I miss time to read blogs and comment on blogs and post on my own blog.  I miss Etsy.

I miss garage sales, thrift shops, and flea markets.  I miss having a house and making a home and making a living.

I miss writing, crafting, painting, updating and re-purposing.

At the moment, I'd like to repurpose my life.  If only I could do that with just some sandpaper and a can of aqua spray paint.  Red hair dye is the best I got, but it's sat in my bathroom for 7 weeks now waiting for the time to apply it.  Hmph.