Friday, April 18, 2014

Fresh Spring Decor!

Easter is just a few days away, and I'm hosting, so I figured I better get my act together and get some Spring decor up around our house! I haven't shown you a holiday "mantel" in a while, because honestly, I haven't done one since Christmas! Christmas was such a decor extravaganza this year, that it's taken me a while to want to pull seasonal decor out again. While I've really loved having this little hutch/nook clean and free for a few months, it was also really fun to play with some fresh and simple decor this week!

Spring Mantel 2014-001

This Spring display absolutely has strong ties to last year's mantel - for one, I didn't have a ton of time to change it up. But also, I just love the bright shamrock green paired with yellow for Spring. It just feels so fun and fresh to me! So if it's working, why change it, right?

Spring Mantel 2014-002

I did make a few upgrades/improvements for this year, using all items and supplies I had around the house. First, I added this adorable bunting to my forsythia wreath. I bought the wooden "pennants" at Michaels a while back (seriously LOVE the new wooden collection over there!). I dug them out and painted them bright green. I wasn't up for cutting out vinyl letters, so I was super excited to see some of my gold sticker letters were just the right size and texture to complete the banner! It's held together with green and white twine.

Spring Mantel 2014-003

My bunnies (from Target Dollar Spot last year) and my green and yellow eggs (from Michaels last year) were given some fresh styling, and my little birdies got yet another makeover. 

Spring Mantel 2014-004

These little birds have been used in a lot of my holiday displays. Love the bright pop of green up in this "nest" - which is just a mini mirror (from Target) on top of a extra large candle pedestal. The paper is brown craft paper cut into strips and crumpled up.

Spring Mantel 2014-005

I snagged a potted plant in a bright green bucket (from Marshalls) from the dining room and added my favorite little bird houses (Target Dollar Spot years ago). 

Spring Mantel 2014-006

All together, it's a really fun, fresh and cheery Spring display!

Spring Mantel 2014-007

I absolutely love this hutch/mirror nook for our seasonal displays, but (as I say all the time), the mirror is a total pain for taking pictures! How come my best shot with great lighting and focus is the one with me smack dab in the middle. Boo. Oh well - here's me wishing you a Happy Easter!

Spring Mantel 2014-008

I'm hosting a pretty casual yet festive Easter lunch this weekend, using this same color scheme. I'll have photos of how it all came together up here for you Monday! Until then...have a great weekend and Happy Easter!

Spring Mantel 2014-009

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

DIY Drawer Dividers (using what you've got!)

When I gave Henry's bedroom dresser/hutch a makeover (read all about it HERE), his drawers were also in much need of a purge and sort session! Out went the winter and too-small clothes, and his new three-year-old summer wardrobe got moved to lower drawers so that he can get to them himself. In our old setup, we used canvas bins to hold everything from socks to hats to shoes; but in this latest transformation, those bins were no longer needed!

Henry's Jungle Hutch-013

However, it didn't take me long to go a little crazy with all of H's little socks and shoes and "accessories" floating around in a single drawer. While my gut was to add a drawer organizer to my post-Lent shopping list, I knew I could DIY my own version from things I had around the house!

I started by measuring the internal dimensions of Henry's top left drawer - measure these dimensions exact here, you want these to fit snug so they stand up straight and don't move. I then cut out two rectangles from some variegated cardboard I had leftover from a few other projects. My rectangles were 6" high (almost the same height as the drawer); and then one rectangle was cut to the drawers depth and one cut to the drawers width.

DIY Drawer Dividers-002

To make this a super simple project, I could have just popped these into his drawer and called it a day, but I had a tiny bit of green striped contact paper leftover from THIS project that I decided to give the drawer a fun little pop of pattern. My method for covering things like this is pretty simple. Start by cutting a rectangle sheet of contact paper about 1" wider and 1" taller than the cardboard rectangle. Notch out the corners with a scissors and fold the ends over to the other side of the rectangle.

DIY Drawer Dividers-003

Next, cut a rectangle about 1/2" shorter than the height and width of the cardboard rectangle and lay it over the backside of the rectangle to cover up the folds from the first side.

DIY Drawer Dividers-004

Next, find the center of each rectangle and cut a slit half-way into the board. Insert one rectangle into the other and adjust your cuts (as necessary) so the two rectangles end up the same height.

DIY Drawer Dividers-005

If you measured right, the cardboard dividers should squeeze right in and stay in place without a problem!

DIY Drawer Dividers-006

The last step is to load it up and enjoy some order where there was previously chaos!!

DIY Drawer Dividers-007

Sometimes little projects like these can make such a huge difference. This little update cost me nothing and took about 10 minutes. So simple for added connivence in every day things like putting laundry away and quickly finding socks and shoes when it's time to go!

DIY Drawer Dividers-001

Just an FYI - my original plan was to line all the drawers in this hutch in this same green and white paper - you know me, I love having pattern in my drawers, so I hate posting these pics without it! I thought I had enough contact paper but discovered (after this project) my roll was lighter than I thought and I only had enough for one drawer - shucks. Before I used up that last little section, I decided to wait and see if I could find more or find another pattern that will work with his room color scheme. To be continued on that front I guess!

I'm hosting Easter this year and there isn't a lick of Easter or Spring decor around here - time for me to get on that. I hope to have a Spring update for you here by the end of the week. See you then!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Another Craft Organization Post

It seems like the minute I hit "publish" on my "final" craft room reveal post a few months back, I was back re-organizing the space AGAIN for what felt like the gazillionth time in the last two years. Okay - so maybe I am exaggerating a bit...but this room has been re-organized a lot, and I get that you might be over it already. I kinda hate to hit you with yet another craft room organization post for this space. But for one, I like to keep things real around here and show you what I am up to lately (and this one took a good bit of thought and time so I might as well share it!). AND, the reality is some spaces in our homes and our lives just need to be re-visited and re-analyzed over and over in order to get them working just right. 

Admittedly, there was absolutely nothing wrong with the way this craft space was working. Actually, I genuinely thought this space was DONE and was loving how the space felt and functioned. Everything had a place, I could reach and find everything, and it didn't feel too full or cluttered. But then my Mom died. My Mom, who was an incredibly gifted and lifetime crafter, also had an enormous craft "stash" that she left behind (and this time I'm not exaggerating when I say enormous!). In the wake of her death and dealing with all of her stuff, my sister (also a talented crafter) and I got to inherit a good bit of my mother's lovely fabrics, notions and tools (including two new sewing machines!). In what felt like an instant, my perfectly organized craft space was over-run, and I had to give a whole lot of thought and effort to get the room back to where I needed it to be!

The main problem I was facing was fabric. Until this latest re-org, my fabric was stored on mini "bolts" on the open shelves above my craft counter. However, there was no more room up there to house the fabric I just inherited from my mom. I like to keep all of my "like things" together, so I had to find a new home for all of my fabric. Bummer, because this solution was actually working pretty well!

Craft Room Craft Wall-017

The only option I could really come up with was the closet. Now, I've only shown you the closet once before, when I made the labels for the baskets HERE. These baskets held all sorts of random craft supplies and notions; and although it didn't look that spectacular, it was functioning great. But I had a feeling the cube shelves were the ideal candidates for organizing my fabric collection.

Craft Room Craft Wall-018

And I was right! After A LOT of hemming and hawing about whether to swap out all the baskets (and the supplies in them!) for the fabric, I finally went for it. It took a lot of fabric re-wrapping, as well as some much-needed purging to get it all to fit, but now all my fabric is in one tidy (and mighty pretty) spot!

Craft Room Craft Wall-019

The top 6 cubes hold all quilting fabric, including a hefty dose of white fabric I brought home from my Mom's house. I really like to craft and quilt with white fabric, so I snagged it whenever I found some - turns out I brought home a lot of white!!! The bottom 3 cubes hold all my home decor fabric. I didn't get any good pictures (because it's a tricky angle to get), but there are three more cubes to the left of these nine that also hold fabric. The bottom cube holds specialty fabrics, the middle holds flannels, and the white basket holds all my pre-cuts (fat quarter bundles, charm packs, etc).

Craft Room Craft Wall-020

You might notice that I also have a different cardstock storage solution as well. I explained HERE how I used to store my paper, sorted by color, in these flat plastic boxes.

Craft Room Craft Wall-021

Well, my Mom had a nice big supply of paper too, and so my collection expanded beyond what I could fit in the plastic boxes. What started as a temporary solution in this plastic tub turned out to be perfect. I love that I can see all my colors at one shot, and getting one sheet out is no problem. Plus, the bin is just high enough that my paper doesn't bend or fall! I have found my old plastic boxes are perfect for holding scraps or half sheets of used paper, still sorted by color. This bigger bin in the closet now only holds full sheets!

Craft Room Craft Wall-022

So what about all those white baskets that were holding a bunch more of my craft supplies in the closet? Well, they essentially swapped place with the fabric. And while I was almost positive I was not going to like this solution, I actually love the baskets up on these shelves! On the left side, I have three baskets that hold my newly-inherited embroidery machine supplies (i.e., hoops, bobbins, etc); all my stabilizer, interfacing and bonding materials; and my gift bags and gift ribbon.

Craft Room Craft Wall-024
Craft Room Craft Wall-023

On the right-side shelf, I have three more baskets that hold fabric scraps, my new yarn collection, and some random decor items that I've picked up and don't yet have a home for (i.e., random picture frames and accessories).

Craft Room Craft Wall-026
Craft Room Craft Wall-025

I'm not sure why I was so against these white baskets on the top shelves, because I actually think they make the whole space feel lighter and brighter and less cluttered, at least compared to the stacks of fabric. These few pictures make it look like the whole swap was a simple process, but to get to this point (below) took days of chaos!

Craft Room Craft Wall-027

I really do love having all my fabric, down at eye-level and standing upright inside the cubbies in the closet. I feel like I can look through my fabric and find what I am looking for so much easier; and putting away is also a breeze compared to having to get a stool each and every time. The items that are now in the baskets up high are things I don't use each and every day, so it really makes more sense to store them up there. Win win all the way around!

Craft Room Craft Wall-028

I'm thankful that with a few solid days of sorting and purging (of some stuff I really haven't used in a while!), I was able to get this craft room back to a place where I could function normally again. All my new items now fit alongside my old stuff; and in the process, I may have made this space function even better! With the exception of setting up (and learning!) my new sewing machines, I am now calling this space DONE! (I hope I really mean it this time, for your sake and mine!)

I hope you all have a great start to your week! I'll be back on Wednesday with a simple DIY storage solution for the Little Guy's room!

Friday, April 11, 2014

A Colorful Jungle Hutch

Happy Friday Everyone! I hope you all had a great week and are looking forward to the weekend ahead. I finally feel like I am getting into a groove for the first time in months, back to project-ing and blogging at my usual pace - yay! I am all set for a weekend out in the garage painting a fun piece of furniture - I am super excited about it and can't wait to reveal it here on the blog - hopefully soon!

In the meantime, I wanted to share some fun progress I made in Henry's "big boy" room makeover. Progress in here has been slow-going, but it hasn't been because of lack of ideas or inspiration - more a lack of time! This past week, I knocked out some quick and easy updates to one side of his room that made a fun and big difference!

Today, I want to chat about his dresser and hutch...

Henry's Jungle Hutch-001

This dresser/hutch combo used to be Henry's changing table; but once he was potty trained and we got rid of the changing pad, it just became a landing zone for random things looking for a new home. Last weekend I couldn't stand the clutter anymore and got to work! I started like I do most makeovers and projects: with a clear surface. Everything came out, including the shelves!

Henry's Jungle Hutch-002

I had THIS inspiration in the back of my brain for some time now, and I knew I had all the supplies in my craft stash to pull off a similar look. So after a few days, some quick and easy projects and styling, here we are now!

Henry's Jungle Hutch-003

So fun, right?!? I'm going to walk you through everything I did - it was all super easy! 

I started with the chevron backdrop. I measured the back inside of the hutch and added an inch to both the length and width. I then cut out the appropriate measurements from some black and white chevron fabric I had in my stash. I folded over each edge 1/2" and ran my sewing machine down each edge to hem all the sides. I then sewed some sew-on 1" wide Velcro across the entire top and bottom of my fabric rectangle.

Henry's Jungle Hutch-004

I use Velcro a lot around my house, so thankfully I had enough for this project! I like the sew-on/stick-on combo, so I can sew one side onto my fabric and stick on the other side to my solid surface, in this case my hutch. I ran the adhesive Velcro across the entire top and bottom of the inside of the hutch and then attached my fabric rectangle using the Velcro I had sewn directly onto the fabric. I pulled everything nice and taught so the fabric laid smooth. I was amazed how much brighter the whole unit felt already!

Henry's Jungle Hutch-005

Next, while catching up on some TV shows, I sat and made a bunch of large pom poms using yarn from my mother's immense yarn supply. These were really fun to make, although it took me a few tries to get the hang of it. I used THIS tutorial. To string them together, I used some basic white string and a needle, knotting the pom poms at 8ish" intervals.

Henry's Jungle Hutch-006

The pom pom bunting is hung on the hutch using mini clear command hooks!

Henry's Jungle Hutch-007

My next little project was to give some new life to some old wooden animals - I showed you how I did these on Wednesday - get the details HERE if you missed it!

Henry's Jungle Hutch-008

Next, it was all about shopping Henry's room, his toys, and the house to find just the right accessories to finish off this nook!

Henry's Jungle Hutch-009

Some frames from his old gallery wall were given some new and updated images: one with Mom and one with Dad! 

Henry's Jungle Hutch-010

This picture of Henry with his Dad is one of my all-time favorites. It was snapped at "take your child to work" day - they both have their own copy of the picture with the same Winnie the Pooh phrase on it. The wooden alligator is from one of Henry's play block sets!

Henry's Jungle Hutch-012

The hat box with the animals on it is actually a busy box I made for him when he was a baby. Now it's a memory box that holds special letters and mementos. I was SO excited when I realized it matched his new room theme - what luck! So it came out of the closet and now sits on the hutch for all to see!

Henry's Jungle Hutch-011

A few other accessories from his room and around the house round out the overall look. The H was from his old gallery wall; the plant used to be out in the dining room, and the lamp was a Target find that had been banished to the garage every since his matching partner got broken! He's much safer and happier up here!

Henry's Jungle Hutch-013

I absolutely love this little hutch transformation. Now, it's no longer an eye sore in the room, but a fun and useful display space! It's wild and fun and everything I hoped Henry's new room would be!

Henry's Jungle Hutch-014

My favorite part is that I stuck to my no-spending Lenten promise and did this entire thing using stuff already in our house! Not bed, huh?

Henry's Jungle Hutch-015

Finishing up this hutch really lit a fire in me to get the rest of the room moving. I have two big project reveals for this space (hopefully) coming up here soon! While I work away, I hope you all have a great weekend!

Henry's Jungle Hutch-016

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Treasures from the Basement: Wild & Wonderful Wooden Animals

For those of you who read my blog posts somewhat carefully, you may have noticed that on several occasions over the last 2 months, I've mentioned things like "marathon organization weekends" and "cleaning out," and "purging." While I do things pretty frequently in my own home, I have actually been referring to my oldest very first home. In the wake of my mother's death, my sisters and I (alongside my father) have begun the Herculean task of cleaning out my childhood home, a house my parents have lived in for over 30 years. 

To say the least, it has already been a humbling and exhausting experience sorting through a lifetime of memories, collections, and treasures as well as a hefty dose of junk and trash. In the coming months, I will likely talk about this experience in various ways and from various angles; in fact, I've already written a long reflection about the accumulation of "stuff" after one of our cleaning weekends. But one of the things I am really excited to chat about here on the blog are the "treasures" I have un-earthed, dragged home, and transformed or incorporated into our home. 

I'll have a series of these posts in the coming months, as I have found quite a load of fun finds in the depths of my parents' home! As I tackle each one, I'll reveal it here on the blog and title them "Treasures from the Basement:_______." Let's start with a simple find I tackled right away: some lovely wooden animals destined for the charity box!

Wild Wooden Animals-001

When my sister and I came across these wooden elephant bookends, we laughed, then cringed and then literally almost threw them into the donation box. And then in a blink of an eye, I looked at my sister excited and wide-eyed and said "Henry's new jungle bedroom!!!!!!" She thought I was nuts, but I had a vision, and so these came home with me!

Wild Wooden Animals-002

This before picture is a little deceiving; the wooden backings are actually held on with hinges and are meant to go under the books while the elephants stand up right. I started their transformation by removing the wooden bases, priming the bookends with spray primer, and giving them each 2 good coats of high-gloss orange spray paint (from my stash!). Once they were dry, I used a small brush and some white craft paint to paint the husks back to white!

Wild Wooden Animals-003

Once they were dry, I added them to the bookshelf/hutch in Henry's bedroom (which has gotten quite the makeover, I'll be sharing on Friday!). Guys, I LOVE these elephants! I know they are crazy weird, but I love the high-gloss orange pop and that they bring out the subtle jungle theme I'm working into this room. Talk about a a great FREE accessory for this room makeover!

Wild Wooden Animals-004
Wild Wooden Animals-005
Wild Wooden Animals-006

Another find was this wooden (3-legged) rhino. I'm bummed his leg is broken, but I knew he'd work so well in Henry's room, I just had to bring him home and give him a quick makeover too!

Wild Wooden Animals-007

He also got a coat of spray primer, but then I discovered my can of yellow spray paint was mostly empty - whoops! In an effort to keep this a free project (I'm trying not to spend, remember?!?), I used three coats of yellow craft paint instead. Honestly, I always forget about my craft paints for projects like these, but I shouldn't. You can get great saturated color for a fraction of the cost in a much wider array of colors - it just takes a few more coats. Despite missing a leg, this guy is a sunny addition to this same hutch!

Wild Wooden Animals-008
Wild Wooden Animals-009

These were fun projects to up-cycle for Henry's new room makeover. Using 100% stuff I already had on hands (combined with basement finds!), these wooden creatures went from tacky to tasteful....and pretty darn fun if I do say so myself!

Wild Wooden Animals-010

After weeks of slow progress, I feel like I am FINALLY moving on Henry's room makeover. I am hoping to have this hutch update done and up for you here on the blog by the end of the week! See you then!


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