Have you ever been to the iheartfaces site? If not you should check it out. They have all kinds of photography tips and tutorials. Plus, a lot of inspiring photos. Each month they host a photo contest with a different challenge. This month the challenge is smile. I decided to enter this photo of Jbug & JD. She loves JD so much and I think it shows in the picture.
I shot this with my new Sigma 50mm 1.4 lens. This was my first time using the lens or an aperature that large. I was really just testing the lens but was really happy with how the photos turned out. I have a lot more practice ahead of me though. Good thing I have two cute little subjects to pose for me chase around snapping pictures.
It isn’t too late to enter. They are taking submissions through saturday.
Cleaning and organizing is not something I consider fun unless it involves building or decorating something at the same time. So sorting and organizing fall to the bottom of my list. That changed recently because I got stuck on an actual project. Stuck enough I just put it to the side. But I told myself I can’t do any other projects until that one is done so I started organizing and cleaning out closets and cabinets instead. I told you about the basement cleanup here, since then I have also cleaned the linen closet and coat closet. I should have taken before pictures but I just jumped right in and cleaned them out. It is amazing how much room you have when you get rid of all the extra junk that accumulates. Next I cleaned off the refrigerator and organized our coupons. Here is what it looked like before:
and after (sorry for all the crappy cell phone pics- I don’t have a wide angle lens for my camera)
I had the basket from IKEA in the basement so I grabbed these strong magnetic hooks and had the perfect file system to keep everything in order and under control. My friend had given me the patterned files years ago and I was happy to find they fit perfectly in the basket. Now I have a place for coupons, receipts, invitations, tax papers, etc.
Next I tackled most of our cabinets. The top pantry cabinets were becoming the dumping ground for anything and everything.
I started with taking everything out of the cabinets and sorting out any non kitchen items. Then I got rid of things we didn’t use. Next I thought about problem areas and how I could fix them. For example, my baking cabinet was overflowing and it is also the cabinet with the best pull outs and storage yet isn’t used daily. The main problem with the baking cabinet is that Jbug gets in it and gets out the brown sugar and chocolate chips to add to her snack container. So moving all the baking items to an upper pantry shelf was an easy decision. The baking cabinet then became the perfect place for all of our canned goods which made it easy to see them compared to where they were before.
The cookbooks were moved to a place I can actually reach them and the cookie sheets went to the top pantry cabinet so we don’t end up throwing more junk up there.
One base cabinet has all the appliances which aren’t used often.
Another pantry cabinet has our small appliances we use more (I plan to add an electrical source soon) which cleared the clutter off of the counter. So the good part about cleaning the cabinets is that our kitchen is a lot more efficient now and we even have 2 almost empty ones.
The bad part is we can’t find anything! I’m sure we will get used to it soon.
The best news is I was brave enough to start on my intimidating project again and it is actually going pretty well. Here is a sneak peak. Hope to get the final product finished and posted soon!
I just joined the 40 Bags in 40 days challenge! You can find out more about it at DomesticImperfection. It just started yesterday so there is time to catch up. For my first day I sorted my summer clothes and got rid of a small bin full!
So since cleaning up the basement I have become obsessed with organizing closets around my home. I’ve cleaned out and organized both the linen closet and the coat closet and I can’t believe how much room we have now and how much better they look and function. Thinking about closets I realized I never showed you where Jbug’s play kitchen ended up. Yep, in a closet. A boring beige closet.
The cute little play kitchen needed a more fun backdrop so I started “scheming” up some ideas and inspiration struck in the form of a sock. Sounds strange but it is completely true. Inspiration is everywhere! Absolutely everywhere. In my defense it is a completely adorable toddler sock and not a nike gym sock. Here is the sock.
How cute is it? I love the pattern and mix of colors and thought it would be a fun background to Jbug’s play kitchen area. I briefly researched wallpaper but it is pricey and I have never hung it before anyway. Stenciling crossed my mind too but then I was looking through my craft supplies and ran across some removable wall vinyl (oracal 631) I had purchased for a nursery project I never completed. Hmmmmm…this could work. Cutting out 100 birds didn’t sound fun though but a paper punch could work. I searched the internet for bird paper punches and came across this one. It is a nice large size and I got it for $15. Then one evening while watching “the Mindy Project “ I punched out a big pile of birds. To keep my birds straight I used yarn and some painters tape and a level.
The whole project came together pretty quickly and the best part is it was cheap and is removable!
Her fridge is pretty stocked now, more than our refrigerator!
I also found this cute little rug for $3 and the hand towel for $1 at Target. They look so cute with her little kitchen.
I just love her little kitchen and now, the closet it is in too!
One of my goals this year is to get my entire house organized, more functional and more beautiful. A pretty big goal but I have a whole year ahead of me to work toward it. I realized in the last month or two that I am becoming a hoarder and that is a scary realization. My basement is starting to look something like this:
Well maybe, not quite that bad but it is heading that way. If you type in hoarders on google you will either feel pretty good about yourself or decide you need to start cleaning and organizing now!
I have been hauling home furniture, wood, craft supplies, paint, fabric and all kinds of project materials for almost 5 years…and it is all piled in the basement. Plus all of Jbug’s old clothes, cloth diapers, toys and other baby supplies. The basement is the same size as our house and I can hardly find room to do a project or make a path for Jbug to ride her tricycle. I decided it needed to get cleaned up which made Greg very happy because he hates the big mess it has become. I made a deal with him that if I clean it all up I get the new camera I’ve been eyeing, which he happily agreed to! I really want that camera by spring so I have been working hard.
After buying new shelves and getting a lot of the keep stuff out of the way I was able to clear a corner to organize my tools. This is my tool area before. Half of the tools are spread throughout the house so I want them all to have a home so I can actually find them.
I seriously spend 20 plus minutes trying to locate tools and materials when I work on projects. It is frustrating and nap time isn’t long enough to waste a single minute. Getting an organized workspace is a priority. I decided on a solid wood workbench from harborfreight. I didn’t want to spend a lot of my Christmas money because I will need it to buy lenses for my new fancy camera. I got this one on sale for $131 with a coupon and it is really nice! It was easy to put together and feels very solid. My only complaint is that the drawers only slide out halfway.
I decided a pegboard would be a great way to store more tools and keep the most used ones easy to find. Lowes only had the 8×4 sheets of pegboard so I had them cut one in half assuming it would fit in my medium size SUV. Wrong! It was freezing cold and I was trying to stuff pegboard in the car but there was no way it was going in, at least not in one piece. I had to take it back in and have another 8 inches cut off (embarrassing!) I’m sure they thought I was some dumb girl who didn’t know what I was doing. Which I guess was kind of true! Since the basement has no color scheme I figured I would break out of my normal color selection and try out the pantone color of 2013 (emerald)and 2014 (orchid). Plus the samples are already mixed up and ready to go.
The frame was really easy to build if you have a kreg jig. I only have the junior one but it is so great I want to upgrade to the regular one. Measure the sides of your pegboard and cut the 2x2s to that length. Then measure the width of your pegboard minus 3” for the 2×2 sides. Use the kreg jig for your pocket holes and screw it all together.
I painted my pegboard next with a small foam roller. It took a few coats. After it dried, all it took was a few self tapping screws to attach it to the frame and it was ready to go. I didn’t want to drill anything into our basement foundation because that makes me nervous. We have a dry basement and I want it to stay that way. I decided to use eye screws and chains to hang it from the joists and that worked out pretty well.
I was surprised how much actually fit on the workbench. I’m planning on making some rolling storage bins to slide underneath and hopefully get rid of the plastic storage drawers.
I really like drawing my plans out. I spend more time planning than actually doing a lot of days. Instead of paper I thought big white boards would be nice to put my designs or measurements on so I could reference them during a project. I’m always happy to save money and use what I have so when I realized my chalkboard marker would work on glass I had an idea. I have 2 large frames we took out of the bedroom when we redecorated last summer.
I took out the art and painted the backer with a paint sample (Pantone color of the year-Orchid), put it all back together and now I have two fun design boards.
So this post is kind of long and boring. Now that I’m organized and can find my tools again I will be getting back to some fun projects!
Today’s project is really fast and really easy. I don’t need any more pillows but that didn’t stop me from whipping this one up. It all started when I saw this adorable shirt and wanted to make Jbug one so I could force my love for photography on her. I found a cute camera iron on transfer on Hobby Lobby’s website and went to pick it up. I hadn’t paid attention to the size though and found it was much too big to fit on a toddler t shirt. I really liked the transfer so now I just had to get it and use it on something…anything. My next stop was at TJMaxx to get new towels. While browsing their clearance I found this great linen like down filled pillow with yellow trim and it was on clearance for $11!
The down filled insert alone is worth that. So that is where my camera pillow idea came from. To make the pillow I just removed the insert and ironed the transfer on per the directions. It took less than 5 minutes. I know it isn’t everyone’s style but I think it turned out really cute!
Jbug’s grandma gave her a cute little table with 4 wooden chairs. I am planning to repaint it eventually once I get some time. Jbug loves for us to sit at the table with her. The problem is the chairs are not that sturdy for adult use and are not made for the size of adult rears. She insisted I sit in one and the next thing I know I was falling backward. I hit my head on the wall and hurt my hand plus broke the leg of the chair. To prevent an encore performance I went looking for an alternative seat for us adults. In the basement I found a little footstool I had purchased at a garage sale for a quarter. It wasn’t that cute but was sturdy and more comfortable for people over 2 feet tall.
I figured I would try to find another little stool so we could have one for both Greg and myself. I never expected to find an exact match but luckily did. It cost 20 times more than the original cost me making it a whopping 5 bucks. I told the guy at the antique store how over priced it was from its twin I had at home but he stuck strong to the $5 price.
These were really easy to upholster. The top actually opens and has storage inside. I removed the top and stapled on my new fabric. Then I spray painted the bottom using Valspar’s Thistle Field. Once it was dry I reattached the top. I can’t believe how much difference a cute fabric and some spray paint made. Now I just need to get the rest of the table and chairs redone!
I’ve had a lot of fun with the blog this year and even though I only have about 6 months of posts under my belt I thought I would do a year end review post. The blog did help me stay (a little) more focused and not project hop as much. I have so many projects I want to work on in 2014 so hopefully I can keep motivated. Our house is slowly becoming “more us” and that is so exciting. This year I really want to add a lot of function along with new decor. We are snowed in today so maybe I can work more on the ottoman for the living room!
So on to the most read posts of 2013
#5 Gone Fishing Baby Shower I wasn’t sure I was even going to post this one but it has been pinned the most of all my posts!