March 19, 2011

Playing Card Holder for Little Hands


My kids are really into games lately.  We end up playing Go Fish or Uno Attack a couple times a week.  Their hands are so little they have trouble holding all their cards.  I remembered that my mom had made these card holders when I was little.  She was able to find one and I made a couple of others.  All you need are a couple of plastic lids from Hershey's Syrup or Pringles cans, a couple of large or medium sized buttons, and some thread.  Place the plastic lids back to back and sandwich them between two buttons.  Sew it all together and you're ready to play.  (You may need to use a thimble to be able to poke the needle through the lids)  Cards can easily be slipped in between the two lids.

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(¸.·´   Denise

Turn jeans into a skirt

 
My daughter's birthday is in about 10 days.  I showed her several pictures of birthday outfits on-line and she chose a ribbon skirt.  This was so easy.  I don't have a tutorial but they're all over the internet so it should be easy to find one.  I just took a pair of her old jeans that were becoming high waters, cut the legs off, ripped out the seams, and sewed the legs together to make a skirt.  Then she chose 4 ribbons.  I cut them into 4 inch pieces and sewed them on to the right side (outside) of the skirt, added a ribbon trim around the cut edges of the ribbon, flipped it to the inside and sewed a seam.  Then I added a couple ribbons to trim the bottom and sewed the two patterned ribbons back to back to make a belt.  I also ruffled the heart ribbon up and sewed it onto a white shirt in the shape of a number 5 for her 5th birthday.  Not totally thrilled with that part.  I'll probably remove it from the shirt after her birthday and replace it with something else.  E-mail me if you want more details for a particular step or have any other questions.
 
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(¸.·´   Denise

March 6, 2011

Weekly Organizational Challenge #6 - Digital Photos and Scrapbook Photos

I'm a little ahead of the game on this challenge.  I switched cameras a couple years ago and got a new computer as well. When my original software didn't work with my new camera I decided to come up with an organization system that worked no matter who took the picture and what camera was used.  I also set up a series of folders on my computer organized by year, month, and further divided into some misc categories.  I went back to the birth of my first child to start organizing photos as that's when I really started taking pictures with a digital camera.  In addition to the folders on my computer I back up my photos to an external hard drive that is stored in a safe deposit box.  Here is a small sampling of my folders:



You may have noticed in the first picture that I have a file labeled "photos to print".  This is a fairly new addition.  My husband was becoming aggravated with me because he knows I have a ton of pictures to print but I never have them ready to go or have the time to get them when a special comes up at Snapfish.  I decided to create this folder and just add photos to it as I  have time so that when he finds a coupon or special I have some ready to go. I also put two of the same photo in the folder if I want double so he doesn't have to sort through them to determine how many we need.  (I have separate photo albums for my kids so they'll be able to take them with them when they leave home and we don't have to worry about trying to split a join album)

I also have photo boxes for each of my kids.  When I get their photos printed I date the back and file them into their boxes.  I need to do this for vacation photos as well since some of them are just for my and my husband. I try to do a small page or two in my kids albums for each vacation but the majority of the photos go into a joint family album.  The only thing I still need to do is add monthly tabbed dividers to each box.

The most recent addition to my scrapbook organization is a hanging file folder box that I just purchased.  I'm planning on covering some hanging folders in pink and blue like I did here for my kids keepsake crates and using the file box to store the photos that are sizes other than 4x6 and won't fit in their current storage boxes.

I'd love to get the printed photos organized into "kits" that are ready to go when I head to a girls night out for scrapping like Andrea did at A Bowl Full of Lemons.   I've thought about doing that before but I'm not sure how practical that will be for me as I have a TON of embellishments (brads, ribbon, charms, paper pieced die cuts, etc . . . ) that I love to incorporate.  My newest fad is sewing on my pages.  I'll have to keep working on that part to develop a system that will work for me.

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(¸.·´   Denise

Weekly Organizational Challenge #5 - Organize Entire Kitchen

I have been participating in A Bowl Full of Lemons organizational challenges so many areas of my kitchen are already organized.  We have already worked on the kitchen pantry (which was my worst area - you can see before pictures of the pantry here.  I'm still changing thing a bit in there . . . .  ), spices, and vitamins.  You can click the "organization" link above to see before and after pictures of all the challenges.  Now I just need to tweak a few more areas.  Unfortunately, I don't have many "before" pictures as I continued to organize parts of the kitchen after I started on the pantry but before they were assigned as "challenges".  

This is an "in-between" picture (after the first organization but before the last)
\Here is a final picture of my pantry after I added the remaining containers I bought today.  I switched my chips from the modular tupperware containers that didn't fit the shelves as well to rubber maid containers.  Now we can see through the containers better and they aren't stacked one behind the other so things get lost or have to be moved to get to the back.  Planning to use these containers in other areas.

Not a huge change but it is a little better.

This is a picture of my recipe book organizers.  I have a ton of them but I'm thinking about thinning them out.  I do cook from scratch most nights and am experimenting with homemade mixes and freezer cooking to save time.  I'm also working on making my own health and beauty products and home cleaners.  We plan to eventually add a link to products we're making and the recipes that are working for us.  I do use all of the Gooseberry Patch books and some of the others here and there but I know there are some I never use. 


We also take a few supplements.  I found these containers at Joanns and they work for me because they are small and have screw on  lids.  My husband can just grab the one he wants to take to work without having to take the whole container.  They also hold about 2 weeks + worth of supplements.  I also like the fact that they're small so they're easy to pack to travel with and since the vitamins are a fairly tight fit they don't get banged around or broken up.  I just spend a few minutes every other week or so refilling them.  It really doesn't require that much time.  I have one for my husband, one for me, and my kids share one as they don't take as much.


I have one cabinet for my glass pyrex baking dishes and one for my stainless steel baking pans.  I also have the upright dividers for the thinner items and I added one for my glass dishes. Here's the before (sort of - I actually cleaned it out a little before I remembered to take a picture):
And the after:
I even have room for my stand mixer now


The next area needs work.  This is where I store the remaining plastic storage containers and tupperware.  I have a few coated wire shelves I'm adding to try to organize it better.  Here is the before:
And the after:

This area is where I store the remaining "baby" things such as bibs and burp cloths (that I use as rags).  I also follow the muffin tin lunches idea for my kids.  This is where I store all my fun containers, silicone cupcake liners, and other "kid-sized" meal helpers.
One other area I tackled was my measuring cups and spoons.  They were originally just thrown in a drawer . . . . 
I bought some removable hooks and hung them on the inside of my cabinet doors.  Now I just need to organize the rest of the drawer. 
I still have a few other areas I'd like to organize eventually . . . . . the biggest one is my desk area.  I just can't seem to keep ahead of the paperwork and clutter.  It's still on my "to do" list . . . . and probably will be for a while. . . . 

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(¸.·´   Denise