Craft/Project Room Madness

I’ll admit that I created chaos in our craft/project room. My grand plan was to organize this room as I put away our Christmas decorations. And then it rolled around to the end of March and instead, the Christmas decorations were strung all over this room. Yikes!

Time for an intervention.


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As with any room that becomes a catch-all, it’s hard not to feel overwhelmed about diving in to organize the madness.
Last weekend, I finally broke down and started cleaning and throwing things away.
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It took a few hours, but after I was finished, all that remained in the middle of the floor were a few empty boxes and a bag of trash. (Insert sigh of relief)
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I still need to do a little more work to organize this closet, but it is better than I found it Saturday morning. I sorted and put away all of Christmas decorations and then I went one step further and sorted and put away our other seasonal decorations. The Halloween decorations are now stored in their own plastic bin. Our vases and vase filler were also organized in to their own bin. It no longer feels overwhelming to enter this room to look for something.

Mission accomplished.
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How do you tame an out of control room? Do you dive in and don’t emerge until it’s clean or do you manage the madness little by little?

Punxsutawney Phil: an early spring… cleaning?

On Saturday, our dear groundhog friend, Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow which means an early spring. I’m not sure if Phil is right, but once February comes, it’s easy to start looking forward to spring and summer. To prepare for the change in seasons, I started working on my spring cleaning projects.

My first project focused on our closet under the stairs. This closet was full of boxes, unused appliances, drinks, reusable bags, stacks of paper towels and paper products.

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After digging out our unused appliances and hauling them off to Goodwill, I threw away the unneeded boxes and organized the remaining drinks, paper products and miscellaneous items. Once I was finished, the closet looked like this:

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This closet is just the first on my list to tackle over the next few months. Next is our spare bedroom closet. Right now, the spare bedroom closet, which is full of seasonal decorations and craft supplies is spilling out into the bedroom. It’s time to get the spillage under control.

But before we jump into the next spring cleaning project, BJ and I are taking some time to enjoy Valentine’s Day next week. Are you planning anything special or just spending an evening out with friends?

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Resolutions

Since we’re already over a week into the new year, I thought it would be good time to share my New Year’s Resolutions.

This year, BJ and are planning to take a step back from going, going, going and focus a little more time on ourselves as well as the smaller projects that have been on the back burner for some time.

So here is my list of 2013 New Year’s Resolutions:

1. Develop a weekly routine for BJ and myself.

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BJ and I struggle with trying to get on a schedule each week. We are hoping that if we develop a consistent weekly routine, we can get a grasp on our morning and evening schedules and that will help us get more sleep, which we desperately need.

2. Develop a weekly meal plan.

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This is another “routine” that BJ and I struggle with, as I’m sure many couples do. You get home each night and think “what’s for dinner?” Then, if you can’t decide, you go get fast food, order a pizza, or go out to eat. BJ and I constantly fall into the “I’m hungry now so let’s do something easy” trap.

Instead of worrying about dinner each night, we are going to plan out our meals on Sunday morning so we can make sure we have all the ingredients we need. If we are missing any ingredients we will add them to our grocery list for the week.

A sub set to this resolution is that we are going to try to buy less junk food. If we have our meals already planned out for the week, we will be less likely to eat junk until we decide what we what for dinner.

3. Update the look and feel of FramebyFrameStyle.com

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One of my personal goals this year is to give Frame By Frame Style a fresh look. This includes a new logo, updated photo tags and visual upgrades throughout the site. Stayed tuned to see the changes as they happen!

4. Focus more time on smaller home improvement and DIY projects.

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Since we moved into our house in 2010, we’ve made a few major upgrades. We added a kitchen island, installed in ceiling speakers and crown molding in the kitchen and living room, and we tiled the floor in the dining room.

Now it’s time to focus on the small projects around the house like organizing the laundry room.

As we make minor upgrades around the house, I’ll keep you posted on our progress.

5. Organize our closet space around the house

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Our closets have been overtaken by stuff. Some of it we plan on keeping, some we just don’t know what to do with. This year, it’s time to take back our closet space and start giving/throwing away items we do not need.

So that’s my list!

Happy 2013 everyone! Here’s to sticking to our goals and making this the best year yet. Good luck with all of your resolutions.

Holiday Planning

I originally thought I would save this post for closer to Christmas, but if some of you are like me, your inherent need to make lists and plan starts to overwhelm you this time of year. I admit, it’s still too early to put up Christmas decorations, crank the ”NSYNC Christmas album or even drink peppermint mochas but for those that have already done all the things I just listed, I don’t judge. There is no shame in a peppermint mocha-loving, ‘NSYNC fan. I should know. 🙂

To kick off our holiday planning this year, I started by making personalized Christmas gift tags.

These tags are really easy to make and need just a few supplies.

To make these Christmas tags, you will need:

  • Sticker paper, a ink jet printer and scissors. I bought our sticker paper at Staples. It is the cheapest I could find.

  • Craft paper that you can find at Michaels, Jo Ann Fabrics or A.C. Moore. You can use two-sided or one-sided craft paper. I chose both to see how they would look.

  • Ribbon to hang the tags. I found this ribbon at Michaels.

  • A circle punch, which you can find at Michaels. This is the super size which is 2.5 inches. It works really well for cutting big circles.

To make the tags, I started by designing a template in Adobe InDesign for the smaller personalized circles. You can also use other programs such as Pages or Microsoft Word. Before I printed my template, I lightly outlined the circles so I could see where to cut them. Then I printed the circles on to the sticker paper using an ink jet printer.

After you print the small circles on to the sticker paper, use the paper punch to cut out a larger circle from the craft paper.

Next, neatly cut out your circles from the sticker paper. Remove the sticker backing and place the small circle sticker in the middle of your large craft paper circle.

Use a hole punch to create the hole for the ribbon. I used one punch of a three-hole punch.

Then, cut a piece of ribbon and loop it through the hole and tie it together at the end.

And there you have it! A fun gift tag for your Christmas gifts.

These tags are also great for wine bottles. If you are bringing wine to Thanksgiving dinner, you can make a few of these tags. They would even be fun with sayings like “Happy Harvest” or  “Give Thanks.” Last year I made napkin rings with fun Thanksgiving sayings on them that you could use for the wine tags.

You could also give some wine for Christmas with these tags and perhaps use a ribbon or two to wrap the bottle.

The Christmas craft paper I chose is two-sided so it’s even fun when you turn the tag around.

Another project I started early this year was our Christmas cards. I bought a Groupon for Zazzle.com and designed our cards on their Web site. I don’t want to give too much away before the holidays, but the cards already here and I can’t wait to send them!

Have you started your Christmas gift planning and projects already? What fun projects do you have in store this year?

Showing Our Home Some More Love

As promised, here are our fabulous Ikea finds from last weekend.

Along with the coffee table for the living room, we also brought home a pair of Poang chairs for the loft. The loft is a good example of the “design and use a room for how you live” lesson I learned during the YHL panel session. For months, BJ and I talked about all the possibilities for the loft. After many discussions about how we could use the room, we realized it would often be just the two of us (and Zoey, of course) spending time in the loft. Why worry about seating multiple people? We have plenty of entertaining space downstairs in the living room. Instead of an entertaining space, the loft will be a place for us to relax outside of our master bedroom. Even when family and friends come and stay with us, they can use this space to read or relax.

To kick off the loft transformation, we bought two Poang chairs with black brown frames and blue cushions.

Originally, my design plan for the loft was to hang yellow chevron curtains and make yellow chevron pillows for the chairs. After I searched the Internet for yellow chevron curtains, I couldn’t justify the price. Even to buy the fabric and make the panels and pillows myself seemed too pricey. I decided to reconsider my idea and instead I found some reasonably priced yellow chevron and gotcha lattice patterned pillows on Etsy and curtains from West Elm.

Two 18 x 18 Pillow Covers: Yellow and White Chevron Zig Zag & Gotcha Lattice

Okay, I digress…

Back to the Ikea finds. An exciting new addition to our bedroom are our his and hers cube bookshelves. Can you guess which one is which? 🙂

Those are our latest Ikea finds. As we continue showing our home some love for the upcoming reappraisal, we are slowly crossing items off our “Show Your House Some Love for the Reappraisal To Do List.”

1. Weed the garden and replant the potted mums

2. Spruce up the loft so it looks like we use the space

3. Organize and clean the spare bedroom and BJ’s office

4. Finish the crown moulding and baseboard projects

The Poang chairs were a huge upgrade to the loft, and as for the appraisal to do list, we can cross off number 2. We are still going to add some more touches to this room including the curtains, pillows and an entertainment center. But for now, we can call this one done.

We are diligently working on the rest of the list and are hoping to finish by Tuesday of next week. Fingers crossed that we get it all done in time.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Showing Our Home Some Love

Yesterday, we went to the first stop on the book tour for Sherry and John Petersik of Young House Love and attended the panel session for their new book, Young House Love, 243 Ways to Paint, Craft, Update & Show Your Home Some Love. We also had the very awesome, yet very brief, opportunity to meet them when they signed our copy of the book. BJ scored the award for most awesome amazing husband when he left the panel session to snag a place in line so we could get a (very limited) copy of the book. Best husband ever!

Here is our copy:

And… confession… I was super dorky and nervous when I met Sherry and John. I was so excited to tell them that they inspired me to write this blog and how I really enjoyed their blog and projects. I kinda got a little shaky and instead of calmly signing BJ and my name in their book, I think it probably looked more like scribbles. But with all the dorky, nervousness aside, I was super-inspired when we left the book show and I was so glad we went to hear them speak and got a chance to meet them and get a copy of their book.

So what’s makes a book signing with your favorite home improvement and DIY bloggers complete? A trip to Ikea, of course. We left the book signing with me super inspired and recapping the entire presentation for BJ (We tried FaceTime while he was in line, but it didn’t work. Boo.) The great part about all the things that John and Sherry mentioned in their panel session is that we are actually in the process of trying to show our house some love for an upcoming reappraisal. With financing rates as low as they are, we are hoping to take advantage and get a new lower rate on our loan. Part of the process is to have the house reappraised since we are on the edge of a few financing rates.

Sherry and John’s advice during the session was invaluable and some of it I definitely needed to hear… such as “design and use your house for how you live.” It’s easy to fall into the trap of wanting your house to look a certain way because it’s what you think other people will like, but you should design your home for how you live. You’re the ones that live there every day and call your house your home, right?

So with a reappraisal on the horizon and me still inspired from the panel session, here is our “Show Your House Some Love for the Reappraisal To Do List.” Or at least that what I’m calling it.

1. Weed the garden and replant the potted mums

In September, I planted mums in our new pots out front and they looked great until the frost came in and killed them. They looked so pretty after they were planted. It was a bummer they didn’t stand up to the cold temperatures. I tried covering the pots with blankets on the nights they called for frost but it didn’t keep the cold from getting to them.

Today I went back over to Home Depot and picked up some new mums to replace the brown ones on our front porch.

2. Spruce up the loft so it looks like we use the space

Our loft is one of those challenging spaces that were not really sure what do with. But after listening to the Young House Love presentation, we decided to use the room for how we live. Here is the loft in its current state:

My master plan is to use our college alma mater’s colors in a tasteful way. While we were Ikea this weekend, we picked out some Poang chairs with blue cushions and I’m now on the search for some yellow-gold chevron fabric so I can make curtains and pillows We are also going to hang some photos of the stadium and campus. The idea is to make this space a movie/game area inspired by our college. But it has to be tasteful. We’re not about to plaster our school’s logo on the wall with a ginormous vinyl graphic and call it done.

While we were at Ikea, we also found our future loft entertainment/storage center:

3. Organize and clean the spare bedroom and BJ’s office

I haven’t talked much about our spare bedroom or BJ’s office because they weren’t much to talk about. After we moved in to our our house, the spare bedroom and BJ’s office quickly became the two rooms that we stuffed everything into and then ran out and shut the door behind us. Out of sight, out of mind, right?

This weekend, we conducted a major overhaul of the spare bedroom and BJ’s office so they are presentable, usable rooms in time for the reappraisal. And we want to finally use those spaces for the way we live instead of just stuffing them full of items we don’t want to deal with.

4. Finish the crown moulding and baseboard projects

Last year, we started putting up crown moulding in the living room and kitchen and here is where we left off:

We also ripped out the trim in the dining room when we tiled the floor last year and we haven’t had enough time to replace what we tore out.

The remaining crown moulding and baseboard are now purchased and ready to sand, paint and install.

That’s our list! This week we are going to jump in and try get the list accomplished before we have the house reappraised. It’s time to show our home some love. Wish us luck because it could get crazy around here!

A little reorganization

Awhile ago, I found a picture on Pinterest that inspired me to organize my bathroom drawer using flower pots.

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When I first organized my drawer, I used mediums flower pots. While cleaning out our garage, I found a box full of small flower pots and decided to swap out the medium pots for smaller ones.

In order to protect the pots from make up stains and keep them easy to clean, I used coffee filters as liners.

So here is the before when I used medium blue pots: 


And here is the same drawer with smaller terra cotta pots:

I like the smaller pots because they allow for even more organization. I have all of my items sorted into more specific categories such as powdered make-up, eyeshadows, eye liners and mascara, brushes, Q-tips, contact lens cases, contacts and hair ties and bobby pins. It keeps everything in their own little pots and I’m no longer digging around trying to find something. Much better! All it takes is a little reorganization.