January 10, 2011

Old T-Shirts = Free Winter Decor = Me Happy :)

It's funny how sometimes the mood to craft just STRIKES YOU and sometimes it doesn't.

I have left this house in DISARRAY since I took down the Christmas decorations because I've just been at a loss as to what to do. I've had no real motivation to sit down and figure it out since I was still (and AM still) working on Christmas gifts!

Another issue is my husbands opinionated odd and un-husband-like obsession interest in how our home is decorated. Now I'm all for him having an interest in how things go around here, but in more of a "Hey that looks great!" kind of way instead of a "Well ya know ... I really think we should do THIS" or a "You made that out of WHAT?" kind of way. lol

I take it stride.

And I decorate when he's working out of town.

And has no choice but to accept it when he gets back cause he's too tired to fight :)

Enter this weekend. I saw the CUTEST tutorial by Craftaholics Anonymous (LOVE the name!) on FB because Tatertots and Jello has just the CUTEST posts and the spam my wall CONSTANTLY with all the CUTENESS and I was powerless against it. It's for a super cute Valentine's Decoration but I adapted it to my current color scheme/winter theme. I keep seeing the poms poms and they looks SO cute and you make them out of OLD T-SHIRTS! How AWESOME is that?! I LOVE repurposing!

I decided to do a wintery theme around the downstairs partially because I LOVE these colors together, they flow nicely into my beachy theme that follows, I have tons of snowy photos to put up, and it was the most doable and least off the wall suggestion by the hubs.

I'm ALL about cooperation.

So while he was gone away at work this weekend, and unable to ask me 50eleven times what exactly it was supposed to be or why I wanted to hang cat toys in our house, I made 3! AND I covered a wreath form!

I think it came together LOVELY!  For the wreath, all I did was cut up a brown t-shirt into 1.5"x6.5" strips and tied them in double knots ... SUPER EASY!

To be honest I wasn't loving the pom at first. I just didn't know what to do with it or where to put it. I made the white one first and just hung it from a nail all by itself. I knew it needed something but I needed to walk past it and contemplate it for a few hours first.

Eventually I decided it definitely needed to be a set of 3 in varied colors that went with the decor and it needed a wreath to hang from. I'm still thinking it needs something INSIDE the wreath but it will take a few more hours of walking past it to come up with something I'm sure.

I'm actually really loving the way the whole scheme is coming together in the house and if more than just this table was clean, I would take pictures and show you lol. Maybe tomorrow ;-)

Now there are some things I did a little differently than the tutorial and there are some additional tips you might find helpful:
  • Read it again. But for real this time.
  • She has WAY better directions than I could write!
  • Keep it close so you can reference it during the procedure.
  • I used 2 thin material shirts and a thick (my hubs) and the thick material came out more to my liking. It's the white one.
  • I cut my material about 3/4" wide.
  • When I cut the shirt off at the arm pits, I cut down one side but kept it folded when I cut the strips. That way the strips were longer and required less breaks.
  • I pulled too tight when I did the dark blue one and I didn't like the way the thin material reacted to that. When you cut it and it springs back, it made the ball smaller than I wanted.
  • With the light blue one (same material) I didn't pull at all and I like that size better.
  • When you are winding around and layering, if your material gets twisted or folds over at the top, it tends to stay that way after you cut it, making a C shape. I liked that look! I would have done them all that way if I would have noticed that sooner.
  • Read the directions about starting a new strip carefully. I didn't read them right and had a LOT of little pieces fall off when I cut it.
  • If your scissors suck, get your advil ready. When you're done, you will have early stage carpel tunnel.
  • I didn't do the "hair cut" part but wished I would have. After I fluffed it it was uneven ALL over and looked like the time my oldest cut her hair ... when she was 3.
  • Thankfully, trimming the ball to evenness was much easier than my 3 year old's hair.
That's it! If anyone else makes one I would LOOOOVE to see them! And if you have any other tips to share, PLEASE DO! I will probably be making more!

Happy Monday and get to crafting!!!

January 9, 2011

It's a New Year Filled with TONS Fresh Startness!


The holidays were crazy! It seemed like I was rushing so much that I missed them! I feel bad to say this, but I'm kind of glad to be getting back into a normal routine.

Well THIS family's normal anyway.

I don't do resolutions. I think I have a fear that if I set a goal I won't meet it so I don't set myself up for it. I know it's crazy, it's something I need to work on. Next week.

I might also need to work on my tendency to procrastinate.

And irrational fear of touching raw chicken.

Again ... NEXT week.

But THIS week my bestie and I decided that this is the year of "Not just thinking ahead, but DOING ahead". And in keeping with that spirit I'd also like to be more proactive and take control of things with the household.

I don't want the fact that I remember to pick up the kids at school every day to be the only thing I can say that shows I have it together. Especially since I have an alarm on my phone for that. And I'd be lying if I said that there weren't times it was the only reason I DID remember.

I set the bar high.

But I need more. I LOVE me some routines. I love structure, thrive on it. I can see that my kids do too when we have routines and schedules that aren't TOO rigid, just guidelines. So in that spirit I'm going to share a few links that are TOTALLY inspiring me right now!

Schedules/Routines -

Amy @ New Nostalgia's Morning Routine, Afternoon Routine, and Evening Routine -

I just love her blog. She's currently dealing with cancer but her spirit and her faith is just amazing. She's just inspirational in many ways :)

I LOVE her routines! I love the check lists and the attitude behind it all. She says this in the first post:

"I had to break the "reminder" habit, where I go around asking, did you do your chart? did you brush your teeth? etc. All that was doing was confusing my girls. If mom is going to ask or remind them about their responsibilities, (putting the monkeys back on me), then why would they ever step up to the plate and think or do for themselves??"

It's SO important to think about what we're teaching out kids. We're teaching them something just about every single second and no matter how much that stresses me out to think about, I need to be doing more with these teachable moments, like morning afternoon and evening LOL

Here's another post I found that has more ideas for kids routine/chore charts and I'm ALL FOR CHORES!

Organizing -

I love this post on How Does She? where a guest blogger, Julie, talks about the necessity of a Household Planner. I TOTALLY AGREE AND I'M DOING THIS. I might change up the sections but the over all ideas she talks about make my OCD do cartwheels :)

She has another post that talks about taking the WORK out of housework. It talks about changing your attitude and having more gratitude, I love it. It's such a GREAT way to think about what you have and appreciate it!

This post from Organized Home has more details on a Household Binder and FREE PRINTABLES = w00t!

I LOVE this super cute Birthday Organizer and it too has FREE PRINTABLES :D Last year I took a list of EVERY birthday for the YEAR to the store and bought cards for them ALL. I even got some for Mother's Day/Father's Day etc! I was so far ahead of the game it was AWESOME! Taking something as cute as THIS would make it even better!

This is another smaller version of a Birthday Organizer - perfectly purse size :)

I didn't always remember to give them out ... but now I have them for next year! :D lol Hopefully the binder with help with the remembering part ;-)

I think that's quite a bit to get started on, don't you?! If you have any awesome organizational tips I would LOVE to hear them! Good luck and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!