Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Little Corner of Organization

Baby steps... that's all it takes to organize an entire household.  And here is one of my first baby steps toward reclaiming order in a house full of crazy little boys.

Sure, I know it is just a closet and I am the only one that uses it; but it still is a step in the right direction.
Ribbon organized by color, placed in sticker racks, hung on peg board.
Sewing notions, needles, and scissors tucked away in drawers where little fingers cannot accidentily find them.

A towel bar make a fantastic place to hang your punches!

And there is much more to this organization project that I did not post pics of because of the horrible closet angles.  The rest of the closet has various built-in shelves that now are home to baskets and crates.  I have a basket for projects that I have started (you may see some of them on my blog in the near future!), a basket for fat quarters, a crate for items waiting to be altered into spectacular something-or-others, and a crate of school supplies that haven't been called into duty yet.  Oh, there's more to my crafty collection but this gives you a good idea of this small organizational project.

How do you organize your space?  Post a comment and/or link and share!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Cleaning House

If you had one day to pack up and move, what things would you focus on?  I've noticed that we all tend to get ourselves overloaded with stuff; especially the longer we live in one place.  Why do we feel the need to fill every cabinet & drawer & closet & table top & even the tiny space under the beds?

Well I'm a little fed up with having all this stuff that doesn't serve any purpose.  I'm tired of making space for all the "what if"s and not having room to breathe!  Unfortunately, that now means I am on a lets-get-rid-of-everything-that-isn't-being-used rampage.  I will apologize ahead of time to any emotional damage I may do to my children (who think it is a crime against nature to get rid of anything they have ever touched).

You are all welcome to play along with me.  I will begin each Sunday with a new cleaning goal:  this week is to tame the paper beast!  All the school work that has been piling up since September will be sorted, scanned, and recycled.  All the bills & receipts will be filed appropriately.  All tax documents will be sorted for "processing" at a later date.  All the newspapers, magazines, & catalogs will be banished to the recycling bin.  If I can accomplish this - no WHEN I accomplish this, I will be able to see my long-forgotten counters & dressers & desk tops! 

So what are you going to do to clean up your life?  Post a comment and let us know!

Monday, January 23, 2012

What did I get myself into?

I have been craving a project - not a craft project, but a life project.  And I made it very clear that I did NOT want a life-changing project (no babies, no natural disasters, no moving out of state).  So organizing the house seems like the best project for me.  It can be done in doors (since the weather is yucky) and it can be done with what I already have.  Now I want you to note the key word in the previous sentence: can.  Unfortunately I have already spent over $300 on this project that I started 2 days ago!!!  Ugh.

This is what I purchased: a bunk bed for the boys' room.  That means that the toys have to be picked up and taken to the playroom.  That means the books need a home other than the floor.  That means the crib and storage under it needs to disappear.  The rellocation of the toys is no big deal - I'm just glad it is finally happening after nagging my kids for months.  But the books are another problem.  Unless I want to throw them in a big plastic bin, I am going to have to buy some kind of shelving unit (or supplies to make one).

What did I get myself into?  And this is the smallest room in our house!  But at least I have a project...

What projects have you gotten yourself into lately?  Post a comment and let me know!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Another Honor

Wow!  This is really my week... I was surprised with another scrapbooking honor yesterday:
One of my layouts was chosen as a Gallery Gem of the Week over at Scrapbook Challenges!  Head over there to see the other fantastic layouts that were also chosen.

Here is my layout and the sketch to go with it!

I created this layout for the Black & White Challenge over on their site - if you need some inspiration, it is a great place to go!  I'd love to see what you create from this sketch... post a link in the comments below and I'll be sure to stop by and check it out.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Trading Cards

I am soooo excited to be a guest blogger on Just A Scrappin' today!

If you haven't been over to Linda's blog, click the link above and check it out.  If you are coming to my blog from there, here is an additional bonus project to go along with the trading cards: an ATC holder!

I found this wonderful template over on Martha Stewart's site years ago.  Her instructions are to print the template at 200% in order to create a mini magazine holder.  BUT if you print the template as is, it is the perfect size to hold standard ATCs! 

I printed the template out on cardstock first, cut along the lines, and assembled with adhesive.  Then I used a 12x4" piece of scrapbook paper to decorate the ATC holder.

A perfect holder for all the trading cards you create & collect!

Check back tomorrow for new layout sketch :)

Thursday, January 19, 2012


There is a voice inside my head that has been shouting at me the past three days.
"Why haven't you blogged?" 
"Put down that glue stick and post some pictures!"
"You don't need to sleep; social media is much better than sleep."
Now this voice can be very persuasive, but my pillow is very loud too...

Anyway, the past five days have been mostly consumed by the Science Expo project my seven year old worked on.  He did a ton of work, but he doesn't work alone.  Electricity and circuits are not an easy subject for a first grader to research or create by himself.  And so I have been the best cheerleader/coach that I could be.  I was also very careful to not jump in and "just do it for him" as I really, really wanted to at times.  All I can say is thank goodness for my Cricut machine - the display took a while to put together, but I can't imagine how long it would have taken if we were using stencils to do all the lettering.  Oh, and I have a ton of love for my Xyron sticker makers too!  Here is a pic of his display (but his scientific journal is really the impressive part):

Well the Expo is tonight so I can get back to my neglected blog.  I've got a big surprise for you all tomorrow!!!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Angry Mom

I guess we all need to take a step back and view ourselves through the eyes of a child every once in a while.  I had a wake-up call today.  It came in the form of a drawing created by a 4 year old.  I realize that I have become the general of the family; barking orders at my little soldiers in order to get everyone every where they each need to be in the most efficient way possible.  This is great for the army, but not so good for little boys who just want to play with their mommy. 

"Angry Mom"

So we ate chocolate covered pretzels, played tag, watched Wipe-out, and stayed up way to late tickling each other.  No toys were picked up, no homework was done, and no yelling was heard all night long.

"Mom When She Plays With Me"

Maybe they'll let me sleep in tomorrow for being so good tonight...

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Don't Cry Over Broken Crayons

I cannot begin to count the number of crayons we go through in this household!  Thankfully, most of them come our way freely.  And I'll never understand why a broken crayon loses its ability to provide color - but it does.  It has too, or why else would the broken ones never be used again?  Insist as I might, my boys refuse to use these crayons.  But I refuse to toss them out.  We had to come up with some way to find a use for these outcast stubs of color that were piling up.  What could we do?

You guessed it: homemade crayons!  Now this was NOT a one day project in our household.  As a matter of fact, this first step took many many days.  But it was all worth it in the end.  Each of my boys had a set of crayons to give to each of their friends for the holidays (and we even kept a set for ourselves).

1.  Find your old and broken crayons and peel the labels off.  You can choose to make kalidescope crayons (multi-colored) or separate them by similar colors.  If separating, it is best to do it during this step. 

2.  Have a "responsible" adult chop the crayons into small chunks.  This is not as easy as you may think - those crayons have a tendency to roll away and fly across the room!  HINT: use an old cutting board and knife that you can keep for crafts only - the crayon does not wash off.

3.  Place your crayon chunks into a silicone mold (again, use one that is designated for crafts only).  Any shape and size will work, just make sure to adjust the time in the oven for larger molds.

4.  Place your mold onto a cookie sheet for support - HINT: line your cookie sheet with foil to protect it from possible crayon spill-over.  "Bake" your crayons for about 15 minutes at 230 degrees F.  Remove from oven and let cool completely before removing from your mold.

TA-DA!!! Every time I see this set of crayons I start singing:  "We're a rainbow made of children..."  Good thing there's no video to this craft!

I even found the cutest poem to include with our recycled crayons by Helen H. Moore:
I had a box of crayons,
All shiny, straight and new,
I lent a friend on crayon,
And-oops-it broke in two!
My friend said she was sorry,
But I said, " I don't care,
'cause now we both can color
with one crayon-we can share!"

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

By The Numbers

Since it is Tuesday, I am posting another layout of mine that I am especially happy with.  I created this one in response to the January "By The Numbers" challenge posted at Scrapbook Challenges.  I get a ton of inspiration at this site - you should check it out!

and the sketch to go with it!

One of the reasons I am so proud of this layout is that I finally used stamps on my scrapbook pages!  It has been another one of my crafty goals to find new purposes for the stamps that are sitting on my shelves - and now I've done it.  I even stamped on top of a photo (I never thought I'd convince myself to do it, but I love the way it looks). 

I hope this inspires you to create a layout!  And I'd love to see what you come up with, so post a link in the comments below :)

Monday, January 9, 2012

A Funny Thing Happened...

Last night I was sitting with my boys (watching a Power Rangers DinoThunder marathon), wondering what in the world I was going to blog about today.  I usually save Mondays for my rambling (or ranting) but I didn't have anything exciting or blog-worthy.  And then life happened.

I've been toying with the idea of going back to work in the Fall since two of my three will be in school full-time.  But I have no idea what I want to be when I grow up!!! So I was searching Monster.com to see what kind of opportunities there are for a girl like me; just so I could start mentally preparing myself.  And what happened? My dream job, one where all of my talents could be fully utilized, appeared on the computer screen - and it had just been posted.  It was a sign.  I printed it off and jumped into discussion with the hubby.  That was followed by a feverish attempt at updating an 11 year old resume!  We'll see what happens but, if nothing else, at least it got me to update my resume :)

The next amazing thing that life threw at me is that I recieved word that I will be a guest blogger on one of my favorite blogs!  That is all I'm saying about that for now - but stay tuned for more info on January 20th!

And stop by my blog tomorrow for a new layout and sketch!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

A Challenge of Gratitude

My first challenge for myself, and any of you who want to join me, is to be more grateful for all of the wonderful things and people in my life.  I plan on doing 4 projects this month (one each Saturday) to help me focus on gratitude. 

I found some fantastic inspiration for my first project on pinterest, and then to the original blog:  A Day In My Life: This Much Card

I thought this would be a perfect way to get my boys involved in saying thanks to family for the wonderful holiday celebrations!  So I took the idea and modified it so we could have one card for all 3 boys to send together.  Here is where I normally would insert a photo of my finished project, but the cards are still unassembled due to an unexpected bloody lip (and that's a story for another day).  So here is my work in progress:
I can't wait to finish these with the boys & send them out!  They also make a great Valentine idea :)  Go ahead and try it yourself and post a link in the comments below - I'd love to see what you create.

Friday, January 6, 2012

A Rose by Any Other Name...

...would NOT smell as sweet.  I stand firm in my belief that names matter.  They may not change who you are inside, but they definitely change the way the world reacts to you.  Would you stick your nose in a flower called a "Stinky Diaper" - I wouldn't. 

Why in the world am I talking about this?  I could be ready to rant about the insane list of names people force upon their unsuspecting newborns, but not today.  Today I am leading up to the explanation of the naming of my blog.  The name was heavily influenced by my boys, and rightly so since I will be blogging about them often. 

How many of you are familiar with the Knock-knock, Banana joke?  Have you heard it recently?  I get to hear it every day.
             "Who's there?"
             "Banana who?
             "Who's there?"
             "Banana who?
             "Who's there?"
             "Banana who?
             "Who's there?"
             "Orange who?
"Orange you glad I didn't say Banana!"

So "Orange You Glad" is my release from all the stuff that builds up over and over again until I'm ready to explode.  It is my way of focusing on things that make me feel a little relaxed, happy, and loved.

One of the things I love to do to relax is CHALLENGES!  So check out my blog tomorrow for my first challenge of the new year :)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Just Another "Un" Day

Ever have one of those completely uninspired kind of days?  Well I am having one right now.  In fact the only thing I am really inspired to do is to curl up in the recliner and veg-out to Nick Jr with my 4 year old. 

What do you do when inspiration has left the building?  How do you jump start your creativity?

Here is a photo of my "Inspiration" wall in my craft room at home. 
I attached 4 squares of cork board to the wall with double sided foam sticky squares.  My method is to tack items up there as soon as they catch my eye.  I don't ask questions or over-think why I like any of these things, I just stick them up there because they inspire something inside me.

And because it is the new year and tons of people are organizing their scrap-spaces:
Here is a current photo of my scrap room - I am a little embarrased to post this because it is still in the process of being cleaned up & out.  But hey, nobody's perfect! 

I'd love to hear about what inspires you!  Post a comment below about your inspiration or a link to your scrap-space.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Pop-up Snowman

Did you know it was winter?  Looking out the window, I'd never even guess it.  There has been a serious lack of snow around here, so I had to come up with my own way for the kids to play in the snow!  If I don't keep my boys busy, they end up driving me crazy.  That is why I am constantly throwing things together for them to do.  Here is a finished Pop-up Snowman Scene that we created.

 And a quick & easy tutorial if you want to try this with your kids!

1.  fold a rectangle shaped piece of blue paper in half (hamburger style, not hot dog) - we used 9x12 construction paper
2.  make two cuts about 3/4 inch apart in the middle of the fold (I had the boys make cuts on either side of their thumb while holding the paper by the fold & this seemed to work without measuring)
3.  unfold your paper and push the cut-out forward so it pops away from the rest of the paper - IMORTANT: this is where you will attach your snowman!

Now it is time to decorate your scene! 
4.  to make the snowman: we punched two circles (1" and 2"), used black and orange crayons to draw his face, and glued the head to the body by slightly over-lapping the circles.  You can even cut out a paper hat for your snowman or tie ribbon round his neck for a scarf - let your kid's imagination go wild!
5.  for the background: we cut different sized triangles for the trees and stamped & punched out snowflakes to put in the sky.  You can use anything you have at home (ie glitter, cotton, confetti) but just make sure it is not too heavy or the paper won't be able to stay upright
6.  and finally we used old packing peanuts for the snow on the ground. 

I hope you try this with your little ones.  Be sure to post a link in the comments - I'd love to see what you create!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Tuesday Ta-Da!

Every Tuesday I will be posting a new scrapbook layout that I have created.  Here is my first page for my blog, celebrating my husband's 34th birthday.
These pictures are full of love and joy, but this is truly a bittersweet memory for me.  This was just before we all moved out of our first family home last summer (see the moving box in the background).  But it also reminds me that we will always have each other, and that's what is important.

I wish I was better at inventory - I have no idea what papers I used, what stamps or stickers I used for the word bubbles, or where I got my photos printed.  I can tell you that there is a 90% chance that I bought these supplies from Michaels (since that is where I do most of my craft shopping).  I am still searching for a local scrapbooking store that I can become a regular at. 

I was going to post the sketch of the layout so you could take a stab at it, but I am having some upload issues right now.  But I'd still love to see what you create!  Paste a link to your layout in the comments section.

As you can see from the layout, I have 3 crazy little boys in my life.  That means I do a lot of kids crafts too.  Stop by tomorrow to check out what craft we tackled this week!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Back into Routine

I am a list-maker, a planner, a write-it-down-and-check-it-done type of girl.  The problem is that I always over-estimate the amount I am capable of completing each day.  Always.  So this year I have decided to simplify my many lists into one routine that can be followed no matter what the day throws my way; because, let's face it, life happens to the best of us. 

So my 2012 Resolution (and I shudder as I write this) is to get back into routine.  No longer will I sit around in my pajama pants all day just because I don't want to fold the laundry in order to find clean pants.  No longer will I feed my children canned ravioli because I forgot to defrost the roast for dinner in time.  No longer will I keep piles on my kitchen counter of things to read, do, mail, pay at a later date.  No longer will I waste valuable time making lists instead of checking things off my one routine life list.

One of the things on that Routine that I hope to follow is this very blog.  And tomorrow, because it is Tuesday, I will be posting a new scrapbook creation.  I can't wait to start my journey!