Thursday, November 29, 2007

30 Day Organizational Challenge


I made it! Barely, but I did make it before the deadline. :o) If you remember in this post my room wasn't looking so good. You have to walk through the center of this room to get from the front room to the dining room and to the Bathroom and basement stairs. So...in a way this room is divided into two because of the "walk" area. On the left I had my sewing and crafting area. Although you can tell from this before picture that not much sewing and crafting was going on. Then on the right I had a chair next to the "fake" fireplace and the piano was a "catch all" area (not to even mention the floor!). But take a look at it now! ;)
Before:
There was no way I could do any sewing or even get to my yarn stash to crochet something!
After:
Now, I have my yarn neatly tucked inside the totes next to the wardrobe and my scrap fabric contained in a clear tub.
Before:
Another gruesome picture of my unusable area.
After:
Now I have my sewing desk cleared off and a spot for my serger (which was sitting on the floor before.) In between my sewing machine and serger I have my rolls of paper for tracing patterns and interfacing. Oh..just to clarify the card table is still in the picture because it is holding a blanket I am crocheting for Big T, my oldest son. It has so many different colors of yarn and so many bobbins that it doesn't get put away while I am not working on it. If I put it away it would take my at least 15 minutes to get it all "set up" to work on again.(The box underneath the card table holds the extra yarn for the blanket.) Oh, and that is a duct tape "dummy" next to my sewing machine. (Finally got it set up after 6 months)
Before:So much stuff on the floor, mantle was a mess, and the piano "held" everything for us.
After:The floor is cleaned up (believe it or not!), the mantle only has the pictures and other decorations it is supposed to, and the children's rockers have been placed under that mantle instead of in the middle of the floor. ;o) I have my flute resting on top of the piano (So I can keep track of where it is) and the TV is on the piano (only one we have) partly because it has no where else to set and we are getting the children a piano curriculum on DVD. It just makes sense for it to be there at this time.

I also wanted to show this picture.

I am so proud of this. We have a tight budget, but I took what I had and put it to use. First of all, I needed to have my fabric organized and easy to see. I had it stashed in all sorts of nooks and crannies. I ruler folded all of my fabric which helped a lot in stacking. I only had one shelving unit so I took the boxes that Little E's diapers come in and turned them on their side. They are perfect for keeping my stacks of fabric from falling over! And you can see my yarn in the clear totes better as well. The yellow board is used to block doilies and since it isn't used a lot I have it resting on top of the white shelving. It works out great! Oh, I didn't take a picture, but I cleaned out the wardrobe too. It holds my stamping supplies, some school supplies, and books.

I should probably answer the questions now. :D

1. What was the hardest part of the challenge for you and were you able to overcome it?

The hardest part of the challenge for me was just taking the time to get it done. With three children I am very busy. Another difficult part of the challenge was just the area. I would prefer my sewing/crafting area to be out of the way of traffic, but it just isn't possible in this home. But I think I did a wonderful job compromising what I needed with the space and circumstances.

2. Tell us what kind of changes/habits you have put into place in order for your area/room to maintain its new order?

I (my family is also included in this) am making conscience effort to put things back where they are supposed to be. For so long I would get something out and just not put it back. That was the biggest problem before. I have more motivation to keep it cleaned up now because I need to be a good example for my children on how to care for their possessions and how to keep a home looking like a home and not a pigsty. :D

3. What did you do with the “stuff” you were able to purge out of your newly organized space?

It went into the trash! :o)

4. Now that you have completed the challenge, do you think having and keeping your space organized will make a difference in your life?

It will make a huge difference in my life. I make 75% of Sweet E's clothing, 50% of my own, and I sew for my boys as well. Not to mention the fact that I am trying to get the children ready for piano lessons. Now we can start since they can actually get to the piano!

6. Why do you think you should win the challenge?

I think I should win the challenge because I worked very hard to make a space that is not only user friendly to myself, but my family as well. My sewing area is easily accessible, we have a place to sit and read together (the children and I), and my family can start learning how to play the piano. There is so much more I would like to do with my sewing area, but as I mentioned before, funds are limited. I think my creativity should win this challenge. I mean....how many other people use diaper boxes to help them organize. ;)

Show and Tell Friday (11/30)

Welcome to "Show and Tell Friday!" Do you have a something special to share with us? It could be a trinket from grade school, a piece of jewelry, an antique find. Your show and tell can be old or new. Use your imagination and dig through those old boxes in your closet if you have to! Feel free to share pictures and if there's a story behind your special something, that's even better!

I know it has been a while ago, but I believe Kelli showed some "glimpses" of a book called Foods and Homemaking. I remembered that I had that book too. Hubby found it years ago at an auction along with a book called A Girl's Problems in Home Economics. The book in the center, I believe, belonged to Hubby's grandmother. I really need to try making something from this cookbook (The Victory Cookbook). I got intimidated when I saw bread call for a "cake" of yeast. At the time I had absolutely no idea what that meant. So anyway, I thought this would make a neat show and tell today. Now....off to see what others have to show and tell today. Blessings to all! :o)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Friday, November 23, 2007

Show off some sewing!

I wanted to take time to show off the outfits I made for Big T and Little E that I mentioned the other day. When I was making the pants for Big T the whole time I was afraid that they might be too tight. They ended up almost 4 inches too big! He doesn't even have to undo the button and zipper to get them off....without a belt they fall down to his ankles. Oh well...it was my first time using the pattern. I will know next time to go down a size and go up a size in length. Little E's overalls are so cute too. I think the only thing I would change would be the length of the straps. Everything else seemed to be pretty good. :D

And I also thought I would show the fingertip mitts that I made for my sister. I think it is an Alexander Henry print. Aren't they cute? :D

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Gingerbread House Tour

Wanna take a tour of the gingerbread house that we finished. I am pretty proud of the way it turned out since it is the first one I have ever done. :D I hope to make some gingerbread men (to eat) with the children in the next week or two. I think we will be making a gingerbread house next year too. :D


Monday, November 19, 2007

Count Your Blessings Monday


"I am giving us an opportunity every Monday to not only count our blessings, but to share them with others. This is a way that we can encourage one another. Make a post on your blog telling us about your blessing. Please put a link back to this post. You can add the URL of your blog post on Mr. Linky below. Many of our blessings we will have pictures of and we can share those as well. I think that many times we forget that it is a blessing to be able to breath, to get out of bed, to hold a baby... Share your blessings with us. They encourage others. We can share so many other things.... special gifts, recipes, let's take the time to share how God has blessed us!! -Marci"

I don't really have anything to "show" today, but I just wanted to share. My family may not be "rich" in the worldly sense of the wood, but we are rich in many other things. Today I wanted to thank the Lord for the skills he has given me. now..by no means am I great at any of these, but I can do these. I am talking about my ability to crochet blankets and clothing for my family AND my ability to sew clothing for Sweet E and my boys. Yes..I finally sewed for my boys. Last time I sewed something was when Big T was Little E's age. I hope to post a picture later this week. They are going to wear their matching outfits for Thanksgiving. With these gifts I can provide for my family the clothing that they need and I can specialize it too! It's so much more satisfying to see your child's eyes light up when I had them their new piece of clothing. Big T kept a close eye on me while I was making his pants. When he tried them on he went running to Papa saying "Look at my cowboy pants!" Don't know why he said that exactly, but at least he likes them. :D

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Show and Tell and Giving Thanks

Welcome to "Show and Tell Friday!" Do you have a something special to share with us? It could be a trinket from grade school, a piece of jewelry, an antique find. Your show and tell can be old or new. Use your imagination and dig through those old boxes in your closet if you have to! Feel free to share pictures and if there's a story behind your special something, that's even better!

Today I am taking part in Kelli's Show and Tell and her Giving Thanks week. Last Saturday I had the chance to do something I had never done before. I put together a gingerbread house with my MIL and my children. My MIL made the gingerbread and then she had me help her assemble it and then decorate it. We didn't finish it all, but we hope to finish it this afternoon since she has the day off. I am pretty proud of myself. Next year maybe the children and I can do this as a school project/activity. So...here is the gingerbread house in all it's glory. I hope to post a finished photo of it once it is completed. :D
We ran out of the mints that are the shingles for the roof. If no one would have eaten any there would have been plenty. :) Oh well...live and learn. ;o) It is so much fun to take time out of already hectic schedules to spend time creating things and visiting with family. Take time today to do something special with your children and/or family. :D

Thursday- Giving Thanks

Today I wanted to share something else I am thankful for. How many of you have kitchen appliances that dance? You don't?! Well I do! Check out this video.


Crazy Huh? It does it every time I make my bread. This is definately a time that I do not walk away. This thing has come close to ending up on the floor so many times. So here is a pic of the end result. I know it's huge. Instead of making 2 smaller loaves I decided to make one giant loaf of bread. It gets quite the reaction from people. :D
I am so thankful that I am able to have a grinder so I can grind my own flour as I need it to make such healthy bread for my family. And I am so thankful for my dancing mixer too. ;o)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Wednesday- Giving Thanks

Today I thought I would share my menu. If you even want to call it that. On Thanksgiving day we will be going to my sister's house to have my side of the family's get together and then on Saturday we go to my In-laws for hubby's side. So I just thought I would share what I am going to bring. :D

On Thursday I am bringing whole wheat bread, white rolls, and.....a two layer chocolate cake with ganache (Sp?) icing!!! My mom wants pumpkin pie, but I know not everyone will be in the mood for pumpkin or they may want a taste of something else. Hopefully I will remember to take a picture to post. On Saturday my MIL asked that I bring a salad. Not sure exactly what it will be yet, but I bet it will have onions and/or garlic. :D

To join the Giving thanks week go over to Kelli's at kellishouse.blogspot.com :)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Tuesday- Giving Thanks


Today I decided I wanted to share a recipe. I know most people don't think of hummus as something that is typically on our Thanksgiving table, but my family loves it so much that we will eat it any time of year! So...here is my recipe that I use for our wonderful hummus (compliments of Hubby's Aunt J. :D)

Aunt J's Hummus
1 can of chick peas (15 1/2 oz)
2 LARGE cloves of garlic
1 tsp. salt
1/3 C. fresh lemon juice
1/3 c. Tahini
olive oil
paprika
minced fresh parsley

Directions:
1. Drain the chick peas and rinse them under cold water. Save a few for decoration later.
2. In food processor, chop the garlic.
3. Add the chickpeas, salt, lemon juice, and 2 T. cold water. process until very smooth
4. Add the Tahini and process until well mixed.
5. Spread the hummus in a shallow serving bowl.
6. Drizzle the top with olive oil, then sprinkle with the paprika and parsley. Serve at room temperature with wedges of pita bread or slices of fresh bread. Yields 2 1/2 cups.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Count Your Blessings Monday



"I am giving us an opportunity every Monday to not only count our blessings, but to share them with others. This is a way that we can encourage one another. Make a post on your blog telling us about your blessing. Please put a link back to this post. You can add the URL of your blog post on Mr. Linky below. Many of our blessings we will have pictures of and we can share those as well. I think that many times we forget that it is a blessing to be able to breath, to get out of bed, to hold a baby... Share your blessings with us. They encourage others. We can share so many other things.... special gifts, recipes, let's take the time to share how God has blessed us!! -Marci"

I "forgot" to do this last week....guess my head was somewhere else. ;) Anyway...I have been thinking a lot lately. God has been speaking to me about my attitude. I am not always content with where I am at and/or what I have. I need to thank the Lord for all my blessings. I have a washing machine that leaks sometimes, but I have very lucky to have one. There are many people that don't have that luxury. I only have a single sink instead of a double one. This makes me grateful that I can be creative on how to get my dishes washed (by the way...I use two small dishpans). :D Oh...the biggest thing right now...is that we have gas heat which costs so much in the winter time, but I am thankful that the Lord has blessed my family with warm beds, shoes, sweaters, socks, and a furnace that we can set to whatever temperature we would prefer. So many people don't have heat because they can't afford it, some people live on the streets or in their cars. I am so richly blessed and I am such a fool for not seeing it. I always want more, but the Lord is showing me how to be joyful and thankful for all that I have...especially my family. Thank you Lord! :D
I am also going to use this post for the Giving Thanks over at Kelli's. It think this post is appropriate for Giving Thanks week, since I am talking about giving thanks for all the blessings I have been given. :D

Friday, November 09, 2007

5 Minutes for Mom

They are having giveaways all the time it seems like but check them out now especially. There seems to be some big giveaways right now. :D I added their "button" to my sidebar. ;)

30 Day Challenge Update

Unfortunately I don't have anything to update on. We have had such a terribly busy week. I will have something to update next week. I promise. ;)

  1. How many of you have taken large boxes or baskets and labeled them keep, donate, toss, relocate and possibly sell in order to do your sort? This is important to doing an effective quick sort. Without giving it too much thought start tossing things into the applicable boxes. The purpose of this is to do some initial weeding out and getting all the “toss” stuff out the door as soon as possible. This will give you some more breathing room and allow you to focus on your keep pile which you’ll now want to go through again to reconsider why you may have chosen to keep the things you have. I’ll post more about this step next week. This is on my to-do list
  2. How many of you have designated a certain length of time each day to tackling your project? Nope..haven't done that but is a great idea. :D
  3. How many of you want to run right out and buy containers and baskets before doing the remove, sort and purge? [fight that urge!] It is so tempting!
  4. How many of you are feeling overwhelmed? ME, ME, ME!!!
  5. How many of you are feeling excited to keep going? I do feel excited about the whole thing, just need a block of time to start.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Show and Tell Friday (11/09)

Welcome to "Show and Tell Friday!" Do you have a something special to share with us? It could be a trinket from grade school, a piece of jewelry, an antique find. Your show and tell can be old or new. Use your imagination and dig through those old boxes in your closet if you have to! Feel free to share pictures and if there's a story behind your special something, that's even better!

I got some more sewing done this past week. I am so proud of myself. :D Sweet E had a jumper that I really liked so I made my own pattern from it and made her two jumpers out of some fabric I found in the clearance section at JoAnn's. Pictures are not the greatest, but you get the idea. The dark brown is a corduroy with embroidery and the other is a twill with pink plaid flowers. I really like how they turned out. Next time I will lower the neckline. Gotta lover her pink boots!


I also got some more sewing done for myself. It's a terrible picture but I wanted to show that I made myself a lightweight denim skirt from the same pattern as this skirt. So..now that I have some sewing done...I need to get back to working on my son's afghan that I haven't touched in 9 months. Oh dear...time just flies right by. :D

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

What a week!

Yes...I am still alive. Although...after the long weekend I had I am amazed that I am even functioning. And to think..this week is half over! We had a family get together on Saturday to celebrate 4 birthdays and then another family get together to celebrate Christmas. Yes..you read correctly...Christmas. My grandparents go to Florida for the winter and so my Mother's family likes to have the family get together before they head south. Then at home it has just been trying to catch up with various things.
My MIL's bday was on Monday and I had the privilege of making her cake. I meant to wish her a happy Birthday here on the blog, but Monday has come and gone in the blink of an eye...along with Tuesday and Wednesday. ;) Anyway...when I put the cake in the oven I had to rush outside to do some speed raking as the "leaf truck" was coming down the road. Then I made it back inside just in time for the timer to go off letting me know the cakes were done, but I ended up having to do a second batch because one of the layers completely fell apart. Go figure...and Sweet E has been getting into food for the past 2 weeks. If she can reach it she apparently thinks that it's her's to eat. So...we are dealing with that situation right now. Anyway, I know I am rambling, but I just wanted to let everyone know that I am around and hope to post some pictures from this weekend very soon. :D

Friday, November 02, 2007

I got an Award!

Marci at Down on the Farm gave me this award. You are so sweet Marci. Thank you so much for giving this to me. :D

Show and Tell Friday (11/2)

Welcome to "Show and Tell Friday!" Do you have a something special to share with us? It could be a trinket from grade school, a piece of jewelry, an antique find. Your show and tell can be old or new. Use your imagination and dig through those old boxes in your closet if you have to! Feel free to share pictures and if there's a story behind your special something, that's even better!

I showed this project earlier in the week, but I also wanted to feature it for Show and Tell today. This is a dress I finished for Sweet E last weekend. I am really happy with how it turned out. You can see more pictures in this post.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

30 Organizational Challenge


"Sometimes we get so overwhelmed with what needs to be organized in our surroundings that we don’t even know where to start. This challenge is a perfect opportunity to help you FOCUS in on one room or space. Pick one area to organize in your house this month and make the COMMITMENT to yourself to get it done within the next 30 days. Concentrate your efforts one step at a time and you WILL get it done!!! I’ll be rooting you along as we move through the month of November. I want you to feel that high sense of accomplishment that comes from turning clutter and chaotic into purposeful and calm. I want that for you. What do you say, are you in?

Join me over the next 30 days and turn your goal of an organized space into a reality!"-Laura


I decided that this is probably the motivation I need to get things done. We don't have a ton of extra space in our home and my sewing/crafting area is getting way out of hand. I just don't seem to have room for everything. I need to make this space much more efficient so I can easily get to all of my sewing and crafting needs. Plus...it is practically the first thing someone sees when they walk into our home....so I would like it to be appealing to the eye...or at least not an eye sore. Also..this room has our piano that tends to be a catch all. I can't believe I am doing this, but here are pictures of the living area. I guess I am not sure what to call this room...I guess it's the Living/Sewing Room....because I spend a lot of time here. ;)

So...Have a scared you with these pics? I will have a much improved space to show you by the end of the month. Promise!