taming my ribbon & fabric stash

My latest organizational undertaking has been to clean out and organize my craft closet.  Eventually, I will be moving some of my crafty stuff (along with our desk) from the guest room to our master bedroom...but that's another post.  

A big part of the clutter in my craft closet was my ribbon and fabric stash.  I am definitely a packrat and have accumulated a lot of ribbon and fabric over the years.  And my previous "system" for organizing it was to stuff all the fabric into a box and to stack the ribbon spools in the back of a cabinet.  It was really more of a mess than anything else.  And it resulted in me forgetting what I had (since I couldn't see it all at a glance) and in what I had being all crumpled, wrinkled, and somewhat unusable.  My first step was to pare down my ribbon and fabric collection.  This was tough, but I ended up getting rid of quite a bit. Then, I worked on the best way to store my remaining ribbon and fabric.

So here is my new ribbon storage:

I found these great wire mesh baskets (they measure about 12" x 16") on clearance at Walmart for $3.  I love a good clearance.  And I got rid of the ribbon spools.  Well, most of them.  There are a couple of full, unopened spools in the front of the basket, as well as full spools of holiday curling ribbon in the bottom.  I took all the rest of my ribbon and wrapped it around rectangles of thick card stock.  I cut the card stock to fit into the basket so I could sort of "file" all the ribbon in there.  It's now (loosely) organized by color and pattern and I can see everything that I have.  Much better.

I also picked up these narrow plastic baskets at Target (2 for $1).  And they fit perfectly across the basket and will be good for holding odds and ends.  This one holds a couple of spools of jewelry wire.

As you can see above, I organized my fabric the same way.  Mesh basket + neatly folded fabric and felt + plastic basket for odds and ends = awesome.


happy spring

Spring is officially here!  Well as of two days ago...guess I'm a tad late.  The weather is beautiful and everything is fresh and new.  This is by far my favorite time of the year.  Here is the bean kicking off the start of the season with a trip to the park.


tactile alphabet

I have so many projects that I'd like to do for the bean.  It seems like every time I go on Pinterest I find something else to add to the list.  Making the bean a set of sandpaper letters has been on my to-do list for a while now.  Even though I think he is still far from being able to actually read and spell with these letters, he loves books and we read throughout the day.  So, I think it would be great to go ahead and get him acquainted with the alphabet and to give him something tactile to use in his learning.

I would LOVE to have a set of these really nice Montessori sandpaper letters, but the price is a little steep for my taste.  So I started thinking about how I could (cheaply) make them myself.  I came across this post at innerchildfun.com and thought it was a great alternative.  Here is my version:

I used these adhesive felt letter stickers and these small wooden cards that I got from Hobby Lobby (love that place!!).

The cards measure about 2" x 4" and came in packs of four for about $1.50 a pack.  I gave the edges a light sanding before sticking on the letters.  I did use a couple of tiny dabs of superglue on the back of each letter, just to make sure they don't peel off.

And that was it!  I love the way they look. The size is perfect for little hands and I think they will end up being really durable.  I'm going to store them in a cute little black drawstring bag that I have in my craft stash (I think I got it with a set of pillowcases at some point??).  Oh...and BONUS...I have enough letter (and number) stickers left over to make another set.  I would like to make a lowercase set, too eventually.  I'll have to keep an eye out for lowercase letter stickers.  But for the time being, these are exactly what I wanted!  


organizing the bling

I've been on an organizing and cleaning kick lately.  Spring cleaning, I guess?  I'd like to think that I keep a pretty neat and organized house, but life happens.  And every now and then stuff piles up and in order to maintain my sanity, I have to get things reorganized back under control.

My latest project was reorganizing my jewelry and hair stuff.  My old "system" was to throw it all in a drawer and forget about it.  And admittedly, that did work for a while...mostly because once I shut that drawer, I didn't have to look at it.  So it was easy to forget what a mess it was in there.  Unfortunately, that meant that it was also easy to forget what jewelry I had to start with.  Then while browsing on Pinterest, I came across a brilliant solution.  A DIY jewelry organizer made from a cutlery tray...genius.

Here is my version:

Just like the inspiration post, I started with a bamboo cutlery tray (I picked mine up at Walmart for around $8).  But instead of screw-in cup hooks, I used plastic adhesive hooks.  I was so afraid that the screws would split the wood, so the adhesive hooks worked well.  Then I just spray painted the whole thing white.  I added sawtooth hangers to the back and hung it up on the wall.  Easy!  The hardest part was waiting for the paint to dry in between coats.  I'm not the most patient person.

It's great for my jewelry and the two hooks I added in the bottom compartment are great for holding my hair elastics and headbands.  I'm still looking for a cute tiny little tray or cup to hold my earrings and rings (instead of the little cardboard boxes you see in the photo...that's all I had at the time).  But for now, it serves it's purpose.  And it freed up the drawer that I was using before.  Bonus!!  Now I can hide some other stuff away in there.


meet the bean

Well, here he is...

That's my little man.  He's pretty cute, huh??  I know, I know...I am biased.  But seriously.  He is my light and my heart and he is such an incredible blessing to me.  We call him "the bean" because right after he was born, the hubby and I looked at our brand new little guy and then looked at each other in utter exhaustion and amazement and said to each other "Look what we did...we made a human being."  So somehow, that morphed into "human bean" then just "the bean".  Sounds silly now, but in our sleep deprived and elated state, it made sense at the time.

Fast forward almost nineteen months (seriously...kids grow up fast!) and that's our bean right now.  I am truly blessed to be able to stay home and hang out with him everyday.  But that does not mean that I don't work.  To those who have never been a stay-at-home mom, it is definitely work.  Believe me.  But it is the best job I've ever had.  This little guy amazes me in a new way each and every day.  It's just incredible how much he is learning right now.

At almost nineteen months, here are a few facts about our bean:

  • He loves bananas and whole wheat bread.
  • He can use two and three word phrases (his favorite right now is "I do it").
  • He likes to give kisses.  And he loves for us to give kisses...to him, to the cat and dog, to his stuffed animals.  He'll hold out a toy for us to kiss and say "mwaa"...it's pretty adorable.
  • He likes to pick out books and "read" to himself.
  • He loves to make animal sounds...and car, truck, and train sounds.
  • He is completely obsessed with trains.
  • He can pick up and put away his toys (with a little direction and encouragement, of course).
  • He cracks himself up.  He is constantly talking and babbling and laughing.  He's quite the entertainer.
  • He mimics pretty much anything we say, so...we have had to start really watching our language
  • He loves to sing and dance, which makes mom and dad happy since we are both musically inclined.  This kid LOVES music...and not just kid music, but real music (The Beatles, Radiohead, Ben Folds, etc).
I love this kid.

the obligatory awkward first post

Well, here it is...my first blog post.  Awkward.  I guess I should try and come up with something funny and clever and interesting to impress all my readers (and by "all" I really just mean the hubby at this point).  But truth is if you're already here and reading this post, you are probably already somewhat interested in what our little family is up to and I probably don't have to try too hard to impress you anyway...yet.

So I will just say "welcome".  Welcome to our little corner of the interwebs.  Check back every now and then to see what me, the bean, and the hubby are up to.  Our lives are pretty ordinary, so I can't promise a lot of glamour or excitement.  But I'll try to keep it entertaining, at least.  I will also be posting about my crafty conquests, our favorite recipes, and so on.

Thanks for stopping by.  See you again soon!