Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Office - Reworked and Revamped

Part of Operation: Get Organized Because Baby is Coming has involved moving lots of rooms of furniture around.  Which is a lot of work heft-wise (especially for Mr. Skooks who is much more able-bodied for all the moving around than I am), but also a lot of re-work organization-wise (especially for me because that's my thang).

For instance, my previous office space shared a room with the kids' playroom.  Which was usually a big mess.  The playroom part . . . and the office part.  Of course I have no picture of the previous space lying around (though I'm sure I must have taken one at some point), but suffice it to say that the major thing I lacked was good storage solutions.  Which meant lots of PILES.  And losing stuff because it didn't have a good place to live.  I even jammed my desk drawers once or twice because too much (mostly unneeded stuff) was clogging the space.

I aimed to rectify that once all of this moved upstairs.

One thing that I gained by moving upstairs was a bookshelf.  It used to live in our dining room (enter new storage problem encountered by taking it away to use upstairs - sigh) where it housed an assortment of things including (but not limited to): kids' art supplies, paper, cleaning supplies, DVDs, video games and video game "stuff", a phone, tablecloths and place mats, and a bunch of little this-s and that-s that didn't really have any place else to live.  It was mostly not an eyesore . . . I did an ok job containerizing the stuff (or so I tell myself) so it wasn't all exposed, but it still kind of gave me a headache thinking about how hodgepodge it was behind all the containers.  In the meantime, I desperately needed something similar for the office space and was making do with a shorter 2 shelf bookshelf that was mostly inaccessible to me because half of it was hidden by the side of the desk and some overhead shelves that could hold a lot but were hung so high that I could barely reach them (and therefore didn't use them to their fullest potential).

All of this back story to say that having a cleaned up and organized work space has been on the agenda for ages, but until we made the big move hadn't yet become a reality.  I'm happy to say that I've finally pulled it all together (using mostly stuff that I already owned - YES!) and that I am breathing a sigh of major relief in my new space.

Office Revamp
Mr. Skooks is not particularly a fan of the little "riser" that the monitor is sitting on.  It's not my fave either, but it gives me a place to slide the laptop when I'm done using it.

The only thing I'm itching to do now is paint my little revolving pen holder (whose former life was a remote control holder in our living room which we have since graduated from needing) - - I'm feeling YELLOW - - finish tying up all the mess of wires underneath the desk, label my storage containers so I know what goes where without opening every single box every time I need to get something/put something away, and someday getting a new chair for my desk (this thing is not only not the most comfy thing anymore, but for some reason Kee-ku decided to chew on the arms and it's not looking the best either).

All in good time.

In the meantime, I'm just happy that I have a place to put everything and that it all makes sense.  Punching it up with some colorful storage containers here and there and adding my freshly made over cork board is just the icing on the office cake.  :)

What did you get accomplished this weekend?


Friday, April 27, 2012

A Mini Porch Makeover

Well, here it is.  Remember when I gave you a little fabric tease a few posts back?  Here's what I was thinking . . .

Mr. Skooks and I inherited these somewhat dirty and rundown (but oh so comfy) outdoor chairs from my parents a few years ago.  They were part of their old patio set which has since been upgraded (besides the set being a bit old, I think what happened was that the table blew over in a storm and shattered so all they were left with were the chairs):

Chair - Before

Not one to turn up my nose at free stuff (especially comfy stuff), Mr. Skooks and I took 2 of the chairs (all we had room for at the time) and the other 2 went to my older sister.  I knew someday I was going to make them over to give them a new (and less scrappy looking) life.

It took years to get onto the more immediate to-sew list, but I finally got around to picking up a little table (on clearance at Meijer for $11) to go in between the chairs, choosing some fun outdoor fabric to recover the cushions with, and some spray paint to make it all look like it was supposed to go together.
Chair - Phase 2

Making a cushion cover is actually a really easy process.  If anyone needs any tips on it, I'd be glad to offer some help (just leave me a comment).  The whole project used 2 1/2 yards of fabric exactly, and a few lengths of sew-in velcro that I had sitting in my stash.

Pretty decent before and after mostly done in-process, yes?
1. Chair - Before, 2. Chair - Phase 2
I went out and bought some glossy brown spray paint to give the legs of the chair a little bit of a "how do you do" so that they match the little table (guess I forgot to take a picture of it . . . oops) I found to go in between them.  Waiting for some decent non-rainy weather (and time) to get (Mr. Skooks to get) that part done.  Already though . . . a big upgrade.  We're on our way . . .


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Totally Flattered . . . Beyond Belief

Something completely lovely happened to me this morning.  I actually got on Twitter.

Ok . . . that wasn't the lovely part.

I have a Twitter account that has been sorely neglected for a long time . . . people that follow me on there mostly just get an update on new blog posts I write, and every once in a great while I share something completely random.  Recently I shared something I had pinned (a first for me, but I should do that more often because I find SO MUCH cool stuff around the webs and it's fun to share).  But otherwise . . . I feel like my Twitter followers continue to follow me because a) I don't bother them with too many tweets, or b) they don't remember that they're following me because I don't tweet much and they're not familiar with TwitCleaner.  Other explanations include c) they actually like me, and d) they are related to me.

Anyway . . . this post is not about Twitter, but it started with Twitter.

Because it had been a long time since I had spent any time on there, I decided to check my @ mentions . . . in case someone was trying to communicate with me directly (and possibly thought I was a complete turd for never getting back to them).  There were a few little surprises that caught my eye, but one that just really made me super curious.  This one:

Wait . . . nominated?  For what??

Also - - this happened at the beginning of this month so I'm sure whatever it was I was nominated for did not win . . . or surely I would have heard something about this . . . but nevertheless . . . what was this about?

So I dug around on The Rik Rak Studio's blog and found that 2 different people had nominated my blog for the 2012 Handmade Olympics (wha?!) in the category of "Our Favorite Blog with a Handmaking Focus" (double wha?!)

So, in short (or long, depending on how you're feeling about this post), I'm just completely floored and honored that anyone even thought of my little blog . . . much less would put it up for nomination as their favorite.
Thanks to Steph and Anissa for giving this very pregnant and very tired mama a bit of lovin' out on the interwebs. 

Seriously . . . made my whole morning.



Friday, April 20, 2012

4 Things Friday - Sewing Stuff

Well, although I have about 5 posts near readiness sitting in the queue here, I haven't finished working up pictures and stuff to complete them, so instead enjoy a little 4 Things Fun on this rainy Friday (well . . . at least where I am it's raining!) - I got a few of these prompts thanks to Sukie who actually hates playing meme tag:

  1. How many machines do you/have you owned and what is your favorite machine?
    • I have only ever owned one real sewing machine.  The first one I had in my possession for awhile was my mom's, an old Singer Stylist from the 1970s which got the job done for me until I was able to scrimp and save up for my own machine.  For those of you who haven't heard me sing my machine's praises, I ended up getting a Singer Quantum Confidence 7470 several years ago . . . a machine that I love dearly and have not regretted purchasing in the least.  For all the Singer haters out there, hate all you want.  I don't care.  I'm sure whatever machine you have is wonderful . . . congratulations on having a machine/brand that you love.  I love my Connie and you won't make me feel bad about her.  I also have a small collection of toy sewing machines, who make up for their lack of usefulness in their sheer cuteness.  ;)
  2. What is your favorite quilt block?
    • Hard to say . . . although I do quilt sometimes, I don't necessarily think of myself as a quilter, and I am not entirely familiar with quilt blocks just by seeing their names (though I do have familiarity with a select few).  With that being said, I do have a love for You Are Here (a la Happy Zombie) quite a bit since getting all of those blocks from my Bee Vintage quilt bee.  They still have yet to be pieced together as a top and quilted, but in the meantime they pretty up my design wall and I love each and every one of them.
  3. What is you favorite fabric line {or two if you can just not decide}?
    • As anyone that has read this blog for more than 4 seconds knows, I have a deep and abiding love for Heather Bailey's Pop Garden/Bijoux line.  It just makes me happy to look at, and though my quest to infiltrate it into all parts of my sewing room is not complete yet, it has most definitely begun as seen here (with my sewing machine cover) and here (where I made over my wall clock).
  4. What is your cannot live without sewing gadget?  
    • I would be hard-pressed to pin down any one thing . . . I mean, how do I live without my cutting mat/rotary cutter/giant Olipfa sewing ruler?  Or my Gingher sewing shears?  Or for that matter, my precious sewing machine?!  That's a big gadget, but it's the most important one, right?  One thing that I do love and makes my life easier is my iron . . . I saved up and used some of the money I earned sewing couch cushion covers for my mother-in-law to spring for an Oliso.  Though she's fancy and has some more advanced electrical features that initially made me nervous I'd have problems with her, she rarely gives me trouble, and I love the auto up-down feature SO MUCH.  Seriously, it's like an ironing revelation. 
If anyone would like to play along this week, do let me know in the comments . . . I would love to distract myself a bit from the giant To Do list I've got going and read about your favorite sewing stuffs.


Friday, April 13, 2012

Cork Board Refresher

I've had this old corkboard since I was probably 8 years old.  It's been with me through all my moves over the years, functioning in my bedroom growing up, to my college dorm room, first apartment, 2nd apartment, 3rd apartment, 4th apartment, ohmygoodness the list goes on and on . . . I moved around A LOT after college.

Anyway, the corkboard has maintained its usefulness over the years but it was looking kind of shabby (and not in a chic way).  Since we have moved all these rooms around here, my "office" space is now in a completely different location and desperately needs some refreshing in organizing as well as beauty.  Right now it's a right mess.

Corkboard Makeover Progress
The only "before-ish" shot I bothered to take.  But at least you can see the blah of the "wood" on the sides.  I would have spray painted the frame, but I didn't have any spray paint on hand.  Whatever.

So, no big "reveal" of the space today, but I did manage to gussy up my corkboard for your viewing pleasure (well, really for mine, but I'm sharing it with you because that's what I do).  Oh, and I totally didn't take step by step photos so I'll just kind of explain what happened here:

Cork Board Makeover
I had a 1/2 yard cut of that pretty bird fabric (will find the source at some point . . . my piece was not large enough to catch the name on the selvage, but I picked it up at JoAnn's ages ago edited: FOUND IT!  Legacy Studio Cotton Fabric-Fresh Fusion Large Spring Floral Cream - - just in case you MUST HAVE IT - lol), which was not quite large enough to cover the whole board.  I really had my heart set on using this fabric because all of my organizing boxes and bins for my office area have all these great colors, and it would really tie all that up nicely.

So yes, I was kind of bummed.

But rather than chucking my idea, I used what I had . . . just centered it on the board and cut off the extra length.  Then, I went through my fabric hutch seeing what might work with it well.  I was pretty stoked when I found that I had enough of this Joel Dewberry green woodgrain fabric (left from a custom bag/change purse that I made awhile back) to cover the difference around the edge.

I love when it actually pays to save scraps.  :)

It's not rocket science . . . I just quickly zipped the pieces together (like making a giant quilt block) and took some flat head pushpins to secure the fabric to the board.  I had briefly considered using some kind of spray adhesive, but then thought that if I ever want to change up the look someday I won't be locked into something.

I mean . . . I have had this thing for over 20 years, so it's not crazy to assume it might stick around for quite awhile longer and possibly my tastes might change!

I freshened up the edges with some white paint I had lying around (some acrylic or another) and there you have it.  I'm planning on hanging it over my desk with my calendar on one side and some acrylic bins that I've got on the other to free up some desk space of mine that always seems to have piles.  :P

Anyone else tackling organizing projects lately?  Or beautification of old stuff projects lately?  I feel like I have so many more organizing projects lately since we moved all of our stuff around to get ready for the kiwi . . . not that she'll care, but I would like to get it all done beforehand since I will be too busy with baby snuggles to get into all of it after the birth!  That's the plan anyway . . .


Thursday, April 5, 2012

A Bit of Fabric Buying

Not much to report on the sewing room switch-around situation . . . I'm thinking there is little hope of progress on that front until the weekend comes around.  I have moved a few things here and there into the places that I'm sure I want them, but the room is FAR from complete.  Maybe I'll share some pictures tomorrow afternoon if I remember to take some.  ;)

In the meantime, I've finally gotten around to purchasing a bit of fabric to work on a project I've been wanting to tackle since we moved into this house in 2010.  Can you guess what this is for?

I also tossed a bit of this into the cart because the price was right even if the heft of the fabric might be completely all wrong . . . we shall see when it gets here:
***On a random note: I don't know if this is something they always do or not, but I had been sitting weighing my decision on that first fabric for awhile . . . as in, I put it into my virtual cart and left it there to think about for like a week or something without actually purchasing it (does anyone else do this?!) . . . when I got an email from them saying something to the effect of "Buy that thing that's been sitting in your cart and we'll give you 15% off your purchase."  I really didn't need that much so it was nice to get a little discount on it anyway.  I always check RetailMeNot and the like to see what coupons are lurking (as well as go through Ebates), but a lot of times you need a $50 minimum purchase to get a discount code or whatever (which clearly, this time around I was not going to qualify for).***

Just throwing that out there . . . in case it might work for anyone else.  :)

P.S.  I was not spiffed by, RetailMeNot, or Ebates to mention them in this post.  They have no clue who I am except when I choose to do business with them as a regular ole consumer.  With that being said, I did toss a referral code into my link to Ebates if anyone wants to get a little spiff for signing up through me . . . I'll get one too.  Not being a pusher, just sayin'.  ;)


Sunday, April 1, 2012

It is HAPPENING . . .

While you were all April Fool-ing one another, something AMAZING was happening in my house.  Something both amazing and TERRIFYING was happening.  

Mr. Skooks took it upon himself (with nary a bit of help from me and my ginormatoid belly) to start, and essentially finish, moving around 3 rooms of furniture in our house.  Remember how I dropped the bomb on y'all that I was going to be dismantling my precious sewing room?  And the world stopped and the people yelled, "noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!" and then it was pinned a couple times more on Pinterest?  (OK . . . just kidding about that last part.)

I'm not gonna lie . . . the prospect of taking all that carefully organized stuff down kind of freaked me out as well but with the impending arrival of the little Kiwi, stuffs just needed to get moved around up in here.  AND, let's not forget that I wasn't actually going to be losing the sewing room (insert major sigh of relief here), it was just going to be relocated to the former office/playroom on the first floor.  Whew.  That was a close one.

So this big presto change-o happened largely while Kee-ku was taking his nap (much to his surprise)  . . . and there is a lot of excitement in the house right now.  There's me - - standing in the corner licking my chops at the new organizing challenges ahead, there's Little Miss - - gleefully moving her toys from the former playroom to what will be her own room, and then there's Kee-ku - - trying to run through everyone's legs and touch everything that is all out of place.

Mr. Skooks has really done pretty much 98% of the work here moving things around . . . he's probably less enthused than the rest of us because there is a lot more work that lies ahead (re-hanging shelving and all my sewing thingies, building a closet for Kee-ku in his new room, switching lighting fixtures around, the list goes on) . . . but he's also probably relieved that the major moving of stuff is done now.  Time to muster up the energy to get the rest of it "done" before babycakes arrives. 

But it's on . . .

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