Thursday, January 28, 2010

Sewing room organize along, finished!

It is taking me forever to get photos of this room on here, and frankly I do not know how to work my new camera yet, so this is as good as it gets I am afraid. LOL

This ended up being my freecycle pile. It's actually a huge amount of stuff considering how much I gave away BEFORE we moved.
I cannot seem to force my flash to work, sorry this is so dark. Finally everything is off the floor! The basket in front of the fabric shelves does have another home, but there is still a box of ornaments sitting there. Too tired to pack them away right now.
The other side of the sewing table.
The corner opposite the door, home to the inspiration board for now. (It's actually too high for me to use, sigh.) I didn't spend a lot of time worrying about where the furniture is because I know this furniture will be leaving as soon as it is warm enough for me to paint my new furniture. As a result, the cabinet underneath my paper bin is in an awkward place.
I had a few more containers than I could fit in the closet, so I dug around in the basement and used a bookshelf that used to be in our garage. It too could use a coat of paint. (Hurry up spring!)
The right side of the closet. (I am still labeling all the containers.) Underneath the bottom shelf are my big dishbarrels that I keep the ornaments in. I refuse to keep my precious ornaments in the basement, so they have to stay in the closets upstairs.
And the left side of the closet. Not as tidy as the right, but everything is organized and it all fits in there. That's what matters!
And the last cardboard box in the room.

I've actually had all the organizing done in there since about 3 days after I started posting the organize along, which is not too bad. It still took 3 days longer than I thought it would, but I got it done. And THAT'S what matters.

If you are still working on your space remember to keep going, even if it is just a little at a time. And get.rid.of.stuff! If it doesn't fit, there is too much stuff.

I've tried to keep a few things in mind as we continue to get rid of stuff (like the 4 trash bags of clothes Dave and I got rid of so that everything fits beautifully in our master closet now). Here's my mental checklist:

Would I pay $10 for this? $10 sounds arbitrary, but in reality it is about half of the money I take to the flea market every week. I have to want something pretty bad to pay $10 for it.

Do I REALLY REALLY love this? Love it so much it makes my heart sing?

Is it replaceable if later on I decide I HAD to have it again?

Does it fit in my vision of this space?

And a few tips for your closet space:

It does really help to have all the same containers to store stuff in. Everything being the same size and shape makes it fit nicer with less wasted space. It's expensive to do it that way, so don't be overwhelmed if that is out of reach immediately. Try buying one container every two weeks. You'll get there.

I put the less used stuff up high or down really low. The middle shelves see the most action.

Label everything, even if you only have masking tape to make labels with. It saves a lot of time and frustration and you are certain to not have two boxes of the same things. (Unless you need two boxes of the same thing.)

The sewing room is still not the sewing room of my dreams. I don't like the BIG dark wood furniture. I wanted painted furniture that is smaller. But now I at least now that I love the stuff that is in there and as I look for other pieces to make it more the sewing room of my dreams I know exactly what I need to store in there.

Okay, back to Valentine making with me!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A valentine greeting

I obviously didn't send Christmas cards this year. Since I have a postcard coupon I want to spend I thought we might send a Valentine greeting instead this year.

So off Jack and I go at 9 am to get a haircut for him (a terrible one at that), and then this afternoon we go out in the freezing cold to try and get a picture to use.

This is NOT as easy as it was when he was a smaller.
There was surly Jack.
Jack looking at the sky?
Jack playing Where's Waldo.
Jack the mummy.

And then I started to get tense. "JACKSON! Please help mommy. It's cold. Lift your cheeks son! Lift your cheeks!"

The pictures actually get better after he starts to monkey around.
Jack gets cheesy.
Jack tries out heartthrob.
Jack inadvertently makes kissy faces.
Jack looks plain sweet.
Oh lordy, Jack the grouch is returning.
Maybe a winner? (The bad haircut really does bug me. ugh. And yes, I would crop out the folding quilt.)

Have a favorite?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Random stuff

We changed the mailbox today. Thrilling, I know, but it is exciting for us.

From moldy and
rusty to
pretty and new.

Other, more interesting stuff:

I am in LOVE with My parents were awesome . I love the hippie type photos the most. I need to dig up more old photos of my grandparents and the house.

Selena at Apron Thrift Girl is raffling quilts for Haiti. If you are always thinking of buying yourself a vintage quilt that is the perfect opportunity.

I have three of the boxes for this year's Heart to Heart swap, and seriously, they are awesome. This could be the best year yet. If you didn't get an email from me this week, remember I would like to have all the boxes by Saturday so I can box them up next weekend.

Less interesting stuff:
Jack is driving me freaking crazy with the Wii. Santa brought it this year and I have to ride herd constantly about screen time. He spends 20 hours a day bugging me about it. If I didn't love me some 90210 and Project Runway I think I would be considering going tv free. ugh.

It has been GRAY GRAY GRAY GRAY here for what feels like an entire month. I need sun. Bad. I am in the midst of some winter doldrums I think. ugh again.

I've been thinking a little about blogging.

Mainly about how I tend to find it irritating if I ask a question in the comments and never receive an answer.

I try to answer questions, even if I have to go to your blogs to do so because there is no email address, or I make a point of addressing it on the blog if it seems to be a common issue. But I am sure some of you have slipped through the cracks. Have you asked me something and I've forgotten you? Have I otherwise annoyed you with my prattling on? LOL

It's interesting how facebook seems to be changing the face of blogging a bit. It seems to have taken away some of the more personal aspects of some blogs as those people now just facebook that stuff.

I think I tend to be an "old school" blogger and I CANNOT get on board with some of this "new fangled" stuff. Followers, gadgets, widgets, parties, round robins, what is all that stuff? Ha! (I do get the followers thing, but I would have to upgrade to add some kind of follower gadget and I just can't do that. I guess some of you find the followers thing easier than a feed reader?)

I also get all these emails asking for ad space or offering to give me products if I will do giveaways etc and I find myself deleting them all. Maybe I am short changing us both with that though? I have seen some folks get themselves some nice things from those same emails I deleted. Do you want to see that stuff here or are you happy to not have it here?

Anyway, that's my random two cents for today.

How about you?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

IKEA Kitchen and new dining room

You've seen plenty of photos of this area of the house, but I thought we should still run through it before and after style.

It's going to be a super photo heavy post, sorry if you are on dial up!

This part of the house underwent the most massive transformation (other than the garage addition).

The fireplace had prison gray brick from floor to ceiling all the way to the corner.
That was all torn down. The firebox itself is new and we went without a traditional hearth, putting the fireplace at floor level. It is surrounded by glass mosiac tiles now. Obviously I still need to paint the surround! (I do have an outlet above the mantel to plug in those chandelier lamps, but they need to be rewired.
Kitchen sink, dishwasher and fridge to the left.
The sink and the dishwasher are in the same place, but we did move the fridge.
Where the oven and microwave used to be. That is the old door to the garage.
The fridge is now where the oven was. (WAY back when my grandma had double ovens there.) It's impossible to tell in this photo but we moved the basement staircase as far forward as we could to open up the passage here. Opening the passage way there did away with what used to be the most awkward space in the house - a spot where both the basement door and garage door had to open in the same 36 inch opening. That passageway now leads to my main floor laundry and my huge pantry. (Photos of that next!)

That wall still needs paint from drywall work.
The old pantry used to sit above the stairwell. It was always really hard to squeeze yourself into that corner to get things into it. (And when we would bring food for Grandpa I used to make Jack put it in the pantry! LOL)
I now have a bank of free standing cabinets there with a spot for a bookshelf to hold cookbooks and Jack's nature tray stuff below my apron collection.
This was the view from the kitchen...
and the view now. You can see that we also opened up the doorway into the hallway to make that space wider and less cramped. ***I should add that this was the "family room", not the dining room. I really didn't see the point of having two living rooms.
With the halfwall and those spindly things gone we have plenty of room for a big peninsula now.
Jack calls it the "diner" and we eat there a lot. Someday that counter is going to be awesome for cutting fabric.
The old view into the kitchen.
The new view into the kitchen. I still need to paint the beadboard on the back of the peninsula.
We took out the old sliding glass doors.
And put in pretty french doors.
The spot where the fridge used to live.
It now houses more cabinets and countertops.

Whew. We made it!

Ok, onto the nitty gritty.

The cabinets, sink, faucet and countertops are from IKEA. I ended up buying the appliances at lowes because it wasn't much cheaper to use IKEA. The glass knobs are from Ebay of all places.

So how was it buying an IKEA kitchen? And how was it buying it from a state with no IKEA?

Actually, not too bad. Dave did all the kitchen planning himself using the home planner that IKEA provides via the internet. When you think you have the plan ready you can call the store and they have a kitchen specialist who will review your plan and tell you where any mistakes are, make suggestions for you, etc. The IKEA we used has a specialist who deals only with people who are not located near an IKEA, and that was pretty helpful. It does take a few phone calls and several weeks to get it all finalized, but in general it is a pretty smooth system.

Once you have everything ordered it's time to figure out how to get it to you. IKEA would have shipped our kitchen for about $500, but we wanted to buy couches and stuff so we picked the majority of it up. Picking it up was SUPER SUPER easy. They sent us to a distribution center where it was all shrink wrapped on pallets and they used a forklift to load it in the moving van.

That took about 7 minutes.

Not kidding.

If you've ever bought things in the store you know it is more difficult than that.

So, how about putting together an entire flat packed kitchen?

Actually, pretty easy again. Way easier than putting together their furniture. Dave and I did all the cabinet bases together in one day (about 8 hours), and I did all the drawers by myself in 3 or 4 hours.

How was installation?

Dave did the installation with the help of a more experienced carpenter and it went pretty quickly. IKEA really has figured out how to make it all go smoothly and once they were past the first cabinet or two it was pretty smooth sailing.

Are they sturdy? Does everything work? How does it "feel"?

Honestly it feels sturdier than the other kitchen I used to have. We have all the fancy dampers and drawer glides and stuff and it is pretty slick. I don't like that some of the drawer sides don't go all the way up (the deep drawers), but, if you aren't piling them full of crap it isn't an issue. It definitely feels solid and like it will last awhile.

How much did it cost?

We have a BIG kitchen and it was about $6000. (That is only the IKEA price, not the price of the other work that was involved: demo, floors, tile, paint, etc.) It is very cost efficient compared to everything else we did. If you watch those crazy kitchen shows on HGTV it is not uncommon for them to spend $40,000 on a kitchen!

What about the hardwood on the floors?

I had NO idea what else to put on the floors, where to stop a different type of flooring, etc. So I just went with wood. I might be sorry I did that in a year, but for now, it is ok.

Did I miss anything? Please feel free to ask if you have any other questions.

(Spell check won't work, so ignore any errors, too long of a post to check it all.)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Potty Talk

I will be back here with photos of the completed sewing room soon. It's been gray and foggy and frankly I am just sleepy right now. Yawnnnn.

In the meantime here are some photos I took of the master bath ages ago for you. This is the room that has the hexagon tile floor with the flower garden pattern in it. (Sorry I don't have a good photo of that in this batch.)

There are no before photos because frankly it was not fit for your eyes. Or my eyes. Or anyone's eyes. LOL
Pedestal sink, IKEA mirror, vintage glass towel bar, vintage light fixture, my cross stitch art.
A collection of vintage medicine chests provides MUCH needed storage. (Mirror + pedestal sink = ZERO storage) This part of the room didn't exist before. It was a very small bath with only a shower. The wall was on the right side of the window and where the medicine chests are was a little vanity area outside of the bathroom, between the bathroom and the closets.
And my tub again, but with shower curtains finally. It takes a lot of shower curtains to curtain in a tub like that. 3 vinyl ones and 2 matching fabric ones. I was super lucky to have thrifted a shabby chic shower curtain this fall that already matched one I had bought at Target. I found it in the sewing room stuff where I had tossed it to cut it up. Thank goodness I hadn't done that yet!

I was changing the shower curtain in the hall bathroom yesterday because Jack had peed all over it. He wanders in while I am in the middle of the job and we have the following conversation:

"What are you doing mom?"
"Changing the curtain."
"Because you have peed all over it."
"No I didn't."
"Yes you did. Look here."
(He goes quiet for a minute.)
"Ohh, the white one? Yea at the old house I used to pee on it all the time."


Little boys. :-)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Organize along, part 3

Hello again!

By now we should have everything on the floor sorted into bins and piles, right?

Time to make a new home for it all.

This part is going to hurt a little.

Rip the bandaid off fast.
Likely you have bins on the floor holding the same stuff that you have bins in the closet holding. We have to get them all combined and/or resorted now.

Take everything out of the closet.
Ouch. I know. It was getting clean in there! It's a big mess again.

Arrrrrrrrrrgh, I am completely overwhelmed again.

Why am I doing this?
This part of the sorting goes a lot faster. Crepe paper meet other crepe paper. Scraps meet other scraps. Once you are fairly confident that you have a bin that is complete put it back in the closet.
Look! We can see the floor again.

Keep going, putting like with like and putting it on the closet shelves. I am using adjustable shelving from the hardware store. It's a little more expensive to outfit the closet that way, but it is worth saving up for.

As you can see in the photos, I decided to add another shelf to my closet, going from 3 shelves to 4. It helped me accomodate more bins because the new sewing room has no shelving on the walls, which I had plenty of in the old sewing room. (A design choice on my part.)

There is still going to be some random stuff on the floor, we will deal with that at the end.


We are almost there. Once this part is done you are a mere hours from completion and it is going to feel wonderful to have it cleaned up and functional again.

I'll see you in two days to finish the job. :-)

Friday, January 15, 2010

Pretty "work"

We had a few really warm days this week and I took full advantage of it to spray paint a pile of things that needed to be painted for the new house.

I painted FOUR chandeliers in one day on Wednesday, and that meant a lot of chandelier crystals needed to be washed.
Jack happens to love washing things in the new sink...
and I happened to notice how pretty the work he was doing was.

Even with a sink full of dirty dishes.

Now if only I get David to hang those chandeliers up.

(And would you believe even with all the chandeliers from the other house and the four new ones I bought last fall, I still need something insane like 5 more chandeliers? Here's hoping a good junking season is coming this spring!)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Organize along, part 2, the sorting

Here we go! Do you have your bins ready?
It's time to start sorting. Do the best you can to group like items with like. You can see I don't even have room to set all the bins on the floor, but make it work, however you have to.
I had 6 bins and few piles. The bins are holding: embroidery stuff, quilting pieces, craft kits, crepe paper and the all important "I am attached to this stuff for whatever reason but it defies categorization". Then I made a few piles of stuff to keep in that room: fabric, books, and magazines.
Now, the hard part. If you are anything like me you have a LOT of excess STUFF in your craft room. Stuff that has no other home in your house, stuff you just bought, stuff that needs to be put away elsewhere, etc.

Pile it all up.

Then get it out of there.

It HAS to go somewhere. If you really cannot find another home for it, add to the freecycle/craigslist pile on the porch. (I always make that pile on the porch. There is no way I would go back out there to drag it all in and it's all grouped together and waiting to be picked up.
This is also where your small fries (aka children) come in handy. To keep Jack busy while I am cleaning things out I have him be the "runner." Kids can take a few pieces to the kitchen, the basement, the laundry room, etc. I try to make it a little like hide and seek if possible "Go find the round blue container in the kitchen drawer and put these pens with the others."
Hey, look at that! We can see part of the floor again. :-)

Keep sorting. I will be back in a day or so to help us get moved further along.

You can do it!