Sunday, April 29, 2012

Holiday Plates Series: Saint Patrick's Day

Continuing on with my holiday plates is one WITH a simple tutorial. I know you are shocked! Don't get too excited yet. I still probably should have taken more pictures, but you'll get the idea.

St. Patrick's Day Plate: (take one)
     I loved the idea of a simple image and the date, if the holiday was true to that date every year, but something was missing this time. This plate has a shamrock from the Cricut Paper Dolls Dress Up cartridge and the number 17 in white vinyl. What else did it need?

St. Patrick's Day Plate: (take two)
     I grabbed my box o' buttons and pulled out a variety of green ones. I did drop by a craft store to pick up some shamrock shapes because I thought that might add a little more fun.
First, I started to lay down buttons without any adhesive just to see if I would like the end product. After I got over my desire to have them line up "perfectly" within the image lines, I was ready to stick 'em.
I pulled out my favorite mini, pink glue gun and rotated between placing glue on the image first and glue on the button first. The only concern ended up being that the hot glue "melted" the vinyl a little sometimes, but the buttons always covered that up.
 My final Saint Patrick's Day plate!!! I really like the way it turned out. It is still simple, but with a new flair. I look forward to pulling this plate out every March.
Thank you for your patience on the directions for some of my projects. I am excited about getting better at explaining them. Sometimes I work on something thinking no one would care, so I don't take pictures. Now I am starting to take pictures regardless of whether someone would want to see them or not.  :-)
    Have a great day!

Other Plate Posts:
Vinyl Plate Tutorial

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Holiday Plates Series: Valentine's Day & Thanksgiving

Valentine's Day Plate:
I found this super cute plate for Valentine's Day and tried so hard to imitate it. My thrift store was just not as helpful as hers was. :-) I used my Cricut and some white vinyl on a red plate. A bonus to this version is that I did not have to spray paint.
Valentine's Day Plate:
I used the Storybook font on my Cricut and then used my Crop a Dile hole punch to make the dots around the plate. Hole punching the vinyl is great in using up vinyl that can not be used for bigger letters/numbers.

I love this idea so much I have been trying to make more holiday plates. I have found bright fun plates at my Dollar Tree and thrift store. For holiday decorating I am starting to enjoy the thought of being able to rotate decorations in the same place. For example, this plate holder will remain near our television, but will ideally have decorated plates rotating on it. 

Thanksgiving Day Plate:
This was a great find of a plate at my thrift store. I love the colors and design. The Autumn colored flowers and leaves made a perfect background for a Thanksgiving themed plate.
With my Animal Kingdom Cricut cartridge, I cut out a brown vinyl turkey and used acrylic paint to add some color to the feather for fun. After the paint dried I added some Mod Podge to help it last longer. I then cut out the Gobble Gobble phrase in white vinyl from the same cartridge.

I hope you enjoyed seeing these ideas. There will definitely be more to come. I love this plate idea!!
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

One More Kitchen Tip for Recycling/Trash

Fortunately for us, we have recycle pick up once a week, and it is pretty generous as far as what they will take. That makes me very happy. Although most of the time I wish my city recycle container was larger than my city trash container. With our "new" puppy Rosy, who is 7 months old, we needed a better way to use cans for disposing of things in our kitchen.
We were using our laundry room, but opening and closing the door every time was annoying. I headed to WalMart for flip lid cans and then used my trusty Cricut to help organize! Much better.
Now Rosy can watch the birds instead of the trash can.

Have a great Thursday!

Small Ways to Organize in the Kitchen

Today, I thought I might post a few simple hints about being organized. I also want to point out the benefits for the small "extra" steps you have to do.

Silverware in the Dishwasher:
   Notice how each compartment is dedicated to one type of silverware. I personally put in a separate basket adult spoons pointing up, adult forks pointing up, knives pointing down, kid spoons pointing down and then kid forks pointing down. The adult pieces face up to get clean better and the kid pieces face down because they slip through the basket holes if they face up.
The best part about this craziness is PUTTING the silverware away! Grab the contents of one basket and put them into that particular silverware drawer section.  Fast, easy and worth it. I truly dislike emptying the dishwasher [my hubby can attest to that], so this organizing "trick" helps a lot. It also helps that the family is on board putting the utensils in the dishwasher by categories. I am now working on our visitors.
Below is our kid drawer and our adult drawer.
Placemats in a Drawer:
   I found a junk drawer that would be better used to store placemats. I wanted a way my kiddos could help set and clean up the table. After a meal, they take the placemats to the kitchen, I wipe them down and one of them returns them to the drawer. Awesome! They love to help, but making it easy really helps.
Baskets in the pantry:
   This idea does take a little time, but it is sooo worth it. BEFORE you go grocery shopping, empty your pantry. Just lay everything on the floor or counters. Start putting items like with like. [cereals together, baking stuff, snacks, spaghetti dinner ingredients, etc.] Everyone's categories will vary because not everyone has spaghetti every week.
If you already have plastic drawers, baskets, empty shoe boxes, etc. start filling them up with like items and put them in your pantry. I love that I now use my Christmas wrapping paper box for dog food. I flipped the top over and it holds my puppy's food scooper. [Some of my Christmas rolls never fit in there anyway!] If you do not have containers yet, put stuff away in categories anyway, so you can SEE what type of containers would work for your needs. Remember to give yourself room to grow since this was BEFORE you went shopping.
Each shelf has different containers, but still organized by categories I came up with to suit our family. I don't believe organization HAS to be pretty. If you can, GREAT, but if you can't, please do not dismiss making life easier for you. Some of my labels are MASKING TAPE!

To add more space, we temporarily installed this over the door shelf unit. We move a lot, so temporary is great. We also use a plastic S hook type hook to hang our aprons.
I found this great spice rack at my local thrift store and installed it in the pantry. I used to have spices on the door rack, but they fell one too many times. Extra spices go in a basket with my cooking oil, etc. If you have keen eyes, you can see my bag of rice that was recently purchased, but not put into its rice container on the shelf above it. Can you say distracted?

It really DOES make grocery list making easier and especially helps with putting groceries away.

There are so many ways to organize your life, but if you need small steps, that is okay. Pick one idea from above or find a different one. It does take practice, and maybe today can be your first day.


My New "Everyday" Accessory

Most of us have a few things in our closet that make us feel great when we wear them. Typically, it is because others appreciate them, as well. I love compliments. Yesterday was a fabulous day because I wore my favorite cowboy boots and received tons of compliments.
[Photo by my 4.8 year old daughter.]
Here is an up close photo from the day I bought them. They were my birthday present in October, and they are so fun. Right now San Antonio is experiencing FIESTA. I wore these to an event yesterday, and they were perfect. With all the compliments, I think I want to wear these EVERYDAY! I will at least wear them more often.

Do you have something is your closet you love? Honestly, have you worn it lately?  
Have a great day!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

My Blogging Realization

Today is Tuesday 24 April 2012, and my wonderful in-laws are visiting.  Fortunately, my mom got to visit 2 weeks ago, as well. Our kids are so blessed to see family, especially as military kids. Right now my house has all kinds of half-way done crafts sitting around and even some completed ones waiting to be put away. I am getting better about taking pictures for this blog, but I still have a ways to go.

My big realization today is that I need to stop fretting about a perfect blog and just post what I can. I have uploaded quite a few projects that I have worked on and ideas that keep floating around in my head. It seems like I need this blog as an outlet to remove things from my cramped brain. I have not blogged in a month and am ready to jump back in, warts and all. Here goes.

The kids and I like to read the book "We Share Everything," by Robert Munsch about a kindergarten class that is taught to share everything. Two new kids have difficulty with this concept and fight throughout the book until the end when they decide to swap clothes. Needless to say the teacher looks flabbergasted and then ALL the kids decide to share clothes.

One day my kids were quiet in my daughter's room, and emerged like this:

They were laughing so hard, it was contagious. Here is to my dedication to my blog and to my family. :-)