Wednesday, April 22, 2009

One Tip Wednesday

As a mom of two boys, dirty clothes seem some days to overtake my house. Up until now, one laundry basket has basically made due. I was able to do laundry often enough that I didn't have to have a lot of places to keep dirty clothes. But that is no longer the case. Although we have a laundry room, we don't have space in that room for much storage because that also doubles as the cats room. So the laundry baskets home is my bathroom - and dirty clothes seemed to be overtaking my bathroom. Once the Once the hamper was full, they ran out and onto the floor. With summer coming and the increased laundry that brings to our house, I knew that was no longer going to work!

After looking around town for a different system that possibly had different compartments and finding nothing I liked, I decided to see if I could find the same (or similar) basket that I've had for a decade. After looking at Wal-Mart and Target, I was really happy to find a white basket at one and a tan basket at the other that were almost exactly like the dark blue basket I already had. I returned and bought both of the new baskets. I used the vinyl available for my Cricut and cut out the words :Darks", "Lights", "Whites" and adhered them to the basket lids. Now my laundry is not on the floor and best of all, it's already sorted when I'm ready to wash. When one basket gets full, I just throw the clothes into the washing machine. And although Kevin pretends to never know which basket to use, the different color baskets have made the system very simple. I can tell Samuel which color basket to put something in and he can help me pickup the dirty clothes in his and Tyler's rooms.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

I Love My Cricut

I've had my Cricut now for about a year, but I feel like I'm just now really beginning to make use of it. I have used it a lot for scrapbooking, but it can do so many other things. I'm going through a pack of mats at least once a month because I'm using it so much. So even if you aren't a scrapbooker, I think you'll find many uses for one.
One of the Cricut products you can buy is vinyl sheets in black, white and brown. It can be used for a lot of things, but one of its main uses is cutting letters and designs to put on your wall. It is removable and very easy to work with.
I've been wanting to put something on my laundry room wall forever, but didn't know what I wanted. When I decided to do some lettering, this idea came to me. I think it turned out great and since it's also the entry from our garage doore I get to see it a lot. I will probably change the pictures as the boys grow, but for now I like it the way it is. The top cartridge is Doodletype and the bottom is Jasmine.
Then I moved on to my front door. I've always hated how plain and simple our front door is. I always keep some kind of wreth on it, but then I saw this idea on Bless Our Nest's blog and thought it looked really nice. I even thought about painting the front door black, but with all the white trim on the windows and white sidding on the eves, I thought it wouldn't go, so I kept it white and did the lettering in black. The cartridge is Jasmine.
Then I began thinking of ideas that I could put something behind our bed. While all of the other walls have something, I've never put anything above our bed and it bugs me. So I thought of using plates and a plate holder with the words "Happily Ever After." The words are actually one of the phrases available on the Storybook Cartridge. But after I found the exact colored plates I wanted at a flee market, iron horizontal plate holder at Hobby Lobby and finished the lettering on the plate, Kevin said no way. He has a thing about anything with any weight at all being above your head while you sleep, so he nixed my idea. So I returned the horizontal one to Hobby Lobby and bought the same one in vertical and hung it between my closet and bathroom doors. So above my bed is still empty, but I like the way it looks. You can see in the picture why I chose the color plates I did.
One afternoon I saw this tutorial for banners on a blog and thought it was so cute. She didn't use a Cricut, but I knew it would be super easy to do using the Cricut. You can see her banners here. I'm sure I'll be doing a lot more of these for holidays and such in the future.
Lastly, I came across some ideas for cute appreciation gifts for teachers. Again I knew it would be simple to make this with my Cricut, so I made this one night for Samuel's teacher. I figure she deserved some caffeine and chocolate!
If you haven't seen the infomercials for the Cricut, here's their website. You can buy them at Wal-Mart and Hobby Lobby. I've also been using it to cut fabric to make appiques for shirts for the boys. If you missed it, look here to see the shirts I made them for Easter: Eggs - Bunny.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

One Tip Wednesday

Two weeks ago I showed you how we display Samuel's artwork in his room. But as you can imagine, the artwork comes in pretty quickly from school, church and things we do at home. As new things replace the old things, we have a 12x12 portfolio where we put all of the pieces coming off the board. Note, the 12x12 size is important, because many of the things are larger than a normal 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper.
After the portfolio gets full, I add of the things to his art scrapbook. I must say though, we don't save everything. There is no way I could save every piece of paper that he brings home from school, but we save the cute art projects and some of the special things like a school bus he colored, one of the first things he stayed inside the lines and it looked like a big boy colored it.

This is not a fancy scrapbook. I use black paper and attach the artwork as it will fit in the book. Some pages only have one thing, some pages are full of things. I do try to keep them in date order, but I also try to maximize the pages so that the book won't be huge.
I do try to stick with themes if possible, especially the holidays.
And the best part is that Samuel can get his book out and look at it and we don't have to worry about messing up the things he has made. I will finish this book out at the end of summer and we will start a whole new one for him for Kindergarten through probably 2nd grade (we'll see). I can't wait to start Tyler's first book too!
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