Thursday, January 21, 2010

Spring Cleaning, in Winter

Perhaps because it is so cold and dreary and gray outside. Or, perhaps because I read entirely too many blogs and many of them have been focusing on spring cleaning, I have recently been very motivated (and my husband can tell you that this is very odd for me) to do some reorganizing in the house, as well as some deep down cleaning. I guess I'm feeling like it's just so yucky outside, that I at least want the inside of my house to feel clean and fresh. Maybe if I do some spring cleaning around here, I can will spring to get here a little faster. Yeah, I know that aint gonna happen.

Our spice cabinet has been a long-standing source of amusement for my husband. He feels that we have entirely too many spices, and really, more to the point, there are a few in there that we have duplicates of. WHY ON GOD'S GREEN EARTH ARE THERE DUPLICATE SPICES IN OUR SPICE CABINET????? It is something he apparently finds maddening, and the minute he sees that I've bought a new spice from the grocery store he immediately goes to the spice cabinet to try to prove that we already have said spice in our inventory. Yes, these are the kinds of things that my husband worries about. It keeps him up at night, I think. I just chuckle. try to alleviate this potential "duplicate spice" problem, I decided to pull out all the spices from our cabinet and make a list of everything we have. While all the spices were out, I did a thorough cleaning of the inside of the cabinet - lots of salt particles in there - probably could have filled up another shaker with all that salt (but then we'd have two, and we're back to our original problem :). Anyway, I typed up the list and have now posted that on the inside of the cabinet door. This way, if I have a recipe that calls for a spice I don't use often, I can easily go to the list and check to see if I already have it, or if I need to make a trip to the grocery store. Needless to say, this made Abe very happy.

Next, I moved on to the master bathroom. I was reading a blog the other day (can't remember which one) that talked about spring cleaning, and organizing your bathroom under-sink cabinets. She basically said, get a bin (or two), and put everything you need in that bin. If it doesn't fit, it gets tossed. If there's something you want to put in the bin, but the bin is full, you have to toss something that's already in there before adding the new item. I thought this was a good rule of thumb, and went out and bought two bins at Target. I took everything out of my bathroom cabinet and cleaned the inside. I tossed a bunch of stuff that I never use, or that were just old and gross, and I moved a bunch of seasonal stuff (mainly suntan lotion), bulk items, and medicine to the linen closet. I forgot to take a before picture, but here's what it looks like now. I'm loving how organized and clean it is:

Then I moved on to the linen closet. Here's a before shot (it really wasn't too messy before):

And here's the after:

I've put all the medicines and other potentially harmful items to children up on a shelf that Avery can't reach, and put all of our bulk supplies (ie. extra toothpaste, razors etc), and the 500 suntan lotion bottles that we seem to have collected, up on the top shelf.
The biggest thing that I've been doing over the last few days (and will continue doing) is washing our baseboards. I've managed to get the kitchen, laundry room and back hallway, powder room and master bathroom done. Getting all the dust, smudges and general grime off of the woodwork really does make a big difference in how clean the house feels, even though most people probably wouldn't notice that it had been done. Makes me feel better though!
So, I'm going to continue on my cleaning/organizing frenzy (for as long as my motivation keeps up), and hopefully when I'm finally done, Spring will be here and I can go outside and play with Avery instead of being stuck inside doing my spring cleaning!

Monday, January 11, 2010

December 25

So, here it is! My final page in my December Daily album. I wish I had more exciting photos to use on this day (which you would expect, for Christmas Day), but unfortunately since Avery was sick, our day was really pretty low key. In fact, the photo I used is the ONLY photo I took on Christmas Day. Kinda sad.

Anyway, since Avery's fever finally was gone after her nap that day, we decided we had to get out of the house. The problem...there's NOTHING open on Christmas Day. Except...the movie theater. This would be Avery's first time at the theater. We saw Alvin and the Chipmunks. I've heard other people say it was a cute movie, but Abe and I both thought it wasn't very good. In fact, an hour in when Avery wanted to go home, we gladly said "OK!"

I stapled the movie tickets onto the page, and printed out a small copy of one of the movie posters that I found on the internet. Then I added the photo and stitched across the top and bottom.
On the back is the journaling (pretty much the same thing I wrote above in this post). The "Merry Christmas" is a stamp that I heat embossed. I rounded the corners of the cardstock then did a little bit of faux stitching around the edge. PP on both sides is Basic Grey Wassail from last year.

Here's the original page (I cut off a couple inches since I didn't have a whole lot to fill the page with):

For anyone that made it through to the end with me, thanks for looking, and thanks for the nice comments I've received :) I've really enjoyed doing this was much less stressful than I was thinking it might be, and I think we'll really enjoy looking back through it in Christmases to come.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

December 22 and 24

Getting close to the end now! I went back and finished day 22. Here's the envelope I had to work with (originally slated for Dec 21...I just removed the sticker and replaced it with a 22):
Inside I used a piece of Kraft cardstock to write down our Christmas wishes. The "Holiday Wish List" cardstock sticker is from Little Yellow Bicycle. I trimmed around this on the kraft paper to make it like a little tab at the top. Then I rounded the corners of all sides and drew a white line as a border. Letter stickers are from MM.
For December 24th, I used this acetate sheet, which was originally supposed to be for the 23rd:

I used the back of a Jillibean Soup journaling sprout to adhere the number 24, and inked around the edges. Then I punched a 1/8" hole at the top and in the middle of the acetate sheet, and threaded baker's twine through the holes, tying the journaling spot on with a little bow. It moves around a little when you turn the page, but that's ok with me.

I used an Ali Edwards overlay for the journaling, changing the color to red, and switching out the wording that was originally there to now say Christmas Eve. Our Christmas Eve did not go at all as planned, with Avery getting sick in the morning, which canceled our traveling plans :(

On the back of the acetate sheet (very hard to see the page on the picture below), I adhered another journaling spot (using the same Ali Edwards overlay, just flipping it upside down), where I added the recipe for the french toast that I was making in the picture for the day.

Here is the picture for the day - I traced the acetate sheet onto the back of this page and trimmed it to match. Then I stitched a little border onto the photo, just to add a little something to it.

On the back is some patterned paper and a few pictures of the french toast (the apple mixture is what bakes underneath the french good). The words "sweet" "tradition" and "celebrate" are cardstock stickers from Little Yellow Bicycle. The arrow is one I had in my stash (don't know who made it) that was plain chipboard. I painted it red and then added stickles on top.

TFL...just one more day to go!

Friday, January 8, 2010

December 23

You may have noticed I've skipped over the 22nd. That page is an envelope, and I'm going to stick our Christmas wishes in there...just haven't gotten to that yet (hoping to finish up at a crop this weekend, but we'll see). But... I finished day 23 and wanted to post it since I haven't posted one in a while.

This page I originally had slated for the 24th. But given the number of pictures I had for this day versus the next, I decided it was better suited for the 23rd. Glad I left myself some flexibility with numbering the pages so that I could switch things around if I wanted to!

These pictures are from Avery opening her gifts from Santa (Santa came early to our house since we were supposed to go to Cincinnati for Christmas). The photos are all 2.5" x 3.5", to fit into this baseball card protector sheet. I took some inspiration from Ali and used a border punch on the top of the journaling card. Then I put a Santa rub-on (Art Warehouse) in the bottom right corner. The number 23 is on a chipboard snowman (I think from MM) that I had painted white and covered with Glossy Accents. I then adhered this to the felt red and white polka dot piece. I also rounded all the corners of the photos (with my NEW Corner Chomper!).

Journaling reads: "We made a special request to have Santa come to our house early this year, since we will be traveling to Cincinnati to celebrate with my family tomorrow. While Avery was taking her nap, Santa made a special delivery. How nice of him to accomodate our schedule!"

The back page has more photos of Avery opening presents, but the journaling is about her being sick :(. Journaling reads: "Unfortunately today Avery has come down with a fever and a very runny nose. I think you can see in these photos (especially the one to the left) that she isn't feeling well - her eyes just have that sick look, and you can see the raw skin under her nose from wiping it so much. We're just hoping she's feeling much better in the morning so we can still go to Cincinnati."

In the journaling spot at the bottom center, I wrote down the presents that she got from Santa, and tied some baker's twine around the bottom. The cardstock sticker at the top of this (and in the top left slot) are from Little Yellow Bicycle.

Here's the original page:

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

December 20 (part 2) and December 21

Here is the back page of December 20th. We had friends from Florida stay overnight and we just bummed around the house in the morning.

This was a canvas page...I painted a little bit with white MM paint on the left and right side, then added the title on top of the paint on the left. The pictures were 4x6's that I cut down to fit into a 7x7 square. There was a small open square then in the center that I covered with the "all I want" embellishment" (can't remember who that's from). I adhered the pictures onto cardstock and then adhered this to the canvas page with Glossy Accents. Then I drew a white line around the border of the pictures.

For December 21 I printed an 8x8 photo of the gingerbread house I decorated, and cut the picture to match the shape of the acetate sheet above it (the number 21 is on the acetate sheet).

This is the back of the page...the red cardstock feels like it needs something to me, so I may add a little something later (if I can figure out what). The pictures are 2x2, and the PP on the left is from Jillibean Soup (Cold Raspberry). The gumdrop "Flair" is from American Crafts.

A closeup of the journaling.

This was the original page. TFL!