Archives for category: Crafts

I went on a bit of a manic organizing spree during my days off between Christmas and New Year’s. I emptied and re-organized all my kitchen cupboards and my linen closet. And both make me smile now whenever I open them, yes I’m an organizing dork.

I also happen to be a gift wrapping dork. I love wrapping presents but all my wrapping supplies were shoved in a bag at the top of my linen closet so it always seemed like a chore to get the stuff down – that and I never knew what I had. So I decided to take that out of the linen closet to free up some space and finally get my wrapping supplies organized in the guest/craft room closet. The problem was… what to organize it in. Of course I turned to Pinterest for inspiration 🙂 And it finally clicked… magazine racks mounted to the sidewall of the closet! I finally found the perfect ones – they are clear acrylic and about 3 inches deep. Once I found those it was time to dig in…

Yup, all that was crammed onto the top shelf of the linen closet. And stuffed into a few other nooks and crannies - it was definitely more than I thought I had.

Yup, all that was crammed onto the top shelf of the linen closet. And stuffed into a few other nooks and crannies – it was definitely more than I thought I had.

First up - sorting and organizing the paper, tissue, bags and fabric... (yikes that's a lot)

First up – sorting and organizing the paper, tissue, bags and fabric… (yikes that’s a lot)

 

Next up, the ribbon, gift tags and other embellishments.

Next up, the ribbon, gift tags and other embellishments.

 

I started by corralling the wrapping paper at the bottom.

I started by corralling the wrapping paper at the bottom.

Then I hung and filled all the magazine racks (these make me really happy).

Then I hung and filled all the magazine racks (these make me really happy).

And finally the ribbon went on the shelf along with boxes of neatly organized small boxes, ribbons and gift tags. I found the boxes in Vancouver this weekend and a very dangerous store full of fun things to organize with (we spent an hour in there and it wasn't very big...)

And finally the ribbon went on the shelf along with boxes of neatly organized small boxes, ribbons and gift tags.
I found the boxes in Vancouver this weekend and a very dangerous store full of fun things to organize with (we spent an hour in there and it wasn’t very big…)

The best part about my  new set-up is that it’s using that side wall in my closet, so except for some of the space on the top shelf I didn’t need to use any part of the closet that was already being utilized. Gift wrap on display and a new storage nook made this a very fun project.

 

 

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Finally… it’s time to get the Christmas presents posted. The excuse of having to wait until the gifts have been opened is long gone…

This year, a friend of mine started talking about making felt food for her nephews and of course I got roped in. A few hours on Pinterest and Etsy and I was hooked – it was going to be a felt food feast for Christmas. I got the patterns and the felt and then… my partner in felt was on to new projects. Luckily my mom was in town early on and helped me get far enough into the project that I was too excited about cute little veggies to turn back. So hours of tracing, cutting, gluing and hand-stitching tiny pieces of felt were about to begin.

I did a lot of looking for various patterns, but settled on a couple from Sweet Emma Jean. They looked more complicated, but also much cuter and more realistic than most of the others, and I was too intrigued by a pizza cutter than actually spins so I had to give them a try. The food was much more intricate than I’d expected – onions and peppers – 3 pieces of felt for each little slice. The pizza cutter… I lost count, but I think it was about 17 pieces (and it really does spin!). The pizza itself… what’s 13 times 6? And then of course the tortillas and pasta were the easiest and maybe the most fun of all. But all together, it’s one fun feast of felt food! (and I’m sure there will be more to come…. can’t have dinner without dessert after all).

Some of the many, many pieces waiting to be glued and stitched together.

Some of the many, many pieces waiting to be glued and stitched together.

More pieces...

More pieces…

Pizza, pasta and tortillas

Pizza, pasta and tortillas

Naked pizza, pasta and tortillas and piles of veggies just waiting to be added.

Naked pizza, pasta and tortillas and piles of veggies just waiting to be added.

Veggie pizza anyone?

Veggie pizza anyone?

 

I loved the little bow tie pasta! And was so excited about the perfect vessel to package it in - a mini orange colander.

I loved the little bow tie pasta! And was so excited about the perfect vessel to package it in – a mini orange colander.

 

Pizza and tacos, packaged and ready to be delivered

Pizza and tacos, packaged and ready to be delivered

Of course it had to be wrapped in a pizza box!

Of course it had to be wrapped in a pizza box!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Remember the old AAA TripTiks? I’m pretty sure that’s where my love of maps, navigating and playing tour guide came from! They were one of the highlights of a road trip… tracking all the mileposts, getting ever closer to turning to the next page… Oh, I loved them. Seems I wasn’t the only one since they’ve come up in a few conversations lately. And provided just the inspiration I needed to embrace my inner travel nerd.

I love planning and I love traveling, so planning an upcoming trip is really one of my all-time favorite things to do. And my sister can tell you, it doesn’t even have to be my own trip 🙂
I have a trip to New England coming right up but since a lot of the initial prep (flights, lodging, basic dates, etc…) had to be done months and months in advance and I’ve been busy with other things I was having a  hard time getting back into prepping for this trip. I didn’t want to miss a good trip planning opportunity (after all this one comes with 6 states, staying in five different towns with multiple family and friends and an unlimited number of things to see and do).  I decided what I needed was my own personal TripTik for the trip.

This of course meant lots of time with two of my other favorite things, guide books and google maps! Which routes were the most scenic, which ones took me past mountain views, waterfalls, cheese makers, donuts, and of course chocolate? Then there was the added element of “now which places did I love to visit when I lived here?”, “where was that hike?”, and “where the heck was that little yellow house on the lake?”

I decided to do one page for each day of the trip. These include contact info or flight/driving info when needed, ideas of things to do and a few photos to capture the feel of that place. My hope is that having one page per day will help me to focus on enjoying that day instead of thinking ahead to what’s coming.

Not that you can see it here, but  I found this really fun white paper with a wood-grain design. And that meant I could finally use the wood veneer paper I’ve been coveting for something! I knew it would make the perfect cover.

And it’s not really a TripTik if it’s not spiral bound at the top for easy use…

Ok, now you can see the wood-grain paper. Perfect for the woodsy Northeast I think.

And… the final product that I have to say I’m in love with.

Needless to say all this TripTikking has me excited about the trip again. Good thing I leave in a couple of days!

 

I’m really lucky to have a room that I can use most of the time for sewing & crafts – though it does still need to be used as a guest room occasionally.

As I’m working to set-up the room, my biggest dream was to get the largest table possible into the space. It’s not a huge room, so I knew I couldn’t have something that would always be full-sized. There are a lot of folding tables out there, but most are ugly and many would need to be carried in and out of the room which isn’t ideal. My very talented & creative brother-in-law designed and built me my dream craft table.

It’s a simple, clean modern look that I love and is also perfectly functional.

The table is six feet long and can be one, two or three feet deep. Most of the time I leave it with one leaf open, which is about two feet deep and perfect for most projects.

So far, I’ve used it to spread out photos to finally finish a three year old album from a trip to Asia and I’ve used it to piece, cut and pin together sewing projects.

And the best part is, when it’s time for company I just fold down the front leaf and it tucks in-line with the bookshelves leaving plenty of room to set-up the guest bed.