31 January 2011

ClothesPin Organizer/Art Gallery/Message Center/...

I went to a Girls' Night Crafting Party last year, and one of the ladies brought this neat little organizer.  She explained to me how to make it, and it was really easy, but so cute.  She made hers for her daughter to show off her artwork, but mine is for making me more organized...hopefully.  (But I do have my baby's first coloring attempts hanging there at the end.  Just a couple of days ago, she figured out coloring, and she LOVES it!)

I don't have any pictures from making it, but it's so simple you don't need them.

You will need:
a 2x4 of whatever length you want your organizer to be
cute cloth to cover it
some clothespins (the kind with hinges)
glue or Modge Podge (I just used regular ol' Elmers)
a junk one inch wide paintbrush to spread out the glue
small nails (two per clothespin)
maybe a drill
picture hanging supplies

Take the 2x4 and coat it with glue or Modge Podge.

Position the fabric on top and press it on.  Be sure to get rid of any bubbles caught under the fabric.  Fold it around the ends like you are wrapping a Christmas present.  (The glue will probably soak through the fabric, so be careful to not glue your project to the table.  Or your lap.  Yes, I made mine on my lap while I watched a movie with my family.)

Coat the outside with glue, too.  I like the nice, slightly shiny finish the glue gives, it protects the fabric from jelly-covered fingers, and fabric just looks different when the glue soaks through, so this way those spots blend in.

While that's drying, take apart the clothespins.  You'll probably want to drill small holes (to fit the nails) into the clothespins so that they don't split when you hammer the nails in.

When the glue is dry, attach the picture hanging hardware of your choice to the back.  (My husband did this step for me after the clothespins were attached...It's easier before.)

Position the clothespins where you want them to be and nail them in place.  I used two nails per clothespin so that they couldn't spin around to random angles.

Put the clothespins back together.  Now you're done!  That was easy.

Now mine is hung up in my almost-finished kitchen.  Hurray!

24 January 2011

New Kitchen Cabinets = Playhouse for Hailey!

I am so excited!  Our kitchen countertops will be installed tomorrow!  Hurray!!!  We've had much of our kitchen stuff stacked in Hailey's and our bedrooms for about a month.  But my dad finished installing the cabinets last week (Thanks, Dad!), and tomorrow the countertops will be added.  Then it will just be 24 hours of sitting until the sink can be plumbed, and then we will have a fully functional kitchen.  Hurray!

There is an upside to having all the hassle and mess of having the cabinets put in (besides the joy of finally having cabinets!  And no, we didn't have any cabinets in our apartment's kitchen before now.  Yeah, not fun...but the rent is cheap.), and that is the empty boxes.  One night after Hailey went to bed, I taped together three of the boxes the cabinets had come in, cut holes in them for windows, and voila!  Perfect playhouse for a toddler.  She was thrilled.

What you need:
one or more big boxes
packaging tape
a serrated knife to cut out windows, doors...  (I used a bread knife and it worked great.)
optional:  paint or other means of decorating.  I didn't decorate Hailey's, but I kinda' want to...hmm...

Here are our cabinets.  Our kitchen is almost done!

 Here's the door to the playhouse.

 Windows, including one with "shutters" that Hailey loves to open and close.

 Don't forget skylights!  It gets dark in there, even with all the windows.  I added "chimneys" to the two skylights, so they weren't just holes in the ceiling.

The playhouse

Can I come in and visit you, Hailey?

17 January 2011

I found out about this great blog today.

I love to make stuff, but I don't like to have random projects hanging around and cluttering up my house.  Well, I found out about a blog today, called Humanitarian Helpers, that gives me one solution to that problem:  make projects for charities!  What better use for creative energies could there be than making nice things, needed things, for people who would otherwise have to do without?

This blog has information about and links to different charities, some local (she lives in Nevada), some national.  A really touching cause she has information about is Greyson's Gift.  (Warning to mothers: you may cry a little when you read about this one.  I almost did, and I am not a cryer.)  Another charity is Little Dresses for Africa.  I hope you check out the blog.

14 January 2011

Free Valentine's Day Card Templates!

I got an e-mail from MCP Actions announcing that their Facebook fans could download some free Valentine's Day card templates from them.  Here is a link to the download.  The templates work in both Photoshop and Photoshop Elements.

When you download the templates, you get the entire unflattened file--this means you can edit and change anything about it!  You can use the adorable cards as they are (plus your child's name and picture), you can change the colors to perfectly coordinate with your picture, or you can use the template just for inspiration to create your own design!

I hope you have fun with it.  Here's my effort.  (I'll probably make lots more!)  The cards are wallet size, by the way.

11 January 2011

Happy New Year! and Happy Flu Season...

Hi readers!  Sorry I haven't posted in a while.  Between the holidays, traveling (we're back home now!) and the entire family getting the flu, well, I've been busy.  But I have some good things planned for the blog!  I'm going to post some Basic Techniques, like Tying a Quilt.  Until then, Happy New Year!