Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A Little Splash of Purposefulness

I am slowly but surely working on our kitchen, trying to add in a little bit of black, turquoise and white here and there, subtly. It's always been a blue kitchen, but now I have been trying to step back and take a look at it...and try to pull it together to look a bit more cohesive.

I don't want to - can't actually - spend major renovation dollars, and I just want it to look a bit more pulled together and...planned. :) That's the rub! Our entire house looks as if I am just throwing things together because, well - I am! Now, I am looking at every room first, seeing if there are any small tweaks I can do to make it look more purposeful instead of accidental - and if that doesn't work to make it look better, I will look to change larger things up the ladder. That way, I may save myself a bunch of money in the long run - hopefully!

Today's post is about adding a super small accent to the kitchen to add some purposefulness. :)

I have this frame that I adore - but it's broken. The back has no hangy thingy - and the prop that used to reside on the back to set it on a table has long been broken off. I almost threw it out, sadly - but I decided to use it to put a Christmas picture of the kids in there and literally just rest it on the counter against the wall - I was happy for the season, but then really sad when it came time to put it back in the bin for another year.

Since it fits into the color scheme - it's black! - I decided a nice turquoise quote about food somehow would be a good fit to place inside and hang somewhere! It's a nice kind of moroccan design and pattern and it definitely adds some cool texture to the space against a smooth, subtly light blue-green bowl filled with punchy oranges.

I found a quote online that I liked by literally searching for "food quotes" on Google...and then I went into Photoshop and just placed the words in such a way that I thought would work in my kitchen and with my emerging style. And of course, in the colors I needed. Then, I just printed it out on matte photo paper, trimmed it to fit and stuck it into the frame.
The hanging was a bit tricky since there were no brackets to hang from - I had to Macgyver it a tad, with some twine and a twist-tie - but I got it up and now... I am in love with this tiny, little, simple addition to the new, planned - dare I call it - "design" for my blah kitchen. What do you think?

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Project Status Update: Tupperware Cabinet

I have officially purged that dang cabinet and can now only call it a Tupperware cabinet by the skin of its teeth. I believe there is only ONE...yes, ONE!... Tupperware container left in there now. Oh, but it feels good!

Update on "Project: Purge the Plastic Avalanche" (I do like the new code name, say it out loud - it's kind of funny to say...ok, so maybe to just me) :)
  • I have removed all the contact paper my nails can officially handle without bloodshed.
  • I have sorted and sorted until all the containers without lids and the lids without containers were removed and escorted from the building (into the recycle bin they went, yay.)
sorting, sorting, sorting...
  • I have delegated all of our previous tenants, the should-be-but-never-really-is-tossable Gladware to a new home - namely both of my mothers' houses - Mom C and Mom E. I am fully aware that these containers may visit from time to time filled with delicious goodies from both houses (am I smart, or what? lol) But then they will be sent packing again. This was a promise. :)
the ones sent packing.
  • I kept my best containers, and only as much as would fit. This was hard, but the rest went to those lovely baking and cooking Moms again.
the keepers.
  • I kept the carousel free of obstacles, even though I had to fight my inner Dictator of Organization trying to fill up every.free.space.possible. Man, is she is tough to quell!
  • Lids are relegated to a bin, behind the carousel.
So, in summary.........................
Remember Me?

Well, now I'm THIS.

and THIS!
Better, I can breathe easier looking at this space and no more slammed fingers in the door trying to catch the fall. Ahhhhhh. Bliss.

"What's Next" you ask? I know, you are dying to know.

Ok, I'll spill it.
  • You know that container behind the carousel, holding the lids? Yep, that white one with the holes... Well, those holes are going to serve as a nice place to wedge a dowel or two so I can separate the lids into small, medium, large. No more searching for lids!
  • And the fact that the container is behind the carousel? Ahhh.... well, if we cannot budget for a slide out drawer to pull the whole bottom shelf contents out - never fear, dear readers, I have an idea. I hope I can pull it off - or get the Monk to shell out the mula for the real thing. Nevertheless (is that a word, really?), it's been deemed a necessity to have the lids be more accessible. :) So, it WILL happen.
  • And contact paper...yes! As soon as I get to Target (which I have been there several times since Project Start)...and I actually remember to pick it up. :(
  • One more thing - maybe a coated metal riser for the top shelf, to further separate the containers that just do not want to play nice and stack.
I feel good that its another Mission well on it's way! Has this inspired you to tackle a cabinet or two in your own house? If it has, then please let me know!!! Inspiration goes full circle, my friends...if I know I motivated you, then it motivates me, which motivates you...and on and on! So, by all means - BRAG away!!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Project Start: "All-Purpose" Room De-clutter

So, we have this room.

Many people have said that we have a large house...and we have always said it just didn't feel like it. And I think it's because we have this large room in the front of the house... that we never really used. And it makes up about a quarter of our house size! But, NOW we use it quite a bit... and for many different reasons. It's not really a living room, or a dining room or a family room...it doesn't fit any description, really - an "all-purpose" room? - before we had the kids, we literally filled it with a modge-podge of furniture and just kind of... walked through it. Everyone has to walk through it to come into our house, so it had to look decent, but we never really "used" it.

So, enter kids. The dining room off the living room became their space - as babies, it housed the swings, the changing table and blankets and such. As toddlers, it is yet another play space for their overflowing collection of Fisher-Price's finest. :)

Our dining room table moved into this front room, and we also have a treadmill I am trying to use most days, 3 high chairs just about dominated the space...and a bookcase that served as a quick grabbing point for all those things you need for a newly eating baby or three. LOTS of burpcloths, bowls, plates, utensils, bubbles, washcloths, books, etc... but thanks to the ease of access, it ALL had to be on the top 2 shelves, so that those same hands wouldn't find it at an inappropriate, unsupervised time. :)

After the Monk bought me a laptop for some Mommy-Photographer time, my office quickly became the kitchen table... and after Christmas decorations started going up, the extra decor misplaced by said decorations (as well as the rest of the unused Christmas stuff) ended up in this room.

It is starting to bug me. :) Just now! After years. So now I just have to fix it!

We also still eat in front of the TV - the only down time we actually have to relax - the kids eat on the floor on their activity trays and we eat on the couch. I want to be teaching them better! We need to teach them to say Grace, to have family dinner focused on each other and not the TV...as hard as that will be for us to let go of our only time to watch what we want to watch!

The Mission:
  • Move my desk out there so I have a real place to set my laptop and other photography things I am collecting.
  • Move the table in such a way that we can actually use it as a family.
  • Try to hide the treadmill if at all possible.
  • We are done with high-chairs, so get them out of there and get back some space!
  • Make the bookcase "Preschool Central" devoted to their upcoming home-school supplies.
  • Organize the desk inside and out to make it photography business worthy.
Note: I started this post a while back, so I have actually already started on this - a few things are different, and a few significant changes have happened. We ARE all eating at the table (which means the high chairs are GONE! Woohoo!), and the kids now know how to do "Father, Son, Holy Spirit" and to say Grace! So, it has been a blessing to be able to accomplish even this in the last 2 months. But I have much more to go, and will be posting progress soon. I am looking for steals out there, and that is why it will take me so long to finish this!

Thankful that spring is coming...garage sales, garage sales, garage sales....