The best of the OCD tips (organization and cleaning)
Organization is a huge undertaking if you are not organized to start off. We just moved into our house, and of course, there is always a few things that need to get re-adjusted, but I've been able to stay pretty organized, for some reason. Maybe it's since it's our first house and we will obviously be here for longer than a few months or year, which was how often we seemed to move before we bought. Anyways, now that we have all these new, fun homeowner's manuals and forms and paperwork, I really had to consolidate all our paperwork into one place. The folder holder I bought had every thing!
Banking. Bills. Budget. Car. Correspondence. Dental. Education. Investments. Insurance. Miscellaneous. Mortgage/rent. Personal. Receipts. Retirement. Taxes. Travel. Utilities. Warranties.
That pretty much encompasses every aspect of life that accumulates paperwork. The only one I could think of to add was "Business" but that just went into the miscellaneous folder. Truthfully, I actually enjoy organizing anything other than paperwork. But at least now I know it's going to be easy to find and to file now. I can handle it, I guess. Maybe, someday, I'll learn to like it.
The best of the DIY
I had a really, really great home-ec teacher in junior high who taught me how to sew. My Oma was also a seamstress, so maybe I havea bit of it in my blood or something, because this was my first sewing project since junior high, and it turned out! My kid actually got to wear these for the first 2 weeks of his life until he grew out of them. Probably won't try this one again though, because sewing teeny tiny slippers with a sewing machine is as hard as sewing teeny tiny slippers with a sewing machine. (I was in that neurotic, nesting phase of my pregnancy- I HAD TO DO IT!) Anyways, the pattern was great, but hard. I found it through Michael Miller Fabrics blog. I think I'll just stick to sewing blankets for gifts.
I also had a really great knitting teacher. Yes, we had home-ec and a knitting class in junior high. He was great, and I got the knit and purling down perfectly. I just can't seem to dedicate myself to big knitting projects because I generally knit in winters, and then by the time the next winter rolls around, I've forgotten where I am in the pattern. I had the sweater I started in junior high in my parents basement until 2 years ago, until my dad finally realized it was NOT getting finished. Sorry, but styles change since junior high, Dad, and no, I am not going to finish it now. Yes, you may give the quarter finished sweater to someone else to finish and/or use the wool for other projects.
So these simple little projects, like this bracelet, that take not an entire season are where it's at for me. This one was really cute, and it worked, although I used a pretty chunky wool so it turned out a little bulkier than I would have prefered. The video tutorial really helped though; I seem to learn best when I can watch and do. Check it out at Animated Knots.
There are a lot of making-new-things-look-old techniques out there, so I practiced here on an old Ikea frame, with a purple base and a turquoise paint over top, and then sandpapered away until I got the look I was happy with. My best advice? Go for it. Old things are usually pretty bashed up so you can go with a trial and error attitude on this one. But, in line with my life motto of using what you have and just making it better, paint is a perfect (and my favorite) way to upcycle and give something new life. Reduce, reuse, recycle, right?
I made this for my sister-in-law with some vintage lace left over from my mothers wedding dress. It was a pretty simple project, and I just took one long strip of material, finished the edges, and folded it all up until it looked like this. I did change the button to match the thread though. I was going for a contrasting look, but it just wasn't doing it for me. So picture this with a maroon button and that's the finished product!
Ants on a Blog
By Jena Keenan