Saturday, November 29, 2008

Recycling Catalogs into Ornaments

I came across a neat little project on Craftster, that linked to this cool tutorial. I wanted to try my hand at it, so I grabbed a JCPenney catalog that came in the mail the other day, and started folding while watching TV. This is what I just finished tonight:

Give it a try! I think I'm going to make another one, for my Geography professor, out of a copy of a map that she worked on (that's her "other" job, cartography).

I also finished one more Knifty Knitter hat, so I only have to finish one more of those. What projects would you like to complete in the next few weeks?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Finished projects!

Well, they have nothing to do with the house... But I did complete a couple of things!

First up, a hat from the knifty knitter loom. Made with two strands Lion Wool, with a rolled brim... this one is probably going to be for Abbi for Christmas:

And second, a crocheted hat in green WoolEase (up close it has little specks of blue and yellow in it too), for Niko. I have the edge rolled up twice in this photo, but we can unroll it to cover more of his ears when it's cold:

Simple instructions for the crocheted hat: Ch 35, DC into 2nd ch from hook, DC across, ch 3, DC across in back loop only, repeat until it's long enough to wrap around the head, slip-stitch together. Use a length of yarn to weave in and out on one of the ends and pull together to form the top of the hat, knot it off, and you're done. You can add a puffball or something to the top if desired, and roll up the brim or leave it down. Make the original chain longer or shorter for different size heads!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Just checking in...

As with all projects around here, the dresser and all of the girls' room stuff is still sitting on the back burner. There's only three weeks left in this semester though, so I should be getting back to that stuff soon!

After last week's bout with the stomach flu, I was very glad to get out of the house on Saturday for my Service Learning class' last work day. We spent several hours removing sticky eupatorium from Monrovia Canyon (along with fig trees), and we also found some fun little friends. Say hello to Mr. Newt:
This little guy got named Sebastian before being released.

Our group of 30 students was then evacuated from the canyon by the Fire Department. They were closing down recreational areas so that they could make sure to focus of their resources on fighting all of the wildfires that popped up around Southern CA this weekend. We got a lot done though! More pictures here.

I am working on a project though... Here's a sneak peek:

Friday, November 14, 2008

Day 5? I think.

yesterday's list:
-PTA meeting at the girls' school (had to go home and print out some membership cards ASAP instead)
-re-picking up the toys that are the bane of my existence Made the kids pick up the living room.... can't tell today though
-planting some surprises from the House Fairy because my girls have kept their room clean for THREE days (shocking!) The girls were very excited to find notebooks and fairy dust from the House Fairy
-attempting to tackle the laundry piles that are increasing exponentially Didn't touch them
-getting some Geography homework done and preparing for this weekend's field trip Did nothing
-building a cozy reading nook (idea from The Crafty Crow) under the kitchen table for today's homework Did this, kids had a blast and even wanted to eat dinner under there

Also completed:
-Went to library and returned DVDs and books borrowed on Saturday, picked out a new stack of books (with the 3 girls)
-Came home and crawled into bed because the kids' stomach flu hit me, hard

-Stayed in bed most of the day
-Emailed my Friday instructors and let them know I wouldn't be in class today, arranged a makeup exam for Geography lab
-Kept the 2 kids that stayed home sick stocked up with saltines and water in between their dashes to the bathroom
-Repeatedly Lysol'd things around the house
-Watched a lot of BBC
-Made 3 newborn caps from stained-up toddler tees for Caps to Cap-Haitien Project (the cool thing about using the stained up tees that I would have just thrown out was that by careful placement of the pattern, I was able to avoid the stains that went down the center/chest of the shirts, and was able to make 3 usable, and cute, life-saving caps (and my 8y/o got to help)

The tees before...

...and After!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Day 3 Update and on to Day 4

Well, I did get my math homework finished, and I did study for my biology exam... though since I had to wait until the kids were asleep to tackle those, I didn't get to bed myself until nearly midnight. Also, from yesterday's to do list, I did put clean sheets on our bed, and I did clean the back bathroom... but I have not yet conquered the piles of laundry. Dinner last night was chicken soup, made from the leftover Tuesday night baked chicken, as per the birthday girl's request. For dessert, we had some fun little trifles in fancy champagne and wine glasses. Since the hubby and I don't drink, the fancy glasses just sit in the cupboard, and this post from the Pioneer Woman was inspiration enough! Breezy and I baked a packaged angel food cake (none were available already baked at our store), and topped them with diced strawberries, and light store-brand whipped topping. Picture to come later!

I had school today, so that took up most of my morning, and now I have eaten, cleaned off the table, did a load of dishes, and did a water change on one of my fish tanks. Remaining on today's to-do list:
-PTA meeting at the girls' school
-re-picking up the toys that are the bane of my existence
-planting some surprises from the House Fairy because my girls have kept their room clean for THREE days (shocking!)
-attempting to tackle the laundry piles that are increasing exponentially
-getting some Geography homework done and preparing for this weekend's field trip
-building a cozy reading nook (idea from The Crafty Crow) under the kitchen table for today's homework

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Day Three - "Haven"izing Continues

I think today is going to be another day of not planning on that much, and hoping that I get SOMETHING done by the end of the day. Breezy turns 10 years old today, and instead of bringing cupcakes or doughnuts to her class, I am stuck at home with sick kids. Her 4 y/o brother started off our day by becoming the next victim of the stomach bug that the kids are passing around like a twisted game of Hot Potato.

While Monica at Homespun Heart is using the day to catch up on some of the little projects that we all tend to put off, I'll be trying to finish up my math homework and get in some studying for a biology exam tomorrow. On the home front, I need to clean the back bathroom, put clean sheets on our bed, and tackle the last two big piles of clean stuff in our bedroom... one pile is nothing but towels and linens, and the other is a mixed up pile of clothes belonging to me, the Hubs, and the little guy. With three kids home sick, and one perfecting his 50-feet porcelain dash, this is as ambitious as I can get today.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Making your home a haven (part 2 - Tuesday).

I didn't make a list of stuff to do today, since I was so worn out when I woke up. Two of the girls kept waking me up during the night with a stomach problem, which left me with a lot more laundry and towels to be dealt with today. What DID I get done today?

I emptied and filled the dishwasher again. Cleaned off the stove from dinner last night (spaghetti always makes a mess). Cleaned out the litter box. Cleaned the heck out of the front bathroom - toilet, counters, floor, the works. Went to the hardware store and bought a new toilet seat and installed it. Cleaned the girls' room (which is an all day chore in itself), including cleaning out the closet and moving all the furniture to vacuum. New sheets on all their beds. Put away a HUGE basket of laundry in their room (seriously, probably about 6 loads worth of laundry).

Unfortunately, the toys are already taking over the living room. It never lasts long!

Monday, November 10, 2008

What I actually got done.

I always overplan. I knew I wasn't going to get everything on my list done, but at least it served to keep me motivated for most of the day.

So here's what we got done... I had the kids empty the pantry out and put everything on the kitchen table. We wiped down the shelves, and then they pretended it was an elevator for a while.


Going up!


We filled it back up, and then did the same to the spice cabinet (the small cabinet next to the stove, houses all of the spices, cooking sprays, tea, and coffee). No pictures of that though! We also emptied and filled the dishwasher, but somehow it never got turned on. Oops.

Then.... we sock mopped! The kids all put on Daddy and Big Brother socks, inside out, I squirted cleaner on the floor, and they slipped and slided all over the kitchen floor. When they were done, I mopped up the excess soap and water, and cleaned around the edges of the room. It's not a perfect job, but like Flylady says, even housework that isn't done to perfection is still a blessing to your family!

Sock mopping.

While I went out to the garage to handle some laundry, they used some emptied out containers from the pantry & spice cabinet cleaning to have their own "marching band". Tinkerbell used a harmonica, while Pony and Superman drummed on a coffee can and a breadcrumb can.

We took a break for a while, and after they picked up the toys in the living room, we ate lunch picnic-style on the floor. After lunch, it was time to really clean up the living room. As you can see... it was a mess and a half before. The smaller pile of junk was just what was underneath the coffee table from the last WEEK. My kids are piggies. I did get the couch and end table cleared off, all of the junk on the floor picked up and put away properly, and mopped this half of the room. I'm not quite done with the living room yet; the bottom of the coffee table still has a lot of mail and magazines that need to be sorted through. And all the laundry that was on the couch got added to the piles already in the bedroom, so I have a MEGA pile to contend with tonight. Wish me luck!



I told you I'd make you feel better.


Making my house a haven.

Monica over at The Homespun Heart is hosting a Making Your Home a Haven week. Today, she decided to focus on tidying her home... unfortunately, between having five kids and attending school full-time myself, tidying my home is likely to take the whole week. I do have school off until Thursday, thanks to the holiday tomorrow, so I am going to try to invest as much time as possible, and include the kids!!

Today's focus is going to be on my kitchen and living room, as well as a side focus on laundry. We'll be doing the following:
- Clean out the pantry
- Clean out the spice cabinet
- Catch up on dishes
- Clean off the counters, cabinets, and table
- Mop the floor
- Put away all the clean laundry that is currently in the house
- Clean sheets on all the beds
- Pick up all the toys in the living room and dust
- Mop the living room and hallway

We'll try to take before and after pictures as much as possible... and be forewarned... my pictures will make you feel 10,000,000x better about your own home. I promise.