Simply Challenging

My goal of the year? To simplify my life. Simplifying is not simple though. I’m just trying to keep my eye on the prize. The prize of having more time to spend with my nieces and nephews and having more time to do projects around the house and having more money to do projects because I don’t have to buy things twice just because I can’t find something. Blah. I look at people like Jen at I {heart} Organizing and out loud say “over-acheiver” but inside I’m thinking “She’s my hero!”. Organizing is pretty much what most of my 2012 Simplify Challenge is all about. That and refinishing our floors so I have to vacuum less and wash carpets less. So, here it is, it’s March and I’m slacking people. I’ve organized my s’more drawer and my sock drawer and that’s all. I drove by Dairy Queen yesterday and the sign said “Goodbye resolution – Hello hot fudge sundae”. That’s how I feel. I made a goal for the year, not a resolution so I wouldn’t fall victim to the proverbial hot fudge sundae but I feel like that’s where I am. Sitting in my car in a unused parking lot snarffing down 3 hot fudge sundaes…or s’mores…yeah, let’s go with s’mores.

Last Wednesday, there it was. My motivation to put down the s’more and tackle an organizing project. The quarterly Pinterest Challenge issued by Katie, Sherry and their guest co-hosts Erin and Cassie. When deciding what project to tackle for this challenge, I looked at only one of my Pinterest boards – my “Time to Be Organized” board. That combined with a recent Craigslist find and it wasn’t hard to decide what was going to be happening at our house. There were going to be some changes happening in my creative space! I got this brown bookcase on craigslist pretty cheap. I’m also pretty lucky to have a mom with a van who didn’t mind meeting me to pick it up.

I picked up some Zinsser

and some little rollers (BTW, these are the best for cabinets and stuff like that – Michael painted our whole half bathroom with one of these guys)

Michael and I both had painting projects happening in the basement so we had to take turns painting, but I finally got it all primed (I can’t wait to show you want the hubs did if for no other reason than to brag a little about how talented my hubs is)

Here’s a little tip for you to use between coats of primer and paint. Go to your kitchen and get out your glad wrap

Instead of pouring all your primer or paint back into the can, cover it up with a little bit of this. It will help keep a dried layer from forming and it’s ready and waiting for you again. Keep in mind to not wait too long (like days) because it will start to separate

But for a few hours (even over night) this works great.

After it was all primed and painted, it was time to move it upstairs which meant moving around a bunch of stuff in the creative space to make room for it too. I just had to remind myself that sometimes things have to get worse so they can get better. It was like a little mantra in my head that just kept going over and over and over and over…well, you get the picture

I mean really, just look at the progression…or lack thereof

See, it’s three hot fudge sundaes s’mores. But it’s getting better because I have (p)inspiration! I have fabric…lots of fabric. Sometimes I know what is going to happen with it and sometimes it’s cheap and sometimes it’s designed by one of my bestest friends in high school

Whatever the reason, my fabric stash is getting ca-razy and I need to get it under control. 42 weeks. That’s how long ago I pinned my inspiration for tackling this fabric mess. It’s okay, you can say it. Heaven knows I am. Slacker! I wanted to buy the organizer things that Stef (from Girl. Inspired.) used but I’m a cheapskate frugal gal…and a procrastinator too.  I knew I could make a version that cost me less and still get me organized. So I picked up some skinny little foam core and went to work. Now the real organizers are 10×14 and have these neat little tabbies on them which are way cool and I’m sure they are better than my homemade version. Six of theirs are $8.70 and eight of mine will set you back about $2.10. (If you don’t mind black – or maybe you want black – you can order it from Dollar Tree online for $1 a sheet. ) I used a yardstick to draw lines on the foam core and since my sheet of foam core measured 20×30 I just made them 10×15 – less cutting and less math for this right-brained girl. I can do half and half but I prefer flavored coffee creamer (yuk yuk yuk). To cut the foam core I used a very sharp razor blade. That will give you nice cuts in the foam core that doesn’t rip the inside foamy part and make it all wonky.

After my half and half, I ended up with four organizers for each sheet of foam core (should have bought more).

To put the fabric on, I used straight pins to get it to stay since I didn’t have tabs. Three pins seemed to work the best (got this fabric on Monday at Hobby Lobby and I luuuve it)

I should also mention that this fabric is folded in half and then half again lengthwise to fit on the board. Then I just laid the board down and rolled it. Then when I got to the end, I added a pin on either end so it wouldn’t unroll.

I repeated this process eight times (again, should have gotten more foam core – a situation which I intend to remedy soon) and put them all on the top shelf of my cabinet

I just know that I am going to love this. It will all be right there for me to see and not forget about! Maybe more sewing inspiration projects will come my way now.

I also seem to end up with scraps. Anyone else? My grandma saves scraps and she made a whole quilt out of OPS (other people’s scraps) and had it on display at the quilt show I went to last September. Taking that inspiration, I knew I needed a place for scraps on my fab shelf too. I got some little bins at Wal-mart for $2 each and they match the fabric I have for curtains in that room perfectly. I decided to keep my rotary cutter and a little 4 1/2 inch acrylic square in one of them. I need to find a little mat too. Now when I’m finishing up a project and I have scraps leftover, I can easily grab this little bin and cut it up and throw away the rest that just isn’t usable

So, before the corner of my creative space looked like this

and now it looks like this. The bottom shelf is scrapbook paper that didn’t sell at a garage sale last fall (anyone need some paper?). I put binder clips on the ends so I can label what paper is actually in them. The next row will probably get replaced by more fabric but for now, it has letter trays that I got at Target thanks to a tip from Ashley. I think they are going to get ORBed. The bins on the middle shelf are full of patterns, fabric scraps and Hershey kisses. That’s right, Hershey kisses. Can’t pass up sales with coupons making them almost free! The top row of bins have miscellaneous stuff in them. I’m going to label all of them, but haven’t decided on labels yet.

So there you have it. My project for the winter Pinterest Challenge. Head on over to the challenge hosts blogs to see their projects and all of the other fabulous linked up projects. Better clear some time in your week folks, there are a lot of them! Here’s Katie’s jellyfish, Sherry’s beanbag, Erin’s mason jar chandy and Cassie’s faux antlers.

My other Pinterest challenge projects: State Pride Canvases, ORBed soap dispenser, Fall Argyle Wreath

See other projects that I’ve done with (P)inspiration on my (P)inspired to completed board on Pinterest.

Categories: 2012 Simplify Challenge | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “Simply Challenging

  1. So cute! Isn’t it nice to see progress in a room that needs work? We’re about to start our guest bathroom, and I CAN’T WAIT to get that room finished. By the way, I use the plastic wrap trick pretty much every time I paint (especially between coats). Works like a charm!

    Great job on your project, and thanks for linking up with the Winter Pinterest Challenge!

    Erin

    • Thanks for stopping by Erin! I know it’s going to take me quite a while to finish up that room, but progress is always a good thing! Have fun on the bathroom! Can’t wait to see updates :)

  2. Eileen Rosko

    Hi, Amy! I’ve waited decades for my own sewing room & I finally have one! I found your tip & knew I had to try it. I found white foam board at my Dollar Tree & went straight home to try it out. It’s perfect & no more fabric stacks falling over when I need the one in the middle of the stack! Thanks for sharing your brilliance! :)

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