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Friday, July 29, 2011

Cardboard, Duct Tape & Sharpie Kitchen

I feel like I'm in craft detox here, not being able to squeeze a good project into my chaotic days post-move.  Well, this is not an overly impressive one, but it was enjoyable creative time nonetheless...and made my little man a happy camper, too.  Thought I might as well share it!

I sold our big play kitchen in the spring yard sale, because it took up way too much room.  Now we have this huge bonus room playroom in the new house and there would have been room for it.  doh.  Little man still loves to play with the toy kitchen stuff.  I started watching craigslist for a cheapy, smaller one.  In the meantime, I sat looking at this, wondering where to put it...
This bench/shelf was in among the van load of goodies I got for free the other night!  I thought it would be perfect for an entryway, or even as a bench on the porch...but the size was too long.  It's an Ikea something-or-other and in good shape.  Anyhoo, to get it out of the way, I moved it to the playroom to put toys on.  Then we turned it into little man's kitchen area.  Nothin' fancy.  I'd love to really do it up like the sweet nightstand-turned-kitchen ones I've seen.  But for now we're going with inserts from a liquor store box that have been duct taped and decorated with a black sharpie marker.  Since I have a ton of these at my disposal, I made a stove top and a sink.

I laid two side-by-side and layered tape over the slots.  It made an easy fold down the center to store under the bench, too!  Here's the back and front of the stove top piece.

I used one smaller slotted insert, folded to stand under the edge of it, with salt & pepper and a creamer & sugar bowl drawn on it.
The sink was done the same way...although I had to duct tape over the highly suggestive "faucet" that was my first attempt and try to redo it.  I was free handing with a sharpie, and trying to get an awkward angle.  Yeah.  There was no going back.  HA!  I added a bubbly soap dispenser, a towel on a ring, and a scrubby in a dish.
We simply laid these two flat on the top of the bench, and the boys used the shelves underneath to put their plastic food and dishes on....then they needed a fridge.  Well, we do have lots of empty boxes hanging around, so I found one that was a good shape and turned it into the fridge.

I cut the two short tabs off and used duct tape to tape them inside as shelves.
The front is duct taped and decorated with a few Polaroid snapshots, magnets, and a grocery list.  The fridge door handles are two strips of duct tape folded in half lengthwise and then taped on.  Doesn't stay closed very well, but they like it.
And there it is - new play kitchen!

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Saturday, July 23, 2011

A New Craft Room!!

I am one happy crafter!  I thought that my work space would be inched into the dining room of our new house like it was before.  However, we worked out that our playroom would be upstairs this time.  There is a big bonus room upstairs that is perfect for a playroom, and because the basement has two finished rooms, we put the guest bed there instead.  All this means that the second room in the front of the house was left free....free for me to claim as my new craft area.  Scratch that, my new craft ROOM!  So.  Very.  Exciting!!

We've just barely been here for one week, but have made a lot of progress with unpacking.  I got most of my sewing/crafting stuff out of the boxes, but still need to do some major organizing in the armoire and on the shelves.  However, I think the furniture is where it will stay, so I'm doing a post on it as a "before."

This is looking in from the front hall.  I'd really love to get french doors on here eventually.  I have a scrapbook hutch and matching bookcase against the far wall.  The bookcase will hold my etsy fabrics, and the hutch will hold all my paper, punches, stickers, trimmers, etc., and my scrapbook supplies, although I haven't scrapbooked for ages.
The left side of the room has the armoire from our old dining room that I had squeezed all my craft supplies in.  The bottom used to hold board games, but I'm moving those somewhere else.  I put a big bin of scrap fabrics there instead, but there is still more room.  The top, right now, has plastic drawers with sewing supplies, bins of ribbons, paints, glues...a mish-mash of lots of things that needs to be organized.  But at least it's in there...and I can close the doors and hide it ; )

I put the armoire at an angle in the corner.  I'd love to paint it, but can't decide what color.  If I go off my sewing machine cover and the bins for my etsy stuff, the color scheme of the room would be red, blue, and yellow.
Next to the armoire, I put a square table that didn't have a home anywhere else in the house at the time.  I figure I can use it for cutting with my rotary mat.  I'd like to hang the spice rack somewhere and put mason jars full of buttons and such on it.

On the other side of the room, I have the rocking chair that my Uncle made my husband and I as a wedding present, and some Crate & Barrel shelving that we snagged at a yard sale a few weeks ago which holds all my etsy biz stuff from my old craft space.  Sorry for the bad quality of these last two photos.
The last wall has my sewing table, which I'm also going to paint the bottom part of, but leave the beautifully used farm table boards the way they are on top.
I can't wait to start organizing and putting some things on the walls.  I've been browsing pinterest for inspiration.  If any of you have ideas, leave it in a comment : )  I'd love to know what someone else would do in this room!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Countdown to Moving Day - Take 2

Uhaul is reserved, again.  Muscle is lined up for loading/unloading, again.  The logistics puzzle of childcare has been revisited, for the umpteenth time, and solved (I think).  And we are packed, aside from the stuff that waits for the last few days.  If there are any more delays I think this Momma is going to lose her mind!!  If I didn't already, trying to pack up a house with three very bored children underfoot....and creative and blogging time at practically nil (which makes me grumpy after awhile).  Oh yes.  I think this is it!  Four days?

I have been doing heavy-duty cleaning as I pack:  fridge, freezer, stove, microwave, bathrooms...smudges wiped off walls, dirt scrubbed off cupboards and woodwork, second pass with magic eraser for the stubborn spots, vacuuming corners of closets...Hubby filled in various dents in the walls (and some holes, from our 7yr old's rages last year) and even touched some of them up with paint...little men sprayed and wiped windows for me...there's not much left to do.  Thank.  Goodness.

I'm slightly freaked out that I seem to be suffering from some arthritic-type pain in my hands after all this scrubbing and wiping.  Same thing happened to me in the spring after a sewing spree to make Lullaby Baby toys for my etsy shop.  Hubby said maybe it's just overuse.  I'm trying to tell myself he's right, along with lacking nutritious diet and stress.  Stress can do weird stuff.  And age.  However, I probably should get a physical after all this moving business settles down.  Blah.

So this is our current environment...
Every room in the house has stacks of full boxes around the edges, leaving room for us to still get through.  My boys each have a backpack with some toys, and the rest have been boxed.  Once I get the laundry done for the last time before the move (again), we'll pack suitcases with a few days of clothes and box the rest of those, too.  My crafty area looks like this now...
I've only been through the new house once and am so antsy to get back in there and start deciding which rooms will be what and how the furniture might go.  I've been filling my crafty void with browsing pinterest and collecting photos of  beautiful, inspiring rooms...and getting excited that very soon I will once again have a house that I can DO things with : )

We snagged this awesome, huge, framed Kandinksy print at a yard sale for ten dollars!  I think it may find a home above the mantel in our new living room...and be a jumping board for redecorating.  I'd love to do wide, horizontal striped curtains in that room.
SO, bear with me as we get this circus relocated.  I hope to have lots of crafty, decorating, re-purposing, and organizing posts in the future.  I also can't wait to get my hands on some grubby yard sale furniture and turn it into something awesome.  woohoo!

Monday, July 4, 2011

July 4th Fun

My last crafty work before packing my supplies was to whip up some July 4th goodies for my boys.

Inspired by these July "Pop It" Rockets from Little Wonders' Days (that I shared on Craft, Interrupted's facebook page), I made three toilet paper roll rockets full of snappers.  I constructed these the same as the tutorial, except I used my hot glue gun to skip drying time.  I decorated them with scrapbook papers and stickers, and stuffed one more coffee filter down inside, that holds a pack of snappers.

I also had these confetti poppers from the party section at the grocery store...you don't light them, just pull the string to release the confetti into the air.
I dug some red plastic cups out of the pantry, cut a hole in the bottom, and put the end of the popper through so that the pull string was able to be accessed on the bottom of the cup.  The popping part is down inside the cup like this...
I wrapped some wire star garland around the cup and wrote "Happy 4th of July!" on them with blue sharpies.  The kids just held it up into the air and pulled the string.  It added a little bit more protection for them to be able to do themselves.

Confetti Cups!  I wasn't sure if these would be a dud or not, having never done it before...but they loved it!  If I do this again, I might try to get two (maybe even three-ha!) poppers into each cup, with the strings twisted together, so that when it's pulled, they all pop at the same time.  There isn't a whole lot of confetti fun happening with just one of these poppers, but the kids still had a blast doing it...and equally enjoyed grabbing and throwing, and running with, the long curly confetti strings afterwards : )
Lastly, I made some festive firework clappers, with a few VBS leftovers from last year.  There weren't enough left to do anything with a group of kids, and have been sitting in an unorganized box in my basement since then.  These are wooden, star-shaped clappers from Oriental Trading, that you can decorate yourself.  You just shake it back and forth and the stars on the end clap together.

I drew blue stripes down the handles with a sharpie, and taped an assortment of festive goodness to the end of the handle.  I had red glitter ribbon with wire through it from Christmas, more of the wire star garland that I used on the Confetti Cups, and some curly white gift ribbon.  Two of each of these, curled round a pen for a nice springy spiral, then I hot glued a little strip of blue grosgrain ribbon around to make it look nicer ; )  I will let my boys decorate their stars on the end themselves, with red and blue sharpie markers.  How fun will these be to cheer for our backyard sparkler displays with!?



For July 4th decor, I could not resist making a coffee filter bunting like this one I saw at Katydid and Kid (which I shared on Craft, Interrupted's facebook page).  I only had the brown/natural coffee filters...but I'm claiming it gives the bunting a nostalgic look ; )  Also, I was on a time/supply constraint due to our impending move, and went with the quickest, easiest way to do this - bingo markers.
I used the red and blue bingo dabbers to make the same alternating bullseye patterns on the filters as the tutorial.  Please note - these dabbers are not washable-friendly, so make sure you use a piece of cardboard or newspaper underneath to protect your table!  The blue turned out slightly green tinged, being on the brown filters, but oh well.
Once they dried for a bit, I just used a glue stick to sandwich them over a length of twine.
 I made two strings of five and hung them on the front door.
We also made some more sidewalk chalk paint and decorated the front sidewalk together, only this time I just made blue and red, and left the third one with no food coloring for white.



I'm making this awesome red, white & blue bundt cake, too!  So easy, and I think it will be a great traditional July 4th dessert to make with my boys from now on.  Lots of opportunity for multiple kids to participate in making it : )
I'm really missing that we are not with all our relatives 14 hours away from here, heading to the parade with all our nieces and nephews and grandparents...but we had to cancel that road trip to get ready for our move instead *sniff*  Still, I'm looking forward to giving my boys their snapper rockets, firework clappers, and showing them the surprise inside our red, white & blue cake.  We are celebrating the 4th as one of the last days in our current home!

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