New Garden Markers

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Last year, my husband surprised me with some carved wooden garden stakes, wood burned with various vegetable names. We quickly added many more, marking my culinary and medicinal herbs, as well as all my vegetables. They looked really adorable, and were a fun (and free!) project.

However, after a year of rain and sun, bugs and wind, the woodburning faded. The herb markers were left out all winter, and had become impossible to read. The vegetable markers had made it safely to storage, but we’re still very worn and faded.

I love the look of the stakes, but needed a more durable way to mark my plants, so I wouldn’t spend hours re-burning the letters in. So I decided to try paint markers! Continue reading “New Garden Markers”

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$0 Craft Room Makeover

As I prepare to write this post, I can see that the first major flaw is that in my flurry of excitement to start cleaning and get to my craft projects, I forgot to take the critical “before” photos where you get to see the disaster that has been tackled and conquered. So sadly, you will just have to take my word for it — it was bad. My craft room also serves as our home office, and kind of the “quick — we have company, dump everything somewhere” room. Being a small room, it can only handle so many dumps of coats, paperwork, magazines, books, clothes that need mending, momentos for scrapbooking, etc., before it becomes overwhelming.

My husband and I are planning on listing our house for sale in Spring 2015, as we attempt (finally, I know) to get a larger property that suits our farming/outdoor needs. I was going to wait until our 2nd floor was painted and complete to start cleaning the office and moving furniture, but we had a surprise — I’m pregnant! =) We are expecting our first child come June 2015.

Being super crafty, this means I need to be able to see and actually use my sewing machine, ironing board, etc. I had gone to the craft supply store and found tons of fabric and supplies on sale, but with two bags in my hand, I stood in the door way and said, “Oh boy . . . “

My one shelf was stacked with stuff almost up to the ceiling, the sewing table was covered with supplies, projects, and the bobbin racks, and everything else was precariously balanced under (or on) the ironing board. The floor hadn’t seen the light of day in a long time, as projects and things waiting to be organized had piled up.

Three hours of obsessive cleaning, packing and reorganizing, and I have  a wonderful craft room that I not only love spending time in, but looks cute too!

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As you can see, a small space indeed, but very tidy now! Helloooo floor!

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To tidy up the workspace, I took everything off the shelf and put the bobbin racks up there. I used some old jars I had cleaned and saved to organize buttons, hooks & snaps, etc.

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This drawer organizer I have had for years, and used to be in my apartment bathroom for cosmetics, etc. It had been down in the basement (where I also found that cute little basket) so I used it to sort out the marking pens, rulers, seam rippers, etc., that I use so frequently and need to keep handy.

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This shelving unit has been in the room for awhile, but wasn’t “all mine”. The top had been stacked high with boxes of scrapbook supplies, glues, stickers, and miscellaneous objects that had been put down and promptly forgotten. The shelves were haphazardly stacked with board games, puzzles, etc, that didn’t fit nicely and jutted out all over.

I packed up all the games for now in a box. Once we move, I want to use some ideas I have seen to organize the games better. I think using Ziploc bags or plastic containers to organize the pieces  and boards instead of the oddly sized boxes will do better.

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I put all the scrapbook momentos, into the butterfly-floral patterned box, which had been a leftover gift box from our wedding. I found the wire baskets and the little round basket in the basement, which were leftover decorations from the wedding. I put all my patterns and books in the top basket, and the bottom holds all my bias tape, FOE, hot glue gun and refill sticks, etc. Everything fit really nicely and I have an old jar that I am using for the little scraps of FOE and bias tape that will be the perfect fill in for some future project, but don’t have a home yet.

The white box holds all the glues, markers, calligraphy pens and colored pencils. It was the box that held our wedding invitation envelopes, of which we probably have 50 extra.

All the scrapbook stickers went in the round basket, and then there was the ribbons to deal with…. I am an avid ribbon-saver. I don’t like the word hoarder since I have reused so many of them so often. But whenever I get a gift with ribbon on it, etc., I save it. Previously these ribbon scraps had been looped through the shelf above my table and made the room look more cluttered. I carefully folded them into cute little bundles, and put them in the brown box on top of the rack, with the other spools of ribbon I have. The large mason jar with the natural grasses is yet another wedding leftover that just added a cute touch, I think.

I keep all my fabric folded in a laundry basket under the sewing table, and I left them all there since it works so nicely.

All in all, I think it came out great, especially since I had I just intended to tidy up a bit, and ended up re-purposing so many things we had lying around.

With a move and a baby on the way, I’ll be tidying up and staging other areas of our house… we are actually talking of moving the craft room upstairs and using it as the baby’s room instead, in the unfortunate possibility that we don’t sell next year. It makes me cringe a bit, since I just did so much work there, but at least it will be super easy to relocate!

I’ll remember next time to take “Before” photos to compliment the after, so keep tuned! 😉

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