Monday, November 28, 2011

Looking Like Christmas

Did you score any great Black Friday deals?  We only had two items on our shopping list: new pillows for the bed (on sale for half price) and a new desk chair for the office.

Pillows?  How boring is that?

We didn't venture out until 1:00 on Friday, and we had to go to two Office Max stores to find the chair we wanted.

I was itchy to get home so I could start Christmas decorating.

This tray has become one of my favorite holiday decorations.

I made one of my Christmas pillows just for the living room.

I usually make these from linen, but it's too light for this room with its olive green walls (what was I thinking?)  I make much prettier ones for my Etsy shop.

I stayed up until one o'clock Saturday morning.  And then I slept like a baby on my new pillows.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A Real Laundry Room

If you have a pretty, spacious laundry room, you can just stop reading now.

If you have a tiny, windowless laundry room, this post is for YOU.

My laundry room is only 62 inches by 62 inches.  Yes, I measured.

Laundry isn't one of my favorite chores.  Then things got out of control in the laundry room and I really started to dread doing laundry.

Yeah, that's an ugly mess.

The first step was obvious: Get the dirty stuff off the floor and into the washer and the piles of clean clothes needed to be put away.

Our laundry room has to double as a pantry for overflow items from the kitchen.  Since the ceilings are 9 feet tall, I had added a second shelf above the original a few years ago.  I reorganized the shelves to put the stuff I use regularly within easy reach.

I made a trip to Lowes and Home Depot to check out some organizers.  I had thought about putting a shallow shelf right above the washer and dryer until I spotted these hanging baskets.  Perfect!

My mantra in a tight workspace is keep it open and keep it within reach.  So I removed the lid off the loose change jar and took the extra drinking straws out of their flimsy box.

Next I rounded up all the paper products and stashed them in a pretty basket.

Small bottles don't stay upright on these wire shelves, so I made a tray for them out of the lid from a copy paper box.  I covered the cardboard lid using heavy cotton decorator fabric and a glue gun.

And the odd-sized items go into their own basket.

With several large items on the shelves, now I have room on the floor for a small shelf.

This little shelf only cost $12 at Lowes and takes up only 12 x 12 inches of floor space.  The brown woven basket is for junk mail (the shredder is in the basement).  The small white wire basket is for dirty kitchen towels or the socks that get peeled off after working in the yard.

Speaking of socks, there are always lonely socks who have lost their mates in a laundry room.

This is probably my favorite part of the laundry room now.  I just took a scrap of lumber, about 1x3 inches, painted it, distressed the edges a little, and glued clothes pins on it.  Be sure to put a couple of bumpers on the back side to protect your wall when you press the clothes pins open.

I think every household fights paper...receipts, photos, ticket stubs, reminder notices.  If you have room in the laundry room, put up the largest bulletin board that will fit (you could pin your lost socks on it too).

We have a baby gate that is used for the dog, only she's much better behaved now.  I had been stashing the baby gate next to the dryer, then I realized it could make a handy shelf if I turned it on its side.

The support bracket for the shelving holds a hanger with extra placemats and the tablecloth for the patio table within easy reach but out of the way of daily traffic.

And let's not forget behind the door.  3M Command hooks are expensive but I love that they hold so much without having to drill into the doors.

Every room needs a little art, but I'm not a fan of cutesy laundry-themed wall decor.  I found this print at Goodwill for only $3.

The colors are great, but I thought the frame was rather boring so I switched it out with another frame I had on hand.

So for a small investment for the wooden shelf and the hanging wire baskets and a little imagination, my laundry room now looks like this:

I'm linking up...
Coastal Charm
Savvy Southern Style
Handy Man, Crafty Woman

Monday, November 14, 2011

Christmas Pillows

The Christmas pillows are back in my Etsy shop!

My pillows are completely handmade with 100% linen and cotton applique.  I prewash the linen so it has a wonderful soft feel.

The black and cream damask was the most popular last year.  This year's version is a little larger.

I also offer it with a green bow as well.

Want a little more color?  I found this great fabric filled with Christmas colors and a traditional damask-like print.

If you are looking for something a little more manly with a cabin feel, I have a new plaid pattern this year.

I'm offering PRIORITY MAIL shipping on the Christmas pillows so you'll have plenty of time to enjoy them this holiday season.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

It's Finished!

The deadline is approaching and I did it! 
Yes, the quilt is finished, boxed and ready to ship!

If you are new to this blog, I started a twin-sized quilt last January and I'm donating it to the Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services (SRS) of South Central Kansas.  It will given to an anonymous child who is living in foster care this Christmas. 

Several kind readers from across the country donated their fabric scraps and shared their own charity quilting stories.

I'm very proud to continue the tradition of quilting in my family.  I have cherished the quilts that my grandmothers and great-grandmothers made.  Even as a grown woman, I'll curl up in one of those quilts if I'm having a lousy day. 

It's one of the best feelings in the world.

I'm so happy to pass along that warm embrace to a child who might really need some comfort.

A special thank you to everyone who helped to make this quilt possible!

I'm linking up...

Monday, November 7, 2011

Just in Time for Winter

We had snow in our forecast last week.  Thankfully, Mother Nature didn't deliver.

The day before Halloween I swept the front porch in anticipation of the trick or treaters, and then looked at the bushes.  The pyracantha was encroaching on the sidewalk (again), so I decided to give it a quick trim.

This bush is a beast.  I decided to take it a step further and really went after it with the hand pruners.

There are 6 inches of sidewalk that haven't been seen in years!  I love that the pyracantha has shape now and visual interest around the trunk rather than just being a solid green mass.  Next spring, I'll begin trimming it back even further, but I'm very pleased with it now.

Our maple came into its full color last week.

And I finished the quilt last week!  Pictures coming in the next post!