Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A Clean Slate: Bethany's Work Space

Before Christmas, I met with the lovely Bethany Hway, author of b*spoke blog (among many other things), at her cute cottage to talk about her Studio Space. She was ready to take the plunge and entirely reorganize the room (and a little redecorating too).  She was feeling like her current situation was getting in the way of productivity and efficiency (which is hard to believe if you know Bethany - she's a rock star!). Shelf-less closets and accessiblity issues were two key factors keeping her from feeling organized.

Bethany was a pleasure to work with (easy too)! Once we talked about the problem areas and came up with a plan to correct them, she really took the reigns to make things happen. All I had to do was show up and lend a hand (and some muscles).

Here's a photo, taken by Bethany, of just one area of her studio space after the revamp. You'll have to check out her blog for a complete makeover update (with lots of Before/After photos)!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Getting Organized: Emily's Craft Space

Last year I had the privilege of helping the talented WI based photographer, Emily Steffen, organize her craft space. Besides her creative and technical abilities behind the camera, Emily has a love and talent for sewing, knitting, and other crafty things.  Here is a Before picture of her space - filled with inherited and accumulated crafty supplies (probably a dozen scissors in that stash!). 

:: BEFORE ::

Emily was a pleasure to work with. Creative people make it easy. Emily already had a vision for her space, and I simply gave her some structure, support and a little pressure (insert smiley winkey face here).  After a few evenings of sorting, a plan of attack, and a couple trips to antique stores and flea markets, we ended up with this nicely organized, spacious crafting area. So simple, right?

The objective: Organized space, Accessible supplies & has Character.

Here are a few shots of the new space.

::AFTER :: 
Lots of room to work! All supplies are easy to spot and readily accessible.

Vintage crates and old metal drawers make great containers!

Sewing station -- with very accessible tools and supplies.

Everything has a home -- yarn cubbies and fabric boxes.

Ribbons, buttons and more yarn -- organized by color for convenience.

Gotta love the Ball Jars!

I love that within the structure and organization, there is color and character in this room. What do you think?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

After the Party is over

Now that Christmas is past, it's time to put away the decorations. Sad, but true. Bye-bye to the pretty twinkling lights and childhood ornaments. Whether that means today, or in a few weeks, you must do it. Decorations are tricky things to keep safe and organized and today I want to give you a few options for your fragile ornaments. I've included some relatively inexpensive solutions, with pricing and details, for you below.

1. Under Bed Ornament Storage Box ($25.99)
2. Three Tier Snap N Stack Ornament Storage Box by Snapware ($27.99)
3. Archival Ornament Box with Lid by I Was Framed ($19.99)
4. Ornament Storage Box with Dividers by Iris ($21.49 orig, sale now $17.19)
5. Cubic Ornament Storage Box by Mainstay ($16.00)
6. DIY Storage Bin by Martha Stewart

Friday, December 24, 2010

Dreaming of a White Christmas Part II

As I write this, Christmas Eve morning, it truly is snowing outside. Ahhh, how I love the white stuff! What I don't like, is the non-white stuff. Today we're talking chocolate stains. Chances are, you're going to consume some of that deliciousness in the form of cookies, brownies or other desserts this holiday season. Why not know how to treat the accidents?

On clothing/washable fabric:
Gently scrape away excess chocolate on the surface, then blot the stain with cold water. If the spot remains, add 1 tsp of clear dishwashing liquid to 1 cup of cool water. Sponge onto stain with a clean cloth. Rinse thoroughly with cool water. If the stain still remains.....
A. If it's milk chocolate.... add a few drops of ammonia to your dishwashing liquid solution, blot and rinse.
B. If it's dark chocolate.... add 2 tbsp of white vinegar to the dishwashing liquid solution, blot and rinse. 

For difficult stains on fabric that can tolerate hot water, stretch the stain over a heat proof bowl or bucket and sprinkle borax over the stain. Pour hot to boiling water through the stain (being careful not to splash on self).

On carpet:
Gently scrape up an excess chocolate on the surface. Blot up any liquid spills and sponge the stain with cold water. Blot dry with clean cloths or paper towels, then blot glycerin onto the spot. Blot and rinse with cool water.

Hope this has been helpful! Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Dreaming of a White Christmas Part I

Hello from chilly Minnesota. This past weekend, the Twin Cities was doused with 15-20 some inches of snow and negative temperatures. What can I say? -- It is The Holiday Season...and chances are, you're probably hosting a party or two. With that, inevitably comes spills and stains. I'd like to share a couple stain removal/treatments with you! Here is installment #1:

A. On Clothing/Washable Fabric
Pour or sponge club soda on the stain, and blot with a clean cloth. Launder as usual and check the stain before drying. If color from the stain still remains, sponge 1 cup of vinegar, 1 tbsp dish liquid and 1/2 cup of water. Let set for 15 minutes before laundering again.
B. On linen
Place the stained item in a cooking pot and cover it with milk. Heat the milk to a boil then take the pot off the burner. Let it set until the stain is gone.
C. On Carpet
Dilute the spill with white wine, then flush it with cold water before covering the stain with salt. Let it set for 10 minutes before vacuuming up the salt.
Tips found in Natural Stain Removal Secrets by Deborah L. Martin

Thursday, November 4, 2010

DIY Gift Wrap Station

After my last post about Holiday Storage ideas, I got inspired by the work stations I found. If you're handy with tools and like to be crafty, here are some DIY ideas to make your own work station. Magic ingredient - PEG BOARD.

a. Country Living Tutorial
b. Do It Yourself Tutorial
c. Martha Stewart Tutorial

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Holiday Storage: Gift Wrap

 As the Holidays approach, it seems we get busier and busier, leaving us rushing around trying to get things done at the last minute. Wouldn't it help to get things organized now? Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing some helpful tips on Holiday organization. The first installment is dedicated to Gift Wrapping. If you're like most mothers (or women in general?), you undoubtedly have a million bows and ribbons and wrapping odds and ends stashed away somewhere. You might even be guilty of buying new because you just don't want to make the effort of digging through your mess to get to them. Waste no more.

a. Wrapping Paper Bag $9.99,
(Simple solution for you minimalists)
b. Long Underbed Boxes $23.95 , The Container Store
(Personal Fav. Can be purchased without ribbon seperators for $13.99)

(Personal Fav. I like that you can buy them individually to fit your needs) 

a. Gift Wrap Cart $195.18, The Container Store
(A pricier solution, but fits every need.  Notice the ribbon spool holder bar on the left side.)
b. Gift Wrap Work Station $49, The Container Store
(Can be hung in your closet for easy access)

So, get your hiny in gear and get organized! You will be thankful when December 23rd rolls around and you have a jumble of gifts to wrap.  Until next time, happy organizing.