Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Scrabble Gift!

So, I was way super excited to show you this a couple of days before Christmas, but I couldn't, because it was a gift for my oldest. Then Christmas and life happened, and it got put on the back burner, but today I am in "finish things I started mode", so here it is, in all my sad little camera's glory!

And he loved it! At least, his reaction was totally everything I hoped for, it was better than the Nerf gun! (Which was pretty sweet, too!) So either he has perfected faking it, or he loved it... and since he LOVES Scrabble, is notorious for correcting spelling like his mom, every word perfectly describes him, and a week earlier announced that he wanted to make something with these veryboards (old pallets, cut and sanded just to smooth out), I'm going with he loved it!

I used wood tiles from A.C. Moore, I couldn't bring myself to use actual Scrabble tiles, we only have one board, and it's complete. I did consider buying a basic version, but they were over $8, I spent less then that, even though I bought 2 bags of tiles. I did go through and make sure I had the right number of each letter for the game before I glued them down, as I am a bit anal obnoxious that way! And I expect, someday, when he's bored enough, he will add up the potential points scored. Because he is my boy!

Interesting side note, when I asked my husband a few weeks ago for old pallets, he hemmed and hawed about not having very many, etc. Only days later, he mentioned something he could do with pallets, and said, "Oh yeah, and we have a ton of those." Yeah, he regretted that!

So, here you are, one of my homemade gifts this year. I DON'T sew!

And Mom, if you read this, I am still working on your sign... it should be ready for Spring!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Cleaning/Organizing Time!!

So, I've decided after spending so much time on Pinterest looking and gathering ideas, and then checking out the sources of pictures and finding all of these blogs with organizing challenges, I've decided to jump on the bandwagon.  But you have to come, too.  Am I issuing a challenge?  No, I'm just noting that I hate cleaning and the only way to inspire me to clean up my own act is if I get to take pictures, and write about it, in the dreamy hope that someone out in blogland will send me some comment love, therefore bolstering and encouraging me to do a little more!  Yeah, you know who you are!

So I give the most credit to AskAnnaMoseley.com, she cleans and organizes in a way that speaks to me, like I can get it, and has ideas I've not heard before.  Like cleaning your glass window in your oven door with baking soda.  I got up to do it, and it wasn't until I opened my oven, baking soda paste in hand, when I realized I DON'T HAVE AN OVEN WINDOW!!!!
Oven door Before
But I wasn't about to let that baking soda paste go to waste, so I spread it on the oven door.  Liberally.  20 minutes later I could see my paste was an interesting shade of brown.  There was more grime than Anna's must have had, I should have used vinegar as I scrubbed it off, but I hadn't read all the way to the end of the comments, where other people mentioned needing more time, vinegar, or a second coat.  I gave up early, having finished my decided interim project of cleaning my spice rack.

Oven door after the baking soda treatment, trust me, it's better!


These little spots look a bit orange in the picture, but they look like holes in real life.
 Then obviously I felt the need to address inside the oven. Problem is, when I went to remove that crusty black stuff, you know, the dried flaky stuff, it revealed these:
I'm thinking I'll get one of those big aluminum drip pans that you put in the bottom of the oven.  Our stove was a hand-me-down from a relative when we bought the house 12 years ago.  Now, on a more pleasant note, while the 15 minutes or so passed did I twiddle my thumbs?  Oh no, I cleaned up my spice rack!  I still love it, Bill built it for me more than 12 years ago, maybe even 15.  It's to my specifications, and has always been just right, the height of the shelves and the overall size, I don't use as many spices as some people.  So, I began by removing the peculiar green thing, I don't know what it is, maybe an octopus or spider?  It was stretchy, filthy, and clearly hadn't been missed, so I tossed it.  And then I followed Anna's advice:
1. Clear it off. 
2: Clean it. 
3. Group things as you put
 them back (at which point
you also chuck what you no
longer need, aka expired
or never used items)

In a stoke of genius, though, I realized I shouldn't toss the spice containers, but instead wash them and hang onto them for a bit while I sort and organize other things.  This worked out well, because a little while later as I cleaned out my junk drawer I put them to good use.  I put the  buttons I removed off of the old white dress shirts I just threw out into one of the tiny containers.  I have 5 boys and a husband, and attending church in white shirts every week means lots of button issues, I am hanging on to these!

Voila!  Cute, orderly, and clean.  Half empty, yes, but I will buy new spices as needed and there will be plenty of room to put them.  I also cleaned my eat chicken cow, glad the dust came off her little bow on her tail, or I was considering letting her go.  The candles that hung on the other side were cruddy, and I didn't really like them, so I let them go.