Monday, January 31, 2011

Crafty Stitchers Tauranga Craft Club

A lovely lady Carolyne emailed me the other day asking if I knew of any crafty clubs/ craft evenings here in Tauranga. She had seen a few on crafty blogs in other cities and was keen to go along to one here.  I'd been thinking the same thing for a while but hadn't come across one here yet. So we met up and together made a plan for a once -a -month crafty evening, meeting at Cafe Bravo in Tauranga.  

Here's the details if you're interested...
Cafe Bravo, Red Square, Tauranga
The second Tuesday of the month
7 - 9 pm

The first evening will be Tuesday, February the 8th 2011

Bring along your crochet, knitting, embroidery or any other crafty project ...but don't worry, you don't have to be a fully fledged crafter!  We thought it would be a great way to meet other crafty types, have some kid free, relaxing time, maybe learn a new skill and get lots of ideas and inspiration for some projects if you're wanting to get crafty this year. You could just come along for the great coffee and cake!

You can also join the Crafty Stitchers on Facebook...
We'll put details of each evening on there, as well as links to lots of portable crafty projects for ideas.

I've put a button on my blog with a link to the crafty stitchers facebook page- if you're a local it'd be great if you could put it on your blog too to spread the word if you'd like to  :) and tell anyone you think would be interested in coming along.

There's no need to RSVP or feel that you have to come along to every evening, we know how busy life gets.  Just pop the date in your diary, turn up on the night (doesn't matter if you're there later than 7, I know how hard it is to get out the door some nights!) and enjoy a fun relaxing crafty evening. We'd love to see you!
Megan and Carolyne

Friday, January 28, 2011

Organised Home Project 2: Craft space/home office

Morning all, I hope you've had a great week.  I had a very productive one getting this space in my home re-organised - it was number one on my 'must get sorted' to do list!  I love having this cupboard/nook for my craft space that can just be shut when I'm not using it.  Here's what it looked like when I first set it up back at the start of last year.
Here's my 'before' pic that I took just before Christmas
Out. of. control!!
And here's what it looks like now
Loving it!
Project duration: about 6 hours on and off, which includes the 3 hours I spent one evening sorting out all of my fabric
This was my plan of attack

1. I got my hubby to drill two holes in the first shelf so I could move the printer up onto it.  This has by far made the most difference in here as I've got so much more desk space now and can sew without banging into the printer all the time! He also drilled a hole in the desk for all the cords to go underneath instead of on the desk.
Our phone chargers peeking out of the hole instead of all over the desk
2. I sorted out all my fabric- I had fabric and old clothes I thought I'd use for fabric in the hot water cupboard, along the top of one couch, in the spare room bedside cabinets and drawers as well as more fabric in drawers and containers in my craft space. I dumped all of it in the lounge and gave myself the job of only putting it into one large plastic bin that sits under my desk, 2 drawers and a couple of smaller containers in my craft space.  This took a whole evening to do but it was such a good feeling having it all organised and seeing the 5 bags ready for the charity shop!
3. I gathered up my craft books and put them on a shelf with my crafty magazines. 
4. I re-sorted, contained and labelled craft supplies like a mad woman.
5. I did another huge job of going through my stack of magazines, ripping out the pages I'd marked, and putting them into some clearfiles I already had on the go. It was very satisfying seeing the huge pile of mags out with the recycling too! I had another pile of ripped out pages that had been sitting on a file tray on my desk for about 6 months so I filed them too- it was great seeing all the pages I'd marked and getting all sorts of ideas and inspiration for the year.
 6. Although it may not look like it,  I did actually sort my noticeboard by taking everything off it, keeping what I wanted, getting rid of some pics and adding some new ones. A great crafty project for your craft space or your home office is to make your own noticeboard- they are great for adding a bit of colour with a favourite fabric (not that you can see mine!) and are perfect for organising pictures, reminders and notes.
I made these button tacks by gluing buttons to flat thumbtacks
7. I found this little whiteboard in my spare room gift drawer that had been there for about 2 years so I put it on the wall to keep a track of the crafty projects I want/need to do.
There's my printer cord coming through the hole on the shelf- my hubby even put a little hook to keep it out of the way when not in use :)
And lastly I stuck this lovely page that I got out of the latest "Good" magazine on the wall
 
Phew, all done! It was great to do a really thorough job of it knowing that I was sharing it on here- it makes me feel much more accountable and want to do a really good job with it!
And now for some prizes...
Thank you so much for all your comments about the organising you want to get done this year.  Using the random number generator, the winner of the notebook and pen giveaway is Stella, congratulations!
Thank you also to everyone that commented or linked up with some pics of your organising projects this week- the winner of the 'Linen Cupboard Treats' prize is Meg with her before and after linen cupboard pics.
This week you can use the linky to show us an organising project you've been up to this week, whether it's your craft space, another project you've tackled or even a bit of deluttering (go on we love seeing organising pics!) or just leave a comment -one of you will win this weeks prize which is...
...one of my favourite organising tools, a little compartment organiser, with a few crafty essentials for your craft space.
Next week's project...The Kids Toys
Here's some tips to get you started...
-Sort them into piles/bags of 'keep', 'toss' 'sell' or 'giveaway'
-or use 'The rule of 10' when de-cluttering- for example, decide to keep only 10 baby toys and give away the rest, or vice versa, start with choosing 10 to giveaway- you'll be surprised once you get started how you or the kids will probably get on a roll and choose more than the 10!
Thanks for reading, see you next week and happy organising!
Megan x

Thursday, January 27, 2011

My creative space: a little stitching

In my creative space today- this little art work I made last night for the wall. Made using a babushka feltie from here, some buttons and a little piece of turquoise upholstery fabric.  It was nice to do a bit of stitching again now that my craft space is back under control.
For more creative spaces, head over to Kirsty's here.
See you tomorrow with my before and after pics, hope to see some of yours too!
Megan x

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

a colour book

I love colour! My favourite colour combination at the moment is pink, yellow, grey and turquoise but I really love all colours and so many different colour combinations. I am trying to stick to just those four colours for my house spruce up but I find it really hard as I like so many different looks!
Anyway,  I thought today I'd share the Snapfish book I made for a christmas present for Amelie.  I made this one for Stella after seeing the idea on Angela's Striking Keys blog and then I had an idea for Amelie's one- I decided to go with a colour theme and made it "A Colour Book for Amelie".
I had heaps of fun gathering up bits and bobs around the house for each colour- crafty things, toys, and other bits and bobs and taking a photo of each colour collection.
 
Then I went through my iphoto folders (I have over 6,000 photos in my iphoto going back to when Amelie was born -another thing to add to my decluttering/organising list!) and found photo's of crafty things I had made for her over the year and also photo's of other things that would match up to some of the colours.  Here's some of the pages I made.




I really like having the craft photo's in there as it is so neat to see all of the things I made for her in a little book. Both books were a hit with the girls although Stella goes for Amelie's more than her own which is funny! 

Well, time for some more 'organising' now yay! My craft space is looking very different and I've just got a few more things to do.  Can't wait to share on Friday and hopefully see some of your 'before and after' pics too! Sarah, the creator of KiwiMummyBlogs and the cool blog Bobby Robin kindly made me a button for the challenge to put on the Kiwi Mummy Blogs site - thanks Sarah! She also wrote a great post about decluttering here. And Meg has some awesome before and after linen cupboard pics and tips here.

organised-home
Thanks for visiting :)
Megan

By the way, I got given a tip from the Clip Cafe  the other day to use 'picnik'  to edit photo's to make blog buttons and add watermarks to photo's and the like.  I just used it today to add text to my colour photo's above- it was really easy to use so thanks heaps for the tip!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Urggh... children's movies for children please! a rant...

I've just got back from taking my my nearly 4 year old to 'Tangled' this afternoon and just had to write a few 'thoughts' on it...I knew it was going to be pretty painful as I am so not into Disney movies and characters but it was probably even worse that I thought it would be!! I knew that it was PG before we went and yep, I know I chose to take my daughter to it and all that but.... can't they just make kids movies for actual kids???!!!  Why does there need to be 'low level violence' in a movie that is for children, particularly young children if it's a movie with a princess/ fairy tale theme??!  Maybe my daughter is a bit sensitive but she actually nearly started crying in one scene when the 'mother' turns into this scary evil old women (so many negative stereotypes in this movie I wanted to scream!) and spent other parts of the movie with her hands over her face. The only reason we didn't leave was because she had really been looking forward to going and I thought if we left while she was all scared and freaked out she would probably have nightmares about it but at least with the few happy bits and the happy ending that she might forget the scary bits.
Even Toy Story that we went to a few months ago had some really scary scenes with the toys about to be burnt in a fire pit and an evil teddy bear leader (great to use something as innocent as a teddy bear for an evil character thanks Pixar) and the obnoxious older sister on her mobile phone and flicking through magazines for much older girls...grrrr.  Why can't there be movies with characters like Milly Molly Mandy or Little Miss Pepperpot or something for young children- G rated, happy movies with likeable characters and suited to children, just children, not the adults that accompany them.
I just saw on Facebook that "Orchard Books has acquired a new picture book range based on the children's product and lifestyle brand, Belle & Boo"- now if they made a movie with Belle and Boo characters that's one I'd take my daughter to!  I am getting sick of these movies that are for children but have adult themes in them and jokes and references to things to keep the adults happy too. So that's it for a while- I have only actually been to Toy Story and Tangled with my daughter but that is definitely enough! I saw Shrek back in my teaching days and even then when I wasn't a mother of young girls I was surprised at the innuendo's and references to things  that I didn't think were appropriate in a 'kids' movie.
Well. there's my rant for the day, I haven't actually ranted before on my blog (I don't think) but this just really bugs me! What do you think?
If you are interested I read about Geena Davis's campaign a while back - she has started an Institute on Gender in Media- good on her! You can check out the facebook page here
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Geena-Davis-Institute-on-Gender-in-Media/114517985247301?v=wall
And there's also this 'campaign for real role models' in the UK www.pinkstinks.co.uk. While I'm not a huge fan of the name ( I do like the colour pink!) I do agree with their goal of " influencing marketeers and the media about the importance of promoting positive gender roles to girls."


Anyway, hope you are all having a good weekend, maybe getting some organising done? My craft space is shaping up very nicely, can't wait to share next Friday!


Megan
I should add that my daughter absolutely loves anything to do with barbie, princesses, cinderella, tinkerbell etc and I do buy her the odd thing on occasion like a princess crown, barbie colouring in books and all that.  I'm not knocking that stuff (well except Bratz which I really don't like) but like I said I just wish kids movies could be for kids!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Organised Home Project 1: The Linen Cupboard

Hello all, I really enjoyed reading everyone's comments about joining in on my 'Organised Home' challenge.  There's obviously quite a few of you out there like me that are ready for a more organised home for 2011! So every week (hopefully!) I'm going to post a project plus a few crafty and eco ideas to go with each project.
To join in all you have to do is
  • leave a comment on any of my challenge posts with a link to the project on your blog- so if you want to get started on your linen cupboard too you could link up showing us your pics. I might start a Linky thingee depending on how many people join in but for now you'll just have to copy and past your URL in your comment.
  • OR you could just leave a comment telling us about another organising project you've done this week if you don't feel like tackling your linen cupboard just yet or yours is already organised! (you could link to your blog if you've posted about it or just tell us about it if you don't have a blog) 
Of course you can just join in by reading along too and be with us in spirit!


You can link up to any project at any time but just for fun I'm going to have a little giveaway to go with some projects and I'll randomly draw a winner about a week or two after I post a project from someone who comments. 

So, this week's challenge - the linen cupboard...a place where random sheets, far too many pillowcases, old towels and cushion inners have been crammed for too long!
Time taken: about 2 hours
Here's my 'before' pic...
And now for the 'after' pic...
Ah, much better! 
This was a great project to start with as it was something that's been bugging me for ages. Here's what I did...
1. Took everything out of the cupboard and sorted it into 'keep', 'move' and 'giveaway' piles. Soaked any towels looking a bit grey and washed all the sheets and towels.
Some of the the sleeping bags, backpacks and the portacot found new homes in other cupboards. Into the charity shop bag went some pillowcases, a couple of old cushion inners, a set of queen sheets and an old valance for a bed size we don't even have anymore.
(and I actually took this bag to the charity shop rather than my usual habit of cramming it in another cupboard waiting to be taken!)
2. Did the rather painful task with the sheets of figuring out what size they were, writing it on the label of each sheet and bundling them together in fitted/flat sets.
Tip: For my three year old's sheets I bought them in a different colour so it would be easy to identify them, and I keep them in her wardrobe.
3. I put everything back and labelled it all- I've got to admit when we moved in I did this too but as life got busier and busier I started ignoring the labels and just shoved things anywhere so I'm going to try harder to keep to the labels!
I've moved the linen spray up higher now as it contains alcohol - don't want the kids getting drunk on lavender water!!
Now I think it's really important to have a little treat to look forward to when you are doing some organising don't you? So for this project I thought of a few crafty and eco things to make with a 'linen cupboard' theme. I really enjoyed going to the health store and buying some essential oils and other 'ingredients' and had a fun morning making up some sprays and sachets.  And now the cupboard smells divine when I open it up!

Here's some ideas for 'Linen Cupboard' Crafty/ Eco things to make

* I made some lavender linen water using this recipe from Apartment Therapy. 
* I used a couple of recipes from my  'Home Companion' book by Wendyl Nissen to make some natural moth repellent sachets for my blankets and also to make some 'romance' pillow spray as Wendyl calls it.
The recipe for the moth repellant sachets is on this page (just scroll down). I halved her recipe amounts and just made smaller sachets for mine.
The recipe for the romance pillow spray is on this page. It's pretty expensive buying each of the oils though so I bought an essential oils blend called "Sheer Bliss' that I just mixed with the rose water, vodka and water.
* I made some lavender bag sachets to put on my sheets and pillowcase piles.
Wouldn't this make a great gift for someone for a housewarming or birthday? This would also be really fun to do with a group of friends as you could all bring one ingredient each.

Note:  I know there are warnings about the use of essential oils in pregnancy especially in the first trimester but I'm not too clued up on them so you might want to do a bit of research before making these if you have any concerns.

So this week being 'the linen cupboard challenge' the giveaway is a 200 ml size spray bottle to make your own linen spray, a moth repellant sachet for your winter blankets and a handmade Cath Kidston fabric lavender sachet to make your sheets smell lovely. And all organised in a little plastic tray for you. Just link up or comment to be in to win.
So there you go, project number 1 done and I am feeling good! Looking forward to reading about your projects, sorry this is the longest post ever! and sorry for the overuse use of exclamation marks in this post too....

Next week's project...'My Craft Space'. If you're keen to get crafty this year this could be a good time to think about a space you could possibly make or make a start gathering some supplies to get crafty for 2011.

Happy organising!
From Megan

PS: I tried to reply to everyone that said they're keen to join in but if you didn't get a reply from me it's because when I clicked reply it just came up with the email address noreplycomment@blogger.com.
To enable your email so you can get replies to comments I think you need to go to your blogger profile page and do something there...if you want to of course!

PPS: There's a little button on my blog for the challenge if you want to add it to your blog :)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Organised Home Challenge 2011

I had such a great year last year becoming a crafter and a blogger but by the end of the year my house was really starting to feel a bit crazy-  toys and other stuff bulging out of cupboards and wardrobes, most surfaces covered in stuff, my craft space really out of control and a to-do list a mile long of things to get done, which I just didn't because all my crafty projects (and the kids) were keeping me busy instead!  With baby number 3 on the way my nesting instincts have gone a bit nuts and I am really wanting to get my home under control a bit more before life gets really busy.
Yep, thats my craft space about mid December last year!
I've always been into organising and de-cluttering - my favourite TV program when we lived in the UK was one called "Life Laundry,  I bought and pored over this Martha Stewart book "Good things for Organizing"
and my favourite quote was this one from the British designer William Morris.
"Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."

Things have changed since having children though! One thing that made me realise I really needed to get my home sorted was when both girls sat on a pile of photo frames I had sitting on our bedroom floor for over 6 months and broke the glass in two of them (luckily there was a pile of cushion inners above them at the time that had also been there for about 4 months). I'd bought these frames over a year ago and just kept moving them from cupboard to wardrobe to finally the bedroom floor where they ended up.
So armed with my trusty label maker (my sister refers to me as Monica from Friends quite often...) I'm going to have a go at tackling an organising project every week and I'm going to use my blog to keep myself accountable! Some projects will be biggish ones like sorting out the linen cupboard, the kids clothes and the photo albums I've been meaning to do for over a year now and others will just be little ones like sorting out my handbag and wallet, the pile of magazines or my email inbox. All things I've had on one of my many 'to do' lists for quite a while now - see, even my lists on my desktop are out of control!
So would you like to join me? I'm going to try and post one organising project a week on a Friday to keep me going.  You might want to join in on your blog, or just read along and get some ideas.
And finally....a little giveaway....if you leave a comment here telling me something in your home you'd like to get organised this year (like the kids toys, your wardrobe, the spare drawer, the pantry...) I'll put you in the draw for this cute notepad and pen so you can start writing your 'to- do' lists!
Giveaway drawn Friday 28th Jan '11
Open to all, just leave your email address if you don't have a blog
Thanks for visiting!
Megan
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