Friday, July 25, 2014

Decorate While Doing Good On A Grand Scale: Hands of Haven 2014

Today (July 26th) is the first ever one-day international event: Hands Of Haven

For the past 2 years the Haven Conference (and the bloggers who attended) have partnered with Habitat for Humanity and participated in a Habitat house build.  For 2014 a group of Atlanta-based bloggers will be working on a Habitat for Humanity house once again. But this year, Haven has gone even further and pledged to raise $5500 for this wonderful organization.

But participating in Hands of Haven day isn't limited to those Atlanta-based bloggers or even the bloggers who attended Haven. Everyone is welcome to participate.

If you want to be involved with this special event there are a few ways you can help. 

Setting up my Cutting Machine Work Station

Hidden silhouette work station

This post is brought to you by Sauder. All ideas and opinions are my own.

I recently posted about how I cleaned up the kids' play room using this flexible craft cabinet. And it was WONDERFUL having it down there in the playroom. The more I used it, the more I envied the flexible work space and the way it could so easily be disguised.

From the outside it looked like a plain buffet cabinet, but once you opened it up, the storage was fantastic:

But because I already had a fair amount of storage in the toy closet, and the fact that this was currently how my dining room table looked, I decided I could put it to EVEN BETTER use:
IMG 1958
Do you see that large black box and all the rolls of vinyl on the table? Why, those are all my Silhouette supplies. They were everywhere. I had the machine set up in the dining room table for all my quick projects, but it was a MESS.

So I decided I would re-purpose the craft cabinet for myself and get all this clutter out of the dining room (call me selfish, but I couldn't waste such a great find on my the playroom! :) )

I had an area right outside of my sewing studio, on the landing at the top of the stairs that was screaming for something to fill the space. It was a perfect fit the Sauder craft cabinet and thankfully this single piece of furniture is flexible enough to be used in this space.
Crafting closet
Since this area on the landing is really an extension of the sewing studio, I decided to decorate it with some of my favorite vintage sewing notions.
Top of craft cabinet
I LOVE old pin cushions and vintage spools of thread:
Vintage sewing supplies
And I admit I have a thing for buttons.
Button jars
But here is the best part! Look at how everything is so easily organized when you open it up!
Silhouette work station
There is a large cabinet that holds the cutting machine, and then plenty of shelves for the vinyl and other supplies.

The door has divided spots that a perfect for storing all my dollar store bottles that I have on hand as a last minute thank you gift (I usually just personalize them with a monogram or something for coaches, teachers and babysitters)Cutting machine supply cabinet
On one of the shelves I have a large jar that i keep all my scrap vinyl in, and a shelf designated for contact paper (which I use for stenciling.)
Storing vinyl
The bottom rack on the door houses my extra blades, cords, weeding supplies, iron on interfacing, etching cream etc.
Organizing silhouette supplies
And when you completely open it up and support the drop leaf with the door, you have a HUGE workstation perfect for the computer and the Silhouette machine itself:
Silhouette Work Station
I don't even have to remove all the stuff on top, which is nice if I just want to quickly cut a small project.
And the best part? When it is closed up you would never believe all that stuff was inside:
Craft room at top of stairsMuch nicer than having it spread all over the dining room table. For more fantastic furniture finds, be sure to visit my "Furniture is Fantastic" Pinterest board. It is full of inspiration for multi-purposed and re-purposed furniture.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Sauder. The opinions and text are all mine.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Come Tour Our Playroom!

I realized that I only gave you a partial tour of the play/family room when I posted about organizing it.   So I thought I would give you a quick tour of the whole room and show you how far it has come since we first moved in.

Here is what the MLS listing photo looked like when we bought the house.  Ahh yes, my beloved honey oak and brass!
Family room
And here it is on move-in day:
IMG 1862
I loved the built in cabinets around the fireplace, but that floating mantle and high-contrast natural wood wasn’t doing it any favors.

To update it, I painted the brass fireplace surround:

Monday, July 21, 2014

Updating A Vanity with A Custom Tile Backsplash

Custom Vanity Backsplash
During my recent trip to the Haven Conference, I stopped by my parents’ house and helped them with a couple of DIY projects they have been waiting to tackle.  One of them was upgrading the builder grade backsplash they had in their master bathroom.

The bathroom is beautiful, but my mom wanted to unite the tile work in the shower with the other side of the room.  Since she had pencil tile leftover from the shower construction, we decided we would use it for a new backsplash.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Ten Brussels Sprout Recipes for People Who Don't Like Brussels Sprouts

10 Recipes for Brussels Sprouts for People Who Don't Like Sprouts (But after this.. they will LOVE THEM!)
Any long term follower of my blog will know I have become a HUGE fan of brussels sprouts, and anyone who knows me in real life knows that is a SHOCKING fact because I am not usually a fan of anything green.

But since I learned a few tricks in preparing them, they are now one of my 'go to' veggies of all time! Yes.. OF ALL TIME!!  Therefore, for today's flashback friday I thought I would share a few awesome Sprout recipes.  Since if you haven't tried them prepared with brown sugar and bacon, well.. you are doing it wrong.

The key to a good sprout is to not have them be mushy.. since mushy is bleck.  Crispy is great (Hey I can even choke down Kale if it is crispy.)

Here is my trick for getting them crispy in the oven:

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

What is Haven? What Makes It Special?

 Phew.. I have finally returned from my extended Haven vacation, and in my typical style I'm late getting my recap post up.   We decided to take a few extra days sightseeing in Washington DC and so I am only getting home now.  Originally I was going to write up my recap earlier, but another experience got in the way (and I'm glad it did.)

Sunday, July 13, 2014

How A Stranger On My Plane Today Changed My Life

I met the most amazing man on the plane today. I am convinced it was fate. On any other day I would never strike up a conversation with the person next to me on an airplane.  I would typically have my kids with me, and would be too preoccupied to find the time to really talk to someone, to listen to their story.

Maybe I would make small talk, ("Hot enough for you?" or "I hope we take off on time")  but that would quickly end, and my nose would soon be buried in my phone or magazine, avoiding the awkwardness of a conversation with a perfect stranger at all costs.  

But today was different.  Today I was alone, returning from a conference filled with meeting new people, so why not meet one more?  Maybe he wouldn't be a talker and I would exchange pleasantries and then enjoy my in-flight beverage without ever giving it a second thought.

But that isn't how it worked out. 

It all started with a simple question: "Where are you headed?" and ended in a two-hour conversation that will change the way I look at obstacles in my own life, both now and in my past.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Sweet Treats Decoden Candy Jar

Decoden Candy JarToday's post is brought to you by Mod Podge (since I really love Mod Podge!) 

Originally popular in Japan, a fun new trend that is becoming catching on in North America right now is Decoden, or the art of decorating with trinkets.  Definitely over the top and full of glitter and sparkles, it is way to ‘bling out’ even the most benign household products.  And now, thanks to Mod Podge Collage Clay you are now able to make your own decoden projects at home.

Here are some examples of typical Decoden projects:
Modpodge collage zps41b65ac4
Because deocoden frequently reflects super-realistic candy, confections and frosting, I decided I would add a decoden touch to a candy jar.