If you’re a crafter, you know how easily unorganized supplies can overwhelm your workspace. It can zap your creativity and completely stall in-progress projects. Fortunately, finding smart solutions to sort your fabric, ribbon, wrapping paper is becoming less difficult, but they can be expensive.
I loved this quick, easy and affordable option shared by Halsey at Spunky Junky. She put a stop to her messy ribbon collection by threading spools on wood dowels and inserting them into a small plastic basket. Halsey also put the basket’s holes to use to keep the ribbon ends easily accessible.
Easy, organized and inexpensive! How do you keep your craft supplies tidy?
+ $5 Ribbon Organizer Tutorial from Spunky Junky (via Craft Magazine)
I put the cat bowls on a placemat at home. I use a tablemat that I did not like anymore but I would like to have something pretty that relates to the cats. I may have find it with the new Cat Mat by Chilewich. The fish shaped mat is available in 8 colors: carbon, chestnut, glacier, lemon, lime, mango, platinum and wheat.
The Cat mat is part of their new Spring/Summer 2011 collection that I will introduce on the next post.
+ Fish Pet Mat by Chilewich. From $35 USD
Do your new year’s resolutions included eating healthier? If you’re stocking up on fruit and veggies, you’ll also want to stock up on Credobags produce bags.
Made of organic cotton mesh, Credobags are a practical alternative to often unnecessary plastic produce bags. Plus they help to prolong the life of produce in the drawer of the fridge – which helps reduce food waste and save money. Plus, they’re compact enough to tote along to the farmer’s market and the grocery store.
In addition to mesh produce bags, the Credobags line includes stylish options for storing bulk food items, shopping and catch-all tote bags in reusable, environmentally-responsible fabrics like organic cotton, hemp and bamboo. So you can cross “be more eco-conscious” off your list of resolutions.
Check out the complete Credobags line at www.credobags.com. They also have gift sets.
+ Store locator for Credobags
Though a chalkboard wall can be extremely useful as a family message center, a revolving menu or a catchall for inspirational ideas, they can also look messy and cause a mess as a result of all that chalk dust. Not to mention that chalkboard walls are walking the fine line of being overdone.
The DIY Kraft Paper Sketch Pad is smart idea from Sarah.Wandering as an alternative. She cleverly rigged rolls of inexpensive kraft paper on a curtain rod to provide a clean canvas for ideas, schedules and sketches. Best of all, when you need to tidy the room – or your thoughts – you can tear off the paper and start anew.
Check out all the details on Sarah.Wandering.
Two weeks ago, I found out what are the must-have items that you need before you deliver your baby. I am amazed by the amount of new things that we need to care, educate and entertain a newborn.
The first thing on my list was to make room. My husband and I sorted and packed all weekend. By splitting the work, we encouraged each other. He did the main floor while I worked mostly upstairs. We separated things into four categories: donation, furniture for sale, recycling and garbage. I tackled a big closet that was filled with things that we do not use anymore. Big closets can be sneaky. I was surprised by how much we hide there over the years. Now, I got the space to hide our photo albums and the beautiful things that should be kept out of reach during my child’s early years. Everything is neatly organized on the shelves. Looking at my well organized storage space makes me feel good.
Uncluttering your home can seem cumbersome to many. But once you see the results, it is worth every minute on it. Getting rid of unnecessary things removes weights from your shoulder. It’s a soothing experience! I know that you are all busy before the Holiday season. But why not take one weekend or a few week nights to gather the things around the house that you do not use anymore and donate them to a local charity. They need more toys, clothes, food and housewares during this time of the year to prepare their Christmas baskets.
As for us, we still have a big way to go until we see the end of the tunnel. We will continue to pack so they can proceed with some renovations all over the home. I wish to do all these little, and not so little, projects before the baby arrives. This is part of child-proofing my home. I will show you the results once everything is done.
Lastly, have a look at these beautiful kitchen linens. After your hard work, you are allow one indulgence.
+ Vintage Kitchen Scale $45 USD at One Sidney Road
+ Kitchen Apron by Studiopatro $68
+ Tea Towel Sets $42 for 2 assorted tea towels at Studiopatro
Calendars have come a long way in recent years. Gorgeous illustrations, typography and innovative printing techniques have elevated this ho-hum household necessity to affordable, alternative artwork.
Practical yet stylish, they also make a wonderful gifting option for recipients you may have overlooked. The recipient is sure to think of you with each new month!
Just don’t wait until the new year to start your search: the great ones will be long gone. Here are five faves that have me wishing for more months in the year.
+ For the kitchen: Avril Loreti bold and graphic 2011 calendar tea towel, $27 USD
+ For a kid’s room: Paper Source 3D zoo calendar, $24.95
+ For a pocket or purse: Inkello letterpress matchbook calendar, $7.95
+ For the office: Eco-friendly desktop calendar by Modern Motive $20
+ For the living room: Gold foil and grey letterpress calendar by Seesaw Letterpress, $32
This cute pattern is not for gift wrapping papers but for protecting and decorating shelves and drawers. Like many, I covered my bathroom and kitchen drawers with liners when I was renting an apartment. I did it for hygienic reasons. But when we moved in our current space, there were no need since we put a brand new kitchen and master bathroom. Frankly, most drawer liners lack style. Therefore, they do not really enhance your drawers.
I found a store on the Web that may change my mind. The collection at Chic Shelf Paper is more interesting than what I remembered. Each pattern is available as a matter paper, a fine weave fabric, laminated vinyl and satin canvas. Prices vary from $2.5o to $5.75 per square foot.
+ Gypsy Gardens
+ Eco Leaves
+ Kitchen Descriptions Shelf Paper & Drawer Liner
+ Cross Me Yellow Shelf Paper & Drawer Liner
As a parent-to-be, I care about providing a safe environment for my baby. This includes my house but also the world I live in. I remember last year when a girlfriend M. adopted the most adorable Vietnamese little girl. Just before her trip to Vietnam to bring her home, M. had her home professionally cleaned by a team who only use green products. It made me think about how harmful regular cleaning products could be for our health and nature.
A few years ago, I switched to a biodegradable multi-purpose cleaner to clean my floor, to do the rough part of cleaning the windows, and to remove dust and dirt around the house. But old habits die hard. I stuck to my regular bathroom cleaners and glass cleaner because they work well. When I got pregnant, I became worried about the fumes produced by the chemicals in the products I used. This told me that it was time to explore what are the more natural alternatives at the stores.
It’s funny how having a baby changes your perspective in all aspects of our life. I think that it forces us to take better care of ourselves, to eat better and to reevaluate how we run our household. As parents-to-be and parents, we want to do the best for our kids.
About our Sponsor: Green Works
A division of Clorox, Green Works describes their line as a range of naturally derived cleaning products. They are made from at least 95% natural ingredients. Green Works make two all-purpose cleaners, one bathroom cleaner, one toilet bowl cleaner, two glass cleaners, laundry products and a dishwashing liquid available in four scents. You will be happy that they contain no phosphorous, no ammonia nor bleach.
Using natural or green products does not mean that you can relax on how you store your household cleaning products. As written on the labels, you still have to keep them out of reach of children.
Notice: Green Works asked us if they could sponsor a post in our “Getting Ready for the Baby” series. In return for their sponsorship, we simply mentioned them as the sponsor and wrote a brief description of their product line at the end of the post.
Laundry might be the least glamourous of household chores. It is even less glamourous if, like me, you’re an apartment dweller without the luxury of an in-suite washer and dryer. In fact, it’s not a backyard or a garden I’m most looking forward to when I become a homeowner: it’s a laundry room.
I can’t wait for the day when someone launches a chain of stylish laundromats complete with high-end appliances, a detergent bar, lounge furniture and, of course, wi-fi. Until then, these affordable, yet indulgent, laundry essentials will help make sorting and folding loads a little more bearable.
+ Laundry symbol vinyl wall decals by Studio JK, $15 USD on Etsy
+ Eco-Friendly Eco Friendly Wool Felted Dryer Balls by Clean Sypria, $16 USD for a set of 4
+ Kim likes the lavender scented dryer balls
+ Rowenta’s Pro Master steam iron, $149.99 CAD at Sears
+ For Americans: Rowenta’s DW8080 Pro Master iron $79.99 USD at Amazon.com [affiliate link]
+ Soak Aquae no-rinse fibre care, $16 CAD
+ Steady Sticks laundry powder bin, $24.99
If you have obsolete or broken electrical, electronic and computer equipment lying around your house, this Sunday is the time to responsibly get rid of it. In recognition of Quebec Waste Reduction Week, 1-800-GOT-JUNK? teams up with the Centre de formation en entreprise et recuperation (CFER) to stage a large Green Waste Collection. The service is free.
They will take things like blenders, toasters, clock radios, CD players, cameras, computers, printers, fax machines. Get the complete list online. There will be 4 deposit sites in the region of Montreal and one spot in Quebec city. KADISAL and its Montreal facility will dismantle and sort all electrical and electronic devices and computer equipment collected, in addition to taking care of all recycling.
Why not take this opportunity to look at the rest of your home and see if it is time for a little decluttering session. Start with your closets. What did you not wear last summer and last fall? In case you missed it, I talked about the need to declutter your house on this week “Getting Ready for the Baby” post.
+ Collecte Verte
The arrival of a first baby means for most couples that they need to reconfigure a room of their house to become the nursery. But before that step, I think there is a more important step to take. Baby gears require space in several rooms of your home from the bathroom, to the kitchen and up to the living room. In fact, I realized that you need to reevaluate the design of all the rooms in your house to make sure that they are baby friendly. Continue Reading