Friday, June 22, 2012

June 22. 2012

It always amazes me how doing one tiny thing often evolves into a full blown project.  Somehow scrubbing my laundry sink last week turned into spontaneous laundry room make-over.  I have been wanting to do this project for ages, but it has been low on the DIY priority list.  Please excuse the pictures:  the before shots were taken after I decided to clear out the room.
I love my laundry room.  It's on the main floor; it's bright; it's large; I can take my laundry outside from here and hang it on my outdoor drying racks.  It's all good, so you can see why it ranks low on the make-over list.

There used to be a wire shelf over the washer and dryer.  Because the dryer does not have the controls on the back, stuff keeps falling down behind it.

A cupboard goes into this corner.  That's the door to the garage on the right.

I just wanted it prettier.  I'm also tired of the yellow paint.  (Can't believe I said that!)  I have also wanted bead board in there since we moved in five years ago.  I knew if I wanted bead board I would have to do it myself.  I'm a bit freaked out about using the table saw so no bead board.  Then I remembered bead board wall paper and my brain started brewing.  I guess cleaning the sink was the catalyst to get me started.  I took off to Walmart and bought two rolls of paper; then off to Home Depot for trim.  Here I am in the middle of the make-over: paper is hung; trim is on; most of the caulking has been done.

It is already much brighter, and now I'm really sure I want to change the paint colour.  I have to use left-overs from the rest of the house so my options are either cream or blue.  I think I'm going to go for blue, and in order to have enough I will have to mix the remnants of about three different cans.  Talk about custom colour!

There will be new shelves over the washer and dryer.  The bread box - which holds my cleaning rags - will get a make-over as well.  This little problem area:


...will be fixed.  It looks OK now, because I just cleaned it up last night.  These shoes are never in their cubbies at the same time and the kids back packs and other "stuff" are plunked on top.  It's also tippy and not very nice looking.  My plan is to make a smaller piece with two shelves and a basket drawer.  The drawer holds the kids mittens/hats/sunglasses, etc.  There will be hooks on the wall for their coats and back packs.  Mr. Crafty's shoes will go into the hall closet, which will also require a make-over.  That's the next project on the list - forget about carpet cleaning!

Unfortunately  I have to put the laundry room on hold until late next week.  It was too hot to paint this week ( like 42 degrees hot),  and I am going on a girly camping trip this weekend.  Next week is the last before school is out, and I really do need to get those carpets cleaned while I have the house to myself.  Kind of a drag, but it will be worth it.  I'll show you the pics as soon as I'm done.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, June 18, 2012

June 18, 2012

It's so hot today.  The house is dark with all the curtains closed to try to keep out the heat.  I am really trying to live without the air conditioner on, because it's only June.  I have been wandering around the house trying to think of things to do that won't involve me sweating or heating up the house.  I spent a fair bit of time on Pinterest, but I really want to do something.  I measured up my laundry room because that's the next room that will be getting a make-over.  I will be putting up some beadboard wallpaper and new shelving, and hopefully just make it prettier so it loses its status as dumping ground.  I thought about going to Walmart for the paper today, but the car is too hot!

Yesterday I puttered around the kitchen a bit and made some cleaning products.  I had to make another batch of laundry detergent; some scrubbing powder for bathroom cleaning, and a vinegar-eucalyptus fabric softener spray.

It's hard to take pictures of stuff like this, because really they are not all that interesting.  The laundry soap recipe I use is 2 cups grated  soap; 1 cup Borax; 1 cup washing soda.  The soap that I grate is home made - not by me but by another real human.  I get the plainest kind they have - no colours, fragrance or anything; just made with lye, oils and water.  My clothes come out of the machine smelling like wet clothes, not tropical waterfalls, which is how I like it.

The vinegar fabric softener is something I read about yesterday.  You squirt 10-15 sprays on the wet clothes in your dryer before drying.  There is no residual smell once the clothes are dry, and yes, I think they are just a bit softer than when I don't use any at all.  All you do is mix 2 cups of white vinegar with three teaspoons of eucalyptus oil and decant into a squirt bottle.  Shake it up before squirting of course.

I use baking soda to clean my tubs and sinks.  This time I mixed it with a couple of tablespoons of dried, ground up balsam fir needles.  It smells like Christmas!  After Christmas I filled two boxes with balsam branches cut from my friend's tree once they threw it out.  They have been drying in the basement ever since.  Last week I pulled the needles off all the branches in one box and am storing them in a plastic container.  I was really hoping that by this time I could just shake the branches and the needles would fall off, much like Charlie Brown's Christmas tree.  No such luck: I have to do it all by hand.  Perhaps going through the second box would be a good job for today:)

These are the last peonies from my garden.  What a perfect pink!  I think it would be a nice colour for my laundry room:)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

June 6, 2012

I had to show you the state of my kitchen at the moment.  I am hosting a coffee morning tomorrow for some of the women in the neighbourhood and of course today has been spent making preparations.  I am making a cranberry coffee cake, German brownies and lavender cookies.  The brownies and cookies are experiments; I got the recipe off the internet.  I know I really shouldn't try out new recipes on people unless I have tried them out first, but that just takes a lot of the fun out of experimenting doesn't it?  If all else fails, coffee cake and coffee will be just fine I'm sure.  I did make sure to make the coffee cake extra big, just in case:)  I will not be serving up portions of stuffed humpback whale you see in the foreground - ingeniously named "Humpy".  My Favourite Boy is always leaving things around as evidence he has been there.  It used to drive me nuts, but now I love to find little lego creations on the staircase (or in my plant pots) or stuffed animals in all the wrong places and poses around the house.  One day there will be no little things of his to pick up and I know I will be really sad.
For the first time in five years we managed to make our way to the street sale.  Once a year, for one day only there is a market for quite a distance on Yonge Street.  We almost saw the whole thing; we had to cut our visit short because we were expecting a playdate in the afternoon.  I had a really good time, and the kids enjoyed going to all the booths that offered free stuff.  I remember being a kid and going to the yearly trade show: all those pens and notepads and balloons and shiny brochures were really something to talk about at school.  Now they've had their turn at it and did not complain that we didn't buy anything because they did not come home empty-handed.  Because we got there early, and had the best part of the day weather-wise, they didn't have to stand in line long to go through the bouncy obstacle course or pony rides.
I guess I shouldn't say we came home empty handed: the library was having a fabulous book sale and we all got books.  Those free bags people were handing out came in really handy to lug them home.  This is what I'll be reading this summer - and it only cost me two dollars!

I was able to get some sewing in over the weekend as well.  I finished off 'Rose Cottage': a freebie by Le Chalet des Perelles.  I just love her work.

I used my own hand-dyed threads for this one.  I will either turn this one into a box top or a wall hanging on a hoop I think.

I made three crayon caddies for kids.  I have been wanting to try these for a while.  They turned out OK, but I need to tweek the pattern just a bit I think.

They each hold eight crayons and a small notepad.  They close with an elastic looping over a button sewn on the back side.  It was fun to use up some of my juvenile fabrics since I don't really sew with them any more. (sniff!)  Two of them are going to be given to some little people coming over with their mom tomorrow.

I also got it in my head that we need to have a party for Canada Day next month.  Usually I only decide this a few days before, but this year by gosh is going to be different!  I got out most of my red and white fabric and made some bunting to hang under our 'urban gazebo' canopy.

I can't show it all to you, but you get the idea!  I had to add that bandana fabric in there to pay homage to my western heritage:)
I bought the flowers for my centre piece yesterday (white and red and white striped petunias that will go in a red, wooden toolbox); hopefully I can keep them from going leggy until July 1.  I also have ideas for a wreath for the door and possibly a table runner.

Add those plans to my plans to re-do the raised planters on the side of the house, refinish the TV stand, shampoo the carpets and couches, seal the tile floors - all before June 28 mind you - and I will continue to be one busy girl.  If you don't hear from me for a while you'll know what I'm doing:)

Thanks for stopping by!

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