Thursday, April 28, 2011

And so it begins...

We have procrastinated long enough, and finally took the first step in transforming our kitchen.

Wednesday evening I was greeted with this thing on our porch:




Wait for it....

Wait for it..........


Can you hear the angels singing as the door is opened? Because that's what I hear when I look at this picture. It's an Avanti 32 bottle wine refridgerator. I feel so fancy. And old. Cause I only ever see these in old fancy people's homes. But that's okay because I'm going to have 32 bottles of perfectly chilled chardonnay at my fingertips 24/7, can it get much better than that?

This is the first step to our kitchen reno, because this new appliance can't just sit on the wall by itself.

See how odd it looks? (aside from the mess, just ignore that part)



So, this is what I came up with a while ago. Right after we first moved in, I knew I wanted to add more counter/storage space, and fix that weird empty triangle gap that served no purpose.

So this is what it should look like very soon:


...a real life, non-photoshopped version, of course.

We have a carpenter working on it right now and it should be installed Monday. It will have two shelves to place our red wines and our drink glasses and serve as our little bar area.

Then next week we're going to Lowe's to pick out some nice light granite (for the whole kitchen, not just this part).

Then we'll get a new tile backsplash (still need to pick this out!)

And eventually, we'll have all the cabinets and shelving painted white. And we're also getting new floor tile.

This is all expected to hopefully happen this month, so hold onto your horses, it's gonna be a crazy ride!


Monday, April 25, 2011

Birthday Happenings

Today was a good day.

I decided to take the day off work (who wants to work on their birthday??) to do whatever I felt like doing.

Like a mini Ulta/Victoria'sSecret/Forever21 shopping spree.

4 tops and 3 bottoms at Forever 21, all for $77... LOVE this store



And pina coladas by the pool.



And a play date with my baby girl:




Today I feel very fortunate and grateful to be able to enjoy everything that I have. It's all about the simple things in life. If only every day could be this simple and perfect.


And! I was able to squeeze in another office project.

I was trying to figure out some way to utilize the blank wall above my dresser:




And I quickly discovered that it would be nice to have a place to set my prints after they are cut and waiting to be packaged.

The first thing that came to mind was a small ledge to set them on. So I traveled to Lowe's and picked up an 8 ft piece of 90' angled trim (on sale for $2!) that I figured I would cut to size and mount to the wall, like this:



Unfortunately, I realized that there was no way that paper was going to sit up straight without falling over, so I quickly devised a Plan B.


I picked up a bag of clothespins at the dollar store, grabbed a handful and spray painted them white:



And measured out where I would mount them on the support beam for the shelf (which came to 8 clothespins every 7 inches)



All it took was a line of hot glue and they weren't going anywhere.



And now I have a functional, super cheap and easy place to hang my prints before they are organized and packaged!



By the way, huge thanks to those of you who have made a purchase from my little shop! Your support really means the world to me and makes me hopeful that I can continue and fulfill this dream of mine.

I'm off to enjoy the last few moments of my birthday with my little family... don't forget to take some time out of your day to enjoy the small things... it will make you a better person :)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

My birthday present.

Happy Easter everyone!
For the first time since I can remember, this weekend was house project-less. While I do feel unproductive, it was for good reason, because I had something else keeping me busy. Something else in the form of black fluffy adorableness.

Meet Susie.


Susie is Brad's birthday gift to me, and my birthday gift to him (my birthday is tomorrow and his is Wednesday). So I spent Friday afternoon at the Humane Society adopting this 7 month old bundle of joy, and I have to say... best birthday present ever.

She is perfect.


Meerkat!








And she loves her new daddy.



And of course her mommy.


And now we are a happy family of three :)


But this weekend wasn't completely unproductive... I managed to get a couple more prints added to the shop.

The latest additions include this custom coordinates print, which is made from your address and can be personalized with your text of choice:



And my typographical Date print, where you choose your layout (and as always, your background color and pattern)



To spread the birthday love, I'm offering a 26% discount code, 26birthday, just for my blog followers on any order (to celebrate the big 2-6 tomorrow). The code will only be good through tomorrow so get it while you can!

Time to do some more kitty cuddling... enjoy your week everyone!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Office Closet Reno: Part III

I'm back again... this time with a large, much needed glass of chardonnay in my hand, paint on my toes, and wood shavings in my hair.

It's been a long weekend.

But I'm glad this phase of the office closet reno is over.

Bear with me on the lack of in progress pictures... everything that could go wrong, did, and I was at the point of just trying to get it done to remember to document it correctly.

Let's rewind one week ago, when the closet looked like this after phase one:



I had completed my built-in wall pockets and was ready to move onto the more difficult task of built in shelves.

I knew I wanted to build it basically the same way—three pieces of wood affixed to the wall which would support one long shelf.


So I went to Home Depot (I know, I said I would only go to Lowe's from now on, but Lowe's doesn't have large pieces of MDF! Get with the program, guys)... The crappy part was that I had to buy an entire sheet of it (which was $30 and like 4'x6' or something), but since it all couldn't fit in our little car, we couldn't take the rest of it home with us. Let's call this bummer of the weekend #1. Anyway, after making my closet measurements and having them cut them for me, this is what I had to work with:




I was actually missing two of those small pieces on the top right which were my side supports, because the guy forgot to cut them (shall we say bummer #2?), but luckily there were scraps left over long enough for me to use our miter saw and make the cuts. Disaster averted.

I proceeded to give them them all a few coats of white semi-gloss paint, and we hauled them into the office to start putting it all together.

I know we're missing a couple steps here but this is the next picture I shot:


This is the first stage of the bottom shelf. We tried to drill into the studs. Our studfinder is a little confused though, and it told us it was in different places every time. So we had to just trust our instincts. Does this count as bummer #3? Pretty sure the right support is not in a stud at all. But it seems quite solid, and Brad said it was OK, so I will trust him until it crashes on me.

Anyway, here's the next picture I remembered to take:


Alright, making some progress here. The shelf top was a good fit pretty close to the wall on both sides. You aren't going to get an exact fit (unless your house was built by people who really care about your welfare and any future projects you may do, which does not describe the people that built ours)... so our walls definitely had some wonkiness beacuse this closet is far from a perfect rectangle.

We used our nail gun to attach the top to all sides, and began to repeat the process for the top shelf...


There's Brad doing the muscle work for me (thanks sweetie), but about 5 minutes after this picture was taken he quit on me.

It was bummer #4... the shelf was too big to squeeze into the closet. It was not the shelf's fault, it was actually cut identical to the bottom shelf (which was actually a little too short)... it was, of course, the closet walls that were not straight.

So after a lot of pulling and tugging and @*&#!%-ing, we were left with this wall carnage:


...which was found on both sides of the closet, and a lot worse in person.


I hope your Saturday night was better than ours.

But Sunday was a fresh start, so I headed off to Garden Ridge, World Market, and Lowe's for some finishing pieces.

Can I go off on a tangent for a quick sec? If you do not live by a Garden Ridge, I am sorry. My life was Garden Ridge-less until I moved to Florida last September, and it has changed me. I am a believer. This place is 3 acres of pure heaven. Just look at this aisle of baskets....



This is the stuff dreams are made of, people. And it gets better. These baskets are CHEAP. Price cheap, not quality. Check out these gems I found:


Don't you just love these woven baskets? In all sizes and colors, and check out the price tag.

Here's another one of my favs...


This basket is perfect for magazines, blankets, even throw pillow storage beside a couch (it's a LOT larger than it looks in person). Love.

Anyway, I picked up a few baskets here for my top shelf storage, and a teal storage box from World Market (which I got for free with a $10 Birthday coupon!)

I also stopped by Lowe's to get some thin strips cut for the fronts of the shelves. I'm not a big fan of seeing the supports so I wanted to attach front pieces to make the shelves look more substantial and solid.

Back at home, our closet was now looking like this:



Almost ready for the final step!

Brad painted the pieces, and once dry, we went to attach them and..... ready for bummer #5? They were a full half inch too short. I specifically told the guy 63 7/16" long... he somehow didn't pay attention to the 7/16" part, which I had repeated at least 3 times... and cut them to exactly 63". How does this happen? Lowe's, if you're reading this, you just lost points with me.

So, I just added a lot of caulk and spackle and it worked out ok in the end. Not the ideal way to go, but I'd rather not drive all the way back to the hardware store for the 4th time in one weekend.

At the last minute, I decided to give our old black trash can a quick facelift with my favorite spraypaint brand:




(after pics in just a sec...)


While I was putting on the finishing touches, there was some major pond action in the backyard. The alligator came out to socialize, Brad threw half a carton of eggs at him (and apparently eggs aren't a gator food group?), and he also discovered a ginormous "4 or 5 foot" turtle:



So, that's the latest from the pond. Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.


First let's recap to 2 weeks ago:





And now to the official after shots of Stage III:












And that's how it's looking this very minute. So glad I got that out of the way, and that the space is now super efficient. This isn't the end of the transformation... I still need to add some organizational apparatus to the blank walls in the back and right side. When I find that perfect thing, you'll all be the first to know!

I also need to decide if I'm going to re-attach the white bi-fold doors or add curtains. What do you all think? I don't want it to get too busy with too many patterns and colors, but the doors are kind of pointless since the closet will never be closed. Or maybe just leave it as is? I'm interested to hear your thoughts!

Alright, time to finish this third glass of wine and relax my achy body for the remaining two hours of consciousness I have for the weekend... thanks for reading :)



Friday, April 15, 2011

Printable binder templates for your Binder Filing System

Good morning and Happy Friday everyone!

I was so happy to hear that many of you are going to overhaul your filing system to the binder method after IHeartOrganizing featured my story. That is great news!

Someone asked me how I made my binder labels, and I realized that this is not something everyone will be able to easily do (I made mine in a program I use for all of my designs, Adobe Illustrator). I would love to help make things easier for those of you who are taking the plunge, so I'm offering free PDF downloads of the patterns I used for my binders and magazine holder labels!

Let me first explain how to use these files:

-I printed all of mine one 13x19 sheet, because the binders are actually a bit taller than 11". There are three patterns for 1.5" binders, and six patterns for 2" binders. I also printed out three 2" x 3" squares for my magazine holders.

-They are all lined up next to each other to reduce the amount of cuts you have to make. I used an xacto knife and ruler to divide mine, but you can use scissors if you have a really steady hand!

-I've removed my labels from the background so that you can add your own specific text based on your own needs.

Now, if you don't have a printer capable of printing 13x19 (or you don't want to pay Kinko's/Fedex or your local printer to make the prints), there is still hope. I have divided the labels into three standard 8.5x11" sheets. On the third sheet I added more 2"x3" cards that you can use for anything! (And keep in mind you can always print multiple copies of the same sheet if you need more 1.5" labels or want multiple copies of one pattern!)

After you click on the link to access the PDF, in the left hand corner click on the "File" dropdown menu under Google docs, and select "download original". Save it to your compter and repeat with the other files you need, and you're set!

Important: When you go to print these, make sure your printer is set to print at 100% (Do NOT scale to fit page!). This will assure they are the correct sizes to fit in the binder spine. If you have a borderless printer, make sure to checkmark the "borderless" option in your printer settings. If you do not have a borderless printer, the top and bottoms will be slightly cut off but that should be okay!

Also, I would highly recommend printing on some heavy weight paper (cardstock would be perfect). I used heavyweight paper and if it was any lighter, I would have had problems pushing it down the spine without it bunching up. If you use something flat and hard like a ruler to help guide it down, that helps a lot.

Here are the templates:


Click to download a 13x19 sheet with all labels

Click to download 8.5x11" sheet #1


Click to download 8.5x11" sheet #2

Click to download 8.5x11" sheet #3


(psssst... I know it says 8x10 in the PDF names, but they really are 8.5x11", excuse the brain fart!)

Please don't hesitate to ask if you have any questions! And if you complete the project, I'd love to see pictures and hear your story too!

Be back Sunday with another office closet update :)