Tuesday, March 31, 2009

2009 Home To Do List - Closet Organization

Happy Tuesday Everyone!

I bet you thought I had abandoned my 2009 To Do Lists, didn't you? The 2009 Home To Do List and the 2009 Sewing To Do List are now located at the very bottom of the blog. It was an accident that they got moved down there, but for now that's where they are.

I'm not putting any pressure on myself to finish everything on these lists before the end of the year. I am hopeful that will happen, but if not, there's always 2010.

It reminds me of a joke I heard once: The last thing they will do to me when I die is throw dirt on me, so a little dirt now won't hurt me. :o)

This week I am tackling the closet that hubby and I share. I am so thankful that the the closet is a good size. Hubby gets the side with the shortest hanging rod. I get the other side which has a slanted ceiling, so the rod is hung lower. If I need to hang any long clothes I hang them on an over-the-door hanger behind the closet door or I steal some of hubby's rod space.

I am currently not motivated enough to work on the closet for a long stretch of time, so I am working on it in sections. Last night I worked on the end of the shelf on my side of the closet that contains folded clothes. Hubby and I call these kind of clothes our "lounging wear". Sweat pants and shirts, pajama pants, long and short sleeve tee shirts, etc. These are things I sleep in or wear around the house on the weekend and after work at night.

I'm too embarrassed to show you the "before" picture! But, here is the after picture.


You can see that I already had some good closet organization going on in there. I just needed to purge and straighten up some. There is a hanging shoe organizer on the end, a hanger that holds scarves and belts, and a hanging basket that contains miscellaneous items such as a "dressy" pocketbook.

I already have two large piles of items to donate to the thrift store and have only done a small part of the closet.

I hope to post more pictures this week of the organization of this closet. My hope is to not only purge and straighten up this area, but to make it (my side, anyway) more feminine and pretty.

So check back for more posts on this subject!

Monday, March 30, 2009

The Weekend is over......

Do I have to get going ......

I'm just kidding... :o) It really was a nice weekend and I am so blessed to have a job I like to go to this morning. We celebrated my mother's 84th birthday and feel see blessed to have had her another year.

We were spared any damage from the tornadoes that our area experienced Friday and Saturday and the sun came out on the green fields we drive through every day.

Hubby and I went thrift store shopping just for the fun of it on Saturday. We made a promise that we wouldn't bring home any junk! We found a few things we really needed and I especially like this Tupperware deviled egg container. After running it through the dishwasher, on the top shelf of course, it came out like new. It was only $1.00.

Well, I'm off to another day at work. I hope your weekend was as nice as mine and that your week is blessed as well!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

A Sunday Nugget

Today our family will celebrate our mother's 84th birthday! Its been a hard year since her stroke, but filled with many blessings.

This is a picture of Mama's hands and her "birthday cake and candle" from a smaller celebration last weekend.

The following is written in the margin of one of my Women's Devotional Bibles. I read this one morning this week and it has stuck with me and has special meaning to me. I bet you can apply it to your life also.

"Hope uncovers new possibilities and shows us what can be done. It wrestles with angels, looks impossibilities in the eye and winks. Hope springs eternal. Hope supersedes all good intentions.

Positive thinking, on the other hand, can get you only so far. When that train of thought won't get you further, jump track and keep going by the power of God's grace. After all, you know Immanuel, God who is with us.

Dare to believe that he has planned greater things right around the corner for the ones you love. Hold your loved ones before the throne and count on God's answer in their lives. Don't let your ability or inability to think your way around circumstances hold you back. Pray and rest. Then pray some more.

---Barbara Johnson"

Have a great Sunday!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Show and Tell Friday - Spring In My Yard

Its early Spring in the garden and all the plants seem "pregnant" with promise. The azalea blooms are about to open. The Irises are sending forth their green, pointy spikes. The clematises have started running on the ground. The daylillies have come out from their winter sleep.

For Show and Tell Friday at Kelli's House this week, I am showing bits and pieces of my yard and home that are harbingers of Spring and Summer.

Seeds bought at Dollar General:

Sunflowers in a decorative watering can bought at Dollar General:

The last camelia flower on the ground underneath the bush rooted from my grandmother's camelia bush by my mother.

A window box with a few pansies peeking out. Soon I will fill this with other Summer blooming plants.

Our pewter Wolfpack Crossing sign. (Hey at this point in the 2009/2010 football season, we are undefeated!) :o)

An old fashioned Nandina Bush, also from my grandmother's yard. It is heavy with the red berries.

A pot of pansies and another plant that made it through the winter there and is now blooming.

My little "welcome" rock.

A Spring flag. We reuse it every year and its beginning to fray.

A Garden Fairy reading her book.

Another pot with a few pansies. There are perrenials in this pot that will come up and bloom in the Summer. I like to tuck in a few other plants or sow a couple of seeds.

A Spring flag, rain guage and garden statue.

For more "Show and Tell Friday" posts, go to Kelli's House!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Why Its Called a Pocketbook......

I had a question from a reader in England this week asking why I call a purse or handbag a pocketbook. Well, I've often wondered that myself! Its not a book and it doesn't go in your pocket.

I'm sorry, but it must be my Southern heritage, but I just can't seem to bring myself to call it a purse. I might be able to call it a handbag, but not a purse. I do have a "change purse" that goes inside the pocketbook.

So I googled it and here's why some of us call our handbag/purse a pocketbook:

..... "In 1617, the word first surfaced to denote a small book, now called a notebook; it was a book of addresses, or notes, that fitted in a pocket. By 1816, women were carrying a booklike case with compartments for papers and knickknacks, and they called it a purse, handbag or -- extending the old term -- pocketbook."
I found this explanation HERE.

I also had a couple of requests for a pocketbook tutorial. My list of tutorials somehow got lost in my big blog remodel over the weekend. I hope to put the list back on soon. Meanwhile, if anyone wants to see the pocketbook tutorial, its listed under labels as "Pocketbook Tutorial".

While we are talking about word origins, I find it interesting that I also call the trunk of a car the "boot". My mother's family always called the trunk a boot and the glove compartment is called the pocket. This tells me that my family may have had English roots since that is what people from England call their trunk.

Some words just get passed down to each generation of a family!

I think that most of my readers would get a kick out of the way I talk if they ever heard me. I have a very deep Southern accent and use lots of "Southernisms" in my speech. Also, my area of the South has its own distinctive accent. I do try to use proper english when posting on this blog, but I'm sure sometimes its obvious that I'm a "GIRL RAISED IN THE SOUTH"!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Whatcha Working on Wednesday - Quilt Squares

Today is Watcha Working on Wednesday at Leslie's blog, "My Country Home".

This week I have been doing quite a bit of sewing. I made a new Spring pocketbook that I posted about on Saturday, HERE.

I have also made a few more blocks for the Cozy Cabins Quilt that I have been working on.

Here are the ones I have made so far.

These squares are easy to make. All you need is a 2 1/2 inch center block in black. I chose fabric in the colors of browns and pinks as the main anchor colors. Each square will have some brown and pink.

The pattern gives the exact measurements for the length of all the strips and how many to cut, etc. I simply cut the strips of my fabric into 1 1/2 inch strips. Then I sew the strips onto the square and trim the excess so that it is square, as I go. The squares are so simple that I can sit down and sew a few strips on without putting alot of thought into it. The only thing that taxes my brain is trying to choose which fabrics to use together on a particular block!

I put all the strips and squares that I have cut so far into a big ziplock bag.

I keep this bag, as well as the other fabric to be used in this quilt in a storage basket. I can pull from this bag and basket in the small snips of time that become available for sewing. Due to the close proximity of my sewing area to the kitchen, laundry room and family room, I can sew a few strips on while doing other things.

My plan is to make a few of these quilt squares each week and eventually I will have completed the number needed to make a quilt.

It requres a lot of patience to make a quilt! I love those books about making quilts in a weekend, but honestly, it just doesn't happen that way in my experience. Or, maybe I'm just not a fast seamstress!

So what have you been working on lately?

The Launch Pad and Overflow Bag

After posting this yesterday I realized it would make a perfect Works for me Wednesday tip!

So, please go to the We Are That Family blog for more Works for Me Wednesday Posts!

After putting the Spring pocketbook I made this weekend to use for a couple of days I wanted to report that I am really enjoying it. The thing that adds to my enjoyment is having an overflow bag and a designated launch pad.

The overflow bag can be any kind of totebag, even a recycled plastic grocery bag will suffice. The one I am using today is a totebag given away at a Dollar General Store grand opening.

What goes into my overflow bag? Anything that isn't absolutely essential for me to carry inside stores, work or church, but things I need to have easy access to at any given moment. If the bag is in my car I can always grab what I need or go back and get it if necessary.

In my bag this morning: books, coupon organizer, mini notebooks, camera, bills, pocket calendar, and in a few minutes I will add my lunch.

When I get to my destination, whether it be work, a store, church or home, I only take in what I need. If I am going in a store, I will grab the coupon organizer and place it in my pocketbook. If I am going into work, I will grab my lunch. This keeps my every day pocketbook from getting cluttered and heavy.

The only things I keep in my pocketbook all the time are my wallet, checkbooks, keys, phone, and other small items that I think are necessary or just nice to have. These include: lipstick, chapstick, nail file, pen, small grandma's photo book (grin), ibuprofen, cough drops, breath mints and small bottle of hand lotion. Every woman's pocketbook contents will be different!

The inside of my pocketbook:

My designated launch pad is where I put everything I don't want to forget when leaving the house. I bet you have one too. Mine is located on the washing machine which is located by the back door that goes out to where my car is parked.

Ready to go to work:

A funny thought: As many totebags as I have made and I use a freebie or recycled plastic grocery bag! That's just sad, isn't it? I've got to make myself a very pretty, sturdy one soon!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

My New Spring Pocketbook

Happy Spring!

Today I participated in that rite of Spring along with many other women in the world..... changing over to a Spring pocketbook. I love the winter pocketbook that I found while on my anniversary trip with hubby last Fall, but its time to tell my old friend goodbye!

I have been purchasing denim clothing from the thrift store to be repurposed into sewing fabric. So I decided to put some of this denim fabric to use in a new Spring Pocketbook.

I paired some of this wonderfully soft denim with a fat quarter a friend gave me. The fat quarter has blue in it and so it looks nice with the denim. Once I put the two together I noticed that I had some grosgrain ribbon in a green that went well with some of the background colors in the fat quarter.

I love the way it turned out. I've already transferred all the contents of my winter pocketbook into the new one!

The Spring pocketbook in progress:

Another view of the finished pocketbook:

The pocketbook is lined with the denim fabric. I made several pockets, including a narrow one for pens, nail files, etc.

One last look at my Winter pocketbook, for old times sake!

Has anybody else changed over to a spring handbag yet?

Friday, March 20, 2009

Show and Tell Friday - I hate the deer, but Love my Son!

This is my fireplace and mantel. As I stated in the title, I hate the deer, but love my son! Some day he will get married and leave home, taking this prized possession with him to make his own home a manly haven. But, for now, I don't have the heart to take it down. If all else fails, maybe he can put it in his bedroom....

The mantel was made from a cypress log taken from the property we live on in 1984. This picture would make you think I live in a hunting lodge in the mountains, but I promise you that I don't!

I changed the section of the mantel I posted about yesterday. On the left is a small collection of Willow Tree Figurines. There is an "Angel of the Garden", Two "Angels of Love", and the "Anniversary Angels". All were Christmas gifts over the past 2 or 3 years.

As you can tell, I love sunflowers. The picture is a Monet print. The small sunflower arrangement above is made up of silk sunflowers placed in a decorative watering can I found at Dollar General in the "Summer/Garden" isle this week.

I know that if I removed some of the family photos I could make the mantel look more professionally decorated, but I can't part with them. Who needs a perfect display anyway? Not me! I just placed items that I love in an arrangement that is pleasing to me and makes me happy.

Please go to Kelli's House for more Show and Tell Friday Fun!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Up and At Em!

Its already been a busy day for me! This whole week is turning out to be kind of crazy! I'm a little behind at home and at work, so my post today will be brief!

I was up at 4:10 A.M. this morning with my hubby who had to leave at 4:30 A.M. to be at a meeting three hours away in Charlotte by 8:00 A.M. After he left I did a load of laundry, commented on some blogs and worked on redecorating my mantel. I dusted it, which it needed badly. Brick dust falls on it, if you know what I mean.

Here is one end of the mantel that I worked on. It still needs something else I think, so its still a work in progress.

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Works for Me Wednesday

Want to hear lots of tips and ideas? Go to We Are That Family Blog.

I have two ideas that work for me this week.

1. Shower Curtains: Our bath tubs use shower curtains and I was constantly replacing them with new liners because of mildew. I've taken them down and washed them in the washing machine or other ways, but ultimately, they would just need to be replaced. The last ones I bought were a little nicer than I normally buy and really hated to just throw them away. Recently when I was cleaning the tub with "Scrubbing Bubbles" cleaner I sprayed some on the shower curtain too. THE MILDEW CAME OFF WITH PRACTICALLY NO WORK!!! I just wiped it off and rinsed it by directing the shower head towards it. I'm sure most other people already knew this, but it just dawned on me.

2. Coupons: I have a love/hate relationship with coupons..... I love to use them, but hate to keep up with them.

Here's the way they look when they get out of hand:

Carrying around a plastic box like this DOESN'T work for me! I threw away all the coupons that had expired, of course. I also went ahead and got rid of the coupons I routinely clip, but NEVER end up using. For instance refrigerated biscuits and cookies. There are always a bunch of these in the paper, but we just never use many of them.

I have now reverted back to my old organizer until a better solution arises.

Having a small organizer works for me. No plastic boxes and no notebooks.

For a wonderful post on simplifying coupon organization, read Lyn's post at her blog called Essential Thrift, HERE.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

More Sewing Room Goodies

These are a few more finishing touches I've added to my sewing room.

This bobbin holder makes my life so much easier when sewing. Before I was putting the bobbins in a little basket where they got all tangled up and the thread was always rolling off them. Now they are nice and neat and it is easy to see which colors I already have on a bobbin. This little organizer was very inexpensive and such a simple, useful idea.

This basket was also inexpensive and makes storage of a project look nice. That's my "Cozy Cabins Quilt in progress" stored in there.

This little wall hanging was a Christmas gift. It reminds me to save some time for one of my other hobbies, gardening. If you look really close you will see that the flowers are made from YoYos, which are also used in a form of quilting. So it goes perfectly in the sewing room!

If you want to see an example of YoYos in a quilt, visit Little PenPen's blog HERE. She has a beautiful picture of them on the top of her blog.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Thrift Store Finds

Today is Frugal Friday at Life as Mom's Blog.

If you've never been much of a thrift store shopper, you don't know what you are missing. You have to have an open mind and think of it as a treasure hunt. Let's face it, most thrift stores aren't very pretty. Get over it!

The thing I love about thrifting is that you never know what treasure you might run across. Some of my favorite finds were just small things like a cereal bowl to match my dishes, a basket or a book. You can also re-purpose many things if you have both an open mind and think in a creative way.

Last Friday I stopped in after work which allowed me about 40 minutes before the store closed. I was pleasantly surprised to see a sign in the window that said, "Everything in the store is 25 cents today only".

I think I did pretty good:

Two pocketbooks with wooden handles that can be repurposed into new pocketbooks.

Four denim skirts and a cotton shirt to use for sewing fabric. The plaid shirt will go into my stash for a quilt made from men's shirts some day. The denim in the skirts is so soft and of good quality for sewing. I have already laundered these items and will cut them apart and place them in the right stack in my sewing room.

I found these clothes for my grandson. Some fit now and some will fit later this summer, next fall and winter.

Two "Okie Dokie" play shirts

An NC State shorts set.

A Spiderman Jacket

Children's Place summer short overalls

Old Navy Baby denim overalls and shirt

Disney Store Tigger Shirt

I really wanted more time to shop, but it just wasn't meant to be. I didn't do too bad for $3.75 in only 40 minutes!

For more Frugal Friday please visit LIFE AS MOM.

Glimpses of Home - A Little Bit of Fall

I've been enjoying Fall.  I love this time of year. Having a hubby who is retired is great.  He does so many things around the house. ...