Thursday, 24 May 2012

Easy and Organized Filing System

This post has been a while in the making. I’ve actually had the photos on my computer since J and I filed our taxes but never got around to writing it. However, a conversation with mama today reminded me about it. This is my very simple, very compact filing system.


I hate clutter and junk, which includes mail. When it comes in to our house, it immediately gets opened. It then gets sorted into three piles: garbage, shred, or things to deal with. Garbage goes straight into the can, I keep the stuff to deal with in the back of my remote caddy and our paper to shred goes into a Rubbermaid container. It lives on a shelf below J’s desk. It’s an easy way to keep it separate and once the box is full we bring out the shredder and get rid of all the paper.


Everything that needs to be kept is in a blue tub from Staples, which also lives on a shelf behind J’s shelf. The first section is for our bills. I have one file for every month and at the start of each month I move that month’s folder to the front. When I move it to the front I put the old bills that are in it in the shred bin. Once a bill is paid for the month I put it in the folder. I like this way better than sorting by company (such as electricity, gas, etc) because I know I always have a year and only a year filed away.


Behind that are our other files. They include things such as employment information (paystubs), insurance, vet records, mortgage, etc. Basically, anything I need to keep has a file of its own. Over time, the ones I use more often have moved forward and the ones I use less are towards the back, but that was not intentional. There's no rhyme or reason to the colours of the files. I just used what I had.


Last but not least, and the reason I started thinking about writing this post, are our income tax files. J and I each have our own separate files. Any time we have any papers that need to be claimed, such as donation receipts, I put them in the folder. At income tax time it’s easy to get them all together. When I mail them to the accountant I take a photocopy of them, put them in an envelope, and label them with the year. Once we receive our statements I also put those in the envelopes. I’m not sure how long I’m supposed to keep the papers but I keep them for seven years; it seems like a nice length of time. Once an envelope is over seven years old, it gets put in the shred box.


There you have it. I’ve been using this system since I was in university and it really works for me. I like that it’s simple and organized but doesn’t take much time to keep up. I also love that it’s compact and easily accessible so it isn’t a chore to use.


Shared on:
The Saturday Seven @ Positively Splendid
The Cure For The Common Monday @ Lines Across
Take a Look Tuesday @ Sugar Bee Crafts
The Creative Spark @ Clean and Scentsible
Wow Me Wednesday @ Ginger Snap Crafts
Delightfully Inspiring Thursday Party @ Delightful Order
Day 31 @ Organizing Made Fun
Organize It! Monthly @ Organizing Made Fun
Throwback Thursday @ Glitter, Glue and Paint
The Happy Housie

Monday, 21 May 2012

Who Knew? Toothpaste Silver Cleaner

A while ago I was talking to my mom while getting ready for work. I grumbled about my silver necklace being tarnished and how I didn’t have any polish. She told me to use toothpaste and I’ll admit, I was skeptical.


I covered my necklace in toothpaste and brushed it with an old toothbrush. I could literally see the tarnish coming off. I then rinsed it well with soap and water, and dried it off.  To my surprise, it actually worked.

What about you? Do you have any unusual cleaning tricks?

Shared on:
Take A Look Tuesday @ Sugar Bee Crafts
Wow Me Wednesday @ Ginger Snap Crafts
The Creative Spark @ Clean and Scentsible
Delightfully Inspiring Thursday Party @ Delightful Order

Friday, 18 May 2012

Wedding Flowers

It’s only a couple months until J and I get married. Yippie! We’re having a very small wedding in Canmore, Alberta, which is several hours from our home. Our ceremony and reception are taking place at a golf course with stunning views of the Rocky Mountains. Because of the stunning views at our outside location, we decided to have minimal ceremony d├ęcor. However, if it rains and we have to go inside, I wanted some plants for either side of J and I, who will be standing in front of open doors showing the mountains. Rather than pay a lot for something we may not use, I decided to plant my own. I should be very clear: I am not growing my own or M’s bouquet. I’m not willing to risk those flowers not turning out well. These are just in case in rains and are in no way essential to our wedding.


Our wedding colours are black, white and purple, with a little bit of silver.  I bought two silver pots from Walmart and the flowers came from Canadian Tire. The bottom white flowers are Bacopa. Eventually they should fill out the bottom layer and hang down over the pot. The top flowers are Pericallis. They should grow about a foot tall and have lots of deep purple flowers. In the middle are Pansies. They’re a softer purple and should fill in the space around the steps of the Pericallis.



In total, these cost me about $80, half of which was spent on the pots. That’s over $300 less than the florist was going to charge. While, like I said, I would never try and grow my own bouquet, I’m really pleased with these and hope they grow well for the wedding. While I tend to do well with gardening, I’m a little nervous. Any tips to help them grow would be appreciated! Also, I’ll post pictures close to the date to show how (or if) they turn out.


Shared on:
Wow Me Wednesday @ Ginger Snap Crafts
The Creative Spark @ Clean and Scentsible
Take A Look Tuesday @ Sugar Bee Crafts

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Beaded Chain Medic Alert Bracelet

I’ve made a lot of medic alert bracelets but they’ve never been anything fancy… until now. I saw an amazing Chain Mail Beaded Charm Bracelet at Show, Tell, Share and decided to make my own version, modifying it to fit my medic alert tag. Their instructions are much more detailed than mine, so you may want to check it out.


First I got attached three lengths of chain to the end piece (I don’t know what it’s called) using jump rings. I chose two end pieces with lobster clasps so I could attach my tag.


Next, I joined every second circle in adjacent rows. In rows one and two I joined two, four, six, etc. and in rows two and three I joined three, five, seven, etc.


Finally, I made some charms by placing beads on pins. I attached them randomly on the bracelet.


The first day I wore it, I got lots of compliments. It was great to see the surprise on people’s faces when I told them I made it myself.


Shared on:
Wow Me Wednesday @ Ginger Snap Crafts
Delightfully Inspiring Thursday @ Delightful Order
Saturday Seven @ Positively Splendid
Take A Look Tuesday @ Sugar Bee Crafts
The Creative Spark @ Clean and Scentsible
The Cure for the Common Monday @ Lines Across

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Eggshell Seedlings (and Happy Mother's Day)

Being that it is Mother’s Day, I debated writing a post about my wonderful mama. Instead, I thought I’d post about one of our shared hobbies – gardening. In the past I have had a flower garden which is mostly perennials and a couple pots of annuals. This year I decided to add some vegetables to the mix. I wanted to start from seed (because I’m cheap frugal) and had seen lots of eggshell planters floating around Pinterest so I decided to give them a try. I planted tomato, cucumber and green pepper, as well as some Morning Glory for a pot.

After eating nothing but eggs for two days I had a dozen shells. I filled them about 2/3s with soil, sprinkled some seeds, and then covered with more soil. In order to remember what I planted in each egg, I labeled them with a marker. I put them back in the carton, watered them, and placed them in the window.


By day 14, I had some plants thriving and others, well, I wouldn’t even call them plants. Two of my cucumber eggshells were growing like crazy and my Morning Glory were doing well. I wanted to get them into something bigger so I went and bought some bigger plantable pots, filled them with soil, and added the eggshells. I also planted some more tomato and pepper seeds in bigger pots because I was worried about my eggs.


By day 21 I had some tomatoes growing as well as one egg of peppers. Nothing from the second round of pots can be seen yet. I decided that my cucumber and Morning Glory were ready and moved them outside.


What I learned:
-       It’s not fun to eat eggs for a whole weekend
-       Not all seeds actually grow
-       It doesn’t take long for some plants to outgrow their eggs
-       Having to buy more seeds and pots meant this really wasn’t much cheaper.

Was it fun watching them grow? Yes. Was it successful? I don’t know yet. Will I do it again? Probably not. I think I’ll stick to buying plants.

Shared on:
Take A Look Tuesday @ Sugar Bee Crafts
Wow Me Wednesday @ Ginger Snap Crafts
Delightfully Inspiring Thursday @ Delightful Order
Saturday Seven @ Positively Splendid
Inspiration Cafe

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Lined Living Room Curtains

For the final project with my birthday fabric, I wanted to make four panels of lined curtains to go in the front window. Sounds easy, right? I thought so too. However, they were almost the death of my enjoyment of sewing. I had issues getting the right size lining and getting the lining straight, trouble finding enough time and space to work on them, and I broke a sewing machine (beyond repair). As someone fairly new to sewing, those things were enough to almost make me give up. Thank goodness I’m really stubborn.

Anyway, here they are. Please ignore the ribbon. Our old curtains would stay open on their own. We've put a new rod and hooks on our wedding registry and if we don't receive them we'll be buying some.


Who doesn't love a before and after? The before curtains are cheap ones from Walmart we bought when we moved in 3 years ago. We rarely have them closed but I wanted you to see the full product.



I made them following the same steps as these lined curtains.


I also made a short panel for the window over our sink. J has wanted one in this window since we moved in and I like it without one. I decided that I'd be nice and let him have his way (because he usually lets me have mine) by making him a panel. He was ok with it not going to the top because, even though he's tall, he can't see over it and people can't see in.


In case you'd like to see the other projects made with the birthday fabric, I've put together a list of them.

First, I made this upholstered bench.


Next I made these zippered pillow covers.


My wonderful mama made this beautiful table runner.


Last but not least, I made these fabric wrapped balls.


I'm really pleased with all the projects I've made using my birthday fabric. My goal was to add colour and a touch of homemade to my home and I think I've accomplished that.

Shared on:
Saturday Seven @ Positively Splendid
Take A Look Tuesday @ Sugar Bee Crafts
Wow Me Wednesday @ Ginger Snap Crafts

Saturday, 5 May 2012

More Lanyards

If you’re a regular reader, you’ve already seen my instructions for fabric lanyards. If not, you can find them here. Since that post I’ve made more. I love fabric and patterns, so I think these are pretty awesome.



This one is mine. I’ve been using it since I made it and it’s holding up well.


Here are the others. I made doubles of some of them to give as presents and the rest will be put on etsy. I still haven’t sold anything but it’s only been a little while. I think I really need to fill in information about my store so it seems more legitimate. Any other suggestions on how to actually sell things on etsy are very welcome.


Shared on:
Take A Look Tuesday @ Sugar Bee Crafts
Wow Me Wednesday @ Ginger Snap Crafts
Delightfully Inspiring Thursday @ Delightful Order
Saturday Seven @ Positively Splendid

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Fabric Covered Balls

I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about fabric wrapped balls similar to these I saw at the Terpblog. They’re beautiful but I’m kind of against anything that doesn’t serve a purpose in my house (with the exception of seasonal decorations, house plants and photos). Anyway, I decided to make them and have been enjoying them for several months now. Yes, I know, they’re not a new project I’ve completed but they’re so easy to make and I haven’t shared them before so I thought I would.


Supplies I used:
Fabric (from the birthday stash)
Pins
Styrofoam balls (I got three different sizes at the dollar store)
Scissors


First I cut the fabric into strips. I used scissors and eyeballed it, about 1/4 inch wide.


Next I wrapped a piece of fabric around the ball. I cut it to the proper length and pinned it in place. In some strips I used one pin and in some I used two.




I continued wrapping over and over until the entire ball was covered, placing most of the pins in the same place so the joins were hidden by each other. Once they were finished, I placed them into a spraypainted bowl. They've moved around a little bit and have found a nice home on the bottom shelf of an end table in my living room.


On a non-crafty note, I have exciting news. I’m changing schools in the fall. I love the school at which I currently teach. It’s a typical junior high school and both the staff and students are amazing. With that said, I’m ready for a change. I requested a transfer to the alternate / outreach school in our division and I actually got it. I don’t what I’ll be teaching (grades, subjects, classes or distance ed.) but I’m so thrilled for the transfer that I don’t care. It’ll definitely be a challenge but I’m so excited! Yay!

Shared on:
Hookin Up with HoH @ House of Hepworths
Saturday Seven Party @ Positively Splendid 
Take A Look Tuesday @ Sugar Bee Crafts
Wow Me Wednesday @ Ginger Snap Crafts