living life, choosing joy

Category Archives: crafting

msm cleaning

Challenge #29: Clean one thing (such as a dresser drawer, microwave, oven, etc).

Today I chose to clean out my craft cupboard. You have already seen the craft suitcases, but there is more (oh so much more!) craft stuff. It’s not really that the cupboard is so large or so badly disorganized. It’s actually the opposite problem. It’s quite small and it doesn’t take much to get it looking bad!

The cupboard does double duty as the changing table in Benjamin’s room.


In case you are wondering, that’s a monkey pillow pet for him to rest his head. He seems to do much better when it’s there. (Thanks Aunt Lynn!!).

I have the doors secured, but so far he hasn’t seemed interested in getting in to the drawers.


Inside the cupboard: BEFORE


Inside the top left drawer: BEFORE


Inside the top right drawer: BEFORE

The drawers’ “unofficial” main function is basically to hold anything that I’m too lazy to put away in to the proper bin, or something that likely has no home. As such, they are generally a mess.

I didn’t clean through every bin in the cupboard. They are pretty well labeled and organized inside. Instead I tried to stay focused on putting away stray items and cutting out some stuff that either can go back to the suitcases (larger paper scraps and cutouts) or to the bin in the garage (contact paper, old books to be used for a yet-to-be-determined project, and a few empty (but useful) boxes). And I did throw out/put in the donate box a handful of things that I have not used or needed to use in a long time.

So here’s the after (about 30 minutes of sorting):


AFTER: Labeled bins, photo albums and paper – that’s it!


AFTER: Top left drawer. I think I might make this my “project in-process” drawer

I put the paper cutter in the drawer because I use it often and wanted to make it easier to grab.  The two packages of felt are (supposed) to be used for busy bags, and the heart picture frame will eventually have a photo (or similar) in it and be hung on the wall in Benjamin’s room because it color-coordinated well.

And those things in the back left….


A small collection of “lids” from baby wipe packages. I have been saving (some) of them with the intention of doing something. I think maybe a busy bag? All I know is that they are good for something because Benjamin LOVES to open and close them. But for now, they stay in the drawer.


AFTER: Top Right Drawer – just a glue gun, extra glue stick and a large package of popsicle/craft sticks from Dollar Tree

I am happy with the fruit of my labor. Now the real test will be to see how long I can keep it that way…

In other news, Benjamin got some “new” hand-me-down blocks from a very kind friend, and he LOVES them! If he isn’t dumping and throwing them, he is dragging around the wagon full of them.


Doesn’t he look happy?? 😉

What did you clean out today? Any ideas on what to use baby wipe lids for??


msm cleaning

House Cleaning Challenge #10: Deep Clean the Living Room

So as I shared yesterday, my bedroom and living room are essentially the same, so there really wasn’t much to “clean”. But I decided there was still something I could do, so I vacuumed  the edges of the room, dusted the picture frames and mantel, and finally moved the couch to vacuum under it.


Here’s a picture of my mantel and a lovely photo of me in my pj’s 🙂 Yikes! Why am I posting this???


My favourite photo: I have always loved this picture from our wedding, surrounded by all of our friends and family. But I have come to love it even more since my Grandpa passed away last Fall – his big happy smile is something that I really miss, so dusting this frame is actually a chore that I enjoy. It makes me miss him, but it also makes me happy.

But since those tasks only took about 7 minutes to finish, I decided to take a look through my craft storage suitcases and see what all was in there.


the craft suitcases

IMG_0590 IMG_0593 IMG_0592 IMG_0591

And then…just looking at all that potential… I got inspired 🙂 (any other crafters reading this know what I’m talking about!).

Now, these are most certainly not all my craft supplies. No, no,  no….no. I am currently forced to stash my tools and supplies in any spare space available in my house: decorative suitcases in the living room, the cupboard and drawers under my son’s changing table, a corner of the closet, a bin (or two) in the garage, a shelf in the hall cupboard. For the most part, it’s pretty organized and I know where to find everything. But one day I will have a craft room all my own and will be able to have all of my supplies in one place. Until then, I use the pockets of space that I have been given :).

So I have been wanting to do something new to my bulletin board by the back door.  I had a system, but I wasn’t in love with it, and I knew I could make something better. I also wanted to create a system that did not include punching holes through every photo that I wanted to hang up.


BEFORE: This is the bulletin board…I liked the top half with the calendar and photos, but I didn’t love the rest.

So here were my inspiration pieces



I used my trusty paper cutter, adhesive, decorative adhesive paper (I LOVE this stuff!), some regular scrap booking paper and a few embellishments for a bit of sparkle.

Enter my hot glue gun and my of course my favourite craft tool: sanding blocks! (Seriously, if you don’t have some, you need some! They smooth the edges of all paper crafts….and just make me *smile*. I use them on everything! ).


The star of the show: my well-loved sanding blocks!

I simply covered the scrapbook cardboard pieces with paper and then hot glued my decorated clothes pins to the cardboard strips. I used my sanding blocks to smooth the edges of the paper over the clothespins (before attaching).


all smooth now

Then I pinned the finished strips to my bulletin board using clear thumb tacks (I would prefer flat tacks, but I didn’t have any), and attached some cards and photos.



And voila! A pretty, practical and cheap way to display incoming photos and cards.


The results of my craftiness

It feels good to be inspired (and then actually do something about it it!) :).

And in case you were wondering, Benjamin was busy enjoying a PB&J while I was busy crafting…yikes!


Haven’t you heard? The peanut butter beard is back!

And here’s what I’m getting rid of today…some craft stuff and stickers I won’t use and a bag of stuff that I am donating to the Mom’s group at church:


How did you do today on the challenge??

Have you made anything fun (pretty OR practical) recently? Feel free to leave a link in the comments!