Monday, June 28, 2010

DIY Chore Chart

Yes, I know, my kids are only 1 and 3, but I'm a list person. I write lists of what I need to do in a given day, or not much more than the basics will get done--sometimes not even that! I come by it naturally (love you, Mom!), and I've even been known to add really simple things like "shower" to my list, just so I can cross something off! 

I've also been inspired by Blogland. There are some beautiful chore charts out there! The ones I really fall for are on painted wood with hooks for laminated picture cards for the chores and pretty vinyl names above each hook. Well, I didn't have any of those supplies, but as you might have seen in my list of 10 Tasks in 10 Days, I had plenty of used tops to canning jars! 

Used canning jar lids

Do I get extra points for recycling? 

So here's what I did:

Textured scrapbook paper

I had a pack of heavy weight paper with nice texture from Michael's. I went thru and picked out a variety of colors that 'go' with other things in the house--reds, greens and tans.

Handy-dandy tool

I pulled out some scrapbooking supplies. This is a circle cutter from Creative Memories and the cutting mat. The red thing is the blade which has knobs that fit in the circular frame. See?

Perfect circles, every time!

Then I started cutting circles. When I had enough, I pulled out my secret weapon: 

Special Agent Bond

Yeah, it was amazing! My only little complaint with it was that my fingers got a tad sticky. Oh well! I would spray 5 or so circles at one time, then put them on the back of the lids. I pressed down firmly in the middle to make sure they weren't just stuck on by the edge. 

Lids covered in textured craft paper

Here's my stack of covered lids. You can see the texture of the paper better here too! I then took a file and sanded down the edges of the papers. It seemed like they looked more finished that way. Then I printed off a bunch of typical jobs around here--and some fun things too--and used my handy dandy circle cutter to cut smaller circles. 

Close-up of some completed magnets

I added numbers too, just for fun. They're all the rage in Blogland and I'm so very trendy (LOL!). No, I thought they looked cute. They're stickers from Creative Memories too, by the way. I'm a big fan!

Anyway, I also drew a circle with fancy metallic ink around the white circle. I'm thinking of painting the outside edge of the lid, cuz a little bit of it shows... But then again, I probably won't cuz I'm lazy it's not necessary. 

My next step was to cut up a bunch of those business-sized magnets. You know the kind--advertisements, doctor appointments and the like. I used super glue to adhere them to the back of my lids. No pictures though!

Here's the finished Chore Chart set up on my fridge:

New chore chart in action!

I think I'll cover those magnetic picture frames (from Pier 1) with the same scrap book paper so they'll match. And yes, I know I'm there twice. My son is 3, remember? There are jobs Mommy and J need to do together. And in time I'll put J2's picture there instead. 

I've already thought of more chores to add when we use up more canned goods! I'm not a glutton for punishment, I just like the feeling of accomplishment when the chores are DONE! The idea is to let the boys (with just a teensy bit of help from Mommy) choose an activity to do after our chores are done. Tomorrow it's Story Time at the library! Motivation! 

One thing I've learned? Put the extra magnets in a ziptop bag in the basket that lives on the top of the fridge. Less clutter = happy Mommy!

So, there's my completely free, recycled chore chart! I'm so proud!

~ Ellie

Decor Mamma


Sunday, June 27, 2010

5 Things DONE!

It feels so good to be crossing things off my list of 10 Tasks in 10 Days! I've got five of them done. Here are some before & after shots. I have PROOF!

1) Fix striped pillows: This took way longer than I thought it should, looks really obvious (if you know to look), and I broke a needle! *sigh* At least my kids won't be pulling out the fluff now!



2) Paint door to basement: The door to the garage and the door going outside are within inches of this door and are both white. We're going to replace the interior doors eventually, but for now 2 coats of primer and 2 coats of paint make them all blend in and make the entry seem so much bigger and cleaner! Even if the floor is still awful and the door oozed some nastiness in between coats! Yuck!



The doorknob and hinges are on the half of the list that isn't done yet!

3) Paint kitchen backsplash: When we bought the house, the backsplash was the same horrible sparkly pink laminate or something that required hours of washing with ammonia to cut the grease. So gross! It took me about a year to realize I could just paint it! It's been several colors, but because of some awkward spots, it looks best the same tan as the rest of the kitchen/dining area walls. Proof?



 Yes, I painted the original gross switchplate too!

4) Hang and decorate shelves in bedroom: These canvas prints from our wedding day are a Christmas gift from my Mom. I love them! They look a little lonely hanging there by themselves. I've had shelves to hang there for at least 5 months... It took Gina's challenge to get it done!



I'm going to change the pictures in the frames on the top shelf so it's just me and my husband. The snapshot on the bottom shelf is from our first date! Aw...

5) Make a chore chart: I'm going to do another post soon about this project, cuz it was so fun! For now, I started with the tops of canning jars, added scrapbook paper and magnets and pictures and I have a chore chart for my fridge!



There are my completed projects! I need to keep the motivation, cuz there's a lot going on that didn't make the list!

How are your projects going?


Thursday, June 24, 2010

What I Love About My House

If I'm like most people out there, it's easy to focus on all that my house is lacking rather than dwelling on the things I like about it. Our 1960s ranch had only one previous owner, but the place was not taken care of very well. We bought the house almost 2 years ago because it had potential to be exactly what we needed: not too big, not too small, on 5 acres in the country and nothing seriously wrong with it. Dirty, yes. Lots of projects, oh MY, yes! Full of character? Not really. But perfect for our family? I think so. 

The first thing I like about my house are the views. Our nearest neighbors are about 1/4 mile in each direction. Other than that, it's big open sky!

Our diamond in the rough.

We love to watch the sunset all year round.

Sunset last night. No buildings to block my view!

Our eastern neighbors

Didn't want you to think it's always green! That little dot in the sea of snow is our mailbox. 
The driveway is to the right of the mailbox and there's a road down there at the end.
And 4 feet of snow. 
Keeping it real!

Sometimes I'd rather NOT be able to see the storms that come rolling in! 

I also love our cozy little living room. It's warm and inviting, and when winters are cold and loooong, you need that! We have a wood-burning stove out there, so you know you'll be warm in the living room, if no where else! The furniture is kid-safe and put-your-feet-up safe and our books are mixed with children's books, candles and some of our favorite things.

Our living room.

G won this at an auction. I love that it's the right size for a coffee table and it has storage!
G doesn't love it as a coffee table at all. Sigh...

Yes, I know J2 is cute. Now check out the new carpet and G's leather chair!

The TV hutch, two-tone brown walls, the comfiest couch ever, DIY art, plants and a free piano! 

I have a love-hate relationship with my kitchen. It was SO dirty and greasy and *shudder* GROSS when we moved in, but the bathroom was worse, so it got the make-over. We cleaned and bleached and cleaned some more, then slapped on 3 coats of paint as we were moving in.  The 60s range was down to 1 burner and we did an energy audit and were appalled at how much power our old fridge was using, so we found newer ones on craigslist. I got a new faucet for Mother's Day last year (I love it!) and put contact paper (yes, really) on the horrible countertops and now the kitchen works just fine, thankyouverymuch.

Here's a sneak peek at my kitchen and table.
I guess I haven't actually taken pictures of the kitchen proper!

Take out the adorable birthday-boy and the loot and you've got my country kitchen table!

Some found objects mixed with thrift-store treasures on a bookshelf in my kitchen.
I pretend it's a hutch! LOL

A glimpse of my kitchen:
New faucet, gorgeous views, dishes in the sink (like usual!) and making-do with the rest.

I love our bedroom! It's a cozy little sanctuary for my husband and me. I fully believe in the theory of no electronics, no TV, no stacks of things to do. I bedroom is a place to relax and sleep and just be husband and wife. We have candles and plants and pretties, and pictures of our wedding. 

In the master bedroom we have another awesome view! 
We like to turn out the lights and look around outside. 
It's best with a full moon and fireflies!
To see our cozy winter look, go here.

A corner of our bedroom

Our boys' rooms are nice too. Like every room, there is a list of what we want to do, but for now the boys enjoy playing in their rooms and are great little sleepers there too.

A small part of J1's room (how do I not have a picture of his bed?!)

Brothers in J1's room

J2's room

J2's night-night. Read more about his room here.

I guess I can't finish this post without getting sappy. But it's true, so I'll say it anyway.

I love my house because it's the structure that lets our family thrive. We are protected from the snow and ice and sub-zero temperatures, as well as the humid 90-degree weather. We are safe from storms here--both literal and figurative. We chose to live in the country so we could have peace and quiet. We have no nosey neighbors and no traffic except farm vehicles! Our things are here. All the things that make up a home and the people who make us a family.

Our family, May 2010

Ok, was that mushy enough for you? No? Wanna hear more home-lovin' stories? Or the eye-candy of some people's homes that have already been fixed up? Go see Grace at Sense and Simplicity for more links to other What I Love About My House posts. Have fun!


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

10 Tasks in 10 Days

Gina over at The Shabby Chic Cottage has challenged us to the gauntlet! 
Read more about it here

Just today my 1-year-old got his thumb smashed in a door, and before the 10 days are up we're headed out of town for the 4th of July weekend. But other than that and real life and commitments all day on Saturday and having two little 'helpers', we stay-at-home moms don't have anything better to do, *snort*, so sign me up! I'm pretty intimidated by my list, but I'm tired of putting things off! 

Here's The List in pictures, cuz I'm cool like that a visual learner:

1) Fix striped pillows

2) Paint hinges on 4 doors

3) Figure out inbox/chalkboard/mail/bills

4) Make a "Family Rules" mural

5) Re-caulk new windows

6) Paint door to basement

7) Paint kitchen backsplash

8) Organize red file box

9) Hang & decorate shelves in bedroom

10) Make a chore chart

I guess I better quit blogging and get to work! I'll be posting an update on Sunday, so stay tuned! And wish me luck!!!



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