Sunday, August 24, 2014

Dreaming of IKEA...

I haven't done a lot of crafting lately due to being busy at school.  We had Back to School night for our son last Monday and my own was this past Thursday, so there hasn't been a lot of free time to do crafty stuff. So what I've been up to mostly is dreaming about IKEA.

You see, I haven't lived anywhere near an IKEA for 99.9% of my life.  In fact, I had never heard of that place before 2007 or so.  It was around that time that I began looking for better alternatives to store my ever-growing collection of scrapbooks and scrapbooking supplies.  The scrapbook pages I was making (and still make occasionally) are 12" x 12" in size.  The scrapbooks themselves are probably around 13" x 13".  That means they cannot fit on standard shelves.

In vain, I purchased bookshelves at Wal-Mart, Target, and Lowe's, thinking I could put the scrapbooks on the bottom shelf and the supplies on the other shelves.  Each and every bookshelf I purchased bowed under the weight of paper and punches and a myriad of other tools.  I also had a hard time finding enough pieces that corresponded to one another, so my room typically ended up looking like a jumbled mess.

It was around late 2007 that I finally took to the internet to figure out how other scrapbookers stored their supplies.  Time and time again, people with wonderful scrapbook rooms said their shelves were called Expedit and they came from IKEA.

This is what they look like:

I got excited because I wanted to go to the nearest IKEA to get these marvelous shelves.  To my great consternation, I discovered that the nearest IKEA store was nearly 8 hours away by car!  That is something like 550 miles!  I couldn't even order online because to get stuff delivered to my home, it would cost over $300, which was more than the cost of the shelves themselves!

How could my discombobulated room compare with this:

So in the summer of 2007, I taught summer enrichment to earn extra money and then we drove all the way to Bloomington, Minnesota--almost 8 hours-- just to get Expedit shelves at IKEA.  We made a fun long weekend trip out of by going to the Mall of America and the Water Park of America while we were there.  It turned out to be a wonderful mini-vacation.  I had a phone that didn't take great photos back then, but here are a few pics:

I loved the experience of shopping at IKEA and eating in their restaurant, as did the kids.

We bought 5x5 and 2x4 Expedit shelves, as well as three Billy bookshelves.  Oh, and some stuffed animals, and a super cute heart pillow with arms!  

We even got some adorable pics at a rest stop in Iowa on the way home.  

When we got home, I couldn't wait to get my Expedit shelves in my scrapbook room!  It was hard work putting all the shelves together, but it was totally worth it!  Well, Chris may not agree with me because it took him forever to put them together at first. 

Then we ended up moving the shelves a couple of times because my scrapbook/craft rooms changed locations in our house.  Here is a nice of view of them when I was in a tidy phase of my life.  (This phase did not last long!)

Pretty, huh?  

Well, check back next week because there is MORE TO COME IN THIS CONTINUING SAGA...

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Wonderful new soap and a matching washcloth, too!

Our Grapefruit Handmade Soap has finally cured, and I couldn't be happier with how it looks and smells.

And serendipitously, I finished making a washcloth using Peaches & Creme cotton yarn in Candy Colors  yesterday.  I didn't realize it until I started taking pictures of the grapefruit soap this morning that the colors in the washcloth match really well with the soap.  I haven't decided if I will sell this washcloth in my Etsy shop or use it.  It is so pretty, if I may say so myself!  

I hope your day is exploding with happy colors!  Happy crafting!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Back to School, End of Summer...

All good things must come to an end, as they say, and summer vacation is no exception (although this would not have been the case had I won the lottery this past weekend!).

I have already spent two days in pre-service training at school and I spent 4 1/2 hours yesterday (Saturday) at school trying to get my room in working order.  I switched rooms this year so I am starting from scratch again.  And I have my work cut out for me:

But I had this to help me out:

So now comes the hard part--putting in the time to make lesson plans and grade papers, getting up before sunrise and working for more than 9 hours per day.  And of course, another hard but rewarding part--meeting and building a rapport with over 100 students every day.  I have that many students in my classes, plus I encounter hundreds more when I do lunch duty.  Teaching is exhilarating and exhausting and that's why I took the whole summer off--off. (Think ludicrous Cadillac ad.)  I had to recuperate from last year's wearying pace, but now it's almost show time again.

So you'll see fewer of these:

And I'll see less of this: 

But that's OK because I need to teach and my students need to learn!  Bring it on!

And on the weekends, I will be adhering to this:
(from U Create)

Have a wonderful school year and enjoy the last precious moments of summer!  


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Soap Saver Mania

Well, school is back in session soon, which is bittersweet news for teachers.  Yet I must say I feel like I've been fairly productive this summer.

I've been able to indulge in my love of making things with my hands.  I have made many types of soaps, and a variety of crochet projects.

My most prolific project has been my soap savers.  As soon as I finished my first one, I couldn't stop making them.  In fact, once I made a soap saver with each of the balls of cotton yarn that I already owned, Michael's just happened to have a sale so I went out and bought 15 more balls!  Good thing they offer a teachers' discount!

To date, I have made 13 different styles of soap savers.  I love seeing how the colors come together as they come off the yarn ball.   Here are the ones I've made so far.  Let me know what you think!

 Natural Stripes


 Black Currant

 Kitchen Breeze


Lime Stripes


Field of Dreams

Candy Colors


Country Stripes