Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Picture Perfect Room Challenge - Gift Wrapping Organization

I have to admit... I've been moving slowly on my A Week of Change - Part 2: A Picture Perfect Room challenge by Funky Junk Interiors.  I get overwhelmed... bogged down... not knowing where to start.  My workshop is in such disarray that I end up moving this stuff over here and that stuff over there just to get to the space which is next on my list to organize and fix up.  This stuff and that stuff ends up on another horizontal space that is utilized slotted for something else.  Can you see the viscous circle forming here?

Oops... did I say I had a list of what's next to organize and fix up?  Silly me... no, no, no... my "list" is what I'm inspired and motivated to do that day.  At some point I had to stop fighting myself and beating myself up when I "failed" at getting my workshop set up.  Progress is progress.  I learned to go with what I was able to do that day... and accept it.  Some is more than none!

A while back, I saw Delightful Order's gift wrap center post where she hung tissue paper on hangers and used cafe curtain rods to hold wrapping paper.  Delightful order, indeed!  I knew I had too much in my stash a well curated collection and that it wouldn't be practical to hang that many curtain rods and hangers, but I couldn't stop thinking about her post.  Once an idea gets in my head, it's in there and I'll make it work... by golly!

So, what were my options?  I have a lot of vertical space to utilize... and blessed that it's all covered with peg board. Click here for [BEFORE] pictures.  I refused to buy some new, commercial organization system when I have plenty of shelves and cubbies and racks laying around just waiting for their next opportunity.  After mulling around a few ideas... and trying some of them out... here's what I came up with...

Rolls of wrapping paper went on wooden dowel rods [$0.97 each] and large/long peg board brackets [about $1 each] for support.  The diameter of the wrapping paper roll will determine how many will fit on the brackets.  I used one layer of wrapping paper dowel rods to create a shelf and stacked the surplus on top.  No need to buy dowel rods for each roll and there's room for more!  I organized each "shelf" as its own category of paper [Christmas, flowers/girl, foil, general/birthday, basket wrap, etc].  If I didn't, I would just go nuts!

This black wire shelving was stored in my attic space until I was ready for it.  Once I saw it, I knew this was it and the idea to hang the tissue paper across the bars, as if it they were hangers, was born.  VoilĂ !

Next was to tackle the gift bags.  I could pile them up on the bottom shelf or store them in a plastic bin, but I knew having to rummage through them wouldn't work for me.  I needed "S" hooks.  The bags could hang neatly organized and make it quick and easy to find just the right one.  Ugh... the bags would be hanging from front-to-back instead of left-to-right... another little quirk I wasn't going to be able to live with.  Solution: change the direction of the hooks.  After spending a bit of time wandering up and down the aisles of my local Lowe's, I made it over to the garden section and found these:

Flower pot chains!  Whodda thunk it?  Don't limit yourself to the everyday, ordinary uses of things... you never now what will inspire you and the creative ideas you'll come up with!  The smaller chain on the left [$2.27] has links with a twist in them; the larger chain on the right [$2.46] doesn't.  The twist is necessary to have the bags facing left-to-right.  They are made out of metal, but can be manipulated with needle-nose pliers and a wrench.  Yippee for left-to-right facing bags!

The smaller links were PERFECT, but they weren't able to hold as many bags on each hook as the large ones.  To get them into this twist, first I used a wrench to squeeze the link so the top half would bend in (the links are already split on one side) which enabled me to slide it off the chain.  Second, I held the bottom of the link with needle-nose pliers and used the wrench to twist the top part to one side.  I'll be saving the smaller chain for a future project.  I'm sure they'll come in handy somehow!

Once the hooks were placed on the wire shelving, I used the wrench to squeeze the top half even further to ensure it wouldn't come off.  I didn't have to squeeze or twist the bottom half of the link... it was perfect for what I needed it for... but it's definitely something that can be done to fit another application.  Oohhh... do I see the wheels of creativity turning?

I have a ton another well curated collection of bags... I just have to find them... and hang them.  The shelves are adjustable so I might slide the bottom one up a bit and see what fun stuff I can store underneath.  And, there's actually a second half of this shelving unit... just waiting for curiosity to hit!

Have you been working on your Picture Perfect Room?  Will you be ready for the First Bragfest Linkup on Friday, January 27th?  I am almost done with the yarn/knitting/crochet corner of my workshop.  As things move along... even slowly... I am hoping other things will fall into place.  It's either that, or hoping the Picture Perfect Room fairy will pay me a visit one night as sugarplums dance in my head.  I'm thinkin' I have a lot of work ahead of me...

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Monday, January 9, 2012

A Week of Change - Picture Perfect Room Challenge [BEFORE]

Funky Junk Interiors
A completed room. What a novel idea!

We moved into this old farmhouse [our forever home because I am never moving again!] in the spring of 2010. Our three... THREE... attic spaces are full. The 2-car garage is full. No rooms are complete. Livable... functional... but far from complete. We refused to bring anything inside unless we have a specific place or purpose for it. And at this point, if it's still in the attic or the garage we can probably get rid of it.

But where does all the time go? I know ambitious people who finish rooms in a weekend... painting wallls, new floors, window treatments... the works. I'm too much of a perfectionist [some call it OCD] and I get lost in the details. I can't simply file a stack of papers because the folders are not labeled and organized. So I start to work on the folders and never get around to filing the stack of papers. It's a viscous circle... and it needs to stop! My favorite excuse is that my workshop isn't done. But even I fool myself... the workshop is work-able. Cluttered, not quite organized... but work-able. Let's be honest... if I really wanted to make a project happen, I'd make it happen.

So, is it any surprise that I chose the workshop to be the first completed room? Then I'll have no more excuses, right? Right.

Here is the raw, cold workshop before we actually moved in. Please excuse the sub-par photos... they are clips from a video I took with my iPhone.

The Grand Entrance


This room is an extension off the garage. It was once the wood shed. Which came first... the wood shed or the garage? That I don't know. We do know the garage came after the house. My guess would be the woodshed came before the garage.

The South Wall

A wall of peg board.  A crafty girl's dream!  The wall rests on a large, wooden beam that runs the length of the room with stone and mortar below that.  Totally awesome!  I know it's dirty and in not-so-good condition... but can't you see the potential?!

The East Wall 

This is one of two walls that is built into a hill.  It also has peg board that sits on a wooden beam.  Again, totally awesome!  You can see the damage caused by the water that seeped through the stone wall.  The worst area is the corner behind that propane dinosaur [which has since been removed}.  And, let me tell you... stone walls and a concrete floor is COLD in the winter time!  I have plug-in heaters that are not very energy efficient and raise our electric bill more than we'd like.  I think I'll go add "install heat" to the My 2012 list!  Can you see the pull-down steps to my very own attic space?  Now, how to convince Mr. Homestead to finish off that space so it's more usable.  And, how about a spiral staircase instead of pull-down stairs?  Oh yeah, I'm on a roll... 

The North Wall - Left Side


More peg board.  More wooden beams.  More stone walls.  More awesomeness!  This is the other wall that is built into a hill and it leaked the most.  I am fighting the growth of efflorescence on both the west and north walls.  Mr. Homestead and nephew Aaron dug a French drain the entire length of the workshop so that all of the water runoff from the gutter drained away from the workshop and out to the driveway.  Water problem solved.  I treated the efflorescence once already [before the French drain was installed], but some of it is growing back.  I will treat it again and hopefully this time will be the last time. 

The North Wall - Right Side

You guessed it... peg board, wooden beam, and stone wall.  Y'all don't miss anything, do you?  To give you an idea of how deep my workshop is built into this hill... I can open both windows and put my hand in the grass [and pet the dogs when they come to investigate what I'm doing].  This window is higher than the window on the west wall.  Being not-tall, I'd need a step stool to actually touch the grass and pet the dogs... but those are just minor details.  Basically, the stone walls are keeping back the earth and the wooden beams sit just above ground level.  It does make for a lovely view though!

The East Wall - Left Side

More of the same here.  This window looks out into the garage... another reason I think this space came before the garage.  And the garage attic space built around the workshop attic space.  Mystery solved!

The East Wall - Right Side

We have now come full-circle in my workshop. I have my own electrical panel, which makes adding more outlets and fuses so I stop tripping the breaker very exciting! Did I mention Mr. Homestead is an [excellent] electrician by trade? And, NO... our garage DOES NOT currently look like that! We can't even park in our 2-car garage... yet.

My workshop looks different now. All of the peg board is painted. Shelves and cubbies are hung on the wall. Notions and other crafting necessities are at home on their hooks. Stay tuned for a post of "now" pictures...

How is your Funky Junk Interiors Picture Perfect room challenge going? Will you be ready for the First Bragfest Linkup on Friday, January 27th?

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Friday, January 6, 2012

My 2012

In response to your requests to see what I'll be up to... more like y'all are making sure I keep on track... for this new year of 2012, I have posted my 2012 list.  For now.

I am a list maker.  I love lists.  I'm pretty nutty when it comes to my lists and organization.  OK, fine... I call it nutty, others call it OCD.  But isn't there such a fine line between the two?  Making lists is the only way I've found to help me keep my sanity and not feel like I'm losing control [no comments about how I should have made these lists a long time ago and wouldn't have to worry about a redo of 2011].  And, in this crazy technology-driven world that we live in [and I'm a huge fan of], I have tried many list-making apps on my iPhone and Mac but I am a tried-and-true paper list maker.  I think it has something to do with the actual crossing off process.  I'm the same way with my daily planner.  No app for me.  Give me a good ol' spiral-bound DayRunner, a mechanical pencil, and a big fat eraser and I'll be set.  Something I can flip through, back and forth.  Don't even get me started on the ebook reader vs actual paper book in hand.  Maybe this will be another post for another day.

Getting back on track... as with most of my lists, this list will also most certainly change.  Tasks will be completed, goals will be met, and my own priorities and focus will shift with whatever mountains and valleys life puts in my path.

So, I hope you'll come back and check in on my progress.  Don't be shy... push if you think I need a little push... and let me know of any tips you might have to help me start checking these things off.

Off we go... here's to seeing more mountains than valleys!

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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A Week of Change with Funky Junk Interiors

Funky Junk Interiors

"Go ahead and procrastinate for another whole year if you want to redo 2011 all over again."

Ouch! Really? I. don't. think. so.

Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful for every blessed day God gives me on this earth but who wants to go another year without growing, learning, realizing dreams? I've seen countless posts of setting resolutions, goals, making lists and finding the "new you" in 2012. Problem is... I make lists all year long... I have enough goals to keep me busy until, well, you know... and resolutions? Every day I make resolutions to get more exercise, eat healthier, blah blah blah... But where's my motivation? Where's my energy?

Well, Donna at Funky Junk Interiors just HAD to go there, didn't she? But,honestly, I'm so glad that she did! That one little sentence smacked me in the face like a dead fish (unfortunately, I do have personal experience with this).

I'm tired of too much talk and not enough action. I entered into a new decade in life last year. Time to get a move on! I have thoughts and ideas and even a workshop to call my own. So, you might be asking, "What's my problem?" That's the very same thing I've been asking myself. I convinced my husband to let me take some time off work to follow my creative dreams. We're living on his income alone. You'd think that would be motivation enough! But, my workshop sits in disarray. I continue to eat things I shouldn't, spend too much time sitting at the computer and then hoping it would all be different.

So, who wants to redo 2011 all over again?

Not me!

I want a different year. They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result. Not this year. This year is going to be different. This year is going to change everything!

Won't you join me?

Bring it on, Donna... let's see whatcha got!

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