Pantry Organization

Quite possible the biggest road block we hit in the day is the dreaded “what’s for dinner” question. Not so much that the kids are asking, but neither Jon nor I have made any plans for this meal. As a family we all sit down to this meal 90% of the time, it is not generally so much what the food will be but the experience, that being said, no one enjoys waffles or cereal or an afterthought meal thrown together EVERY night. So what we need is a plan, an organized plan that can smoothly get us through this meal.
Problems that we need to address: ‘The Rut” we need to expand beyond the same old recipes that we have as tried and true stand bys, “The Time” unfortunately with a family of 6 we often do not have a large amount of time to prepare a meal with loads of steps, and hoards of dishes in the aftermath, and lastly “The stash” Jon and I are known offenders of grabbing a few things from the store on most days of the week, this has provided us with a nice supply of staples that we can usually creatively come up with something that will pacify everyone hunger for dinner, but can also lead to waste in excess and no again no firm plan.
Jon is gone for 2 full weeks this month, which gave me the push I needed to detour all 3 of the above problems. I planned out 5 days worth of meals, breakfast, lunch and dinner, including new recipes for dinner and shopped for all of the weeks needs, ( minus a few items that I will buy fresh the day of for a certain recipe). I brought the entire horde of groceries home and went to put them away in our pantry….

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Whoa!! Where in the world was I going to put all these groceries??? What in the world was I thinking, whose stuff is this in the hallway pantry?? The cart was obviously in front of the horse on this plan….

First Problem “the Stash” aka the pantry was no in desperate need of being solved….I set to work immediately.

It took me 3 days, and 2 trips to target since they ran out of the certain bin that I needed, but I successfully made our pantry into an organized, planned evening meal, stash closet in an OCD fashion that I did not even know I was capable of executing.

Our pantry is in a hallway making it very difficult to get a good straight on shot without crawling into the wall, but I think you get a good idea of what is going on with the Stash:

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Top Shelf: Food dehydrator, bread maker, small hand mixer and small crock pot, these are appliances that we do not use on a regular basis.

Lower 2 Shelves: Each of these has 3 green plastic bins, each bin has a designated food, from left to Right: First Shelf: Soups/broths, sauces/dressing, pastas, Second Shelf: baking mixes/cake mixes, canned fruits and veggies (we don’t buy many of these, most of the time we buy fresh), rice.

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Bottom Space: Kitchen aid mixer, large Crockpot and water bottle hoard. We use these appliances at least once a week, and the kids can grab and fill a water bottle anytime. With all our activities I need these to be easily accessible for them.

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The dinner plan is in full effect with these clear bins, I can fit 6 across the top of my second from the top shelf. I have clips on the front of everyone. This is where I clip a dinner recipe and then I put all the dry ingredients needed for the recipe in the bin. Simple I just grab a bin and there are the ingredients and recipe I can either use fresh ingredients I have or pop to the store the day before or morning of and dinner is set.

Here is another bonus to this project, I realized that some of the food on our shelves had expired, that is waste that I am going to try and avoid with proper planning. There is an over flowering box of items ready for the spring garage sale, and a small grocery bag of items to donate.

blog 011 copy              I guess marshmallows do expire??!!  Who knew!

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All for sale!!

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Appliqued Turkey Shirt Tutorial

Happy to update from yesterday’s post that the Turkey shirt has made it through BOTH the washed and the dryer!!

Here is what I now have for Santanna:

 

I am very happy with the way it turned out, I really like the raw edges on all of the appliqué, it gives it a bit of a feathery feel…if you make a shirt like this you can use a product called fray check on the edges and it should prevent this from happening, it may make the edges a little more stiff though so keep that in mind.

Please keep in mind that I am in no way experienced in the art OR science of sewing, especially with a machine, that being said here is how I made this shirt:

1. Grab a shirt, this black one was for sale in my ebay store, it was a new with tags Target cast off that set me allllll the way back 49 cents….so really if you are a novice like me, just take a shirt that you already have or thrift one, just in case…..

2. Gather fabric, I recommend getting material that is not very stretchy, it will make this much easier when sewing onto the T shirt that is stretchy itself, I am pretty sure the fabric I used was quilting fabrics that someone had donated. If you have old sheets, tablecloths etc, these would be great

3. Grab templates for a circle, and feathers, our local bread store gave the kids these “feathers” to color and return for a free cookie, and the circle is a trace around any round object that you have at home. I know some of my directions might not seem super concrete but I think that any artsy/craft project should be more of how you like it with guidelines than solid have- to’s..

4. Cut out all your templates, I free handed the eyes, the fabric I used dictated the eyes, you might want circles or layers, play around with what you have until you like them the I had a few different styles before I decided I has them right. For the beak I cut a triangle and for the snood (the bacon looking thing, yes I had to Google that) I cut a free hand bacon shape. I cut different size circles for the body which was dictated by the size of the shirt. So you have a circle (body), arrow shapes (feathers), triangle, (beak), and a bacon shape (snood).

5. Now lay out your feathers on your shirt, move them until you like how they lay, I did some at different lengths to give it a natural abstractness, then lay your circle over them and carefully pink the feathers to the circle but NOT to the shirt. Sew around the circle to set feathers in place, do not forget to backstitch. Continue these steps, continuing with the beak, eyes and snood (are you comfortable with this word yet?…not sure I am :))

 

6. Now you should essentially have a turkey patch or an appliqué, lay it out on your shirt, and pin it into place, after I did this I found there were some feathers that needed a little trimming here and there. Now here comes the trickiest part, sew around and up and down your circle and feathers to completely secure your turkey into place. Here is what I learned: the first shirt I made I actually just went whole hog and stitched the turkey parts onto the shirt like above, but I found it got very bulky and was hard to keep all the feathers straight. I did complete my first shirt by sewing right onto it so if you feel like this will work for you please do not let me discourage you. I just think it works better especially for the eyes and smaller parts to already have them sewn on prior to sewing on the shirt, otherwise it gets to be quite thick, and this starts in the T word….tension, I am not there yet. I appliquéd my turkey one feather at a time, and then laid my shirt back out to make sure all the parts were where I wanted them. I did end with some puckering some pieces moved a bit, but I really like the originality of the way it looks.

 

 

7. Decide if you want legs, or any other special details, a little fabric bow would be cute if you want a girly turkey. Snip any loose threads, turn the shirt inside out and wash in cold in and dry as you would any cotton T shirt. ENJOY your Turkey shirt!!!

The kids are really having fun with this, I just finished Solomon’s shirt tonight and he decided his needed legs, Raiven has decided that she would like hers appliquéd on with dark aqua thread. What better way for us to all hang out and be creative, then THEY get to wear it!!

You can see it is not perfect, but I can tell you that I have less than $6.00 invested in each shirt, if even that. I will post a picture of all of us at the Turkey trot.

Thanks for looking!

Gobble gobble:)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Turkey Trot Appliqued T-Shirt

I do not want to prematurely claim this project to be awesome since at this very moment I have it in the washing machine with my fingers crossed that is will not crumble 🙂

My family is participating in a local Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving with some friends and when I saw this shirt on Pinterest, I though how cute it would be for the kids to have a Turkey shirt:

The tutorial for this shirt can be found  at  cookinwiththejohnstons.com

Super cute right, it got my mind turning, then I remembered all that fabric I had thrifted last year and posted about here, and thought, ooh I can make one of those.

Lets segway for a second; I think there are two kinds of people, those that go to craft shows and buy cute things and artfully decorate their home, then there people like me that go to shows, and scour Pinterest and think, I can do that….. although this is not always true, and it is in no way is a discredit to original ideas and artists, I think we just really think we can do it. We are literally in the mindset that if you can do it so can I.

Ok back to the shirt, I can make one of those……with my 5 previous hours of experience on my sewing machine, of course I can make a Turkey appliqué shirt, hellooooo I have a Pinterest account….geeez.

Well, I did it, and I love it, however, it was not as easy I thought and I definitely had to separate myself and the sewing machine (she is going to need a name) me to reassess my strategy and the machine for poor behavior.

I will post the steps as to how I made my shirts once I have pulled it out of teh dryer and I am certain that it survived.:)

Repurposed Puzzle Snail Mail Letters

It seems to me like all we ever get in the mail are bills, magazines, political propaganda (which I think is over now, thank goodness), and an occasional party invite.

In my sometimes old fashioned nostalgia I encourage our kids to send letters to friends or family.  Santanna is especially fond of making letters and pictures for her little friends.  Who does not like to receive a fun piece of mail personally addressed to them in ink??

Our friends daughter,  who I wrote about previously  who is battling brain cancer, is getting an overwhelming amount of mail, letters and packages, guess who feels a little left out/angry about not getting any mail?  Little sister Elsa.  So, her mom grudgingly asked if we could help a girl out and send some snail mail Elsa’s way.  I think we all know how hard it can be to actually ask for help when you need it right?!

This got me thinking, we needed to blow up this girls snail mail box, how many pictures was Tanna willing to color?

Then it came to me, a puzzle letter:

Here is what we did:

  1.  Went to savers (you might have one of these not being used at home as well, we recycled this one, you might be able to repurpose your own),  bought this puzzle.

2.  We put the puzzle together upside down. This is harder then you think wihtout picture clues.

3. I helped Santanna write a letter and she drew whatever and decotared whatever she wanted in Sharpie and Crayola markers.

       4.     I included instructions with the first envelope.

       5. Then we took the puzzle about, mixed it all up and I got out my postal scale for mailing packages and we weighed each one equal to/less than an ounce.  For this puzzle it was about 5 pieces per envelope.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 I am so excited for her friend to get this, she is going to be thrilled, plus it gives her something to look forward too.

I think I am also going to do this when the big kids are at camp for the summer.

Valentines’ Day Heart Crayon Craft

This is such a fun and easy craft to do with all ages.  These are great to give as little Valentines’ tokens or to make and bring into your child’s school, they are also really cute to fill a vase with and then put flowers in.

Anyway, this is very easy and does not require reaaly strict instructions.

You will need: Crayons, heart shape pan/muffin pan,  a cooling rack and patience

First gather all your broken crayons, these work best, but if you need to buy some that is fine also, you will just need to break then to fit in the pan.  We divided them into colors that I thought most fit the Valentines’ theme, pink, red, white, but a heart crayon can be any color you choose.

Heat your oven to about 200, this is again not a strict temp, it needs to be warm enough to melt the wax, but not hot enough to cook  it.

Peel all the paper off your crayons, here is where the patience is needed this can take a bit.

Break your crayons into pieces that will fit into your pan.  Put the pan into the oven, check in about 3-5 minutes, this will all depend on the size of your heart pan and then number of crayons that fit in each space.

Once all the wax has melted and congealed (love that word;) we found it was best to pop the pan on a cooling rack into the fridge to let the was reharden, and they popped right out quite easily for the most part.

Then grab some paper and try them out, or give them away or do whatever your little heart desires:)

Candle holder repurpose…candy jars

I combined two pinterest inspirations into this latest project.  Please note I am not a perfectionist, there will more than likely be no magazine shoot for my projects, I just get excited when I see other people’s great ideas and have to do it myself, DIM, or at least give it my best shot.

Here are the two inspires…color and idea…in that order:

   

The wonderful yellow frame photoraph above I saw on pintrest and belongs to Kara May photography

The apothecary jars in that amazing green color I also found on pinterest and are the handiwork of Kayleen from This old Chair.

Yellow candle holders painted in a vibrant yellow and repurposed as candy holders, I held off on using a vessel with a top because in this house that would just not work, little hands need to be able to just reach in, I would probably find the lids under the couch.

I am so happy with the color and how they look, I am going to leave them out until after Thanksgiving and restock with fall candies.

I was so happy when I found all the pieces that I needed to make these all at SAvers, I spent a total of $16 dollars and some change on these, not including candy.

I laid these out, cleaned the stickers off them and laid a tarp underneath the metal stand, and painted them on a vitually wind free day.

Thrift Store Sewing/Craft Finds

Recent thrift store goodies that I am thrilled to fully organize and start making some
fun little projects with.

I found the three of these plastic bags full of random sizes of neatly folded fabrics, perhaps someones quilting cast aways?  I was really drawn to some of the vintage looking prints, each bag was $2.99 plus I am sure I had a 20% off coupon from a previous donation.

These look like some great colors for Halloween!

My hubby found this little treasure box at the SAlvation ARmy for $7.99, I have yet to get through all of the treasures that are in there…can you see the needles for 30 cents…so cool, I am thinking this was from an estate, it has a bunch of name patches and random lace ends, bra hooks, zippers, can’t wait to get through all of it;

It is like a golden treasure box of sewing/crafting booty….arrgh;)

And look at these pinking shears, man they are sharp and give you a perfect zig zag edge great for the pennants that are so popular right now:

I hope to have some fun things to show you from all these goodies in the near future!

White plastic globe birdfeeder upcycle

I am having trouble fitting all the pinterest ideas that inspire me into the short 24 hours per day, unless I go without sleep some will just probably never get done.

However, there was this amazing chicken house that was pinned, which led me to Karens’s blog: The Art of Doing Stuff , where I saw these:

From The Art of Doing Stuff

I knew this was a doable project and the next time I was at Savers I scored one of these orbs.

The orbs in the picture above are glass, and on her blog Karen shows what can happen if one slips out of your hands while crafting one of these, I lucked out and got a plastic one.  With 4 young ones around the house I knew a glass orb did not stand a chance.

So you will need, a plastic orb and some sort of strong string, we used twine:

You can see this is not going to be a  spendy feeder so if some hoodlum decides to snag your bird feeder some night, it won’t be a huge loss, except for the birds:

Take your plastic orb and drill 2 holes across from each other on the top third of the orb:

Next take your string, twine, rope or what you are using and string it through the two holes you just drilled, you can ties these in a knot and hang it from your tree.

Tie the string in your preferred knot and hand from a tree limb….also pretty important to fill with birdseed, which you can see we need to put on the list.

Total cost: $1.99 since we had the twin already, who know how much the bird seed will cost, but you can factor that in.

Total time, about 5 minutes.

Renewed floral chairs.

The narrow farmhouse table I made here via some slight modifications from Anna White’s amazing website was in desperate need of some chairs.  Luckily I had a set of chairs that I has snagged from an estate sale for $10…for teh pair, I thought this was such a great price.  then I got them home and they just did not fit anywhere.   I have had them for sale at 2 maybe three garage sales and even moved them from one house to another.

Perservenece….or maybe just an inability to let a good thing go for fear of wanting it again someday has won this battle, I recovered these chairs with some cushion and fabric from Hobby Lobby and am totally in love!!

I am sad that I can’t find a before picture to increase the wow factor, I am sure I will find one in the archives at some point, anyway here are the chairs:

There’s a new Godfrogger in our yard…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Found this little frog chilling on the shelf at Saver’s and picked him up for $2.99 is he not the most chill frog you have ever seen? Plus there are daisies around him, I suppose you could argue they are water lilies but daisies are my favorite, so I am sticking with daisies.

Anyway I envisioned him as a metallic green color, lurking somewhere around our yard. Here is his new coat, I love the color, I think I want him to blend a bit more.  So now I am not sure this color is a keeper. Should he get a new coat?
What color would you paint him?