Thursday, August 28, 2014

Back to School: Paper Organization 101

Hey there and Happy Thursday! Have your kids gone back to school yet? Ours started last week and so I'm in full-on "let's-be-more-organized-I-wanna-run-a-tight-ship-we need to-be-a-well-oiled-machine" mode. Do you know that mode? Oh, my husband just loves it when I get this way. Ha.

So paper. Do you feel like it will bury you? It astounds me how much paper shuffling I do every week, and never more so than at the beginning of the school year. So I'm coming at ya today with some ideas for getting out from under it and then staying on top of it. Here are some of my best practices for dealing with paper:
  • Don't let junk mail reach the front step. I throw it in the recycling bin before I even come inside the house from getting the mail.
  • Immediately file bills and other items needing attention within the next week or so in a "Needs Attention" folder.
  • Have kids give me permission slips, book order forms, etc. upon coming home. I give them a snack and fill out all of the forms and put them back in their backpacks while they're eating and chatting. Done.
  • Birthday invitations get stuck on the fridge.
  • Receipts are recorded then tossed. The ones I may need in order to return something get paperclipped to my "Needs Attention" folder.
  • Homework papers get tossed, except for the art or writing projects that will make fun keepsakes. I keep the best work in a separate folder to be filed in a dedicated box at the end of the school year.

What tips do you have for organizing paper? Please share! In the meantime, feast your eyes on these ideas for how to file in style and calm all kinds of paper clutter.

Color Coded Binders by A Bowl Full of Lemons

School Paper Organization by Simply Kierste

Fridge Files by Less Cake More Frosting

Travel Keepsake Kits by Martha Stewart

DIY Magazine File Holders by Positively Splendid

Letter Trays by Creating Keepsakes

Basement Door Command Center by Home Made Modern

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Tightwad Tuesday: Yarn Art

Well, hellloooo! I feel like I haven't posted a craft project of my own in a long time, so I'm super-excited to be doing that today. Especially because this particular project was simple, quick, and--in my humble opinion--turned out great. It's just what our new gallery wall needed. (I can't wait to show you how that turned out!)

Oh yeah, and since I used a frame I already had, as well as leftover yarn from other projects, this cost nothing to make. I bet you could do the same. Got five minutes? Then you have time to do this!

So here we go:

Yarn Art
Nap Rating = less than 1 nap...Boom.

Tools & Materials
  • Picture frame
  • Plain poster board or decorative paper
  • Hot glue gun
  • Yarn
  • Scissors
  • Pencil

  1. Cut out your plain poster board or decorative paper so that it will fit behind your picture mat.
  2. With the mat on top of your decorative paper, lightly trace the word you want to use in pencil so that it will be centered properly.
  3. Unravel a decent length of yarn so you don't have to spend time doing that when your glue is hot.
  4. Using the hot glue gun, start tracing your pencil line with a line of glue. Work in small sections (I did one letter at a time) so that your glue won't dry by the time you get to the end.
  5. Quickly lay your yarn in the glue while it's hot, then put on a little more glue and keep working section by section until your entire word is complete.
  6. Cut the yarn.

And there you have it! Here's another sneak peek at our gallery wall. I L-O-V-E it.

Monday, August 25, 2014

A Blog Tour and a Little About Me

Hi there! I'm deviating from my normal routine of sharing a craft with you today to take the baton from Tamara over at Provident Home Design. She highlighted Home Made Modern on her blog last week, and answered the same questions she posed to me here. I, in turn, will answer her questions and pose them to three other bloggers with the hopes that you will get to "meet" them and enjoy them as much as I have! I always love finding new blogs to follow, don't you? And sometimes it's nice to take a break and re-evaluate why I do what I do...which is exactly what these questions have helped me do. So here we go with the Q & A portion of the program:

What am I working on right now?
The better question might be what am I not working on right now? It seems that I always have at least a few balls in the air at once, and right now...well, it's more like ten. Let's see, we're still working on our kitchen, which I last updated you on here. The latest on that front is that I ordered pendant lighting for above our peninsula and can't wait for them to arrive! We have a ton of trim work and painting to do in there, but until we have time for those projects, I've been working on a new and improved gallery wall for our family room. I didn't like the last one, so I took it all down and started over. And I'm in L-O-V-E with it so far, so it was so worth the do-over. I'm on the hunt for a rug for our living room, as well as art for our dining room, which I may DIY. And hmmmm...oh, I'm also hoping to tackle the basement this fall. We don't have the budget to finish it, but I've been pinning ideas for how to make it look finished. Oops, I almost forgot. I want to paint a piece of furniture in the office orange. I'll stop there. I sound like I have adult ADD, but I really don't. I just don't like to be idle. So while I'm stymied on a decision, or saving up enough money for another project, I move on to something else.

Why do I write/create what I do?
HMM started out as an outlet for me when I was a new stay-at-home-mom with a tiny baby. That tiny baby is now 7, but I just. can't. stop. blogging. For one thing, I'm a writer at heart, except I couldn't write fiction if you put a gun to my head. So this is perfect for me, because I get to compose sentences while imparting what I hope is helpful information to others trying to make their homes more beautiful, more functional, more organized, more...whatever. As for why I write about this as opposed to something else...I guess that's because I believe in the idea of home. I believe in its power, and I truly think our surroundings have a huge impact on our day and dare I say, our lives. I think home should be a touchstone, and it's one of the only places where we have the power and freedom to create moments of joy and beauty in the everyday. Whether it's making a great spaghetti sauce, growing a patch of zinnias, or sewing a pillow...I think all that stuff has more import than we might think. It may be simplistic, but I can own that. I'm kinda a simple girl.

How does my work differ from others' of the same genre?
I think the big difference between my blog and some others in the DIY/Home/Lifestyle blogging niche is that I'm no expert and I don't pretend to be. I'm all too willing to tell you when I make something that flops, and if I just have no idea what I've done wrong, I'll even tell readers that. I'm seriously self-taught and have no training whatsoever, which I think is a strength of HMM. My own imperfections might help to eliminate the intimidation factor and encourage others to try their hand at fixing up their homes. On the other hand (bragging a bit here), I hope my passion makes up for my lack of formal training as a designer, cook, etc. I've learned a lot in the last seven years because I'm a voracious reader and basically eat, sleep and breath home stuff.

How does your writing/creative process work?
Oh, geez, I don't have a process, per se. But I suppose every blog post, or article I write for, has a genesis. I'm a former librarian--and I mentioned that I'm a voracious reader--so it may go without saying that I'm kinda research-y. I like to keep tabs on trends by shopping online or in my favorite stores, I pin like a mad-woman, and I subscribe to all sorts of magazines. So my post ideas often come from identifying a trend I want to highlight, or a gap in the "literature" that needs filling. Likewise, my own projects and/or recipes often spring from these sources, or from my need to create beauty in our home.

So here are 3 bloggers I'm "tagging" for this blog tour:

Kari at A Grace Full Life
I reached out to Kari for advice several years ago when I first started thinking about monetizing my blog, and she was so kind and helpful. I've enjoyed following her ever since. She's got a great sense of humor that comes through in her writing, and her home seems full of life, color and fun. Read her laundry room makeover post to see what I mean.

Kim at Two Ten Handmade
Kim is a thrifty mama with my sense of style. She believes in handmade stuff, and I just love that. Check out how she turned this ho-hum basket into something chic. OH, she also has really cute kiddos.

Shannan at Flower Patch Farmgirl
Ok, you may already know Shannan, but if you don''re welcome. The writer in me can't resist including her in my blog tour. Ya'll, this girl can write the ordinary into extraordinary. She's a wordsmith, for sure, and one whose family story is nothing short of inspiring. Her faith, her humbleness, her humor, her love for humanity (not to mention for salsa and Ohio) keeps me hanging on every word. Shannan is someone you want as a BFF. Oh, and her home is swoon-worthy. See?

So there you have it. A little about HMM, and a little about three other bloggers that I hope you'll meet. Thanks again to Tamara at Provident Home Design for involving me!
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