Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Evolution of the American Home

I found this infographic the other day and found it absolutely fascinating.  Not only is interesting information to read, it's also valuable for anyone househunting.  Understanding the era of households in your area will help you understand the style of homes you will be looking at.  Plus, this is just plain cool - a glimpse into the history of American homes.  Enjoy!

The Evolution of The American Household

Explore more infographics like this one on the web's largest information design community - Visually.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Kitchen Organization Planning

The real title of this post should be:
"The True Neuroticism of Jen"

However, I didn't want to scare you away from the offset so there you have it.  We're creeping up on our close date for our new build house but we're kind of in a lull as far as things to do.  All of our items have been packed and in storage for months, so we can't keep busy by filling boxes.  So instead I've delved into the deep, dark world of my organizing neuroticism to find entertainment.

The great thing about this method of planning out your kitchen organization is it can be done even if you aren't moving.  If you would like to overhaul your kitchen, it's always best to plan - so this will work for you too.

Composition Notebook {or loose leaf paper... whatever}
Post-It/Sticky Notes
Ruler {Optional.  I didn't use one but some people might}

The last time we visited the house we opened up all the doors of the cabinets to get a good idea of the layout.  Obviously, if you're overhauling your current kitchen, you'll have it right in front of you to plan.

I started by sketching out the entire kitchen.  Thank goodness I watched a ton of Blues Clues, otherwise I wouldn't know how to sketch out the basic shapes of items around the kitchen.  This is also an open-faced depiction of the cabinets, meaning if the doors and drawer fronts were pulled off - what would the cabinets look like.  Additionally, I denoted drawers by putting the dark triangle in the corner.

Next, I took some small Post-Its and cut them to size (keeping the sticky edge).  I listed out all the items I can recall being in my kitchen.  I know this will certainly grow and change along the way, so I made extras and kept them in my notebook for those future edits.  

Finally, I placed them.  I moved them around in the process and I'm sure I will continue to move them, but this has really helped me get my head around what I want my kitchen to look like.  Even better, it has truly opened my eyes to how much more storage we will have compared to the old house.

 An alternative to this if you are overhauling a kitchen in your house is to simply write your items on big Post-It notes and stick them on the doors and drawers.  Much easier than drawing a picture - but I'm biased towards practicing your Pictionary skills.

Happy Organizing!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Creative Cubby: Move Update

The past week has been full of big {distracting} changes for my husband and me.  We are only 5 weeks away from our close date on our new house and, as you can imagine, there are constantly new changes.  We have been visiting the house almost every day to stay up to date - never wanting to miss a step or a change.  I'm completely fascinated by the construction process of a home.  What started as a piece of dirt has very quickly turned into a house.

My last move update highlighted the framing, piping, and air ducts.  You will never believe what the house looks like now!  Since then, drywall and stucco have been put on.  The house has doors, hardware, switch plates and paint.  Oh, did I mention we have a kitchen?!  I should also mention that a majority of these leaps and bounds have taken place in the last week - causing me to neglect my crafting.  BUT we have brainstormed a ton of decorating and DIY projects for future posts - do you forgive me?

Check out the progress made in one week:

Tons of huge changes around the house!  Now that it's starting to look like a livable edifice, it's hard to avoid daydreaming - planning out rooms, organizing cabinets, etc.  What has been nice though is brainstorming with my husband about repurposing some of our existing furniture.  We have some bookcases and tables that just don't work in their current existence in the new house, but we've figured out ways to revamp them to be beautiful new pieces.

Can't wait to move in and begin the process of decorating.  I will definitely be taking you all along for the journey.  Stay tuned for more updates - and don't worry - I'll be back to crafting soon!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Corkboard Display

Being a blogger and an Etsy Shop owner, I'm always looking for new ways to improve upon my hobby.  First, I focused on marketing myself - creating a brand.  Then I got a new DSLR and have been learning how to use it properly.  Recently, I've been looking at my Etsy listing photos and grimacing because I didn't feel they truly represented my work or my brand.  The colors were a little off.  The way the products were displayed was not... artful... imaginative... or very Jen-like.  They were just.... ugly.  Let's just say it - ugly.  So it was time to change all of that.

I created this simple corkboard display with minimal materials and minimal time.  The change is staggering.

Corkboard {Used: 11"x17" from Hobby Lobby}
White Acrylic Paint
Foam Paint Brush
Push Pins
Silver Permanent Marker
Mini Clothes Pins
Copy Paper

1.  Lay copy paper on the cork to protect it during painting.  Paint with white acrylic paint.  Mine took two coats.

 2.  Now, I could have gotten silver push pins.  But I have no need for an entire box of them.  So I took the free ones that came with the corkboard and refinished them with a silver permanent marker.  After three coats, I had beautiful matte finished silver push pins.

 3.  Place push pins in desired location.  Cut hemp to length and tie taut onto push pins.

 I now I have the perfect backdrop for my cards!  Check out the difference in listing photos!

Old Version {old brand, old camera, old display}

New Version {new brand, new camera, new display}

 I'm loving the change.  So much more artful and representative.  Check out more photos {and products} in my shop.  

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Independence Day - Craft Blogger Fail!

I had all kinds of projects lined up for the Fourth of July.  Anyone who knows me is fully aware of my red-white-and-blue blooded, Independence Day lovin', patriotic heart.  I mean, seriously, I studied American Revolution for my B.A. History and we had a Patriotic Christmas last year.  However, with the house build, the new {real person} job, and not being in my own space to make a thorough mess, these projects kind of... fell off the priority list.  Fail!

That being said... I beg your fullest forgiveness and hope this hilarious video is a wonderfully appropriate consolation prize.

In the meantime, why not explore past Fourth of July projects?  There may be some you've missed.
Or check out my Fourth of July Pinterest board for more inspiration from more amazingly crafty people.

And here are some pictures from my trip to Philadelphia last fall!

Next year, I shall pledge allegiance to the blog and make sure to fully deliver patriotic crafty goodness before the actual holiday.

Have a safe and fun Independence Day!
May God Bless the Craftocracy
and God Bless the United States of America.

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