house

DIY Chalkboards {Summertime Fun!}

Posted by on May 9, 2012 | 5 comments

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I want this summer of 2012 to be one my kids remember.  I want it to be fun.  I also want to be able to say to them, “Go Play Outside!” as often as possible.  I have lots of memories of being sent outside to play when I was growing up.  There’s just nothing like summer when you’re a kid.

For a long time this area of our house has been off limits.  It was full of mud, gopher holes, and sharp, dangerous tools.  This fall we’ll have been here three years.  And thankfully, this is the first summer where I think we really NEED this space for our family, and it’s ready!  I’ll be showing you more later, but for now, we’ll stick to these home-made chalkboards I made for the kids.  They’ve been a big hit, and were very straightforward to make.  I saw this idea on several blogs a few years ago, and of course now I can’t remember any of them.  I knew I could buy a chalkboard somewhere, but I wanted them to be small so the kids or I could move them easily, and I didn’t want to feel bad if they get banged up, as I’m sure they will.

I went to Home Depot one day to get something completely unrelated and came home with all the fixings to make these.  I grabbed three square pieces of wood (I could wander in the lumber part of Home Depot all day just to smell the wood).  I believe they are 2 ft. x 2 ft. I also grabbed 2 cans of this primer by Rustoleum:

And 2 cans of this Chalk Board Paint, also by Rustoleum.

Making these was very simple, but a bit time-consuming in order to let the primer and paint dry.  I just followed the directions on the can.  I’d throw on my painting clothes in the morning and slap a coat on.  Then in the afternoon I’d do another.

I did three coats of primer and three coats of chalkboard paint.  I think it took 3-4 days to complete.

The thing that was most helpful was using extra pavers to elevate the boards.  See this picture below?  This is how I started; do not start this way.  Find something thick and even that you don’t care about and stick it under the boards so you can’t see it.  Then you can paint the entire surface of the board AND the edges, and it is easy peasy.

We already had quite a collection of sidewalk chalk.  I was thinking about buying regular chalk until I saw how much sidewalk chalk we have.  We can wait.

I bought this handy carrying case at Target.  The bottom compartment still needs something- haven’t decided what we’ll put in there.

We use some planters I got in the dangerous dollar section at Target to hold water for dunking our chalk.  It makes the colors so vibrant.

The day we started using these, Anna was in heaven.  I drew a picture on the middle board to show her how to do the water, and she was ready to go.  This little girl is a creative type, just like her mommy. :)

Jack just has fun making a mess and asking me to draw things for him.  Helicopters are the most popular.

What fun things do your kids like to do outside?

And by the way- do my pictures not look SO much better?!  Hooray for new cameras!

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Printable: House Cleaning

Posted by on Apr 23, 2012 | 3 comments

Before I get into this here printable, don’t forget:  Clean Up Your Pinterest Boards Day is THIS THURSDAY!  Yahoo!  I can feel the organization and inspiration coming back to me now….

I hate cleaning.  You can’t make me like it.  I know I’m not alone in this.  My friend Ashley at It’s Fitting just posted about her cleaning woes at The Trend Tribe last week.

However, I have recently come up with a system that works for me.  It’s more of a maintenance thing.  I still have to do a deep cleaning every once in a while, but sticking to this keeps things presentable and manageable.  And…. If I keep up with it then I don’t have to do much on the weekends, which is so nice!

Each day I have one task, Monday through Friday.  If I get that one thing done, I’m golden.  This does not include laundry- I do laundry when it has to be done, and no sooner.  The kids have to be on their last set of PJs before I will toss in a load.  It also doesn’t include things like dishes.  Dishes are never ending around here.

I respond very well to checklists.  So for this printable, I gave myself space to check off each day’s task so I can at least have one satisfying “Check!” during the week.  I also like that the frame blocks all the crap behind it.  Doesn’t it look so neat and tidy on this shelf?

As you can see below, I did okay this past week.  Vacuuming is so hard around here because all three of my kids- ALL THREE- are TERRIFIED of the vacuum.  It’s ridiculous.  And sad.  It makes me sad to make them cry just because we need clean carpet.

Below is the printable.  I hope you can use it!

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Nobody’s Perfect

Posted by on Mar 12, 2012 | 3 comments

Have you ever noticed how easy it is to feel deflated after surfing around the blogosphere?  Or even the internet in general?  Don’t get me wrong- I love a good Pinterest session as much as the next person, especially when I’m looking for ideas and inspiration.  But there are moments where I have to catch myself and say, “Whoa, there, Nelly.  Simmer down.”

It is so easy to look at all of the beauty that people create, organize and put out there, and then walk away thinking, “I’m not enough.  I’m not doing enough, I’m not making enough, I’m not DIY-ing enough, I’m not _______ enough.”  And you know what I think?

Enough is enough.

So I’ve decided to start a new series here on Crafting Crazy.  It’s called “Nobody’s Perfect.”  In this series, I’m going to share with you my imperfections.  Things in my house that look horrible/crazy/disorganized/imperfect.  Projects that fail.  Anything that isn’t perfect is fair game.  My goal?  To help dispel the perfection myth that seems to be so easy to buy into.

I want to make things because I like making them.  I like the process.  I like the journey.  And if, in the end, I come out with a beautiful project to share, rad.  If I don’t, it’s okay.

So for our first installment of Nobody’s Perfect, I give you… our front yard.  If you’re new to CC you may not know that we live on about 2 acres of land.  A lot of it is  undeveloped and we have grand plans for it once we win the lottery can afford to make it into something useful like a raised garden extraordinaire, or add more citrus trees, or something- anything, really.  This part of our yard is what you see as you pull up to the house or drive on the lane that runs the length of the property.  Needless to say, we’ve been a bit busy with a big project in another area, and our yard… well… just have a look-see:

 

Some of the weeds are taller than my son.  For reals.  He’s almost 3.   When he and my daughter go out and play right now, I have to remind them, “Watch out for the gopher holes!”

I think I’ve seen our neighbors actually shake their heads in dismay as they drive by.  Really.  They love us.

Here’s a wider shot of our lemon tree, which I wrote about recently.  We also have six pine trees on our property- all of them are Torrey Pines, and they all started as Christmas trees when my husband was growing up in the very same house we’re in.  Cool, huh?

Here’s something else that’s not perfect, but I’m totally in love with it.  This wagon.  My husband got it from a neighbor’s garage sale last week. It’s OLD.  Rusty.  It’s probably been so lonely, and now it has a new life.  Right now it’s primary job…

Pinecone holder.

And one last bit of imperfection.  I thought this was a really strong weed.  Nope.  It’s a baby tree.  Poor thing.  We’ll have to cut it down because it’s too close to our entry sidewalk.

 

 

*I should mention that I was most inspired by this post from Heidi of Crafterminds.  I read this post when it came out and it’s stuck with me ever since!  Thanks, gals!

 

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Our Lemon Tree

Posted by on Feb 7, 2012 | 2 comments

Living in SoCal has so many perks… it’s a bit ridiculous.  I’ve lived here for 10 years now (wowzers) and there are still days when I say to myself, “Holy Cow.  I live in California.  Southern California, no less.”

When we moved into our house, which is also the house my husband grew up in, I was sort of non-plussed about having a lemon tree right outside our kitchen.  It’s cute and everything, but I didn’t really let it register.  Can I tell you something?

 It’s awesome.

 Need one lemon for a recipe?  Done.

Have a four-year-old who loves lemonade?  And a two-year-old?  Done.

Want to add some zest to something?  Done.

Our lemon tree is a Meyer lemon tree.  Apparently they are milder in flavor and are more closely related to the orange.  Hmmm.  The lemonade we make with them is definitely not too tart- it’s very smooth, but still lemon-y if that makes sense.

 

All I know is they are delish, and I love them.

 

They also make great last-minute gifts.

Do you have any simple pleasures where you live?  It’s the little things.  Or in this case, the rather big things that produce the little things…

 

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Garage Door Update

Posted by on Feb 3, 2012 | 1 comment

My friend, Janis, watched my little one yesterday and she reminded me that I hadn’t updated on the new garage door.  It’s amazing what a little pop of white will do, no?

Here’s a side-by-side comparison.

We have to decide what to do about the trim- they had to add some pieces to even things out, so we have a combo of white, wood and brown.  I’m voting white, but Michael isn’t so sure.  Thoughts?  We agonized about the color and the window shape, but I’m happy with what we ended up getting.  I have never really paid attention to garages before- now I do.

I’m not sure that I’ll ever show you the inside of our garage, but let me tell you- it’s like a whole new world in there.  Animals cannot get in (unless we leave the breezeway door open…oops), there’s light coming in from the windows, so it’s not uber-scary.  Dreamy, really.  We have a lot of organizing to do before I can park my momvan in there, but it’s coming along.  Progress!

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New Garage Door

Posted by on Jan 27, 2012 | 2 comments

We’re getting a new garage door today.  I’m super excited!!!!!!!!  No really.  For reals.  Why so excited, you ask?  Well, the current state of affairs is rather dismal.  Here’s our current garage door: 

(Please disregard our cracked and dirty driveway.  Our driveway is huge.  I want a leaf blower.)

 

Now, granted it does actually enclose the garage to keep out animals and sunlight, but that’s sort of where the love ends for me.  This door is rotting.  If you stand IN the garage when the sun is out you can see the sunshine coming in through little cracks in the wood.  But it gets even better.

This garage door does not open on it’s own. Nope.  So we have to lug it open.  It’s frickin’ HEAVY.  And even better than that…  when it rains, it somehow sucks in all the moisture like a sponge and then it doesn’t stay open, so if you have to open it, you have to be able to get what you need out AND hold it open at the same time.  Neat.  It also, as you can see below, does not close flat, and the lock with which one would secure it shut to keep out robbers… doesn’t work.

Farewell, garage door. Today you will meet your demise.  You will be replaced with a lovely, white garage door that has these lovely transparent things called windows.  It will have a magical button I can push.  When I push the button, it will open and close at my command.  It will have a keypad.  It will be….marvelous.

I can’t WAIT to show you the after pics!  We are doing some special stuff this weekend so I will likely not post until Wednesday or so.  Hooray!

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