Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Packing, Painting, & Purging

Well it took two weeks, but I think I'm FINALLY catching my breath after all the December craziness - how 'bout you?

It took us a good 4 days to pack up all the Christmas decorations, since I made John bring everything in - even the stuff we didn't use this year - so I could purge and organize it all.

Here's our triumphant Closet Tetris Photo:

Our thestral, brick wall, and fake fireplace get stored in an outside shed, but this is everything else!


I WILL HAVE ORDER!!

Ahem.

 
 I got some great video of John doing leg kicks in this. You Story-watchers get those exclusive treats, ha.

After packing Christmas up I was in full Spring Cleaning mode, and prowled the house for the next several days waiting to pounce on any and all unsuspecting drawers and closets. I cleaned out my old makeup, organized the junk drawer, and even made a small dent in my office closet, which is the catch-all for random decor pieces I can't bear to part with yet.

I did, however, find the strength to let this baby go:



 
 Goodnight, sweet Prince.

::trash can lid slams down::


Another picture from The Purge:

 
(He reported after seeing this Story that he DID keep it, and it's full of cards and letters I've given him over the years. Aww. I should really give him more of those, come to think of it.)

Our friend Karen had to MOVE right before Christmas (ack!), so a few days before I got sick John and I were over at her new apartment painting 'til midnight:





Could there... BE any worse lighting? NO THERE COULD NOT.

We're painting over that greenish mustard color to a cool neutral gray. We're super fast, so it only took a few hours - and man did it feel good to paint again! It's the best immediate gratification, and the rolling is a nice workout.

Over in her bedroom we used a sweet Eeyore shade of blue/purple:

Ug, still bad lighting, but you get the idea.


I made 3 sets of super sparkly Christmas ears for me, my mom, and John's mum to wear at Christmas - but then of course I got sick, sob. Here's me and my mom trying them out the week before, though: 

I want to make a tutorial for the ears, because they were so fun (and cheap!) to make. I'm having a hard time finding giant rhinestones in good non-Christmas colors, though. I'll keep looking, so stay tuned!

Fun Figment stuff:


My friends spoil me so, so much.

We also got tons of lovely cards from you readers, but in my haste to pack away Christmas I packed them all up before taking a group photo! DRAT. Here were two favorites I picked out, though, since obviously I play favorites for folks who take the time to draw the Epbot:


Yes, I do keep them all! Someday I'm going to think up a proper Christmas craft for them.

I want you to know there are still times I find myself thinking about these shoes:


Someone suggested I cut out the heel and turn them into slip-ons, and I'm actually considering blowing $20 on them to try it, lol.

And finally, two big bright spots that made my Christmas day a little less yucky:

via @hitthefitwithb

I can't tell you how much I love seeing our tutorials put to use in the wild! (This is our Death Star Shelf if you missed that one.) Thank you for tagging me so I could see this, Brandy!


And one more, so brace yourself for EXTREME CUTENESS:

via @peachykeelan


Look at that sweet happy face! Ermergersh, you guys. Ermergersh. Chelsea, the Force is clearly strong with your little Rebel. Amazing job!

(Our AT-AT template and instructions are available as a digital download over on Etsy. And hey, if you've ever made one of our rockers, could you send me a photo? I'd love to put a collage together!)

Right now John and I are still enjoying that heady rush of making way too many New Year's Resolutions and thinking we can actually keep them all, bahaha. We're making a lot of lists of goals and projects for 2020, and while I'm sure reality will come crashing down eventually, it's nice to aim high and brainstorm new things.

How about you guys? Is there anything new you want to try in 2020? As always I'm hoping for better time management, since I still firmly believe all of life's problems can be solved if I can just make a proper to-do list. Just me?

 *****

Oh, that reminds me: one of our resolutions is to write down our weekly dinner menu every Sunday (told you I'm all about lists!), and we're using this to keep track:

 
This magnetic dry-erase board comes with 3 neon chalk markers that really write that bright, and it is friggin' amazeballs. Beyond the fun colors and design, it spares us the torturous "what do you want for dinner" conversation every night, and that alone makes it worth its weight in gold. I also love that the markers are magnetic, so we can hang them next to the board on the fridge!

35 comments:

  1. I love the variety of this post! I too am a firm believer in to-do lists. My resolution this year was to read the Bible in a year (I've read it cover to cover before, but it took a lot longer than a year), but I haven't even started. The only time I have to myself is in the evenings after the kids go to bed, and by the time we've walked the dogs, packed the next day's lunches, and dealt with responsibilities like updating the family budget or answering work email, my husband and I crash and burn! I might have to cave and start reading it online, which I can do on my lunch break at work. Ya know, instead of commenting on my favorite blog. ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Have you considered listening to it while you are multi-tasking? It still counts as reading!

      Delete
    2. I've been listening through on the "One Year Bible Podcast". I started last year, but then got off track for a while, and I'm starting again this year with the intent to just do each day's reading, and if I miss one, I'll just skip it instead of trying to catch up, so I don't get to a point where I feel so behind that I just give up. The podcast narrator has a very nice, clear voice, and he reads from 4 sections each day - Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs - so there's a variety of topics each day, which is especially nice while going through genealogies or the instructions for the tabernacle in the Old Testament, etc., so your entire day's reading isn't from those sections.

      Delete
    3. @Cathie: No, I hadn't, actually! I was so fixated on the reading. But I walk my dogs daily so I think I will give this a try!

      @ MeridaAnn: Thank you!!! I will download this podcast and start tonight when I walk! I almost never post online -- anywhere -- because I talk myself out of it. I'm so glad now that I did.

      Delete
    4. Just had to come back and share that I'm already four episodes in on the podcast, and it has been a bright spot in a trying week. Thank you again!

      Delete
  2. As much as I love Christmas decorations, there's just something so incredibly satisfying about taking them all down, putting them away, and cleaning the living daylights out of what's left!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So true! It helps that I actually look forward to both, put putting them up and AND taking them down again.

      Delete
  3. Nothing really *new* I want to try in 2020. My goal is to take care of the plethora of piddly little things that had to be put aside and postponed last year due to a seemingly unending parade of crises. Prioritization had to occur, but now that the rate of incoming major issues has slowed, it's time to at least start.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I have all of January off before I start my new job, and I am using it to deep dive organize, exercise, and relax (a thing that rarely happens with two small kids!)

    ReplyDelete
  5. My goal for 2020 is to try and get better at adding texture/aging to my props. You guys are so good at it you make it look so easy! Me on the other hand, I have sooo much trouble with it (I may or may not be currently failing at painting a wood texture onto my foam prop of Cogsworth as I type this ha ha).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oooh, wood texture is tricky, especially on small things. For big areas you can just do a quick strie and get 'er done, but a small clock? Oof. That's hard!

      And give yourself more credit, your props are stuff of legends. I still refuse to believe your Beast painting isn't a screengrab, lol.

      Delete
    2. Thank you! I am definitely going to have to try and incorporate more drawing and painting into some of my crafts, it was fun to use those skills again!

      As for Cogsworth, I have some semblance of a wood texture at the moment, but I'm hemming and hawing whether or not I can make it better, or if it's better for my own sanity to go with it as is. Always tough to know whether or not you could do better in the present, or just resolve to do better in the future y'know? I'm trying to make sure I don't start getting paralyzed by my own perfectionist tendencies when it comes to crafting ha ha.

      Delete
  6. My goal was to really organize my craft room. I got it done, and now I can find things without spending hours looking for them. I feel great to have gotten it done.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is SUCH a good feeling! That freshly organized feel, mmm.

      Delete
  7. I don't do resolutions...too easy to break. I need to get that excitement about taking down my Christmas trees... we finally got tree #2 down... #3 still has the lights and needs to get shoved back into the box (we have a nearly 30 year old tree that the branches all pop off of) I like that menu board, but while I usually make a menu, I don't always stick to it because something comes up. Like I forgot to buy the cheese for that dish, etc.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not sure I've ever done formal resolutions, either - and certainly never kept one all year. >.< It helps if I just think of these as Things I Want To Do, and not put too much pressure on myself if I don't.

      Those old trees are so much work, I don't blame you a bit! That's why we wrap ours in plastic: I can leave the lights & branches on, so it's a little less torturous to put them away.

      Delete
  8. Loved this post. You inspired me to actually put my vague goals into a list of resolutions. In the short term, I resolve to get my wide self back into the gym, and keep going. I also have some projects I want to finish in time to donate them to a charity auction at the beginning of May. Beyond that, I have to get my house at least half way organized, and get our still half feral kitty to the vet to be fixed. That one may be the most difficult of all.

    ReplyDelete
  9. 2019 was a big year for me and my husband--we both got new jobs AND moved to a new house--so 2020 will be focused mostly on getting settled. We moved the week before Thanksgiving, and while we're mostly unpacked, we still need to figure out where to hang our art (which is almost all fan art from conventions, haha). And how to hang it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dang, that's a LOT of new things for 2020! Hanging art is often the hardest part for me - so many decisions!! - but definitely one of the most rewarding.

      Delete
  10. Oooh meal planning is SO helpful! I don't do a set meal every day, though. Instead I plan out about 4 dishes for lunch/dinner and 1 or 2 for breakfast. I make it all over the weekend and we eat leftovers all week. We're a lot more likely to eat the good healthy food if all we have to do it heat it up. :D

    ReplyDelete
  11. Weekly dinner planning saved me and my husband's relationship! "What's for dinner" used to be a constant source of stress and we would fight about it. Planning this out also helps with the grocery list so you don't end up buying stuff you don't need. Plus, now that we have kids, they know what to expect for dinner each night. Keep up this routine! It is amazing and life changing really. I like that board (I just use slips of note paper), I think I'll get one for our family.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I sat down with my mother and over the course of two days, we reduced her Christmas stuff to what actually goes out on display, and two tubs of "archive" stuff that doesn't have to be brought up from the basement. She's in a smaller place now, and we sorted out 4 tubs worth of stuff to be rehomed to someone else. She may actually have room to add a FEW new things!!!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I also make a meal plan and menu board, but I do it on a picture frame. I got a plain frame with glass (not plastic) and put a nicely washed out picture behind it (but you could use fabric or paper). I use a wet-erase marker to write on it every week and hang it like a regular picture. It's simple, cheap (IKEA frames FTW), and pretty!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've been meaning to do exactly that for my daily to-do list! I use a laminated sheet right now, but the plastic gets micro-scratches over time that are harder and harder to erase. I never thought about how you could hang up the frame, too, though - so smart.

      Delete
  14. This year, I just really want to learn how to knit! I have been saying it for years. I haven't gotten started yet, but I am sure there are some tutorials out there for me. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Go for it! I strongly endorse starting with a cotton dishcloth - the cotton yarn tends to be easy to keep track of the stitches in, so you can see what's going on vs. the tutorial - and the project is small. (also, it doesn't matter that the beginning where you're practicing is kind of a mess and fairly different from the ending; it's a dishcloth; no pressure, and it's also small.) Cotton yarn has basically no "give" to it, so it's a bit more rigid to knit with and less relaxing, but being able to look at the tutorial and then at your yarn and see exactly what's going on is really helpful. There's cotton "Sugar and Cream" yarn available just about everywhere, and while it isn't soft and has no fuzz or "give" to it, it's grand for dishcloths, and for learning the sheer mechanics of knitting. (also: use a light color to learn on; again, easier to see what's going on since the shadows help make things visible)

      You can do it! :-)

      Delete
  15. I've been trying to reset our Christmas as it goes back into storage for the impending doom...I mean growth of our oldest. So ornaments got separated into personal boxes for that fateful day when any of them are ready to move out. We do menus in 2 week increments if possible. That way we don't buy things that will go bad too quickly on us, and we can plan out meals ahead of time. We use our Google Calendar for that though as I forget to change marker boards/letter boards. I like it as I can set reminders for things like - pull beef out to thaw - a day or so in advance of a meal.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oooh, setting Google reminders is brilliant. We haven't leveled up that far yet, gotta take our baby steps, lol.

      Delete
    2. Thank you for this! I'll be adding meals to my Google calendar.

      Delete
  16. We have lived in our home for 18 years and this year is The Purge. I started in my laundry room and I'll be doing one room a month until it's done. I'm looking forward to having a clutter free, deep cleaned house.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a great idea! It's easy to get burned out, so one room a month is perfect.

      Delete
  17. I just wanted to let you know that you and your mom are so cute! I'm also impressed with your cleaning, it's hard to clean. My room looks like a trash tornado.

    ReplyDelete
  18. My life kinda... fell apart in 2019, so my goals for 2020 are to get a job, get myself into therapy, and not gamble at all. ...Yeah. I'm hoping for at least 2/3...

    ReplyDelete
  19. My resolution for 2020 is to watch more TV and eat more potato chips. So far, I'm crushing it.

    ReplyDelete
  20. My goal this year is to organize. Sort/purge papers, get everything "quilty" sorted and where I can find it, etc. Been living in this house since I was two years old, it belongs to me now, but there is still 50+ years of "stuff" to go through and pare down. Did four boxes this week!

    ReplyDelete

Please be respectful when commenting; dissenting opinions are great, but personal attacks or hateful remarks will be removed. Also, including a link? Then here's your html cheat sheet: <a href="LINK ADDRESS">YOUR TEXT</a>