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Saturday Project: Spring Forward

thDon’t forget that this weekend is the time to “Spring Forward” for most of us in the USA. Set your clocks ahead one hour before you go to bed tonight! This is also a great time of year to do some tasks that don’t get done regularly.

Check batteries in all smoke detectors. If you do not have a battery charge tester, replace all the batteries. Also, do a fire and tornado drill with the family. Be sure that everyone knows where to meet, and multiple ways out of the house from every room, especially the kids bedrooms.

Take this time to clean your bathroom vent fans and air returns. The covers often build up dust and grease, which can restrict their performance.

Check all your furnace filters and replace if needed. Make a note in your calendar to do this every month.

Finally, clean out your dryer lint. Even if you are emptying your lint trap every load, there is still lint clogging up your dryer. You can find instructional videos on YouTube for opening your dryer and really cleaning all the lint out. Just google your make and model and how to videos. Also, clean or change the vent hose than runs from your dryer to the wall. Get as much lint as possible out of the piping from the wall to the outside air release. You can do that from both the wall side and from outside your house. You can extend your vacuum hose by securely taping a wrapping paper tube (or several) to the end of the hose. Just make sure you use heavy-duty duct tape so that you don’t lose the hose extension in your wall.

The good news for many of us buried under snow or dealing with colder than normal temperatures is that this clock change means that Spring cannot be too far behind! Enjoy your extra morning vitamin D and sunshine!

 

Saturday Project: Valentine’s Wreath

50916cba6e5f98d47df125b9f2ffd005I am just starting to get into wreaths for the changing seasons. I made one general wreath that we keep up all the time and one Christmas wreath. For February I thought I’d try my hand at a Valentine’s wreath. The people at Craftionary.com have put together a super list of Valentine’s themed wreath projects for all styles.

Find your favorite Valentine’s Wreath project here!

Saturday Project: LOVE Bookshelf

photoWith Valentine’s Day coming up soon I guess I must me in the mood for love. Funny though, because we don’t even celebrate that holiday. (We want a day all about us, not some day we have to share with every other pseudo-couple in the world so we go all out on our wedding anniversary and the anniversary of our first date.) But still, love is in the air. So how about a practical love gift?

We have tons of books. Even after selling most of our collection when we moved abroad in 2010 and going to e-readers, we will have tons of books. We used to have a bookshelf in our bedroom but sold it and never replaced it. So when I found this project, I thought it would be great for a master bedroom.

Check out the instructions to make the LOVE bookshelf pictured here from CraftingItMyself. You can tweak the dimensions to match your room or books and paint it any way that matches your decor (ours will be beach cottage shabby chic).

Saturday Project: Smittens

SmittensSweater+Mittens=Smittens

While I have learned that cold is a very relative term, depending on where you live, the fact is that in January, most of us are experiencing a regional version of cold. Time to curl up with a hot cocoa and a good book. But for the days when I must go out, I want my hands to be warm. I will often wear a sweater or fleece, scarf, and a pair of gloves that I got at Old Navy 10 years ago but love because they are soft, thin and warm.

Recently I have been wanting something cozier. I got a lovely infinity scarf for Christmas, so now it is time for new hand protection. Enter Smittens. Thanks Pinterest. I simply must make these! Grab an old sweater or thrift store find and follow these easy instructions to make your own cozy, warm smittens.

TIP: These plus a pocket scarf make a great set or gift!

Saturday Project: Sweater Bag

5048144070_24f4abf785We have many sweaters around that we either don’t need (we live in a warmer climate) or that have seen better days (frayed arms & elbows). While anything in decent condition gets donated, what about the sweaters that still have an intact body but the arms have seen better days? This project will use those (or any sweater you buy at the thrift shop).

A Lemon Squeezy Home featured a guest blog post from Create & Delegate with instructions to make a great tote bag from a sweater. I can’t wait to make a few of these. Bonus Tip: Use Oilcloth or another waterproof fabric as the liner to create a great swim/beach bag or picnic/car drink bag.

 

 

Yes, I Make Them

Recently I have been asked by several people if I actually try the projects I feature on this site. The answer is simple – YES! Some of the projects I followed the featured directions. Some of the projects I tried it another way that didn’t work well, so I found better directions to share with you.

Here are some recent examples of my handiwork:

Large Country Star    Ornament Wreath                         Ornament Garlands

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Christmas Ornament Wreath

HOW TO MAKE A CHRISTMAS ORNAMENT WREATH.jpgI love using plain monochrome ornaments and decorations at Christmas. To do with the ornament garland for the fireplace and stairs, here is an ornament door wreath tutorial for making a front door hanging out of ornaments.

Tip: To save money and weight you can trim down a pool noodle and duct tape the ends together to make a wreath form.

Tip: Spray paint your wreath form to match your color scheme. Then you will have to worry less about areas that show through.

Ornament Garland Tutorial

f25aea7da0b8f2aa5871a530786ccf08I am getting excited about decorating for Thanksgiving and Christmas and loving all the easy ideas out there. Here is one of my new favorites – Ribbon Ornament Garland! This simple garland can work for a variety of holidays. Use gold, brown, and orange ornaments for Thanksgiving. Use red, white, & blue for all the patriotic holidays. Use your favorite Christmas colors for the winter.

This garland can be adjusted to be any length you need and works well over fireplaces, on stair or balcony railings, and even on blank walls to add some holiday cheer!

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Country Star II

03-wrap-shim-frame-with-twine-101964636_SQLast year I posted about how to make a Country Star from cereal boxes. This was a great project for smaller stars, but now I am wanting some larger stars for decorating this Christmas.  Lowes.com has put together a great tutorial for making a country star from twine and paint sticks.

Tip: Consider spraying the twine a color to match your Christmas decoration or a metallic paint to add shimmer.  Embellish with ornaments or an initial letter to make a great holiday door hanging.

Saturday Project: Sofa (or Chair) Arm Table

couch_arm_tray_9-386x540I must confess that during football season, much of our weekend (plus some Mondays and Thursdays too) family time and some meals happen in front of the TV (Gasp!). All 5 of us love football, and we totally understand that the players, coaches, and refs can hear us yelling our suggestions. Because of the time we spend watching football, there are drinks and snacks in the living room. And, inevitably someone (I have no idea who, cough-cough) tries to use the chair or sofa arm as a table and a drink or plate goes toppling to the floor. I have long wanted an “arm table” but many that you can buy are either cheap, ugly plastic, or just too expensive. I suspected that making one would be fairly easy, and it turns out I was right. MerryPad.com has posted instructions for making a couch arm table. A few simple steps and we now have tables to help limit the spills during football games. Now if I could just stop using my arms to make my point, maybe we could cut out all the spills!

BONUS TIP: These make great gifts for any sports or movie lover. You can paint or stencil to personalize to decor. You can also make these for kids with fun stamps that fit each child’s personality.