Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Project Life Tuesday: Craft Projects

My photo of the day today is of a recent craft project. Since I was very young I have always loved crafting. I find it relaxing and satisfying. I can't draw or paint at all, stick figures are the limit of my capability but I do enjoy crafting and it is something that anyone can do.
On this occasion I was repainting my red EAT letters in black, of course!
Challenge for Project Lifers: Take a photo of a something you love to do in your spare time.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

365 Project Life Photo Ideas

I am now almost six months in with Project Life and although I haven't run out of ideas for photos just yet, I found this great download here with 365 photo ideas that I can turn to when I need inspiration. They are a great starting off point for your own ideas too and at the end of a long and tiring day, it is good to have something like this to turn to.
This afternoon I will be catching up on some of my journaling, always a favourite time for me on Sundays. :)

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Working Saturdays

I love Saturdays and they are usually working days for us...working around the house that is!
Bennett Saturdays usually consist of painting, mowing, waterblasting, cleaning the pool, organising and baking...with a few fun trips in between. These things are all very much part of our Saturday routine and Rosie and Harry love to join in and help where they can.
Last Saturday I waterblasted our Panton chairs and it was my first time testing out our new water blaster. Let's just say I am now searching around the house for other things I can blast! Who knew a chore could be so fun? I thought I would snap a few pics of our Saturday routine as secretly, I love having this day to catch up on all our jobs and actually enjoy every one of them! Call me crazy. :)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Easy Kitchen Chalkboard Project

For a long time I have wanted a chalkboard in my kitchen to record my shopping lists and notes. I usually scrawl these on scraps of paper and then go on to lose them in the depths of my handbag or accidently throw them out.
About three months ago I found a super cheap chalkboard from the Warehouse for about $13 so I picked it up and put it away to use at a later date, once the kitchen had been repainted.
Although it was cheap, it unfortunately actually looked very cheap with it's natural plywood frame so a few days ago I decided it was time to finally attack the chalkboard project.
I masked up the board so that I wouldn't get any paint on the chalk surface and then used the leftover Resene Nero to paint the frame a deep black. It looked 100% better once it was painted and I now use it all the time! It is very useful having a place to record notes and lists and for under $15, it was a bargain project.
I have also placed our school routines chart underneath so that the kids can come home and check it each day and know exactly what I expect them to do before snack time. :)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Project Life Tuesday: School Trips

Project Life Tuesday for today is school trips. Rosie recently went on a trip to the Howick Historical Village with her class and they were asked to dress up in old fashined clothing for the day.
She was super excited about attending school in something other than her uniform so we had fun choosing her outfit. We found a lady who makes petticoats and hats and had these made for her. Despite the awful weather on the day, she had a fantastic time churning butter and sitting in an old classroom for the day.
I took this photo during the dressing up process and in the end we went for an ankle length dress with boots and tights...with the petticoat over the top of course! :)
Challenge for Project Lifers: Take a snapshot of your child all ready for a school trip.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Our New Black Wall!

Behold, our new black wall! Ok, it isn't a huge area of black but we love it anyway.
Prepping this small area took a lot more work than we expected due to the peeling paint fiasco but after a lot of sanding and prep work on the area, the paint finally adhered and we had our black wall.
As you can see, it was not a pretty sight and you could actually see the original mint green colour which was underneath all the other layers of paint.
We had always planned to paint all our kitchen cabinetry white but since repainting the kitchen in Resene Soapstone, we have decided that we can live with the off white cabinetry after all. It isn't a colour we would have chosen but it isn't that bad either.
It is amazing the difference a little paint can make to the enjoyment of your living spaces. I like the contrast of the white kitchen appliances against the black and we are glad we were able to personalise our home just a tiny bit and add a little more of "us" to it. :)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Thinking Outside the Square When it Comes to Decorating

Today I thought I would share one of my favourite tips for decorating our home. I love picking up new ideas from all over the place, including magazines, Pinterest , blogs and other people's homes. :) Some of these ideas are affordable but many are not, so I have taken to thinking outside the square and adapting them to suit my budget...or lack thereof!
For a long time I have been searching for an inexpensive white ceramic jug to hold all our kitchen utensils. I didn't think this would be too hard a task but several months later and I still hadn't found one which was the right size and price. Then I remembered that I had this old biscuit jar (from the good old Red Shed a few years ago) sitting in the corner of our cupboard, unused and unloved. I hauled it out of semi-retirement, ditched the wooden lid and it now has a new life again on our kitchen bench!
It was the right size for the job and I just flipped the jar around so the 'Biscuits' sign couldn't be seen. It certainly isn't rocket science but I just hadn't thought of using it in that way before. By thinking outside the square when it comes to decorating, you can find new and creative ways to repurpose items in your home and gain a lot of satisfaction in doing so.
Have a look around your home and see what you can do to give an old item a new life in another part of your home. Would the cushions in your lounge room look great in your bedroom too? Would an old battered chair look great at your dining table as a feature chair? Would the throw on your bed look fantastic in your lounge room? Experiment with what you have and enjoy it. :)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

I am in love with Pinterest

Today I thought I would share my newest love...Pinterest!
Pinterest is basically a huge free virtual pinboard which you can personalise with all the images that inspire you. If you are anything like me, you have loads of folders sitting on your computer desktop, full of inspiring photos and ideas that have come across on the internet.
One of the downsides of this is that unless you record where each photo comes from, it is very difficult to remember it's origins if you ever want to revisit the website. Pinterest solves this problem by saving your photos for you on a virtual clipbaord with a direct link back to the website it came from.
You are able to set up several virtual boards and categorise your inspiraton in any way you want. I use mine like a mood board and have seperate boards such as craft, living and home inspiration, as well as project and organising ideas.
Pinterest is really easy to use and best of all, is full of thousands of amazing images which you are able to 'repin' to your board. You can also 'follow' other people's boards (there are a couple of DIY blogs that I follow and I have saved them as favourites on Pinterest too) and see the images that inspire those with similar tastes as you.
Have I convinced you to join? The only thing is that membership is by invitation so you will need to visit the website and request one. It usually takes 2-3 weeks for your invitation to come through but you can speed up the process by asking a friend who is already on Pinterest (like me!) to send you an invitation. Contact me if you would like an invitation and I can send one through. You can also follow or check out my boards here.
Right, gotta get back to pinning! :)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Project Life Tuesday: Work!

I spend many, many hours in my classroom every week and in a lot of ways, it is like a second home to me. It is for this reason that I thought it would be nice to take a snapshot of where I spend so much of my time each week.
Challenge for Project Lifers: Take a snapshot of your workplace, whether it be at home or elsewhere. :)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Black Inspiration

These images are part of the reason I am so in love with black at the moment. Enjoy. :)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Is that black paint? Why yes, it is!

Yep, we have a little black paint project going on in our house. I have had a mini obsession with black paint in interiors for quite some time but the conservative in me could never take the plunge...until now.
Granted, it is a small tin of paint and a small area of our house but I am being brave and it is black paint nonetheless! Well, Resene Nero, to be exact. What we hadn't expected was this disaster! I had read about some similar experiences with black paint peeling but it was still a shock to see it peeling away before our eyes.
Let's just say that it took a few days and a great deal of sweat (Taff's, not mine!) to rectify this problem, but he did, and I love our new little black wall. More details to come soon. :)

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Organising Vouchers and Coupons

A quick little organising project for you today. :)
I am a coupon/voucher girl and the bargain hunter in me always likes to keep any good offers that come my way. From petrol discount vouchers to coupons that arrive in the mailbox, I like to keep them handy for when I need them.
I'll be honest, my previous system involved tossing them on the kitchen bench, in my bag or in the car and they were far from handy or easily accessable. I was forever searching for the ones I wanted, never being exactly sure where they were!
It was starting to bug me and when something starts to bug me, it motivates me to do something about it! I found this great mini file from Warehouse Stationery for a few dollars and spent a few minutes organising all my bits and pieces from around the house so they were all in one central location.
I used my trusted labelling machine to sort everything into categories and the file itself is the perfect size to keeping in the car or in my hangbag. I have found this especially useful for organising vouchers from the Entertainment Book. It is a very heavy book and isn't practical to lug around so I tear out the vouchers I am planning to use in the next few weeks and file them so they are ready to go when I need them.
I also use this mini file for storing important receipts and so far my new system is working well. :)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Project Life Tuesday: Organising Projects

I have been working on quite a few little organising projects lately so I thought that a snapshot capturing this process was worthy of a Project Life spot. On this day I was attempting to organise my mammoth pile of home magazines, a weakness of mine as you can clearly see!
Challenge for Project Lifers: Take a photo of your current organising system for absolutely anything!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

What will you be doing this Sunday?

On Sunday afternoons in our house you will likely find us fighting over this sunny spot in our lounge. All of the painting has been finished in this room and we are enjoying the new cosy feel that has been achieved through the use of a warmer wall colour.
We have also finally got around to edging the large carpet offcut we picked up from Trademe several months ago, just in time for the winter! We are looking forward to our first fire for the season. :)

Saturday, May 7, 2011

More Sewing: This Time Thomas Paul 'Hedge' Cushions

I have a mini obsession with the colour yellow at the moment, in addition to my cushion obsession of course. lol. It is with that in mind that I visited Martha's to snare myself some yellow fabric.
Who would have thought this would be so difficult? I didn't. It turned out to be a real challenge to find exactly what I was looking for and there certainly wasn't as much choice as I was hoping for. I did stumble on this gorgeous Thomas Paul 'Hedge' print that I loved though and I snapped up a little of it to make these two cushions.
Thomas Paul is a NYC designer and I love his work. He creates amazing prints and I particularly love the colours in this one. We are currently repainting the walls of our living area from stark cold Resene Double Alabaster to warm and inviting Resene Soapstone and I am hoping these new cushions will tie in nicely.
They are on their lonesome at the moment but I am hoping to source a few more cushions in co-ordinating colours to plump up our sofa a little more. :)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Annabel's Thai Chicken Curry

Ask Rosie and Harry what their favourite dinner is and they will tell you straight away...chicken and rice. They love any variation of chicken and rice that you can possibly think of but this recipe is always a favourite. Enjoy. :)
Annabel's Thai Chicken Curry
1 tsp vegetable oil
1-2 Tb green curry paste (I also use red at times)
400ml can coconut cream
 1 and 1/2 cups chicken stock
2 Tb fish sauce
finely grated rind of 1/2 lemon
1kg chicken breast
salt and ground black pepper
Curry leaves or fresh kaffir lime leaves
6-8 sliced spring onions and 1/2 cup toasted cashew nuts
Heat oil in a large pan and fry curry paste for 1 minute. Add coconut cream, stock, fish sauce, lemon rind and optional curry or lime leaves.Simmer for 10 minutes and then add the diced chicken. Reduce heat to low, cover tightly and heat for 5-6 minutes until the chicken is cooked. Season to taste and garnish with spring onion and cashew nuts. Serve with rice...of course!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Project Life Tuesday: Family Help with Project Life

I know I go on about Project Life a lot but I really do love the way it has changed the way I think about recording our family memories. Capturing the everyday moments has become such a part of our life that even the kids like to participate and help as well. They no longer notice that I have a camera in my hand and will continue with whatever they are doing. This makes it much easier for me!
When it comes to assembling the album, they both love to assist and some of the jobs are in such demand that they have to take turns. One such job is this one, using the corner rounding punch on the photos. They love it!
Challenge for Project Lifers: Take a snapshot of your family involved in Project Life in some way. :)

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Using Excess Photos for Project Life

Today I thought I would share some of the ways I use excess photos from Project Life. Even though I am following the POTD (Picture of the day) format, this doesn't mean I take only one photo a day. On some days I take none (gasp!) and on other days I might take ten.
This means when it comes time to print out my photos for journaling, I often end up with a few extras at the end of every month. Instead of throwing these out I have found a simple way I can use them in Project Life and at the same time give extra coverage to special events such as birthdays, etc.
When you purchase the Project Life kit you also get extra sheets of co-ordinating scrapbooking paper to use for anything you wish. I have decided to use one of these at the end of every month to create a simple layout using some of the excess photos I end up with from that month. I needed to purchase some extra 12x12 pockets from Spotlight to accommodate these extra pages but I use the spare journaling cards from the kit to do some additonal writing about events from the month.
I have also found these extra pages great for covering events such as Harry's recent birthday party. This is our main family album for the year so I want to include as many memories as I can, with minimum fuss and effort. :)
Another idea I intend to do is enlarge my favourite photo for the month and have that as my final page before starting the new month. I am really enjoying this way of recording our families memories and after a few years of slack personal journaling, I think I have found a way of doing it that suits me in this busy season of life. :)