Quick Hack: Your Trash, My Treasure

Platter Hack 4

I promise, I SWEAR, that I have a backlog of posts for you. The things are done, the photos are on my camera … it’s just a matter of me wrangling LongJohn into the basement and the garbage dump that is my office recently long enough for me to write them down. But I will not forsake you!

On a related note, another thing I did not forsake was this ugly platter thing that LongJohn and I picked up at a local church rummage sale for all of fifty cents. IT SPINS.

Platter Hack 1

I’ve long been looking for a better way to organize the area under my sink – which is very awkwardly situated in the corner of my kitchen. Believe me when I tell you that what you see here is actually way better than it was before when I was too pregnant to get down on my hands and knees and sort it all out.

Platter Hack 3

Emptied you can see that the space is vast but most of it is unusable because of the awkward angles and the fact that the cupboard door is quite narrow.

Platter Hack 5

That’s where a lazy susan comes in – TADA, my new platter! It can’t go in the centre here because anything on it would get knocked off on the pipes, but it WILL fit in the corner …

Platter Hack 7

… right here.

Platter Hack 6

Tada, all my stuff fits and I can just swivel the tray to grab whatever I need. BRILLIANT.

Platter Hack 8


Fast Tip Friday: The Junk Drawer

We all have one. And, despite my best efforts, when we moved into our new house, we created one almost immediately. I’m talking about a junk drawer: that mystery drawer in the kitchen or the front hall filled with everything that doesn’t have a place anywhere else in the house … and lots of other flotsam and jetsam representing peculiar elements of your household existence.

Junk Drawer 2

I’m not saying you can’t have a junk drawer, just that some of them could use a little help. Ours especially. So here are some tips for making your junk drawer into more than a repository for all those extra tiny packets of condiments you pick up when you get takeout.

Take out the trash.

I don’t even own this coffee maker anymore. Why do I need the manual? Recycle your old menus and pitch any weird pieces of garbage that end up the drawer.

Junk Drawer 5

Everything in its place.

If you look at your drawer you’ll immediately see a bunch of stuff that can actually go elsewhere in the house. I now have a reusable coffee filter so those paper ones can go into my craft supplies in the basement. The Command Strip hooks can go with our other hardware, also in the basement.

Junk Drawer 1

Same with these batteries, this Allan key, and these pieces of lamp hardware.

Junk Drawer 6

These plates need to go up on the walls in the kitchen, and they’re not going to do that just sitting in the drawer. If I put them out on the counter they will annoy me enough to put them up. Whenever I’ve been putting off dealing with something, I always place it exactly in the way so I will have to do something about it sooner rather than later.

Junk Drawer 4

Tidy spaces.

When you’re dedicating a space to all sorts of things with different purposes, it helps if you don’t just chuck them all back in the drawer willy-nilly. Then you get confusion, like when your corgi thinks you’re still keeping his pig ears in that drawer.

Junk Drawer 8

Compartmentalize! Everything in its place on a small scale means that you can find everything again very easily.

Junk Drawer 7

And you don’t have to buy specialty drawer dividers, either. This yogurt container is ideal for storing the tiny but essential components of this drawer.

Junk Drawer 9

That’s all there is to it – have a great weekend!

Temporary Hideaway

Temporary Hideaway 6

When we bought the house we knew that the sliding closet doors in the master bedroom were totally broken.

Home to Bel-Air First Night 22

So as soon as we took possession we ripped them out. But now we’re looking at the contents of our closet (or the quarter-unpacked contents) on a daily basis. While we have plans to eventually install a set of bifold doors or something similar, it’s not high on our list of priorities.

Temporary Hideaway 2

I’m happy to see them gone. With such a narrow door frame having half of it blocked by a giant door would have made the closet so hard to access. It’s already kind of ridiculous just in the layout as it is.

Temporary Hideaway 3

So in the interim, I’ve got our old pressure curtain rod from the bathroom at the Tower and the curtain from our old office. No need for anything go to waste. It had a bit of rust on it from the shower (because it was cheap) so I just rubbed it with some CLR and we were grand!

Temporary Hideaway 1

A quick fix to hide our messiness, and just a quick job to hem the darned things (when I get around to it). TADA!

Temporary Hideaway 4

My Busy Weekend: an Update

I did not bake for you this weekend.  Nor did I create some magical crafty confabulation.  Nope.  Sorry.  Instead, the Pie and I ran around town doing errands, then we busied ourselves around the house putting up pictures and knife racks and important stuff like that. We’re exhausted. So is Gren.


So I’m just gonna give you a wee précis of what I got up to this weekend, which will eventually lead to further posts.  Really, it’s all for the greater good.

*Busy Weekend 3

Friday I picked up some gorgeous iris buds from my mother’s house, which then promptly bloomed overnight and gave me these gorgeous blossoms.

*Busy Weekend 1

She also gave me several pots of planted herbs, which I added to my meagre collection on the balcony. There’s sage, two kinds of basil, chives, dill, lavender …

*Busy Weekend 21

… parsley, garlic chives, thyme …

*Busy Weekend 18

… mint, oregano …

*Busy Weekend 17

… rosemary, and even a tomato.

*Busy Weekend 20

And after carefully watering and keeping the dog at bay, my wee grass seeds are finally starting to sprout!

*Busy Weekend 22

Saturday, we hit up the Great Glebe Garage Sale, which is a pretty big deal in town, but ended up being a complete zoo.

*Busy Weekend 14

There was an elf, as well as a guy dressed like a cow.

*Busy Weekend 15

We didn’t buy anything, though we were tempted by this tea cart. It was overpriced for what it was so we left it alone.

*Busy Weekend 9

There were some odd juxtapositions of things, like this ornate knife next to a box of Q-Tips.

*Busy Weekend 7

I liked the way this family laid out their clothes for sale.

*Busy Weekend 11

And if I had a giant grand front hall I would have put something like this in it.

*Busy Weekend 10

Though probably not something like this.

*Busy Weekend 12

I caught this from a distance, hence the blur: a flamingo with a wig.

*Busy Weekend 13

Suffice to say that our house-related chaos is dying down, as evidenced by the relative organization of our living room. I promise to have something more exciting for you soon!

*Busy Weekend 16

Coordinating My Crafty Crap CLOSET

In the new place, in our office, we have a giant three-paneled closet that covers the entirety of one wall.  If I were someone else I’m sure I would turn this into some kind of clothing storage extravaganza, but we already have two closets in our master bedroom and we don’t even own that many clothes.  I DO, however, own a heckuva lotta crafty crap.

Crafty Crap Closet 1

This past weekend, the Pie was out of town, which meant I was free to make a giant mess by hauling everything out of the crafty crap closet-to be and sorting it before putting it back in.  Here are the “before” shots:

Crafty Crap Closet 4

Crafty Crap Closet 3

Crafty Crap Closet 2

And the after.  The fabric is all neatly folded and entirely visible.

Crafty Crap Closet 6

All my anthro books are stacked higgledy-piggledy on top, but I’ll get around to sorting them, eventually.

Crafty Crap Closet 9

Current works-in-progress are stowed on the shelves below while odds and ends I pick up at thrift shops are hung in bags from the rail.

Crafty Crap Closet 5

I use open-ended shower curtain rings for this. They’re also super-handy for hanging purses and backpacks in closets as well.

Crafty Crap Closet 10

Then all my tools and oddments and accessories are handily plopped on these easy-to-reach shelves on the end. My plastic filing cabinet (not shown, but you can see part of it in the before shot) fits tidily in that bottom floor slot.

Crafty Crap Closet 7

I bought a KVISSLE letter tray from IKEA and it is sitting on my desk, keeping all my bits of paper accessible and unwrinkled.

Crafty Crap Closet 8

I may be a scarf addict.

Scarf Rack 6

I own a good many scarves.  Because I’m allergic to metal I tend to avoid necklaces.  I wear scarves instead, sometimes with a fetching vintage brooch pinned in a strategic way.   When we first moved to St. John’s the scarf trend hadn’t yet made it to the Rock and people tended to look askance at my “old lady” attire.  Since then, however, they’ve picked up here in a big way and I’m very glad.

Scarf Rack 8

I love figuring out new ways to tie and drape the things, in their different lengths and textures.

Scarf Rack 7

My mother is also big into scarves.  And when she goes through a scarf purge, I’m the first beneficiary.  Then Cait and I fight over them.

Scarf Rack 9

So as I said, I have a good many.  So many sometimes I forget which ones I own.  I wanted a way to keep them organized and stored in such a way that I could see each and every one of them.

Scarf Rack 5

We had this towel rack on our door that was rubbish for towels because the position of the rods put the towels too close together and they didn’t dry.  When we replaced it we ended up with a spare rack.

Scarf Rack 1

But it’s perfect for all my scarves, which now hang on the outside of the closet door, so I can see them and be reminded to wear them all.  Our belts are at the top.

Scarf Rack 4

How do you organize your scarves?

Scarf Rack 2

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