Thursday, July 26, 2012

Sift my Thrift - Wooden Blocks @ $1.49

I love the Peddler's Mall.  It's a conglomeration of booth after booth of used and new items.  I generally shoot for the vintage/old stuff.  Great finds are really fun.  Today I went to try and find myself some teaching shirts.  Yeah, I know.  A post for another day perhaps.  Anyhow, I ended up spying this booth that had this and thats taped up in plasitc ziplock baggies and priced very low.  I first picked up a pack of men's white tshirts, but I couldn't count how many were in the package in order to see if it was a good deal or not.  Then I picked one up that had a draw string pouch in it.  I felt the baggy because it was taped completely shut and it seemed that there were blocks in it.  $1.49 was the price so I took the plunge.  After I was in the car, I opened the baggy up and found some wonderful little blocks that would be a great learning tool (ie: distraction) for Inky while schooling her older sister! 

So, if you don't mind used old toys, the Peddler's Mall is the place for you.

Well here's a photo.  I love toys with natural elements like wood.

Love these prices.

The girls enjoying their new/old blocks

I just looked up the company Guide Craft (written on the draw string bag) and found the same item for $30.00.  My set is only missing 3 out of the 20 blocks/tiles so along with the fact that the girls really like them, I think it really was a good deal.   : )

Thanks for sifting through the latest thrift!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Introduction: & Crazy Weather for Flying

My parents have been in Alaska for 2 weeks visiting my sister, brother in law and their two grandchildren.  We have been going through withdrawl.  My husband and I are really close to both our parents and when one is out of state, we feel it.  So it's about time to pick them up from the airport and its storming and raining.  In fact, my husband has been trying to pull some loose limbs out of a large tree in our backyard unsuccessfully and one of those limbs just dropped from the tree from the wind. 

Anyhow, the kids made my parents a Welcome Home sign (well, I wrote it and they colored it).  My oldest is super excited about going to the airport.  They love watching the planes land and take off.  Seriously, when we dropped my parents off,  I had to keep reminding them to quit being too loud as they ate some Burger King and squealed at the planes out the window.  The people around us (some of them anyway) were chuckling, but if I could only read their minds.  The highlight though is the moving walkway.  Today we bumped into a church friend at the market and Iggy wouldn't stop talking about it.  I tried to distract her from the conversation because she went on and on and then some about that moving walkway - for a very long time. 

Introduction part:  Here is a first glimpse of my two baby girls on my sorta new blogsite, on my newly painted porch (another post sometime) ready for our airport trip.  Iggy's on the right and Inky's on the left.

The colorful sign.  Papaw is the norm for Grandfather around these parts.  Ba though is a shortened version of Grandmother in Japanese (my mother is Okinawan).

The sign on display.

See ya'll later!!!!

Back again from the airport.  Scored me an Alaskan blanket, some Alaskan socks, and two Alaska themed childrens books that will find their way on our school room book shelf (gifts from mom and dad).  My sister also bakes artisan bread (I'm not sure where she gets the time for it, as she is a nurse anesthesist - don't spell check that btw - and is never home for long).  Mom and dad had some leftover and I plan on eating it with the girls tomorrow.  One is filled with fruit and the other meat and veggies.  Yum! 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sift my Thrift - Oh, those shoes!

We have one of those basement garages.  You know the kind where when you come home from the grocery, you have to lug like 1,000 bags up the stairs to your main level.  Yep that kind.  Wellllllll, our backyard comes straight off our main level, so anytime the girls want to go out and play on their swing set, dowwwwwn the stairs we go to grab the shoes, and uuuuuup the stairs we go to exit through the main level back door.  The solution?  Just pile up the shoes on the main floor.  Pile them under curtains, in the bathroom, on the freshly vacuumed area rug.  You get the picture.  And then once they are piled up on the main floor, and you're down the stairs and about to enter the garage, then you suddenly need just THAT pair that is back up on the main floor. 

Trying to stick to a tight homeschooling schedule this fall (keeping cleaning the house on the schedule as well), I thought, I need a shoe system to resolve my shoe woes.  Hubby, Inky, Iggy and I piled in the car to get/make us a shoe storage box for upstairs to house just 1 PAIR EACH for those back yard excursions.  Where did we end up?  Well, why not at the Peddler's Mall where I find just about anything interesting/old/cheap?  So we decided on getting an old wooden Pepsi crate and then hopped on over to Lowes for some casters.  Hopefully, soon I'll be posting pics of my new/old shoe box to make all my shoe blues disapear forever.  Yeah right.  Someone hold me back if ever I find more than 4 pairs of shoes in that box!  Just kidding,  The Peddler's Mall is just waiting for me to come back, buy another old wooden box and build me an overflow shoe box for my shoe box.

Until then.....

Well time flies on a blog post.  Here are some photos of the crate before operation begins to attach the casters.

Photos of the 'new' shoe box soon, hopefully.

And here it is...

 Hubby putting the casters on. 

 Two down, two more to go!

And here it is in it's new spot by our kitchen cabinets close to the door.

Flip flops stowed safely, neatly away.  For now.

Thanks for watching! : )

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Home Schooling Adventure - The Homeschool Room

Psalm 61:2 "...when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I."

Deciding to Homeschool and ramping up:
I mentioned in an earlier post about my planning to homeschool my soon to be turning 5 year old daughter.  I can't tell you how excited/nervous I am about this new adventure.  My husband and I both attended public school so I know zero about homeschooling aside from what I've learned from other homeschooling moms.  One of my main sources was my husband's aunt who sucessfully homeschooled 5 of her children throughout their school years and has some she is still teaching.  I have sweated, and fretted over the whole process namely getting my girls into a shared bedroom and then turning another room into a school room.  I am finished (well almost) with my girls' room, and am pretty much in the same position with the school room. 

Glory to God:
I must, MUST pause to say that I thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for His counsel and help through this whole process.  I could have been a mess and mentally scattered by this new adventure, but He has helped me by putting people in my life to help me, and by giving me ideas to make the rooms what they are.  I love Him and need Him so! 
I've had so many experienced people to tell me not to worry and that Kindergarten is a great grade to teach. They are right, but even so, prior to starting, I found myself a little nervous.  Well, I'm here and thankful that the time has come and that we are enjoying the start of our first year.  I'm thankful that the Lord has His ways to help us in the individual way that He knows we need help.

Some Things about the School Room (and some ramblings):
I've tried to update photos and merge redundant posts to give you the lastest on our homeschool room all in one (hopefully cohesive) post.  There were a few more things that I wanted to do to the room before being ready to start school. One was to put some form of 'school name' something on the wall. Another thing was to find a spot, somewhere in that small room to designate as a 'special reading spot'. I knew this was pretty much unrealistic because of the space of the room, BUT, since I put a 'free reading time' slot in our daily schooling schedule, I really, really wanted a special place for that. It's a good thing that little girls have BIG imaginations because the spot I put together is really SMALL. In fact its really more like a reading 'hat'. Ehem, but we'll call it her 'reading nook'. I also found these hanging signs at Target for 1$ ea. Iggy really wanted them, so I endulged. The bad thing about shopping with Iggy is that if she sees me pick up something that might possibly be for her, and then I put it down, well, then there's a problem. She just breaks down. Not falling down kicking in the floor sort of thing (all though she did that once when she was about 2ish, I ignored her, and believe it or not, she never did it again). I just have to spend the next hour answering 1,000 questions about why I didn't end up buying it for her. It could be over a box of tissue, or saltine crackers. Same result. So if she likes something I have to be sure not to TOUCH it unless I'm super serious about getting it. It's not a spoiled sort of thing - though we've had our bouts with that. I mean if she wants something and I DON'T touch it and just say no, not now. She's fine. It's just if I touch it. I guess her hopes go way up there and have a hard time coming back down. Anyhow, back to school room stuff.  Another update to the classroom was to add classroom slippers. Why? When I was a little girl and we lived in Okinawa, Japan, I had a few Japanese friends that took me to school with them a couple of times (my memory can't recall why or how I ended up getting to do that). I noticed that when they arrived in class, they took their shoes off and then put on little house slippers. I thought it was so neat and also home-like comfy. So that's what we're doing. I have also decided to do uniforms for Iggy and for me. I know. Where is the creativity and individuality in doing that? Probably none, but it brings structure to those who need it, and that's us. Knowing Iggy and myself, this is essential. I need to keep things in order and visually structured to keep us on track. Uniforms were the ticket for us and our personalities.  Maybe one day that will change, but for now, it's working.
My husband and I both attended public schools, so I tend to lean toward a traditional school room type setting. Here are some photos of the setup. I wish some of these photos weren't so blurry.

The chalkboard side of the room.

The cork board with the owl on it, was free.  I called our local school board and asked if they were selling any of their old school furniture.  Long story-short, I ended up with a free retired cork board and a free 4X3 scrap piece of magnetic white board that we framed out (you'll see that above my desk in a later photo).  So thankful for free!

Here's the hopscotch rug.  Ikea white (cream) Erslev rug dyed grey and stenciled with white paint/fabric medium.  This was challenging, but I'm glad its done!  I got the idea from who made a floral pattern on hers.  I wanted something more whimsical/kiddy so I went with the hopscotch pattern.  I used cardstock paper, tape, carpet knife, printer, and adhesive spray for the stencils.  I used white flat paint mixed with fabric medium with which to paint.  I used bleach, plenty o water, a bathtub, the dryer, and black rit dye to prep the rug.

Homemade floor pillows for floor time.  Here's the Peddler's Mall stool that I recovered in a $1.00 second hand sweater.  The top flips up and I store some of my calendar time stuff in it.

Ikea rail and cups = sweet organization.

My desk (that folds flat to the wall just in case).  More Ikea rails and cups placed at a higher location for obvious reasons.

My desk area with the desk in the up position.

My not so organized closet.

The organized closet.  Still not as visually organized as I would like, but everything is in its place.

Iggy's books in a bin at the bottom of the closet.

The items hanging by hooks are our Bean Ticket Prizes. Each time Iggy's is on time and ready for class (done with her duties), she gets a Bean Ticket. As she collects them in her little magnetic container, she can purchase some prizes.

The vault (ie: jar of marked beans), and Iggy's magnetic Bean Ticket container (target for $1 each) that I plan to keep at the top of the chalkboard for safe keeping. ; )

The view toward the library wall before I added the Reading Nook, extra shelves, and banner.

A view towards the library wall after I added the extras.

Can you see the burlap stenciled banner? It reads our school name, Rossimore Academy. I bought the twine from Lowes but it was too flimsy, so I ended up braiding it to make it thicker/heavier.

A closeup of the stencil work. I used cardstock paper and printed the letters out. Then I used a carpet knife and cut out the letters. I used spray adhesive to keep the letter stencil in place. Then I used a stiff paint brush with white flat paint and dot - dotted away.

Here's a closer look at the Reading Nook. I still have to paint the edges of the book shelves so don't look too closely. The short shelves will be used to separate our Public Library books from our own. I think I'll label them someday.

The $1 Target signs.

The banner again.

A closer look at the top of the Reading Nook. I used a clearanced fabric (I'm always checking the clearanced fabric from Walmart) on the roof part (blue striped). You'll be surprised the good quality stuff they have there and its from 2.50 to 1.00 a yard). I also used a linen type fabric that wasn't clearanced from Hancock Fabrics that I bought to make me a sewing machine cover (I think I spent about $4 on that yard). Well, as you can see the fabric went to a much happier cause. The tan and white ticking fabric was leftover from the girls bedroom pillow project. The white piping on the edges of the awning was leftover from another project. The twine was from the same roll from Lowes that I used on the banner.

Here is how I suspended the Reading Nook roof to the wall. Its just a small hook. I put hooks on the sides of the book shelves as well to hold up the awning and walls.

Here I used dry erase markers and added the labels on the ones, tens and hundreds jars. I also, finally, added labels to the small shelves to keep our library books separate from our own. Also, I added a job chart for Iggy to mark off herself.

I painted the spagetti jar lids red, just because. (I've figured out that it's hundreds, not one hundreds, so that has now been fixed. Oops.)

Homeschooling Adventure - The Shared Room

Only about 1 more month before we begin our homeschooling adventure at Rossimore Academy!  I'm excited and nervous about our very first year.  I am so blessed to have other homeschooling moms to help me along the way.  Seriously, one only lives about a mile away in case of an emergency. : )  I have to mostly thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for helping me through this whole process.  He has helped to keep me from getting too scattered about it all, and by providing ideas to make the homeschool room and the now shared girls room complete.  I can't tell you how many times on other projects that I've liked an idea only to dislike it later.  This time I feel satisfied that the rooms are what I and the girls need to feel like we are settled in spaces that work for us and appeal to us.

For the girls' room, I wanted it to look as BIG/ROOMY as possible.  The room was originally beige/tan, then we painted it with a yellow and blue stripe.  I ended up not liking that (sort of circus tentish), so when we decided to move the girls in together, I begged my hubby to let me paint again.  This time I went with good ole white paint.  Yep, white.  I accented one wall with a very light mocha polka dot pattern.  I got the idea from one of Ikea's example rooms.  I looked and looked for a beige polka dot wall paper to no avail, so we marked, stenciled and painted one polka dot after another.  It was a LONG process, but I'm glad that we did it.  I bought a few things from Ikea to modernize the room a bit and a few things we already had.

Looking from the bedroom door straight into Iggy's bed.


The mocha polka dot treatment.

The shadow boxes with the bonnet and dedication gowns

This is a cute little frame and poem that someone gave us I think for Iggy's birth.  I think it is very sweet.

Here an Ikea 'flower pot' that I transferred over from my room so Iggy can use it as a 'hair station'.  I put her brush and a few hair elastics in it so she can work on her own hair in the morning.

Here's the piano that Mammie loaned us.  It pretty old but it still plays really nice.

Looking from Iggy's bed to Inky's toddler bed.

Some cute books I picked up at the Public Library book sale.  I got the old wooden box from the Peddler's Mall for $3.

A pillow I made for each of their beds.  Glad their first names both start with an L.  It was an easy letter to do.  I'm not sure what I would have done with an R or a B or something.

This is the shelf above Iggy's bed.  Her box was also from the Peddler's Mall but it was $7.

Inky's Ikea kitchen that she got for her birthday.

Here is a list of things we did to the room:

  • Painted the walls white (in hind sight, I wish I had painted it a soft white rather than a bright white). 
  • Painted beige circles on the wall.
  • White simple curtains from Target (I think they were about 15.00).  I took them from the room that we ended up turning into the school room.
  • Ikea metal twin bed (69.99).  Price does not include the slatts or the mattress - sigh.
  • Headboard covers - made from some fun kids material from Ikea (7.99) and some other white material from Walmart from the bargain bin (I think about 1.50 a yard and I used about 4).     
  • 2 Black shelves from Ikea (apx 6.00 ea)
  • Black/Brown Expedit cabinet from Ikea (69.99) - This was a big ticket item bought when my oldest was little.  Glad that it's held up.
  • White tubs to fit into the Ikea cabinet for toy storage (about 2.00 ea)
  • Ikea kids kitchen, bottom unit only (99.99) at Ikea - My parents and I went in together on this for one of the kids birthdays.
  • Two old wooden boxes - (small one was 3.00, larger one was 7.00 at the peddlers mall)
  • Two clip lights from Ikea to go over the girls' beds for night time book reading (6.99 ea)
  • The mini piano belongs to my mother in law and will go back to her when she asks for it again.
  • Two shadow boxes from TJMaxx (14.99 ea) - I used some left over anniversary moolah for those.  I put a little hat that my mother in law crocheted in one and in the other a baby dedication dress my mom bought that both my girls wore.
  • The table a chairs were a Christmas gift for my older daughter when she was very young (100.00).  We didn't know that Ikea existed so we paid more for that set than I would have now.  It started out with a white table and multicolored chairs, but I ended up painting the chairs white.  Two of the chairs are in this room and the other two will be used in the school room. 
  • Two black on white grid patterned duvet covers and matching pillows - (19.99 ea) a Christmas gift from my parents to the kids.
  • "L" pillows for each of the girls beds - (apx 3.00 ea)Made from bargain material from Walmart.  The stuffing was from a Walmart pillow.
  • "10" and "07" pillows - (apx 3.00 ea) Made from bargain material from Walmart.  The stuffing was from a Walmart pillow.
  • Wire bin - from TJ Maxx - (9.99)  Bought with some of my birthday $ I think.
  • I took some photos of the girls and just framed them and put them in a group on the wall.  The frames were left over from before we had our first daughter.  Not sure on the price.  We tend to get our frames from Michaels when they are having a buy one, get one sale.
  • Brown and white striped rug from Ikea (19.99) - Just something my hubby said ok to.
  • White crib turned toddler bed (?)  Mother and Father n law bought this for us from Babies R Us when our oldest daughter was born.
  • Added a small black square mirror for my daughter to be able to "fix" her own hair.  (?) not sure on the cost but it was in the clearance section at TJMaxx.
  • Pendant lamp from Ikea - (This is one of my favorites.  It was originally 69.99, but it was clearanced at 19.99). 
  • hubby built me a red rolling storage box to put under Iggy's bed.  I wanted one that I found at the Peddlers Mall, but it didn't roll the right way so he said he would build me one.

We didn't just up and buy all of these things when I decided to redecorate.  Many of the items were things that we just accumulated over time and we just reincorporated them.  I seem to have a knack for remembering the cost of the things that I buy even if it was a decade ago.  I've learned that there is a HUGE difference in spending from when I was single and working and now that I am married and a mother of two living on one income.    I've learned to research, research, research before buying.  I've learned to keep the receipt just in case!  I've learned that sometimes (actually most times) I have to say no to something that I really, really want.  I am glad though that the room turned out the way that it did.  I have to give thanks also to the people who have posted photos online of thier own spaces.  I can't really name one as it's more of a general style/liking that I've found myself leaning towards after seeing photos of room after room.  I hope you liked it and maybe can get a few affordable ideas for your own rooms out of it.  Thanks for viewing!