Thursday, 21 March 2013

Finishing Off Friday - 22nd March 2013

Another week has zoomed by, and I can not believe all of the jobs that I have achieved in this short time!  I apologise for the long post ahead, but I have LOTS to report.

Let's get to it...

The Study

- I feel like we need a drumroll here.....  The study is painted!!  Yippee!! It looks like a brand new room, thanks to my amazing Dad!  It will take me a few weeks to get everything organised in there, but knowing that I can now start working on everything that I have been planning since completing my online 'Organise Your Creative Workspace' course with Simplify 101 last year is super exciting.  It seems to be just perfect timing, now that the nursery is pretty much finished, that I can spend my time and energy getting my new 'Creative Studio' ready for hours of crafting and scrapbooking fun!!

- The first thing we did after the painting was done, was assemble the 5x5 Expedit cube unit for the back wall of the room.  Poor Mick has had to put together so many flat packs this year - I think he was glad to know that will be the last one for a little while!

- Then I was able to set to work filling the cubes with all of my stationery and crafting supplies.  I had so much fun putting everything into the cubes, rearranging the items until I got a nice balanced look, that was also practical.  I will do a post soon on how I organised the cubes, as I tried to keep different things in 'zones', to make accessing the bits and pieces during my project work nice and easy.  I had already boxed/containerised and labeled most items, so it was just a matter of arranging them in a way that both looked good and was practical.  I am also pleased that I really didn't have to spend much money on storage containers for the cube unit, most boxes/bins/buckets were recycled from my old study or elsewhere in the house.  This did make it more of a challenge to make it all look balanced and coordinated, as I had to experiment with different arrangements, but I have learned that not everything needs to be perfectly symmetrical and matching in order to look good and be functional!  Thank goodness, says my husband!

- My workbench for the centre of the room is still on the 'To Do' list.  I have already shared with you that I bought two 6x6 cube units for under-bench storage (here and here), plus I bought two benchtops from Ikea.  Mick has been working his magic to put it altogether to make me the workstation of my dreams!  He had even added in an extra shelf underneath, which is going to be the perfect place to store my large guillotine, scoring and cutting boards.

He still needs to attach the benchtop properly, add backing to the cubes for added strength and add melamine edging to all of the raw edges.  I will post pictures of the completed workbench next week.  

I am so pleased that this room is finally taking shape the way I had imagined!  It has definitely been worth the wait, and I am thrilled with it so far :)  I have lots of ideas to make it a more user-friendly space and some nifty storage solutions, but for now I am just going to stick with the major furniture pieces being added and see how things work during my 'creative process' before making any decisions about future additions to the room.

- A side project from the big move back into the study has been recovering my spare bedroom!  I have managed to empty shelves and boxes that were in there holding all of the study supplies, and I organised all of my books and magazines onto this big bookshelf (that previously lived in my old study).  It is great to have this reading material in one location, which is going to make accessing them nice and easy.

The Nursery/Preparing for Baby

- I rearranged the drawers in the baby's room that were holding the blankets, wraps, sheets and my miscellaneous items.  I wasn't happy with how they were working, I thought I might be able to get better use out of the space.  And I am so glad I invested the time in there!  Because I realised that the drawers could actually hold 4 of the large Skubb rectangle drawer dividers, and not just 3, as I had previously put in.

This is the 3 - note the wasted space at the back.
A simple turn of the containers, and suddenly I had a whole lot of extra storage space on my hands!

This is the 4 - no wasted space!
Am I the only one who doesn't always work out the best way to arrange things the first time round??  But I guess it is good when you finally do realise, because it is like getting free storage space!  So, I have turned lots of the dividers around, and now I need to get back to Ikea to buy one last set, to fill in the gaps.  I also had a set of the 6 assorted sized Skubb dividers, which I don't like as much as the rectangle ones (which aren't on the website, for some reason), but for now, I have used them in the bottom drawer, to hold all of the bits and pieces.  I have one box for the girly stuff and one for the boy stuff, and a couple of others for other random items that either the baby needs to grow into, or we don't need just yet.  It is good to have all of these bits and pieces semi-organised, rather than in a big pile in the drawer.

- I also put all of the instruction manuals, including the left-over screws and things from the baby furniture into snap lock bags and then into the smaller white box (pictured) in the cupboard - great to have these all in one place for easy reference.  And in the larger box on top is where I have the bits and pieces of fabric, ribbon, etc that is left-over from the projects we have done in here, so that I know where it all is if I feel inspired to make anything else for the room (although after the failed mobile incident, I don't think I will be doing any creative projects in here for a little while!).

- While on the topic of baby things, I also did some rearranging in the kitchen to make way for bottles and feeding containers.  I thought about this long and hard, and decided that the best way to make space was to do a 3-part move.

1.  First, I moved the tablecloths, napkins and placemats out of the buffet (which is right beside the kitchen), into the linen closet.  The linen closet is still very close to both our living area and the back patio, so it isn't really too much further that I will have to go to get these things when I need them.

2.  Then I moved my electrical appliances (frypan, slow cooker, sandwich press, pie maker, cake pop maker and hand beater) into the buffet.  They fit perfectly!

3.  So that left me with an empty cupboard in my kitchen (and some extra space in my pantry too where the pie maker and cake pop maker lived).  This cupboard is the perfect spot for the baby kitchenware that I have been acquiring.  On the top shelf, I have the steriliser, bottles, teats, bottle warmer and bottle brush.  I am hoping to breastfeed, but I know I will need all of these things down the track, so I like knowing that they are here and ready for when I need them.  I also left my stab-blender here, as I use it all the time for smoothies, so I wanted it handy still.  I also think this will be really useful when it comes to baby food - unless of course, I can manage to save up to get a Thermomix by that time ;)  And on the bottom shelf, I put my new baby food containers, along with my old baby/childrens plates, bowls, cups, etc.  As a bonus, this created some extra space in my Tupperware cupboard, so I am sure that over the coming weeks I will have a bit of a play with that space too.


- I completed our iPhoto Book of our Cook Islands holiday from 2011.  I had already completed most of the trip, and only had the last 3 days to add.  For some reason, I just kept putting off finishing the book, but now I can gladly say that the book is complete and has been ordered, and it will hopefully be here sometime next week!  I also printed some photos from this trip to complete 2 pages of layouts for our 2011 Project Life album.  I literally had hundreds of photos from this trip, so I just chose a few of my favourites to be included in our yearly album, as all of the others are included in the iPhoto book, so we can see them there.

- I printed the photos for my March pages of my 2013 Project Life album, plus a few I missed from earlier this year.  I am loving being up to date, yesterday I made a special trip to the shops just to get the photos printed, because I have missed not doing any PL work the last couple of weeks!  I can't believe how much I am enjoying it, and how easy it is once you are up to date!  I also printed some photos for some gaps I had in my 2011 album, which is now very close to final completion.  I think the lady who works at Big W thinks we are buddies now that I am there so much ;)

- I also started to put together my baby's album.  I am using the Becky Higgins Sweet Baby Kit, the same one that I used for my niece, Macy's, album recently.  I put the first 17 pages (including cardstock and labels - as it comes packaged in the kit) into my Vanilla We R Memory Keepers album.  This just involved sliding the pieces into the pockets, nothing else.

I also added the remaining plastic pocket protectors for the first 12 months.  I left these empty though, as I will want the cardstock to be either pink/blue depending on what we have!   I then wrote myself a list of the jobs I need to do in this kit, one list for NOW and one list for AFTER the baby arrives.  I punched holes in the lists and put them in the front of the album, so that they are handy whenever I get out the album.

By having these lists, I know exactly what I need to do and when I am feeling inspired to work on the album, I just have to look at the list and choose something to do.  I think this will be really helpful, rather than randomly flicking through and looking for a page to work on.

Other Projects

- I prepared all of my March/April/May birthday cards for posting into this cute little bucket.  I posted about how I did that here.  Feels great to get this job done!

- We had a man out to talk to us about installing solar panels on our roof, for solar electricity.  We are going to get a few more quotes before we make our decision, but this is something that I have been interested in doing for quite some time, which will hopefully save us lots of $$ in the future!

To say I had a big week is an understatement!!  I feel like I have accomplished so much, and the house is definitely feeling calmer and more ready for the baby, now that the study is taking shape, which has allowed me to convert the spare bedroom back into a spare room.  Just knowing that everything is falling into place is so reassuring, as I know that time will be precious once the baby arrives!

People keep saying to me to make sure that I am resting, and I can assure you that I am!  Quite often after I have done a big (or small) job that I post about in my Friday posts, I sit down for half an hour or an hour afterwards to rest.  I do get tired really quickly, and promise that I am not pushing myself beyond what feels right for my body.  Thanks for worrying about me... but I am not one to sit around all day, especially when I have so many fun projects to work on ;)

Read more of my Finishing Off Friday posts here.


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