Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Day 17: Bedtime

For Day 17 you need to pick a bedtime and stick to it.

Your body needs rest!

I like to have my Bedtime Routine done by 9pm so I can then get in my cozies, hop in bed, read or write or crochet and watch a little TV. My bedtime is 10pm. I get up at 5am almost everyday and going to bed at 10pm gives my body enough rest for the next day. (I'm a morning person.) If I'm really tired I might fall asleep a little earlier which is why I like to have my bedtime routine done by 9pm.

What's your bedtime? I'd love to hear from you!


Monday, August 30, 2010

Front Zippered Pencil Pouch- Tutorial

I made this front zippered pencil pouch for my son, Ian, for him to use at school. It is a bit different because it has the zipper on the front instead of on the edge.

This a great pouch for school, work or play!

If any of the directions are unclear, please let me know so I can try to explain further. Thanks!


1 metal ring, I am using an old key-chain ring I found in the laundry one day
1 zipper, at least 10" long (longer zippers can be trimmed down)
(9.5"x2.5") for above the zipper- cut 1 of the exterior fabric and 1 of the liner fabric
(9.5"x3.5") for below the zipper- cut 1 of the exterior fabric and 1 of the liner fabric
(9.5"x5.5") backing- cut 1 of the exterior fabric and 1 of the liner fabric
(1.5"x2") cut 1 for the ring tab

1) Beginning with the fabric used above the zipper, lay your liner fabric right side up (pretty side showing), place your zipper right side up on top of the liner fabric, then place your exterior fabric right side down. Pin the top edges in place. Mark a half inch in on each edge and using a zipper foot sew between these two markings, being sure to back stitch at the beginning and ending. *It's important to leave the half inch on each edge unsewn for later*

2) Flip the exterior and liner fabrics back and iron flat.

3) Repeat numbers 1 and 2 with the fabric used below the zipper.

4) Leaving a half inch in from the edges, top stitch on each side of the zipper, back stitch at the beginning and ending.

5) With the tab fabric, fold it in half lengthwise and press, unfold and then fold each raw edge in toward the crease, fold it back in half and sew down each edge. Fold the tab in half and thread the ring on it. Top stitch the tab close to the edge of the exterior fabric only. You can place the tab anywhere you like but I put it about a half inch above the zipper.

6) Unzip the zipper partially before you do anything else. This is important so you don't accidentally sew the pouch and not be able to use it because the zipper was sewn closed!

7) Lay the zippered portion liner side facing up. Lay your 9.5"x5.5" liner fabric right side down on top of this. Pin only the liner fabrics together. Don't pin the exterior fabric!

8) On a long edge of the liner fabric mark a 2" space you will leave unsewn (this is left unsewn so you'll be able to turn it right side out later). Beginning at one of the marks back stitch and sew around the edge with a 1/4 inch seam allowance. When you come to the zipper, fold it back or under out of the way. Do not sew over the zipper in this step! When you see it sewn it leaves a little hole next to the zipper and liner edge. This is OK and doesn't effect the pouch at all. You probably won't even know it's there when you get done!

9) Now lay the pouch with the exterior fabric and zipper right side up. Lay your 9.5"x5.5" exterior fabric right side down on top of this. Pin only the exterior fabrics together. Sew all the way around the edge using a 1/4" seam allowance. Sew over the zippers in this step too.

10) Trim up the zipper and the corners.

11) Pull the pouch right side out through the liner hole.

12) Pull the liner out through the zipper. Iron flat the hole edge and sew 1/8 inch from the edge to close it all up. Push the liner back through the zipper and put it to use!

13) Enjoy your new creation!

Day 16: Read an Email

Today all you need to do is read an email from Flylady.

Easy Peasy.

Don't forget your Morning and Bedtime Routines!


Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Candy Jar

Whenever my husband, Justin, heads out of town we create a candy jar.

In this candy jar we put a piece of candy for every day he'll be gone. There are 60 pieces of candy in the jar for this trip. Every day a piece of candy gets eaten and as the candy gets lower it is a visual reminder that he will be coming home soon. This is one of Ian's favorite traditions because he gets to eat all the candy!

This morning we all got up before dawn and left the house at 5:30am to see Justin off at the airport. He's headed to Ft. Drumm, NY for the next leg of his military training for his end-of-2011-deployment.

We will miss him!

Day 15: Make Your Bed

Congrats! You've made it a full 2 weeks with me!!!

Day 15 we're going to add Making Our Bed to our Morning Routine.

This is a good habit to have. Your bedroom is your sanctuary and making your bed makes your room look so much cleaner!

It's a simple thing to do… just 5 minutes of your time.

Flylady suggests you make your bed as soon as your feet hit the floor but if, like me, you have a husband that gets up later then you, then put 'Make the Bed' near the end of your Morning Routine so he as time to get up. It would be pointless to make the bed with him still in it!

I'd love to hear how you're doing!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Day 14: Calendars

On Day 14 you'll be doing something easy again.

Read Kelly's Guide on How to Use a Calendar.

After you read that I hope you'll be able to see the importance of having and using a calendar. They are one of the best tools to have in keeping us organized.

It doesn't matter what kind of calendar you have.

In the past I used Microsoft Outlook but I tend to prefer the paper format. I keep a calendar in my Homemakers Binder and I keep one in my kitchen for everyone to see. I also like to color code everyone. Justin is blue. I am pink. Ian is green. Jameson is yellow. General information is orange. All I have to do is look at a certain color and know that information on my calendar is about that certain person.

In the past I've purchased Flylady's Calendar. It has nice big squares to write in and you can get some fun stickers with it.

But if your finances are tight, like most of us these days, you can print your own monthly calendar from the internet.
Here are a few of my favorite resources:
http://www.thehouseholdplanner.com/products/calendars/ (scroll down for the free printables)

If you have a link to one of your favorite calendar resources, please leave a comment with it for everyone!

And if you don't have the money or a printer then draw some squares on a piece of paper and create your own calendar!

Don't forget to keep up with your Morning and Bedtime Routines!


Friday, August 27, 2010

Day 13: Missions

Today you're going to learn about Kelly's Missions.

Kelly's Missions are all about quick and easy cleaning. Kelly will give you a mission each day and your job is to go do it.

This also introduces us to the idea of Zone Cleaning. We'll learn more about that later but Flylady's goal is to never have to do Spring (or Fall) Cleaning. Now, wouldn't that be nice?

Keep up with your Morning and Bedtime Routines!

How are you doing so far? I'd love to hear from you!


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Completed Projects

This is just a quick post to show off some projects I completed last week.

This is a punch needle design. It think it turned out great but I didn't really care for the medium. I doubt I'll make another punch needle design again- it took forever!

And here are 2 new crocheted dishcloths I made for my kitchen. I like making these. They are pretty and quick. LOL

Thanks for looking!

Day 12: Delete Those Emails!

Day 12 is pretty simple. Take a few minutes and delete all the emails you've gotten from Flylady. Don't worry if you haven't read them all, you'll get plenty more in due time.
And while you're at it, go through your inbox and delete all those other unneeded emails. When was the last time you did that? How many emails do you get rid of?

I go through my inbox fairly often so I didn't have to get rid of too many, maybe 5.

Don't forget to keep up with your basic Morning and Bedtime Routines!

How are you doing in the challenge? I'd love to hear from you!


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Day 11: Inspirations

Today you're going to add an Inspirational Page to your Homemakers Binder. On this write anything that you find inspirational, quotes you like, etc.

On mine I wrote:
- You can do anything for 15 minutes!
- Housework done incorrectly still blesses your family
- You can't organize clutter, you can only get rid of it!
- Courage, sacrifice, determination, commitment, toughness, heart, talent, guts. That's what little girls are made of, the heck with sugar and spice. -Bethany Hamilton
- All that I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen. -Ralph Waldo Emerson

I will probably add more as I find sayings I like.

What did you put on your Inspiration Page?

Don't forget about your basic routines:

Morning Routine
1) Get dressed, do hair and make-up, put on some shoes
2) Look at your posted reminders
3) Check your email
4) Recognize negative voices and turn them into positive ones
5) Spend 2 minutes putting out a Hot Spot
6) 5 Minute Room Rescue
7) Spend 15 minutes decluttering

Bedtime Routine
1) Shine your sink
2) Lay out tomorrow's clothes
3) Spend 2 minutes putting out a Hot Spot

How are you doing in the cleaner, happier home challenge? I’d love to hear from you!


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Mini Bolts: The Final Product

I finished wrapping all my fabric finally and I wanted to show off the final product!

I ended up with about 270 different cuts of fabric and some very full bookshelves.

So what do you think?


Day 10: 15 Minutes!

Day 10 is learning about the power of 15 minutes.

You can do anything for 15 minutes!

Flylady's challenge today is to spend 15 minutes collecting all the trash and taking it outside. Then spend another 15 minutes relaxing with a magazine or book.

Set your timer if you need to!

Don't forget about your basic routines:

::Morning Routine::
1) Get dressed, do hair and make-up, put on some shoes
2) Look at your posted reminders
3) Check your email
4) Recognize negative voices and turn them into positive ones
5) Spend 2 minutes putting out a Hot Spot
6) 5 Minute Room Rescue

::Bedtime Routine::
1) Shine your sink
2) Lay out tomorrow's clothes
3) Spend 2 minutes putting out a Hot Spot

So are you ready for today's 15 minute challenge?



Monday, August 23, 2010

Pattern Drafting Series

This is just an introduction post to let you all know that I'll be starting a Pattern Drafting 101 series.

I hope to give you the knowledge to create some of your own patterns.

I'll begin with some explanation posts, proceed to some simple apron patterns, and build up to drafting your own skirt, pant and shirt patterns. I also hope to show you how to alter existing patterns to fit your body type.

I don't have a set time-line for these posts as they'll be a work in progress.

I am completely self taught with the help of books and the internet. It is a dream of mine to one day take the dressmakers courses offered at my local community college. In all honesty, I don't have the time or finances for that right now so instead of wishing I have started on this path to teach myself. I hope to share with you what I learn along the way.

I encourage you to work and learn along with me!


Day 9: Decluttering

Now that we have some basic routines set up we'll be learning how to declutter.

Day 9 is about decluttering a few minutes at a time!

Flylady tells us How to Declutter and I highly recommend you read the article!

Some people have trouble with decluttering. It's tough getting rid of stuff sometimes! Number 6 of the How to Declutter article gives some great questions to ask yourself when decluttering. When you begin declutting review these questions.

Another thing I want to mention is about garage sales. Number 9 of the article talks about this. I used to save my clutter for garage sales but not anymore. I have hosted 1 garage sale in the past but in all honesty I probably will never do that again. I can't organize clutter and by giving away the things I don't use or love I can bless another family.

On your 'Morning Routine' paper, add a 5 minute room rescue. You'll be spending 5 minutes every morning decluttering somewhere in your home.

The main areas in my home are fairly well decluttered but I do have storage spaces, closets, cabinets, and such that could use a good going through. My personal mission this week is to finish wrapping the rest of my fabric into mini bolts. (The photo below is the last bit I need to finish.) I'll be working primarily during the baby's nap time or after his bedtime. Once that is complete my next mission will be to declutter my bookshelves. I have a ton of paperback books I received when my grandmother passed away and I have yet to pick out the ones I want to read and give away the ones I'll probably never get to or don't love.

What are your decluttering missions? I'd love to hear from you!

~Heather ~

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Day 8: Basic Routines

Congratulations you've made it a full week with me! Keep up the great work!!!

Day 8 will be pretty easy.

Do you have an old 3-ring binder laying around? I'm sure you have something. Go get it and put in some paper.

Here is my binder. I used this binder as a senior in high school. It's great quality & I love that it zips closed. I hung onto it and have repurposed it into my Homemakers Binder. This could also be called a Household Planner, Life Book, Control Journal, etc.

At the top of one of your papers write "Morning Routine" and write down all your morning routines here.

At the top of another paper write "Bedtime Routine" and write down all your before bed routines here.

As we continue we'll be adding more habits to these papers. Don't let your perfectionism get in the way! When we have all our habits added you can then type them up and print them out or write them on decorative paper.

I also recommend getting some clear page protectors and putting your routines inside them. You can then get some dry erase markers, mark things off, and then erase them to start over the next day. This will save you time and expense in the long run (not to mention I feel more accomplished when I can cross things off my list).

How are your routines going? I'd love to hear from you!


Saturday, August 21, 2010

Day 7: Pick Out Your Clothes

Today, we are going to add a pretty simple task.

Before you go to bed at night pick out your clothes that you're going to wear tomorrow. Take 5 extra minutes to do this before you go to bed so you're not digging around in your drawers in the dark because you "have nothing to wear" (and you can't turn on the lights because it'll wake up your husband)!

On a side note, did your mom ever make you lay out your school clothes the night before? She probably did this because it takes you less time to get ready in the morning. This is the same principle we'll be establishing by laying out our clothes the night before.

Our simple basic routine is starting to grow! Tomorrow, we'll break them down...

1) Get dressed in the morning, do your hair and make-up, and put on some shoes
2) Check email messages
3) Shine your sink before you go to bed
4) Look at your posted reminders
5) Identify negative voices and change them into good voices
6) Spend 2 minutes putting out one of your Hot Spots

How are you doing in the cleaner, happier home challenge? I'd love to hear from you!


Friday, August 20, 2010

Mini Bolts

Yesterday, I showed you how Jameson has been so 'helpful' in organizing my fabric for me. But today I'll show you how I prefer to organize my fabric.

My fabric stash has gotten to the over flowing point lately and it's gotten a little out of hand on those shelves.

I purchased these comic book boards from Amazon.com. They came really fast! I could have gone to a comic book store and  bought something similar but I don't have the time to track down a comic book store out in the country. These boards are the perfect size for creating 'mini bolts' of fabric.

To begin I needed some help taking the boards out of the packaging. Jameson is such a big helper.

To wrap a 40"-43" standard fabric width onto the boards begin by folding the fabric selvage to selvage. In case you didn't know, the selvage is the edge that has the printed company info on it and where it was attached to the manufacturing machines.

Then fold the selvage edge to the first folded edge. So you have folded the fabric in half & in half again for a total of 4 thicknesses. I hope I didn't just confuse you there!

Take one of your comic boards, beginning at one of the ends, and wrap it up. When you get to the end you can fold it under for a nice clean look and pin it in place. Or you can put a rubber band around the whole thing. I have plenty of pins and no rubber bands so I went with pinning!

To wrap a 60" fabric width fold the fabric selvage to selvage and then fold that into 3rds. You'll then have 6 thicknesses of fabric & wrap it around the comic board just like above.

This method is great for 1 yard (and more) cuts of fabric. If you have a lot of fabric (such as 10 yards) this method can still be used, just wrap your comic board from both ends and meet them in the middle. For smaller cuts of fabric, you could probably cut the comic boards in half and wrap the fabric then. I haven't done this but I'm sure it could still work out great.

At the time of this posting I have wrapped and organized 200 different cuts of fabric. And I still have a little pile left over to get to. I had to order more comic boards!

I have also organized my fabric stash by subject. In the past I organized it by color and it didn't really work out very well. Now the fabric is grouped by solids, boy, girl, baby, animals, stripes, dots, floral, seasonal, food, batiks, etc.

It was very inspirational going through my fabric too. I can now see exactly what I have and I don't have to dig through any piles looking for something. It has well been worth the time and effort I put into organizing this!


Update: Since posting this, I have completed all the mini bolts and you can see the final product HERE! :)

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