26 Minutes To Raise Your Self-Esteem

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I returned home from my Virginia vacation (more about that later) in my usual post-vacation slump.

My brain was tormenting me with, ” You over-packed. You didn’t walk enough. You spent too much money. You left your house a mess.” My brain can be so mean to me!

There was only one thing I could think of to raise my self-esteem.

Clean the kitchen.

I timed it. It took 26 minutes to take it from this:

DIRTY KITCHEN

BAD SELF-ESTEEM

To this:

CLEAN KITCHEN

GOOD SELF-ESTEEM

I felt so good, I cooked a delicious pot roast, which we all know is Food-For-The-Soul. (Vegetarians and vegans, please disregard previous sentence).

Then I had to clean the kitchen all over again. Totally worth it.

I was so inspired that, while the roast was roasting, I cleaned the living room.

DIRTY LIVING ROOM

ANOTHER OPPORTUNITY TO RAISE MY SELF-ESTEEM

11 minutes later:

CLEAN LIVING ROOM

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED

Note to self: buy lamp shade.

And the bedroom.

DIRTY BEDROOM

DON’T JUDGE ME

Hey, I would have thrown the clean laundry on the floor before going to bed.

DIRTY BEDROOM

THE EGG CARTON IS FOR MY EARRINGS

27 minutes.

CLEAN BEDROOM

UNSTOPPABLE

 

 

clean bedroom

TA DA!

And the bathroom.

DIRTY BATHROOM

EASY-PEASY

5 minutes.

CLEAN BATHROOM

LEMON-SQUEEZY

It’s really, really good that I cleaned up, since Old Al, the 80ish-year-old handyman at “The Village” (my apartment complex) came to unstop a drain for me. He brought Young Al, his 20ish-year-old assistant, with him.

I wasn’t sure why Young Al was there until I told Old Al that the previous tenant must have dumped grease down the drain, as the water that had backed up was quite greasy.

Old Al said, “What?” Young Al yelled, “THE WATER WAS GREASY.” Ah, Young Al was Old Al’s interpreter. Mystery solved.

So, all told, I spent 1 hour and 9 minutes cleaning my house. It took all day, because I’m a big believer in (long) breaks, but it was only 1 hour and 9 minutes of work.

It’s now time to do it all again, of course. Isn’t it funny how that works? I’ll do it today, before my amazingly high self-esteem crashes again.

Stay tuned…

 

Project Backup

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I’m falling behind (WAY behind) in my resolution to only take on one project at a time.

My kitchen has plenty of cupboards, but they all open away from the stove. That makes it hard to access spices while cooking.

I bought a metal tray at an antique store and nailed it up over the stove (very low-tech, I know). Then I bought these magnetic spice tins from Amazon. I filled the tins with my most commonly used spices, added these labels, and plopped them up on the tray for easy access. One project down, untold multitudes to go.

SPICE TINS

SPICE TINS

Here’s the basis for the next project. I bought this picture from Goodwill for the frame. I’m going to replace the print with my affirmation, “Life is sweet”, and hang it over the kitchen sink.

FRAME FOR "LIFE IS SWEET"

FRAME FOR “LIFE IS SWEET”

I acquired my Grandma’s two antique dining chairs from No. 4 Sis. I had my handyman do some repairs on them. Now I have to paint them.

GRANDMA'S CHAIR

GRANDMA’S CHAIR

I bought this little footstool from a second-hand store that has, unfortunately, recently gone out of business. I may reupholster it at some later date, but for now I’d like to paint the legs.

FOOTSTOOL

FOOTSTOOL

And yesterday I bought a tiny side table to go with No. 8 Sis’ tiny arm chair. The table was from a soon-to-go-out-of-business antique store. It only cost $4.50! It needs to be painted, too.

TINY TABLE

TINY TABLE

All the furniture on the “paint list” will be painted off-white and then be distressed.

Okay, not untold multitudes of projects, just four.

Time to get to work!

Stay tuned…

P.S. I screwed up one of the Christmas cards I was making. I stamped the sentiment crookedly and tore the paper when I tried to reposition an ornament.

OOPS

OOPS

Instead of throwing my “oops” away, I turned it into a birthday card by putting a matted strip over the sentiment and a matted banner over the tear. I like it even better than the Christmas card I was trying to make!

SAVED!

SAVED!

 

Christmas Card Evolution

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A bit of advice: Do not put a load of clothes in the washer on hot, and then jump in the shower. Although an icy shower is very invigorating.

Another tip: Having an episode of “Hoarders” playing in the background really helps motivate one to clean the house.

I needed 12 birthday cards in June and 2 in July. I did make some, but I didn’t love them, so I raided my card stash. Since my birthday cards were just “meh”, I decided to start on Christmas cards.

This is the first one. I glued aluminum foil to card stock and then ran it through the Cuttlebug inside the Stampin’ Up Holly Textured Impressions folder. Then I punched out the circle “ornaments”.

Christmas card, Stampin' Up, aluminum foil

CHRISTMAS CARD- FIRST ITERATION

Meh. It needs more.

CHRISTMAS CARD- ITERATION 2

CHRISTMAS CARD- ITERATION 2

I used different punches for the “ornaments” and added some punched stars.

Better, but…

CHRISTMAS CARD- ITERATION 3

CHRISTMAS CARD- ITERATION 3

I’m happy with this. I think I’ll make a few more.

Stay tuned…

Mass-produced Birthday Cards, May 2017

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Me and No.2 Sis, on the couch, watching TV and playing on our phones.

No.2 Sis: I’m tired.

Me: Me, too. I found this shade garden on Pinterest.

Sis: I think it’s nap time.

Me: I could grow ferns and hostas.

Sis:

Me: But, for color, I could add blue veronica.

Sis:

Me: Day lilies would add color, too.

Sis:

Me: I wonder if Tiger lilies grow in the shade.

Sis:

Me: OMG! You’re tired, and I’m still sitting on the couch, which is your bed!

Sis: {snore}

I guess once Sis chants the magic words, “nap time”, nothing else is required.

I had a lot of birthday cards to make in May, so I wanted something I could mass-produce. I used Freshly Made Sketches #207.

I found three coordinating designer papers in a feminine pack, and three in a more gender neutral pack. All supplies are from Stampin’ Up.

I cut a 2 inch strip from each piece of paper, then cut each strip into three lengths. I shuffled the papers so each card had a variety of patterns, then glued it all down.

MAY CARDS

MAY CARDS

Added the sentiment and, kapow! shazam! Six cards in less than half an hour.

WITH SENTIMENTS

WITH SENTIMENTS

I can’t wait to get into my own apartment, and I’m sure No.2 Sis feels the same (although she’s been a very generous hostess).

The furniture’s been delivered, so it’ll be as soon as I can get off the pain-killers. Yay!

Stay tuned…

 

 

Birthday Cards, April 2017

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Yesterday was a good day. I was conscious and pain-free, two of my favorite things. Well, in the top 10 at least.

No.2 Sis took me to the orthopedic clinic, where I got a cortisone shot in the right knee, and finally got surgery scheduled with Dr. Jack for the left knee. You know, the knee I’ve been trying to get replaced for the last 9 months, the one I damaged even further in Costa Rica by falling hard in the road.

Then I took a mega-dose of pain pills, as per the recommendation of my general practitioner, Dr. Kitty. She had promised (apologetically) to hurt me during a procedure scheduled for later yesterday. After she got started though, she found out she didn’t need to do the hurty procedure after all. Suh-weeeet.

I treated No.2 Sis to a celebratory dinner at Baker’s Square. (Pie.)

She started reciting a nursery rhyme while I drinking water, and I damn near drowned, laughing. I may have been a little loopy from the pain-killers. It still was a very good day. (Pie. Definitely in the top 10.)

I have a niece and two grand-nieces with birthdays in April. I wanted to get back to making cards. I missed it so much while I was in Costa Rica.

The challenge was to use as little as possible of No.2’s stash, because my stuff is still all packed up.

I bought a paper pad, Fashionably Chic, by Recollections, at Micheal’s. I just used some of Sis’s black and white paper, black ink, adhesive, and one stamp. The stamp is the owl from the Stampin’ Up set, Punch Bunch.

Ugh. Her paper trimmer is very dull, so I had trouble making clean, square cuts. Oh yeah, I used Sis’s paper trimmer, too.

I used 3 sketches from Pinterest for the layouts.

The first sketch is from Sweet Sunday Sketch Challenge #294.

The second is from Mojo Monday #396.

The third sketch is originally from Quintessentially Me. I couldn’t find this exact sketch, so this a link to all of her card sketches.

If you want to see my Pinterest board with the sketches I’ve collected, click here.

Stay tuned…

Fashionably Chic, Stampin' Up, Punch BunchFashionably Chic, Stampin' Up, Punch BunchFashionably Chic, Punch Bunch

Final, Final Pictures and Final Bag Count

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Nearly a month has passed since my last post. During that time, with the help of the city sisters, I had a huge estate sale and sold most of everything I owned.

I packed up my clothes and toiletries and moved in with No.2 Sis. I now live on a pull-out couch.

I hired movers (Two Men and a Truck– accept no substitutes) and got everything moved from the local storage locker to a locker near No.2 Sis’s house. It’s climate-controlled, and will be much better for my antiques and art work.

Then No.2 Sis and I cleaned our asses off. We left Laurel’s Cottage in superb condition for the new owners.

We closed the sale on July 15th, and it is officially over.

I saved the best pictures for last. The storage room/art studio turned guest room. After TONS of decluttering, cleaning, and painting, No.8 Sis staged it beautifully with mostly borrowed furniture. It came out absolutely gorgeous, especially when you know how it started out.

GE DIGITAL CAMERA

 

GE DIGITAL CAMERA

STUDIO, BEFORE.

Sorry about the dark and fuzzy old photos. My photography is improving, yes?

Guest room-1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guest room-2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GUEST ROOM, AFTER.

I’d removed 362 bags, boxes and small pieces of furniture before I decided to sell my house. After that, I got rid of 221 more to prepare for the sale of the house and the estate sale. I didn’t keep count of how much was sold and cleaned out during and after the sale. My final count was 583!

I’m so proud!

Next time I’ll tell you where I’m going from here.

Stay tuned…

 

Some Final Pictures

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Now that Laurel’s Cottage has been sold, I’m crazy busy getting everything ready to be sold or packed before the new owners take possession on July 15th. Of course, I’m getting tons of help from my sisters. I can always count on my sisters!

Here are some more before and after pictures. The house is so beautiful, I could live here!

Clean living room.

drum vignette

 

LIVING ROOM, BEFORE

LIVING RM 1

 

LIVING ROOM, AFTER

kitchen, clean

KITCHEN, BEFORE

No reason to show you the fridge, I guess.

KITCHEN 1

KITCHEN, AFTER

LAUNDRY 1

BONUS PIC, LAUNDRY ROOM

Stay tuned…

SOLD!

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The last month has been crazy busy with getting the house (Laurel’s Cottage) ready to sell.

It went on the market Friday about noon. By Saturday at 4:00 I was whining, “Why is it taking so long to sell?” By Saturday at 6:00, it was sold.

I got my full asking price after 30 hours on the market.

Thanks to my nephews, Jamie and Jake, for moving furniture and hauling away junk.

Thanks to my nephew, Steve, for drilling all the holes for cabinet and drawer hardware (35 knobs).

Thanks to No.3 Bro, for being my realtor (and for apologizing that the house was on the market so long).

Thanks to No.1 Sis, No.2 Sis and No.8 Sis for helping me paint.

No.1 showed up to paint in nice clothes, so I gave her a shirt that fit her like a dress. She took her shirt and pants off and set them aside. No.3 Bro came by to check on our progress so No.1 put her pants back on before I let him in. She and No.3 Bro chatted so long, that No.8 yelled at No.1, “Take your pants off and get back to work”! Bro took that as his cue to leave.

Special big hugs to No.2 for spending every free moment in the last month helping me declutter, and to No.8 Sis for staging the house so beautifully!

My next adventure is a secret to be revealed soon.

Here are some before and after photos highlighting No.8 Sis’ fantastic staging.

QUEEN BEDROOM FINAL "BEFORE"

QUEEN BEDROOM FINAL “BEFORE”

QUEEN BEDROOM FINAL "AFTER"

 

 

 

QUEEN BEDROOM FINAL “AFTER”

queen bath-3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

QUEEN BATH FINAL “BEFORE”

QUEEN BATH FINAL "AFTER"

QUEEN BATH FINAL “AFTER”

More pictures and final bag count coming soon!

Stay tuned…

Double-Z Card, or 334

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I made this cute Double-Z card (tutorial here) for my niece’s upcoming 5th birthday.

Double-Z card (2)

I remember my conversation with her on her last birthday. She was pulling out the first instrument, an ear examination thingy, out of her new doctor’s bag.

Me: That helps you look in people’s ears.

Niece: Yes. It’s an otoscope.

Me: Um…I…er…I didn’t know that.

Shown up by a four-year-old.

Anyway, change of subject, I’ve had to rethink my house decluttering attitude a bit. I’ve lately been focusing on how to make money off of my junk (insert dirty joke here) instead of just getting rid of it. That’s led to too much of “I’ll save this and sell it later”.

I’ve decided I must just focus on getting rid of stuff again, and forget about selling it.

I must also admit that I looked on e-bay to try find prices for what I have to sell, and found that my junk probably wouldn’t sell at all. Apparently, my junk is nothing special.

So, I set a goal of getting rid of 30 bags, boxes, etc, in April. No.2 Sis came over Saturday and we played “Hoarders”. I set on a chair, going through boxes, and handing stuff off to her with instructions like, “Keep, donate, garbage, recycling, etc”.

We added 2 more boxes of books to the 4 bags from last week and made a run over to Half Price Books and sold them for $37.

Yes, I know I said I wasn’t going to sell stuff, but this was quick and easy.

We also packed up 4 boxes and 1 bag of donations and dropped them at Goodwill.

2 boxes books.

5 boxes/bags donated.

2 bags recycling.

1 bag garbage.

Total: 10 bags/boxes so far in April, which brings my total to 334 bags, boxes and small pieces of furniture cleared out of the house since January, 2014.

Stay tuned…

p.s. Lest you think this sisterly help is all one-sided, I must inform you that I went to No.2 Sis’ house on Sunday and helped her install kitchen cabinet hardware. It looks smashing!

 

 

4 Card Designs From 1 Stamp – Medallion

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I decided to challenge myself with my card-making by picking out a random stamp and making 4 different cards with it. Of course, I got LOTS of help from Pinterest.

I chose the “Medallion” stamp.

The first card was tweaked from a design by Tina White. I changed the colors slightly, used washi tape instead of ribbon, and added some rhinestone bling to “Dasher”.

The “noel” sentiment is from “Many Merry Messages”.

Medallion, Dasher, Christmas card

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hmm, I can see I need some ink refills or new ink pads!

My second card design came from Mamaxsix at Split Coast Stampers. The flowers and the sentiment came from the “Asian Artistry” stamp set. Again, I added some bling, this time to the middle of the medallion.

Medallion, Aisan Artistry card

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I used triple-time stamping for the third card. There are a ton of tutorials for this technique on Pinterest and YouTube, so I just picked a random site to link to, Stamp With Brian.

The “happy” sentiment is from “Define Your Life”.

Medallion triple-time stamping

 

I got my fourth card idea from Inking Out of the Box. They made a Medallion Wedding card, but I turned it into a Christmas card. I should have stamped the white medallion after sponging the cherry cobbler ink, though. I thought the cherry ink would wipe off of the embossed medallion better.

The “silent night” sentiment is from “Jingle All The Way”.

Medallion, silent night card

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All the stamps, paper, ink and accessories are from Stampin’ Up.

I made 4 each of the Christmas cards and 2 each of the others. And no, I didn’t do it in one day; it took me four weekends!

Stay tuned…

p.s. I know the first words of some of the paragraphs are beside the picture instead of beneath it. I can’t figure that out. Grrrr.