Thursday, December 17, 2009

Early, Early Morning

I have been up since 4am. Gus hasn't been sleeping very well at night, and that was the last time I put him back to bed. Downside: I'm going to be REALLY tired by this afternoon, and the kids' naps are usually staggered. Upside: My day is terribly organized now, and I'm ready to go! And I've already gotten quite a bit done! (Some of which I cannot divulge, as it is Christmas-related and I'd like it to be a surprise to the recipient, who I'm sure keeps up with the blog. Sorry!)

Here's what my day looks like:

And here are a few other things...

I've made dozens of dozens of cookies (does that make sense?) in the last few weeks, because we're still looking to have some $$ left in savings after the holidays are over and it's slightly cheaper than buying everybody gifts. Not to mention, some loved ones (ah-hem, Mother) are getting downright rude about not wanting any gifts this year. I take that to mean they don't want impractical gadgets which they'll never use cluttering up their closets for the next decade, so I went the Framed Photo and Food route. I had it on the mental back burner to come up with an inexpensive yet aesthetically pleasing way of packaging the confectionery goodness (who wants extra cookie tins lying around, and they're at least $1/ea, which adds up!) when this idea fell into my lap! How perfect! And practical, cute, cheap, quick... Found on OnePrettyThing, of course, hers are much better than mine, but she's got lots of fun tools that I don't have. I have craft scissors, a hole punch, holiday ribbon (the plasticky kind), a Sharpie, and some construction paper. That's all I'm working with here, so I think they're pretty good. And when the kiddies are old enough, which won't be long from now because these are so easy, they can take over this part of the holidays.

A few other things I forgot to mention over the last week or so:

I was fretting over the amount of $$ I was going to have to pour into a new coat. I'm in love with the knee-length, button-front wool coats that are all the rage right now. The cheapest sale price I could find near me was over $50, which I hate to pay for any one thing, but I needed something that wasn't a red Columbia coat, a black leather coat, or a denim jacket. You know, something church-worthy but not formal. Then I got to thinking... Don't I have a wool coat? Why, yes I do! Two, in fact, but they were both full length. One is a true vintage swing-type coat that belonged to my late grandmother, and there's just no way I'm going to hack into that. I purchased the other, this beauty, at a thrift store for $15 in 2003. It saw me thru most of college and has been haunting my closets ever since. It's really nice, but a little too formal for most places. So I cut and hemmed it, and voila! I'm so happy, I could just wear it around the house. And I did, for a little while. "New", stylish, lovely wool coat, for all intents and purposes, FREE!

Next: my battery bag. I realize this isn't particularly attractive, but that's not really what I was focused on when I put it together. I must confess something: I am guilty of throwing dead batteries in the trash, and that's just what I feel every time I do it: guilty. The chemicals in those things are just awful, but where the heck would I put a load of dead batteries while I worked up a supply big enough to warrant a special trip to the recycling center (yes, I do recycle, but the place I usually go doesn't take batteries, so it would be a special trip). My recycling system is a work in progress--right now it's just some lone paper sacks sitting in the closet behind my trash can--and this is a major step in the right direction. Hanging on a thumbtack above my trash can is this tiny reusable fused plastic storage bag for used batteries. This is the coolest idea! Iron your plastic grocery sacks in sheets of plastic, and you can sew in together. It's a tiny bit tricky, but once you figure out which setting your iron works best on, it's a breeze. Entirely practical, environmentally-friendly, and the possibilities are endless.

Here's a gift bag I made out of fused plastic. Nick said, "seems like a lot of work for such a little outcome". But not really. The hardest part was figuring out which setting the iron should be on. The rest was a cinch. And for free material, I'll continue "working".

The kids are up, so I have to get going. One more thing: I love it when I hear from friends that they read my blog, or see something on it. It really feels like I'm not talking to myself. So if you do see something you like, just remember that it gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling when you let me know that I'm not all alone here. :)

Happy Thursday! Hopefully yours will be shorter than mine. :)

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