Friday, January 27, 2012

{new craft room}

Tanner and I finished setting up the craft room (finally) with the shelf I've been wanting to install for ages. Tanner was a total rock-star and made two trips to IKEA to make it happen (we got the wrong size shelf the first time) and then spent all afternoon locating studs in the wall, lining up the shelf just right, and putting in all the screws. My hero!

While he had fun playing with power tools, I organized my craft supplies and labeled pretty boxes from IKEA and Michael's for things such as stamps, photos, card supplies, magazines (for cutting out pictures) and scrapbook magazines (for reference).

Now everything I need to craft and play is in one handy space! I'm so excited!

I also love my little craft station on the desk: it has all my colored pencils, scissors, pens, glue, erasers, and sharpeners, and the awesome magnetic spice rack on the wall holds little things like paper clips, push tacks, binder clips, and more!

The final product: ta da! Many hours since have been spent here, crafting away!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

{winter adventures}

Our first winter storm of the season hit the Pacific Northwest last week, and it dumped 98 inches of snow on the mountain. Though snow on Mt. Hood means rain in Portland, it's hard not to be excited about a fresh layer of powder to play in, only one hour away...

In anticipation of getting up to the slopes on my next day off, here's a recap of this season's ski trips via photo journaling:

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

{organized drawers}

I've been totally lazy lately... my work schedule has been sporadic and mostly evening shifts, so I've been doing a lot of sleeping in, drawing, and reading lately. (Finished two books this week: The Help, and Becoming Odyssa, both of which I recommend.)

On my last day off I felt suddenly inspired to organize the drawers in our apartment that have been driving me crazy. It was one of those, "this really needs to be organized, but I haven't bought anything for it yet, so that will be a project for another day..." kind of thought. Also, what is it about cleaning that makes the house get cleaner and more satisfying as you go along, but organizing just makes it messier and more frustrating?

As it turned out, I finally found the day for making a mess of my house. (Hooray) One very productive (and rather expensive... I got carried away) trip to Target later, I was home and reorganizing most of the house. Here's the magic:

First of all, our junk drawer was a total wreck. It contained anything from screwdrivers to batteries to inkless pens to twist ties. With no mode of organization, it has been building up in excess and making me wince every time I opened the drawer.

Oh, yeah. That's just painful.

After taking a couple measurements, I found the perfect junk drawer organizer at Target -- it even had a specific slot for batteries! -- and used it to keep everything neat and tidy. The reusable grocery bags I moved to a lower drawer with the ziploc bags, and thus, my junk drawer makes me smile, now!

The top part even slides back and forth, so it's two-leveled for more organizational goodness.

The second project was our guest room computer desk. This also doubles as my craft desk, so inevitably, all my pens, pencils, tape, glue, hole punches, markers, rulers, staplers (why do I have three??) and other random craft supplies get shoved in this drawer. Some of them I have organized on top of the desk, but everything else finds its way into the abyss of the drawer.

A few pen organizer buys later, and the drawer makes a transformation...

Not only that, but I picked up some underwear drawer dividers for our dresser. I'm not sure why it took me 27 years to discover clothes dividers, but let me tell you, they have saved my life. I own entirely too many pairs of socks and undergarments, and trying to find them in the smallest drawer of the dresser is a total pain. A few fabric dividers from IKEA later and voila!

Feeling on a roll with this organizing thing, yesterday I tackled the hoards of memorabilia stuff shoved in our guest closet... yearbooks and notebooks and plaques from our high school years. I managed to clean up a bit, but in the long run I did more harm than good, as our guest room now has a closets-worth of junk all over the floor. C'est la vie! A project for another day...

Monday, January 2, 2012

{christmas chalet}

I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas. I enjoyed my holiday with Tanner and good friends Jason and Elizabeth at our own little mountain chalet on Mt. Hood... the cabin is situated far from the parking area, so to get there you have to strap on packs, tow along a sled, and snowshoe over two miles of snowy hills!

Tanner and I had Christmas Eve off, so we packed our sled with a large bin of food, two sets of skis and boots, and clothes for the weekend, and set off. The trail was covered in hard packed ice, which made the heavy sled easier to pull over the many hills along the way. We arrived at our adorable cabin, unpacked, and then trekked the sled back out to the parking area to meet Jason and Elizabeth later that evening. They loaded up more food, clothes, games and two sets of snowboards, and for the third time, we snowshoed back to the cabin - this time by headlamp - and settled in for the night.

On Christmas morning we woke early and loaded up our ski gear onto the sled. We snowshoed the one-hour trek back to the car (we were quickly learning that even though we were only six miles from the ski slopes, it took just as long to get there as it did driving the 60 miles from Portland!) and arrived on the mountain just in time for it to start snowing!

The slopes were quickly covered in a fresh layer of powder, but the wind was fierce and the terrain difficult to discern in almost white-out conditions, so we only stayed a few hours before going home to our cabin. The snow was still coming down in buckets, and we discovered that our well-worn track to the cabin was a whole new adventure with a fresh cover of white!

It was only 2:30 pm, but we had already snowshoed five miles with heavy gear and spent the afternoon on the slopes. Christmas evening was spent making cinnamon rolls, a large lasagna, and cobbler, playing board games, stoking a warm fire in the furnace, and watching the snow softly fall outside our windows.

The next day we were up early and made our way through a new, deep layer of snow beneath blue skies. Though the trek was gorgeous and I would have liked to enjoy it more, we had a day of work ahead of us, and a timeline to meet. Despite that we were on the trail by 7:30, loading the sled with two trips worth of gear made the journey more wearisome. It must have weighed close to 150 pounds, plus the packs each of us carried, and the new friction of heavy snow beneath our feet. The trek out was all uphill, and we were soon stripped to t-shirts in the 20 degree morning to battle our excursion.

It took us two and a half hours to cover the two miles, and from there we said goodbye to our little chalet in the woods and returned to the real world. What a lovely Christmas weekend.

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