Kid’s Art Keepsake Albums

I’m an artist. My brothers are artists. My dad is an artist. So it comes as no surprise that my son, Tanner, is quite the artist himself. {Breckin is still a little young to determine his aptitude for it.}

What comes with being an artist are supplies…lots of them. I’ve found a way to corral most of that {psst – see yesterday’s post!} but today is about what comes from those supplies – the artwork. The piles and piles…and piles…of artwork.

Don’t get me wrong, I LOOOOOOVE that my son is creative, loves to express himself through art…and has a bit of his mommy’s side in him. It’s something we can do together and both really enjoy. I love teaching him techniques and encouraging him to think outside the box. But alas, at the end of the day, I just realistically don’t have the space to keep all of his original works.

I keep the “keepers” in his storage box that I created last year to have a place to put all the special works he does here and at school, but that will fill fast, and ideally, I’d like for it to cover all his years through high school graduation {if that’s not possible, maybe two boxes at most}. I also like to hang my absolute favorites in frames and display them in our play room/home office.

Well, I’ve found the solution.

artwork keepsake albums

The image above is via an online print gallery for artwork albums called Plum Print.

I am in love with this idea. I think it would be great to create one for each age or school year. You can even personalize the binding so that it’s easy to see from the bookshelf when you’re grabbing to reminisce.

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How great would this be? Your kids would love to pull them out when family or guests come over so they can proudly parade their artwork without a pile of papers to sort through. You could even make them as gifts for the grandparents.
These ones at Plum Print are a tad on the pricey end, starting at $85 for 30 pieces of artwork in a 10″x8″ book, but the quality is great and they do offer a 40% discount on duplicates of books you’ve already printed.
Another alternative for this project would be Shutterfly. A bit less expensive, and they often offer discounts on their photo books. They offer many sizes and cover options to fit within your budget.
Soft Cover Photo Books
So what are you waiting for? Corral that pile of keepsake artwork together and create a book you can enjoy for years to come!

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Closet Turned Pretty Pantry

I can’t even begin to tell you how this has been such a long time coming…we were in such dire need of a decent-size pantry. We’d been using one set of kitchen cabinets up to this point.

Our house is a little strange…no pantry, not a lot of kitchen cabinet storage…and this little in-betweener closet {Is it a coat closet? Supply closet? Pantry?} It just wasn’t really in ideal condition to serve as any of those options…and I definitely tried my hand at all of them in the space. Almost five years later, this is what it was looking like:

Yep, one ugly catch-all concealed by a door. Not really serving the purpose it could be. I made the decision that I finally wanted to have Jake custom-build it out into a pantry.

First we started with removing those standard wire shelves. Jake went to his workshop and built a set of shelves and a couple of floating shelves. He then installed them and primed and painted them white. I also wanted to add some subtle color to the walls, so we went with the “Sublime” green paint we had originally used on our kitchen walls {though those are being repainted gray soon}.

As far as containers, I mostly used what I had around the house, and those blue ones are from the dollar store. And I’ve been slowly building my fresh food container collection. I already had those labeled with chalkboard labels in our cabinet pantry.

I created some labels for the bins.

And here she is in all her glory! It’s such a nice change.

Eventually I plan on turning the back of the door into our menu planning central…post to come on that. And the wall to the right will  be used to hang our broom, mop, etc.

So what do you think? Please remember to “pin” it if you love it! xoxo

Update 3.25.13 – I’ve been asked as a guest on I’m Topsy Turvy’s Closet Organization link-up for March…this is the post being featured.

Members of the Point of View:
Stephanie from Crafting in the Rain
Leanne from Organize and Decorate Everything
Amy from Ameroonie Designs
Jonie from Just between Friends
Ashlee from I’m Topsy Turvy
 
point-of-view
point-of-view

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*View the parties I link up to here. Also, new parties I have found to link up to this week are:

Bathroom Vanity Cabinet Storage

I totally took a cue from Cassie’s post yesterday and got my butt in gear on working to resolve our bathroom storage issue. We have a very small bathroom upstairs that serves as our master bathroom, but unfortunately it is the only bathroom up there, so we share it with the boys. OK, OK, might as well call it a community bathroom.

Anywho, it has a standard-size {read: small} vanity cabinet that doesn’t even have drawers that really pull out. It has those fake ones that are just for looks. Other than this cabinet, the only storage we have is the linen closet, but that’s pretty full with towels and my crazy amount of lotions and products {this will be my next organization project in here}. As you can see from this next picture, Jake and I really need a space that allows for easy and convenient access when we get ready in the morning, while allowing our counters to be clear when not in use. You can see we were not properly utilizing the storage space:

Pretty pathetic, huh? Poor Jake was only working with that tiny black basket to store his essentials.

Well, so off to Target and the Dollar Store I went. I found these small containers at the dollar store. They ended up being the perfect size for the drawers I would find at my next stop, Target.

I also found this basket that I ended up using for my curler set. I don’t use this set too much, but this basket will make it easy to grab out of the cabinet and keeps the clips corralled with it.

And here are the contents of the drawers {I got so lucky that these drawers fit perfectly around the plumbing pipes}. The black and clear drawer on top of mine holds all of my mani/pedi supplies for easy grab-and-go access, since I like to do them in the living room while watching TV after the boys go to bed.

I wanted to add the extra special touch of labeling the drawers and I remembered that I still had some of my Martha Stewart file cabinet labels leftover from my desk organization project.

Unfortunately, I only had two of them, not three, so I decided to just label the drawers for Jake and me and figured the toilet paper drawer would be fine without.
 

So there you have it, my organized bathroom cabinet storage. I am so excited about it…this will prevent clutter on our countertop and allow more space in the linen closet for other things.

So what do you think?

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Art Box {from Tiffany’s}

Sort of. I found this big Tiffany & Co. box at Goodwill for $0.99 {nothing inside it, boo}. But I love me some “Tiffany Blue” and it works perfectly with my desk decor {teal blues and pink}…so I thought, “What the heck, it will make a nice storage box.”

It fit JUST perfectly into one of my desk cubbies {hallelujah!}. I pondered over what I should store in it…then I remembered that I had my paints in a smaller storage box, with some not able to stand straight up due to height. The Tiffany’s box was just tall enough that all of them could fit in it standing, so I deemed it the better storage solution of the two and that was the end of the story. I could always use that other box for something else, no doubt.

I thought it was missing a little something when I remembered that I still had some leftover file box labels from the Martha Stewart collection at Staples. Popped one on, labeled it and here it is:

{Maybe one day I will receive a Tiffany’s box with something in it…xoxo.}

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Stylish & Compact Workout DVD Storage

Some of you may know, I used to have a blog called [just had] A Bright Idea where I focused mostly on interior design & decor and some DIY-ing. When I started Style Oyster, I wanted to incorporate those things along with my love of fashion and all things, well, stylish. Unfortunately, leaving that blog for a new url posed it’s challenges. I lost the readers I had acccumulated over the 6 months of having the blog as well as the content…but wait, that content is NOT lost! Thanks to Blogger, I was able to move it over to Style Oyster. However, it was a little outdated (the wording in some, etc.) and of course the pictures were all tagged with my JHABI logo (and a few with even older blog logos than that! I had some name change issues…) I am putting this paragraph here as a preface to these posts because even though they are from the past, they are still projects that took a long time and are dear to my heart and I didn’t want to lose them when I officially take my old blog off the Internet. So I apologize to those of you who have followed me since [just had] A Bright Idea, as you will be experiencing some deja vu, but I know some of you are new and this may all be new content to you. So bear with me, I plan on posting these once a week until they are all on Style Oyster. Thank you so much, and I do hope you enjoy. xoxo

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 I think it would be safe to say that I own about every fitness DVD put out in the last 10 years:

And quite frankly, I’m attached to the little buggers. But I’m not in love with the amount of space they take up. (I could utilize this drawer for so many other things I currently have “floating” around my house.)

Time for another solution.

I found this cute storage box at Wal-mart for $5.00 made for compact CD/DVD storage. (And it’s PINK…perfect!):

I also already had some jewel disc cases in different colors. I decided to try and keep the workout programs separately organized by color of jewel case, i.e. Insanity in pink, P90X in purple, etc…

I kept what pamphlets I needed from the workout programs and tossed anything else.

Once I put them in the box, I realized the separate jewel case colors sort of got lost in the mix – it was hard to differentiate between the colors to quickly grab-n-go with what DVD I needed:

So I pulled out some of my Avery 5366 file folder labels and put them on the jewel case spines:

I then colored the spines with various highlighters to separate each workout program/series:

I still thought it looked a little unfinished, so I went the extra mile and pulled out my label maker:

Now my DVDs look like this:

I put them back in the box…and thought, nope, still hard to know which color is which DVD! So I hopped onto my computer and made a key to paste on the top inside of the box. Now this is what it looks like – all finished:

And since our workout space is also our office space, this little box will have a home on my new desk! I love how the storage this desk provides can help unify the space even though it is utilized for a few different activities.

Thanks for reading! What are your bright ideas for DVD/CD storage?

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Lego Storage

Some of you may know, I used to have a blog called [just had] A Bright Idea where I focused mostly on interior design & decor and some DIY-ing. When I started Style Oyster, I wanted to incorporate those things along with my love of fashion and all things, well, stylish. Unfortunately, leaving that blog for a new url posed it’s challenges. I lost the readers I had acccumulated over the 6 months of having the blog as well as the content…but wait, that content is NOT lost! Thanks to Blogger, I was able to move it over to Style Oyster. However, it was a little outdated (the wording in some, etc.) and of course the pictures were all tagged with my JHABI logo (and a few with even older blog logos than that! I had some name change issues…) I am putting this paragraph here as a preface to these posts because even though they are from the past, they are still projects that took a long time and are dear to my heart and I didn’t want to lose them when I officially take my old blog off the Internet. So I apologize to those of you who have followed me since [just had] A Bright Idea, as you will be experiencing some deja vu, but I know some of you are new and this may all be new content to you. So bear with me, I plan on posting these once a week until they are all on Style Oyster. Thank you so much, and I do hope you enjoy. xoxo

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Tanner has been long overdue for a good Lego storage solution. The kid has been obsessed with them for the last two years and they are always a big unorganized mess – usually scattered all over the floor.

A few weeks ago, I searched “Lego Storage” on Google and was pleasantly surprised to find I wasn’t the only one who had an issue with Legos scattered all over the floor. I found some great pictures and great ideas. I decided that out of all the ideas, I liked the ones where clear plastic bins were used and they were separated by color.

I immediately went on an online search to find a cart of enough plastic bins to segregate the array of colors of Legos he has. I was a bit surprised to find what some stores are actually getting away with charging for a simple cart of plastic bins. It’s plastic, people, NOT titanium.

So I was sad and thought that this project would have to be put on hold for a little while until I could a) afford to buy the cart, or b) magically happen upon a cheaper version randomly in a store one day. Then I had an “a-ha” moment…(I love those)…and realized that I had this piece of furniture that I had never exactly made practical use from (this is actually an old pic I took when I was considering selling it on Craigslist! THANK GOD I didn’t!):

It was perfect. All I had to do was take measurements and find either two or three plastic bins that would fit perfectly across each shelf. Off to the dollar store I went. I found 12 that fit perfectly in the shelves when set three across.

Now to the organizing. This step took the longest. I enlisted Tanner’s help because I knew he’d a) be into it because he loves anything to do with Legos, and b) he’d be more likely to keep it organized if he too spent the time organizing it. (And I’m happy to announce that so far, it’s worked!)

I decided the bins definitely needed some cute color labels. I couldn’t find exactly what I wanted, so I decided to get some construction paper, freehand the letters and cut them out.

Then I used some Mod Podge to stick them onto the bins. I first did a thin layer on the front of the bin, then I stuck the letters on, and went over them with another thin layer.

I let them all dry and then put them all back into the shelving unit. And here we have the finished product:

Oh, and I kept secret the best part about this particular storage unit…which made it even so much more perfect:

The top opens so he can keep his boards in there and build on them when playing! It’s like shelves and a table in one! I can’t believe it never donned on me to use this piece for this purpose sooner!


Have A Seat

As far back as I can remember…I’ve wanted a window seat in my bedroom. Call me sentimental, but something about sitting in a comfy window seat, back leaned up against the wall, staring out the window and writing or reading just sounds so serene. When I was in high school, my parents were considering having a house built rather than buying used and my mom was going to make sure I got my window seat. They had picked out a great build plan. Well, that all went to hell when they ended up finding a house on the market that they thought was “perfect”. Oh and I got screwed out of a walk-in closet too…but it pains me too much to talk about that.

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Unfortunately, there isn’t any practical spot in our house at the moment to build-in a window seat. However, I plan on fashioning something window seat-like (with the help of handy hubby) and using it in the office/play room/workout area to do double-duty storing toys and providing seating that doesn’t take up too much space in the room. I have a plan all drawn up with measurements and the whole bit and I can’t wait to debut it on this blog.

Here are some inspiring playroom seating ideas that helped me realize my seating/storage plan:

Pinned to My Pin Board via www.hgtv.com
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I chose the longest wall in my playroom/office – opposite the wall where my new desk went in. I am going to have the seating built with cubbies from wall to wall. i originally thought about putting it under the windows in the room so it would actually be a window seat, but with the placement of the desk, it was just too close to the side of the desk and would make it hard to pull in and out the bin that goes in the cubby in that corner.

Stay tuned for my playroom seating/storage plans and progress!