Around the House

Creating A Creative Space

Happy to catch Morgan Donner’s latest YouTube video where she brings us along as she and Mr. Morgan Donner create her new sewing room. Check it out:

Moving into a new home always brings some creativity to bear. Where does the furniture go? How to access all the ‘stuff’? Do I really want to use this room as it was labelled or can I just make it what I want it to be?

Having watched Morgan’s sewing room update in her old home (check her channel to find that video), I have an idea of what she needs and wants to be able to do the projects she works on. Seeing how she applies the wants and needs to her new space just makes the entire process more interesting. And thought provoking.

If you are developing a room in your home – and it can be for any purpose, not just crafting – are you including in your design things that not only provide the needs (shelving and window coverings) but also the things that make you smile?

This could be anything from more plant shelves to a place to display collectibles to room to hang artwork.

Have you spent time seeing how the room flows and what the light patterns are (or aren’t)? All of us who have put things down when we moved in because it was open space and it ‘fit’ only to shift things around later because traffic patterns or the morning/evening sun blinded us or made watching TV impossible know how frustrating living in such a space can be until things are rearranged a bit. 🙂

I recently watched an interior designer walk us through her home where she stated that it took a few years of living in the home before she knew it well enough to start in on the projects that transformed it from a place she lived in to her Home.

Creative spaces cover a wide variety. They can be sewing rooms, craft rooms, writing rooms, offices, to name but a few. When you combine some (or all) of these into one space, it can be a bit tricky. When you leave out the things that inspire you to actually perform those functions (sew, craft, write, etc.) you tend to have spaces that aren’t used as much.

It really doesn’t matter if you are renting, either. There are lots of creative ways to make your space work better for you that are renter friendly, easy on the budget and inspire you to do your best work.

There’s a reason folks love book cases. 🙂

Looking for ideas or inspiration to make the most of your spaces? Check out The Crafty Organizer. Lots of thoughtful projects to organize your home and work space with an emphasis on budget friendly.

Sometimes thinking outside the box gives us the freedom to create spaces that work better for us in ways that we never expected. Trying new designs or learning new skills helps when we need to add more form and function, too.

Happy creating!

Around the House · YouTube

Inspiration: Engineer Your Space

I came across Engineer Your Space on YouTube several years ago. I love finding creative folks who are courageous and willing to think out of the box when it comes to making use of small spaces. At the time, Isabelle LaRue was living in a small apartment in New York City. I thought her ideas and designs were interesting and doable by most folks.

It wasn’t long that she moved to Los Angeles and once again created a living space that is warm, comfortable, useful, and, most importantly, doable by the average renter.

Granted, she has experience with tools, but that is something that anyone can learn. They can also rent tools if necessary, so that shouldn’t be an impediment.

What I can appreciate the most is the way Isabelle tackles problems, areas, projects in ways that are creative and affordable. They are all Renter Friendly and geared toward small spaces, but that doesn’t mean that the average homeowner can’t make use of her ideas, too.

I recently revisited the YouTube channel to find updates on her apartment. I love the way living in a space gives you opportunity to find out how it works best for you and what you can do to make use of all the features.

Check out her website here: Engineer Your Space, but don’t forget to check out her other media outlets.

Around the House · Shopping · YouTube

Inspiration: Mr. Carrington & Luke Catleugh

My discovery of Mr. Carrington has led to a lot of ideas, inspiration, fun and, my particular favorite, arm chair travel.

Mr. C, as he is known in my home, lives in London, England. His channel focuses on DIY around the house, decor, shopping excursions, cleaning and easy recipes. Among a few other things. LOL

Frankly, he is one of the very few Appointment TV (aka: YouTube) I have. Every Sunday morning I sit back with my coffee and breakfast watching to see what he’s been up to lately.

My other Appointment TV is with Luke Catleugh. Both of these guys are friends and occasional coworkers. They share a love of shopping, DIY, decor, travel, etc. Luke is also quite an interesting and inspiring home cook.

Each of these guys bring a relaxing vibe as they share their latest projects, shopping hauls, excursions into the garden, not to mention those rare but thoroughly enjoyable meet ups.

Watching them has stretched my imagination when it comes to decor and DIY projects. I’ve also thoroughly enjoyed their travel experiences, too.

If you are interested, go to YouTube and search for Mr. Carrington and Luke Catleugh.

Around the House · YouTube

Inspiration: DIY Danie

I’ll be honest, I’m not 100% sure where I originally came across Danie Berger’s work on YouTube. I’m pretty sure it could have been while watching Alexandra Gater or Buy or DIY. What I am sure about is how much I enjoy her creativity, her willingness to be silly, her fearlessness when it comes to projects.

Note: I’m pretty sure Danie would not agree to the ‘fearless’ adjective, but there you go. 🙂

As I’ve discovered during the more than a year of following along, Danie has a love of a variety of things that often inspires her to make some amazing projects. She has allowed herself to think outside the box and create projects, and rooms, that appeal to the fan in all of us

One of my favorite projects is her Harry Potter Inspired Adult Bedroom. Check it out:

For those of us who love Potter, this room is an eye opening comfort space that gives all of us permission to play and explore a bit while not diving into any kind of ‘kid zone’.

This past year, Danie embarked on making magic in her very own first home. Check out her videos as she upgraded the decor in the living room, bathroom and bedrooms. Don’t overlook the back patio or garden upgrades, either. And, I have to be honest, I’m loving the She Shed. 🙂

I have to say that after watching her, I don’t look at things in quite the same way. Is there a DIY potential? What if…?

If you are interesting in checking out Danie’s work, go over to her website diyinprogress to see what she has been up to. She’s also on YouTube and Instagram and probably a few more spots – you can find all the info on YouTube, too.

Around the House

House Number Options

Who Knew There Were So Many?

One of the things on my To Be Done List is to update my house number. I really need something more visible and less, um, gnarly. When the original numbers were added years ago, they were fine, but time and weather have taken their toll and it is time to replace them.

I’m contemplating some major changes to the front of the house, too. I’m thinking a planter or two and maybe a nice walkway light. That particular area doesn’t get a lot of sun, so plants will need to be hardy and able to survive in the shade. It is also the area where the trash bins are kept, so there will need to be some thought about handling those.

I headed off to Amazon to see what they had to offer and, frankly, I was shocked!

In addition to the standard number and letter configurations there are signs that can be lit – either hardwired or solar powered. Wow! I could get really outlandish and play with colored lighting. Something I’m sure the neighbors would be thrilled about. Not.

In my feed today, this solution is interesting:

Easy. Affordable. Great if you have a handy person around.

I think the planter idea is a good one. I’m especially enjoying the plants on my deck and am looking to add more next year.

I always seem to be surprised at the number of options available. In a way, however, it opens up possibilities when I consider how I want to handle walkway lighting and a motion sensor to let me know when people are near my door. (I’ve been surprised a few too many times lately…)

Speaking of walkway lighting, I did see something recently that made me smile. You can purchase sets of solar lights for walkways in a variety of colors, shapes, sizes, etc. Did you know one of the options was pink flamingos? Yep. You can add a flock of the birds to your garden or lawn space.

I do have to chuckle because a few years ago a home in the area purchased their very own flock of flamingos from a local florist who had resin birds in a variety of species. I came home one day to find a lawn full of them! They were only out for about a month before they went on their way (I have no idea if they moved into the storage shed or what…) but while they were out they brought a smile to my face every time I drove by.

All I can say for certain is that I have a lot of research to do before I make my choice(s). I’m happy to have a lawn that the birds enjoy. No, not Flamingos, the neighboring flock of crows comes by to forage almost every day. Oh, and one of the neighbor squirrels has returned, too!

Have you made changes to your yard? I’d love to learn more.

Around the House · Musings

Odds & Ends

Happy Saturday! Or whatever day you are reading this. LOL!

I just wanted to say a massive “HELLO!” to all the regulars and a “Welcome!” to those who are new. I’m glad you stopped by and hope you make sure to return often.

I also wanted to let you know that I will be making some changes to the place in the next few weeks. Nothing Earth-shattering – at least I hope not – but I will be adding some pictures and developing some free downloads to some posts. I’ve been testing out some ideas and am getting ready to put them into motion.

I’m so glad you are enjoying The Orange Plaid Cat! I enjoy this way of chatting with you!

As always, please let me know if you like something by clicking on the “Like” button at the bottom of all posts and don’t hesitate to comment or send me an email.

Talk more with you soon!

Around the House

An Interesting Bathroom Update

More Home Renovation from DIY Danie

Danie Berger has spent the months since moving into her new home doing what I suspect most new owners do: making it her own.

This means reassessing the colors, style, changes, etc., that need to be done to make the home reflect the current owner/occupant, not the last. 🙂

One of the first projects she did was to change the upstairs bathroom from a lavender hodge podge into a farmhouse haven. I’m still loving the updated cabinet she did for her towels, etc. The one thing that wasn’t done in that bathroom was tackle the shower / tub area. Considering what she accomplished elsewhere in the room, that made a lot of sense, but the time has come and see what magic she spun:

I have to say there are some interesting inspiration pieces, er, updates here. And, I have to give kudos for the effort put into the area. Not sure I’d be the one to tackle such a project, but the end result is pretty awesome.

You might want to take the time to see what other projects she has been working on or completed in the house. The lady has a eye for style and color and I have to admire her efforts.

Around the House

Clean Up, Fix Up, Replace and Repair

Or, everything seems to be falling apart at the same time.

I recently underwent one of those phases where everything seemed to be self-destructing or falling apart all at once. Have you had one of those?

I think I mentioned a few weeks ago that my 25+ year old shredder decided it had had quite enough, thank you. Add to it the appliance timer that had kept my small light in the window going for years decided that it, too, was ready for permanent retirement.

When I ventured online to see what was available, I discovered a few other bits and bobs that I decided to add to the order. <shrug> I was on a roll. 🙂

I’m a firm believer that many things fall into place when they are ready. Which is to say, not necessarily when I am ready.

I’ve spent a Very Long Time trying to decide on updates to my window treatment in the living room. I have had a set of ivory lace damask window panels waiting patiently for the new window curtains or drapes to go on the new two track window rods. (Do you get a sense of a theme here?) New as in ‘I haven’t found exactly what I wanted and am also debating about mini-blinds in addition to the curtains.’

Well, thanks to replacing jeans that had self destructed, I got a catalog from BryLane that included some items that I simply could not pass up. They had curtain panels in a color I rather liked (even though I did cross my fingers a bit) at a price I simply could not ignore. So, I ordered them.

Turns out the color was Exactly Right and the right size, etc. They also work beautifully with the damask panels.

Over at Amazon, I found the dual curtain rods I wanted – also at a price I couldn’t ignore – and I took the leap and ordered two. I finally gave way to leave the mini-blinds behind which allowed me to move forward and just get it done.

I have been contemplating a gallery wall for longer than I care to admit, and added the frames to the cart along with some picture hanging hooks. The frames came with all the necessary hanging materials, but I had decided I would rather use the hooks.

I’ve had some beautiful scrapbook/card making papers in my stash that I really wanted to use as part of the gallery wall. Both the frames and the papers are 12 x 12 inches, so the fit was perfect even with the 2 inch mats.

The frames and mats focus attention on the beautiful papers and allow the colors to shine. I can’t wait to use the guide to setting up the gallery wall and hanging these beauties!

As for the shredder and timer, I replaced both with updated models that work better, are easy to use and allow me to return to my regularly scheduled clear out, clean up, etc. LOL!

I won’t lie, it has taken a very long time to pull all of this together. I had thought I would like to make my own curtains, but that never gained any traction. I’m a quilter, not a sewer. Being able to use the papers in my stash to add color, pattern and texture to what is likely to be more than one room is exciting and very pleasing.

All in all, it has been a busy few days and gives me room for thought about more changes and updates.

Can’t beat that, right?

Around the House · Crafting · Food · Media · Musings

When Was The Last Time You

Thanks to a comment by Jackie Bolhuis recently, I replaced my stamp pads which brought me up to date and allowed me to get rid of old, well used pads. This got me to thinking about all the other things that tend to get put off until ‘later’.

Quilters / Sewers
  • Changed the needle in your machine
  • Gathered all your notions and put them in their assigned spots.
  • Sharpened scissors
  • Replaced blades on rotary cutters
  • Checked your UFOs and decided which to work on and which to discard
  • Updated your inventory
    • What needs to be used in the freezer or fridge?
    • What needs to be replaced?
  • Checked the expiration dates on your spices
  • Reviewed those recipes you’ve saved ‘until later’
Media Review
  • Reset your modem
  • Reviewed the streaming channels you subscribe to
  • Checked those subscriptions you have but might not keep up with
  • Reviewed your calendar(s). What needs to be changed or removed and what can be added?
Holiday Preparation

Hard as it might be to imagine, now is the time to start thinking and planning for the Winter Holidays. Some projects that a lot of time while others might be managed at the last minute. Things to think about:

  • Sewing or Quilting Projects
    • Gather patterns, fabrics and notions
  • Paper Crafting
    • Holiday papers and inks are starting to appear
  • Homemade Gifts
    • Collect the recipes and put together a shopping list
    • Start collecting the necessary dry goods now
    • If you are planning on making fruitcakes, now might be a good time to start them.
Have I missed anything?

Let me know!

If this has been helpful, please let me know by clicking on the “Like” button! Thanks!

Around the House · Musings

Taking A Breather

Or I might have overdone it a bit yesterday.

Much to my amusement, Saturday once again turned out to be a Busy Day. I don’t know why, but even though I’m retired I seem to get more done during the weekend than during the week. Truly, it makes no sense to me. A friend mused that it is a result of all those years when the only time to do housework, etc., was on the weekend.

The lawn guys came and mowed the lawn – and I can not tell you how thrilling it is to realize that I actually have a lawn after a few too many years of too much shade and too little grass. After all the rain we’ve had they had a bit of a clean up to do, but it still is beautiful!

I turned the telly on to “The Lawrence Welk Show” and went into the Library/Craft Room to start in on a clear out. I’d been working on it for a while; getting rid of old magazines and catalogs, sorting through the papers that needed to be shredded, collecting the no longer needed cardboard and started hauling it all to the trash/recycle bins. I even managed to kill my 25+ year old shredder. And I wasn’t even trying! LOL!

Clutter not only takes up space physically but it crowds out creativity, too. I recently splurged on replacement ink pads since my old one are a bit old. I also picked up a couple of paper packs that I really liked. After the major clear out, I sat down and put the color/name labels on the ends of the pads and set them up for storage. I drooled over the new papers, too. Why not!

I’ve been bingeing on card demonstrators to see new ideas for the new papers. Stampin’ Up’s new catalog goes live on Tuesday, May 4th so there are a lot of new ideas out there!

Paige over at Farmhouse Vernacular has introduced The Vernacular Society, which I think is brilliant. She has all the information on her website. I will be looking into joining.

The Garden Adventure continues. I have a window full of planters all with at least one seed that has sprouted and is in some level of growth. Many have 4 leaves or more!

Weather-wise we’ve gone from cold to wet to hot to cold to wet to …

My U.K. folks – Mr. Carrington, Hermione Chantal, and Luke Catleugh, posted recently about their adventures now that the charity shops are once again open and people are able to get out and about for a while. I honestly don’t know which I like most; the opportunity to do some armchair traveling or checking out the hauls.

DIY Danie has done some great projects around her house, too. All of them give me some inspiration as I work to update my home.

I’m thinking that it is probably time to get back to what I had planned before the shingles came to visit back in March. That being said, don’t be surprised to see some updates.

If you like what you’ve seen and read, please click on the “like” button below and please share us with your friends. I’m always amazed that there are so many folks who come by to see what Bella Cat and I are up to. We appreciate your including us in your own adventures.

That being said, if you have comments or suggestions, please don’t hesitate to let me know.

In the meantime, I’m off to put my feet up a bit. 🙂