Taming chaos


You might recall my pledge to makeover my husband’s desk. You know, the one I’ve been relegated to because, as my oldest says, “we like playing on your clean desk” – mm-hmm. So in my quest for a new desk, I started with an area that drove me batty every time I looked at it — the charging “center”.


Believe me, I was very kind in taking a grainy, far away picture, because you did NOT want to see this desk up close. Or the tangled mess that was the charging strip and the bazillion cords plugged into it. It’s the area to the left of the monitor where the Kindle and assorted black cords and items are sitting.

I chose a boot box we had laying around because it would be large enough for the bulky charging strip. I covered it in some delicious peacock paper from my home away from home, Paper Source, and then made two holes in it. The one in the back was large enough for the charging strip:

and the rectangular one in front was for the charging cords to plug into our various items.

I am so happy with the result. It’s not a space saver but a visual chaos tamer, and a much welcome one. The peacock paper brings together the colors I plan on using in this area, including shimmery gold:

First step taken — well, actually, the first step was cleaning the behemoth of a desk, so second step taken, yay me! I like how $4.95 (plus tax) for the paper was all I invested in this little change, and I already had the paper from a previous excursion to the store. I hope to make more progress this week and share the new desk area with y’all. Wish me luck!

* Today is my darling daddy’s birthday. I miss you so much, dad, I hope you are enjoying some good Peruvian coffee and freshly baked bread, and having a good conversation with friends, or maybe watching some Peruvian futbol. Love you lots.

Glitter and Ribbon Matting

Matting, not mating. Not that I wrote mating the first time around or anything.

I found a great hemisphere map at my favorite paper goods store – in my favorite blues and greens – and needed a frame large enough for it. My husband volunteered a frame he had, which was the perfect size, except the mat color didn’t really go with my map.

I had also purchased gold glitter wrap paper and decided to tape it over the existing map. This frame does not have glass so it’s just the backing, the map, and the mat over it.

The strips were cut wide enough to go a little beyond the original mat:

As a finishing touch, I added teal ribbon from my sewing stash:

The finished product:



The wedding picture you see above is also matted with lovely wrapping paper, in a music note pattern.

I hope you like this craft, it was an inexpensive way to use something we have and give it the exact look I wanted. Now the frame coordinates with the map print and has a bit of glam, which my office can always use ;D

File it with flowers

I’m starting to get in the Back to School mindset, not to mention the Fall and Holidays (yay!) mindset, so I thought I would make sure all those random ideas I come across (hello Pinterest!) would have somewhere to go other than my brain. Because the filing system there sucks, I tell ya.

My boys and I made a quick trip to IKEA on Wednesday and we grabbed a set of 5 FLYT magazine holders. And meatballs. And cinnamon rolls. And then I nearly cried because they didn’t have my favorite sparkly pear drink, but then my friend J said we’d have some Wyder’s Pear Cider next time we hang out and that cheered me up.


It took me the same time to try and put one together as it took my husband to put the other four together. Did you notice I said “try”? Yeah, I ended up giving that one back to him and he put it together for me.


Then he held the gift wrap while I took a photo because I had asked my oldest and he kept shaking it and after five pics, I relieved him of his wrap-holder duties and called my husband. Apparently we cannot manage the simplest tasks around here ;D


I mod-podged the wrap onto the files then added some labels with cardstock I had on hand. The white scalloped tag is not glued on in case I want to change it (me, change stuff around?) so I used spiral clips that we had leftover from making our wedding invitations NINE YEARS AGO. Mm-hmm.

I love how cheerful they are and how I can just rip a page out of a magazine and tuck it into the appropriate file so I can go through it later, instead of having loose papers all over the place. The binder thing does not work for me, other than for recipes, so I needed something I would actually use.

The other stuff on the shelf also makes me happy:

The candlestick that I got on clearance at World Market. The little book my husband made me for my first mother’s day. The yummy candle my dear friend K got me. Okay, so, weird OCD here, I like the lid on that candle. It has this vacuum-seal thing going on and I just love opening and closing it. No, really, I do feed my children and clean my house and water the acres (feet) of garden I have, I don’t just sit around opening and closing a candle while listening to Pandora and browsing Pinterest.


Eiffel Tower from World Market. It’s a doorstop but you know how many bruises I would have on my ankles if I used that heavy thing as a doorstop? Two adorable chess-piece candlesticks in one of my favorite colors, found in Target’s dollar section. These were $2.50 each, but hello, total score, right?

I am loving my happy little files and I hope you like them, too – have a great weekend!!

Downton Martha garden file box

I saw this idea on The Martha’s website the other day and decided to make something similar. Alas, at the time I was watching Downton Abbey, so you see, the end result is something of a hybrid ;D

We had a spare DVD storage box that I appropriated for this project, and covered in gorgeous 18-century floral print wrapping paper that I got from a book on clearance. Score! It has a few different prints so I used two, the lighter one to cover the box, and the darker one for the cardstock dividers.

I made the Seeds sign with stickers I had leftover from my craft table project. Since this file box will be outside some of the time, I added some wide packing tape to the edges of the box, the Seeds sign and the dividers, to protect the printed paper. I had some bias tape that coordinated with the paper, so I made handles for the box and added a ribbon detail to the top of the box, with a cute button on the Seeds sign.

The seed packets are attached (once empty) to plain index cards where I can write down how well they did, where they were planted, etc. I have a spreadsheet I use for my garden plans but I had been holding on to the empty seed envelopes because I didn’t want to throw them away. Now I have a pretty box to store them in and add information for future plantings.

Hope you enjoyed this Downton / Martha inspired craft!

Superhero birthday party — invitations

My oldest turned 7 yesterday – he’s been into superheroes for the past few months:

As Captain America for Halloween

He’s waiting for the new Avengers movie to come out – so is mommy, for entirely different reasons – so of course, a superhero party was requested. My husband and I go crazy planning our kids’ parties so we had a lot of fun with this one.

The invitations were the first project completed, of course — I’ve posted about some of our past efforts, but in this case, it was my husband’s work all the way. He came up with a cool superhero invitation concept, but I’ll let the birthday boy show you the invitation itself πŸ˜€


The Avengers seal on the front of a gate-fold card.


Inside, on the center panel, would be all the party information.


On the left were the names of some of the Avengers and their status for attending the party — Responding!


On the right were the map and coordinates for the superhero headquarters, i.e. our house. Yes, the map and coordinates actually pointed to our house. It’s my husband we’re talking here, he’s very detail-oriented πŸ˜€

Some more detail pics:




More about this party on Wednesday!

LOVE banner

I saw this sweet banner at Simple as That and knew I had to make something like it for my Valentine’s Mantel. Of course my turquoise obsession is permeating even this most “red” of holidays, but I figure, I can throw red somewhere else in the house. For now, this is what I came up with, based on Rebecca’s idea:

I went with scrapbook paper in an argyle pattern, some of the lines have glitter, which catches the light very nicely.

I layered turquoise hearts matted with white glitter cardstock. The hearts are topped with scalloped circles from the same white glitter cardstock and letter stickers spelling LOVE. The banner is “hung” from my fleur-de-lis candlesticks.

This banner can obviously be made in endless color/pattern/theme combinations, so I have a feeling there are more pretty banners in my future. Thanks to Rebecca for this great idea!

Christmas Bathroom

That’s right – around here we decorate just about everything.

Last week I went to my favorite paper store, Paper Source, and got a few seasonal papers. Paper Source has no idea who I am or what I do, or that I worship their papers, so this is all my opinion about products paid by moi.

Now gentlemen and little men can look at this as they go about their morning business. Well, part of their morning business. Part number 1, as it were.

On the opposite wall are these three frames, which usually sport botanical prints, but now have these quirky sweater prints and a fun animal print in the middle to tie the colors together.

Poor Fleur is still lonely up there:

I really must get her some company soon. The holidays should not be spent alone.

Weekend Bloggy Reading

Thanksgiving Mantel

As you might have seen in my silly turkey garland post, our mantel has been de-Halloween-ed and is now ready for Thanksgiving. But last Thursday the boys and I made a little something to add up there.

I got the inspiration for this from pinterest, of course, but I decided to make this craft with stuff I had on hand.

I have been saving glass jars for the past few months, I’m trying to replace plastic food storage as much as I can, and I had a few pasta sauce jars that weren’t all the same size but they worked in a group.

Then I added a band made of scrapbook paper, created the letters and border on Photoshop, and added some curling ribbon. The contents of the jars are dried out corn husks and stems from my backyard.

I think it looks nice atop my dark mantel:

As you can tell, my boys have started to pick off some of the poor turkeys’ eyes and even one of the faces (look to the right end of the garland). As long as they don’t eat them, I’m fine with it πŸ˜€ The dried sunflowers on the right are also from my backyard, we got tons of seeds, so yummy!

Hope you have a great Monday!

Tip Junkie handmade projects

Thanksgiving Craft: Turkey Garland

I saw this cute place setting craft at my favorite paper store

and I’d been thinking of making a garland with my oldest, so I decided to make a variation of this cute turkey. I had all the materials except the eyes, so that was $1.99 spent.

First I punched out the body out of brown construction paper and cut tan triangles for the beaks:

Then my boy added googly eyes – we thought that would be a lot more fun! I asked him to go crazy coloring with oranges and reds on yellow paper, for the plumage.

Some of them looked silly, and my son said he wanted to make them all different because people are all different πŸ˜€

Then we taped the turkeys onto orange curling ribbon:

Et voila! Here is our beautiful, fun, and very silly turkey garland!!!

I love walking into my house and seeing this fun garland that my son and I made together. He loves doing crafts with me and I am planning more Thanksgiving fun – hope you enjoyed our Turkey Garland!

Thursday Favorite ThingsVisit thecsiproject.comThe Shabby NestWeekend Bloggy Reading

Pinterest challenge – mason jar gifts!

First let me tell ya that I will be moving to WordPress! Yay! And you know what? You can add this link to your reader feed: https://casadeberry.wordpress.com/feed/
I will be here for a few more weeks and I’ll keep reminding y’all so all my sweet followers can, uh, follow me in my new online home.

Okay, NOW we continue our regularly scheduled post.

Yeah, I am a few days late, but seeing this challenge pop up in some of my favorite sites got my butt in gear. That, and the fact that the pears on the tree were finally turning a gorgeous golden yellow.

I got plenty of canning and packaging inspiration from Pinterest:

Source: tipnut.com via Amy on Pinterest

I would LOVE to have a pantry filled with canned goods!

Source: google.com via Michelle on Pinterest

These are ADORABLE all packaged up for Christmas!

Okay, seriously. WOW. If I ever manage half of this, I will be so proud of myself!

Source: squidoo.com via Kristin on Pinterest

I started to think up ideas for the extra jars I had – scrubs would be great, don’t you think?

Source: tipjunkie.com via Kelly on Pinterest

How cute are these with their color-coordinated tags?

I was lucky that my mother-in-law came over to can pears with me because I sliced up my finger with a fruit corer and she had to take over – no worries, we cleaned the corer and threw away the pear I’d been working on – but we had a good morning, chatting as we processed the fruit, and me planning in my head how I’d package up the finished goods.

This is what we picked from the tree the night before, my oldest was a super helper:

Soaking in their Fruit Fresh so they’ll keep their pretty color:

Cooking down – we did some in sugar and some in Splenda. We did lots of tasting and they were yummy!

The smaller jars in front are pear butter, so good!

I also made some sugar scrubs – there are lots of great recipes at Tip Junkie.

I chose to go with a simple label I made in Photoshop, some ribbon/yarn and bits of a Christmas (fake) branch we had from last year’s decor.

While I don’t have an entire pantry full of canned goods, I do have a couple of small shelves full of these, and they make me happy. Maybe next year I’ll get many more tomatoes and I’ll be able to can lots of yummy sauce!

Hope you enjoyed my Pinterest Challenge!

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