The Crazy Suburban Mom: 2012-05-20

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Vintage Image of the day, DIY Apron, May 26, 2012

I love that old Magazines have DIY projects.    This apron project came from a February, 1953 Woman's Day (It cost 7 ¢).  All images are clickable.

It's about making new things from what you have around your house.

It's genius!

There's  a lot of this kind of thing in mid-century (and before) magazines.  Today's magazines are full of articles about decluttering and I get that, we have too much stuff.  

But wouldn't it be great to declutter by reusing some of the too much we have?


Peace and quiet

Peace and quiet, my favorite words.


Friday, May 25, 2012

Filofax, outside the box

I have a metric caboodle of stationary, office supplies, craft items and  Filofax supplies.   I kept it all within reach of my bed and by the end of each day it looked like  Staples  threw up.  I tried to organize, find homes for things, put stuff away when I was done but I failed, nothing really had a home. 

Plus I couldn't find things I wanted and it drove me crazy (although Ventura didn't give flip about my state of office supplies chaos).


  Except when the Leaning Tower of Filofax Inserts fell on him.  Which was kinda often.  This week I made a list of organizing projects to tackle and the side of my bed was first. 

  Recently I got a huge vintage sewing box. I cleaned it out, put it smack up against my bed, and it's perfect for storing small things.

Ventura sleeps on 'THE THRONE OF MANY PILLOWS'  in the space between my bed and the wall.  It's not a big space, maybe three, three and a half feet, but he doesn't seem to mind sharing it with a giant wood sewing box.

Closed it's very neat.

Open, I can see all my treasures.

I have colored pencil hoarding issues.

Ventura loves me anyway.

It's hard to find space for a million tiny things but I have to say, this is great!

Everything fits~

Well, the little stuff.  The box doesn't fit large things (paper, notebooks, etc)  so I stacked vintage suitcases  on my night table.


When closed you'd never know I have a paper fetish, it's all neat and out of sight. (I keep paperbacks on the window sill behind them.)

It's not organized in there but it holds my hot mess of paper.

Organizing when you don't have a lot of space takes some doing and a fair amount of energy.  For people who don't have a gift for that, it's doubly hard and takes thinking outside the box.  

This box actually.

And  a couple of suitcases.


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

vintage image of the day, Ghostess, may, 23, 2012

I love views inside dishwashers and fridges .

So cool!

Love the couch and flooring too, and how teal is mixed with red and sea foam green.  The ad is from McCalls Magazine, August 1958


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Son of but would I buy it again?

I heart Clairefontaine Paper and have already repurchased it several times.   The French ruled paper is 90 g. and smooth as silk; writing on it with any kind of pen has been NIRVANA!  There are papers better for pencil art, not to say this doesn't take pencil, it does.  But it's smooth surface isn't really toothy enough for the kind of shading you'd do for drawing.

I hacked apart the notebook and use it for my Filofax.  The sheets are a little wide (6.5 in. x 8.25 in.) so I  cut some off and there are no micro-perforations.  That I can't easily rip pages out is my biggest issue but it's not a deal breaker because the positive aspects of the paper are so strong.

I love the Soft Color Window Highlighters.  They aren't expensive ($1.65) and allow for highlighting that still lets you see what's underneath. Check them out and if you like them too...  My jetpens giveaway is still going on (here)

I'm lumping Gel pens together.  The one's I bought in the US (the Pilot G2) and the one's from Japan are equally good.   They all write like a dream on any paper but on a smooth paper it's like writing on cloud.   The 0.7 mm size and up are smoother then thinner points but it's relative and all write great.    Even though I already have many of these I keep buying, it's an addiction all it's own.

I love these, together they are the perfect on the go art kit. The black pen is more expensive at $33 (plus I got the converter) but it's beautifully made and fits my Filofax Pen loops.  The waterbrush pen is for water only and is much cheaper at $8.25 and can't wait to get the larger size .  

Because I can carry these things I get to practice brush pen art.  I never really got better at calligraphy but things are improving in the painting department.

Branded card holders vary for me and are kind of a toss up. Sometimes the vinyl is stiff and too small for maximum use.  Sometimes the vinyl is nice and soft but gets stiffer and more brittle with age.  I don't use them for cards, I put small catch-all things in them.  

These would be good for someone who has to carry cards,  but filled they take up a lot of ring space.  For me, putting cards in a small pouch I can throw in my purse works much better, so I won't buy any more.

This picture is the cover from a cheap drugstore spiral binder.  Taken apart you can make all kinds of things and I will continue looking for good buys on binders and spiral planners to salvage.

Closed these take up very little room.

 And open they are full sized.  I really like these, writing is like writing with a quality pencil and the design is so classy.  I will repurchase the refills and maybe the whole pencil as a gift.

I love my Midori Traveler's Notebook, it's straight up quality and at the moment it's my wallet. The leather is (what I wish Filofax leather was like) is what planner covers should be.  The price is in the mid-$50 range depending on where you buy and there are many options for personalizing. 

I want the smaller passport size but I'm hemming about it. Am I just having a planner feeding frenzy?  Will it work for me better then the full size?  I don't know but I can't help salivating over it and have put it in and taken it out of a shopping cart at least a dozen times.

Padrino belongs to Paradise Pens.  I got this pen many years ago and it was cheap, probably less then ten dollars and hated it.  I kept it around because it was pretty but recently I dragged it out again; I wanted a nib that would flex more then my Lamy.  

Before using I cleaned it really well with pen flush and my whole opinion changed.  It writes very smoothly now and the screw-in cap makes me more secure about carrying it.

While Padrino has a few expensive pens they strike me more as a gift/impulse because of their many varied, lovely designs and low(ish) price tag.  Definitely something that could attract the new fountain pen user because of the price and look.  I'm not sure if I would purchase another for me but I might for a gift.

I have more products I'd like to do still! There may be a Grandson of but would I buy it again!


vintage image of the day, Pink kitchen love, May 22, 2012

Swoonable pink kitchen

I can't remember where I got the picture, I think it was an early 60's House Beautiful or House and Garden article.  It's amazing how current it looks - Even down to a stainless steel sink.

I love the economy of accessories.

It might be my favorite kitchen picture of all time.


Monday, May 21, 2012

...But would I buy it again?

I try a lot of different things in my Filofax so I want to do a post about a few things that worked, what didn't, and what was fine but wouldn't buy again.

My Creation with "100 Cameras in 1"

I don't mind the clear one but these obscure everything underneath.  Plus, with very little trouble and at a fraction of the price I can make a bookmark.

My Creation with "100 Cameras in 1"

One that's much more to my taste.  I wouldn't purchase a Filofax ruler again.
My Creation with "100 Cameras in 1"

Again, these can be made easily from other things but I've never made one I liked quite as much as the Filofax branded fly-leafs.  Five dollars for a piece of vinyl is robbery but I might buy this again; it's superior to anything I've seen.

My Creation with "100 Cameras in 1"

Filofax graph paper, yeah...  I really like this insert even though I have to buy from outside the USA.   So definitely I'd buy it again.
My Creation with "100 Cameras in 1"

Not sure about this one, the paper's great although I prefer much smoother paper.  If I had to photo-copy my notes  I'd probably buy it again but I  never have to do that. 

 It takes ink really well and I like the soft gray color but since I primarily use paper in my Filofax it isn't the kind of paper I 'need'.
My Creation with "100 Cameras in 1"

This is a definite no. Don't like this paper much and  I prefer graph paper for all things.  The color allows for finding pages easily which is great but at $4.50 for 25 sheets I'll stick with other options.

My Creation with "100 Cameras in 1"

A definite yes.  The paper's great and I love the colors.  Plus all the calendars are included in your yearly set.  You don't have to buy a year view, month view and a weekly - It's part of the package.

My Creation with "100 Cameras in 1"

I really like the  avery reprepositional envelopes (size of a CD) with tabs.  At the moment I keep stamps in them.  They are sticky-backed so there are a lot of uses for these and I would repurchase. 

My Creation with "100 Cameras in 1"

I'm going to lump all branded zip envelopes here and no, I probably wouldn't repurchase them.  There are so many other ways to get an enclosed pocket in your Filofax it seems a waste of money.  Everything from regular envelops to vinyl and plastic pockets can be hole punched.  Over time the pockets gets stiffer and more difficult to open and close so I'll stick with the cheapest options for storage.

My Creation with "100 Cameras in 1"

I like these, both the paper and plastic versions.  They have to be repunched but the whole set is only about $5 and they look fabulous.  

My Creation with "100 Cameras in 1"

These are almost ten dollars but I really love them.  When these run out I will re-buy them.   I love the colors and there's just something about them that makes them better then Post-It brand stickies.  I like that they are in a book and different sizes are include.  Post-its tend to come in only garish shades, a stack of sticky fluorescent awful,  pretty much.

My Creation with "100 Cameras in 1"

I found these locally and on clearance.  I don't know if they are going to be around again or it was just a test sort of thing at Pier One.  I've never seen this kind of thing there before so yes, I would get them again but I don't know if I'll be able to.

I have more products I'd like to do but this got long fast!  I'll be doing at least one more of these.


Sunday, May 20, 2012

Planner Nirvana

I've tried to organize my life with planners before and it never worked until I got an A5 Filofax.  After giving it a lot of thought I know why.  It's the set-up,  blank to-do sheets interleaved between dated sheets and the rings.  They allow me to add sheets if needed and move them around.

A planner with designated spaces for specific categories doesn't work as well as a simple blank page  because they allow me all the space I need and the rings make the whole thing totally flexible.

To-do sheets are my brain dump, anything and everything goes on them.  Whatever I have to do, buy, or remember gets written down.  If I need more paper I just turn the page and start fresh.  If a day wasn't  busy and not much was written I start the next day right below, on the same sheet.  There is no wasted space.

A lot of planning solutions have too much going on, too many categories,  too much space devoted to things I don't do, too many lines devoted to nonsense  but not enough blank space for to-dos, grocery lists, reminders,  and general planning rambles.  

Blank space leaves room for planning.  For example, I spent a lot of blank pages trying to figure out what I wanted clean, and when.  What I should tackle on each day and why that would work for me.

I now have a list of the (bare minimum) household chores I want  to accomplish every day.  I put them on my Dodo Inserts at the beginning of each work.  If there is a day where I have appointments I make changes.

cleaning list

Here's the breakdown...

cleaning list

Monday is the entry hall, downstairs powder room,  and to clear off all horizontal surfaces.  I picked Monday for these things because they are all a hot mess after the week end.  

Everyone's home, my kid's friends have usually been here and no one is in cleaning mode so nothing gets back to it's home.   Especially pens and pencils, I'm forever picking them up and depositing them in the pencil cup.  Last Monday I found a pencil hanging off a lamp.

Why, I have no idea but my son's friends were over and someone must have thought it was screamingly funny to hang a pencil off a lamp.

Tuesday I do some laundry and vacuum downstairs.  I thought of putting vacuuming on Monday but I'm usually shell-shocked on Monday Morning so I was being kind to myself.

cleaning list

I put vacuum downstairs on Wednesday too.  I'm going to try both and see what day I end up doing it and stick with that day.

cleaning list

Thursday is more laundry.

And Friday is about the things I want to get done before the week-end.  I clean my car out because everyone uses' my car on the week-ends, wash and change the linens, and clean the master bath.

Friday is the day that's most set in stone, Monday is the second most set day.   Deciding what I want to for sure accomplish before and after the week-end has really worked out well.  The two day laundry plan has as well.  

This isn't a complete list, it's a start. There's more to do, certainly, but I didn't want to overwhelm myself with too many goals and fail.  

Planning and schedules are unique to each person. I admit - I get weak-kneed over new found planners.  An exquisite leather cover sends me and lots of regimented sections look so appealing.  And oh! How I want it but I (try and) restrain myself. It's not going to work, I tell myself.

 I take a few deep,cleansing breaths, try to remember they have never worked in the past, rub my Filofax's belly for good luck and  go to my planner happy place.  

Which because I have rings and can add whatever I want,  with no more then a hole punch, my happy place is a section I can paint on.  

Ultimate planner nirvana would be  better leather ( I'm still not convinced Mr. Malden wasn't born in a chemical lab) and bigger rings but all in all it's the set up not the pretty wrapping that matters.  


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