August 31, 2012

Craft Room Organizing - Cute Storage Bins

My craft room has so much potential, but honestly lately it has been total chaos!!!  It has become my "someday craft project storage room".  My "to do" projects have pretty much infiltrated our home one room at a time and seem to be taking over.  I have been trying to get all of my crafts and projects back into the craft room where they belong and get them organized... and I am making some progress, but I still have a ways to go.  
This week I found these awesome canvas storage bins at Marshalls for $10 each and I picked up six of them (two of each print).  I think they are super cute, so I had to grab them all!  Honestly, I didn't even know how I was going to use them at first.  I just figured that if I didn't use them all, I could return whatever I didn't use.


The first two bins I decided to use for gift bags, tissue paper and bow storage. 


I hung little tags on each rope handle and labeled what is in each tote. 


I previously used these same tags as labels on little baskets I used to organize some of my small items (shown below).


The black shelving units I already had in my craft room. They came from our prior house where we used them in our garage.  I would love to someday have built in's, but these work well for now.


In these other two bins, I've put shipping boxes and wrapping paper.


So when you look at the bins on the shelves I look so organized, but when you look around the room (in this next picture), you can see that I am not there yet!!!  I am a totally embarrassed to show you my chaotic mess, but here it is. 



Yes, I have $5 plastic yard chairs in my craft room.  Don't make fun of them... When you put a pillow under your butt they are actually quite comfortable (hehe).  Someday I will find something better, but for now they work just fine.

As for that towel on the floor.  I was painting glaze onto a frame and didn't want to get it on the carpet and I just haven't gotten around to folding it yet :)

I am grateful to have this room so I can close the door when company comes.  But I'm sharing it with all of you in an attempt to force myself to get it fully organized!  


This week I also found these cool little glass jars, known as anything jars, to store all of my small goodies in.  Things like paper clips, buttons, safety pins, small scrap-booking gadgets and gizmos... you get the idea.  I love this craft storage shelf!  It's not actually on the wall yet, but someday it will be.


I still have a bunch of organizing to do, but it feels really good making a dent in my many piles and seeing the progress!

Until next time...


Linkin Up --
Funky Junk Interiors
Days of Chalk and Chocolate
Tatertots and Jello
The Brambleberry Cottage

August 29, 2012

About Me, DIY Decorating & Living with Chronic Pain

Yesterday I added and About Me tab to my blog.  Sometimes it's hard to share the personal things about ourselves, because people might think differently of us once we have.  But other times our story might help encourage others who have gone through or are in similar situations.  Therefore, I have decided to share a bit more about myself with all of you.

My name is Diana Walker and I'm the owner of AnyoneCanDecorate.blogspot.com.  I am a Southern California native who grew up near the beach. I believe that, with a little help, Anyone can learn to decorate and put some personality into their space! I am a fun loving DIY decorator & crafter. I enjoy sharing tips, tricks and ideas. I absolutely love thrifting, flea markets, garage sales and roadside junk! I tend to use vintage and salvaged items that are a bit rustic and shabby. I love that they add warmth, charm and character to any space.



This is my amazing husband Jim and I on a recent cruise... and the next picture includes my youngest daughter, Britney (on the right)...  (BTW - I am so NOT a hat person!!!)


At a young age I was super into crafting and by the time I was a young adult decorating was a passion of mine.  I am completely self taught, with the help of HGTV and a few magazines (lol).  I love to finding creative ways to decorate on a small budget. Don't get me wrong, having the money to buy what I want when I want would be really nice (hehe), but there is a great reward when you do a project and turn someones trash into a beautiful new treasured piece!  My husband Jim is very supportive of me and my many many projects. He helps me pretty much whenever I ask. I have a pain disorder called fibromyalgia so I do need his help with all of my larger projects!  As for the pain of fibromyalgia, I will write more about that below (if you are interested in reading).  When it comes to DIY renovation and decor projects, I am the designer and my hubby is my contractor (lucky me). It works well for us! 

I have a strong faith in Jesus Christ.  It has definitely helped me accept my illness and remain positive. Understanding that God is in control and that my future is in His hands allows me to enjoy life while living for Him.  I am grateful for all He has done for me!

Our children are grown and live away from home. Our youngest recently graduated College and lives about an hour away (which I love because we still see her often). I am very blessed with a wonderful family and good friends.  I look forward to getting to know you and sharing my passion for decorating with you.



My life and Living with Chronic Pain...

I was a single mom from my mid 20's to my mid 30's.  I have a completely type "A" personality and I used to be an always on the go, super active, overachieving, super mom... For years I functioned at an extremely high level.  I could do it all.  Or, at least I thought I could.

About 12 years ago, as a single mother, I got severely ill with some horrible virus and was pretty much bedridden for a four month period.  After the virus finally subsided I was still very achy and fatigued all of the time.  My doctor ran test after test and could not figure out what was wrong with me.  I was constantly experiencing extreme fatigue and all over deep aching pain.  My hands would hurt so badly I could hardly hold a pen to write my name.  I was in my early 30's at that time, and this was so NOT acceptable!!!  

Being type "A" I couldn't stand it when doctors told me that nothing was wrong with me, when surely I knew something was!  My blood tests looked fine so as far as they were concerned nothing must be wrong.  I felt horrible and was in constant nagging all over pain... This was definitely NOT NORMAL!  And I was NOT okay!!!  

After many months and tons of tests, I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.  I was basically a shell of my former self.  No I wasn't skinny (I wish... lol), but  I had no energy whatsoever and I barely even spoke.  I had gone from someone who talked all of the time and spoke at a rapid rate (way too fast for some to keep up), to practically a zombie.  I went from wearing a suit every day and being a full time career mom, to being sickly and unable to work and hardly able to move.  Ugh...  It was horrible.  I was just existing from day to day, but it wasn't much of an existence as my body just wanted to sleep and when I was awake I was pretty much a non-participant in life.  No, I was not depressed, not in the least.  Yet it seemed depression is the doctor's first assumption and second and third for that matter!  

After four months the doctor ran some additional tests.  Shown in my tests were three viruses that I've had at some point in my life.  Those being Mononucleosis, Epstein Barr Virus and Parvo Virus (Parvo? scary, since we normally think of this as an animal virus, but actually it is a human virus that animals contracted).  Parvo and Epstein Barr are somewhat rare and usually something you can only get when you have a very weakened immune system, which growing up with tons of allergies and asthma, I did.  These viruses all lay dormant in my system and can resurface if I don't take care of myself. However, I am not contageous.  Nobody around me has gotten sick in the 12 years I've had it.  The doctors also noticed some numbers on the more random tests he gave me were completely out of whack pointing to possible multiple sclerosis or Lupus.  However, in the end I was finally diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and CFS.  At that time Fibromyalgia was not a widely known illness (although it is now).  Doctors really didn't know how you treat it.  It is what is known as a hidden illness... A person who has it, looks completely fine on the outside.  But on the inside they have excruciating aches and pains, weakness, memory issues (known as fibro fog because your brain is often in a fog), intestinal issues and much more.  Having it is kind of like having a 24/7 super achy flu bug that just never goes away.

Over time learning how to manage my illness and manage the pain became a priority.  I was able to find several things that help me.... from non-narcotic medication to medical massages, a home massage chair, jacuzzi tub circulatory baths, also nutritional supplements (vitamins)... etc.   I now live a mostly normal life while having Fibromyalgia.  Oh, I'm still in pain on a daily basis, but I've learned to live within it's means.  I never ever let it get me down.  I look at it like this "My limbs may hurt like hell, but I thank God every single day that I have limbs"!!!  I always put the pain into perspective and remember that it could be worse.  Keeping a positive attitude helps me and I find it also helps others around me!

What I deal with is not degenerative nor is it life threatening.  It is just a new way to live.  I manage my time differently and I must rest when my body tells me to!  Taking naps and getting proper sleep (via Ambien) is key to me feeling well!  Taking Ambien is the only way I get a good night sleep, so I do take it every night.  Some people tell me "don't take that stuff, it's horrible for you"... I would say, the alternative, not sleeping would be worse!  


I've also found that what and how I eat play a huge factor in how I feel.  Especially when it comes to getting headaches.  I used to have severe migraines, as many as three or four days a week and they would completely incapacitate me to the point of being in bed for 24 hours straight each time, except when I got up to vomit.  Then it was straight back to bed.  Poor diet played a huge part in my migraines.  In fact, MSG will cause me a migraine within 15 or 20 minutes of eating anything with MSG (monosodium glutumate) as an ingredient.  I have completely changed the way I eat and it has helped the headaches considerably.  I still get an occasional migraine, but it is down to about two a month now.  Much better than the dozen or so I used to get!!

I have not worked a full time job since the onset of my illness 12 years ago.  In fact I have not worked outside of the home since.  In some ways it has been a huge blessing, I've been able to spend more time with family then ever before.  It has allowed to me to explore my passions.  Decorating, Crafting and blogging is how I spend my "good" days.  I absolutely love sharing tips, tricks, decorating ideas and DIY projects with others.  I have found the blogging community to be such a supportive, positive and fun outlet.

I have recently added some advertising to my blog as a way to make a few dollars from home.  Although making money from blogging is not my main goal, every little bit does help!  I hope that most followers are okay with the new ads.  I've tried to keep them to the side as much as possible.  The content of the blog is still there for everyone to read and hopefully enjoy.
If you have any questions you can use the comments section below.  Also, I can be reached via email or on my blogs Facebook page:  Anyone Can Decorate Facebook Page

Thank you for taking the time to read about me.  I look forward to getting to know you!


Blessings,

Diana

August 28, 2012

Exciting News From Anyone Can Decorate

Hi all... Today I wanted to share my exciting news with you.  Anyone Can Decorate is now officially a part of the BlogHer Publishing Network (yeah, hooray, yippee)!!!  So, I might be a little excited!  I've known about this for quite awhile now, but was waiting till all of the paperwork was finalized before sharing this exciting news...

My blog may look a little strange today as I am installing the different BlogHer items onto my blog.  I am also working on the template layout and making some minor adjustments to placement of things.  Please bare with me while I make these few changes!  By this evening I hope to have it all done and looking great :)

Blessings,
Diana

August 24, 2012

HOT TIP - .25 Cents to Clean Stubborn Toilet-Bowl Ring

I've discovered a trick to remove that stubborn toilet bowl ring and hard-water deposits from the toilet without using harsh chemicals... and it only costs .25 cents :)  We have three bathrooms in our house.  Being that it's just my hubby and I, we very rarely use our third bathroom and so it sits over a month sometimes before someone even goes into it.  We have hard water and when the toilet just sits for long periods of time, a hard water scuzzy ring develops around the top due to lack of use.  I've  tried to clean it with liquid toilet bowl cleaner and with Comet but have had absolutely no luck.  I didn't really want to have to buy expensive chemical cleaners then I got an idea.  I've used this same method to clean the hard water and soap scum out of my dishwasher, so I figured it might work in the toilet too.   

This is a picture of the toilet ring after I had already tried standard toilet cleaners on it.  (Yuck, I know, but I had to show you so you could see the difference!)


My .25 cent magic easy cleaner is Lemonade Kool-Aid (unsweetened).  Because of the citric acid that is in it, it breaks down the hard water deposits with very little scrubbing.


First I flushed the toilet so water would be on the side walls for the powder to stick to.  I waited a minute for the water to settle and then sprinkled the Kool-aid around the edges.  (It looks kinda nasty, but remember it's just lemonade).  I let it sit for about an hour before taking the toilet brush to it and swishing it around to scour the sides.  


After basically making lemonade in the toilet, I let it sit in the toilet another hour, then one last time around with the toilet brush and I flushed.  I can't believe how clean it is (next picture).  I can't say that it took away 100% of the ring, but it did remove about 95% of it.  I am going to buy a few more Kool-aid Lemonade packets from my grocery store and do this one more time to remove the last of any residue.  Then I will do this same process on my other two toilets :)  I love that I didn't have to use any harsh smelly chemicals!  I suppose this would be considered "GREEN" cleaning :)  Then again, is Kool-aid friendly to the environment?  Since we drink it, I hope so!!!


Note: Keep in mind that the Kool-aid trick is specifically for removing the ring and hard water deposits.  It does not replace a cleaning product for sanitizing the germs. 

HOT TIP #2 -  Use the same packet of Kool-aid (unsweetened Lemonade) in your dishwasher to remove the white soap scum and hard water build up inside the machine.  Using an empty dishwasher, put the lemonade powder into the detergent cup and then just run a normal cycle.  I do it about once a year and it keeps my dishwasher looking brand new!  If the build up in your dishwasher is severe, just do the process two or three times.  It will sparkle like new :)

August 21, 2012

"HONEY STOP THE CAR" - Second Chances Barn Sale

On a recent visit to my parents house, driving through a somewhat remote area of Southern California, on our way to breakfast I saw this place...  I wanted to yell "STOP THE CAR".  But I knew that wouldn't go over too well with my dad.  Plus giving him a heart attack by yelling might not have been a good idea.  I was totally yelling in my head though!!!  I said to my husband, look at that place, I have to go there.  Just driving by I saw so many fun pieces I could hardly stand it!  My hubby suggested I go back there after we had breakfast and dropped my dad at home.  Luckily this place was only about 10 minutes from my parents house, so I was definitely going back!  A couple of hours later I grabbed my sister in law and I was back at "Second Chances Barn" in Fallbrook California.  They have tons of vintage and antique furniture pieces, garden and home decor accessories.  Some have been upcycled, others need work, and many were stunning in their weathered vintage condition.  This kind of place makes me so so happy :)

In years past I had visited and shopped the Fallbrook Barn Sale Trail which was held a couple of times a year in a handful of different barns all over the town.  It was so much fun but I hadn't heard anything about it in quite awhile.  I was completely thrilled to come across this place because I do love me a barn sale!    

Just walking up this property I saw so many great pieces that I would love to own and I got some great ideas from!



The property has hundreds of vintage items outside and a few sheds full of pieces before you even get inside the huge barn.


It's awesome when you see an item that gives you amazing inspiration for a fun project.  I think this kids boat bed-frame would be so much fun in the yard used as a raised vegetable garden!  The front hinged storage chest would be a great place to shed all of the small garden tools and gardening supplies.  If I had a larger yard, this would have come home with me.






These vintage and antique chandeliers had lots of potential.  They were priced from $40 to $55 each which is not a steal, but is still pretty reasonable!  The prices at the barn all varied from low to high.  Since they have a variety of vendors displaying their wares all over the property, you can find some really great deals here.




The interior of the barn had one huge room and a few side rooms.  They were all completely full of items... even many hanging from the ceiling.  I loved seeing all of the vintage chairs they had to offer. 


This place has so much stuff around every corner, you could seriously decorate and entire home nicely from just this one barn sale!









There is definitely something for everyone here!  I spent about 45 minutes on the property, but if I had more time I could have spent a few hours here.  For me I felt like a kid in a candy store.  Although I didn't buy anything on this visit, I did see a few pieces that I am definitely interested in.  If I had the money, I could definitely do some damage at this place!!!



There is a cute blue headboard bench in this next picture.  Some day I want to make one of these...  It's definitely on my list of someday crafts!





Second Chances Barn is located at 3137 South Mission Road in Fallbrook, California (Southern San Diego County).  They are open daily from 10-5 and Sunday from 10-4.  If you are ever in the area, I definitely recommend a visit!

August 15, 2012

Organized Craft Space - Greeting Card Organizer

I am working on organizing my craft room (since lately it has looked more like a junk storage room).  Today's project was organizing all of my greeting cards and blank crafting cards and their envelopes.  I like having a variety of greeting cards on hand for a few reasons.  The main reason being this: purchasing a box card assortment is WAY cheaper than buying individual cards one at a time.  Did you know that you can buy an entire box of 24 greeting cards for between $5 and $10???  Buying just one greeting card at the store is usually about $4 or $5.  It is much cheaper and super convenient to always have them on hand.  I also have an assortment of blank cards because I like crafting handmade cards myself.  I've never had one specific spot to keep all of my cards, so I was on a mission to find a way to organize them (and make them easy to find in my mess)!!!


I found this great clear organizer box with dividers on-line.  It is the perfect size for what I needed for all of my cards.  If you are interested in getting your own you can view it for purchase HERE.






I decided I wanted to create a label on my box with Chalkboard Contact Paper and a Liquid Chalk Marker.  I love the chalkboard contact paper because you can write on it, erase it and write again... cut it (or use your Cricut or Silhouette Craft Cutter) and cut it into any fun shape you like.  The contact paper sticks well but also can be easily removed when needed.  It works great on canisters in the pantry, arts and craft jars and organizers and so many more things...  Chalkboard labels in the kids room are super cute too!  Okay, okay, so I went off on a tangent... Now, back to my project :)


I love using Liquid Chalk Markers because the writing does not smudge when you touch it unless you wipe it with something damp or wet.  


I didn't like my writing the first time, so I erased it and re-wrote what I wanted in cursive.


We have an old little p-Touch Personal Labeler Machine by Brother that I used to label the inside dividers.  You can purchase these label makers under $20.  I've had mine for several years and it really comes in handy!


Having all of these greeting cards and craft cards organized will make it so much easier to find my cards when I need them!  It's amazing to me that this little bit of organization makes me feel so accomplished :)  


I like that this box easy to see and recognize no matter where I put it.  I have labeled the top and front so I will notice it even if it is in a stack of goodies!  I think I am going to get another one or two of these to sort crafting stickers and items that I have piled around my craft room (yes, I have piles, doesn't everyone???).  I like that I can stack several of them on top of one another and still see what is in them.  



I'm feeling so inspired after this project!  Now I just need to find the energy to organize the rest of the house :)  Anyone wanna help me?


Linking up -
Organizing Home Life
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
Days of Chalk and Chocolate
Savvy Southern Style
Organize and Decorate Everything