Monday, March 6, 2017

Do It Yourself Coloring and Activity Books

Celebrate the Little Ones

As I began to write this post I realized I've making these booklets for at least 30 years.
So as you can imagine I have a plethora of options to share, but I think this is one tweak/creation that you will have to find the method that works for you.

I'll be 100% honest here I started making these because it's a very inexpensive way to create such a personal gift. Kids love them, and as time continued kids asked for them, not just my own.

So without adding too many confusing thoughts I'll try to help you narrow down how to get started. You'll need to think about what you have available to print from. Do you have a printer? What program or app do you typically print from? In today's world if you do not own a printer often your local library does, or your local copy center has easy upload instructions on their website and they will print very inexpensively as well.
The reason we're looking at this first it to establish your print size.

OPTION 1 Full Size: I have a printer, I print from the internet only.
Materials Needed: 7 pages regular printer paper, 2 color sheets of paper for the covers these could be construction paper, or whatever you have. Stapler. Glue. Scissors. 

That's great when I first started making these I used full 8.5X11 sheets of  (typing) paper they called it back then, lol. Easy peasy stuff here. In your google search bar type 'your theme' and then add 'coloring pages'. So for our first example we'll use Mickey Mouse.  When that screen pops up make sure you select images. 
Micky Mouse Coloring Pages Search

You literally have hundreds of coloring pictures to choose from. You want to select 7 to print. Each computer, or device is different so you will have to know yours. I typically left click within the picture and my options screen comes up then I can select print. Things to know sometimes these free printing pages have some advertising with them notice how many pages it says it's printing. Look at your preview and select only the page with the picture. You DO NOT need to download any other app or PDF options these screens are advertisements stay away from them.

Glue to Cover
Staple to Complete
Okay you've printed 7 full sheets of coloring pages. Select one to be the front cover, you'll trim this one slightly at the edges and glue in the center of your colored front cover. 

Insert your remaining coloring pages, place your back cover. Line up and staple. 

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Make It A Basket

Make a few small items into gift basket

Do Small Things with Great Love

Spring is just around the corner, Easter decor has hit every retail shelf, and we find ourselves thinking and looking at gift baskets.

I love baskets, if you've been around me long, you probably already know. They are the perfect way to group a few things, or lots of little things, well just about everything, lol.
So let's take a quick look at a few baskets for inspiration.

At the bottom of the page if you want more information, just click  "do the tweak".

Making everything themed baskets

$10.00 Gift Basket

Not even kidding! This little kitchen basket was one of those strict budgets set by the group. The only stretch, we could add wrapping paper or gift bag.

No rules on re-purposing though, just needs to be 'new' as a gift.

Theme: Natural Kitchen/Cooking
Color: Natural/Neutral

A quick trip to our local Natural Grocers. I retrieved my olives and pure vanilla. Down $6.50ish. The key here was small bottles, and lucked on a sale. I've learned that the chocolate costs quite a bit more at this grocers, however my local gift shop carries same brand for half the price. Since I was headed there next I saved myself enough I could afford a couple pieces instead of just the one, lol. Ghirardelli down another $1.00.

Nearly at my spending limit by this time, (7.50) but I needed some height to the gift. With my years of basketing experience I knew wooden spoons could be a good add. Typically you can get them very inexpensive carefully shopping. ($1.99) How could I make them stand up? and I still have to put all this in something. Running Total $9.49

This is where the re-purpose comes in. Along with my vases I keep a few jars and bottles on hand they come in useful all the time. I shuffled around and discovered an old glass milk bottle (goes with the Natural and Kitchen theme, added my favorite kitchen saying. Yay, height, and this one was free. Rummaged through my stash of baskets, boxes, even looked at gift bags... Then I remembered these wonderful little crates I purchased in packages of 2 for .99 each. Whew .50 seriously amazing. $9.99

I must admit I fudged slightly by deciding the Flour sack towel was essential to line the crate. I do purchase these in larger lots and only pay about 2.00 each. So I justified by adding it to the 'wrapping' (wink, wink). A shrink wrap bag from the Dollar Tree and a few natural shreds I already had on hand. Total wrapping, $3.50.  Total gift basket with wrapping $13.49.

There are hundred of ways and reasons to create gift baskets. I wonder how creative you guys can be?
Want to learn more?
Click here to learn more.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Making The Most And Best Of Your Life

Life Tweak, Kit It

I find the first of the year is a nice refocus time, the world around us helps set the pace and rather than fighting it, finding it suits me.

This year is a full year of changes. Our Tweaking Corner business is headed a different direction much more in line with my original goals, children and grand children ages and lives have changed, my health while still improving is a chronic force to be managed, and I still work a job I go away to. All of these things while mostly wonderful, are always unpredictable and finding ways to harness the good, ride out the bad in the least negative impacting ways is always my prayer and focus.

Something I learned when our children were in grade school was, Kits. In our fast paced lives we all use them, it's pre-packaged stuff. You know food, craft projects, organization planners, furniture, parties. Kits, prepped so all you have to do is open follow quick directions and just like a boss you have created a fabulous ____________________. 

This is a very natural skill for me. However even I am already seeing  in 2017 it absolutely is a game/life changer. So first lets look at the Tweak, so you can create time in your life for the most important things.

Let's start with the One Million Pillowcase challenge. I actually jumped on this challenge several years ago. However with lack of planning, I created 2 pillowcases and never delivered them anywhere. Had thought I would make several throughout the year and then deliver 5 or so in the end. Guess what, no happy children received any pillowcases from me. My material scraps are growing and it was either donate the material, or use it up. I do not want this to fail a second time. The only answer: kits, which will work in split unpredictable limited times.

5 pillowcase kits

So first I took the pressure off of myself by setting the goal at simply cutting the kits. In the first morning before I headed out the door I discovered I had enough scraps to cut 5 pillowcase kits. Instead of stacking in piles that will get messed up, confused, moved or lost I stacked each set together in gallon freezer bags. 

Wow, how easy was that. Now each kit will take approximately an hour to pin, and sew. So the next time I have literally an hour all I have to do is grab the kit with instructions and go to work. Yep, 2 kits already completed. That feels good.... Let's recap. Day one cut, stack, seal. Day two pin, sew. Day 3 pin, sew. Success, Success, Success! 

2 Tweety Bird Pillowcases completed

Valentine's Day Classroom Gifts
Next project: I spend one afternoon a week crafting with the oldest grandchild. When holidays come up, or special events this time slot is not long enough to complete gifts for say 20 fellow classmates. However if we leave this project out for the week I would have no space to work in the meantime. So we created kits, when we come back to the project they are all still sorted and easy to jump right back in. 

Why have I gone to such lengths to explain how to put your project in baggies you ask?  Well I'll tell you it's mindset. We feel much better when we have successfully completed. 

Creating the kits in itself are your first success, and as the quote goes, success breeds success.

When my grandchild leaves at the end of the day we know exactly how many we need to complete next week. Then I can in clear consciousness set all this aside and wait for our next crafting session. No unmet expectations, it is exactly as and where it should be. aaaaahhhh......

So let's just break this down a little further. Lots of things in life we do not always have the prep, and complete time all in one lump time slot. This happens for millions of reasons, time conflicts, or even health of yourself or another family member. Then frequently disappointment follows for lack of completion as well as a host of other things like loosing pieces, having to move things multiple times, or frustration because everything has to be worked around.

Think about the last time you bought vegetables had full intentions to dice and make that wonderful favorite meal and before you knew it, you were reaching in the veggie drawer and throwing half of them out. There's never time, until you create it.

So breaking it down, Kit It! 

Let's say this weeks menu includes a couple salads, stir fry, and chicken veggie soup.

Prepping/Kitting would look something like this:
Monday, cook enough chicken for three nights. While your chicken is cooking you are chopping.
Chopping tonight's green salad, plus your veggies for soup, stir fry and your fajita salad. I like to use the glass containers with seal-able lids. Use what you have, I've used baggies in a pinch. Here it is Monday and you've literally got the makings (Kits) of most of your meals through Thursday.
Tuesday, drop cubed chicken an veggies in a stock pot with broth let simmer. How easy is that?
Wednesday, since we've already  cooked our chicken we'll simply add a little oil to our pan drop in our veggies when they are close to desired tenderness drop in cubed chicken. Seriously how easy is that?
Thursday, this time we are cooking our chicken with our preferred fajita seasonings as your meat is nearing done add your peppers and onions (already prepped). Serve over a bed of greens. I ask it again, Seriously how easy is this? Lol

Every task can be broken into smaller manageable, successful pieces. I challenge you to look ahead at what you wish to accomplish and think about how can I 'Kit' this?

If it's long term like the One Million Pillowcase challenge jump ahead to the end. How many do I want to complete? and by when? How can I make it smaller steps to successfully accomplish it.

If it's a birthday present, always set the due date a week prior, just in case. Then step it backwards. This project will take me about 15 hours to complete. I have 4 weeks, that's 4 hours per week. How can I make smaller steps to create 4 hours in each week.

When the kids were younger I would 'Kit' things to do in the car or on the bench while waiting for them, or watching them practice. I was frequently surprised how much time I could carve out while waiting in the car for them. I could not have cut 5 sets of pillowcases, but I could assemble half a dozen flowers for grandparents and friends gifts, or take the bill binder and pay bills so at home I could use bill paying time for cutting time.

Tweak Your Life, Create The Life Kit

Tweak your Life, Kit it! Happy Tweaking...

Friday, January 6, 2017

Getting Organized 2017

Game Closet or Cupboard Organization

Super Simple Tweak. The New Year, cold icy weather, and some small home makeovers create the perfect environment for more organization. 

During Christmas I played games with the grandchildren and  realized more than my typical OCDish tendencies I was frustrated with this game cupboard issue. Games we wanted to play were hard to reach because they were all piled on top of each other. As well, when we dug out a game half the pieces were at the bottom of the cupboard  because twisting the box this way and that caused the pieces to fall out.

I wish I could take full credit for this tweak, but the reality is just a quick Pinterest search revealed the ahhh haaa moment. 

First I rounded up all the little pieces that keep falling out of the boxes and I contained them with whatever I could find, small bottles, old jewelry boxes, etc. I rubber banded all the cards together and then...

I rubber banded the outside of the boxes! Aaaah Haaaa! Wrap rubber bands around games and place them on their sides. I sorted all the mid-sized games and small puzzles this way. My cupboard size depicted not placing the larger board games on their sides. Even so this increased space allowing me to add four more games to the cabinet thus freeing another adjoining space. 

I'm hoping to do a little more tweaking in the future on the adjoining cabinet which is home to our card games, marbles, chess, checkers, and other assorted non-symmetrical games. Looking forward to adding the redo. Until then Happy Tweaking. 

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Beat the Heat

Beat the Heat

When it's late at night your still looking at 80 degree temperatures outside and there's a part of your house that may not cool as efficiently as another you look for ideas to assist.

I have to thank my HillBilly husband for this Tweak. O WOW the difference is amazing! 

One custom vent cover to direct and cool Tweak Room, YAY! Thank you Hubby!

Friday, January 29, 2016

Laundry Room Redo

Laundry Room Tweak (Redo)

The greatest thing about a redo is you get to create your space in a way that works for you.
When we looked at front loading machines the first thing we noticed was one the expense of a pedestal and two it became useless space for my needs.
So became the hunt and creation to build useful space and in a reasonable price range.





In the coming weeks we will take a closer look at each part of the build to encourage you to make your space just as useful for you.

do the tweak



Saturday, January 9, 2016

Planning the New Year

Best-laid plans often go awry!

I believe anything good starts with a plan... your end result may not be your ideal planned outcome, but it only happened as a result of forward movement... so here are my plans with my newly created planner in hand. Click for inspiration to make your own planner that's just right for you.
do the tweak
Planning your annual Tweaked Planner