Archive for June, 2012

June 26, 2012

Texture Tuesday::Wonderful Whites

by heatherkp

I haven’t done Texture Tuesday’s lately where I share here and over at Kim Klassen’s Cafe some images I post process with Kim’s great textures. Today’s been rainy and I’ve been in a creative mood listening to blues and jazz so I was inspired to share some of the wonderful flowers I’ve enjoyed this spring and summer here in Charleston and up at Brookgreen Gardens.   Each has two layers of textures (reverie & love in layers). I don’t like to do a lot of post processing but with some photo’s it just works!  I’ve also finally jumped on the instagr.am wagon so if you would like to come over and check out my daily photo’s you can find me there as hkpowers and it’s a lot of fun, I also love the square format which I’ve been told “works” with my sense of composition!

Grand Dame in Pink (Magnolia)

Coming and Going (Rose of Sharon or Hibiscus)

Grand Gardenia

Here to heaven (Jasmine)

These four white summer stunners are favorites.  I couldn’t grow Gardenia or Jasmine in the DC metro area but their fragrances are locked into my memory of summer and take me back to my days of living in Savannah and upstate GA where we had Gardenia’s growing outside our bedroom windows.  The sent of both is divine, but my all time favorite flower is Gardenia.  A few years ago I was lucky to be in Argentina on my birthday and they were blooming, what a wonderful birthday gift!  All of these are just about done blooming down here in zone 8 but we still have lot’s of other summer bloomers on the way.  What’s blooming where you live today?

June 18, 2012

Makeover Monday::Kitchen Edition

by heatherkp

Disclaimer:: These photo’s are not very good and I apologize, I think those of you who regularly read my blog know that I’m normally a much better photographer.  These were taken with  my new phone and I’m still getting use to the settings.  Okay, on with it.  This project was in a very small home (just over 800 Sq’) in the historic Byrnes Down neighborhood.  The homes in this neighborhood were built in the 40’s as “war homes” and their sizes reflect this historic fact.  This particular house is the home of 2 adults and 2 kids who love to cook and entertain but their very limited cabinet/cupboard space has made it challenging.   In the 4 hours we worked, we tackled 6 of the 8 cabinets in the kitchen.  These 6 cabinets must hold ALL the food and dishes.  The remaining 2 cabinets are under the sink and above the refrigerator.

Above the sink-Open cabinet

Because this is an open cabinet (i.e. dust will accumulate etc) I wanted it to be filled with frequently used items that were not cluttered looking so we opted for glasses and a few serving pieces.  The top shelf contains seasonal and less used items.

Dishes and Glasses

The daily china and smaller glasses stayed in this cabinet.  Less frequently used barware was moved to the dining room and a shelf riser was installed to double the amount of short glassware and coffee mug storage.  Again the top shelf contains fine china and less frequently used items.

Lower Storage Left

The opposite side of the kitchen (this is a galley style kitchen) only contains 4 cabinets.  This side has a trash can that lives in front of one side so the left had to store less frequently used items such as larger serving pieces and small appliances/accessories.  Whenever possible I like to use containers to keep like items together, this makes it easy to locate the items when you need them and know exactly where to put them away.  We took advantage of the tall space to use another riser for canned goods.  A few frequently used utensils hang on the inside of the door since there are only 2 drawers in this kitchen.

Lower Storage Right

This side (of the oven/stove) holds the cooking items and every day items used to make the kids lunches.  By corralling all the wraps, bags, foil etc. into a door mounted unit these items are now easily accessible without bending down and digging through the cookware.  The deep cabinets allowed for this good size unit to be installed and the other door can still be used if needed.  Doors are a great place to store things when space is tight.

Food Storage Upper Left

All the food staples need to fit into two cabinets less than 30″ wide.  The other drawback to these cabinets is the lack of shelving, with only 2 useable shelves in each it was necessary to bring in shelf risers to accommodate more storage.  The client may install additional risers or shelves in the future to fit even more in but we decided to work within boundaries of only purchasing 4 items (2 shelf risers, one stepped spice rack and the inside the door unit for the foil etc). The top shelf contains baking goods and other less frequently used foods.

Food Storage Upper Right

Lastly the upper right cabinet contains the more frequently used breakfast and snack foods as well as pastas, rice and other staples on the top shelf (where a step stool can be used to access them relatively easily).  When its constantly necessary to use a step stool I recommend finding a small collapsible one that can be mounted on the wall or slid into a tight space for easy accessibility.

Shortly after leaving this client she sent me this email:

“So excited to use our organized kitchen! Thank you Heather!”

As with all organizing projects it’s important to re-evaluate how well the changes you made are working for you.  I will follow up with this client to tweak things and be sure the “system” is working for them.

June 17, 2012

Sunday Savings

by heatherkp

It’s Sunday again & it seems that it’s the only day have been posting recently, I’m hoping to change that this week.  Okay, so this week there are loads of savings on electronic gadgets for Fathers day which may or may not help you with organizing (depends on what you really Need).

To start things out with a different listing, lets take a look at what Dollar General has.  Go to their website for your local weekly circular, what I’ve posted here is for the Charleston area. There are an assortment of storage boxes (brand unknown) from Medium storage to “sweater”-12qt and shoe boxes.  I always prefer clear boxes so you can see what you’ve got and those shoe size boxes come in handy anywhere from the kitchen to the bathroom and anywhere in between-unlike some people I do NOT use them to store most of my shoes, just those that are rarely worn.

$6 Storage Totes (20 Gallon)

$3.50 Sweater Boxes (12 Qt)

$1 shoe boxes (6 Qt)

I admit that I have a perchance for Target (am I sounding old for using a word like that?-I’m not old, just like to shake up my vocab occasionally)…so you may see them here every week as long as they have something organizing related on sale.  This week it’s storage bins and shelves. This type of heavy duty wire shelf can easily be modified with the addition of corrugated plastic sheets cut to fit each shelf so that things don’t fall through the slots.  They are great for garages, basements, sheds, attics or any other “industrial” space.

Hefty clear latching storage bins

Metal “wire” shelving

Corrugated plastic sheeting (don’t get me started on located a recycled version of this stuff! Apparently it doesn’t yet exist…& it should!)

Seems like it’s a bit slim pickings this week but both Bed Bath and Beyond and the Container Store are carrying sales over from previous weeks so just look back to last week to see what they had that’s still on sale!

Related articles

June 17, 2012

My Father in Fotos

by heatherkp

I am blessed and lucky to still have my father in my life and hopefully for many more years to come!  I was reminiscing this weekend since I’m not with my dad this year.  I love my dad for sooo many reasons but probably most of all for being a man of faith, discipline, humility, generosity, service and honor.

Here’s looking back through photo’s of him (and I together)

Me (1.5 weeks old) and Dad

And along comes my brother…

Summer vacation on the water

Me & motorcycle man!

“Giving” me away…

Fathers day in Annapolis

Happy Birthday hug

 

 

 

 

June 10, 2012

*Spooletti Sunday~Not to be Confused with Spaghetti Sunday

by heatherkp

I’ve had a spectacular time exploring and experiencing as much as I could possibly take in over the last two weeks of the Spoleto and Picolo Spoleto festivals here in Charleston.  This isn’t my first time attending Spoleto USA but it is my first time as a resident and living within walking distance of several of the venues.  These two festivals bring in world class talent, including musicians of all range and style, opera, chamber music, comedy acts, dance and installation and visual arts. The companion Picolo Spoleto brings many of the same kinds of performances but from a more local range of talent.

The highlights of this year’s event for me were;

Jake Shimabukaro a virtuoso Ukulele player from Hawaii, this guy can play anything on his uk!

Rebirth Brass Band, a well known New Orleans Jazz ensemble who recently won a much deserved Grammy for their funky modern and always fresh takes on the brass tradition!  Apparently they are always back home and playin local in NO on Tuesdays…

Return to the Sea:Saltworks an installation by Motoi Yamamoto at the CofC Halsey Institute.

We also caught the lovely jazz vocals of Cécile McLorin Salvant, some cool blues on the dock of Bowen’s Island by The J Edwards Band with Big Daddy Cade  and the free Picolo Sploeto finale concert at Hampton Park last PM (including Reggae and Motown bands). There were certainly a few things I really wanted to see but didn’t but I’m very grateful for everything we did get to experience!

Here are a few events from the *Spooletti Festivale you and many of the locals may have missed include the following:

Signor Agazi and his Vegetales;
This performance art piece has been acclaimed in major vegetable-producing countries around the world.
The Signor has artfully crafted as many of our vegetable friends as you can imagine from the simplest organic material, using the almost lost art of papier-mâché in the Romany manner. They’re big and they’re talking! Join the fun as the Signor interviews each one and does all the voices that so realistically bring each one alive with its own vital life story.

3½ hours, 2 intermissions.

Iron Horse Ensemble;
Join this gifted ensemble of performers in an unusual on-site work. This Dubuque-based troupe has been instrumental in renewing widespread interest in things associated with trains and their equipment for a new generation of fans. The rage in trainspotting owes much of its current popularity to this group.
Join them at the many local grade crossings to experience the excitement they bring to the movement of some truly big-ass specimens.
All aboard!
6-10 hours of non-stop pleasure viewing.
Continuing education credits available.

Socks…Socks…Socks;
This temporary touring installation supported by a generous grant from the folks at the International Garment Workers Union offers more than you can believe in its encyclopaedic display of socks through the ages. You’ll marvel at the sheer variety and abundance provided by this diverse collection of more than 12,000 pairs of socks. Be sure not to miss the special “Laundromat of the Lost” memorial tableaux.

Fishing on the Yallu River in Plum Blossom Time;
Love opera? Finally this premiere of the long-awaited US tour has arrived on our shores. This tender tale of forbidden love bewtween a fisherman and the beautiful young daughter of a brandy merchant has everything for the whole family. The dark overtones of this tale vanish in the final wondrous moments of an impeccably performed work that had crtics from Shangai to Guang Dong raving about its purity and sensuality. Real Chinese performers clad in their working class costumes elevate the soaring melodies of authentic folk classics such as, “Where is my Pencil?”, “For the Love of a Bicycle” and “Dim Sum Summer”.
You will leave the auditorium shaking your head.
2 parts, 2 evenings with catered samplings from the famous Mr. Chow’s.

Woodpecker Chorale;
last year’s hit of the fringe festivale returns with even more excitement on the main stage. Be sure to reserve early. The lines were long last year. Who would believe the cadences and dance beats from hip-hop to Mozart that these critters can produce, especially on the back of a Stradivarius? An amazing blend of nature and conservation hits the stage with the arrival of the Ivory-bill solo. Bang on a can has nothing on this!
Hourly during daylight.
Bring suet balls for ticket discounts.

Readings;
Famous best-selling author Fentwhistle Pinckney reads passages from his educative novel, “The Piazza’s of Charleston”, a companion volume to the “Chimneys
of Charleston” and “The Stoops of Wentworth Street”. Never has the life of Charlestonians behind the curtains been so barely revealed. Learn the real cause of the war between the states.

*Spooletti Festivale-A spoof written by Walt Dunlap copywrite 2012 printed with his permission here.

And I wish I could have also seen;

 

June 10, 2012

Sunday Savings

by heatherkp

My new weekly savings feature post is back for week two.  This week there are some great deals once again!

Over at Office Depot two label makers (P-Touch which I love and use!) are offered with $20 rebates.  I use my label maker for everything from storage containers to key tags, files , binders, cords and more!

Smead color files and hanging files are on sale, which are great for people who are visual and like to categorize by color or just because it makes filing more fun!  There are additional storage and office supplies also in this weeks deals (like legal pads, 3-ring binders and more…)

Kmart has a few deals on Smead and Avery products such as this versatile Hanging File Frame.  These can be assembled to fit in standard file drawers that are missing frames (I see this all too often, people trying to use file drawers without the frames:)If you have a Costco membership, there are several great deals this week (until 6/17).  They have 3 styles of hanging file carts on sale.  I use a hanging cart for files I need to access very frequently (and a file drawer for the less frequently used papers).  They are great for people living in small spaces that may need to have mobile accessibility or hide things away.

A good size fire proof safe is also a very important tool for the well organized and prepared home.  Costco also has a sale on one model this week (this could be a good fathers day gift)!Yet another essential in a well organized home is a good quality cross cut shredder with a 10+ page capacity.  This one’s on sale for just under $100.  This is an important investment in your personal security against identity theft and other related crimes.

Recently I’ve started using bins in the refrigerator -my fridge has only 1 drawer:(- to group smaller items by category that don’t always fit in drawers or doors or tend to get shoved to the back and forgotten.  This is something my mom has been doing ever since I can remember, she even uses bins inside larger drawers.  These Fridge Binz at Bed Bath and Beyond are perfect for this, clear and made to hold up to the cold temperatures inside your fridge.  There are several sizes available from $7.99-$19.99.

If you can manage to find this in stock (it’s been very popular and is currently out of stock online), the Umbra Little Black Dress Jewelry organizer is a cute and functional way to organize and see all your jewelry in one hanging spot.  I’m sorry for the late posting this week but there’s still lots of time this week to take advantage of these savings.  Please remember that I’m not personally endorsing any of these products, just sharing the local sales for organizing products in categories that I hope will be helpful and relevant.

June 6, 2012

Wednesday Wellness::Sometimes you just need to let it out…to let more in!

by heatherkp

I’m having a moment, so pardon the little rant but here I am at age 39 and at times I feel all washed up, it’s ridiculous I know!  I see young professionals on the rise, excited as they begin down their selected career paths and as I remember how it felt, I long to feel that way again!   I made choices that have guided me to where I am today and so far I don’t regret those choices but it doesn’t mean it’s always easy and lately, despite friends and family who tell me how happy I seem, it’s been more difficult than it appears!  I’m stoic, I’m stubborn, I’m a perfectionist, I rarely ask for help but I’m asking for it now…just by putting it out here!  I try not to be negative, I leave myself open to possibilities…I invite the universe to show me new directions, I am grateful, I am social, well educated, creative, talented, kind, up for a challenge and I rise to the occasion but occasionally it all gets me down!

This is a little longer than usual but I felt compelled to write and if you don’t read it, that’s just fine…This little rant really started a few years ago when I made the big leap to leave a corporate job with a company that was un-loyal and who’s morals and ethics were no longer in alignment with what I wanted for my life and my career.  My old job no longer gave me joy, a sense of accomplishment, challenge or creative fulfillment and I knew my days were numbered even before I realized what was happening.  Since then I’ve taken time to re-examine what I want out of the rest of my life.  I’ve attended art classes, ate well, fed my creative spirit, talked with therapists, coaches and friends, read “self help” and career guidance books, went deeper into my yoga practice, looked to spiritual council, meditated, grieved the loss all three of my beloved kitties, moved to a new state near the ocean where I can take more frequent walks on the beach AND throughout all of this I’ve come to some pretty important discoveries about myself!  I’m much more flexible and adaptive than I ever gave myself credit for.  I am an IDEA person, I have so many ideas for ways I want to contribute to this world but I’ve learned that not every one of these ideas is one I should personally be pursuing.  Some I just have to let go of in order to find my focus.

While re-discovering myself I continued to “look” for work, weather it be full time employment, freelance design work or a whole new career direction.  I’ve dabbled with all of the above, taking the time to travel to NYC for one particular interview with a wonderful designer who I could really see myself being an asset for. Or there was another company who wanted my expertise but was too cheap to pay for my GAS to drive one state over for in interview! Why would any company take the time and cost associated with interviewing people and not follow up! I know I’ve stretched, reached for the best, the clients who I believed I would be in alignment with, not too big, not too small…clients who’s ethics were strong, who treated people like people and who valued individuals for their total contributions (the whole package so to speak).  BUT it doesn’t feel like it’s working and it has me wondering…

What have I gotten in return?  Maybe I’ve learned valuable lessons that my personal sense of judgement is WAY off base?  Maybe it’s that my own personal stories are getting in my own way…or maybe I’m struggling because I’ve become too “exclusive”.  Maybe it’s  time to get out of my own way, unlearn my own stories and find more! 

I know that these jobs were not-meant-to-be, for me, the way the interviews were handled told me more about these companies than any words spoken or website could possibly present.  I will not lower my standards, I still long to find my tribe, the people who I can best serve!  I will manifest clients who care about how they effect the world in everything they do, say and make and in so doing they will light my fire!  I will collaborate to create and facilitate beauty and order.

Failures and rejections hurt but they teach us important lessons about ourselves (and others)!  I will continue to reach for and create the next opportunities to  shine my light.  I will ask for help, leave myself open to GOD (Good Orderly Direction), I won’t listen to the fear or limitations-I will daydream, continue to be flexible and move forward because there is no other option.  I will  SOAR!

PS.  Did you know that yesterday/today is the Transit of Venus?  Check it out, this is a significant day for introspection and for finding balance of the physical and spiritual worlds!

June 3, 2012

Sunday Savings

by heatherkp

I’m starting a new feature inspired by my time sitting and reading the Sunday paper and all the inevitable sales/coupons and flyer inserts.  I’ll share weekly deals (based on local Charleston, SC ads) for all sorts of organizing and design related products on a regular basis.  These deals may be different for your area so please check the links before you head out to buy something and please only buy it if you NEED it (use what you have first)!  So let’s get to this weeks deals!

Staples is offering a BOGO deal on Sharpies, who doesn’t love a bright assortment at hand.  I use sharpies for everything from note taking to color coded file labeling, labeling contents of ziploc bags and more.

The local weekly ad (Charleston area) features several Martha Stewart Home Office organizing products and a coupon for $3 off your purchase of $10 or more in these products.

Over at Target this week’s ad features lots of basic storage containers on sale.  As I always tell my clients, don’t go buy a bunch of storage containers to “get organized” but if you already have things that you need storage for then go for it.

Kmart is also running sales on containers and I personally love the line of Snapware containers they carry.

The Container store’s current sale is all about travel so if you have any trips planned now’s the time to check out their deals on luggage/bags, travel size containers and other travel essentials and goodies.

I love this “Pack This” list on sale for $4.99!

For those heading out for a road trip this Modular Organizer is a great way to keep things tidy by category or for each traveler.

…and this metallic bag by Baggallini is great weather you are heading out of the country or just out to the store!

If you see a great deal on organizing products this week either on line or in stores, please leave it in the comments below for others to enjoy.  Happy orgainzing and saving this week!