Saturday, August 8, 2009

Another Problem Solved

I'm so excited to share this new thing with you, I can barely contain myself.


Sorry. I tried to hold it in, but I have no self control.

Okay, last school year I made up this little grid doo dad in Excel. A little mini spreadsheet so to speak, that I kept on the fridge. In the mornings I could look at the day of the week to remind the girls and myself of recurring weekly things that we had to remember stuff for.  If it's a P.E. day, no dangly earrings, skirts or clunky shoes. Show & Tell, don't forget it. Spelling test day, we can take a quick test while we're eating breakfast. You get the idea.

It's something I used every day last year and it really helped me.

Um, but it's not cute, right? I like cute. 

So, I've been obsessing over this little thing and how I could put it right by my front door so it would be even more helpful, but how could I make it cute? Seriously, this is the kind of ridiculousness that takes up valuable space in my head.

And if I want to get it out, if I want to purge it, I have to satisfy the need. Right?

Now that we're all on board, take one more look at my little mini spreadsheet and then go here and come right back, okay?

Can you believe that? I love it! It's brilliant. It's exactly what I was looking for. And dang it all, the blog I found this on, The Idea Room, has some excellent ideas on it. And I needed another blog to follow like I need a hole in my head. Great.

So, super nifty idea, right? Except that in my world I want some cute to go with my spread sheet. At least for this. Because I'm going to be altering the magnetic board anyway, right?

Oh yeah. I didn't tell you about that yet. I already had this tired old magnetic board that really wasn't being used to the best of it's ability, so I stripped all that stuff off, pried the sunflowers and clothespins off, gave it a quick coat of black paint to cover up the words, and then I turned it into this.

Isn't it great? I'm so excited I can't even stand it. The second it was finished, at 1:00 a.m. this morning, I woke Peanut Head up and demanded that he hang it up for me ASAP.

He declined.

So, here's what I did to pull the vision together. I put a thin coat of Modge Podge on the sheet metal, then I smoothed scrapbook paper down. Then I covered it all with a thin coat of Modge Podge on top. In this picture you see bubbles, but I cursed those bubbles and smooshed them down so they vacated pronto. Well, after the Modge Podge dried, or at least some time during the drying process. I don't need to know the science behind it. It's magic.

Once the Modge Podge dried a little, I couldn't wait for it to dry completely, I put some Photo Tape on a couple pieces of gross grain ribbon and I adhered them over the seams where the different pieces of paper met. The ribbon makes a nice divider for the sections of my board.

Then I put the girls' names down, which I cut with my Cricut that I'm in love with, and I printed out a couple of cute pictures. It was Janae's brilliant idea to attach magnets to the backs of the pictures so I could change them out as the girls grow. How cool is that?

I made my days of the week and my things to remember in Excel. I did them in Excel because a) I love Excel and b) I could do them quickly and add the uniform borders super fast. Hey, you use what you know, right? I'm sure there are other ways to do it, but this is what I did. Just call me Spreadsheet Girl.

I printed my reminders on plain white paper and then I cut them out, leaving a smallish border around the black line border.

Then I laminated them, of course. And the best part? I gathered up all those cheapo, I mean free, magnets that I've collected from phone books and businesses, and I cut them up to turn my reminders into magnets.

Crazy, isn't it? I love crazy.

I was able to get five magnets out of one business card sized magnet. The odd size magnets like the trash truck, not so much. But that's okay because they were free.

Next I applied tape runner to the backs of the magnets and stuck them on the backs of my laminated reminders that I cut apart and trimmed.

And TA-DA! Brilliant, huh? This is what I love, love, love about reading other people's blogs. I find some of the coolest ideas and I get so much inspiration from people in the blogosphere.

And now I've solved another one of my Great-System-But-It's-Not-Cute dilemmas.

Is there a support group out there for that? Maybe with the name Freaks of the World Unite or something catchy like that.

Here's my new magnet board in its new home, right behind my front door. I so love it. Go ahead, tell me I'm a freak. I can take it.


  1. EEK! I love it!

    I found the IDEA ROOM just the other day too!

    And guess what??!

    I was half thinking about doing something like this already!

    Using the cards you gave me!
    (I bought a cute little magnetic board at a yardsale for 50 cents - should've bought the other one too - but of course now they don't look so cute compared to yours!)

    But I suck, I mean SSSUUUCCKKK, at making schedules for myself.

    even with a cute little chore box.

    I must weep at my lame-ness.

  2. I came across your blog through someone else's and am glad for it. I Absolutely LOVE your ideas!!! I so needed this post! Thank you! Thank you for helping a mother of 7 like me control my chaotic-ness! (and in a super cute way!)

  3. Ha! I had a similiar mini excel spreadsheet on my fridge too! I like this idea much better! I'll have to adapt your masterpiece to only one child. Thanks for the inspiration and I'm staying away from your new blog find! I don't need anymore to read!

  4. I love it! What an awesome idea!

  5. Totally awesome again, Jill!

    You didn't happen to mention the nifty storage idea for the extra magnets I noticed in the final picture...the back of the front door. I'm assuming Peanut Head is well-trained enough not to mess with your board and play with the magnets? :)

    By the way, I gave in after you told me how dirt cheap that wonderful little laminator was at Sam's Club. I went yesterday and bought my own. I haven't used it yet but I can't wait!

    When you print out your recipe categories, what size are they? I have Storybook Creator Plus, but I don't have all the neat old items from the original CM stuff, so I can't recreate it bigger. Do you print them out on photo paper before you laminate or print them out at Sam's or someplace?

  6. Thanks for the shout out. I am glad you like my buletin board. I love your version too. It inspires me to add pictures to the top of mine to make mine a little more fun too. I am going to take a peek through your site now.

  7. this is sooo cool! i'm going to have to make one of these soon.

  8. If you find that support group, let me know becaue I just got a chill:-)

  9. Is it wrong that I just want little kids so I can make GENIUS things like this?? Maybe my 21 YO stepdaughter and her roommate need something like this. I want to make one!

    Great job!

  10. You so not a freak....but brilliant! Love it, want it, stole it, hope I do it!!! Thanks.

  11. Awesome job on the magnet board! Thanks for the link to The Idea Room...I so did not need another blog to look at either. ;p

  12. hey that looks great!!! I really need one attached to my forehead or something so I don't forget anything!! :)
    What a great idea and a great website.......another one to follow. i'm gonna need a magnet board to decide which ones I can check for the day......;) but i"ll always read YOURS!!! ;)


  13. FANTABULOUS!! But then, what can I expect from you! I love the other one on the site your referenced, but for some reason I couldn't Right Click & Save the photos for use at a later time...wah! Well, I can with yours...YEAH! THanks again for your freakin' cute ideas! Erin

  14. Love it. No really, LOVE IT!

    I am so would have demanded it be hung immediately too.

    As soon as school starts for us (a few years down the road) I am so going to beg you to make one of these for me. You didn't really think *I* was going to do it? I do love it though. Did I say that yet? LOVE IT!



    P.S. Can I join your Freaks of the World club too? I <3 Excel!

  15. You're scaring me once again, Jill. But what's even more scary is that I already had The Idea Room bookmarked (not that I'd ever be so organized/creative/OCD to try any of the projects there....)

  16. I know I already left a smart-alecky comment, but I just have to share this with you. Check out this blog:

    This would be the kind of handmade stuff I would make if I were crafty like that...

  17. How do you have the best ideas ever! I just used the last of my ink printing the recipe dividers. I am so in love with them and my recipe organization has needed help for a while now! Thanks a ton.
    Thanks for stoping by my blog, and yes, I think I'll keep Mr Bird forever and ever!

  18. Those look so great! And I love the kit you used for the paper. Is that from Shabby Princess?

  19. You are the Queen of Freak and I love it! (Bowing down before your superior freakiness.)

    I looked at your spreadsheet at the top and thought to myself, "Ooh, I need to do one of those. Now how can I make it cuter?" And then you blew me out of the water with your solution! Too cute for words. I have never used Mod Podge but I am determined now to get some. Plus, as a teacher, I am constantly having parents ask what I need. A laminator is next on my list.

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your site!

  20. I want to come and stay with you for just a week and craft. You have some amazing talent! I saw that same room this week. I'm glad you love your Cricut, I love mine too and can't wait to do more with it. Thanks for sharing your wonderful project.

  21. You're amazing. really amazing! (I doubt my hubby would hang something for me at 1 AM either...)


  22. YOU are amazing!!!! I absolutely LOVE that magnet board and it is SO cute!!!! I just can't believe your hubby wouldn't hang that beauty at 1:00 a.m.!!!!!

    I'll have to go check out The Idea Room, not that I am crafty enough to do ANYTHING like this but I'll still have to check it out!

  23. Maybe I need to join that support group because I absolutely love that board! Yeah!

  24. I LOVE IT! Ummm, what is your address so I may send a check to purchase one? Oh you didn't offer. RATS!

    Good stuff lady! Love it!

  25. I LOVE it! We're doing something similiar, but I have six kids, and an ugly glider(exercise kind) in the living room, so we're making a folding screen out of plywood, covering it in burlap(yay, burlap!), and then individual framed chore charts.

  26. Love, Love, Love it!! I am going to work on mine tonight!!

  27. Love it! I want to do something similar now that I have 2 kids in school too.

    Thanks for sharing another great idea!

  28. So cute!! I am going to work on my magnet board soon to improve on it's cuteness. LOVE the idea to use the 'wonderful' free magnets. I wonder how many of those I have thrown out over the years and how many rolls of the magnet tape I have purchased...duh!! Thanks!

  29. ~wow~ I absolutely love this! I think you are a genius, you know! :)

  30. freak? no! hillarious? yes! I always guarantee myself a smile or laugh when I read your blog. I {heart} my laminator and Cricut too - I think we've had this conversation already once before, at least about the Cricut. Love your board - I will do one for myself.. someday! ;)

  31. freak? no! hillarious? yes! I always guarantee myself a smile or laugh when I read your blog. I {heart} my laminator and Cricut too - I think we've had this conversation already once before, at least about the Cricut. Love your board - I will do one for myself.. someday! ;)

  32. freak? no! hillarious? yes! I always guarantee myself a smile or laugh when I read your blog. I {heart} my laminator and Cricut too - I think we've had this conversation already once before, at least about the Cricut. Love your board - I will do one for myself.. someday! ;)

  33. So NICE!! I can see why you were so excited.


  34. okay jill, you rock! I went out and bought all the supplies to make this! I will do it today, cuz I have to. I love all your ideas.


  35. i just came across your blog. not sure how i made my way here. i'm sure you're all family first and all. but, because of you and my blog i have spent the past hour neglecting my kids!! i am now stepping away from the computer - going to go do the project i promised to do with them over an hour ago. then, i will put them down for a nap and come back to read more...

  36. woah this is so smart! i just came across your blog and am madly in love lol
    ive subscribed!

  37. I did the cheap, quick 12x12 scrapbook page version. It is now hanging on my controlled chaos board. I LOVE my CC board, especically now that the board is less chaotic. Don't worry, that will last about a week.

  38. I love it! Excel and magnets? What more could you ask for? I'm a Spreadsheet Girl too, I didn't know there were others like me! You're awesome :)