Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Ditching (Carpet) Dimples

If you're like me, you move your furniture around...a lot. And if you're like me, you live in a house/apartment/condo/cave/shelter that has carpeting, even if you dream about hardwood floors. (Well, I shouldn't complain too much...our new apartment has hardwoods in the kitchen/living area, so it's a step up from our last place). While carpet can be nice underfoot, dampen sound, and provide a soft place for pets or babies to play, it can result in some leftover three-dimensional blemishes after simple rearranging. Case in point:

This little lovely was left behind after moving our couch. Since we had divided the large living space in half (using the couch as a divider), these lovely foot marks were literally right in the middle of the room. And there were four of them.


So after a little hunting around on the fabulousness that is the Interwebular, I came across a little quick tip to steam these babies out. I thought it sounded like a long shot, but if all it took was some water, a cloth, an iron, and about 30 seconds, I was down to give it a go.

Here is my victim waiting to be fluffed into submission.

I simply took a little spray bottle and sprayed it 4 or 5 times with water--enough to get it damp, but certainly not soaked.

Then I took a simple washcloth and laid it on top. I suppose if you had a large area to cover (maybe from a big bookshelf or something), you could try a larger towel. This worked just fine for my footprints.

I already had my iron heated up and ready to go, and thanks to an extension cord I had no issues reaching the middle of the room. I chose a low setting ("synthetic") to be on the safe side after plugging that puppy in. Lots of carpeting is made out of synthetic fibers, and they can melt at surprisingly low temperatures so use caution when implementing this step. You can always steam it a bit longer or try again at a higher temp if your first pass doesn't work--but you certainly can't un-melt your carpet. And a nasty patch of crusty meltie carpet would look WAY worse than a carpet dimple.

Simply press...

And lift! Voila! A nice, smooth, dimple-free carpet. The heat from the iron steams the water you spritzed earlier and fluffs the damp carpet fibers right up!

Feel free to rub it a bit with your hand or even take a hairbrush to it to help things along if necessary. I didn't have to do a thing with mine. Quick, simple, painless (assuming your ironing skills surpass those of a kindergartner), and free! Woohoo!

How about you guys? Come across any handy household tips and tricks? Tried this one out before? Live in a gorgeous abode with all hardwood floors and have other problems to worry about? Share away!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Office Bid'ness

I'm a school psychologist. That means I spend lots of time one-on-one with kiddies in my office doing looooots of intelligence testing, sprinkled with some counseling in between. Considering my internship status (read: temporary) and the fact that most of my testing is done off-site (i.e. not in my office), I hadn't taken much time to uh...put some homey touches onto my office. While testing a kid the other day, I noticed his eyes roaming around the room. I asked him what he was looking at. He kindly told me: "Nothing. You don't have anything in here to look at."

Well isn't that sweet?

And at the same time...accurate.

So I decided it was time to decorate. But it had to be kid-appropriate, cheap, portable/temporary, and fun. And if possible, educational. Cue my "Great Quotes" pinboard on the heavenly awesomeness that is Pinterest. After selecting a few favs that fit all the criteria above, I hit up Photoshop to create some 5x5 text art that I matted onto navy blue card stock cut to 6x6. Voila:

Cheap, pretty, educational, motivational art. Woot. But just some matted little text art pieces wouldn't be nearly enough to make any impact on such a vastly open and blank space that is my office wall. So to open things up and match the elementary vibe (I'm based at an elementary school), I hopped on over to Michael's to gather up some bright and fun 12x12 carstock that went nicely together and also fit into the color scheme I had used while creating my lovely text art. 

Excuse my awful iPhone night photos. These are all Bazzill Basics colors. I even took an artsy photo to show you the exact colors I used below:

Why did I cut these strips you ask? Won't my cardstock now be 12x12-minus-a-quarter-of-an-inch? Depending on what brand of cardstock you buy, a 12x12 sheet may or may not be a true 12 inch square. Bazzill factors in these little detail strips with the cardstock info which are an additional 1/4 inch. So double check (measure!) your cardstock before givin' it the slice. Once it's gone, it's gone! Measure twice, cut once. Mine were an extra 1/4 inch so they got chopped...just like the show. Only...not.

After a LOT of shuffling around to pair word art with cardstock and then be happy with the overall orientation and balance (I laid everything out on the floor), I decided a little something was missing. Since 8 12x12 frames were definitely not in my budget, I went with a way cheaper and more subtle effect. To get a bit more dimension on the cardstock, I decided to use foam adhesive to attach the matted word art to the colored paper. I was short on what I needed, hence the ever increasingly smaller pieces. Hey, ya work with what you've got, right? Here's the shuffle in progress:

And you can see how I spaced the adhesive here:

Because there won't be anything pressing against the front of the cardstock (such as glass) and since paper is light, this spacing worked out just fine. If you're worried about sagging or any other effects of such spaced foam adhesive, you can always add more. Assuming you have it.

Just peel...

And--poof! Instant dimension!

So here is my boring office wall before my art. I am aware it is very. very. boring. And I prefer to think of this as a more neutral sandy olive color than the lovely "booger" and "puke" likenesses my lovely examinees have compared it to. Oh, kids.



It's a nice temporary touch that I feel can catch kids' attention and even instill some good advice or ideals. It also serves as a handy reference for kids' reading ability, or even as ice-breakers for particularly shy or reticent kids.

These would look a million times better in those sweet Ribba 12x12 frames from Ikea. Someday. Here they are looking a little sparse, but once I add some other fun stuff (I'm thinking twinkle lights, some faux flowers, some photos, and maybe some kiddie art), it will begin to look like home. Just in time for my internship to be over! At least I'll have a head start on next year :)

What about any of you guys? Make any word art? Think of a great quote I should add? Have any extra 12x12 frames you wanna give me fo' $free.99? Or...GASP!...are you a school psychologist? Do tell!