Saturday, January 4, 2014

Home life is no more natural to us than a cage is natural to a cockatoo.

or perhaps it should be housekeeping, rather than home life, in my case...

today i got frustrated at the slow-going of some organization projects i've been trying to accomplish. so i took it out on the house, and worked on a different one. an old HUGE pet cage we own has been sitting collecting dust and gathering junk mail, since we don't have any critters living in it currently.  so today i cleaned it off, cleaned it out, put it on a stand, covered it in a table cloth, and converted it into storage. took most of the day, but i'm pleased with the results. also got a good chunk of an area of the living room intended for exercise equipment cleared out. so hopefully sooner than later i'll be able to get my weight bench back from my brother-in-law's house, since i'll finally have room for it.
this weekend i hope to make progress on the coat closet and sort through all my food storage containers and cull what i don't need. we'll see how that goes. probably won't post again until monday. wish me luck!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Hello darkness, my old friend. I've come to talk with you again.

well, it's been a really long time. seems i'm not so good at this consistently blogging thing. but screw it, in fits and starts is better than not at all, right? maybe?

so anyway, it's a new year and a fresh start. my goals for the time being are to get a handle on keeping my house consistently clean, and to keep a food diary to help me stick to my diet.
so with that in mind, i'm going to start out keeping a list of daily accomplishments.

today i:
  • rescued some produce that was slightly over the hill by making a batch of potato soup for my lunches and mixing up enough smoothies for the week (to be kept in the freezer and thawed out in the fridge over night.)
  • started some bone broth in a mini crockpot. i've tried doing it in a full sized crock pot, but it often makes more broth than i can use. i figure i can try working my way up.
  • caught up on dishes
  •  ordered some tension rods to make some improvements in the kitchen. i want to hang a curtain and a drying station between my kitchen cabinets, kinda like seen here, but with a curtain to hide it all behind. 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

home made shaving cream recipe

i found a recipe on pinterest for homemade shave cream. i tweaked it a little, and love it! it’s ultra cheap, and i can customize the smell however i want. :D

i replaced the baby oil in the original recipe with extra virgin olive oil. i also didn’t want to commit to a whole bunch, so i decreased the portions.

  • 1/4 cup shampoo
  • 1/4 cup conditioner (i used suave apple)
  • 1 Tablespoon lotion
  • 1 Tablespoon EVOO

i just put it all in a small jar and shook it up. it was really runny. seems a lot of people were having that problem. i remembered old shaving soap and dug out an old kabuki-style makeup brush i had, put a little of the mix in a mug and whisked it up with the brush. it lathers great! i just brushed the foam on my legs and shaved. i only need a couple tablespoons, my skin feels great, and i love the smell. so glad i found this recipe!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.

i travel for my job, so i’ve been out town the past couple of weeks and staying at my dad’s place while i work. while i’ve missed being home i’ve had plenty to keep me busy.

i’ve mostly been doing a lot of fabric cutting in my free time. my dad realized over the years he’s accumulated more bedding than he can use, and gave me a bunch of old sheet sets. some i’ll use, but i have a queen sized bed and most of them were twin or full sized, so i have a lot of fabric to work with. i’ll be making some clothes out of some of them, but some are getting turned into cleaning cloths. lots of cleaning cloths. including cloth napkins. a lot more earth and budget friendly at dinner time than paper towels.

i’ve also been working on a plastic canvas mail sorter. i’m hoping to get all the pieces needle pointed before i go home, then finish it up there.

i’ve also been working on a set of blackwork butterflies i intend to decorate my kitchen with. they’re really portable, so they make a good travel project. my ADHD makes it hard for me to concentrate unless i have something for my hands to do, so it’s also great to shove in my backpack when i visit friends and family, to help keep my mind on the conversation.

i can’t wait to get back home and back to my studio, not to mention my fiance! first project i need to tackle is some waaaaaay over due skirts i owe my mother-in-law… but first, figuring out how to cram all that fabric into my luggage…

Thursday, March 15, 2012

“The secret of all victory lies in the organization of the non-obvious.” --Marcus Aurelius

i got a couple of great responses from my last post! thank you for reading! i wish i knew where my camera was so i could show you the progress as it’s made, but for now i’ll have to do my best to describe it.

so far today we’ve gotten all the fabric moved in. it’s all lined up against one wall (where i hope to put bookshelves eventually), in eight 18 gallon rubbermade totes, one 30 gallon tote, two 5 gallon buckets, a dozen or so medium sized boxes, a bunch of little boxes, and some bags.

it’s crazy how much fabric i’ve accumulated! i’ve never had a space big enough or organized enough to keep it in, so most of it has been in storage for years. i kept gathering more because i didn’t have access to what i had, and now that i have it all in one place it’s a little nuts. and that’s after getting rid of some of it before i moved to this state! i can’t wait to get the chance to dive into it all and see what i’ve got, but that’s going to be a big project!

i have a long and narrow closet in my studio, but currently it’s mostly filled. it and the door to the room take up one whole wall. the top shelf is full of boxes of unfinished projects. the bottom has a giant (currently unoccupied) pet cage, a large box of decorations and a few other odds and ends in it.

the wall opposite the closet has a HUGE window, which i love. lots of air flow makes it the coolest room in the house right now. and lots of natural light means i rarely have to use artificial lighting. under the window is my desk, which has a fan, my sewing machine, space for my laptop, and three stacks of tiny drawers (i <3 these so much!). so far i have drawers for:

  • general office supplies (pencil sharpeners, erasers, that kind of thing)
  • pens
  • pencils
  • mechanical pencils (had so many pencils i had to split them into two drawers! o.o; )
  • permanent markers
  • wet and dry erase markers
  • highlighters
  • batteries
  • lighters
  • ink cartages (empty ones i need to recycle. XD )

i have about 20 more little drawers that are empty or filled with stuff that needs sorting. i think i might use one for my crochet hooks, one for scrap thread (threads i trim off things i’m sewing by machine, that are long enough to baste things, like paper pieced hexagons), and one for straight pins. not sure what i’ll be using the rest for, but i’ll figure that out as i go along.

on the remaining wall i have a bookshelf that’s falling apart that i need to get a bunch of brackets to shore everything up, but until i can get around to that (hopefully soon!) it’s just kinda taking up space. >.< next to it i have a bookshelf that just needs a little fixing up that i plan on putting all my crafting books, magazines, and patterns on. next to the bookshelf is a plastic tower of drawers, kind of like this one,

except mine had 4 large drawers and two small ones. i have one small drawer for buttons, one small drawer empty, one large one for stamps, stencils and punches, and currently one large one full of bottles of paint, but it’s over flowing, and i have a whole other box that’s still unpacked, so need to figure out where i want to move it to. to of the large drawers are still empty. next to that is another 30 gallon tote full of a couple quilt projects. probably going to move that to the closet once the cage is moved out.

in the middle of the room i have our old dining room table. it’s counter height which is *great* for a cutting table. but i’m short. so it kind of sucked for sitting at. >.< really the only time we ever ate at the table was when we had company, so it was mostly just being a clutter collector at our old place anyway. hopefully we’ll be able to scrounge up a new table and chairs before we get around to entertaining again. under the table i have all sorts of storage goodies. i have three rows of yaffa blocks and a tower of small bins on one side, a tower of three larger bins on another side, a 3 drawered tower and another tower of small bins on the third side, and a filing-cabinet-like thing on the last side. so far i have thread, molds, and paint samples in baskets on top of yaffa blocks and the drawer tower, and small bins for:

  • scissors (all sorts, for cutting paper, fabric, border shapes, etc)
  • other sharp things (box cutters, exact-o knives, sculpting tools… be careful when reaching in that bin!)
  • tapes and glue (might make them two separate bins, eventually)
  • glue guns, glue sticks, and my wood burner (hot things with cords go together, right?)
  • handled punches (single hole punches, grommet setter, etc)

in theory i want to put all my supplies under the table and on my desk, all my materials and bookish things along the walls, and projects-in-progress in the closet. not sure if it’s going to be practical to do it that way entirely, though.

i still have to figure out where to put my yarn. i have one very large box (bigger than the 18 gallon totes, maybe as big as the 30 gallons), two or three medium sized boxes, a small box, and a couple small bags. if i could store it the way i wanted, i’d probably have enough to fill 2/3 of a bookcase. i also need to figure out where to put my candle making supplies, which would probably fill most of a shelf, my beads and beading supplies which would fill most of another shelf, and my altered art (scrapbooking paper, clipart, glitter etc) supplies, which currently occupy 3 or 4 boxes. i also have good sized boxes of plastic canvas i need to figure out where to store! my dad got them for me at a yard sale a few years back for dirt cheep (that’s where most of my yarn came from too), and i have enough to last me a lifetime!

then i have a million odds and ends, like old cassette tapes and floppy disks that i need to figure out where to put until i can do something with them. i want to use some of the floppy disks to make some cool looking storage bins to sort things on shelves once i get them, like this one from readapta 2.0:

i also have a ton of baskets a TON of plastic pencil boxes (got them on sale for 10 cents each a few years  back!) and some good clear storage boxes. all in all i have a bunch of storage, and i have a bunch of stuff, i just need to figure out how i want to put it all together, and get some shelving so a bunch of it isn’t just stacked on each other.

i know this was a loooong post, and thank you for reading it! i wish i had done it sooner, because writing it out like this has helped me sort through some of my thoughts and come up with some good ideas! any and all sugestions are welcome! i’ll keep you all posted on my progress.

closing the gap between dreaming and doing

i spent the day looking at organized craft rooms/studios in an attempt to get mine organized... but there's just so many questions left! like where to i store mask molds? or what do i do with the billions of yards of fabric i've collected over the years until i can get a bookshelf to put them on? should glitter paint be classified as glitter or paint?

things that still need a home:

  • paints
  • glitter
  • beads
  • fabric
  • yarn
  • knitting needles
  • crochet hooks
  • lots of plastic canvas
  • scrapbook paper
  • my huge, heavy, industrial three hole punch
  • lots of things i’m probably forgetting.

so far i have figured out where to put:

  • books
  • scissors
  • glues
  • tapes
  • glue guns
  • wood burner
  • stamps/stencils and punches
  • buttons
  • pens/pencils/markers/crayons
  • paintbrushes

i’ve gotten some great ideas from pinterest, and hopefully before it’s all over i’ll have gotten more. here’s some ideas i’ve used, or plan to use.

from mathew moss’s flickr, altoid tins labeled and stored on their side.

from prudent baby, thin ribbon and trim organized in tic tac containers. smart, and cute!

i couldn’t find the source for this one, but grouping objects in ziplock bags and hanging them from shower rings and/or binder clips is genius.

from i love my three sons. a great way to keep decorative paper grouped and under control, but still easily accessible and no out-of-sight-out-of-mind problems like i have with my current system.

from the red kitchen, ribbon spool organizers from pencils and eraser caps. so simple, so smart.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

things i’ve done in the past few days:

finished work on the knitted pillowcase border. now i just need to figure out how i want to back it.

experimented with making bar soap into hand soap. i used dial gold soap, and ended up with a snotty mess the consistency of egg whites. not sure what i did wrong, or if it’s just the kind of soap, but it was an interesting experiment. and even though it’s a little weirdly textured, it’s still usable.

finished a knit cuddlefish (see what i did there?) i started years ago.

finished the hair on an embroidered patch of the sandman  and bastet from neil gaiman’s graphic novel series. all that’s left to do is finish the background and bind it off, but i’m at a standstill because the embroidery floss i need is still packed away.

worked on a cross stitch project i started a LONG time ago, until i again needed thread that’s packed away. then i worked on a different unfinished cross stitch project.

basted more hexagons for my quilt.

patched my best bed sheet because squeebles got to it. XD

now i just need to figure out how/if i can stand at my cutting table with an injured foot, so i can work on some skirts i should have gotten to my mother-in-law months ago. >.<