Saturday, November 26, 2022

Picking Up the Pencil

 I’m trying.

I can’t explain why I’ve been so uncreative in the sewing studio this year, but I’m trying to get in there and just do something. The pink birds are on the design wall and I don’t want to take them down, so I decided to carry on with those. I made a lot of pink birds, and I have to put them together, but it just looked like same-old same-old, so I decided to make some small birds and fit them in. I suppose I could add elements like triangles or broken dishes blocks, but I don’t want to get off the pink bird idea.

This picture ought to show you just how small this little bird is. I envision three of these small guys standing one on top of the other filling up the space above this guy’s head. Of course, in order to carry that off, I will need more smaller birds throughout the quilt, and I think that will be fun.

Here’s another one. In this bird, I tried to relate him to another bird, so you would sense they are part of a family.

Here you can tell where I am going with this. I know it isn’t much, but I’m still feeling the effects of that cold I have and I’m not 100% but I have a to get in the studio and do something to knock the rust off.

Monday, November 21, 2022



This should tell you just what’s been going on with me the last few days. I have the flu-bug or whatever the hell it is that’s going around. It isn’t Covid. But it still sucks.

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

What I Did Last Weekend

I spent some time working on the blue and yellow rail fence quilt. It doesn’t look like much, but it’s getting there. I have an idea of mixing up the blocks but I need to make more of them before I can play with them.


I spent Friday afternoon with my friend P. We had planned to take a drive up north to look at the fall foliage, but we had to postpone our trip due to Covid concerns. We went out to eat at one of her favorite restaurants and we did some shopping at the same time. I bought a new purse, and because I got a new purse, I made a new lanyard for my work keys.

I also made a trip to the Apple Store for some instructions on how to use some of the applications (Write, Keynote & Numbers, the equivalent of Word, Excel & PowerPoint). It’s enough to get me going. While at the Mall I bought two sets of bedsheets, because that morning I work up with my lower leg in a hole on my bottom sheet. Sigh.

But the biggest thing I did this last (4 day weekend) was visit a local crematorium and make my own final arrangements. It was one of the things on my list of things I wanted to get done this year.



Saturday, November 12, 2022

Reality Bites


The Home Office is done. I put up the framed drawing my son did when he was in first grade and I got the new pillow. I think the room looks great and it’s a pleasure to work in.

Reality “bit” when I went to the dentist on Monday. I had a loose filling that needed not to be replaced (because it itself was already a replacement), but a crown. We all know how much $$$ are.

So now I have another crown, and a big bill.

I’ll be sewing later to soothe myself.

Monday, November 7, 2022

Taming the Paper Tiger

I was able to spend some time sorting through my paper mess on Sunday.

I organized my boxes and shredded what was no longer worth keeping, then filed away what I needed to keep.

      It may not look like much to you, but it is like the world was lifted off my shoulders.

        And I got a small ottoman for the chair. It’s great, and it’s the perfect size. My mom tested it out on Sunday. She and I spent most of the day together just doing nothing. She read  (sitting in my office) while I worked on sorting through the papers at my desk.       

The new pillows are due tomorrow. Can’t wait.

Friday, November 4, 2022

In the Closet


The metal shelving unit for the inside of the closet finally arrived, and I put it together. I figured out where I wanted the shelves to be, and made room to store some of my plastic bins on the floor under the bottom shelf.

(I’m trying to post using my new iPad. It takes some getting used to, so bear with me.)

I just can’t tell you how wonderful this makes me feel. This is the same stuff I had before, but I had no place to put it!

I bought a small floor lamp for beside the new chair in the office. And while I am waiting for the new throw pillow to arrive, I put a pillow there to use for now, and then I added the small Jigsaw Puzzle quilt for good measure.

I also moved the desk a couple of inches closer to the wall with the bookcase, and it’s amazing what that little bit of extra space gives to that area of the room.

There is a small television on the bureau, and the chair is a great place to watch it from.

OH! I am so happy with this room. No longer is it The Pit of Despair! Now it is a room I am proud to show.

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Another Gem!


This is another find from my boxes. When my son was in first grade and learning to read and write, they were asked to write something. The thinking was to get kids interested in reading and writing without worrying about grammar or spelling. So this comes from thirty six years ago. I thought it was fun then, and I still think so now. I have brought it to be framed, and will hang it in the office where I can see it from my desk.

Monday, October 31, 2022

The Office, Continued


I've been continuing to clean in the office. I ordered one of those metal shelving racks to fit inside the right side of the closet. This way I can store all the stuff that needs to go in there. Like all the stuff that's currently in the bins and on the kitty condo.

This picture taking during the day shows you how nice the room looks.

I found a printer table that gets the big printer OFF the desk! What a find! It's easily accessible from my chair, and doesn't block the view outside.

Since I moved the electric fireplace I had empty space between the end of the desk and the window, so I got this bookshelf. I'm sure I'll fill it up with stuff, but mostly I can use it for a plant and a place to display some of the bowls that I have.

I decided to get rid of the kitty condo, and find a chair to put there. This way a visitor can have a place to sit, and I can have a nice quiet place to read or whatever.

TA-DA! Getting the chair here was rather an adventure. I'll put a floor lamp back there so I'll have light to read, and I'm going to need a decorative pillow, but that's an easy fix.

So the big stuff in the office is done. I'm elated about the way it looks, and works. I never spent any time in here because it was always so messy and clunky. So how does it look from where I sit now?


Sunday, October 30, 2022

In The Box

' ' '


You can see why!

These were three of the boxes that were on the top shelf of my closet and hadn’t been touched in years. (The fourth was taxes from 2001-2014. I shredded them all.) I took them down to go through them and found the picture I had been looking for.

Over 34 years ago I worked at an art supply store. My dad brought me balloons for my birthday, and you can see my reaction. I kept the photo for years on my refrigerator and then things happened and I lost track of it.

I am SO HAPPY that I found it. It’s on my refrigerator again, so I can see it every day and smile!

Saturday, October 29, 2022

I Rearranged the Office

 When I moved into this house eight years ago, I had made a detailed plan about where every single piece of furniture would go. I had measured the distances between walls and windows, and I even noted all the electrical outlets. But I made one big mistake in the office.

The tall bookcase on the left, partly covered up one of the vents. The office is already the coldest room in the house, and reducing the heating input by half wasn't a good thing. I've always wanted to rearrange the room so uncover the heating vent, but I couldn't figure out how to do it.

The room is ten feet square, and one wall is dominated by windows, 


and another is dominated by sliding doors of the closet. When your desk is 78" long by 30" wide, there aren't a lot of options.

Unless you think out of the box. I don't know why I thought to put the desk in the middle of the room, pulling it away from the wall, but this allowed me to move the tall bookcase away from the vent.

At first I was going to set up the desk as in the layout on the bottom. I was worried I wouldn't have enough room to maneuver around the desk to get to the closet.  I actually went into the office and tried to figure out how I would move the desk. The desk is actually a solid door, so it's really heavy. It sits on two standard sized two drawer file cabinets. The file cabinets would have to be empty to move them, and I'd still have to figure out how to move the desktop itself. Fortunately I've done it in the past.

But something jiggled in my brain and I thought, well, heck, all I have to do is pull the desk away from the wall and rotate the orientation and I would get the same effect. So I redrew the arrangement with that idea (top drawing.)

Since I had made a scale drawing of the new layout, I was able to place a piece of blue painter's tape on the rug to tell me where to move the first file cabinet. If you look closely at the picture above, you can see I got another table that was slightly taller than the file cabinet. I lifted one end of the tabletop and set it on that. Then (once the file cabinet was empty) I was able to slide it out, and then swing it around into it's final position.

The next day I removed everything from the desk, slid the second file cabinet over, and then swung the table top over, resting it on the brown table.

I had already removed the contents of the bookcase, and with the help of a friend, moved it into position. 

Then I replaced the shelves, and the books. How did I know where the books went? I took pictures before I started!

Once the bookcase was all set up, I started to turn my attention to the desk itself, but then I realized that the small electric fireplace would fit perfectly on the wall alongside the bookcase. Plus it would be able to keep me warmer in the new location if I ever had to use it. (Remember I said it was the coldest room in the house?)

I added the artwork, and placed my calendar nearby and made some other small changes.

I left the painted bureau exactly where it was, and filled in the empty wall space where the bookcase had been with artwork, some of which has been in storage for years.

Istill have stuff to sort and move and maybe get rid of, but at least now I can walk into that room and not feel like an albatross is hanging from my neck.

Now the room is "my home office," no longer is it the "pit of despair."

"Breathing room" Julie called it. 


Thursday, October 27, 2022

Oh Say Can You See?


I can't imagine this round fixture was ever popular or stylish, but it must have been cheap, because my house had four of them!! No longer.

The new fixture is a low profile LED bright white.

I got the same one for the front hallway.

When I bought the house eight years ago there were two round fluorescent light fixtures in the kitchen, and the one in the middle of the room didn't even work.

 This "shabby chic" fixture hung in the dining room which barely put out any light.

Less than a month after moving in I replaced both fixtures.


The one over the sink was so bright, I never bothered replacing the one in the middle of the room, but after replacing the range hood this year, I noticed it did not illuminate the room as well as the old one did,

So I replaced it (same electrician, btw), and now the room is nice and bright.

This is the light fixture that now hangs in my main bathroom shower room and big closet. Both rooms had that icky round fixture I showed at the beginning of this post.

 Yup, a BIG improvement, and I can see just fine, and the fixtures are easy on the eyes too.

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Breathing Room!

 About a month ago I wrote about how nothing is as "...fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task." I have had quite a few of those.

Redoing the guest bathroom and the kitchen have made me bring in some new stuff and get rid of old stuff. In the meantime other things got neglected. One of the things we all know is that a stack of stuff that has to be dealt with or an area that needs cleaning or something is emotionally draining every time you look at it. That's been me and several areas of my house for the last few months. A weekend was never enough time to devote to any particular issue.

When my boss and I were discussing the vacation time we'd like to take before the end of the year, I realized I had over 96 hours of unused vacation time. I can only carry 40 hours over to next year, and it was pretty clear I wasn't going to be able to take a solid week off between now and then, so I got creative. I took a look at the company's fiscal calendar and identified three weekends where I could take Friday and Monday off. Those are now on the calendar and I've just completed the first four day weekend.

I decided to get going and clear out some of the stuff that has been weighing me down.

There are three bookcases in my bedroom and these are two of them. All kinds of stuff was stacked willy-nilly on both bookcases, making things hard to find and looking messy. What got me working on these was something that happened in the kitchen.

I had had a big folder of all kinds of recipes I had clipped over the years and it was messy going through them to find what I wanted. Julie suggested I put them in clear plastic sleeves and store them in a three ring binder. Easy for her to say. I had the folder, but I also had a box in the closet. Might as well go through that too. It took me the better part of a week, sorting through them, organizing them and then categorizing and storing them. I ended up needing SEVEN three ring binders. (There is one binder called "Thanksgiving.") Well that was nice, but they didn't fit in my kitchen, so I'd have to put them someplace else.

I had to rearrange the bookcase at the left to get them in there. Then I did the bookcase on the right, because there were some books I wanted to get rid of and some I wanted to group together.

See the comfy green chair at the right? It's where I dump my purse and sweater when I get home from work. It has also been the dumping ground for receipts from when I go shopping and anything else in my pockets. That chair is usually full of stuff so you can't sit on it. But now I can.

Before you tell me that a bedroom is a funny place to store cookbooks, let me show you this. This ENTIRE bookcase is filled with cookbooks. I kid you not. Every single book on this is a cookbook. And before you go all "Home Edit" on me, I've been sorting books and DVD's by color for years. 

My two favorite things are sewing and cooking.  You should not be surprised.

You probably noticed the coffee table I use as a bench at the end of my bed. It has a quilt pattern painted on it. Yes, that was me. Before I cleaned it off there was a big stack of four quilts resting on it. No longer.

In for a penny, in for a pound, right? So I also went through the big closet. It is where I store my quilts, as you can see. I still have a lot of stuff in there to sort through, but as I was going through my clothes closet I decided to take any clothes that were in the quilt closet and put them with the rest of my clothers. Makes much more sense, right? I wonder how many of us have stuff that is split into several locations.

Now I am going to jump ahead a bit, but check out the light fixture in that closet. Earlier this year I replaced the light fixtures in my "spa" bathroom and installed a small chandelier in the small toilet/shower room. It was so pretty, I decided to replace the boring round fixture in the quilt closet with the same small, fun chandelier.

So, BOTH bathrooms, CHECK!

Bookcases in the bedroom, CHECK!

I can't tell me how happy this makes me feel!

What's funny is that I hadn't planned to tackle these projects, but since I was able to get rid of the junk in the home office so easily, I had time to work in the bedroom.

I also purchased replacement light fixtures for the front hallway, the kitchen, and the side hallway. The existing fixtures were all old and fuddy-duddy. Then I scheduled an electrician to come in and install them. That happened on Monday, but I'll tell you about it later.