General

40 Bags? Kon-Marie? Spring Cleaning?

40 bags in 40 days…. Marie Kondo…. Spring cleaning… Tidying up…. Whatever you want to call it, you’ve probably got something that needs cleaned up. For me right now, its my craft room. My craft room is technically a tiny mother-in-law’s apartment on the back of our garage. Its a roughly 8′ x 8′ room with a tiny hallway, afterthought closet nook, and a 3/4 bathroom. It has pros and cons.

Pros

  • Its just about the right size to store my crafty stuff
  • There’s room to work
  • Its quiet and private
  • Its my personal space that no one comes into without me inviting them

Cons

  • Its not climate controlled
  • The West wall is cement so I can’t put up shelves or really put anything into it
  • Its not large enough for a comfy chair
  • Its small so space is at a premuim

But its my space, and I try to keep things as tidy as possible because like I said, space is at a premium, and no sense in piling stuff up taking up precious room.

I noticed a few days ago that I had some things I liked at the time they arrived, but I don’t love any more. Things like scads of yarn that was given to me by someone else destashing. Fabric scraps. Storage containers. Art supplies poled against walls and corners.

I decided to start with the yarn. On Ravelry, there’s a feature called the Stash. It lets you record all your yarn online so you have a digital library of what you have. Its super hand when you’re out yarn shopping to look up if you have something already or to see what will go well with something you have at home. Anyway, I discovered after adding in all my yarns, I had almost 53 miles of yarn. 53 miles. And I don’t even love all of it!

I started off by digging out all the yarn I’m not mad about, all the yarn I likely won’t use, and bagging it. Removing it from stash. Dropping it off at the thrift store. 6 shopping bags full. I did that will all the yarns I didn’t love and knocked 4 miles off of my stash. I did hold back the sock yarn I don’t love because that’s going to specific people, but it is going to go.

Then I looked at my items I’ve made. I looked at my crafting books. I looked at craft supplies. I filled another 4 bags with things I don’t use, aren’t relevant to me, or will likely never be sold or gifted. This included some unfortunate ruffle scarves, an ugly pair of mittens, and some ginormous slippers I crocheted. That was this afternoon.

This evening I tackled the corner of my craft room where I have multiple storage containers with varying degrees of stuff in them. I pulled out a large tackle box which was holding lots of bias tape, elastics, and and assorted sewing notions. Those were all bagged and put into the cabinet of my sewing desk. The tackle box is now empty and unneeded. Outside it went.

Then I open the box containing all of my quilt squares I finished over the last 6 years or so. I laid them out on the floor and found I only need 8 more to actually piece together my quilt. But what this really means is the 6 drawers and 5 bags of scraps I have? Almost all of them can go. I placed an ad on Craigslist so hopefully I can get a few people to pop by and pick some of them up. And maybe this weekend I will finish the other 8 squares.

I’m also likely going to donate the ball gown I made several years ago. It takes up a lot of space and I have no desire to wear it again. That will almost completely clean out that corner. All that leaves is the closet nook, which is mostly a mess because of the haphazard way packing materials are piled up in it. If I can get rid of all of the fabric scraps, I can better organize my fabric collection, and then start to clean up that area too.

It feels so good to tidy up my space and make it pretty again! But I really wish someone would come over and clean our house! LOL

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Crafting · General · Health · Music

All The Things

I’ve had another violin lesson with the lovely Faustina, and I still love it. Its challenging, but in a good way. My next (3rd) lesson is this Friday and while I’m struggling with my C note (2nd finger, 3rd string), otherwise I’m doing okay. I really should devote a little more time to practicing though. An extra half hour a wek would really make a difference, and that’s really only 5 minutes more a day if I practice 6 days a week.

My guitar I bought that I shared with you previously has been rehabbed, though I did have to rig up a fix for one of its issues. I replaced the tuning heads, the nut, the saddle, and the strings and bridge pins, but discovered after it was strung that there’s something not right with where the nut sits, and my strings were all touching the first fret. I poured, cured, and trimmed a small bit of clear resin to pad under the nut to raise it just a bit to keep the strings of the first fret. I also discovered after all of that (time, effort, money) that the neck is cracked. But it seems to be straight on the front side and playable so I will ignore it until it either gets worse or actually breaks. I’m doing the beginner’s group lesson at Guitar Center on the 17th. It will be a busy day as I will be doing that in the morning, we’ll be taking my FIL shopping after that, and then most likely going to a party in Palmdale.

My FIL has had a knack for scheduling his appointments at the only times I am actually busy, so I made and printed out calendars for him that show all the times I am not available… and he still manages to schedule things for the wrong days and times. *sigh* He scheduled one for this Friday right before my violin lesson…. there’s no way we will have time to get to his Dr’s appointment, then go out to eat, drive him home, drive back to Lancaster, and get to my lesson before 4pm, so I said we will have to go eat before the Dr’s appointment. I know he doesn’t want to get up that early but I did say noon or before 1pm when he was scheduling it and of course he scheduled it for 1pm.

When I go to my next Dr’s appointment I am asking to be taken off of the Trileptal. I don’t feel like it did anything to curb my mild mania, and honestly, I don’t want to take something that seems to do nothing for me. I closed my last credit card down so its going to take a lot of effort for me to do any crazy spending now, and really that’s all I do now if I’m somewhat manic.

I finished this blanket this morning- it was supposed to only be a baby blanket between 36″ and 42″ wide but nope. Once again my color plan took over and it grew and grew. It would be great over a couch or on a twin sized bed. I had to buy another skein of the red to finish it because I literally ran out with 15″ to go before it was done. Ugh. Oh well. At least its a nice red.

 

We are trying to eat a bit better and I stocked up on fruits and veggies this last shopping trip. There will be no excuses for eating like crap. When I bought all the groceries yesterday, the cashier rang up almost all of my fruits and vegetables wrong, but it ended up being to my benefit and I really didn’t feel like correcting her with almost every produce item she typed in.

 

 

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Crafting · General

Pictures & Words :p

I’ve got lots of photos and plenty of words for you this time. This month is crazy busy with appointments because I got my surgery date (finally!) and will be getting my tubal ligation on the 20th. That means I’ve had to drive all over the damn place for my pre-surgical tests but I’ve just finished my last one. Of course the day before its clear liquids only and I have to drink some icky stuff to flush me out, which I am hoping won’t interfere with the fact I see my psych doctor that same day.

I think adding the Zoloft to my daily regimen has helped. My manic episodes have tapered off for the most part to just low level hypo-manic, which is good because I feel mostly in control through those. I will discuss it with my doctor and we’ll decide whether to bump up my Geodon a bit or not.

 

img_20160403_220508447_hdr.jpgI crocheted this basket for my craft room, using one strand each of Jade and Burgundy (Red heart super saver). It was pretty quick but larger hooks hurt my hands so I was glad when it was finished.

This cute little daikon radish was super fast and easy to make! I loved doing his greenery afterwards and figured he could use a bit of a face so stitched his eyes on as well. As stated in the pattern, you could also use it to make a carrot. 🙂 You can find the pattern on Ravelry.

I made two baby blankets as well, one of which (not pictured) I gave to Dee next door for Miranda, and one of which I am giving to a girl from the pool hall who is pregnant (below). This one is just a granny pentagon- super easy and quick to make. I think I spent a few hours over two days on this one.

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I made this super cute dinosaur stuffie for Tracy, and even gave him a smirk to match hers, though it was entirely accidental. His pattern is also located through Ravelry. I did shorten his neck and tail a bit because I was running short on yarn, but otherwise he’s pretty much like the pattern indicates.

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Last Wednesday I drove to Burbank and picked up Mattie at the airport and on the way home we stopped at Creative Ewe. So many gorgeous yarns, really nice store, and wonderful people staffing it. I am looking forward to going back when I can actually shop.

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Thursday we had a craft day (Tracy, Jami, and I) and we made these tasty sandwiches for lunch along with salad and of course lots of tasty snacks. She even got a lemon tart which was so good!

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I finally knit my Wurm hat, or as I am calling it, the beehive hat, complete with many many bees! It’s silly but I love it and I can’t stop wearing it.

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My yarn order that UPS failed to deliver, and then a few days later delivered to the wrong house. Finally arrived.

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Our last photos for today are two of my favorite face in the world. 🙂 She finally got over being mad at Mattie after he came home from his trip and decided she wanted to spend some time snuggling with him. A bad, blurry photo I know but she was so cute sitting in his lap in his chair!

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She’s also been spending a lot of time in silly positions lately. The weather is getting warmer so its all about exposing her belly!

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I also finally tracked down the High Desert Ukulele Club completely by accident. Tom and I were at dinner at the Greenhouse Cafe yesterday and I saw they were meeting in the next room, so maybe in a few weeks I will join them and actually learn to play it.

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Health

Things Are Not So Good (But I’m Working On It!)

It has come (rather rudely) to my attention that I really should not have gone off of my anti-depressants a year or so ago and that I have been slowly spiraling downwards since. I spent about half of the week following my return home from Washington on the edge of a major meltdown and I’ve spent the past few days calling Mental Health twice daily until they could move my appointment up to sometime this month. I haven’t been knitting, crocheting, or playing with clay. I just can’t make myself care about any of it right now. Tracy said she knew something was wrong when I stopped playing with my clay. She’s likely right that that was the first serious part of the decline. But that’s the thing about depression. You don’t always know when its happening until you’re so low you can;t see over the top of the pit any more. All of a sudden you realize you’re buried in this big deep hole with no daylight left in sight. The only good thing about having been here before is I know there is daylight beyond the rim and I know how and where to get help for it.

On a happier note, this is the yarn I ordered while on a great sale from Michael’s online.

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Its a completely crappy phone picture, but you can see the gorgeous jewel tones of the colors. Why so much? Because when you buy from the Michael’s website, you have to buy in warehouse inner pack quantities. In the case of most of the yarns, that’s 3 skeins, but some are different.

Then as if I didn’t have enough new yarn, my mom got me this mess for my birthday via one of the warehouse’s employee only sales.

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That’s 9 coordinating skeins of Bernat Mega Bulky, and three Big skeins of Loops & Threads Impeccable. I’ve got 2 other skeins of Mega Bulky already in my stash that will go with these colors, so I’m thinking its blanket time! There’s also 2 containers of air dry clay plus a slushie machine, all of which she got for about $20. 🙂

This though, BTW, is not a good Ben & Jerry’s flavor. The ice cream itself is alright but the caramel core is so salty its like brine. I might actually throw the rest of this pint in the trash and call it a loss.

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On the 15th I have an appointment in Panarama City for my consultation about getting a tubal ligation. I’m not looking forward to the drive down there, and I hope I don’t have to pay for parking, but if all goes well it puts me one step closer to making sure I stay child-free! Yay! And yes, I know its permanent, and yes I’ve thought about it a lot. For about 20 years to be exact. If I could have had this done at 20 easily I would have.

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Crafting · General

It’s Almost Over

Friday the 15th I got in the car with one of my best friends and we drove up to Washington state.  I’ve been hanging out with them in Kent since, with a few small trips around the area.

We haven’t done a lot but we have had fun and its been wonderful to just spend time with Nikki, get to know her husband, and spoil her little dogs rotten. Buddy and Doofers are adorable!

The first few days I drank what is a lot of beer for me, and I’ve consistently drank too much coffee.  We went to a bar where I asked for a stout and the server offered me chardonnay. Fail on her part.

We went and played speed bingo, which I won a few rounds, and we played the slots a bit (I won $59 after Nikki spotted me cash to play – I paid her back what she gave me).

I did some online shopping while I was here, ordering new shelves for my craft room and new yarn that was sale for great prices. The shelves arrived at home today and I expect the yarn to be there early next week.

 

We visited Snoqualmie Falls, which was beautiful, and we ate out a lot. Last night we went to a sushi place where I ate a lot of foods I couldn’t identify but tasted fantastic.

Yesterday we drove into Seattle and visited the Pike Place Market which was cool. I chatted with a few vendors and got to get a few leads on getting help with my ukulele playing from a guy calling himself the Howling Hobbit.

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We had the best damn clam chowder I’ve ever had and we visited So Much Yarn, which was incredible. It’s a small shop but it’s beautifully arranged and the lady who runs it was fantastic. I only spent $50 there but I left with 7 skeins of beautiful yarn in two types, 3 of one and 4 of the other. The one I got 4 of was on sale for half off so that helped. I nearly bought some $28 a skein silk and merino yarn that felt amazing.

Tonight we visited one more local yarn shop that was highly recommended to me via the Ravelry forums and while I didn’t like this shop quite as much as So Much Yarn, I found the Maker’s Mercantile to be really nice and bought 4 balls of baby alpaca plus a book on crocheting monsters.

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This beautiful needle felted chair and footstool were in the shop.

Nikki and I also started watching Nurse Jackie and we are trying to finish the show before I fly home tomorrow morning.  We have about one season left that we’re trying to get through tonight.

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I crocheted an entire blanket while I was here too. It’s not a big blanket but it’s a nice sized throw for cuddling under while watching TV.

I fly out of Seattle tomorrow morning at 720 and while I’m happy to be heading home soon, I’m still having major anxiety about the flight. I’ve never flown before and honestly planes terrify me. I also keep freaking out that they will lose my bags or something.

This has been a great trip though and I’m super glad I did it.

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Crafting · General

I’m Still Here!

I’ve been a terrible blogger lately, which is a big part of why I switched from self hosted to this. Why pay for a service I barely use? Anyway, I’m chugging along albeit somewhat slowly on my current crochet blanket, but it’s growing and I only (haha) have either 13 or 16 more rounds to go on it, if I decide to end it on a stripe of three rounds of off white or skip the white outer border altogether.

I figure if I can get one round done every other day I have plenty of time to finish before Christmas, assuming I actually work on it. I had a 30% off all regular price  stuff for Joann’s the other day so I bought ten skeins but happily I think I way overbought and can return quite a bit of it.

This is where I am on it as of now.

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I’m pretty sure the additional 20 inches in width it will gain with the next 13 rounds will make it just the right size for its intended.

I haven’t been to the gym in like two weeks and I haven’t practiced my ukulele but once or twice in the last week and I’m slacking terribly on housekeeping.I just feel overwhelmed by everything lately. It just seems like everything is too much.

pipesI want to say last Thursday we had the plumber out to clear out some clogged pipes for us in the kitchen and he noted that we had a leak under the house. Mattie dug it out and found it was pretty nasty so we went to turn the water off at the mainline from the street and the main broke. I called the county and everyone on our street had no water for an hour or so while they fixed it.

We left our water turned off because of the leak, and we ended up going almost 3 days with no water. The plumbers had to use jackhammers to take up some of our cement, and replace about 30 feet of old pipe that was more rust than metal but we’re leak free again and the water’s back on now.

Its kind of horrifying to see what our drinking water has been coming through all this time and even though we filter ours, the dogs are getting it straight out of the tap. Yuck! I’m surprised it was running clear!

Today I’ve got a few errands to run- taking Tom to pick up his Rxs and to the store to get Mattie some more lunches and some housecleaning, and I’d like to get another round done on my blanket if I can. Nothing major but it will keep me busy today.

The weather turned cold fast after Halloween. I’m giggling to myself every night now seeing Mattie (Mr Die Hard Metalhead) curled up asleep under my rainbow blanket. Its adorable!

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