Crafting · General

Final Tally & A Tour

Here’s what’s gone out of my craft room over the last week! Woohoo! No wonder my space feels better.

Shopping bags of stuff donated – 15

– including almost 5 miles of yarn

– 5 pounds of beads

– 4 bags of clothing

– 1 kitchen trash bag of fabric scraps

Emptied storage containers – 1 tackle box, 1 large shipping tote, 6 shoe drawers, 4 5″ x 8″ bead containers

Bags of trash thrown out – 4

Missing things found – 1 hat I thought was stolen

WIPs discovered – 3

And here’s the way everything looks now… This is the closet nook, with its permanently stained floor and tight space. It doesn’t look great, but it does look so much better.

On the left side is the majority of my fabrics.

On the right side is batting, fleece, felt, purse handles, and zippers.

In between is a bag of fiber fill, bubble wrap, and some reusable shopping totes. There’s shipping supplies and unused yarn storage on the tops.

Along that same wall is the “wall of yarn”. The big yarn wall. I’ll be donating a few more skeins (some of the stuff piled on top) of yarn tomorrow. There’s a lot here but its mostly sorted by type and I can easily find what I’m after.

Also, it looks pretty. 🙂

The beading table, wire shelf holding my large skeins of yarn, and a few articles of clothing hanging up. There’s still some clutter off to the left, but most of that will be either donated or taken to a crafty day and passed around and what’s not claimed will be donated. I really want to find a more aesthetic solution for storage here but there’s so many tiny bits and pieces, I’m not sure what else I could use.

The sewing desk, my thread on the walls, and my dress forms. The cardboard boxes on the beading table are waiting for addresses to be shipped out, hopefully in the next few days.

The little yarn wall, and my earring displays. And Sashi. Sashi is very important.

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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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General

Woohoo! I Have My Own TLD!

Well, if you’re here, you’ve probably followed me over from my WordPress.com hosted site and now you’re here. And as of about fifteen minutes ago, I have a shiny new top level domain name for this blog. Its not a fancy one, but for $0.99 I’m pretty happy with it. Seriously, no reason to spend $15 a year to indulge my ego, ya know?

Tonight the super nice lady I met in Winco came by to pick up her pussy hat, and asked if we might try to be friends. She introduced me to her husband and said most of the people they’ve met here were religious types and that wasn’t working for them. I’m not sure if it was the pussy hat or the stuff amigurumi penises on my shop website that clued her in that I’m definitely not into the big G or super conservative. But either way, maybe we will click and we will all win with new friends. 🙂 I’m hopeful.

I’ve been trying to add new things to my shop but its kind of hit or miss. Mostly its just new items I’ve just made going up, and not the scads of things I made before and never put up. Maybe I will get a handful of them photographed and listed tomorrow.

I still have no idea what’s going on with my disability appeal. And of course the website doesn’t offer me any help in finding out either. Waiting… it sucks.

My Instant Pot is still awesome and makes all the things. I did a beef roast tonight with gravy and a green salad, and tomorrow I’m sure I will use it again- I’ve used it almost every night since it arrived! Love it!

Lucy is continuing her downhill trudge and has been crapping in the house, mostly on the couch, and almost every day. I know she’s old and doesn’t have control any more but ugh. I’m tired of picking up poop all the time. Sashi on the other hand… she’s her normal, boisterous, and outgoingly happy self.

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General

My (New) Precious!

So for a couple of months I’ve been seeing this ad on Craigslist. I could tell from the photo it was at a pawn shop, I just didn’t know which one.

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Its a gorgeous guitar. Like super gorgeous. I kept going back to look at it.

The night before last I texted the contact number and asked if it was still available and where the shop was located. I got the address and promised to stop by sometime after I finished up with my other plans on Thursday.

Thursday morning I met Tracy and Jami at Starbucks by Joann’s. The three of us have a love for coffee, crafting, good food, and drinks, and it was Jami’s birthday so we had coffee, chatted a while, then went to Joann’s where we all bought a few items.

Then we migrated to Michael’s, where we wandered the store for ages, picked out a few things, and headed to Medrano’s to lunch. One of things I picked up at Michael’s was these little beaded rings which will make great knitting stitch markers!

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They were on clearance, and I like the colors, so its a big win!

Medrano’s saw us ordering lunch and 2 cocktails each, where we maybe got Jami way more intoxicated than intended, but we had a good time and the waiter was great. After that we drove Jami home, took Jason to pick up the car, and we went our separate ways.

While we were eating, they came out and sang Happy Birthday to Jami and put the hat on her. It was pretty funny! (Sorry its so out of focus- we were all laughing pretty hard.)

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I went to Guitar Center because I needed to pick up an order that came in (just some little stuff) and then headed back to Lancaster to the pawn shop. I had to be buzzed in, and the place was pretty spartan, but that seems pretty standard for the pawn shops I have been in (which is exactly 2 including this one). I asked to see the Peavey bass and a guy took it down off of the wall and handed to me. My first response was holy crap this thing is heavy! followed by hearts streaming out of my eyes. Seriously. Love at first sight. So freaking beautiful. I held it, caressed it, pretended to play it, and then I bought it.

So now she’s sitting in our music room. Mattie offered to let me use his old bass amp, and I talked to the nice folks at Sweetwater (who I cannot recommend enough- they helped me research a product they don’t even carry after I had only spent $5 with them) and on Wednesday I should have a stand, cable, and strap arriving from them.

The strings are free of corrosion and look good, so I am hoping I don’t need to change them anytime soon. I haven’t tried to tune it yet.

I told someone I feel like Goldilocks- trying all the instruments out, looking for the perfect fit.

 

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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 · Music

New Ukulele (from a DIY kit)

I know, do I need a new ukulele when technically I can’t play the one I have yet? Probably not, but when I saw this DIY kit I had to order it. Its not full on build it yourself- the uke body is already together and really you just pin/glue/screw a few pieces in place and bob’s yer uncle. It took about 30 minutes to assemble and another ten minutes to string and tune, once I realized I had done some of the assembly wrong.

Anyway, I started out with a nice plain paint job and it quickly turned into this.

This is the hardware I used that after going to Michael’s, Lowe’s, and Walmart, I finally found at Home Depot of all places. Its a rubber coated hook that I found in the hardware section- aisle 36 I think it was. I might swap out the brackets I made for my other stand for these as well. Their only a buck a piece.

After I took those photos, I added the word “HELP” to the lower corner on the front. I also built another stand, using mostly stuff I had on hand for a cost of about $4. I painted it bright green, the same color as some of the paint splatters on  the uke, and did a few splatters on it as well.

Now the ukulele itself, it’s loud, but honestly it doesn’t sound as nice as my tenor does. There’s a big difference in price though between them, and quality. But it was still a super fun little project and I’d say worth the $40!

 

 

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Health

Tubal Ligation is Done!

Several months ago I started the process to get a tubal ligation. Once I found out the process, it turned out to be easier than I expected. My first stop was Planned Parenthood. They did the mandatory 30 minute counseling session with me to make sure I understood that sterilization is permanent and that I really did not want kids. That part was super easy.

Then I went to my primary doctor and requested a referral to a gynecologist. There was some hold up there with my insurance until I requested my medical records from Planned Parenthood and had my primary doctor send in the proof of the counseling session.

The next hold up was 3 times I was referred to the wrong kind of doctor. I finally got my referral to a gynecologist and she did an exam and asked me a lot of questions. When she heard that there is mental illness on both sides of my relationship, she agreed that that alone was an excellent reason to give me the go ahead. I wasn’t going to judge her idea of a good reason to sterilize me; I was just glad that she agreed to do it.

The next few weeks were filled with driving all over the place (did I mention the doctor I was referred to was an hour’s drive away from me?) to pick things up, have tests run, and in general drive me batty. I was thankfully able to do my EKG and bloodwork where I live, but had to drive down below to get my chest x-ray.

That was a week ago. Yesterday I went in for the actual surgery at Valley Presbyterian Hospital in Van Nuys. It felt like I was waiting in holding for hours, but once they put me under, I blinked and it was done. I freaked out a little when I woke up in recovery because for a few minutes I couldn’t really move and I couldn’t do more than just moan and whimper. I think they paralytic they give you for surgery was still in me a bit. When I could move better and actually talk, I spent 15 minutes cracking what could only be truly awful jokes because no one laughed. I’m so glad no one was there to record that.

The surgery itself went great. No problems, and just two tiny incisions. One in my bellybutton and one right above my pubic area. When we left the hospital, our first stop was to go to Arby’s. I was starving after my fast (the day before I was only allowed clear liquids and jello) and a turkey sandwich never tasted so good!

We stopped by the pharmacy, but I ended up not getting my pain med Rxs filled because the doctor wrote them on the same sheet, and Norco is nearly impossible to get here, and when the Rxs are written like that they have to fill both of them at the same time. Instead I just bought menstrual pads and a bottle of ibuprofen. The menstrual pads were because apparently after this surgery you bleed from your vagina and there is a big “don’t put things in your vagina” warning on the printout for after care… LOL. After that we were on our way home.

After we were home I kinda felt like I got kicked in the stomach by a horse, which is pretty much how bad menstrual cramps can feel. I was tired too, but not tired enough to actually sleep. Mattie and I stayed up kinda late watching TV on Hulu and then went to bed. At first I couldn’t get comfortable but then I knocked out pretty quickly.

This morning I woke up and I felt like I had a brutal workout at the gym yesterday and did about a thousand sit-ups. I took 600mg of ibuprofen and after about an hour felt quite a bit better. I’m still sore of course and I feel like an old lady, but its honestly not that bad and I wouldn’t die if I didn’t have anything for pain.

I’m super relieved that I did it. I’m glad I won’t have to worry about an accidental pregnancy. And as someone I follow on Instagram said, “Welcome to Sterile Club!” LOL I did however have a few naysayers along the way. I had a few private messages from friends when I talked about wanting this done on Facebook saying I was too young and I didn’t know what I was doing. I’m 35 years old people. I’ve never wanted kids. And one of the surgical nurses insisted I would be back in a few years to have it reversed, or that I could always rent a womb, or do in vitro fertilization. She also questioned me if my boyfriend was really on board with this. On the other hand, when I saw my new psych doctor the day before my surgery, he applauded me for making a conscious decision to prevent unwanted pregnancies when so many people who shouldn’t have kids just keep popping out babies.

But its done, and I’m glad. Now to just recover and get back to normal! I’m planning on doing some knitting during my downtime. 🙂

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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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