Thursday, January 31, 2013

Why you can't judge a book by its...


I got this book in a $5 bin and I 'd thumbed through the pictures and set it in the stack to snuggle in with all the rest of my lovelies.  I had focused on 'display' rather than 'storage'.

I do like books.  Probably too much.  They are such good friends.

When I decided to give a review on a book a month I thought this would be an easy and quick one but not too relevant because it appeared to be all about 'out of reach' accessories and I don't even know where the closest Pottery Barn is!

I have been making lots of notes! I am now focusing on 'storage'.   It may show high end antiques but the storage principles are priceless and  very do-able.  Some are beyond me as my 1930's farm house has a tiny closet in each bedroom and 2 closets in the upstairs hall and that is it.  Not even a broom closet.  The basement has one window, a six foot ceiling and an unfinished floor.  But I see an addition in my future that could have a laundry room!  :)  Hence the notes!  lol

So here are a few things I have learned:

Condense and contain!  Each room has its own storage needs.

I am a stacker so I need to keep flat surfaces to a minimum and use more decorative baskets.

I luv shelves and there are pages of wonderful ideas to satisfy my form over function sensibilities. Group items by colour, material, or theme.  And when it can't be pretty, hang a sheer curtain over the front to make the mess ambiguous!  That's kinda what I did with my fabric stash!  :)

Entrance: my challenge is the flat surface free to receive the handful or armful on entry! :O
I have the coat hooks, the boot tray, the mitten chest and then all the miscellaneous phone books, pens and keys behind a cupboard door.  I even have the chair and mirror!  Storage needs to be easy and automatic so I have 'trained' the Rooster to stash all his stuff in drawers.  I am loosing the battle on the kitchen windowsill but I'm winning in the other rooms!  lol

Living room: We have almost got library status with the volume of books we own.  I am dispersing them to appropriate rooms.   The stack by my bed doesn't quite look like the 'end table' in the photograph though!  

To improve visual clutter and my sense of pretty I am considering making paper book covers for some them.  I'd luv this effect in my bedroom.

Bedrooms:  Everything seems to require air circulation and that isn't possible in my closets although things are less wrinkled since we bought a wardrobe for the bathroom to hold the Rooster's clothes.  But rolling blankets rather than digging through stacks would work for my quilts. I liked that idea!  Platform beds are the way to go!  I have metal beds and dust bunnies hide amongst the Rubber Maid containers which I am trying to eliminate! :(

Bathrooms:  Towels are best folded in thirds lengthwise then in thirds again.  Or rolled!  And look at that toilet paper holder.  A towel bar!!!

Laundry room:  Be still my heart!  A designated room and so organized.  Not a laundry pile in sight!  vbsigh

The utility room and work rooms were enlightening.  The stuff one uses the most and has the most of should get the biggest area and the priority.  I need a library!  Ha!

But this lets me know that my mixed media stuff is slowly putting pressure on Nina and all my sewing stuff.  I need to re-evaluate and  make some informed decisions concerning my 'studio'.

I already have a pegboard which is highly recommended but using a spice rack for my little spray bottles and inks was a DUH! moment.  ;-)  I have free real estate on the ends!

I have learned that I can always learn something more.  I learned I am already putting into practice some of the principles to good storage design I've gleaned from all those magazines that come out in spring showing 100 ways to better storage.   And the truth be told, are often more than five bucks!   I also learned that an antique bucket works just as well as a dollar store bucket!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Wow, working with life

I must say that I find it totally frustrating to be on a good motivating roll and you see ahead of you a wall.

A nice wall- holidays, special occasions.  A not so nice wall- life, health.  But a wall that stops the momentum and try as I can and  prepare as I can ... ???  :(

So I am getting back up to speed and leaping the low wall of a winter cold and I see a bend coming I know is another wall.  A Nice wall!  But...

The journal pages take a good day to get the backgrounds all done, not the couple of hours I've been figuring!  And that is just the backgrounds.

I'm back looking at what needs doing on the household front and darned if I didn't find some more UFO's when I considered my storage options!   I have 3 more sets of seasonal placemats somewhat organized. These winter ones need a quick and simple front!  hmm, maybe a disappearing nine patch made large and sliced in four!  I'd need only three big blocks and times four would give me my 12.  hmmmm?  Maybe some stack, slice, shift and sew!  :)

I knew my few applique tubs were lurking somewhere!  This hand applique project has nine blocks and I do believe I want to finish this.

In the mean time...

pant, pant!  I wonder what The Needle  & Thread Network gals are working on as they process life and its walls?

Monday, January 28, 2013

Where did it go?

Last week it was -29C.  Today it is positively balmy at -9C.  I don't mind that the freezing cold is gone at all.

I do mind that the month of January is almost over and I am still diddling around about my theme for the calendar journal!  sheesh!

I very much wish my cough would be gone though!

I'm reaching deep for motivation this last week of January!  It isn't gone, it just looses focus in between my fits and starts!  oops, too deep; it has started the cough, cough again!  ;^)

Friday, January 25, 2013

Me, too!

The grand son phoned a few days in a row to see if 'today was the day?' and Thursday, in spite of some serious blowing snow, he was picked up and brought here to Gram'elle's playroom.

I had already finalized the colours I want for the downstairs.  Just a few either/or decisions and I'll be good to go.  Thanks to my Gemini twin for helping me clarify what I needed to do! :)

I spent an evening figuring out if there was a quick way to piece all my blocks for the wedding quilt.

 If I don't want to totally confuse myself, there is NOT!  I never thought about the diagonals on this fabric!  :(

Then I did a bit of catch up on Jump Start and with some other creative videos on the blogs I follow.

This one is some stencils, acrylics, silks and water colour pencils.  I like it and I'm wondering what to do next!

When we made the quick run to gather eggs, Josh wanted to try the crazy carpet he'd dragged along.  We have the hills but the teacher is kinda inept!  lol

In the meantime Josh and I watched a video on finger misting! That is spray and smear!  lol  He thought he'd like to try!

And Just Because, I am going to watch the Stewart Little video with my fellow artist!   It has been a good week!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Wow, back to a clean surface

And a fresh start on a finish.

First up on the worktable, as a warm up for the warm up, is Eliana's party dress.

But I did want to start by showing that I did manage to get my cleaning completed from yesterday.  I put new paper down at the mixed media counter, seen on the far right.  The journal table is exposed.  The cutting table ready.  That huge pile threatening to avalanche onto Nina is all part of what is on my worktable and the goal this year is to diminish it.  :)  Yay for the Finish-a-long!

So I mended  the grand kiddie's party dress, which took 5 minutes(!) and actually started her mum's quilt blocks for the final border.

I had to really think about how the pieces are laid out.  The pieces remain the same but the colours change to make flowers.  Yellow flowers are on the edge and the green trumpets scallop around the outside.  Won't that be fun to bind!  I think I am out of my mind but it is a wedding quilt!  lol

This has been such a wall for me to get over and finish. I'm not sure why as I like it.  I can't find the instructions which I don't really need but it would be good to refresh my memory as to what side up and which parts to sew to which parts.  I already made a mistake but I think I am beginning to see the colour flow again.  It is starting to all come back.  whew!

So it may not look like much but I am starting and I shall keep this up until I have it all pieced.  God willing and the creek don't rise which is slim given the freezing cold we are experiencing!

I think I may check on the weather throughout Canada by visiting my fellow sewers at The Needle and Thread Network.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Perils of Piling!

 I finally got a planner and a 2013 calender. I'm not sure I needed 4 but ...

It is bitterly cold here but we did make the trip to the city.  I always come home with stuff and lots of times it is substitutes for what I really wanted.  I'm beginning to think Internet shopping is the way to go if one considers time and gas.   I piled my purchases on an already messy flat surface.  :O

Then I carried an old pile down to fine tune my downstairs colour choices.  The original piles had kinda slid into one another and I wasn't sure what was what!  :(

I need to reduce piles in the studio and I started by opening the closet door.

VBSIGH    I am sorely tempted to get rid of everything and start over but I am getting closer to my ideal so I shall post the 'shame on me' evidence and hope for a fabulous finish on Friday!   I am now back to bare floor but the piles in the main room are intimidating.

The old films of the Perils of Pauline were in black and white and very much worse.  My dilemmas  are in techno colour and certainly without all the music and high drama.  Before I scream, admit defeat and embrace a train wreck,  I shall begin to loosen the knots, slip my bonds and launch myself through the clutter to a clear spot and evaluate how to level piles.   Perhaps I need some background music and a few whistle blows!  

Monday, January 21, 2013

Beginning to despair!

Winter has still got a long ways to go. This is a good example of why I like lots of deep rich colour during our winter.

One more load of snow and the Rooster is ready to throw away the shove and hand out snow shoes!  lol

And I am thinking much more stuff on my to-do list and I'll be ready to throw something. ;-)

My Creativity 101 gal and I have a field trip scheduled to the city for supplies later today. A goodly list, a Michael's coupon and a budget!  :(  She got a small art set for Christmas but the tubes of acrylic paint are the size of her little finger so we need some large tubes of primary colours and other important stuff.

The workroom is totally messy and clearing it off for some sewing will be first thing.  We do have storage containers on our list.  My book for storage says " A house without a dedicated utility space is like a toolbox without compartments.  Sure you know where the nuts and bolts are; it is just a lot harder to find them."  This definitely applies to my studio.  I also need to find a spot for Jenn to store some of her supplies.

If I got busy on my daughter's top, I'd have an empty storage container to fill with something else that needs corralling!

The first meeting with our contractor is Tuesday night.  So I need to have all the swatches, papers, pamphlets and questions ready.  We will be talking about these two rooms.

I think I have found a few things to motivate me this Monday!

 We may be approaching the winter season in years but we still have spring in our hearts!  No time to despair.  Time to dance on!!!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Blue and white!

A blue and white wedding present.  Not a lot of blue sky but lots of swirling white.  It'll be an interesting drive to the wedding and an even more interesting ride home.   C'est la vive!

If there is no post on Monday it'll be because I am blue and stuck in a white snow bank!  ;^)

Friday, January 18, 2013

Creative Catch Up

The muse is there but a jump or two ahead of me.  I'm trying to get up to date with the Creative Jump Start  as I had no time during my house guest's stay.

Here are some quick samples from all my jumping!

Double sided tape- embossed.

Masks.  Tags.

Stencil techniques.

Foam stamp textures.

And here are my attempts at a fancy wedding tag!   The wrapping paper is blue and it is a winter wedding.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Wow, pieces are falling into place

Two things motivate me.  Ideas, especially brand new ones are top of the list!  So first I dug out a few fabrics to start a new project.  At least it was on my to-do list so technically it isn't really  a N E W  project.

And cleaning.  I suspect cleaning is more related to stalling but it does work to get me back into the creative mode.   So I got my vacuum running to make music and we hummed along as I thought about my fabric selection.

The scrappy trip block can be found on the Quiltville site and I will look to see if there is a better one later as it tells how to press the initial strips but I'm not sure how to press the finished blocks.

These are possibilities as I want a light block with two dark values touching.  So that will take some puzzling out.

I made four blocks and they give me a feel as to what direction I need to be heading. 

There are lots of seams to match and I remembered that Nina has a dual feed function and that is very helpful.   I think I will really enjoy making these.  It feels good to be piecing patchwork again!

Maybe I can find some more examples on The Needle and Thread Network!