More on the De-cluttering

My most recent efforts on the de-cluttering task has been centered around finishing projects. I started by sitting in my rocking chair in my bedroom and making a mental list of works in progress. I had 16 items before I even paused to look around the room from container to tub to box and figure out what was inside. Let’s see if I can recreate that list here: 1. yellow and green afghan, 2. multicolored afghan, 3. blue and white beanie, 4. giraffe dishtowel, 5. calf dishtowel, 6. cat dishtowel, 7. pig dishtowel, 8. knit blanket, 9. kid pj’s, 10. pile of torn pants, 11. Christmas welcome crewel, 12. stack of baby blankets, 13. stack of blankets (Vic. material), 14. Smurf crewel, 15. t-shirt rug, 16. fix doll–make clothing….and the list goes on.

broken doll

Fixed doll

I ended up completing #9 and #16 except for the clothing part. I am still trying to make wearable patterns, but I found an unfinished pillow that will turn into a bed for the doll and found some blocks from that fleece blanket project which is not even on the list that can be used to make a doll blanket. I have changed my attitude from completing projects to eliminating clutter. While I was finishing up the pj’s, I realized that since I already had black thread in the machine, it would be a good time to fix up James’ wind pants. The sewing let loose on the zippers at the bottom of the legs, and the hems were a mess because they were too long. The result is that he now has another pair of pants for his morning workout and I don’t have to figure out where to store those pants while cutting them up for something useful.

pajama pants finished

Drawstring

I want to show the pajama pants separately. These were started two or three Christmas breaks ago, but we never got them finished. I was trying to help Victoria with a few things she had started, but did not know how to finish. She was never taught how to read a pattern and some things did not make sense. Pants can be difficult, I even had myself off at one point here. They were already cut and the inseam was finished, but they were packed away all this time. Before I finished off the waist band, I realized that without someone to measure, I didn’t know how tight to make the elastic. I ended up putting two small button holes in the front facing of the waistband, which was just the top folded over. The pants now have elastic and a drawstring. I am really excited. Now I know how to do this and can do it again and again. Maybe….

The best part of this story for me is the de-clutter part. With the work of this day besides the pj’s and doll that will go to two children, I was able to put a pair of pants back in the drawer, empty two spools of thread (two black spools were really near the end), eliminate a piece of elastic and one shoe string from my stash. And, I will eventually get a few more items out the door with the doll accessories, more on that later. All in all Tuesday was a great day. Besides that I have made a few rows of progress on those afghans. Hopefully they will get finished yet. Ya!!!

De-cluttering My Way

I am so excited about the work I finally did last week in my bedroom/craft room and in my office. It happened because Jessica was coming home with the twins for a weekend, and we were not really sure where to put them. OK, so that is not really true. We had planned to put them in my room because it is the largest, but I had it so messy that it was actually hard for me to function there. And if you need to see any proof of all that scroll back to October 17, 2017 to the post titled: Declaring War on Clutter, sort of!

So, everything is put into a can or a box or a tote, and they are even labeled so that I know where to find things without opening up everything. I fixed, as in sewed the stack of items without buttons or torn and returned them to the drawers and closets where they belonged. That was a good feeling. I have also been working on my Works in Progress items in the crochet department. Hopefully I will get to the sewing on the “to do” list by Monday or Tuesday. I even threw away the scraps of yarn that were too small to use for anything. In the past I saved them and set them out for the birds to use in their nests, but they never took them, so into the landfill they go.

So, the cleaning was thought up because of the pending visit, but it was not the actual trigger of my de-cluttering frenzy, which is still going on, Hurrah!!!

Baptism display

What actually happened is that I thought I was scheduled to sub on Thursday and Friday of last week. I got up on Thursday morning, got dressed and ready, and went along with James to school only to see the lady I was covering for in the building. I had the right day but the wrong week; I am subbing today. Instead of being super upset, I took it as the gift of a free day to do whatever I wanted to do. I went home, went to my office and began to sort. I sorted books into a spot in the bookshelf. I put items into the file cabinet and the desk drawers where they should have been in the first place. I sorted so much that I even put up the pictures of the twins’ baptism and Ana’s baptism on the top of the bookshelf. Those are the three children that I have baptized since beginning in ministry…well since ever. Duh!

Angels

I also cleared off all the items from the top of the computer desk and put up my display of Christmas angels. At first I was wondering why I put them there, and then it hit me that what better inspiration to write my messages than a bunch of angels. These angels have either been gifts from family or friends for Christmas or were things that I picked up at auction sales in $1. boxes. I think that the only one I bought for myself is the one on the far right in the back. Both the blue one and the green one belong to a daughter and the two little reindeer don’t really fit the theme, but they match in color and are staying with the angels rather than moving them to the Santa display.

The plant stand in my office.

Mostly I sorted and tossed little sticky notes of paper and sheets of things that were no longer relevant. I also found an empty shoe box and filled it with the Christmas, birthday and cards of congratulations from my installation. That was set aside to make myself a scrap-book later. I was really happy to fill the garbage so full. I got so excited that I even cleared out a stack of old magazines and reduced that by nearly half. I also found a pile of old manuals for nearly every appliance around. We even found the one for the washer and dryer that we had to toss this summer. They were given to us by James’ parents on our wedding. I wish they were still with us. That set worked far better than what I have now. Oh well… So, this is all for now. All I know is that I am happy about what I was able to clear out, and that I only tossed out the items that really had no further value for me. I refuse to toss just to toss, but it is time to go. Hope you are having a great day!!

In progress…sort of…

Baby afghan

So, I have three items either on the knitting needles or with a crochet hook in them at this time. I am sure there are several more items around the room, but these are the three that I will feature today. I have been trying to get this baby afghan finished since I dreamed it up. There is also a “twin” version of this same blanket in my mind and I have the yarn for it, but so far have not picked out the needle. I think three at a time is enough, and frankly I don’t want to designate another bag to carry it around. This is made with the shell stitch, which is really the only one I like to use in crochet with these blankets. It is simple and solid and makes for a very warm blanket. I like to alternate the colors as you can see and hopefully this pattern looks ok when it is all finished. My husbands grandmother was famous for her chevron patterned afghans, but I never did learn that. She also was able to put a ridge into them. We have one that he was given for our wedding that has never been out of the box. He chose the colors and picked black and white and red and gray, and we have never ever had any room that fit that color scheme. It also has been saved from any cat hair. Perhaps someday after cats when we live in a southern climate, we will dig that out. Ha Ha on that idea.

The first of the other two items that I have been working on includes my standard beanie pattern in a blue and white color. I am trying to use up all that yarn from the church. I have made a deal with myself that the yarn from there will be used to make something that is donated, and not given to family or the track team. I would like to have a pile to donate either to the school in the community of our church, or to one of the area collection places for a women’s shelter or such. I currently have three beanies and a headband in the bag designated for that. I am thinking that they would all be warmer if they were lined with flannel and the ear parts were reinforced. I will have to work on that idea.

The final project is the one for which I currently have the most enthusiasm. It is an afghan and in the shell stitch so I don’t really have to think about pattern, but it is the one where I am trying to use up all those little balls of yarn that were left overs from the church when they used yarn in knotting the quilts to finish them. It has lots of yarn joinings, which I am doing with simple square knots, probably not the best idea, but this is just supposed to be a warm blanket to give to someone who needs one. The issue that has me working and thinking and using any semblance of designing in my system (which is not really such a developed talent here) is the idea of which color to use next. My choices are a bit limited and I did end up digging into the box that is not just scraps. I may also dig into some of my stash of scraps. This may end up being one of my favorite things to do as there will never be two of the same. I have to admit that nothing I do is ever two of the same. I could never be someone who turns out a plethora of items of the same kind because after making one of something the challenge is over and I have to move on to find something new to learn. Now if I could just transfer that idea into getting up the gumption to enroll in some classed to earn my degree in ministry, well I guess that is another story for another day.

Today was about three of my works in progress. What is on your needles? And now I need to go and clean house and do laundry so that I am able to watch some local college sports live streaming later today. Have a good one and stay warm!!!

This was written after several failed attempts to add the two little pictures below and even at that. I ended up retyping some of my original content so the pictures would be located where I finally gave in and let them go. Let’s just say I am tired of functions that don’t work, and don’t anyone tell me to use the newer version of writing a post. I, as in me, cannot resize a picture on that place and I just want to scream at the tech-eeze  who change things and never for the better!!!

Well I have been trying for half an hour to get the other two pictures into this post where they make the most sense and I guess I am not allowed to do things the way I want. I either need to upgrade to business or find a different blogging site altogether. Today I am leaning for the second one. I will let you know.

Beanie

Lap blanket

 

What, More yarn? and In progress items

So we have one more night of knotting quilts in church then we are finished for good. We had a stack of quilt tops in the basement that were just left from the ladies group when they disbanded. It must have been there for 2 or 3 years before the secretary and I revived the idea of finishing them. I sort of understood the concept of what we had to do to put the top to a back and add a piece of filling, but I didn’t totally have the routine figured out. Fortunately the secretary was getting into the quilting world, and she got us set. Next we added the rest of the congregation men and women, and a few of the former quitters came out, and then for three years we joined together for 4 nights each year to do what we could. Now we are down to the last year with the last of the tops. It will be great to have them all finished and given to someplace that will benefit from having them. We will feel good about giving them, will have more room to do something else in the space, and we also had some great times working together.

shell pattern

So, the issue with the yarn pictured above is that instead of using that sort of yarn, I brought my skinny crochet yarn and that is what we used to tie up the blankets. Because I brought my yarn, I was able, or maybe the notion is I had to take the other yarn. I have not removed it from the boxes and I plan to make at least one blanket with the small balls of yarn. I will probably use the shell stitch that I always use and try to match the dimensions of a lap robe. Maybe it will give my fingers something more constructive to do than to play Gummy Drop with every waking moment. At any rate, I have started on another beanie with a blue and a white skein. I have pictured that work in progress off the side. Happy knitting to you all!!

The getting organized bug

Now that the big sale is over, and we have taken two of the left over boxes out of the house, I have the “bug” to start digging out more and more, but I am not really willing to live in the midst of junk like we had to last week when we were setting up for the sale. I would like to do the rest of the clearing away in a more methodical and organized way. I stopped in at an antique store in Eureka today and mentioned that I have the old wedding dress of a former resident and I would be willing to give it to them if they would take it. The owner said she would take it and check if the museum would like it and if not they would be happy to have it in their store. One more item gone. Now where to start with the rest. I think the first thing I need to do is begin with an itinerary and a list and mostly a deadline. And, I need to just keep picking at it.

Stack of projects in progress

One exciting issue is that James and I have decided to turn the small back bedroom into my sewing/crafting room. We actually discussed taking out the wall between that room and the office, but neither one of us has carried the sledge-hammer up the steps yet. On the other hand, we have agreed that it won’t happen until there is a replacement bedroom in the basement area, so it will probably be about a year before I get that room. My real motivation for switching out that room is so that no one ever has to sleep on those old beds ever again. I found out the hard way this week that they are terrible. They have served their purpose, but really need to go.

Bag of Vic’s material

In the meantime, I will need to do a little better job of organizing the space in my bedroom to house the stuff I have. Actually I am starting to see the best idea would be to get started at completing a few of the projects and moving them on, as in out of the house. The other thing that I need to stop doing is allowing new items in. Since I still have Victoria’s sewing machine, she decided it would be a good idea to bring me her material for me to use in the projects she had planned. Like I need anymore ideas. Perhaps the best place to start would be a totally complete list of everything here. Yikes, that alone could take two months to complete.

Perhaps my plans for tomorrow after laundry, dishes, start the Sunday message and weed in the garden will be an inventory of material and items in progress. Right after that I will map out a plan for world peace because if I can get that list finished, I should be able to accomplish anything.

Embroidery: Dishtowels

First six days of the week.

Just wanted to share the set of dishtowels that I finally finished embroidering. I actually finished them last week. They were started years ago and I simply had no push to finish them until I needed a shower gift. I sent them with Paulina to take to a bridal shower for a wonderful young woman who grew up with my two oldest daughters. Lindsey is now the owner of her own very successful salon business and I am delighted to say as such is also my hairdresser. I finished these and added two of my knit dishcloths as my gift. I will be officiating her wedding early this summer and I am looking forward to finding a few minutes between now and then to go over some of the details with her and her fiancé Adam.

All finished.

What was left to do last Sunday

In the meantime, just wanted to share these bits of embroidery. I don’t necessarily love doing these, probably because I am not fussy enough to make them look as nice as some others I have seen. I do, though, really enjoy working the crewel embroidery kits that come out looking like a picture. I have many, many of them in a container stashed away. I should really dig them out and get on them. Chalk up another of those projects to help eliminate the clutter. Of course if I finish them next I will have to figure out what to do with them. Enough for now!!

One cupboard clean!

Book shelf of unread books.

Book shelf of unread books.

So, on Tuesday I got a bug to do some cleaning in my room. I just could not stand all the junk standing around anymore. In fact, I had complained about it the night before, and decided it was time to do something and quit talking or even thinking about it. As I looked around the room, I decided that in order to et a few things put away, I needed access to a certain wall, to set some items there, which caused me to end up cleaning out a cupboard which should have been cleaned out long time ago. Well, that was an interesting endeavor. The end result was a new bookshelf where I have stored up several books I would like to read in the near future. Actually the big bonus was the envelop of cash that I found. It was from 2014, and was money that I had set aside for Christmas presents. I remember looking for it then finally believing that I had already spent it. Good grief!!

In terms of the de-cluttering part of the day, I was able to part with a very few items that were deemed garbage, and I now have a large box of cards, photos and papers to sort through in the future. Hopefully the not so far away future either.

Tins!

Tins!

The old wire bookshelf that I was using has been dumped to the car shed for now. It may end up outside in the flower garden, but I have not totally decided. Since it is wire, it could be a good place for climbing plants, but it could also be a place for a few small pots growing herbs. Just not sure yet. The wall where it used to set is now filled with old pop corn tins. I know these items drive some of my daughters crazy, but for me they are great holders of things. I have at least 4 of them filled with yarn or yarn items. One is just for the cones of thread that I use to make the dish cloths. Another has my sock loom and yarn to go with it. Two or three are simply filled with yarn and others are filled with various individual projects including one full of socks that are headed for the sewing machine in the near future to be turned into a long sock snake to be put in front of that door that leaks so badly at the bottom. My great hope is to empty them one at a time meaning that another project is complete,/ and they can be reassigned to hold some other part of the clutter hanging out around here. Mostly, I just want to slowly, but surely whittle down the piles in my area.

Finished beanies

Finished beanies

My current work in progress is not one I want to show off at this time, but I will share the caps that I have recently completed. I love making these, and have found that I need to keep making them larger in order to fit adults. These are mostly the size of a teenager or someone a bit younger. Well, off to the next project. I am on a mission to get things into an arrangement that puts items within range of working on them and eliminate the many tubs of junk we have setting around the room. My goal is to be tub free in this room by Easter!!

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