Okay, so I am one week into 2023 and my resolution has (mostly) held. This year I am going to be teaching 3-4 classes outside of my normal work. One of those is going to be a needle tatting class. I decided to purchase supplies for 10 people to be able to take the class, I wanted to make the purchase before prices to up. It will be about $10 per person to take the class and this just covers the supplies. Given that I hope to be given a speaker’s fee which I can then put toward some future classes I would like to take. Other than those supplies and a case to put them it I have bought the supplies I need to finish my holiday plans and some fabric I was missing for a couple of cousin quilts, as well as the batting for a donation quilt.
Every day I have managed to do something to make progress on my various crafting plans. The 16 shaft loom has the warp through the front beater bar, it is just waiting for me to thread it through the heddles next. I have spun a couple more puffs from my Unicorns in the Library fiber ( split it into hand length puffs to give me smaller achievable goals). I have half of the fabric I purchased torn into the right size for my embroidery project (for the family), and I stitched up 4 pieces this morning with another 2 designed and ready for me to hit the button when I get home. I have also signed up for three different ‘summits’ that will happen this week. One is Stitch Camp scheduled to begin next week, then the Knitting Summit the week of the 23rd, and finally selling your crafts for a profit the 26th- 28th of January. I am not sure how much I am going to get out of these classes, however since they are free I am going to give them a good shot.
The last thing I have been doing recently is going through my Amazon e-magazines, and taking screenshots of the projects and instructions that I want to keep for now. That way if I decide I want to get rid of Kindle Unlimited I will not lose access to those projects. Okay, that is all for this week (I will try to add photos later if I remember).
Until next time remember to Live Life a Little More Abstract!
A pry bar needs to be hammered underneath the tack boards around the edges where carpet was tacked down. Once the bar is under you can lever the nails out, the hammer is so much better than trying to manually force it in. A floor scraper doesn’t look like it is going to work for me, so I’m going to return that. Pliers are great for getting staples out of the floor where the carpet was tacked down. In theory I know about some wood filler for some of my floor problems, I might leave that to the professionals. My front porch buckled when it rained, this looks like a quickly solved problem with hacking off 1/2 inch on a board…probably in the spring.
Cat stains that soaked through the padding can do some serious, stinky, damage to wood floors. Cleaning vinegar with essential oils, I have lavender due to moths, seems to neutralize the smell. I also used some lysol wipes to sort of scrub the floor and put some baking powder on top to absorb some of the scent. Since I cannot afford to get the floors finished yet, one job I’m not doing on my own, I will put down an inexpensive sprayed on topcoat to keep things from getting worse and seal in some smell.
If your sewer backs up, wasn’t that fun, don’t call a plumber right away check with your city instead. This tip could have saved me $200 and possibly gotten the problem completely fixed. I will have to wait for the next problem to get that sorted out.
A mortar bit is needed to make holes in older homes, however it is really worth it to be able to hang shelves, curtain rods, and hopefully pegboards.
This has been an amazing year of learning and empowerment. May that continue in 2022. Remember to live life a little more abstract.
This had been an amazing year. Starting a new full-time job, purchasing a new home, and learning all sorts of DIY projects.
With my full time job i now have the opportunity to plan for months and years in advance. previously I planned days and weeks in advance, these days I have most of my 2022 main programs planned and a couple of things to work on in 2023. I have been able to ask that I be allowed to schedule around a couple of things i want to do, some craft classes and my guild meetings. I’m not ’taking time off’ though I could if I had to, just not working the Saturday’s were having meetings and the I have a class scheduled for Stitches online in January.
With my new home, I am learning more every day. I did lose two boxes of yarn and books to moths and one had signs of mice. Since my unit is empty, and I’m not too mad about the losses, this was a pretty good experience. My new house is ready for me to completely customize.
DIY jobs are so much work however, they are so satisfying when they are done. I’m still sleeping in my living room, I did finally order a frame for my Queen bed, and I love looking at my amazing purple paint every day when I wake up! I’ll give a rundown my my new DIY discoveries in my next post.
2021 was amazing, 2022 will bring more amazing opportunities and challenges. For the new year I will be able to customize my new home, actually get my budget under control with a steady paycheck and steady bills, as well as selling my old home. I hope that you have a great new year and I will write again next week.
Until then remember to live life a little more abstract.
This is not going to be too long, like my last post the first paragraph is about crafting content and the rest is a life update.
During the summer I did take three different craft classes. I managed the intermediate class on Sprang and then invested in the “Sprang Unsprung” book that I plan on looking into further when I have time to sit and concentrate. I also took a rug hooking class, this is not the same as latch hooking or locker hooking, and loved how quickly the project went. I then purchased some more Monks cloth and started working on my own design using some wool strips I had along with some handspun yarn. It is slow going but easy to pick up and put down. For August I took an Alabama Chanin style hand sewing class. This is not what I though it would be, however I did enjoy learning this embellishment technique. I also have decided, as a treat for coming to the end of this very difficult summer, I am going to purchase a Saori Weaving loom and start recording and possibly streaming my process for working with the loom. More to come on that in the future.
Fortunately I was able to find a house in my price range that I then decided to purchase. It does need quite a bit of work, however I choose to see that as an opportunity to get everything as I would like it to be. From a new roof with solar panels, a heater with air conditioner attached, etc. I am counting on the sale of my current home to finance these changes. It might be another 6-8 weeks before I know anything for sure.
Onto my current home. I know that I said in May I was starting to wet-vac the carpets. While that is sort of true, it is only this week that I am getting to the end of putting things in my storage unit. Furniture is going to have to stay in the house until I am ready to move. This morning I managed to dust the celing, walls, and fan in one room. Then I went downstairs and found out my dehumidifier malfunctioned. Now I get to go home, mop up spilled water, run the industrial fans I just bought, and wetvac the rest of the water up. What fun. Fortunately it is rubber backed carpet on concrete, so if the worst comes to pass the carpet can just be ripped up.
I will post again in the relatively near future I believe. Work is amazing, I am now down 74 lbs, with all of the stress that is amazing.
I’ve been touching on a lot of different projects while deciding what is staying out and what is getting packed away. I found a plastic box of mostly forgotten fibers that I am spinning up one after the other. These fibers are all going onto one bobbin. Once that bobbin is full each fiber section, I am putting drastically different colors next to each other to keep the different fiber sections easy to see, they will be plied back onto themselves for crewel embroidery floss, or to be used for color-work knitting in the future.
I am using different colors of my tatting thread to make a warp for my sprang loom, since I want this warp to be wider it makes sense to use up bits of thread I have lying around. This is one of the longer term projects I plan on keeping out.
I did order and receive the special thimble I will need to work on the Sashiko kit I received for Christmas. I plan on keeping the kit out as well as my sewing machine for any alterations I can make to my clothing in the next couple of months.
A few more rows have been worked on the gusset of my second sock, it looks like I will not get through all 4 however getting 2 completed by the end of May is still quite the accomplishment. That is about all for the crafting content, though much of my moving has to do with crafting since crafts are my hobby.
Most of what I have been working on is packing. While I have adjusted my plans some, it doesn’t make much sense to be in another city when I still have a lot of cleaning to do in my house, the basics remain. I need to pack what I plan on keeping so that it can go into storage. This will free up a lot of room and mental space for me to begin getting rid of what needs to be eliminated and cleaning places that I have not been able to get to for years. I love mom, she however, has 10+ boxes of Christmas decorations that we have not taken out in years. That is before all of the other decorations for Easter and Halloween. I plan on keeping the pieces that she made as well as the family ornaments from years gone by and getting rid of the rest of it. I am even thinking about re-packing one of the boxes I already packed simply because I have realized that I do not really value the stuffed animals within. I’ll keep one to remind me, then get rid of the rest. The decision makes me feel free and relaxed rather than anxious. Going through all of the paper that has built up over the years…that is another story. That has me stressed out. My sister is planning a series of bonfires as we sort through and burn the papers we do not need to keep, it should actually be a bit of fun.
That is about it, I have a very busy week ahead of me. I am trying to take some time every single day to get some crafting done so that I do not burn out. Right now I think I have gone as far as I can with the packing and I will wait until I get some breathing room in the house before worrying about the rest. Okay, that’s a lie. The handyman will be coming Monday to take some things from the external garage to the dump, then I plan on moving several plastic boxes out to the garage so I have room to get the bed set up for my sister to have somewhere to sleep on Wednesday night.
Until next week, remember to Live Life A Little More Abstract!
I am having a blast crocheting this pair of socks, though I do not really like the heel and will probably go back to the other style of heel once I’ve finished this pair. They are coming along nicely, however I am looking forward to seeing the back of them so I can start a new patterned pair.
I managed to cast on 360 pairs of stitches, with a marker every 10 pairs and a different type of marker every 50 pairs of stitches, for a total of 720 cast on stitches. This is going to be a double sided shawl with a graphic pattern. Fortunately for me, this shawl involves casting on with the number of stitches for the longest side then decreasing as the pattern goes on.
Finally the yarn that I ordered so that I can weave a blanket arrived. I am so excited, and nervous, about warping this up. Since I still have not woven my cowl, this is probably going to take a month or two for me to get to.
I think that is all the news I have fit to write about this week. I have slowed down on some personal projects and decided to redirect my energy into making sure that I have storage that will work for all of my supplies without overwhelming everything. Right now I have my paper projects, quilling, scrapbooking, fiber/dyeing/weaving diary supplies (not the crafts themselves just the supplies to create the diaries_, along with my supplies to make dioramas, on one bookcase with my fiction books and sewing supplies on a second bookcase. The top shelves of these cases are not load bearing so I put my blocking mats up there, the foam essentially does not weigh anything. Perhaps I will take photos when I have my cases the way I want them to be. Next is going to be a case for my crafting books, then one to store my yarn and fiber. This is going to give me an idea of what space I will need in a home to realistically store my supplies, a great project while I am saving up for a down payment on a house.
Don’t let life or obstacles get you down for long! Remember to Roll with Changes and Live Life A Little More Abstract!
*This post is not going to be very crafting heavy, though I do have a crafting section, if you are only here for crafting please skip to the line of asterisks.**
2021 is going to be my year! I am looking forward to the new challenges that I will face this year as well as the changes I am choosing to make. Do I think everything is going to be smooth sailing, no of course not, however I am going to control what I can and leave the rest up to fate.
From the late 90s to the early 00s Mom and I collected Beanie Babies. We had a lot of fun and I have some amazing memories of the times we spent looking for certain beanies. The prices of these toys have not help up to the times so I found myself with literally hundreds of beanies sitting in tubs in the back hallway of my childhood home. In theory I could create sets, set up sales on ebay and see what I could get for them. I put up three posts of some beanies that had sold for huge amounts in the week I put the posts up. Two weeks later, I have not received a single offer. Oh well, to the donation box the rest of the beanies are going to go. I kept a few for myself that I have very fond memories of, okay so I kept a small tub for myself (I cleared out three huge tubs so this is still a lot of progress), and sent some to my sister that she would like. I made the conscious decision that I was not going to take these tubs of toys into my new life, and eventually new home. I did ensure that some of my friends and colleagues with children wound up with some, okay a lot, and I feel good about these decisions. I still have four huge tubs I need to put into garbage bags to donate, however I have made significant progress.
Along those lines later today I am going to be clearing out my car of junk so that I can start fresh for my new job. Theoretically I should be vacuuming and getting things detailed, that is not going to happen so I will focus on what I can do. I have also cleaned out my fridge of all of the items I have not eaten the past two years (condiments included) and need to wipe that out later. I know, some people are able to do these tasks on a regular basis and so accomplishing them is no big deal. I am not one of those people, I have been listening to decluttering books, organizing books, and minimalism books in the hopes of gaining control over my ‘stuff’. These changes are not just for today, this week, or this year, these changes are how I am going to be able to maintain these changes long term. They will take time and effort, however I will be rewarded in the end by only being surrounded with a functional, aesthetically pleasing, home that I enjoy being in.
Cozy Minimalist Home by Myquillyn Smith allowed me to understand what I need to do in order to craft my new home to work with my aesthetic as well as my needs. As much as mom used to make fun of my Grandmother’s bill paying desk, I am going to buy a little desk with cubbies right on top so I can organize and pay my bills in one cleared off space. Right now I am doing that on my computer desk with my supplies in a little metal drawer underneath my computer monitor. I hate having to move my keyboard out of the way, or going to a separate table to write out my Thank You notes as well as greeting cards. I have also made up some pinterest boards that are going to help me with my decorating choices when the time comes.
The Clutter Connection and Real Life Organizing by Cassandra Aarssen have both helped me to understand that I need my items to be visually available. Aarssen also runs an organization that talks about clutterbugs and she frames all of her information in that terminology, this is well worth a look. She also helped me to understand that I am not ‘lazy’, ‘naturally messy’ or any of those other self-defeating terms. I simply organize in a visual way because if I try to do the ‘everything put away’ thing I lose stuff or forget I own it. Since I have started trying this method I can find things when I look for them. This means that in my new home I am going to go for bookcases with baskets for my crafting supplies as well as two glass cabinets. I already have one that I am going to store Mom’s Hummels in, the other is going to be for the beanie babies I choose to keep. That way things are not tucked away but displayed with pride for me to enjoy.
Decluttering at the Speed of Life by Dana K White has allowed me to embrace ‘the container concept’. This is simply coming to accept that the size of the container designated for something is the size that it is. That means if something has to be eliminated because it does not fit in the container and is not loved as much as something else then that is it. You cannot keep more than a container holds. This is going to be very helpful to me when it comes to Mom’s collections. One cabinet for her Hummels, one for the Beanies. If there are items that do not fit in the container, then ask “what gets taken out?”
I am cringing even as I write this next part, I am going to apply these concepts to my craft collections. I know, it hurts to think about it. I do plan on setting up book cases for each of my major hobbies, knitting/crochet, weaving, spinning, papercrafts, and dioramas. I also intend to have two bookcases for books, one crafting books and the other fiction/DVDs. This does seem like a lot of bookcases yet for me this is the perfect balance of organized and visual. If the items are in baskets while on bookcases they are contained, organized, and visual enough for me to see.
I realize that for some people these concepts are completely ‘duh’ yet for plenty of other people like me these books will make you sit up and take notice. The best advice I received from these organizing and decluttering books, I am not alone. There are other people quietly suffering with the same problems that I have and grew up with. Mom did not know that she was a non-visual organizer compared to my visual organizer so things were a constant misery of lost items and accusations of slovenly behavior. I cannot tell you the number of times mom ‘knew’ that someone came in and stole something because she could not put her hands on it. Dana had the same story to tell.
Onto the crafting! Purl Together has come up with a ‘Finish it or Frog It’ challenge that they have started for 2021. The first step is to gather all of your WIPs or Works In Progress and take a photo. Having some people talk about their 15-50 unfinished items makes me feel better about my nine. Six of these were put on hold while I had surgery and recovered from my surgery, and at least two are probably going to be frogged.
The forest green piece on the bottom right side of the photo is a baby cardigan I waned to have finished by today, as you can see that did not happen. I have finished 2″ out of the 6″ I need on the first sleeve then I need to pick up the second sleeve, seam the sides, hide the ends and sew on buttons. The buttons are supposed to arrive on Monday or Tuesday so if I finish then I will be very happy. The 8×8 cabled cowl on the bottom far left of the photo is something that I am capable of, however the tight, huge, cable makes the width of the cowl much too small for my tastes. Since it is a bulky Knitpicks yarn I can easily find another pattern. I was very happy to find the cardigan that I started with a Jimmy Beans Wool Kit almost half done, I hope to finish that. There are a couple of mindless projects I can take with me, the half-granny triangle shawl out of lace weight yarn will take forever to crochet up, yet I love how it is turning out.
Between the New Job, Organizing, De-Cluttering, and a New House, 2021 is certainly going to be A Little More Abstract.
This has been a learning experience for me. I have put up a fence around my well cap, it is right beside my driveway and but trucks tend to run over it. I put up the remaining two fence pieces by my driveway so that my garbage cans cannot easily fall into the ditch. I warped and started weaving on my rug loom in the detached garage. I can shoot crafting videos, okay so I’m still improving on that. I also discovered that I can spin if I hold my fiber very loosely in my bad hand, to do this I am using my electric wheel because I tend to tightly grasp fiber in my left hand when using my regular wheel. Knitting is something that can happen (on larger needles) because I only need to hold the needle still in my left hand. (Crochet is not going to happen because I pinch my project in my left hand while crocheting to keep it still, that still hurts) Socks still are not going to happen, however I can use size 4 needles.
I finished two plying projects, the one on the left is the Shetland Moorit I started spinning last year for the Spin Off Hap-Along. The project on the right is when I took a couple of lace weight yarns that I plied together to create about a fingering weight yarn. I do not think that this will actually be a fingering weight yarn, however I think it will be a wonderful project eventually.
I was able to swatch for a mitered square blanket I bought a couple of years ago, when a knitted afghan project is under $35 it is hard to resist. I’ve also progressed to knitting a worsted weight shawl out of the Hedgehog Fibres Potluck in a really pretty orange. I crowd sourced whether I should add on some black or just be done, it was decided that I do not need to add on black.
Finally I wound up lightly felting my 7′ shawl from my tri loom. I took a photo before it came off of the loom, I will have a felting photo in another post.
It has been very busy here. One of my supervisors is talking about starting procedures for opening back up, presuming that we will be doing this in Mid May.
Remember to Live Life a Little More Abstract, and if you are an introvert check on your extroverts! Be safe!
Yes, right now my room still looks like an absolute mess. However, I can see what this room will be once I get these large pieces of furniture out of the way. Right now I have the cabinet I showed you last posted filled an organized, I am amazed how much fits in there. The cardboard tube organizer that I used in a maker video for my public library turned out really well so I am using it on top to keep supplies visible.
I did have to buy a second cubby in a different size and configuration that you can see next to the original. I put a storage rack that was mostly empty into the corner to hold a combination of mom’s kits and some of my kits. I am using the open blocking mats as shelf liners. You can see part of one of the dressers I need to destash in the near future, with a lamp and a sock project on it.
I am not completely finished getting everything sorted and organized, however I have made a ton of progress. There is still a bin I need to sort through, however I have also started displaying some yarn for inspiration. I believe that this is the first time ever that a large majority of my crafts have been entirely in one place that I am likely to frequent. I still have items downstairs however it is cold, and since I live right by the woods I am concerned I might have another dang mouse. Most of mom’s acrylic yarn is down there also.
During all of this frenzy of organization I have found many things that I forgot were around, or simply did not know where they were. There is a pair of Christmas stockings that I need to sew the trim on, Mom made the stockings and never finished them. Mom had a ton of plastic canvas kits that she wanted to make, when I feel up to it I am going to have to sort through those. The one that brought a tear to my eye, though I’m telling myself it might have been dust, is the alpaca yarn squares that I wove and mom edged for me. We were going to make a vest out of them, however the project was abandoned well before finishing them. I am going to make a table runner out of them to remember her by, I just need to find the right yarn to use to attach them together.
*whisper* I also found the organizer in which I stashed all of my DPNs, I knew I had DPNs!*whisper*
I have also found out that I can do more crafting than I thought I could if I hold my wrist carefully. I’ll make a post about progress in crafts later. Until then!
Remember to Live Life A Little More Abstract, and if you are an introvert please check on your extroverts! Stay safe!
The beginning of this year has afforded me a lot of opportunity to think about my future, both immediate and long term. What I want out of my life immediately, in the near future, and in the distant future. There are some things that are abstract, and others that are concrete. I am not going to detail these things here, however one aspect is organization. Right now I am working on sorting and organizing all of my craft supplies. The current job, since yarn, periodicals/patterns, and fiber are finished, is my weaving supplies. I have a great rolling laundry basket I had purchased last year, and it occurred to me that the 8/2 cotton I have for weaving towels would do great in cloth boxes in the bottom of the laundry hamper, then if I put another cloth box on top I can put reeds, shuttles, etc, in that box. I believe some of my supplies like the sticks to hold crosses and rag shuttles are going to have to be stored upright beside or behind the boxes. I will get photographs to show you how well this does/does not work out. I have a plastic box I am using for bobbins, spare parts, oils, etc. for my Schacht Ladybug spinning wheel. I am not sure if I want to find something different or not. My Spinolution Firefly is a little more difficult to store as I have two flyer heads for it (one quite large). I had hoped to be able to at least continue my gigantic plying project, however upon further reflection there is no need to risk further damage to my wrist.
In the midst of all of this organizing I was thinking about my home. When I get a full-time job I fully intend to move to where I will be working and purchase a house. If it is possible for me to commute for a few years that would be ideal, I can save up to put a good down-payment on a house, find the precise property I want, and organize everything for moving. It has also become apparent that the large pieces of furniture in my home might become refreshed with a simple change in color scheme. Right now everything is either stark white or very dark. I am planning on getting some paint chips to change this.
This week, in addition to my usual workload, I intend to corral my weaving supplies as well as my spinning supplies. My final crafty home related task is to pick up some paint chips to tape to my furniture.