Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween

Trick or treat!

Twenty years ago, I made my daughter this costume for Halloween:
Daughter M (right) with her cousin Cody.

This year, she made her own:

She made that!  No pattern, just some duct tape modeling, fake fur, upholstery foam, an electric bread knife, Sculpey clay, and who knows what else.  Oh, hot glue.  I'm sure there was a glue gun involved.  Amazing!

She also made this German Shepherd for her boyfriend.  They (as well as Norm) went to Freakfest in Madison last Saturday.

The police dog posing with a real cop.  Cute.

I found some other old photos in my trip down memory lane.  It's spooky how time flies.
Our fall traditions always included a trip to the apple orchard and pumpkin patch/petting zoo.
The goats and kitties loved her way back then.  Now she takes care of all sorts of animals at the vet clinic.

Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Declutter Report No. 2 - Finding Grandma's Quilt

Good news:  More things went "Out the Door" this past week, including the two remaining vintage typewriters, the Hermes and the Olympia, sold to a nice gentleman who sent me two prepaid FedEx shipping labels, which made my life that much easier.

And bonus, all the materials required to properly pack them cleaned out a nice space in the basement.  I also have the table from the previous post now listed on Craigslist.  We'll see what happens there.

More eBay sales, shipped out this past week:

As far as the basement sewing room, progress has been slow, but I did get that laundry basket and futon full of prewashed fabric pressed and folded, another pile of fabric bagged for donation (mostly poly/cotton blouse weight fabric with small florals, and other stuff not suitable for quilting), and some other miscellaneous tasks.  The problem is where to go with everything.

I got a bit distracted when I found this quilt top in a big plastic tote that I was getting ready to move out of the way.  It was made by my Grandma Lillian, probably in the late '60s or early '70s, I'm guessing. 

There are so many different weight/quality fabrics in it, and some of the green color from the sashing has transferred to the white.  I won't be trying to finish it.

Still, I love the pattern and love looking at the vintage fabrics and remembering my dear grandma.

This block is my favorite.  Love that funky tan swirly print with the orange!

Does anyone know the name of this block?  I'm going to try to find a pattern and make a block just to see what it's like to sew all those curves and seams.  Looks like a fun challenge.

Back to the basement cleaning, soon after repacking the quilt top back into its box, I was distracted by something shiny (literally).

One thing led to another and soon I was pulling fabric and cutting and sewing.  But beyond this little sneak, I really shouldn't say anymore because...Christmas is coming!

I have been very good about avoiding the thrift stores lately, but I did find a deal at Walmart that came "in the door" — a new pair of quilting gloves!

Yeah, so they are actually football receiver gloves, but let me tell you, they are wonderful for quilting with all that tacky palm surface, and more style than my Machingers. Put these babies on and you feel like you're ready for anything that might be thrown your way!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Declutter Report No. 1

The "Out-the-Door October" decluttering has been going okay.  I am working my way up (or down, as the case may be) to my basement sewing room.  That room intimidates me, frankly, because it's the most cluttered space in the entire house.  Everything that doesn't have another home ends up there.

So far, I have sold 11 items on eBay.  Woo-hoo!

I took photos of some mid-century tables to put on Craigslist, but I haven't gotten around to listing them yet.  One is in need of refinishing, but it is apparently a brand of mid-century Scandinavian furniture that's pretty hot right now, which I did not know until I perused eBay to research the name to get an idea of what to ask.  Doesn't look like much here.

But ho-lee-you-know-what.  Do an eBay search on this name furniture sometime and you will say it too.

Who knew when I basically trash-picked the thing 14 years ago?  I just thought it had good bones.  But after almost a decade and a half, since I've never gotten around to refinishing it (and now I wouldn't dare do it myself), it's probably someone else's chance to have a crack at it.

I went through my kitchen cupboards and refrigerator (tossed a bunch) and pantry.  I have a bag set aside for the Boy Scouts food drive this Saturday.

I unearthed stuff I totally forgot I had, like brand new Pampered Chef grilling utensils.  Might have been good to know a few months ago!

I went through my bedroom today.  I'm trying to motivate myself in baby steps, like seeing if I can get rid of 10 things per room.  It usually leads to more, but 10 seems like a manageable goal without feeling overwhelming.

This is the Goodwill and/or give-away-to-friends/family pile.  Also a few things to take to the local historical museum, if they'll have them.

The museum has a room named after the guy who owned these books, one of which dates back to when the state was still a territory.

Now for some really scary stuff...are you ready?  It's the basement sewing room.


Terrifying, isn't it?  My great-great grannies peeking over the detritus in the center there would be mortified.

Keeping in real, yo.

I did venture in the other day but promptly sidetracked myself into pulling fabrics for a Christmas table runner.

And so, the saga continues.

Oh, and here's a pretty scary thing that came out of the garden at my uncle's.

That is a ginormous beet!  With a normal-sized apple for comparison.

But, like the decluttering process, it is less intimidating if you cut it into smaller pieces (and roast with a little olive oil, salt & pepper...p.s., it was delicious!).

Have a great weekend, all!
Live A Colorful Life

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Whee, Whee, Whee and Whoop-Whoop!

A funny thing happened as I cut back on computer time this past week.  I actually finished a few things in the sewing room.

Here is one of them.  I finally quilted and bound this little mini.

(Tutorial HERE)
I have somehow amassed a small collection of vintage recipe boxes over the past year or so.  One of them happened to match the mini pretty awesomely.

Now the question is, do I sell the boxes as part of "Out-the-Door October" decluttering, or hang onto them a while?  They really don't take up much space...ugh, this is harder than I thought.

Anyway, I finished two other things as well.  No pics though, as they are Christmas gifts.  I may post them to Flickr at some point (and ask my friends not to peek).  If I do that, I'll put up a link.

(Back - Kate Spain Central Park/North Meadow in Ivory)
It's a dreary, rainy day today.  Another dilemma...clean/sew/list more stuff to sell, or chuck it all and go see the movie Argo?

October Finishes

Monday, October 8, 2012

Out the Door

I am in a decluttering mode.  I feel like there is too much stuff around and it's bugging me on both a physical (navigationally speaking) and psychological level.  So I am declaring this month "Out-the-Door October."

I'm going to spend a concentrated effort on dealing with stuff—donate it, sell it, organize it, shred it, toss it—and, of course, do some cleaning in the process.  The situation has reached critical mass and action must be taken.

So far, I've sold one typewriter on Craigslist and a bunch of shirts on eBay.  I listed more items this weekend.  Like this ladies' leather jacket.

Also, over the weekend, I cleaned the workshop, where my treadmill is located.  Since the days are getting cooler and it gets dark earlier, I'm walking more indoors again.  But ee-gads, the musty, dustiness in that room!  The workshop is not so much a man cave as it is a general storage area in the basement.  I Shop-Vac'd my heart out on Saturday and then took a small trunk load of stuff to Goodwill.  It felt good.

In the sewing department, I have started working on some things which may potentially be Christmas gifts.  Bummer that I can't share pictures of them at present, but you know how that goes.  I also need to get the sewing space organized better...somehow, some way.

And now for some whine: 

First it was burning mouth.  I've sort of gotten used to that, and it's mostly now a minor nuisance.  A couple weeks ago, though, my eyes started feeling really dry, burning, irritated, and red all the time.  I went to the doctor and got some drops for a possible infection, which didn't help because that apparently wasn't the cause.  Then I saw my optometrist last week because it was still bugging me (and I needed a general eye exam), and he said I've got chronic dry eyes.  He gave me some different, thicker, lubricating eye drops to use at least 6 times a day, probably for freakin' ever.

And of course, what irritates my eyes the most?  Computer work.  Hello?!  IT'S WHAT I DO—for a living and for fun! 

As Roseanne Roseannadana says, "It's always something."

I know that in the scheme of things, this is some petty B.S.  I have many blessings to count (and believe me, I do).  But man, it still ticks me off.  I want my 40s back, and all my hormones and all that went with them, and while I'm at it with the unreasonable requests, may I please have back the ability to digest wheat and dairy products?  Oh, and my retirement account balance pre-2008. Thanks.

I guess if there is a "good" takeaway, it is that this reminds me about balance (remember that computer ejector seat I joked about?).  Meanwhile, it helps to laugh, right?  Some classic Roseanne Roseannadana (below) works for me.

Have a good week, all.  But wait—I almost forgot the point—posting may be light for the rest of this month due to the aforementioned cleaning/decluttering and giving the peepers a break.  I might pop in here or there, maybe show you what I'm getting rid of, progress pics, or if I have something more profound to share.  

How about you?  Does fall give you the urge to clear out?  Anything in particular ticking you off lately? 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Random Thursday, Ten-Four

Live A Colorful Life
My sister stopped by for a visit yesterday morning, and we took our coffee out on the deck.  It was a bit cool, so we wrapped ourselves in quilts.  I looked up into the ash tree, which has been raining leaves this past week.  Before they're all gone—and it won't be long—I grabbed my camera for a few shots.

Blue and yellow...a favorite color combination.

And looking left, my neighbor's maple tree was a gorgeous burnt orange. 

This was yesterday.  I should have taken one today for comparison.  About a third of the leaves blew away on the breeze today.

I finished the second scrap mini yesterday.  It's a perfect mug rug size.

Again with the loopy quilting.  This time I wanted to test out a variegated Sulky thread.  It's actually a machine embroidery thread, but I picked it up on sale at Joann last month with this quilt in mind.

Now that I know it seems to work okay, I will go ahead and use it for that quilt.

Here is the back.  I used up most of that vintage-y apple fabric.  Maybe just a strip or two left for the scrap drawers.

Sharing a song with you today, too.  I had three in mind, but so as not to overwhelm, I picked just one.  I've always been a fan of Brent Smith, the lead vocalist.  He seems in fine form, physically and vocally, this year.