Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Ta Da!

This is the umpteenth Cardivest I have knitted and it is going to Judith, per request. The yarns are Auraucania Toconao Solid, 100% merino, and the variegated is Cascade Casablanca, wool, silk and mohair. For this model, I tried to match the colors on the fronts which meant working from two skeins, starting at the same colors to begin. But even doing that, the skeins weren't exactly identical.


And then for something completey different: My old and new faucet got switched yesterday,

This one came with the house and I just didn't like it. O it is pretty alright, but  has so many places where crud can come to live. I don't like having to use two knobs to adjust the temperature and I really hate that sprayer on the side. I have sprayed myself more than I care to say. My new faucet is streamlined and resembles the other bathroom faucets and that makes it better in my mind. It has a great feature, an electric eye which means turning the water on or off is just done with a sweep of the hand. I LOVE this. Gooey hands need not touch the faucet at all. My kind of design. Two buttons are for the spray or single stream jet. Of course it has a pull out spray function too. The handle is for adjusting the right temp, which stays in that position when the faucet is off. The side pump is for dishsoap, meaning no bottle needs to be on the counter top. 

So happy!

Friday, September 25, 2020

Dollar Tree Solution

Finally, I found a storage solution for the many polymer clay necklaces I made last year. I did a lot of research to find a suitable container, and really none was to be found. So when I was getting a few items at the Dollar Tree I came across these $1 tool racks, and thought...YOU BETCHA! I hung them in my studio after deciding that the light would always be better there than the closet, and since I make the necklaces in the studio, they can go directly there and not get tangled up in a box or even worse, live in a tiny plastic bag.

As usual I hung them without making holes in the wall, using Command hooks, which incidentally brought them out a bit from the wall, which helps the necklaces hang free.
Now...I need a good solution (meaning cheap) for my zillion little earrings, both studs and hooks. Got any ideas? Hmmm?
This is the idea that makes the most sense to me, altho I loved seeing all your great suggestions. Now I just need some of that lacy fabric.

But wait!! I already have this utensil holder!

Final update: I got two ice cube trays at the Dollar Tree for my stud earrings and really fine chains, and they are perfect. Yay! Time to make more earrings.
Thanks for all your great suggestions.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Art Quilt Storage

I have been storing my art quilts, those made with the fusing technique, in rolls, wound around pool noodles, in cotton homemade bags and then in long zippered clear plastic bags recycled from our many defunct patio umbrellas. O I wish I could just buy the bags!  This is a good way to keep the quilts in storage, moveable and uncreased, but the cotton bags inside the plastic bags make the quilts invisible. So when I want to hang a specific quilt, I have to unroll and unroll and unroll until I find the right piece. Usually I lose patience and just hang whatever gets revealed. But now I have a huge walk-in closet and it was time to find and revisit past works, in anticipation of hanging some on my new vacant wall space.
Thinking ahead, I ordered a box of 30 skirt hangers, hoping that would be enough. I had a few hangers already, so when it turned out to be 33 quilts I wasn't caught short. Now that the task has been completed, I can find the appropriate quilt and hang it or them and put away the rest, carefully, back into those bags and store them in the dark and dry garage on racks. I will, I promise, lable the bag with the contents. 

Many of these pieces are from early days, and while at the time they may have seemed innovative, the years have proved they were just OK, and I am not about to bring them out for a reminder of what has transpired.
I'm glad to be able to re-roll them and get them out of my closet again. 
Now, just to be clear, these are all just the fused quilts, and I have bin after bin of pieced quilts, like my entire Bosna series of 9, some of which have never been hung. O how I would love to see them all on the wall in one place. We're gonna need a bigger house for that.  So nevermind.
Yesterday we returned to the previous house to get some things from the garage, which include a ladder, which is needed for these higher walls. So deciding what goes up comes next.

UPdate: Thanks to a dear reader, Nancy, I can buy patio umbrella zippered bags!! Wow, isn't the two way communication from the blog great?

Monday, September 21, 2020

My Head is spinning!

We're under contract...already. One day on the market and we had 15 showings and three offers, all over the asking price. One was $25K over, but we did not choose to accept as it was FHA and the home would have to be appraised at that value for it to go through and we don't think it would be, which would lead to complications and delays.
Here's the (edited version) of the offer we did accept. 

 Dear Mr. and Mrs. Johnson, 
We are first time home buyers! First, we want to thank you for letting us make an offer on your beautiful home. We have been searching for the perfect home for awhile now and thankfully, we found yours. We had our daughter (our first and only) on May 28th , 2020. She is almost four months old. 

Right now, we are living in a smaller apartment. We quickly outgrew our space which is the reason we’re looking for our first home. When we started looking for a house, we were having trouble finding something that we could see our growing family in long-term. 

After coming across your home, we could picture ourselves there for a long time. Your home perfectly matches what we are looking for, from the sunroom and tasteful kitchen updates to the plentiful basil in the backyard that would make homemade pesto a regular dish. We would be so excited to start a new chapter here. Thank you so much for considering our offer. We look forward to hearing from you. 

Is that a Godsend or what? Since we had to put in a bathtub, we hoped it would be needed, and with a little one, it would be. And that the buyer even recognized the basil crop we left, and would make pesto...incredible.

So we close Oct. 20,2020. Thus endeth, quickly, the worry and wait.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

We're Listed

We are now listed on the sites Realtor.com and Zillow. Woowoo! It's only been up for a few hours and already we have four showings for today. Tomorrow is an open house and with the small amount of homes available in our town, we hope that it moves quickly. In April there was a tornado on the east side of Chattanooga and ruined many really nice homes and usurped many families, so there is a waiting audience who needs to feel safe and secure in a home they can afford.
I hope that it goes to someone with garden desires!

Update: We had 15 showings on our first day, and 2 offers are coming in later today.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Cardivest for Judith

You can tell life is back to normal when I can sit and knit. Yup, we are all settled in and it is a good day when I can show a finished garment. I got back to knitting earlier, before the move, but then it was all put on hold. But the great thing about knitting is that it waits patiently for the return of the knitter. This is the first of two cardivests which I promised Judith. The next one will be the diamond panel version.

The yarns are Ice Merino and AraucanoTocoanao merino, variegated. Very squishy and bouncy to knit. Love these two together. 
This is a tiny garment, 37" at the bust and 25" long. O to be so petite!
And the photos for the real estate listing have been taken and showings begin Saturday. I will let you know how the open house goes on Sunday. Woowoo! Moving right along...

Monday, September 14, 2020

Grocery store shoes

I headed out early today, since I was awake and just waiting for dawn to arrive, and decided to get doggie food, some salad greens and hopefully find a store that sold fennel seed. 
Doggie food would be at Walmart and while I did get it and the salad greens, a few more things appeared that I found irressitible.. I found these pull-on shoes with Memory foam inside and stretchy exteriors and they don't press on my injured toe! Recently, since I was so dumb and dropped a bookcase on my toe, I have only been able to wear sandals and they lack the support for longer walks or standing at my work table. These fit the bill so nicely and who knew I could just pick them up at Walmart?

 Skipping right along, I had to get macaroni since Dave requested it and I found my shelf empty. But yesterday I got hooked on Get Organized with The Home Edit, on Netflix. O dear! If you liked Marie Kondo, you will plotz with these gals. They are more interested in organizing to make closets, garages, offices look good as well as functional and they work with big time closets, like Khloe Kardashian, Reese Witherspoon, Eva Longoria, etc. as well as we normal folk. With a Container Store nearby (darn, I don't have one) they make every inch of real estate work for the client, and it is just fascinating to watch them transform a pile of stuff into a virtual showroom of goodness. Easily accessible and obvious where things belong so they are returned to their home without getting lost again. 
So taking a nod from them, I went to the food storage aisle and found these stackable containers, which as you can see are transparent and take up the space of one box of pasta and I got to toss all the opened boxes once these were filled. O spark the joy! 
One day my pantry may become a work of art. 

 I was able to find my fennel seed (at the gorgeous new Publix) and you may ask "What is so great about fennel seed?" It is the spice that makes Italian sausage taste so good, and of course it must be an ingredient in anything in the Italian repertoire. I have a grinder reserved just for fennel and now I am happy as a clam, ready to sprinkle this spice on the ready to bake pizza I bought for Dave...not me. I am back on the diet. So these adorable tomatoes will enhance my salads and add that fresh ingredient with my morning fried eggs. 
Update: I did order another shoe organizer and now my tower of fused fabrics is even higher. This makes each shelf less stuffed and easier to reach just what I want to use.

So if you are thinking that all I am doing is going shopping now that I've moved, let me just tell you that after church yesterday Dave and I went to the other house and cleaned like maniacs because today the photographer will take the listing photos, and I wanted them to look their best to help sell that house. For his trouble Dave got bit 10 times by the wasps on the front porch. Poor Darling. It all happened so fast, and I came to his rescue too late. We had spray bug killer but what worked was ... Windex! Who knew?
So today now that I have satisfied my organizing jones, I will wash the kitchen floor and do laundry...in my new shoes. Yay!

Saturday, September 12, 2020

What I learned after moving 5 times in 13 years

Most of this is stuff you already know...

1. Don't move furniture while wearing flip flops.

2. Get rid of everything that has any sentimental value that you really can't use anymore anyway. When you are my age (72) there is no point in looking back, as you have so little time left, looking forward is really all there is to do. And since we have no kids to pass this crap stuff onto, what is the point of keeping it? Unfortunately my DH thinks exactly the opposite of this, and I have gone behind his back, I confess, and dumped stuff he packed. 

3. Only self move things that fit in a small car. Buy a small car just in case this isn't your situation, and don't try and move stuff that requires shoving it in and tying it down with bungee cords. Just not worth the trouble. Let the movers take it.

4. Wait til the last minute to bring food and frozen stuff to the new place, otherwise all your meals become fast food and extra expense you don't need. Of course that means keeping a few cooking pots and pans at the ready. Or eat all your food at the new place as you make a zillion trips back to the old place. There is no optimum way to do this. I've tried every way and am done trying.

5. Pawn off things that are not up to snuff, on relatives or donate to shelters, Goodwill or ReStore. Don't bring things to the new place that are shabby and need replacing. Replace them after you move in and then won't have to get rid of them after moving them again.

6. Downsizing is a great concept, but really requires being ruthless. I thought I got rid of a lot of clothes, but aparently I am kidding myself. But I did get rid of a lot of shoes, so I'm not all bad, and since most of them came from the thrift store anyway...they went back to have another life with someone else.

7. Don't move anything that isn't the entire set, of whatever it is. And duct tape parts together before packing, so they are not lost. Get rid of most of your mismatched glasses, all plastic storage, and half used beauty products. Really. 

8. Tools....ugh. We fought over this and I keep losing. My darling thinks he is possibly going to need some of these things in the future, just in case,  even tho I won't allow him to fix the car, paint, work on the plumbing, paint, fix the non-existent lawn mower, do anything electrical or store anything in the crawl space. Because his balance is terrible, even the tall ladder has to go. I realize this strips him of his manly-man-ness, but that's the breaks. I have a set of my own tools and when I ask him for a Phillips head screwdriver, I am done with the project before he finds his. 

9. Get new pillows. 

10. Toss five of your six opened salsas.

11. Buy those big black garbage bags, strip your beds and put the bedclothes right in the bag. That way when the beds get reassembled, the sheets can go right back on and you can fall into bed immediately.

12. Pack towels, soap, shampoo and hairdryer in one of those bags and put it in your car. A hot shower before dropping into bed makes the move so much better. 

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

The New Stuff

Everything showed up at my doorstep yesterday and now is in place for the blog photos. I must say I decorate on a whim. No dilly dallying with the plan. Find it, buy it and done. I decided this house will be black and white and plenty of red. Of course that has also been the theme for the last three or four houses, so nothing drastic, and the collected pieces are seeming to look new in each place, more or less. This entire room is from IKEA, so no great investment, which is good, since "I can't have anything nice" with the dogs and Dave, my darling spiller. The rug is from that great fashion house, Home Depot and is indoor-outdoor, so I can hose it down when needed. Still it is far from the plastic-y kind I used in the previous house. I hope it vacuums up nicely. But even so, the dog hair will no doubt blend in for a while before it becomes obnoxious. Like 30 minutes. 

Moving on to the kitchen. OK, my beans-in-a-vase  knife holder was only temporary and I found this magnetic bamboo stand on Amazon and it works just great. Both sides hold the knives or steels for sharpening, and even my plastic scissors from the Dollar Tree. Next to it is the kettle I found at Walmart Neighborhood market. Heats up super fast and has blue lights on the element which are kinda sparkly. The water boils of course so a pot of tea is much better than just warmed up water from my old drip coffeepot, which started leaking and had to go. 

And last but far from least, I am just thrilled with the fabric storage shoe rack thingy. It went together OK, but maybe would have been easier with no wine at lunch. 
If you were hoping to see a neat rainbow of rolls, yeah, me too. But this fabric has been stored stuffed into a bin for three years and it is a little squished. Plus, I didn't remember that a lot of my fabric is multicolored and doesn't neatly fit the one color at a time idea. Mixed together are cottons and silks and commercial prints and just looking at this picture, it comes to mind that I might just order another rack and build it up a few more spaces. The leftovers could actually go in the closet for...shoes!
Rug $99, knife holder, $23.59, Farberware kettle $22.99,  shoe rack for fabric, $15.59.

Sunday, September 6, 2020

Setting up the Studio

These shelves are Billys from IKEA and they are about 13 years old and showing some wear, after five moves! But I can still use them and will be filling them with fabric, beads, polymer clay, painted papers for collage, and tools. The studio footprint is quite small and there are too many things I feel I need to have at my fingertips, so that caused a dilemma. What can I eliminate or rehome in the garage or another closet? 
When I go to sleep I focus on a problem for my unconscious mind to figure out and this idea came to me and almost made me get out of bed to see if it worked.

 The bedroom closet could be filled with stuff and that would get it out of the way, but what stuff needed to be in there? 

 The magnificent solution! The sewing machine could go in there! Wha? Well, a while back I blogged that I wouldn't be making any more quilts, but what I should have said was that I wouldn't be making anymore big bed quilts. Instead I will be returning to small fused quilts, which require minimal quilting, so why have the presence of the machine filling up the space? Should I want to tackle some home dec or garment sewing, the machine is quite easy to roll out of the closet and not miss a beat. It is quite usable right where it sits, and even has great overhead lighting in the closet, as well as my rod light. My chair on wheels can be slid into place and I am ready for action.

So onto the next dilemma: I store all my fused fabric in rolls and I need a solution for keeping them that would make it easy to find the fabric I need to use for the current project. In the past I had a whole chest of drawers for the vast amounts of rolls that are in my stash. Now that chest of drawers is being used for Dave's clothes in our bedroom. I certainly don't find working out of these Rubbermaid tubs to be optimal and so what will do the trick for this smaller studio space?

 Here's  my solution! A shoe rack of all things. This particular one is just the right size width for my rolls which are 17" wide. I figure I will have a shelf for each color family and several for the few fused prints I do use these days. The rack depth is 11" which corresponds to the depth of the Billys, so it won't stick out and disturb my latent OCD. The height is 57" which is great because I can easily reach the top without a step stool. And I could split it in half and make two shelves systems of four shelves each if I ever desired. 
I have to wait for the rack to be delivered on Wednesday from Amazon, so I'll show the results then. 

Next dilemma: Scraps. 
Solution: Sterlite plastic containers which fit exactly on the Billys 14" wide shelves.
I already had several but realized I needed more of this specific configuration and had to hunt them down, finally finding them at Home Depot. 
Now I realize that this is not going to be of much help to you unless your are also a committed artistic fuser (or an artist that needs to be committed), but since you are riding along with me on this journey, I figure you might want to know what works for me.

Friday, September 4, 2020

Storage A-plenty

Yes, we have no upper cabinets...or bananas. So I was stymied about where to put my myriad spices, until this solution presented itself. I had four of these spice jars from World Market (Cost Plus) and decided to get a dozen more and put all my spices in them to make a neat look. Then I had to find something spice-racklike store them. Mostly the available products were either hokey or had to be wall mounted. I began pinning the ones that might work and made my choice based on a combination of price and the space the thing would take up on my counter. I am so satisfied and it was a surprise that the dozen fit on one shelf and I had room for coffee, teabags and boullion on the bottom. Yay! It only takes up six inches of the counter.

I may not have wall cabinets over the counter, but there are mega amounts of storage on the opposite side. The deeply set fridge is surrounded by equally deep shelving. And on the right is a pantry, which I really love. But wait there's more...

 Around the corner is a second pantry, and I am keeping my boxes, jars and cans in there, while the first one is holding baking pans and baking supplies. 

 Here's the baking stuff. NOT ready for prime time viewing but I will get to that, eventually. Turns out I have somehow collected a gazillion drawer organizers, which are not getting used in the kitchen, so maybe they will find a use in the studio. Altho there are no drawers there to organize. Hmmm. 

 Next to the fridge are my dishes, Cuisinart and Kitchen Aid mixer. On the other side of the fridge the cabinets have nothing but empty lazy-susan turntables on each shelf. What will go there I wonder? I am not much of a stocker-upper (except when it comes to cans of beans, of which I have a dire fear of running out ) so the amount of storage we have is a bit over the top. Still it may be time to transfer things like flour and sugar out of old ice cream tubs and into something a little more permanent.  Or maybe I just need to let time tell me what is unnecessary and what needs to be at my fingertips.