Friday, December 31, 2010

The Travel Itinerary

This is very subject to change.

You never know when a great find will appear beside the road or inspiration will strike and take us off on a tangent to unplanned destinations.
Here's the plan -

String quilt from

 Nothing says cozy like a quilt. And what is a gypsy wagon, but a big quilt of color and pattern rolling along the road.  There will be quilts. Lots of lovely, modern, colorful quilts. Often they will be the decorating touch point for the room.

Vintage -

I am a sucker for all things vintage - Clothing, linens, nick-knacks, furniture. I may leave them as is, I may turn them into something new. I may make new look vintage.


I will make my own and peruse the web for the fabulous and lovely things that all the talented bloggers out there create. You will see the successes in all there glory  - and the failures - as bad and embarrassing as they will most certainly be.

Power Tools-

Since we have no money for this transformation, I have big plans to build stuff. My to-build list at is a mile long. 
Gypsy wagons are covered in beautifully carved and painted wood. I doubt I'll do much carving, but painting - You better believe it!

Alabama Chanin
 I am planning on sewing a bunch for myself. Every self-respecting gypsy needs an eclectic wardrobe that reflects her personal style. I usually just sew for the kiddos, and I'll keep doing that, but I am planning to sew more for myself as well.
My hubby gave me Alabama Chanin Studio Style for Christmas
(ok, in the spirit of full disclosure - I went to the store and put it on hold, then went back to the store and bought it myself then I wrapped it myself and put his name on the tag).
I am beyond inspired by her and I hope to make some things from the book. I am even planning on hand-sewing them.
If I did all my clothing that way though, I'd be blogging naked and that's not a pretty picture.
My sewing machine will be running overtime to make sure I stay appropriately covered.

Random Road Stops-
I love making little toys and fanciful creations out of felt, fabric, and whatever I have on hand to entertain my little ones or just fill my space with lovelies.

The Road Bumps Ahead-
I am only a fair sewist (sewer? seamstress?) and knitter.
My overall crafting skills are rank amateur.
I have crafting ADD and tend to get bored with projects before I finish them. (this is where the motivation for this blog comes in! If there is someone watching me and holding me accountable more will get done!)
I will definitely be learning as I go. You can sit back and laugh as this happens. It's ok, I can't hear you. Besides it will drown out my cursing.
My camera is a sad little excuse for a thing (it's a Kodak -'nuff said!).
I have three little ones who are enormous time-hogs, two bigger ones who still need mom, and a husband who works rotating shifts as a Police Officer.
I do not have a housekeeper, a nanny or even a regular sitter, or a cook -those are my jobs- and it is exhausting most days just getting to bedtime.

On the other hand, I love a spontaneous adventure - so pack light and leave plenty of room for the great stuff we'll make along the way. Let's get on the road!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Caravaning through 2011

Over the past few years my life has been very transitory.  I always seemed to be moving and everything was temporary. I never let myself decorate or personalize a space because it wasn't our permanent home. Over the past year it really hit me that keeping everything in temporary mode was affecting me and everyone around me. Although we are still renting I have decided to go ahead and treat this as our "real" home. We may move this year, we may be here another two years. Only time will tell.

I always imagined myself a gypsy of sorts with all my moving about. It seemed romantic and glamorous. In reality, it really kind of sucked. I loved the places we were in, but I craved my own place. I guess that's why gypsies always have such fabulous wagons. They need some place to have as there own, even when everything else is changing.

For the next year I am crafting our own gypsy wagon. A fabulous space we can call our own and take with us when we leave, as I attempt to focus my love for reading crafting and decorating blogs and magazines into a casual, cozy, hand-crafted, family-friendly space to call home.

My budget is non-existent. I will be thrifting, finding, begging, borrowing, repurposing, refurbishing and making it myself. Call me crazy now - I might not hear you from the padded room later in the year.

Along for the ride is my very tolerant husband, Officer Jeffrey, my lovely, creative and opinionated older daughters - Gabe and Maddie, my three wild little ones, Amelie, Lilia (aka MoMo) and Thomas James and our two kitties - Cosmo (aka Jesus Cat) and Rosie (aka Yarn Ninja).

Hopefully you will join me as well.
We gypsies are not solitary creatures. We travel in a caravan of like-minded, creative, free-spirits. So if you are up for it, hitch up your own wagon and join me on the journey ahead. I love a good chat around the fire at night ,I will certainly have time to fill on the road and I can always  use companions in the workroom to make everything more fun.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Cozy Stitched Yarn Cards

Sometime in November I joined the Handmade Holiday Card Swap run by Vane over at Brooklyn Bride. We were sent the addresses of 5 (or 6 if you include Vane) people from all over the US and the world to exchange cards with.
All cards had to be handmade. I wanted to make something that included my love of yarn and sewing. This is what I came up with.

I am really happy with how they turned out, even if they didn't turn out exactly the way I envisioned. I had never tried freehand embroidery with the sewing machine and it was a bit experimental but I am happy with it. I also made a scarf that used the same technique. I'll post it with a mini tutorial tomorrow.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Stocking Finished!

When I was unpacking the Christmas Decorations I realized Little Guy's stocking was emblazoned with "Baby's First Christmas".  Hmmm... Don't think I can get away with that one for a second year... As much as making stockings always seems like a good idea, (I love looking at all the beautiful stocking patterns out there!) the reality was, it wasn't on my agenda.  But, since my Little Guy couldn't get through Christmas without a stocking, I buckled down and started to search and plan. This is what I came up with,

I knew I wanted a knitted stocking. It's what I had when I was little (until some voracious moths ate most of it) and just says "Christmas Stocking" to me. I used this free pattern that I found on Ravelry.  It can also be found on this page if you don't belong to Ravelry.
All of the yarn is from my stash and some of it was a bit challenging! I love the color of the gray yarn that I used for the main part of the stocking, it reminds me of a sock monkey,(which is why I just had to use red for the trim!) but it is very rough and a bit stiff. I have a bunch of it left, but I definitely won't be using it for anything to wear!
This project went really quickly which was good. I've been in a total funk and I have had to force myself to do anything at all. Even getting out decorations has been a challenge. My girls will use their store-bought stockings again this year I think. I did feel good to get this done though and I really love it!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

What"s Happenin'

After my little guy spilled the dregs of my coffee on my keyboard my space bar ceased to function all together and pressing my Enter key put my computer into standby mode and the pressing the Backspace key shut the entire thing down. I searched for hours for a solution.
My husband woke up, looked at it for about a minute, unplugged the keyboard and headed to Office Depot.
My poor keyboard was killed by a few errant dribbles of coffee! Impossible!
30 minutes later I have a shiny new Keyboard that cost $9 and works beautifully and the "E" key is still entirely visible even!
So now I can type again. It's weird though, getting used to a new keyboard. This is one of those fancy ergonomic numbers and my fingers are not fancy ergonomic numbers. They are incompetent-don't-know-how-to-type-like-every-other-adult-in-the-free-world numbers and they are having issues with our shiny new friend.
Other than that, I am trying to get some projects done for Christmas, I am working on a stocking for Little Guy. Momo's felt donuts are cut out, and I am trying to recreate bark out of felt for the "logs" in Princess' felt campfire set. I am making I-Spy mug rugs for teacher gifts and I joined a card swap to help get me back in a creating and creative mode and I have a great idea for those, if I can pull it off! (If only I had one of those dandy Silhouette machines!)
Plus, I really want to make one of these for my dad who is getting ready to retire -
Julie from Joy's Hope guest blogging at Infarrantly Creative

(Oh, and I just may have to do a "test run" and make one for myself! Isn't it the greatest?!)

Friday, November 26, 2010

A give-away that would make my family light up like the tree!

This is such an over-the-top fabulous giveaway you really should check it out!
(I know my husband would die if I surprised him with this win!)

Mama’s Holiday Wish List Meme

TodaysMama (link to: and GameStop  (link to: are giving away a sleighful of gifts this holiday season and to enter I’m sharing this meme with you.

1. What is your holiday wish for your family?
I want everyone to be happy and safe. I want to remember the fun and the giving and not concentrate so much on the receiving. I want my little ones to enjoy the magic of the season with songs and crafts and baking and car rides to see lights and visits to Santa.
2. What is your Christmas morning tradition?
The kids are not allowed to even look in the room where the tree is until mom or dad has checked to be sure Santa has come. (it extends the excitement and helps the over-excited 3am early birds get back in bed and to sleep again quickly!)
3. If you could ask Santa for one, completely decadent wish for yourself, what would it be? 
A family vacation in Hawaii with a stop at Disneyland on the way. That, or a fully decked out Honda Odyssey.
4. How do you make the holidays special without spending any money?
We take car rides to look at Christmas light displays in our area. We decorate with pictures and crafts the kids have created. We dance and sing to Christmas songs on Pandora or the radio. We read Christmas stories all snuggled in bed.
5. What games did you play with your family growing up?
Monopoly, Clue, Sorry, Uno, Boggle, Battleship
6. What holiday tradition have you carried on from your own childhood?
Kids are not allowed to peek out at the tree until Mom or Dad has checked to see if Santa has come. Tracking Santa on Christmas Eve.
7. Where would you go for a Christmas-away-from-home trip? 
Hawaii would be my choice, but the kids would probably choose Disney
8. Check out GameStop (link to: and tell us, what are the three top items on your GameStop Wish List this year?
Playstation Eye (and all necessary connectors), EyePet game, DSi
To enter, link to your Mama’s Holiday Wish List post using the Mister Linky box below.
BUT WAIT. Did you think we were done? Oh, you must not know us at all.
We have another stockpile of gifts from GameStop that you can enter to win with our extra entry options.
Extra Entry Options include:
  • “Like” Gamestop on Facebook
  • Follow @gamestop on Twitter
  • Head back to the tippy-top of this post and hit that “Retweet” button.

The deadline to post your meme and comment is Friday, December 10th (same deadline applies for extra entry methods).
* For an example of a Mama’s Holiday Wish List entry post CLICK HERE.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Contemporary Kids

A little while ago I discovered that the Contemporary Museum here in town has a free program called Wednesday Morning Play Date for kiddos age 3-5 on the first Wednesday of the month from 10 - 11:30am, perfect for my girls.
I had never been to the museum, but I was really excited to check it out. (I am a museum kind of girl!) So onto the calendar it went. I figured we could try it out and see how it went.
To sum it up - the program is great! The museum staff is warm, friendly, welcoming and they really seem psyched that the kids are there and the projects are unusual and stretch your child's creativity and lead their art exploration in new directions.
The programs are led by local artists who link their work to the work being displayed at the museum.
For the first program the kids viewed photos by Elad Lassry, one of the featured artists at the museum. The work is color saturated and very intimate in it's scale (not subject matter! LOL). The visiting artist specialized in found-object art so she had the kids create little stories within brightly colored boxes and photographed them.
The girls had a huge number of little things to choose from to create a story diorama inside the wine crate. It was fun to see what they chose and how they put it together. The crates were available in various colors and sizes.(surprise, surprise, my girls both wanted PINK - only because there was no yellow for Momo )
After they created their scene the artist took a Polaroid of it (the girls LOVED the instant film! (Shake-a shake-a) After the film developed  the kids created a collage frame for their photo.
When we finished the collage frames we went upstairs for storytime. The storyteller was INCREDIBLE!!!! Honestly, I would go just for her she is that good! (I'll have to get her name, but I know she's with the St. Louis Public Library)
Oh, and I didn't even mention the snacks- a full spread from Companion bakery with beverages! Can you say YUM! (and follow that with "What diet?)
Oh, and you leave with project pages to use with your kids later!
Oh yes and it is all FREE!
So if you have kids who love to create and explore art in new ways definitely join us because we will be there!

Friday, November 19, 2010

I Love my Mailman and His Packages!

Yes I do! 
Especially the big squishy ones!
I received two in the mail this week!

The first contained my much-awaited I-Spy squares!
SQUEE! (picture me doing a little happy dance)
Thanks so much to Care over at her blog Obsessively Stitching  , for all her hard work organizing this I-Spy extravaganza and and all the participants for sending such amazing fabrics!
You guys ROCK!
 here is a pic of most of the bundle all laid out so I could admire it 
please pretend you don't notice the dirty carpet 
or my god-awful lighting
or my inability to get all the squares in the frame
There was SOOO much fabulous Boy fabric in this bundle, I was over the moon!  My little guy will soon be cuddling with his own I-spy blanket!
The girl fabric was adorable too, and I am loads closer to enough for another blanket.
I think I've decided to start collecting for a Hawaii/beach/summer/ocean themed I-Spy for my youngest girl since she was my Hawaii-born baby. There were some fantastic ones in this collection to start me off .

And then today I received this from Fabricworm
 I was beyond excited! I had just received the email that it had shipped (though I had ordered it a few days before) and a couple of hours later I had it in my hands!
It is a custom bundle called "Walk in the Woods". Isn't it just gorgeous?!!!
I am using these for the Urban Lattice quilt-a-long that Cara (a fellow slmqg member and all around amazing quilter and mom) is hosting on her blog,  Me?A Mom?.
I was really glad I waited to receive the fabric to choose my two main quilt fabrics, because I thought the two fabrics on the left were a burgundy color and they are actually much more brown. (a good thing!)
I am still debating what colors to use for the strips and the main color of the quilt. I may go easy and just go with the Taupe Robert Kaufman Quilter's Linen (second from the end on the right) for the strips and the Kona Coal (on the end) for the main fabric. They really do look lovely! I just need an additional 1/2 yd of the taupe and lots of the Coal and figure out the backing part.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

My First SLMQG Meeting!

I am headed to my first Saint Louis Modern Quilt Guild Meeting today! I can't wait! I am hoping for some advice and inspiration to get me off my planning-but-never-actually-making-it mode. I need a kick in the pants!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Happy Birthday Baby!

My husband celebrated his birthday yesterday! Several weeks ago he talked about the chocolate cake with peanut butter icing that his mom would make every year for his birthday and I set out to make one for him. I went with this recipe from Keeper of the Cheerios but instead of cupcakes, I made a layer cake, and I forgot the chocolate chips. There was so much batter I could have easily made the cake 3 layers!
 And here is a pic of little guy sneaking a taste.
the cake was so delicious! It will definitely be a go-to recipe!

                                                           Make one as soon as possible!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Winter Hugs & Kisses Scarf - A Dollar Store Creation!

So this is my first mini tutorial!
I recently discovered the amazing blog lightbluegrey and besides being titled with my favorite color it is bunches of gorgeous inspiration. Recently she made this scarf and I realized it was the perfect solution to the Dollar Store scarf I scored a few weeks ago. I loved the color,

but the fringe was - shall we say- lacking a bit and in need of a solution.

So I removed the fringe. It was just slip knotted so this was super easy.
 Then I was left with this~

Enter a bit of super chunky remnant stash yarn (thanks Mom!) I used a piece about 36" long for this scarf .
Then to stitch. I found a needle with a super big eye so my yarn would go through without a battle.

I butted together the two short edges of the scarf creating a big circle. I was careful not to twist the scarf as I did this because I wanted a circular scarf in the end, but a single half twist would give you a cool mobius scarf (especially cool if the scarf you are using is short!)
Next I started stitching the two sides together. I made my stitches in one direction all the way to the end. You can make your stitches as large or small as you want and you can choose how close together you place them depending on the yarn you are using and the effect you want. I was using a super bulky yarn and I chose to make just a few large stitches pretty far apart so they would have more impact.

Then I took one big straight stitch across from the side I just finished stitching to the opposite side of the scarf and I went back up that side, creating big Xs with my yarn.

If you are like me and not so successful at keeping them the same size, they are super easy to adjust if you leave your tails a little long to start with.
I was finished, but it wasn't quite what I wanted... I didn't like the bow so I decided to tie it off at the back and weave in the ends.
It still needed something... I could still see too much of the serged edge and it was bugging me.
Then I had an idea -  Kisses are good - but Kisses and HUGS-  Now that's even better...
So I added some vintage really old random buttons to be the Os for hugs

Now I am feeling it! If only it would cool off enough for me to need a scarf!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

An I-Spy Quilt and Swap

Originally uploaded by Milasue
So, here it was less than 24 hours after my somewhat disappointing (in myself), experience with a swap and I was off signing up for another. This one is an I-Spy fabric swap hosted by Care at her blog, Obsessively Stitching. I am a sucker for punishment, I guess!

Not really, this one is fun and non-stressful and involves no sewing until after the fact, so me and my poor nearly healed back should make it through this one with no problemos.

Now I just have to track down 10 cool I-Spy-able fabrics that i am willing to part with and cut out the 200 squares and send them off ASAP.

I'm really excited! I joined my first-ever swap, an I-Spy swap as well, some time ago and made a quilt top that I have yet to finish. All 3 of my kiddos have laid claim to it. I realized I would need to make one for each of them. I think this first one will go to my 5 year old princess. Now to pick out a fabric for the sashing and the backing and quilt it.
I have some fun ideas for my other 2 kiddos quilts as well so I am very excited to get started!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Purse

So I was forced by my pain in the neck (shoulder, back) to pick a new purse that I could put together quickly. It certainly did not turn out the way I had expected. I was just unable to concentrate and sew a straight line. I feel so awful and guilty for not putting out something better, but I just didn't want to quit. So, here are the pictures of the finished purse (just don't look too closely, please!).

Super Style Bag Swap purse

I used the "Buttercup Bag" pattern from Made By Rae, but added additional pockets to the inside of the bag. I also left off the decorative flap and buttons from the exterior.
(ok, flickr is acting weird, I'll have to post more pics later!)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

So much to do,so little time...

I joined the Sew, Mama, Sew Super Style Bag Swap late last month with no idea how crazy my month would turn out. Now I am 2 days from the deadline and far from being finished!!! My daughter was the female lead in her high school's production of "The Crucible" and I was tapped a day before opening to whip up some costumes. I spent most of the next 24 hours at my sewing machine to get the costumes finished for the show. I even enlisted my mom, who was a life-saver once I woke up in pain like I had never felt before. My back and shoulders had spasmed into an excruciating ball of pain that made every movement painful. I sewed together the last few collars through tears and hoped things would be better the next day. Unfortunately they weren't better. Nor the next day. Or for the next several days.
On Monday my dear hubby had foot surgery and I was still in pain but now I had much less help.
By Wednesday of this week I was still feeling the pinch in my shoulder, I was closer to functioning, but my Sister-In -Law was in town all the way from Spokane and we had the chance to get together with her and her kids at the zoo for a rare day of cousin-bonding. Thursday I made a little progress on the sewing, then my brother called to see if I could watch his 4 kiddos all day Friday since he was remodeling his kitchen and needed to get the floor in before the appliances were delivered that afternoon. Of course that meant no sewing was done on Friday... Oh, and Saturday is Trunk-or-Treat at my daughter's school so I will probably waste the day finishing Halloween costumes.
So here I sit with a dilemma. I have cut and fused and started a beautiful bag, but I am not entirely sure I can finish it this weekend. Maybe I can, but I'm not sure. Or, I can do a simpler bag for the swap and make this bag for a Christmas gift.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Passing On My Value System

I recently started following a very funny an interesting blog, Scary Mommy (love the name since all too often it is so true!) and she had a guest poster, Texas Momma, who wrote a post about her discomfort with her 4th grader's gay teacher because she was worried that the teacher's homosexuality might somehow infiltrate the classroom in an inappropriate way.
Now it probably goes without saying that Texas Momma is a conservative Christian and she sends her son to a public school. Scary Mommy, on the other hand, has much more liberal leanings. It was not too surprising that poor Texas Momma was descended upon like the villagers descended on Frankenstein. I hope her computer is fire-proofed, but more than that I hope she is.
So many of the comments were angry and hateful and demeaning and dismissive.
It got me thinking. Is it really effective to share our differences in viewpoint with such anger? Right now we are being inundated by horrible, hateful political campaign ads. Many of these ads make me angry. (just ask my husband, he laughs when I talk back to the tv) All of them cause me to lose respect for the politician or political action group sponsoring them. The net result, I am not happy with whomever wins, even if it was the side I voted for.
So, perhaps we can turn the tables. Be respectful. Give information and solutions that acknowledge and even respect differences of opinion. You can't advance a cause or idea by shoving an agenda down people's throats. When we do that, we just reinforce their negative viewpoint of our side of the argument and they dig in their heels. Respectful education and an attempt to understand where they are coming from, so the solutions we offer are at least slightly palatable to them, is much more effective.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Inspiration Monday

Fall is in the air, but not quite here yet. Later this week it is supposed to be in the 80s again! I adore this time of year when summer is fading and the blusteriness of fall is just creeping in. We went apple picking in all the loveliness and thus, my inspiration for the week. Until now, I hadn't realized that the colors of the orchard are actually the colors I am drawn to when decorating.
Apples in the orchard - I love the bright spots of red among all the greens. I think my kitchen/dining room is calling for a combo like this.
red apples on tree
The green/yellow color is a new favorite of mine. It is bright and cool at the same time. I adore it with the darker greens and the blue of the sky.
yellow apples on tree
All the loveliness at home. These colors just make me happy!

As much as I love this time of year, these days that start out at 50 degrees and end upwards of the 80 degree mark drive me batty when it comes to dressing my family. We take the layered approach, but then I am always finding clothing strewn about that the kids have removed as the day goes on and my laundry pile grows exponentially. It is cool fall in the morning and warm and summery in the afternoon. I'll just enjoy the remnants of summer while I can, and catch up on laundry later.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Fall is for Apple Picking

Last week we decided to head out to Eckert's, a local family owned farm, to pick apples with the three little ones. The pickings were slim this time. Normally we go earlier in the season. The apples were sparse and insects had gotten to many of them, but we all had a great time anyway. the kiddos would pick every apple they could reach and then present it to me like a treasure for inspection and my approval for inclusion into the bag heading home with us.
Once again I felt the pull of a house in the country where I can grow stuff to my heart's content. (hello, chickens!)

Sew, Mama, Sew Super Style Bag Swap

Last week I was getting my daily dose of blog reading and I read about the Sew, Mama, Sew Super Style Bag Swap. Just send in your info and get paired up with someone else in this big wide world and commence creating a lovely bag for your partner while they do the same for you. I dashed off an email to join before I had time to psych myself out of doing it. I have tons to sew, but it's primarily for kiddos and this will be my "just for me" sewing escape. It's my first finished object swap and I'm really excited! I have one month to make a lovely handbag for my partner, and I will get one in return. I have a little information on my swap partner so I will probably do some preliminary browsing for ideas and finalize my plan after I get some more info from her.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Preparations Are Under Way! Getting ready for the Holidays.

My previous attempts at creating memorable holidays have been haphazard at best. I get all sorts of wonderful ideas, but the 3 little monkeys I tend daily don't give me much time or energy by the end of the day so I would flip through magazines and peruse web pages and make lists of the things I wanted to make and do, but little would actually get done. A couple of years ago I joined the "Thrifty Under 50 Challenge" and I did manage to get a number of crafts made despite being pregnant and working full-time, but I left much more unfinished than finished and the timing of the challenge left me stressed and sleep deprived right through the holidays which was NOT a great plan. Last year - well, not sure what happened last year - it is a blur. Not much got done at all. I feel like I was lucky the tree made it up.

I am determined that this year will be different. I actually started to think about Christmas just before Labor Day and started my list of handmade gifts. I was online looking for ideas when I found this site to help me get my house clean and organized for the upcoming holidays. (the main site gets your whole house clean and organized, but for now I am mostly sticking to the holiday site) So far it has been working pretty well. The plan is to deep clean the house and organize yourself for the holidays starting now, so when the time comes you can stress less and enjoy the holidays more. I may not follow the plan exactly - most days I run out of time before everything gets accomplished - but it keeps me working toward a goal on a daily basis. I have printed out and started a binder and it also follows a book which has more detailed cleaning and organizing instructions, but I have yet to get out and purchase the book (though I plan too!). The site does a great job of just moving me from room to room and focusing on getting some of the crazy tasks, like making a holiday card list on the computer now, getting our Christmas budget set now and starting my handmade gifts. Hopefully it will help us all enjoy the holidays a little more! If only I can stick with it and don't get distracted... Ooh - look, a new craft blog...

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Internet is an Evil Time Sucker!

It is evil, evil, evil, I say! I have plans to do this or that, but end up reading 10 articles on creating handmade whatnots - which I am determined to make myself - but then I don't have the time or energy to get working on my own whatnots. How does that happen? One minute I am putting my munchkins down for a nap. Finally all is quiet. I'll just check Facebook and glance at the blogs I follow. So I get on "for just a minute" and that minute grows exponentially. Before I know it the munchkins are awake and demanding food and entertainment and I have accomplished nada yet again, except that I have added to my ever growing list of "stuff I want to do" also known as "the black hole of ideas" since ideas go in, but nothing ever seems to come out. I have decided it is high time I curbed my crafty internet surfing. I spend way too much time looking through the plethora of darling hand crafted things posted online (how the heck do some of these people accomplish all of this? It is beyond me.) and not much time making my own darling handcrafted things. That and I need to make a consistent effort to clean the house, do laundry, feed my family and write this blog. So here it goes. I am going to limit my daily internet surfing to 30 minutes total and that will be AFTER I have worked on some of my own projects. I will list my project plans here and then check them off and post about them as I do them (hopefully) but definitely as I finish each one. Since I have big plans for Christmas and my house, this is a necessity! Please people help me! Cheer me on! Anything!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

So, about that decluttering idea...

I'm having a bear of a time decluttering my life. I have kids - and knitting - and sewing - and well, life in general. I apparently also have a form of decluttering ADD. I just cannot seem to focus and get it done. In the spirit of full disclosure, I have ADD with a lot of projects. That is why I have multiple unfinished knitting, sewing and general projects cluttering my life sending me into a constant spiral of decluttering desire.
I have managed to get through a few things, but I have only managed to actually remove a little of it from the house. I still have multiple bags/boxes that I need to get rid of. I am in debate over selling stuff versus giving it away. Some things the decision is easy to make,clothes are all give away, little knick knacks - give away- but other stuff I'm sure we could sell. Of course, that would mean spending the time and energy listing it, taking calls and negotiating with people and I'm not sure if it worth the time and effort. We're not talking about anything of real value, just a few bucks here and there. Maybe I'll pick something and see how it goes.
Hopefully next week will be more productive than this week was.

Friday, August 20, 2010

How's It Going, You Ask?

Well, very slowly. It is really difficult to significantly declutter a household! So far I have numerous baby items and bags of clothes all ready to get out of the house, but I need to go further. I really want to get down to "Just what we really need and a few other things we really love." It is such a lovely idea, but not so easy to execute. I have so much stuff and I worry that, maybe I'll need that, or I planned to revamp that soon (really I will!). It's easy to say if you find you need it later then just get a new one, but we are pinching every penny in our household so that can be scary. I just keep getting stuck.
My other problem - clearing stuff out just seems to make a huge mess. I know the whole 3 box concept and such, but it just seems to multiply the mess when I start on drawers or closets.
I am determined not to quit though. I think a scheduled twice a week drop off visit would help. I've been debating using Craigslist or freecycle to get rid of some stuff. I think I'll try that next week.
One thing I have resolved to do is actually complete some of the projects I have planned. Right now I am knitting and upcycling a men's shirt into a girl's tunic or dress and a boy's tee into a dress as well. We'll see how it goes!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


So, yesterday I decided to simplify our lives.

I have a husband and 4 children still at home (one, a teenager for whom simplification = deprivation) I am going to be bringing them reluctantly along on this journey, so I can't go crazy and frankly, I don't want to go to extremes. We are not ready to pare our worldly possessions down to 100 items, make our own cosmetics and laundry detergent, wash our hair with baking soda, go vegetarian, or get rid of our cars and televisions. I would have an epic revolt on my hands if I attempted to do any of this.

I need to find a balance that makes everyone happy. We will get rid of the things we don't really love and don't use regularly. We will become more conscious consumers. We will get better about recycling. We will eat fewer processed foods. Someday we might get down to one car. The television - well, we will just try to start with watching less. We will spend more time outside. We will read more. We will go to museums, parks and the zoo regularly.

My goal is to find a simple lifestyle that works for a normal suburban family. There are hundreds of blogs devoted to the idea. Most of them seem to be written by single people or married couples with no children. Of course, fewer people involved make simplification much more possible, but many of the ideas need easing into slowly. My husband is behind me 100% when it comes to simplifying by getting rid of stuff. (Not sure what he'll make of it when I take it a bit further, but we're not there yet.) I am slowly indoctrinating my kids so when we get around to their toys they are on board. Yesterday I filled one trash bag with clothes and baby items. Today I hope to tackle some of the stuff in the drawers of the buffet in the dining room. Honestly most of it hasn't seen the light of day since - well - since I don't know when.

I'll try to post my success and failures here. Hopefully this will keep me motivated.