January 29, 2014
Well, fun may be a bit of an exaggeration. The background is this: We have 2 pretty deep cabinets in our kitchen. They hold a ton of stuff but are a giant PITA because it’s hard to get the stuff in the back. Everything in the front has to get pulled out. I have most of the stuff in bins so I’m only pulling out 2 bins to get the stuff in the back, but I’m still pulling out 2 bins. Blah blah blah. After much deliberation we ordered 2 sliders (one for each cabinet) to test it out. The installation was easy. The hard part was getting everything put away again. It ended up being a huge kitchen reorganization project. If you’ve been here before, good luck finding things. We shuffled a lot of stuff around. But it works. There’s space for Joshua sippy cups which we’d been jamming in next to our bowls and wine glasses. Bowls are easier to get to because they aren’t nested anymore. Etc, etc, etc. And then there’s the cabinets where the sliders were installed. I am happier. I am approaching happy.
Why my hesitation with the cabinet sliders? Loss of usable space. I should say a “perceived” loss of space. In reality I have gained a lot of space because I can now easily access the entire depth of the cabinet. But I lose about 2.5 inches on each side for the slider rails. I think it is just me being me and I need to get over it. We had a little trouble fitting everything that was originally on the shelf on the new sliding shelf but that doesn’t seem to be the case anymore. I think it helped when we threw away the expired and stale stuff.
What Bill thought was going to be an afternoon project turned out to be an afternoon, next day, following morning project. But it is hugely improved and we are going to order sliders for the remaining shelves. I’m so close to being able to check this off my to-do list.
And because I hadn’t done enough organizing already, I shuffled the furniture around in my craft room. My sewing tables are back to back now, going out of the wall instead of side by side against it. It will make quilting a lot easier. If I like this set-up, I am going to get new tables from IKEA that we can hack to sink my machines. There’s a great tutorial on it. I’m pretty sure I’m going to like it like this. It doesn’t feel like the tables are taking up more floor space. My seating area seems a little more cramped, but that’s also because I have a bigger chair there now. We shuffled some chairs around in this process. (Joshua was getting a little crazy on the rocking chair in his room so it’s now in our room, the chair from our room in my craft room, the craft room chair in Joshua’s room.) I’m also planning on getting a new coffee table for the craft room/playroom which will be a much better surface for Joshua and his cars and garage.
As a result of my craft room shuffle-roo, I started going through all my stuff. (It’s a WIP so pardon my mess in the photos.) I have so much scrapbooking stuff that I need to get on top of. Stuff from when I was in high school. Ugh. I went through a couple of binders and threw a lot of stuff out. I’m also going to get rid of a bunch of my magazines. They’re now available on CD or for download and that will take up a lot less space. I have to give my mom credit for that idea. I have decisions to make – fabric scraps, scraps and more scraps, more clipped articles, and let’s not even discuss yarn. Overall, progress is being made.
January 23, 2014
I just celebrated the last birthday of my thirties. Crazy. Where has the time gone? I can hardly believe I’m this old. I don’t feel old, and I’ll always be Young, ha ha. (A little bit of an inside joke, sorry.) It was very fun, except for the cold that I’m still getting over. Bill and I saw a movie, we had a nice family dinner (2 of them, actually). Lots of the most delicious cake, made from scratch by my sweet husband. I couldn’t have asked for more.
I’ve been knitting a lot. I’m doing Ysolda’s mystery KAL and spent way too much time trying to pick out yarn from my stash. It would have been so much easier to buy new yarn but I am truly committed to reducing my stash this year! The beading bug has bitten me. I’ve started some new jewelry projects. Fusion Beads has some amazing inspirational projects. Most importantly, I’ve begun to “catch up” (my resolution for 2014). I started by writing down all my to-dos. They are separated into different categories: house projects, financial, craft, etc. I even checked something off the list already!
Suffice it to say, I’m feeling good. Keeping busy, wonderful birthday.
I leave you with a funny picture of my cutie pie.
January 8, 2014
Yikes! It’s already a week into the New Year. Where has the time gone? I lost a couple of days to the Virus of Death. Bill was on vacation so we were trying to knock a few things off the to-do list and get in our last bit of relaxing family time. We had such plans for Bill’s time off. We had planned on watching a couple of movies, catching up on tv. A couple of days a go, Bill said to me “I’m so glad we were able to watch all those movies.” We laughed. We did not watch a single movie. But we did watch a bit of tv, cleared some space off the DVR, and got to relax.
I was thinking about my last post and realizing that despite how busy I was, I found some time for holiday crafting. I managed a Christmas table runner. I have bought so much cute Christmas fabric over the last couple of years and I finally managed to do something with it. It’s a simple runner, strips of varying width, quilted with diagonal lines, hand sewn binding.
And I managed to knit us all Christmas hats. Unfortunately I don’t have a picture of the three of us in our hats, but we all have them. It was a fun knit. The hardest part was the pompom and getting one that was full enough. Bill and Joshua wore them to the farmer’s market ever Sunday in December and got a lot of compliments. Yay!
Of course with the new year, I’ve been thinking resolutions, but I’m not sure I’m going to make any formal ones this year. I need to finish some from last year, unfortunately. Now that I’m thinking about it, my resolution for 2014 is to Get Caught Up. Catch up on projects I’ve had on my to-do list for a couple of years, catch up on last year’s resolutions, and projects that have been on my mind. I feel pretty good about this. Wish me luck!
December 28, 2013
I feel like the time between Thanksgiving and now has been a crazy scramble. Thanksgiving always sneaks up on me, though not as much this year. Not sure why exactly except that I was trying to be a little more prepared for my holiday season.
It worked. Mainly because I didn’t do it alone. My mom arrived six days before Joshua’s birthday and was, of course, super helpful. Joshua’s party was a smaller affair this year. We invited our friends with kids and made it more of a kids’ party. It was a great group of parents and children and Joshua had a blast. The weather was wonderful. It warmed up and we were able to take advantage of our newly re-done backyard. I can’t even tell you how great it was to see the kids running around, playing in Joshua’s house, parents chatting.
We had a few hours of downtime and then headed into the city for Bill’s holiday party. It was…interesting. A fire alarm went off about an hour into the party and we had to walk down five flights of stairs. And then walk back up when we were allowed back in. But after that, it was a lot of fun. We drank and chatted and caught up with some friends we hadn’t seen in awhile. We might have had a wee bit too much to drink, but that didn’t stop us from hitting an after party. It was nice to get dressed up and let loose.
I spent Sunday recovering and got up bright and early on Monday to get a dental implant put in. That went much better than expected and I was good as new the next day. Just in time to get in to Christmas mode. Thanks to my mom, we got some Christmas baking done, gifts wrapped well before Christmas Eve, photo with Santa taken, and Christmas cards sent. Christmas cards sent before Christmas even! A miracle!
We had a relatively relaxing Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The weather was beautiful and we went for a Christmas Eve hike. Even Joshua did some hiking and was so proud. Later in the day, we loaded up Joshua’s wagon and Joshua and I delivered plates of cookies to our neighbor friends. Bill made a delicious dinner and we enjoyed an amazing feast. Christmas Day was a lot of fun, watching Joshua open a very large pile of gifts. He really started to get into it. He had more fun playing with some of his new gifts, and was pretty patient while we put them together.
Now we’re recovering from the month. I could lay in bed for three days and not move. Except for maybe a little knitting. Of course that’s not possible, but it’s nice to dream. Bill is home and we have no set plans for the next couple of days which is very nice. I hope that you enjoyed the holiday season and have a wonderful rest of 2013.
December 2, 2013
'Tis the season for giving thanks. I do have so much to be thankful for. We've been fighting colds. Again. Joshua caught a second cold, gave it to my dad and eventually gave it to me. Ugh. Thankfully the adults didn't get hit as hard as Joshua but still. Ugh. The woman who cleans my house has become a friend and she and her son dropped off the most amazing soup and spaghetti for us. She knew we were feeling terrible and was so thoughtful. That is so special. Did I mention the food was awesome?
We had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend. My dad's been in town and we had a great visit. We spent Thanksgiving with some of my dad's extended family. It was nice to catch up after thirty some years. And the food was awesome. Again.
On Black Friday, we played tourist in San Francisco. Took Joshua for a cable car ride. He loved it. We had fun too. It was a gorgeous day and nice to be spent outside.
Since we weren't home for Thanksgiving, we decided to make our own turkey dinner over the weekend. We needed leftovers. This was possibly the best Thanksgiving dinner Bill ever made. The turkey was magazine cover beautiful. And the rest of the dishes turned out so well. It's a ton of work, but it was so good.
We're now in Christmas and birthday mode. Decorating. Shopping. Planning. I am trying hard to not get overwhelmed, to enjoy it all. It's all supposed to be fun, right?
October 11, 2013
Sorry I’ve been away from here for so long. I’ve written so many posts in my head, they just never make it to the computer. We’re keeping busy. Same old, same old. My little goose is at such a fun age. Sometimes, challenging, but mostly a joy.
He’s figured out how to take pictures. And he takes a lot. I have about 13 of this breakfast. Pretty artistic for a little guy who has no concept of photo composition.
In my free time, I’ve actually been doing quite a bit of crafting, knitting mostly. I’ve got so many projects that I want to do, and of course I keep adding to the list. It got to the point where I made a physical list of my top priority projects. It’s been helping me focus.
I’ve been knitting pumpkins out the wazoo. I started at the beach, when we went East for vacation. I’m leading a KAL at work so I wanted to practice before the workshop. Now I’m creating a pumpkin patch in front of my tv. I do like pumpkins as decorations since they work through Thanksgiving. I have an idea for a table runner for my pumpkins to sit in. See, how the list just keeps growing?!
Those pumpkins got felted and shrunk down. They still need some finishing touches which I will do at our workshop on Wednesday and then I am done with pumpkins. It’s been fun but the last one was just tedious. It was also my 10th. Yup, done with pumpkins.
One project that I finished up that was super fun was a cowl/infinity scarf for my cousin. She is very stylish and wears a lot of scarves so I made her a neutral scarf for winter. This is out of Misti Alpaca and super warm. The pattern makes a really dense fabric. Good thing she lives in Wisconsin. I think it turned out well. My only concern is that it seemed a little sheddy, but I’m hoping that the bath I gave it helped. It was well received!
And my most recent finished project is this cute little beret. It was a fast knit (less than a week). The yarn was Elfin Tweed by Knit One Crochet Too and I love, LOVE this yarn. I’m very happy with my beret. I think I’m going to wear it to work tomorrow.
Well, it’s 10pm so I’m going to say goodnight and knit a few row of my next project. Gotta get through the list!
August 8, 2013
I feel like I am in a constant state of shuffling. Shuffling stuff around my work table so I can work. Shuffling stuff around the table so we can eat. Shuffling furniture around the house and garage. These things need homes so they can be put away. Why is it so hard? ‘Cuz there’s too much stuff. Oye.
I’m making progress. We sold a couple of things at Bill’s office. The stained glass supplies are actually out of the garage. It’s almost a miracle. I brought in a bedside table from the garage and am going to use it for Joshua. I think it will be a good place to store his puzzles and duplo blocks and flash cards. (So sometimes it is nice to have “extra” stuff.) The first thing Joshua did when he saw it was open up all the drawers. The bedside table cleared up space in the garage so I moved (shuffled!) things around and put some stuff away. I moved some things outside that need to be broken down and thrown away. We need as much space as possible in the garage to store our outdoor furniture because we will be having the backyard redone next month. (yay!!!) My goal is that when the yard is done and all the furniture moved back outside, I’ll immediately be able to park a car in the garage. Permanently. Once I get to that point, I’m going to start going through the garage cabinets and thinning out the stuff in there. It’s just neverending.
I should probably clean up the kitchen but I can’t. Honest. I have part of a sweater blocking on the counter. What a shame. I guess I’ll just have to sit in my craft room and knit while contemplating homes for the stuff on my worktable.
This is actually a post from August 1st that was never uploaded:
I’ve been wanting to blog, but about a bunch of different random things. So I’m going with bullet points.
Starting with all things Joshua:
- My little boy is so silly. I don’t know where he picked it up, but he likes to dust. Well, he only dusts two things, but he does it a lot. In his world, tissues are also dust rags. He was working on my exercise ball on Saturday.
- I wish I knew what was going on it that little head of his. The connections he makes are amazing, and the things he picks up (or doesn’t pick up)… it just makes me wonder. We were re-caulking around the tub so we emptied it out and a bottle each of shampoo and conditioner ended up on the toilet. We don’t normally have anything there and Joshua noticed it right away. I turn away and a few minutes later, he had added to the shampoo bottles. I found it to be incredibly sweet.
- This is Joshua’s “shh…I hear a birdie” sign. His “shhh” is a finger to the nose with a puff instead of a “shhh” with a finger to the lips. More preciousness. Usually when he does “shh” it’s because he hears a bird.
- I’ve been working on knitting a lacy sweater. It’s from a European pattern, originally written in Czech but translated with a friend. My friend made the sweater and it looked amazing so I’m giving it a try. I was making great progress but now I’m on a super boring part…
- We had our half bathroom redone. It looks nice. Waiting for paint to dry so I can hang some artwork and then I’ll post pictures. I made a new curtain though…
- I also pulled out one of my halloween quilts and started piecing again. I was motivated to try and work on it every day. Ha ha ha, I’m so funny. Did I really think that was possible? I worked on it for two days and then haven’t touched it again for two weeks.
- I pulled out a needlepoint project I started last year. It’s nice when I feel like doing something mindless. I forgot how much I enjoy it. This was started because a shop in Portland called to tell me they had a canvas back in stock. It’s a souvenir from our trip this spring, and once stitched it will go on the travel wall (should I ever hang the travel needlepoints again). I guess I pulled out the other WIP because I was feeling guilty about buying a new one when I haven’t done needlepoint in about a year.
- I’m on a kick to redo our bedroom. Going bold with the paint. (I think…) Ordered a new rug and headboard. Gotta pick the color.
I guess that’s about it for now.
July 9, 2013
I just had a leftover hotdog for lunch. It was soooo good. We discovered these hotdogs at Whole Foods. We originally got them for Joshua since it’s the only meat he’ll eat (aside from sausage on pizza). I tried them and they are Margaret approved. I’m actually not a fan of hotdogs at home. They never live up to ballpark hotdogs. Except for these. The one I had was left over from our 4th of July cookout.
Speaking of which, our 4th of July weekend was great. We took Joshua to his first parade. He was so precious. The parade started with firetrucks and their sirens. Joshua was unsure about this. He liked the trucks but not the noise. He enjoyed all of the rest of it though. He loved waving at the people, and he’d occasionally look at his hand to make sure it was doing the right thing. Too stinkin’ cute. He was pretty tired after all the excitement. He took a long nap and then we took a quick trip to the pool. Bill and I watched a movie while Joshua slept. No fireworks for us. He’s still too young.
The next day we took a trip out to Pigeon Point lighthouse. Crazy drive through the mountains but a gorgeous view of the coast once we were on the other side. The lighthouse was pretty, and Joshua walked with us. He’d point at a path and that’s where went. It is such a fun age. We took the “long way” home via Santa Cruz. A less hair drive over the mountains. We were on CA-1 and we rounded a curve and voila, tons of kite surfers. It was really cool.
Saturday we relaxed and did some stuff around the house, then went to Vasona Park to explore. Joshua finally went down a slide. When my mom was here, he went down a hot slide and didn’t like it. Weeks later, he still remembered it. He pointed at it and said “hot” but we showed him it wasn’t and down he went. We had to do it over again for his second trip down the slide but he did it.
Sunday was a typical Sunday. Getting ready for a new week. It’ll be a good one.
July 3, 2013
It is currently a gorgeous 81 degrees out now, on its way up to 91. It feels delightful out and for the first time in about a week, we have the windows open during the day. We’ve been running the a/c during the day and were able to turn it off at night except for 2 nights. It did cool off but there was no breeze whatsoever so we kept the air on overnight. We are fortunate to have a/c as not all the houses here do.
Things are slowly returning to normal. We are something of empty-nesters these days. We’ve had houseguests since mid-May and now everyone has returned home. A mixed blessing. We got a lot accomplished with the extra help and of course we enjoyed the company. My mom was in town for about a month and she overlapped a weekend with my inlaws who stayed on for a week. We kept busy. Park, pool, reading, playing, building, watering, sleeping, playing, reading, building, etc. Really delightful visits.
Now I’m getting back into the swing of things. We got off our routine of walking every morning and it feels good to be doing that again. We started swim lessons this week, every day this week although we are off until Monday. It’s not exactly fun yet. Joshua is…resisting? He likes the pool and will jump in off the side (into your arms) as shown in a photo above. But he doesn’t really want to work in the pool. He’d rather just hang on and watch everyone else. Take things in. He can kick and he does it for a second as if to say “see, I can do it” but then he tucks his legs in and pulls back up into my arm to observe.
I’m ready to veg. There’s so many things to do, but I’m still recovering from all my hostess responsibilities (ha ha), and all the activity from this morning… If I do the kitchen, I can let myself relax guilt free. One, two, three… here I go…
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Where I Find Inspiration
- (4:53 am)
- A Polish Addict
- Alisa Burke
- All Buttoned Up
- Angry Chicken
- Anna Maria Horner
- Apartment Therapy
- Artsy Crafty Babe
- Betz’s Blog
- Brooklyn Tweed
- Carina’s Craft Blog
- Caring for Cathy
- Carole Knits
- Confessions of a Craft Addict
- Creative Little Daisy
- Creative Organizing
- Creative Thursday
- Diary of a Quilter
- Domestic Adventure
- Eat. Sleep. Decorate.
- Fig & Plum
- Fussy Cut
- Gertie’s Blog for Better Sewing
- Going Sew Crazy
- HELLO my name is Heather
- I Heart Linen
- In Color Order
- Je Mange la Ville
- Knit & Nosh
- Knitty Gritty Thoughts
- Pink Chalk Studio
- Portabello Pixie
- Posie gets cozy
- Purl Bee
- Red Pepper Quilts
- Sew Mama Sew
- Stardust Shoes
- whip up
- wise craft
Welcome to my spot on the web where I talk about needlework, crafts, and [many] other random things.
A few tidbits about me: I met my husband in college, flirting over tuba letters in the Penn Band. Our dog, CJ, and our cat, Sabrina, round out our family. I'm a sewist, knitter and needlepointer, and an occasional scrapbooker. I love organizing, reading, making jewelry, and hiking. A Chicago girl at heart, I am an avid follower the Cubs, Bears, and Blackhawks.
You can email me at mlynapier [at] pobox [dot] com. Thank you for stopping by!
My Etsy Shop
A place for me to sell my handmade goods. My style? It's fun and funky with a hint of romance.