You are currently browsing the archives for November 2010.

Christmas Works in Progress

  • Posted on November 30, 2010 at 11:29 pm

Not much blah-blah-blah to this post, just pics. It’s about time for bed and I’m feeling quiet, so don’t look a gift horse in the mouth, okay? 😉

These are the two gifts that I am currently still working on for Christmas.
The first is Just Nan’s Sparkling Iris. I am stitching it using the recommended threads (DMC) on the recommended overdyed fabric (and I even have the fancy frame for it):

I had made a mistake in the color of one of the greens in the center area a couple of months ago when I was working on it at the stitching group and I was intending to leave it in since it wasn’t a glaring mistake, but once I saw the outer sections stitched in the proper colors (it was supposed to be a blend and I managed to stitch it with 2 strands of the same color the first time), I decided to take the dreaded frog head-on and restitch it correctly.

The second is the second bookmark for Nan, also from Leisure Arts’ Bookmarks Galore:

I’m stitching the March bookmark for her. If you look to the left of the actual bookmark (on which I have made stunningly little progress), you will see the published photograph of what Once Upon a Time was supposed to look like. Feel free to compare it with the one I stitched. Go ahead, I’ll wait. It looks a bit different with my color changes, doesn’t it?

So, there you have it. Drive-by blogging. I pick up my stitched piece from Michaels tomorrow, so wish me luck.

Thanksgiving Crafting

  • Posted on November 29, 2010 at 5:54 pm

I am so grateful for my crafting. It truly helps to keep me sane. As sane as I get, at least. That’s my brief Thanksgiving thought. I am thankful for my life, in general, but I am very thankful for my creative abilities, even if I don’t take the time to work with, work on or express myself using many of them. I have so many drawings in my head that haven’t made it to paper yet. I do write down the ideas in as much detail as I can muster and as makes sense, though, so that when I do finally take some time to work on realizing them, I won’t have lost these concepts that are so precious to me. I refine them over time in my head, so my notes get updated when I new thoughts or visions float through my head.

But I digress. This post was not about drawings that exist only in my head. I did a little bit of crafting over Thanksgiving. Yes, that’s right. We went nowhere and did nothing. Honestly, that’s the way I like it (uh-huh, uh-huh). I use the Thanksgiving holiday as a time to relax, refresh and get prepared for the upcoming holidays. This year, I did a lot of sleeping. A lot. Which is unusual for me because I tend to get pretty sore if I don’t get out of bed within a reasonable amount of time (8 to 9 hours). I chalk it up to my body needing the rest. Whatever. It did start a bad cycle, though. Because I awoke later in the day, I would stay up later, then sleep in later, then wake up later, and on and on. It’s gotten quite ugly, actually. But I’m turning it around. It’s a good thing I do most of my work from home right now, so that I could get away with getting up later today. I don’t actually have to physically go into my office until Wednesday, so I still have another day to finish weaning myself back onto a more normal schedule.

But I digress. Again. I desperately need to clean up my craft room which, after having been nicely organized and cleaned a couple of weeks ago, looks like a paper crafting bomb went off in it. When I was making the paper bookmarks for Nan, I had all of my different materials out, including a bunch of rubber stamps, my drawer of embossing powders and my tower of scrapbooking paper. They all need to go back to their proper locations. However, in order for me to do that, I had to create a couple of corner bookmarks for myself. Because I really wanted to. I ended up doing four of them. They aren’t the greatest. I spent hours up in that room for two days and became totally lost in thought and then completely lost my creative vision. So they are kinda… meh, but they’re for me and I really don’t care that much. I had a horrible, terrible time trying to get accurate representations of these blasted bookmarks. I photographed them and the photos were bad. I scanned them and the scans were better, but I still spent time in Photoshop fiddling with every single little nuance of color and they still aren’t right, but they are close enough.

The Swarovski hotfix crystal on this one is actually a pale pink that matches the pink in the decorative paper.

I just could not get the coppery gold metal look of the paper strip in the center to show up correctly. Plus, I learned exactly how not affix hotfix Swarovski crystals. There are two different directions on the back of the box. One works and the other doesn’t.

This one is a great example of complete overkill. Too many different colors and textures. It’s pretty much a pastel explosion with a butterfly on top.

The paper at the top goes better with the maroon daisies than it appears. Honestly.

By the way, I’m not sure if I posted the link to the tutorial I used for this corner bookmarks before or not, but you can find it here. totally rocks. If you stamp, you have to check it out. I find a lot of inspiration there and I know others do, too. Oh, and another thought for you on these corner bookmarks. A lot of people tend to go really nuts and bling these puppies out with a bunch of layers, pop-dots, ribbons with bows, etc. Keep in mind, though, that these are meant to be used. In books. So you don’t really want them to be terribly thick. The hotfix crystals were pushing it for me.

Of course, I can’t put the supplies away yet. I have yet to stamp the bag(s) that will hold all of Nan’s bookmarks. *sigh*

I have been stitching a little bit, as well. I’ll take some progress photos and post them later this week. The little Just Nan design for my mom is turning out great, even if I had to frog a section that I stitched in the wrong color when I first started it weeks and weeks ago, and I need to get back to stitching the second stitched bookmark for Nan. They will be here on the 17th, so I have about 2 weeks to stitch that one and then finish the back. Oh, and clean up the spare bedroom, which looks like a sewing bomb went off in it (there are thread and fabric scraps all over the floor from the purse-making adventure).

A Finish to Be Shared and Others That Are Not… Yet

  • Posted on November 24, 2010 at 4:49 am

I lost a lot of ground last week, both at work and in my stitching, due to being sick. I went to the monthly stitching group last Friday night with Anna, despite having been sick for three days. I managed to get in two finishes – one cross stitch and one sewing – neither of which I can show yet because they are gifts for someone who reads this blog (*cough* Christine *cough*). She knows that they are coming, but she knows neither what design I chose for the cross stitch nor what the fabric of the sewing project looks like, so I’d like to keep it a surprise until she receives them. I’ll be sending them out today. Yes, it took me several days to actually get good pictures (I ended up scanning the stitched piece last night because the pictures didn’t turn out well enough to suit my tastes) and package things up. While I was at it, I packaged up a little parcel of goodies for Anne. It’s only a few leftover stitching supplies and she knows that it’s coming, as well, although she may either have forgotten or given up on me by this point as it has taken me over a month to get it ready to send out.

So, after a successful stitching night, I ended up with quite a headache. Actually, it had started on my way there. Well, to be more precise, it started while we were at the bank talking to someone about moving over our mortgage to take advantage of the great rates right now. We left straight from there to go to stitching and I took some Tylenol sinus formulation on the way. The pain caught up with me a little while after I got home from stitching. And lasted through Saturday. Into Saturday night. After having thrown several different medications at it, both over-the-counter and prescription. I took the heavy duty prescription Saturday night at bedtime and when I laid down, the head pain suddenly became nearly unbearable. Fast forward to when I wake up Sunday morning and I have no pain, but I have this really bad feeling that it’s going to come back. And it did indeed. By the time Sunday evening came, I had thrown everything that I had in my entire medicine drawer at that stupid, stubborn migraine and I was starting to contemplate a visit to the hospital. I mean a full-blown, travel to a hospital 45 mins to an hour away where there’s a good headache clinic, get hooked up to an IV and get this thing stopped, visit to the hospital. Fortunately, by Monday morning, I had the situation under control.

That is one migraine cycle that I do not want to repeat. Ever.

Anyway, despite the migraine, I stitched. Yes, I can stitch with a migraine. People find that rather bizarre. Since I had finished my current project on Friday night, I started a stitching bookmark for my step-mother-in-law. Yes, another bookmark. Considering she asked me to stitch one for her, I figured I actually owed her at least one that was stitched, in addition to all of the other miscellaneous crafted ones. I started it on Saturday and finished the backstitching on Monday. It was a quick and easy stitch, even though I did several color changes in the process. It’s stitched on a Charles Craft bookmark blank which looks really garish in the wrong kind of light, as Anna can attest to from when I brought it out at stitching in October, but it really isn’t that bad in natural light. Honest. And I think I’ve grown to like the bling.

This is from the leaflet named Bookmarks Galore, published by Leisure Arts:

The quarter stitches on this one killed me. Quarter stitches on 18 count aida. And they were everywhere. Seriously, who designs for aida with so many partial stitches? Every serif you see on the lettering was composed of partial stitches. Every rooftop and flag on the castle? Partial stitches. It was a bear. And so was all of that backstitching. At least the results were worth it. You can’t tell, but the lettering is a dark blue, not black. And there are actually two colors of blue in the O. I might try one more time to get a better scan or photo of this one, for the sake of posterity. You also can’t see the details of the lace very well, so I should probably try scanning it against black and see how that works. For now, though, this is the best I have. For anyone who is interested, I felt that I needed to get rid of the two gold colors used in the design because the bookmark base was silver. These colors were used in the gateway to the castle, as well as for all of the lettering. I substituted two shades of gray for the gateway and two colors of blue for the lettering, plus black for the backstitching of the lettering.

I have now started another stitched bookmark for Nan, but there are significantly more color changes in this one, so I don’t feel an immense pressure to finish it on time. I still have a little over 3 weeks before they arrive for an early Christmas visit to exchange gifts. In the meantime, I’m also working on the Just Nan piece for my mother, just to give me a break from aida for a little while.

Crafting on a Gloomy Day…

  • Posted on November 18, 2010 at 11:48 am

can yield some strange results. It was a dark and rainy day here on Tuesday and I wanted to finish up a bookmark that I had started a week or more before. I had stopped because I was working on a bookmark consisting primarily of plastic necklace cord with beaded embellishments. I was stuck on what to do for a design and I had tired of the wire wrapping that I was doing.

I had originally pulled a green glass bead with colored flecks in it and some coordinating Swarovski crystals to pull out the secondary colors in the bead. With some finagling, I had been able to actually thread the bead onto the cord and that is about where I stopped. Correction, I had wrapped some wire around the bottom end of the cord, created a loop to hold a charm and added a heart charm. Oh, and I guess I had inserted some wire through the cord near the top to get ready for beading up there.

So, when I picked it up again on Tuesday, it was dark in my crafting room and my mood wasn’t terribly bright and sunny, either. I still had no idea what to do with the stupid bookmark and I was feeling annoyed with it because I just wanted to finish it so that I could clean up my beading materials.

I got the idea to wrap the colored beads over the large glass bead. So, I did that on two opposing sides. I then wrapped the remaining wire around the top of the cord above the bead, with the intention of doing who knows what with it. I had a bunch of wire left on one side and just a little bit on the other. I thought of cutting it off, but then I just started wrapping it around one of my pairs of beading pliers. It turned out kinda funky and with my mood the way it was, I decided I like it, so I twisted it a little bit and let it be.

Of course, at this point the heart charm at the bottom really no longer suited the funky direction in which this bookmark was proceeding, so I removed it. In looking at the top of the bookmark, I decided that it looked like some avante-garde runway model. You know, with a totally bizarre hat or hairdo. The large glass bead looked like a torso, with the beads wrapped around the sides forming her arms, with her hands on her hips. So, what else could I do with the bottom but hang off some legs?

Here’s the result:

The full view:

Head and torso:

Dangling legs:

I realize that not everyone will see what I see in this, but I am strangely pleased with the results. The only bummer is that the cord ended up not being long enough for larger paperback or hardbound books. It only fits the mass market paperbacks and then it hangs way out over because it was just shy of fitting larger books. I suppose I could cut the cord shorter to better fit the smaller books and re-hang her legs. Maybe. Probably. Now that I’ve come up with the solution, I will likely implement it soon.

Purse Finish

  • Posted on November 15, 2010 at 10:45 am

Yes, it’s finished! My first attempt at the Two-Hour Tulip Purse. I’m pleased with how it turned out, especially with all of my modifications to the lining and pockets therein, but it’s too wide for me to use. Bummer. I think the front and back panels fit what I’m looking for, but I will need to heavily modify the side panels to cut them down to 2/3 or 1/2 of their current size. I will, however, use this one for a while first and see what other modifications it might require before I take a second shot at it.

I quite enjoyed playing around with this pattern, fiddling with all of the inner pieces and then putting it all together. In fact, since I finished the purse on Saturday, I felt quite annoyed on Sunday that I didn’t have any of it to work on anymore. I guess that’s a strong indication of how much fun I had with it. 🙂

Here are some photos for you. The colors aren’t quite accurate in most of them, but it is quite hard to reproduce them correctly. These are pretty close, though.

The front:

A bit of the side:

Credit card slots inside the inner back pocket:

A pocket in the right side lining for my new iPod Nano:

There is a similar pocket diagonally across the purse, in the left side lining, for my earbuds. And here’s a shot of the bottom, so that you can see how the four tulip-shaped pieces came together:

All in all, the pattern and assembly were fairly straightforward. There were only two questions I had when putting it together, both of which were easily answered by Terry. One of them was due to not reading the instructions carefully enough and the other was just an inability to clearly conceptualize the construction in three dimensions. Terry is excellent at three-dimensional visualization and manipulation, so he, of course, understood immediately. I am not worthy. 😉

If anyone is interested in trying this pattern (I would highly recommend it) and my modifications, you can see most of the pocket additions that I made in the above photos. In addition, I did add strips of the heavier outside fabric to the top of the lining to accommodate the magnet, as I had said I would. That worked out quite nicely, though I would really advise that you use a taller strip so that the magnet pieces aren’t so close to the seams. I had to do sections of the topstitching by hand because I learned the hard way that I couldn’t sew that closely to the magnet sections. I snapped a sewing machine needle off quite cleanly in the attempt.

I did not end up using the purse feet due to the way that the points come together at the bottom. The bottom center bows out so I think that the fabric would end up touching surfaces that it sits on anyway, even if I had put purse feet in the approximate corners. I’ll see how it wears while I’m using it. The other thing that I have not yet done on this purse is to sew darts into the sides so that the purse will fold up nicely and reliably when closed. I think that I may reproduce a bit of how my current purse is sewn, which includes darts in the sides, as well as reinforcement of the outside corners as they lie when the purse is closed. I think that will help it to keep its overall shape. If I feel so inclined, I will share photos when that portion is done.

I do have to say that it seems quite boring to me in looking at the front of it. It needs a little decoration of some sort, but I haven’t quite figured out what. I have buttons that would go nicely with it that I might be able to sew on in some sort of configuration. It really needs some sort of decorative strip to break up the expanse of fabric, maybe about 1/3 of the way down from the top. I could potentially stitch some sort of swirly pattern that complements the paisley pattern in the fabric and tack that on. I already know that I have a shade of DMC that perfectly matches the brown lining, as I used it to tack the lining down.

Which reminds me, that’s one other addition that I did. I hand-tacked the lining to the outer fabric along all four seams, from the top to the bottom points. It was tedious, but the lining lays so much more nicely that way.

So, if anyone has any recommendations on decorative touches for the front and/or a free border pattern that I could stitch onto cream/tan fabric with brown thread and then tack onto the front, I would greatly appreciate it.

Taking a Chance

  • Posted on November 14, 2010 at 10:00 am

This past Wednesday, I was coming back from a regular appointment that takes me past the nearest Michaels craft store. This frequent temptation has led me to run amok many times and Wednesday was no different. I still had one Tinker Bell piece from Disney left to frame. This one is a limited edition reproduction of a series of seasonal cels (and yes, that’s spelled correctly – check it out on Wikipedia). It was pre-matted when I bought it, which posed a little bit of a challenge, as I’m not thrilled with the color of the mat, but it has the limited edition information embedded in the center, so I can’t just replace it. Anyway, I was waiting to see how well they did with the large Tinker Bell and Pooh’s Garden (I haven’t posted a photo of this yet, as I haven’t yet been able to hang it) posters before I took in any more work to them. Fortunately, they did such a nice job on both pieces that I didn’t hesitate to try them again. So, in she went.

While I was at it, I’ve had my first real framed piece of cross stitch, that I started in high school and finished in or after college, sitting on my mantle for years now in a frame that… um… how do I say this nicely… doesn’t suit my tastes. My dear mother, bless her heart, had Terry smuggle the piece off into the mail to her so that she could frame it for me as a gift many years ago. Unfortunately, her choice of frame never exactly rang my bell. Here’s a picture to refresh your memory:

I’m not sure why she chose a gold frame when there is nary a lick of gold in the piece. Trust me, the frame is bright, brassy, gold, not what’s pictured there. Yes, there is brown in her wings, but really, the frame has always leapt out at me as not really suiting the piece. Silver would have made much more sense. I bought some silver paint and some antiquing glaze a week or so ago with the full intention of stripping and refinishing the existing frame, but I brought her with me to Michaels, just to see what they had. I figured I might have them cut a custom frame and some glass for me, or even just a frame and reuse the existing glass, if I found something that worked well for her.

I happened to get a knowledgeable and proficient framer who really seemed to know her stuff, so I started firing questions at her about how they dealt with needlework pieces, etc. As it turns out, their process for dealing with needlework is not as heinous as I had been lead to believe. They don’t lace the piece, but I doubt that even my LNS does that. Instead, they mount it to acid-free foam core with pins. No glue, nothing seriously nasty, wrong, or damaging. In fact, the woman seemed to know all about working with aida fabric (on which this piece was stitched). She could see where the piece had been stretched incorrectly and was out of square (sorry Mom!) and believed that they could fix it. Overall, I was quite pleased with the answers I was getting from her. Enough so that I decided to leave the piece in their hands to see how they make out with it. Terry and I had both thought that she should stay in a simple frame, with no matting, but I changed my mind. We picked out a lovely silver, brushed metal frame that goes nicely with the silver frost that she is blowing from her hand (she is named Frost Fairy, after all). I thought it wouldn’t hurt to try looking at a couple pieces of mat board for her, while I was there. Lo and behold, we came up with a combination of a small amount of silver directly against the piece and white that matches her dress (which actually happened to be in the violet category) as the primary mat. I should have her back in about 2 weeks and I am truly anxious to see how she turns out. Rest assured, I will inspect her carefully before signing off on their work and taking possession of her. If she’s not square, I’ll not be satisfied.

The question that now springs to mind is: if they do a good job with Frost Fairy, how will they handle linen? And do I test them further? Maybe I’ll take a linen piece with me when I go to pick up Frost Fairy and see what happens. After that, though, I really need to stop. I’m going to go broke with all of this framing!


  • Posted on November 13, 2010 at 9:59 am

Remember the Brush ‘Em project from a couple of months ago that I got back from the framer last month? Well, I saw my friend last week to get my teeth cleaned and I brought it along with me. No fancy wrapping, unfortunately, as I don’t seem to have anything in wrapping paper that is not Christmas- or winter-themed. So, I wrapped it in the brown craft paper that the Tinker Bell post was wrapped in by Michaels.

I had actually mentioned to her husband a few days before (remember, we both work in IT at the same company) that I was going to be bringing her a surprise gift. He thought that the timing was excellent, as she’s had a really rough month or so. Her grandfather died a little over a month ago and now her grandmother has been found to have cancer. I believe it is stage 4, if I’m remembering correctly what he said. Poor gal!

When I walked in the door of the dentist’s office and checked in with a brown paper-wrapped parcel under my arm, I think that I piqued the curiosity of the receptionist, based on the quick glances that I kept seeing her take. My friend came out to get me a few minutes later and we greeted with our usual hugs and kisses. She really is a total sweetheart and I love her to bits! She’s been taking care of my teeth for years and we’ve gone through a lot of life’s ups and downs together. It’s funny how close of a bond we’ve developed, even when we only see each other twice a year!

Anyway, as soon as we got back to the room, I gave her the gift. She seemed shocked and genuinely pleased that I would gift her with anything at all. She decided to open it right away, which I heartily endorsed. She was so happy with it; I can’t even begin to tell you. She was so excited that she ran out and was telling the staff and everyone about it. Women kept poking their heads in to see it and one of them left the room with it to make the rounds so that everyone in the office could see it. Needless to say, it has to be the most well-received stitching gift I have ever given in my life. One of the women stopped in to say that I needed to make 3 more because the other hygienists all wanted one. I just grinned, but after she left, I looked my friend in the eye and said no way, this is a special gift only for her!

She appreciated it so much; we were both overwhelmed. She decided to take it home since she only works in that particular office one day a week. She says she has the perfect place to hang it and that the colors coordinate perfectly with her bathroom. She exclaimed over and over again about how talented I was, though I assured her that it was easy and that I could show her how to do it. I was just beyond pleased with her reaction. I was over the moon, really. When I came out, Terry said that it was the talk of the office.

Days later, I got this in the mail, with a handwritten note about how much she loved her “work of art:”

I’m so glad that I was right when I thought that I knew that she would be a good person to stitch for. I have had mediocre and even no reaction whatsoever (not even an acknowledgment, even though I know that the gift was received because it was hand-delivered by my mother) to things that I have stitched for people before, so it was nice to find that this leap of faith was a sound one.

Sew Necessary

  • Posted on November 8, 2010 at 2:30 pm

Anna raised a good point in her comment to my last post. Yes, I will finally be able to invite people into my home once I have finished cleaning up. That will be a first in many, many years and is long overdue. I still have the dining room that I will need to clean up before Christmas anyway. I have products for my ONS spread everywhere that desperately need to be entered into my accounting software and the storefront. Unfortunately, the accounting software seems to have gone bust and won’t do anything with regards to reports (I was trying to check my sales tax liability so that I could file the return for last quarter) without crashing. I’m afraid to try any other functions. I’m going to have to try to reinstall and see if I can just limp it along until the end of the year when I will officially switch that business over into QuickBooks. The Microsoft Small Business Accounting package that I’ve been using for years was giving me fits and is so overly complex that when they decided to stop supporting it earlier this year, it was a good excuse to move to QuickBooks. QuickBooks now supports multiple currencies, which is why I chose MS Accounting in the first place, so it will be nice to switch to an industry standard accounting product for small businesses.

Oh, and to answer Von‘s question, yes, I will post pictures of the reorganized office, including the nice new desks, once we’ve finished cleaning up. Which will hopefully be soon!

Anyway, I got off track. What I really meant to blog about were my sewing endeavors yesterday. I didn’t include it in yesterday’s weekend report, even though I spent hours on it yesterday. I really should have been stitching, but I had the irresistible urge to sew. You see, I have been trying desperately, in vain, to find a purse to replace my existing one. It’s nice and little, but I have outgrown it by about an inch in the tall dimension. Plus, it has arm straps, not full shoulder straps. The hunt for a commercially produced bag that small has been completely futile, though I certainly tried really hard. So, I decided to make my own. I found one that I think will fit the bill and I found it pretty readily, which was lovely. With one Google search, I quickly found, which is an amazing resource for purse patterns. I chose the Two-Hour Tulip pattern, as seen on the front page of

I then went out to and chose two heavy home decor fabrics. Luckily, the home decor fabrics where on sale. :mrgreen: One was only $5 so I pulled that one for a test run and a more expensive ($13 a yard on sale) pattern that I liked a little bit better for the real thing. Add in a total of three lining fabrics because I wasn’t sure if the colors that I picked were going to work once I put them together in real life, plus magnet closures and purse feet and you have the makings of a purse!

Here’s the less expensive fabric:

And the more expensive:

I bought a dark brown lining (the color is called potting soil) for the first one and a fuchsia lining for the second. Incredibly, both worked out quite well. I bought antique gold feet and magnetic closure for the first and gold ones for the second.

Of course, you know me. I can’t just follow the pattern. No, I’m heavily modifying the inside. The outside will look the same (sans pocket: I hate outside pockets), but the inside will look more like my current purse. Not only am I putting pockets on both the front and back of the inside, but inside the one pocket, I am putting staggered credit card pockets. It’s exactly like what I have in my current purse and I love them. I’m also sneaking in a small pocket on one of the sides for my new iPod Nano. And maybe a matching one on the other side for the earbuds. I just thought of that. See what you made me do? 😆

At the top 1.5″ of the lining, I am putting a strip of the outside fabric, both for a little extra interest and to hold the magnetic closure. I see all sorts of bad things happening if I try to attach the closure pieces just to the lining fabric. Riiiiiiiiiiiiip! My current purse actually has a faux leather strip on the inside that serves the same purpose. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to add the purse feet at the bottom, due to the way that the purse is put together (four tulip-shaped pieces that come together at the points to form the bottom), but I am going to try my best. My current purse has faux leather on the bottom and I’d rather keep the fabric bottom of this one from sitting directly on surfaces.

Despite the title, I didn’t actually put many stitches in yesterday. The only things I stitched up were the shoulder straps. Everything else was a lot of cutting out and interfacing. It was time-consuming, especially since I was winging all of the little pieces that will make up the card holders and the Nano pocket. Today should see things starting to come together, I hope. So, a two hour purse project? I think not. Maybe if you kept it simple and stuck to the pattern and you were an experienced seamstress, but I did and am none of those. 😉

I will, of course, show pictures when the purse is done. And maybe during the construction process. Who knows…

More Cleaning and Stuff

  • Posted on November 7, 2010 at 11:19 pm

Sorry for that last post. I really had to get that out (no pun intended), but I know that not all of you appreciated that. 😆

This weekend has been quite full of work here on the homefront. I had to do some programming both days for work to make sure I could meet a deadline of tomorrow for an application I was writing. I lost a day this past week, due to feeling ill. Add to that some major changes that came through early this week and I had some serious work to do. I just can’t code when I’m not feeling well. It’s hard to think and usually dangerous to even try, as I tend to make more work for myself in the long run.

I had ordered new “L” desks for our home office a few weeks ago from an online store. We have been trying desperately to clean out the room because the new desks are large and were going to take up the entire back wall. To install them required us to clear the entire room, except for the bookcase. The black laser printer on the file cabinet was rolled into the closet (once that was mostly cleaned out). The computer cart that had my iMac on it was disassembled and moved out into the hallway, along with the iMac. The printer cart with my color photo printer on it was emptied of its contents and also moved into the closet to hold printing and other large office supplies. This left my desk and Terry’s desk, both of which were along the right wall. The new desks were also going to take up half of the left and right walls, in addition to the back wall, so we still had work to do after that.

However, the desks arrived in their boxes (the whole way from Canada, in less than a week after they were shipped) over a week ago, so last weekend we were anxious to pull open at least one of the boxes and assemble one of the desks. Since the area where my desk was going to reside was open and ready to go, we decided to tackle mine last weekend. I was a little anxious, as I had read a bunch of reviews that talked about how difficult the desks were to assemble, that the instructions were inadequate and yadda yadda yadda. It turns out, it would have taken us about 2 hours, if we hadn’t made a mistake on one piece and had to pull several others apart in order to redo it. In fact, when Terry put his desk together yesterday, he was able to do it almost entirely by himself in 2 hours or less. No clue what people were complaining about.

So, my desk is in place and, as of yesterday evening, fully loaded up and ready to go. I even have the dock for my laptop hooked up to the switch and ready for a productive day of work from home. Yippee! Terry has loaded his desk up, as well. He was even able to fit the iMac on his desk, so it won’t go to waste (hopefully). When we finish cleaning up his old desk and the floor, we will have a ton of floor space that we haven’t had in years, I think. Enough that we should be able to setup an inflatable mattress on the floor to handle more simultaneous visitors, should the need ever arise. Since we only have one spare bedroom, it doesn’t hurt to have additional sleeping space, just in case.

Terry has even started loading up my old desk in our home office (which was moved into the space where his desk had been sitting) with his electronics equipment that is currently sprawled out on a card table in the family room. I will be really happy when he clears that off so that we can fold up the card table and put it back into the basement. It will clear up a good bit of floor space in our cramped family room. Once we finish finishing the basement this winter, we’ll be able to move the Gazelle down there and free up the last bit of space in the family room. It will be like an entirely new room!

I’m pretty excited. This cleaning spree that I’ve been on for weeks has really been paying off. We have thrown away probably a dozen bags of trash, along with a lot of empty boxes and boxes full of more trash. We have donated several bags of items to Goodwill, along with our old 36″ tube TV that we replaced nearly two years ago (Christmas) and had been sitting in our garage, taking up valuable space. Terry’s dad helped us take that one to Goodwill while he was visiting with us briefly (less than 24 hours) a few days before my birthday. Of course, he left a small snowblower in its place for me to use on the sidewalks in the winter, but hey, we’re trying. 😉 He actually took our little gas-powered generator with him, since we no longer need it. So, there was a net gain in space or at least cleanliness.

I also started cleaning out the kitchen pantry. It has been in dire need of a good purge for… well… years. I was able to tackle the floor and the top shelf in the evening one of the days this week. There are still 3 shelves left to go. In the meantime, I looked out in the garage and found the extra shelf that I want Terry to install between the bottom shelf and the floor. I need to measure and mark the new shelf so that Terry can cut it down. It needs to be cut by hand with a hacksaw, so I would prefer that Terry do it; however, I may do it myself, as I’ve been feeling really independent lately and have been doing a lot by myself. I am woman, hear me ROAR! Anyway, once we get the new shelf installed, I’ll be able to move all of the Tastefully Simple items that have been being “stored” on the floor in my reading room for months into the pantry, freeing up space there.

My goal, basically, is to free up as much space in the house as possible. Well, my real goal is to clean up the house, but a serious side effect is freeing up a good bit of space and I couldn’t be happier because the house has been feeling really cramped lately.

I still need to re-clean up my craft room. Remember how I said that I reorganized it and cleaned it a couple of weeks ago? Yeah, well, I had a major series of crafting binges, so there are projects all over, in all states of progress. I still have all of the rubber stamping and scrapbooking supplies out everywhere because I have one paper bookmark left to put together for Terry’s step-mom. While everything is out, I think I’ll whip together two paper corner bookmarks for myself, as well. I have enough unread real books that I can still use bookmarks. I also had the inspiration to make a beaded book cord for Nan, as well, so that is in progress, with beads and supplies laid out all over the place. I will get it all cleaned up, though. Before Christmas. Or over Christmas. Whatever. 😀

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