Clear that Clutter!

I’ve been on a (very slow) decluttering/simplifying kick for a year or two now. It isn’t that I haven’t bought anything in that time (boy, have I!) but I have been trying to look at what I own critically. Our condo is 900 square feet, which isn’t anything to sneeze at, but it feels crowded.

I’ve been taking things to various resale places fairly regularly, and I keep a bag by the front hall closet that is just for stuff to be donated. I generally take books to Fairs Fair, because they’ll give you store credit, I take my nicer clothes to Rewind Consignment (although they refused an awesome pair of boots a couple weeks ago), and everything else, plus the stuff the first two places didn’t take, goes to Value Village. Oh, and I list yarn and fibre in my for-sale-stash on Ravelry!

I had a few things that I thought were worth something to people, more than I’d get at the bookstore, so I decided to dust off my old eBay account!

For the knitters, I’m destashing 3 Rowan magazines, #34, 38, and 40.

For the paper crafters, I’m destashing 3 Magnolia Ink Magazines (the very first 3, I believe).

For Trollbeads fans (or fans-to-be) I’ve got a plain sterling silver bracelet including the basic lock!

Does getting these 7 things out of my house make it feel any less cluttered? Not really, they don’t add up to much total space, but knowing that 7 (more) things are out/on the way out makes me think of knitting – each tiny stitch adds up to a sweater. Maybe in a few more months it’ll be more noticeable!

And do any Calgary friends know if there is any consignment place for home items? Mixing bowls and the like?

Butter is Better

While I write (sometimes) about baking, canning, and other kitchen-y things here, it isn’t the focus of the blog. And it definitely isn’t my intention to push my way of eating on you either, but a wee bit of explanation might make this kitchen-decorating-post make a bit more sense.

Butter Wouldn’t Melt by Andreakett

In short, I believe that food I buy at the store should have as few ingredients as possible. (I reserve the right to combine as many ingredients as I want into a meal). Take a look at the list of ingredients on the package of regular sour cream. Now look at the list on the 0% fat sour cream. Has the doubled in size? Apart from not knowing what half those ingredients are… the fatty stuff tastes better. It is rich enough that I only want a little bit, so the fact that it has more fat doesn’t bother me. Now you may understand why I love butter, and refuse to buy margarine for baking (and everything else, but husband likes marg because it is easier to spread on bread).

Butter is Better by KendyllHillegas

I had pinned a couple of these posters, thinking that one would be a great bit of art for a kitchen. But then I searched the Art section of Etsy for ‘butter’ and found so many that now I’m picturing a kitchen with a gallery wall of butter-related prints. Crazy, because what kitchen would give up cupboard space for a gallery wall? I almost would, for a perfectly-arranged grouping of these prints. Unless y’all think it’s a little too Paula Deen?

from KitchenBathPrints

(click any of the photos to be taken to the Etsy page)

Ideally, because I’m a collector at heart, this is the type of thing you’d collect slowly on your travels through life, rejoicing each time you found something butter-related to add to the wall. I’m not a fan of buying a collection ready-made. That said, this is a bit of a niche market, and I love Etsy, so I’m being a bit more relaxed about it.

By LittleLow

By David Olenick via Society6

Butter is also a  good subject for a kitchen owned by a couple… so many bread and butter prints out there!

By UUPP

By Bishopart

 

By TheDreamyGiraffe

By Buckandlibby

By Tartella (this one is letterpress!)

There is always an appropriate ‘Keep Calm’ print for any occasion:

By KeepCalmShop

There’s inspirational butter:

By Freshline

And I think that finally, this gallery wall needs some art-ier, wordless butter prints.

By CruzArt

By WhimsicalPaintworks

By OneKeeneKat

By Hrachouhi

Living with a lighting designer

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This used to be the track light in our kitchen. Once, it had 4 lights on it, but light number 4 gave up the ghost and just wouldn’t work, no matter how many new lightbulbs we got for it. Light #3 was in about the same place at the end of December, and we decided that the fixture just didn’t meet our needs any more. To work in the kitchen and have enough light you had to turn on that fixture, the living room light, the light over the sink, and the light over the stove. Not so you could see the sink or the stove, but so there would be enough light to see the counter properly.

At the very end of December we went down to Home Depot and bought this for ourselves:

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There are more of them, there’s a wider span, they’re brighter, and the white glass shades help it give off a great light. Plus, it looks a lot nicer!

P is a lighting technician and designer, so a lot of thought went in to exactly which light would point where. Part of the problem was that that fixture is centred over the space between the island and the counter, not the counter itself. That meant that when you stand at the island (kneading bread/icing cupcakes/chopping veg) the light was coming from behind you and casting a nice head-and-shoulders-shaped shadow on your dough/icing/knife. Not ideal. With the length of this track, we had room to point the light you see in the far right of the photo at the left side of the island as you see it, and the far left left at the right side of the island. Now when I stand at the island, the light is coming from such an angle that I don’t cast a shadow on it. We also put a light in the centre of the track and pointed that directly as the island, but with the fill from the two angled lights, my shadow isn’t a problem.

Applying lighting design at home!

My Hobbit House

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When I was little I always said I wanted to live in a ‘hobbit house’ when I grew up. Still now, at 27 years old, I want to live in a hobbit house. ‘Hobbit house’ has always meant to me a space that is inviting and warm, and where nature is everywhere. I’m not talking about cooking over a campfire indoors – my hobbit house always had an Aga. Think rustic the way English gentlemen had country estates, Arts & Crafts influences, Art Nouveau influences, natural fibres, wrought iron, and things made out of twigs and stumps.

I was in Anthropologie the other day and saw the toadstool cookie jar (or whatever it is) in the photo above. It is absolutely perfect for my hobbit house! I don’t know if I’d use it as a jar, rather just a piece of art to sit on a side table or in the centre of the big, rustic dining room table.

I’d still love to decorate a house in this way but it seems anathema to put my perfectly-imagined hobbit house into a place in the city. This house needs to be in the country, surrounded by rolling hills. When I win the lottery, I’m building it on Saltspring Island so I can be near the sea too. I’ll grow all my own vegetables and keep chickens and goats. And the craft studio! It’ll be epic.

What’s your fantasy house like?

Knitted rug, the easy way

I spend a lot of time thinking about what my future craft room will look like. We currently live in a two-bedroom condo, and our second (rather small) bedroom is our shared office where both our desks and computers are. One day, someday, we will hopefully own a house that has a room that can be dedicated to my crafts. I can store my yarn on easy-to-reach, accesible shelves, all my craft books can be together, all my craft supplies can be stored neatly in the same place…. they’re beautiful dreams. I’d never really thought too hard about what the floor would look like in that room (a bit of a lie, I’ve imagined every inch of the room, but mainly the shelves full of yarn) but I know I want a rug. A fun rug! My little fantasy craft room usually has all-white furniture, maybe with silvery legs and handles and things, and the colour in the room is supplied by yarn on shelves/in baskets and shawls hung from the walls, so I was never sure what rug would go with that. A white rug just seems silly. Finally I’ve found it, my mecca of craft room rugs:

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Thank you FLOR! Is that not the most appropriate rug for a knitter’s craft room?! The tiles in the photo above are two different styles – the single-colour squares are Just Plain Folk, and the border squares with pops of colour are Lanyard. Just Plain Folk comes in 4 colours, Lanyard just comes in one (Linen).

I love it so much! I also love the whole FLOR concept of tiles that you stick together to make an area rug (or a full carpet) perfect for your space. I think my imaginary craft room would use only Just Plain Folk, in either Linen or Frost.

They don’t guarantee the cable motifs will line up with each other, so they suggest laying them down in a parquet fashion as shown in the photos. I think it makes it look like a super-cuddly knitted blanket.

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I think my favourite square is the one that is just a big fat close-up of two columns of knitting.

The whole FLOR website is quite inspiring, I love a lot of their patterns and textures, and the whole idea of a modular rug that you can build yourself is just so smart.

Do you have elaborate craft room fantasies, or is that just me?

*note: in sake of fairness, P and I have agreed that if I get a craft room in our as-yet-imaginary future house, he gets a computer room. I’m also open to sharing a large, open space – say a big open converted attic space. We could each have our own end, but still be in the same room, and not be back-to-back and butted up against the futon like we are now.

Post-wedding nesting

There’s something about suddenly having cupboards that look like this:

DSC06884Matching!!

Full of all the stuff we registered for, and received thanks to our awesome family and friends, that made me want to attack the rest of the kitchen. Mainly our pantry drawer and our spices.

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See, we keep some of our spices in these magnet containers that I made. Supplies: Lee Valley watchmakers’ tins and rare earth magents, Ikea magnet board, glue, spice & herb labels from Safeway. But some spices live in here:

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In the middle shelf of our pantry drawer. These spices are still in the bottles from Safeway. Some of them are spices that react badly to light – I don’t keep paprika in the glass-topped tins any more because it fades both flavour- and colour-wise so fast. Some I just haven’t decanted yet. Some are too big for the tins, like cinnamon sticks and whole nutmeg. To add to that, more spices also live here:

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In those black baskets hanging off the lower shelf of our pantry cupboard. Those are the spices that come in bags and generally get decanted into the tins. The tins won’t take a whole bag of most things, so the extras get clipped shut and stuffed in a ziplock.

So if that kitchen tour hasn’t lost you, our herbs and spices are stored in 3 different places! It was time to do something about that, and the mish-mash of stuff in our pantry drawer.

I save all my canning jars, pasta sauce jars, curry sauce jars, anything glass jar, because they might be useful one day. Today they were finally useful. I got out all my jars, and all the 2-part canning lids I’ve saved. Now when you’re actually canning things you don’t want to use the little disc part of the lid more than once, but for sealing stuff like sugar or walnuts they’re just fine. I sorted through the jars and recycled all those that wouldn’t take a standard canning lid. Then I took all the lightly-used lids I had and gave them a quick sand:

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Then out came the chalkboard paint. We have a can of the liquid stuff, because the one time I bought a spray can it wouldn’t spray. I gave each lid a good coating of chalkboard and let it dry for a couple days. Then I started the fun part: decanting!

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I also sorted through the spices, and put more onto the magnet board as well as my spare tins so if I buy something new, it’s easy to put it up.

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After a few days the chalkboard lids were ready to write on, and all of a sudden my pantry drawer looks like this:

Re-organized Pantry

I didn’t decant some things, like the yeast and baking powder – they’re fine by me in their little jars. The sugar I kept in the two big canisters because a 1 cup measure fits into those.

This project not only tidied up the pantry, it made the storage room look better because I used up the last of the 1L canning jars that were hanging out in a box in there, plus the pile of small jam-sized jars and lids that had taken over the top shelf of the pantry cupboard. Not to mention recycling all the jars that didn’t take the right size lids!

I was using regular chalk (you can see the box beside the Panko and Triscuits) but I might try to find a liquid chalk pen, because my writing looks like a 5-year old’s with the regular stuff.

Has your wedding inspired any nesting?

Our Biggest Wedding Present

We picked out our biggest wedding present in the week after our wedding day, and it arrived about a month after that. What was it, you ask? Well this was our living room before (clutter and all) :

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And here is what our living room looks like now:

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A new couch! And a leather couch at that! This is a gift from my very generous parents – my mum’s parents gave my mum and dad a leather couch as a wedding present, and the couch is still in good condition in my parents’ house. Leather lasts, so the stipulation was that we choose a leather couch within a certain budget. The living/kitchen/everything but bedroom area of our house is one big funnily-shaped room, so we knew we’d need a corner couch or two loveseats again. We thought the corner sectional would be the way to go. We checked out The Bay, and one of the couches that we liked there was by EQ3. I’d remembered seeing an EQ3 store down by our Ikea, so we paid a visit there to see what our other options were. It was great to see so many of the leather colours on furniture, rather than 6″ square swatches, and the Bay only carried 3 of the many lines of couches that EQ3 makes. We ended up buying an exact replica of one of the display couches, the EQ3 Solo in Raven leather:

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Mr CB, acting cool in the store.

I also really wanted to buy this ottoman that was displayed by “our” couch, but we have nowhere to put it:

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I love the one black section with the rest patterned! How awesome is that?

Buying direct from EQ3 was cheaper than the Bay, even though we could have had our registry discount applied to the purchase. Plus, the delivery time EQ3 quoted us was half the time the Bay quoted us. Sold!

Here comes the ‘lesson’ part of the post. If you know you have a large new piece of furniture set to arrive in 3-4 weeks time, start finding out who wants to take the old stuff ASAP. When we got the call that our couch was in town, it was about the time we were expecting it. We just weren’t expecting them to have a delivery driver ready to get it to us the next day! We (for some reason) expected to wait a week or two for delivery. At that point, we both posted on Facebook to see if anyone was interested in the old couches.

Mr CB had had a bite from a friend of his on Facebook, but she couldn’t get the couches before the new ones arrived, so I upended them and stuffed them in our entryway on the day the new one arrived. Mr CB’s friend wasn’t very quick about getting back to us, then wasn’t sure when she would come, blah blah blah… I got tired of waiting on her and posted the couches in the free section of Craigslist, and on Freecycle. I had a few bites on Freecycle, but most people said no once I’d sent them a picture. What up with that? One lady really wanted them, but her friend with a truck fell through so she had no way to get them out of our house. This went on for WEEKS before I thought about calling a charity to come pick them up. A lot of the ones I phoned wouldn’t pick up furniture (even if their website said they would. Grumpy Cinnamon Bun). Habitat for Humanity wanted a photo before they’d commit, so I sent one of the ones from the top of this post. They emailed me back saying ‘Sorry, we don’t do floral.’. WHAT? They’re not that bad! I felt a bit like a parent telling their child to eat their peas because there are ‘starving children in Africa!’. SOMEONE TAKE THESE COUCHES ALREADY. I know there are people in this city that must need furniture, but we had no way of connecting.

Finally, I found someone who could pick them up (Interfaith Thrift Stores)…. but it would be ten days. I was just happy to find someone who would take them off my hands, because by the time the nice Interfaith people come, they’ll have been hanging out in our entryway like this for a month:

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Only a small fire hazard… Actually the door is still pretty clear, no worse than if our entryway was walled in instead of open (one giant room, remember?), but if I want anything from the storage room (the open door you see) or our coat closet (hiding) it’s an adventure.

Do as I say, not as I do. I wish I’d gotten on the couch problem sooner, and lived for a day or two with no couches rather than a month with twice as many as fit in here.

Did you get any furniture for your wedding? Do YOU want my couches before next Saturday?

Succulents in Houses

Something else that has been taking a bit of time from my knitting recently is gardening. Now, living in a north-facing condo, I don’t have much to take care of, but I like to make the balcony look pretty for the summer.

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Succulents tend to do well outside in the summer, once the last threat of snow is gone (June), so I pick a few up every year. We don’t have much luck keeping them inside over the winter.

This year I added thrifting to the list of things to do for the garden. I was tired of boring old plant pots. So I went to a few thrift store, and a couple antiques malls, and came up with a funny little collection that makes me smile.

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They’re still inside right now, but all on a cardboard tray that gets put outside on nice days when I’m home to monitor/run and bring them in.

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Somehow most of the containers I found were house-shaped teapots and creamers. I even have a matching teapot and creamer that I found in two different stores!

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They’re calling for snow on Monday, so these little guys won’t get to go outside full-time for a week or two yet, but I think they’ll enjoy it.

My herb garden is already outside, in regular pots. Hopefully they won’t mind a quick snow in a couple days!

A Car and a Monster

I took a couple crappy camera phone pictures yesterday, after I parked my car in the bank parking lot.

My car is plenty of car for me. I am very happy with it, with its size, with everything.

A Car and a Monster

And yet it only comes up to the door handles of a Hummer. Why do people feel the need for so much car in the city?

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That thing could eat my car! You can’t convince me people who are not in the army need Hummers. Sorry. I bet I get better gas mileage, with my little 16-year old Mazda.

My Garden

I live in a condo. This means I don’t really have a yard. I have a balcony, and due to being on the ground floor, it is twice the size of anyone upstairs, but it still isn’t a yard. My parents were all about gardening when I grew up, our house always had a huge garden. Most of what they grew was food. We had a lot of berries, various veggies, and of course, our fruit trees. They were old, established trees; my parents didn’t plant them, but I have harvested many an apple and many a plum in my lifetime.

But now, as I said, I live in a condo. I was never very interested in the garden as a kid (apart from it being a place to play) but now I want one. And can’t have one.

Rosemary

At least, not like that old garden. I can now have my own harvest!

My Herb Garden

The long low pot is mint, the big one has chives, basil, and parsley, and the little round pot (also shown above) is rosemary. The balcony does face north, but it gets some nice sun in the evening, when the sun sets:

Evening Sun

Yes, I forgot to open the screen before I took the photo. We’ll see if it is enough sun for my little babies. I’ve already used some of the basil!

The Big Herb Pot

Mum said to pinch them so they don’t spread too far, and to stop them going to seed. I wasn’t sure where to pinch, so I just grabbed some leaves and used them in dinner one night.

We do have other plants, but they don’t count because you can’t harvest them. They do add some nice green to the apartment in the winter though. I put them outside for the summer, as they like dry and hot (I think?).

The whole family

We inherited the rubber tree (tall one in the back) and the two pony tail palms from my boyfriend’s parents’ neighbours when they moved, the rest are all from Ikea so I don’t really know what they are, apart from succulents. I don’t really know how to take care of them; we don’t water them too much as they are desert-type plants I believe. We’ve kept the 3 we inherited alive for almost two years now, so we must be doing something right.

The rubber tree did need staking recently, and I spent some time trying to figure out where I could find something thin, straight, and pointy to stick into the pot, and something soft to tie it to the plant with.

A Knitter's Garden

Silly question, really.

The Podcast is back!

After a bit of a hiatus, my podcast A Very Palpable Knit is back! Yay!And some late-breaking news that didn’t make it into the podcast (it’s just that hot!) I’ve opened up an Etsy store!

I can be found at rycrafty.etsy.com. I’m updating stuff slowly, I only have 4 items in there right now. Aaand, I will be having stitch markers, I just haven’t photographed them yet. Expect those after the weekend.

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Some pretty flowers. :) They make me think of sunshine, which is good, because it is still -fricking cold out. The funny thing is that it is about -15C out (-22C with windchill), and felt oddly warm when we went out to get groceries tonight. See, temperature is all relative. After a couple days of -40C to -50C, -22C is positively balmy.

Next post… a finished sock!

Back to my roots, crafting with glue

The very first crafty things I ever did as a kid probably involved glue. That’s what kid-crafts are about: crepe paper, glue, glitter, big beads, construction paper, and other brightly coloured things. I’d get good and sticky and there’d be glue everywhere. I still like doing crafts like that, although I have been sticking to knitting recently. Knitting, that craft that doesn’t leave your hands sticky, and rarely leaves them dyed. I played with glue recently. Grown-up glue though, and for a grown-up purpose:

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A spice rack!

Someone posted a project like this on craftster YEARS ago, and it has been in my mind since then. I finally got around to doing it!

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The cases are 70mm watchmakers cases from Lee Valley Tools, and the magnets are 3/8″ rare earth magnets, also from Lee Valley. (How weird is it that the cases are only listed in metric, and the magnets only in American Imperial?

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The labels that make them look oh-so-pro were just in the bottom of a kitchen drawer, hidden under the aluminum foil. They’d been there since we moved in, part of one of the boxes of random implements I got from my grandpa’s house.

Ikea sells similar things at $10 for 3. My set of 24 cost me about $36, including a gigantic tube of E-6000 glue that will last for years, provided I don’t glue the top on.

I did go to Ikea for the magnet board. They have a stainless steel kitchen wall panel (that’s also magnetic… isn’t stainless steel NOT magnetic?) called Imperativ that would’ve been $35, and I couldn’t see any way of attaching it to the wall apart from glue. The also had magnetic bulletin boards in almost the same size, for $12.99. I got that one.

Crafty shelves accomplished!

I finally have my shelves up on the wall. My wonderful boyfriend put them up for me this morning, and it is just how I imagined. :) Much less clutter on my desk now, and I’m feeling really crafty. It’s odd, but not having this area the way I wanted it really put a block on my urge to craft. Now it is just perfect.

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 My favourite is the row of hooks for my scissors and cutting mats. The big one doesn’t have a hole for me to thread any ribbon through like I did for the other two though. I think I may just get my boyfriend to borrow a drill from work, to drill a smallish hole for that purpose.

This post has the links for things. As you can see, I didn’t use the glass drawers, or the glass shelf, but the other items are the same. I was very skeptical about how much weight the glass shelf could take, and there just wasn’t room for the drawers. I had thought about another big white shelf up above, but I wouldn’t be able to reach it, what with being short, and having to reach up over my big desk.

I love how there is very little clutter left on my desk now. :) And I just have to say again how much I love this desk. If I want to craft, I just stuff the computer under the glass, and I’m ready to go. I think I just need to get some small ipod speakers, so I can listen to music and craft.

PS: my old blogspot blog has been spamming bloglines with posts. I haven’t touched it since I moved, although I did try to log in on Thursday. Sorry if you got those, but why do you still have it in your reader? Change your links! That blog still gets lots of hits from google, even though all the same posts are over here now.

Ikea love

I’ve got my new desk, and chair, and the computer room has a futon (in white) now too. We had to completely re-arrange it to get the futon we wanted in there, but I like it. Totally not as cramped as I was worried about (pictures soon!).

Now, because it is a fairly small room for 2 desks and a full-size couch (oh yeah, and a bookcase), and I have all sorts of bits and pieces of crafty goodness I want to keep in there… I need shelves. Shelves on the wall. I want it to be an interesting and useful arrangement of shelves. I’m thinking a combination of things from Ikea, and I want to get my choice written down in a list. Now, my desk is white with glass, the couch is white, the boything’s desk is mostly white. I’m thinking of continuing the white/glass theme. Especially as it is a small room, with just one window, I think it needs to be light. Any of the choices below I’d get in white, if that wasn’t possible, I’d paint it.

STRIPA – a little ledge shelf. Great for framed photos to lean on. I like that look.

LJUSDAL –  a glass shelf. Very pretty, I would like it but…. I’m worried about breakage. I’ll have to figure out exactly what I’d be putting on it before I’d buy.

BJARNUM/JARPEN – white shelf, silver brackets. Clean, simple, I love the way the ends of the shelf are covered.

FORHOJA – shelf unit with glass drawers! So cool, I’m not sure what I’d put in, or if it would even work. The wood would need to be painted.

TJUSIG – length of 5 hooks. Could be neat, I’m trying to think about what else I could hang, apart from scissors… It’d certainly keep scissors handy! I could hang a small WIP bag I suppose…. I picture this (and STRIPA) as being the thing closest to the desk, height-wise. That way, stickey-out shelves will not be in the way. I think.

That list is the basis of what will be my wonderful wall organization plan. While still leaving room for boything’s posters. :) Whatever I end up doing will be some combination of those 5 parts.

Above the couch is also a good shelf space too… Maybe a STIPA for the  framed X-men poster?

Crafty enabling

So I’ve been distracted by Ravelry for the past couple days. :) I signed up to be a beta tester last Thursday or so, and I got my invite. I love it. Love love love.
Remember I went all crazy about CraftMemo a little while ago? I think they work well together. All my knitting stuff will (eventually) be in Ravelry, and all my other craft stuff will (eventually) be in CraftMemo.

Also, I now have my very own desk AND chair. I’m sitting there right now. Again, much love to the pretty desk and chair, and even more love to craigslist for giving me a place to find cheap stuff.

Went to Fabricland this evening to take advantage of their $3.49 pattern sale. It was just Butterick, but I bought a couple. Starting Sunday Simplicity patterns are $2.99, so I’m definitely going back. I figure for that cheap, why not?
I also found some knit fabric in the remaindered bins (50% off cheap, yay!). I want to make myself a jersey dress or two, so I bought this to try out this crazy material.

I have found the charger for my camera batteries, so I will get those going so I can take some pics of my desk and stash for Ravelry. :)

Craft desk!

I finally get my craft desk tomorrow! I was searching Craiglist and Kijiji at work today, hoping to find something, and I found the perfect thing.
It is from Ikea (most of our house is, if I’m honest), and is the Vika Gruvan table top, with Vika Curry legs. Not the pretty trestle legs they generally display with this top, but the simple legs to give you more room underneath, which is good. Then I just need a rolly set of drawers for under, and I’m set. What is exciting for me is the area under the glass where you can put stuff. Pretty things yes, but it is also the perfect place to stash my laptop when I’m working on something else.
So excited to have a desk to craft on, a good-sized one. Eee!

Moving!

So, I’m going to be rather busy for the next little while. “Even busier than the past month?!” I hear you exclaim. Yes, even busier.
Because not only do I still have regular job plus rehearsals, we now have to move out of our apartment on Tuesday.
Our apartment had a bit of a flood waaay back in September, and our floor is only getting replaced now. It’s very hard to actually pin floor guy down, so when he actually gave us a concrete date he could start on, we jumped at it. That would be the 18th.
It’s all a bit stressy, because we thought the building’s insurance would cover it, and they do cover the floor-replacing cost, but not the moving-all-our-stuff-out-including-us cost! But our insurance does, except the actual movers. It’s all been very nerve-wracking because we found out about floor guy being able to start late last Thursday, so then it was Good Friday and no one was in their offices, and it wasn’t till late on Monday that we found this insurance stuff out.
Haven’t booked the movers yet, because we don’t know who is paying them. Haven’t booked the hotel yet, because we don’t know when the movers can come.
And then the other night our bath tap started dribbling hot water and we can’t stop it, so there’s a plumber looking into it today and it’s all just so much.

Needless to say, I’m rather stressed, because duders is going to be in our house for a week, and this coming week is the busiest week of all for the show.

I think I may just crack!

I also feel bad because I only just sent of my Knitterly Letter Swap letter to my pal. Sorry pal, I’ve been crazy busy!

SO yes, starting Tuesday night (I think), I’ll be in a hotel for at least a week. The following Monday, the busiest week ever starts. The show opens that Friday, we should be back in our home the Thursday. Oh, and did I mention my mum is coming to visit the day after the show opens?

*whimper*

EDIT: 4 hours later: feeling much better now, movers are booked, hotel is booked, leaky tap is fixed ($400 for a dribbly tap! I should have been a plumber). Now for happy sock knitting.

No knitting, but IKEA!

Haven’t done any knitting today, we were organizing and Ikea-ing today.

See, we have a storage room in our apartment. When we were unpacking after we moved, we stuffed boxes in there. You know, the giant box with maybe 10 things rattling around at the bottom, but you just don’t know where to put those things, or what they are for. Yeah. Lots of those boxes. So today, my stellar boyfriend and I dove into the boxes and sorted, and threw away, and gave away, and it was great. He is stellar because he is very sick right now, yet he still did it. There was some motivation other than me though, our wood floor is probably going to be ripped up soon, and as the storage room is the only room without wood floor, we’re going to fill it up with as much stuff as possible. That, and the day after the floor is done is the day my mum arrives. She hasn’t been out here since before we moved in, so it’s got to look great! eek.

Here is the sock, on top of some Gorm:
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Hopefully by the end of tomorrow, we will have sock on top of put-together shelves. I’d like that.

One Roza sock, no spring

Here’s some pictures of my Roza sock. I am actually thinking about blocking this one (I never bothered with my other socks) because the ribbing is so uneven where knit meets purl. I’ve never been able to get ribbing to look neat. Then again, I put my socks through both washer and dryer, so that’ll do the blocking job.
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I’m not sure what I think about having a pic of my toes on the internet. I don’t normally wear nail polish either, but I got bored the other evening.

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You can see the uneven ribbing best here. I pull and pull and pull on those two stitches to get them as tight as possible so it doesn’t do that, but to no avail. There’s an ‘open-work’ column down the side of the foot too, because of the purl stitch that separates the patterned part from the plain sole part. It was even worse because the purl was the first stitch of a new needle.

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I like what the heel did though (loose thread was from my floor, it isn’t part of the yarn)

Everyone has been sharing beautiful spring photos of trees and flowers in bloom, and green grass and blue skies and such. Here’s the tree outside our window:
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… and our balcony:
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Notice the car (mine!): any car that was parked there overnight was icicled to the street. I went to drive off the other day, but realised my car was attached to the road at at least 20 points by icicles thicker than my thumb. Part of me wanted to just drive off to see what sort of noise it would make, but the sensible part of me went around and kicked them all down before I moved the car.

Nope, no spring here.

Redecorating

The other night I got a sudden urge to re-do our computer room. It’s the only room in the house that really didn’t fall perfectly into place. In all the other rooms, the furniture all just magically fell into place and fitted. The computer room is fine, usable, but not quite as nice.
What I really feel it lacks is a desk for me. I have one, a very very small one, but I want something I can spread craft projects out on. I got the sewing machine out just before Christmas, and it was just so frustrating, because the desk is basically the same size as the machine. If I wanted to cut, I had to be on the floor. If I wanted to use the machine I had to clear every single other thing off the desk. The feeling of trying to work and being to cramped and all that mess I’d just created all around me (not to mention the fact that I can’t work a sewing machine to save my life) just made me cranky.
We also need to figure out how we can fit a futon into our house. So, I got a measuring tape, my scale ruler and some paper and went at it. When the plan was done I cut Post-its into the shapes of furniture, and went about finding the perfect layout. The room (about 9’x 11′, minus a closet nook, and with an odd angled wall) needs to fit the boyfriend’s computer desk, a futon, and my planned big wonderful craft desk (ha!).
I think it can be done. It will be cramped whatever happens, and when the futon is in bed form, it will be very very much in the way, but that’s to be expected.
I’ll take some photos of my drafting and post them when I get home.

I’d definitely need to save up some serious moolah to buy said desk, drawers, shelves, etc, but I think before I let myself spend more money at Ikea, I need to make a deal.

I need to learn to use my sewing machine, and love it. I want to make skirts and shirts and things, I want to make a quilt/blanket. I just can’t get over the hate I have for said machine. The desk and crafty area would most suit a sewing machine, I’d have all sorts of space for cutting, laying out. But I need to learn to love it before I remodel.

The desk idea though isn’t just for the sake of the sewing machine. It’d be nice to have a space for my laptop other than the coffee table with the cord running across the room. It’d be nice to have a big table for when I’m going through a script. I put off any work like that right now because I either have to hunch over the island, or hunch over the coffee table, or lie on the floor. And I know I could have my own craft business, but I can’t do that from the uncomfortable floor.

…I guess the hunching over the island thing would be cured by cutting a tiny bit off our current chairs, but we haven’t gotten around to that. We have no saw at home.

With all this in mind, I’ve been surfing and finding the most amazing pictures of other people’s studios and workspaces. I’m sure they have their own faults, but the grass is always greener and all that.

But first, learn to love the sewing machine. Feel the love.

EDIT:
the (cunning) plans.
Option 1:
Option 1 Option 1

Option 2:
Option 2 Option 2

Option 4 (option 3 was just dumb, but is on Flickr if you really want to know):
Option 4 Option 4

I think I like 2… but this is the last I’m going to think about this until I can tame the beast.