Wednesday, April 8, 2015

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood...

Katie mowed the lawn today under mild temperatures and blue skies.

Later, we took a yard tour.

To the south of the house, which is the brick structure on the right, are plenty of trees.
The Wisteria climbed up into the branches.

Getting a closer look...

...and closer still with my lovely wife.
The Wisteria smells like grape soda or gum.
Also, notice the yellow flowering vines.  Katie says it's Carolina Jasmine.  Luscious.

At her feet are the white flowers of wild strawberries.


These Azaleas are in front of the house that is right behind ours.
(This is behind us from where we took the pictures above.)


The one on the right is all pink.

The one on the left has at least three different colors on it.
 There is dark pink, pink and white with pink blooms.

Here is a close-up of the dark pink flower.

In front of another neighbor's house at the access road is white Wisteria.

It is truly a wonderful day in the neighborhood.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Heap of Change Challenge: Part 6

I stalled a little, but I have been working on the next space in the studio.

While living in Columbus, OH many years ago, we purchased 3 of these gray shelving units from a neighborhood thrift store.  They are industrial strength  The shelves are sturdy and adjustable.

This is the first one and this is how it looked before I continued on my Heap of Change challenge:

The stuff was basically where it belonged, so all I needed to do was remove what we didn't want or no longer needed.  We also dusted, rearranged and sorted buttons.

And, here are the after photos:

This is the view of all of the shelves except for the top one.  The upper shelves hold collage materials, for the most part.  I like using glass bottles and jars in various sizes to store these items.  Just below the middle are Stampin' Up stamp sets and punches.  Below those are two shelves of buttons in glass containers, and the bottom shelf holds tins with sewing notions in them. 

This is a closer view of the completed top:

and the bottom:

Notice that there is 1/3 of a shelf empty! And, everything is a little looser.

This is what is going away from only this one shelving unit.  These boxes aren't full, but they are started!

Look!  This sweater box is full of Stampin' Up stamp sets...and it's leaving the house!

Next to this shelving unit is another.  It is crammed full of collage supplies, bead and jewelry-making materials, brads and eyelets, dominoes of many sizes and small tins for altering.

As I have moved along, there is always something to be put away in another area.  I have been squooshing things ahead of me.  There will be a time when I have to deal with those heaps.  This is what it looks like:

(This gray shelving unit that you can see on the right in this photo is the third, and final, one.   It holds clear shoe and sweater boxes of rubber stamps and rubber stamping supplies.)

Along the left-hand side of this photo is the area where I keep my paper.  This is where I started!  I still need to put some paper away, but after that, I will be done!  I have a ways to go, but I can see it.  It's right there!

Coming up are areas where the decisions about what leaves the house will get more and more difficult.  I'm a little nervous about it, but I try not to think too far ahead.

Well, that's where I am, and I've shown you a little about what lies ahead.  Overall, I feel good about my progress and the decisions I've made.  I have a great sense of accomplishment, and I am trying to figure out when the yard sale can take place.

I AM thinking too far ahead, but I have to figure out the logistics of having a yard sale, like how NOT to annoy the neighbors, how to control the traffic pattern, where the buyers can park, etc..  We live in a tiny community of 4 houses, down a rural dead-end lane off of an access road, for lack of a better name for it.  It will be difficult for buyers to turn their vehicles around in order to get out.  It just won't be easy, so I have to work on these details until I find a solution.

Now, back to clearing out...

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The Hutch

We got a china hutch that was featured on Craigslist. It measured 72" high, 18" deep and 42" wide. It was listed at $70, which I thought was an excellent price. I mentioned to my wife that the back was missing on the bottom part and we could fix it. The seller heard and said we could pay less, so we settled on $60. I didn't expect that! We don't know many people, so we had to get it home ourselves. The advertised U-Haul rate of $19.99 turned into about $50 with mileage and replenishing 2 gallons of gas. A total of $110 was a bargain, I think, and we are very pleased with the purchase. The dark color is even growing on me.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Heap of Change Challenge: Part 5

I haven't been good about posting, but I have been good about continuing to work on the studio!

Moving along the north wall are two more shelves.  The top needs to be cleared, of course.  In the white plastic cabinet with drawers are paper doilies, plastic bags and plastic card envelopes.  There are containers that hold paint brushes.  Also, some decorative items are just laying around.  My red "Z" was knocked off the shelf by one of the {ungrateful} outdoor kitties who came in to be warm {grrr}.  He also knocked down the curtain and crinkled the blinds {grrr again and more!}.

The bottom right contains ink pads on the top shelf.  On the bottom shelf are writing instruments in a caddy, Ultra Thick Embossing Powder and some containers of various foil flakes.  The Scrabble box contains boards only, which I have used in my art.

The other shelves contain various supplies, like microscope slides, foil tape and soldering iron.  Other boxes have these items in them: fountain pens and inks, cutting tools, extra adhesives, hot glue gun and glue sticks, acrylic paints, specialty paints and tools.

Here it is after taking away what is leaving the house:

And, this is the pile that is leaving the house (I had continued to fill the box in the top picture, and the bottom picture shows the crafts I am getting rid of.):

This last picture shows the final bookshelf on the north wall.  Webster wants to play with the crayons, even though he has no opposable thumbs or coloring books.

And, this is after:

This bookshelf was moved to the east wall with the other bookshelf that I showed near the beginning of this challenge.

This is what is leaving the house:

It is still easy to put many things in the pile of stuffs that need to go. 

Yesterday I stopped to make more cards while Katie started on a big project on another area of the room.  Stay tuned!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Heap of Change Challenge: Part 4 - Going it Alone

The Heap of Change Challenge has ended, but I wasn't finished.  I won't be for some time, so I am continuing to work slowly and steadily around the room.

This time, we took an evening to make Valentine cards to support Mary Engelbreit, who will be sending the cards she receives to children at her local hospital.  I forget how it got started, but Mary was inundated with loads of Valentines from around the world.  Ours were mailed out yesterday, and hopefully they will reach her in time.

Back to the challenge:

This is where I ended last time.  Say hi to Tulip who was in from the cold.

This is what remains after I removed all of the things I no longer want.

These are the two piles of things that I removed from this area, and they are leaving the house.

To date, except for the white heater, all of this is leaving the house.  There are hundreds of dollars in new, slightly used and vintage supplies here, as well as some completed projects.  This pile has been moved to in front of the shelves I have cleaned out.  As I go through the rest of the room, everything that is leaving the house will go into this pile.  In the meantime, I may prepare some of this for online selling, either through eBay, Craigslist or a few Facebook groups I have joined.

I'll keep plugging away.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Heap of Change Challenge: Part 3

This is week 3, the final week, of the Heap of Change Challenge.  A big hearty thank you goes out to Donna of Funky Junk Interiors!

This week, I completed three different areas.

The east wall is done.  Those boxes on the floor are filled with jewelry and jewelry bits.  I have to go through these yet, but they are contained.  I will come back to those later, sort them and get them ready for sale.  The magazines in the crate are the ones I decided to keep. The books on the top shelf of the bookcase and the books for altering on the bottom are organized and staying.  I ran into a couple of silverfish on this shelf...yuck!

Directly across from this wall is the cabinet.

The top of the cabinet is organized.  Starting from the back, there are envelopes, then two drawers with my artwork that will be displayed, and finally, a box of completed cards.

This is the back side of the cabinet.  On the top of the shelf are basically 8 1/2 x 11 card-making papers.  In a former life, the blue thing was a rounded shelf.  It is great for storing my paper.  Beyond that are magazine holders which are also great for storing paper.  The plastic sweater box on top is for scraps.  Below this is my storage for 12 x 12 scrapbook paper, word stamps, ATC supplies and paper punches.

This was where I got side-tracked.

I was sitting there putting some scrapbook paper away, and I got the creative itch.  For over a year, I have not felt like making anything.  I big room filled with all of the delights one could use for whatever creative desires arise.  There are so many different kinds of supplies in this room, but I no longer got excited about making things.  A couple of months ago, I forced myself to make a few cards out of necessity.  No store-bought cards for us!  But, that was it.

Until a few days ago.

Now, there are stamps on the floor and the paper cutter is set up.  The paper is on the far side of the table, and there is a nice little space for assembling the cards.  I have made a small stack of cards daily.

I share the table with Katie, who is a teacher at a couple of community colleges and needs space for grading papers and getting lesson plans ready.  I stay on my side, for the most part.

Mr. Franklynn is keeping my seat warm.  He is our youngest cat, coming in at about 8 years old.

These are other things that I am using to make cards: a box of adhesives, the die-cutting machine, ink pads, markers and cheddar cheese popcorn.  Don't judge!  In the bottom right hand corner are some completed cards.  I will show them off later.

I am going to let the creativity flow, so instead of going clockwise...

counter clockwise it is!  While taking this photo, I was standing between the cabinet and the bookshelf in the photos from above.  This is the north wall.

Community Service Announcement: Here is little Miss Tulip, our neighbor's outdoor cat who we bring in when the temperatures are below 40 because she won't, resting near a heater.  Please bring your animals inside during extreme cold and heat.  They aren't bred to withstand the elements like wild raccoons, foxes, wolves or bob cats are.  And, while I'm at it, spay and neuter your pets.  They don't need to breed.  Don't shop; adopt.  There are many unwanted animals in our neighborhoods.  They need homes where they can be cared for.  We have 5 cats of our own, plus we take care of the neighbor's 3 outdoor cats.  We also support our local no-kill shelters and a low-cost spay and neuter clinic in our county.

Moving right along...

This conglomeration of shelving holds many different things.  While it is fairly organized, I need to remove some items that we are no longer using and move some to another area where it makes more sense.  This area is next.

The boxes on the floor on the right - the top one is empty, and the other is one that I had filled with items that will be leaving the house.  I had to move them away from the rest of the pile so Miss Tulip, Mr. Jingles (but, known to us as Mr. Bjorn Catspurrski, the "legendary" Swedish/Polish/American Shorthair) and Mr. Tangerine could have access to their amenities when they come in from the cold.  We'll give them another month or so until it begins to get a little warmer.  Until then, we work around them.

Well...that's it for the Challenge.  Everyone else is moving on, I think.  I will continue to work my way around the studio on my own, updating once a week.  Although I don't want to get too ahead of myself, there are many other areas of the house that could use a good cleaning out!  So, stay tuned!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Heap of Change Challenge: Part 2

 You can refer to my previous post for Part 1.

I'm continuing to organize my space in the Heap of Change Challenge.

This past week, I have continued on the east wall of my studio.

The boxes that are circled contain what I refer to as My Jewels.  These include bits of broken jewelry along with vintage and current necklaces, bracelets, religious medals, brooches, earrings and other pieces.  That makes 6 boxes full of jewelry that I have to go through, and I'm not looking forward to it.  I will probably sell most of it.  I will have to determine prices, and that will take plenty of research.  For now, I will set it aside.

Moving back along that wall, I have removed many books and magazines.  The magazines in the crate are Somerset Studio, Stampington, Where Women Create and some others.  Those will probably leave the house.  The books in the top of the brown bookcase are art/craft books, and the bottom shelf contains old books that I can alter and tear apart.  I am not finished with this bookcase, so more things might go.

Directly across from this area is a cabinet that I showed last week.  Here are pictures of the inside:

The top photo shows the left side before I sorted, and the bottom is after.

Top shelf: The pink satin vintage glove box holds small jewelry boxes.  The metal boxes hold other small boxes.  Then, there are some items to use in my art.  The red item is a clock from a home where I lived as a child.  Definitely vintage!

Bottom shelf: Wood items to use in my art.

The top photo shows how the top right shelves used to look.

Top shelf (second photo): Wooden shadow boxes, small frames, tiny broken frame pieces, new wood Jenga-like game and a vintage metal tissue box.

Bottom shelf (third photo): All of the boxes contain glass bottles, jars, and glass stoppers of various sizes.  Then, there are empty tins on the right.

I removed a lot of paper from the drawers, like sketch tablets, watercolor pads, a finger painting tablet and lay-out grid paper.

This is what is now in the top and bottom left drawers - a box of mat board, a disposable palette paper pad and an unopened package of carbon paper.  The carbon paper is ancient!

This is what is now in the bottom right - pheasant feathers, old skeleton keys and laminate samples.  The top right drawer is empty.

There is still work to be done in this area, but look at what more is leaving the house:

The top left is a big box of wood pieces, like small plaques, small birdhouse kits, little chalkboards, craft boxes, triptychs, shadow boxes, Scrabble tile holders and lots of other doo-dads.  Below that are wood tool handles and a vintage bingo number-drawing machine.  The top right box includes pads of papers and card-making kits, an unused rope of pastel lights, packages of vinyl scrapbook album page protectors and a draftsman kit that includes various triangles, lettering stencils, a brush and erasers.  The bottom right box contains the contents of a previous box of wooden turnings, craft sticks, chopsticks, etc., because I found more!