Thursday, January 2, 2014

New Year's Day excitement!!!!

I was chatting with someone on Facebook the other day and they commented that their life was pretty mundane. HEY - all our lives are mundane. It is how you approach those mundane activities as to whether your life is exciting or not!!!

Hey - it was New Year's Day yesterday and what was I doing????   Cleaning out a JUNK drawer!!!!!    How mundane was that!!!!!!!    But it was exciting (at least to me) and why? Because I am ONE more step towards getting the clutter under control. OK - so we know that complete "clutter under control" is NEVER going to help. However I want to get as close as I can get.

I don't even remember why I went to this particular drawer, but when I opened it - well I had had ENOUGH of the mess. So I emptied it.

Lots of paper, candles and just stuff!!!!!!!!!!

Of course - the STUFF had tumbled out of the drawer and into the cabinet below - so that got emptied as well. 

Everything EMPTY!!!!!!

OK - so did people just use the scissors in the drawer and put the garbage in the drawer?????


And how many air freshners does one household need??????    We do NOT use any of these. Anyone need air fresheners??????

FIVE pair of scissors??????    Seriously?????

FIVE BBQ lighters????????????     Really???????

Scads of notepads, paper. 

A real mix of stuff. I threw out the garbage, got rid of some stuff in the give away pile and then cleaned the drawer and inside of the cabinet. I did put everything back in the drawer and cabinet (that was left), BUT I am not done. I put it there to get it out of the way, but I have a TO DO today. Visit the storage store to find storage trays to make that space tidy!!!!!    I mean really!!!!!!!!!!!    How does this kind of thing happen?????    At least one more drawer and under cabinet DONE!!!!!!!!!!    (well almost) What a great way to start the new year!!!!!!!!!!!!!

How about you??????    Did you manage to get some organizing done in your studio????   I know Pat was busy working on hers yesterday!   Got a list of priority items to work on this year???   If yes - did you put the other (very distracting) stuff away?????    Seriously - you have to HIDE the stuff - it will haunt you - it will taunt you (don't work on that - PICK ME!!!!!!!). Make lists if that helps or I prefer the visual shelf idea. But you must find some way that works. And it may not be the first system that you try. This is my THIRD attempt at making that shelf work for me. Let's hope this time it works. So far it has and the clutter that was on the tables is now gone. At least as far as sewing projects.

In case you think I have been slacking off the last couple of days - I have NOT. Here is a bit of what I have been working on.................

Got the binding on another quilt that has been hanging around for a while

How is that for making a perfect match on that final join!!!

I made this note for myself because I normally make binding at 2 1/2" and this one was at 2 3/4"

Binding on another small quilt - there is ONE more that needs the binding on
Found more of the thread that I ran short on!!!!
Got the top DONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The FIRST backing, border and binding project of 2014!!!!!!!!!!!!!     Yeah - and I got my notebook out and recorded it. Seems that I started to do that in 2013 and then gave up?????    Well I am going to stick with it this year. I love being able to go back and see what I have done. 
Then I dug out the solids to try and find something for a project I pulled off the shelf. A lot of solids, but NOT really nice colours. What to do with all these?????
And I was hard at work on my Bonnie Hunter mystery. ACK - she published the full quilt yesterday!!!!!!!!!!!   Oh well - I will keep working on it and hope to get it done soon.

This is all the pieces marked for Clue Two

Clue Four is all cut and ready to sew

Clue Three is DONE!!!!!!!!!!!

As you know I have a long arm quilting machine. While it works great, I have always felt that it was "sticky" in spots. There are many factors that can contribute to this stickiness - is the table absolutely level, is the table absolutely the same width, what about the position of the wheels. Lots of factors. Well even though I have fussed and fiddled, it is NOT perfect. And it has been frustrating at times. I finally bit the bullet and ordered an upgrade to the system that will "hopefully" get rid of those issues. The bits and pieces needed for the upgrade arrived on New Year's Eve.

Three boxes of STUFF - that long one is VERY HEAVY. 
When Berke popped over after work yesterday, he said "oh you need me to carry those downstairs??"   Yes - so we took the two pieces out of the big box and carried them down stairs - had to be careful as these pieces are 14 feet long!!!!!!!!!!   And my staircase is curvy. But we made out just fine. I think he is going to come on the weekend to help me install it. We have to completely dismantle the machine to make that happen!!!!!!!!!!!!   

We also got one of those Peaksaver thermostats installed. The premise is that the hydro company can lower your air conditioning temperature in the summer. Wel since we don't use our A/C much - I doubt they will ever have to do that to us!!!    But it was time to get a new one and since it was FREE - why not.

New thermostat

We also got this gizmo which tells us the times of peak usage and the outside temperature. I am sure it does more - just not sure how it works, although the installer told me. It just doesn't make sense. I may have to phone to get the details again. It is more of an information thing than anything else. 

And then there is the STUDIO. As we were working on getting out Christmas decorations (several weeks ago), I came across sewing stuff that had got put into the storage room WITHOUT being sorted. So I dug all that out. And I found this..................
Three bags of????????????????
 Well - they were filled with empty JUICE POUCHES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!    I really want to make one of those purses from juice pouches.
So I washed over 100 juice pouches!!!!!!!    And this is just the grape and cherry flavours (plus a few odds and ends)

The blue, orange and green pouches are still in this bag!!!!!!!!

The grape and cherry pouches are still drying upstairs on the clothes rack in the kitchen. Of course, my family thinks I have gone looney tunes!!!!!     There is enough to make FIVE bags from what I washed. I don't think there is as many left to wash in the second batch.

Oh - there is M with cute little Ssammy

 I thought it would be good to document the state of my studio at this time of the year. Then it will be fun to have a peek in 2015 too see how much progress I made.

The cutting table - yes it looks messy, but remember this stuff does NOT stay there. It is stuff I am currently working on. 
The ironing board - same thing - stuff doesn't stay - it gets moved off pretty fast and into its home. 
Set of tables number one - all this has since been put away. And I used the tables for sorting through the Christmas decorations. Some I threw out and some I put in the giveaway pile.    Got rid of all the junky stuff that has NO sentimental value to us. 
The other set of tables which DOES need a bit of work!!!!!!!

The basket with quilts that needs labels, or binding stitched down or to be pulled apart. 

The design wall

The sewing table - which is pretty clear (behind that stack of paper stuff that I have to deal with)

The scrapbook table

Quilts to be quilted for others

Quilts to be quilted for ME

Needs backings, binding and borders

THE shelf - the idea with this is that all the stuff that I REALLY want to accomplish this year is on this shelf. I know - pretty darn ambitious. I will be lucky if I get ONE shelf cleaned off. But this is my reminder to myself - think very hard about starting another project!!!!!!!!
You see - there are a few additions to the shelf in the form of SEVERAL laundry baskets with stuff that also has to be worked on this year.   OK - you can STOP laughing now!!!!!!!!   I truly am serious!!!!!!!!!!!
And in the storage room, I found these two baskets. One mostly filled with electronic junk that needed to be discarded and the other has a couple of projects in it which got added to the shelf. Why not!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Don't worry - I will allow myself to start a new project or two during the year, but I do need to think long and hard about starting something. Many of the projects on this shelf are started and would not take long to complete. The trick is going to be - do NOT abandon something. Keep working at it to get it done. I have been doing a pretty good job at that lately so I am NOT too worried.

The difficulty will be choosing which project goes next!!!!!

The other day I was at Tim's - the lineup was long, so I went in. I ordered my tea and a peanut butter cookie. They laughed and said the cookies were in the oven and I could have one if I waited 10 minutes. So I DID!!!!!!!!!!!     Doesn't it look yummy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!    And how desperate is that (or should I say - how reluctant to change am I!!!!!!)   I could have had another flavour of cookie!!!!

Fresh from the oven - peanut butter cookie

And isn't this just the best gift card holder you have ever seen???????   I love it!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh yes - so we had Vince and Teresa visit us the other day. Friends of DH from way in university.   They live in St. Lucia and we have visited them there. But they currently live in Kenya!   They brought me some beautiful stitching from one of the ladies in the local quilt guild!!!!!!!!!!

I am looking at it and saying how beautiful it is. OOOPS - this is the BACK

Here is the front

And the giraffe. They are GORGEOUS. Thanks so much guys!!!!!!!!    I appreciate it!!!!!   
 Do any of you remember that African Quilt Show that was in London, Ontario last year - well Teresa's quilt guild was part of that (I think that is what she said) - but the show was also up for them to view in Nairobi!!!!    I wonder what country is coming this year??????    Anyway it was great to see them - we hadn`t seen then in a while.

 More pictures of the wild life in the backyard

Mommy cardinal

Mr. Squirrel

I'll just pop my head in this convenient peanut feeder (thanks lady!!!!!!!!)

And now I'll eat my peanut in peace

Yikes - that was a LOT of pictures.

I did the 5K commitment run/walk yesterday. There were only a couple of us who walked. I really HATE running. But Lisa and I had a good chat and I think she has convinced me to try aquafit!!!!!    My Fit Bit was in overtime yesterday. I logged 79 flights of stairs and almost 20,000 steps!!!!!!   While it was a tad colder than I would have wanted, if you were dressed for it, it was a LOVELY day. And felt so good to get out and walk. Then I went into the steam room and got all warmed up!!!!!    How AWESOME is that.   Hey Anita - if I STOP moving, I will die. I am just like a shark!!!!!    Well - I won't die, but I'll likely just fall asleep!!!!   Oh - the bad news - I started a new thriller yesterday. Oh oh!!!!!

I see that it is time to get moving on the day. Got a few errands to run and want to try and get more sewing on Bonnie Hunter mystery done as well.

Have a great day!!!!!!!!!!!!


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