Tuesday, January 2, 2024

The gold thread returns

It's back to business! I'm happy to report that my system of recreating the distribution lists worked! It's still time-consuming, but my process made it relatively pain-free, and two more lists were recreated yesterday. One of the steps is done for six more lists, and hopefully, they will get done this morning. That will leave one more to recreate tomorrow. 

Let's say that the "incident" was a good eye-opener. I sure seem to have my share, but then I'm willing to let "bad" things happen and learn from them. Things change and life is much better than it was before. I know some people are afraid to let the "bad" things happen to them or their family, but seriously? I'm a much stronger person because of it! And I sure cope a lot better when something really bad happens!

We had great fun at Monday Sewing, and I did some cutting. That's my new plan -- since I'm not good at sewing during Zoom calls, I must find other things I can do, and cutting or prepping is one of them. OK --- I've got lots of cutting, prepping, or handwork, and if I can do that on a Zoom call, then sew when I'm alone -- that works for me. 

This is why you want a cutting table with some room. So when you actually want to cut, you can put your stuff on it. Don't panic -- it looks much better this morning. 

A cutting session

I needed some squares for upcoming homework, so I cut the strips yesterday. I got a chuckle when I opened one of the fabrics. Guess what I found???

A GOLD thread

Yep --- one more of those elusive gold threads!!! It's been a long time since I've seen one of those gold threads. Many years ago, I ripped out something quilted with metallic thread, and those little gold threads were everywhere. I thought I had gotten rid of them all, but nope --- one more surfaced yesterday to put a smile on my face!!!

And so I cut all these strips, which will be cut into squares later. 

My strips are cut

And all this fabric got put away. 

Stack of fabric that I could put away

Now, I must learn to be this diligent in the future. Do the prep work, and put the extra away. And by planning a little bit, it should all work!! 

We had a bit of snow on New Year's Eve. Not much, but just enough to make the sidewalks questionable. Fortunately, they were OK, and it looked quite pretty in the morning. 

A somewhat winter wonderland

The girls were in fine form and quite frisky! 

MOM -- it's a squirrel convention (make that a circus!)

Lexi wanted to chase anything that went up a tree and found a few voles she attempted to dig out of a tree trunk. Silly girl!! 

MOM -- can I go up?

DH and I sat down at lunchtime and did one more puzzle in the EXIT Game Advent Calendar. Yes -- we're behind, but it's not time-sensitive, so we can do it whenever we want! We did one at lunchtime and one at dinner, leaving December 24th for tonight. 

Oh my --- I have to laugh because that box is getting beat up! There are CLUES everywhere ON the box, inside the rooms in the box, on the game cards, and then INSIDE the box itself, which we've had to use an EXACTO knife to slice open! 

We were so excited because we thought we were on the right track, and then we saw this. 

Oh shoot --- this is NOT the answer

I LOVE the designers. This was hilarious! OK -- so that wasn't the answer - where else do we look? Soon, we were off in another direction, found the clue, and solved the puzzle. But the game box? It's starting to look pretty shabby. 

The game box is starting to look pretty cut up!

You can't really see in that photo, but the edges are cut up, and the end is missing. What do we have to do with it today? Most of the puzzles are multi-step, yesterday being no exception, but we had a grand time figuring it out. 

This type of advent calendar is only for some. Thankfully, we both love puzzles and have pretty sound logic between us, although we were stumped a couple of times. And sometimes, AFTER we got the answer, we looked at the clues to fully understand the logic. So we learned a few things, and all I can say is that the value for the money we spent? Well worth it. Remember -- if you do NOT like puzzles, do NOT buy this. You will be frustrated and hate it! It also works best with more than one person unless you are really good. We found that by talking out loud to each other, we triggered a thought in the other person. 

However, I have noticed that after reading the story and getting clues for the day, DH becomes possessive of the box! We won't go there, but let's just say he should give it to me more often! We might spend less time puzzling over it! 

I might just be ready to start purging quilt books. I was looking for specific ones for my upcoming accuracy (in-person) class, and I found others about organizing your studio. So these few are getting ready to leave my house. I''m sure there are loads more that could leave, but I have to start small! I've organized my place and have loads of ideas. I no longer need these books, so they are going to a good home. 

Purging books on studio spaces

Last night, while I was sitting in the living room, reading my book, this happened. Lexi was sleeping on the big dog bed. She was quiet as a mouse UNTIL, guess who butted in. 

Mom - I'm not really here! LEXI is in the dog bed! 

Lexi tried to put her off. 

Hey Murphy -- SHOO - I'm sleeping

Then they sat and looked at each other for a bit. A little bit of grumbling and "fighting" ensured. 


And this is how it ended! 

MOM -- I didn't mean to chase her away, but this is MY bed

I have never seen a more jealous dog in my life! She's bad, and I feel bad for Lexi! I keep telling her to fight back, and she does, but maybe she likes it! Anyway, Lexi went to sleep in her kennel (Murphy is NEVER allowed in there), which was all clean because I washed all her blankies and vacuumed the dirt out. 

Hopefully, you are all working on purging, sorting, and decluttering. Maybe you can send some before and after pictures so we can see your progress. Or send me a comment on which area you have selected to tackle. It's straightforward -- you pick a spot, set aside some time, and sort. 

Here are some tips --- let's say you are going to empty a drawer. Empty the drawer and wash it out. That's easy. Then, start sorting the stuff in the drawer. Put all the like things together -- candles, batteries, pens, or whatever happens to be in the drawer. Then, BEFORE you put it all back, decide what items you no longer NEED (what you want should NOT come into the picture here!). If there are 50 pens, there's a good chance that you will NOT need 50 pens. It's so much easier to decide when you see everything in front of you. For a while, because things were all over the house, I'd have boxes where I could put those things that I knew I had more of. When they were together, then I made a decision. 

Then you look at what's left and decide how you want to put it back in the drawer. I went to the dollar store, purchased those little dividers, and then put things away. Shoot - -I'll take pictures of two of my "junk" drawers. I cleaned them years ago, and they are still clean today because I no longer put junk in them. I put the things that are supposed to be in them. Pictures tomorrow. 

As a matter of fact, I think I might go through all the drawers in my kitchen for the January assignment to see what can be culled. Yep --- that should be easy since I've done it once before. I have 17 drawers in my kitchen, none of which are pots and pans drawers. I know -- I should be finishing the office -- I'll keep working on that. 

Someone sent me this picture of an organizing system for a craft/sewing room. It's a mobile pan rack with each project on a baking sheet - two trays per shelf. Now that's a pretty efficient system, it's sturdy, rolls around easily. I like it -- I wonder how much that cost? But it's suitable for a small space! If you Google Mobile Pan Rack (this one is half-height), you can get one for around $200 (probably US $). Then, there is the cost of the baking sheets. 

Mobile pan rack as a project sorter

I love this saying from my Happiness Journal. It's true -- it's how we handle day-to-day, not the occasional gesture! Think about it! This applies to decluttering. If you do a little every day, you barely know you're doing it. Yet after several days of something little, it can make a big difference. Think about that!!!!

This morning, while I was looking for a particular tool, I found this fabric. Oh my -- this would be perfect for the backing of my Barn Star Sampler! I measured it, and I think it's a wee bit short, but that would have been perfect! 

Perfect backing fabric for Barn Star

Here's a picture of my quilt, in case you think I'm crazy. I'll remeasure it later - just to double-check. 

My Barn Star quilt

I got a bit more sewing done this morning. So, another group of blocks is complete for the Heartfelt Sampler. I'm so far behind on sewing this one, but I should be able to catch up as the sewing is easy! 

Blocks for Heartfelt Sampler

But today? There are e-mails to write and distribution lists to recreate, and I need to get dates for all the clubs to those interested. So there won't be time for slacking today, and I will "attack" two drawers in the kitchen today. Guess what? Since they are pretty tidy -- I can go through them in a very short time. The result of all my hard work several years ago! 

On that note, I'm out of here. I'm excited to finish the Advent Calendar today!!! 

Have a super day!!!!



  1. Happy New Year, Elaine! I need to do some declutterring in my sewing studio and will tackle that next week when I return home. Your comment about decluttering quilt books reminded me of my own book declutter before I moved to Vancouver a couple of years ago. One of the books that I took to and gave away at one of my guild meetings was “It’s OK to sit on my Quilt.” I believe Kaye Wood is the author. I have regretted giving it away ever since! I really liked that book but had decided in the moment that I did not need it. Now I find that it would be a helpful resource for an upcoming project I have in mind. It has taught me to be ever so careful when deciding what to purge! Good luck with your decluttering!

    1. Anne --- I have that book. It's by Mary Ellen Hopkins!!!! Remember her PPP. If you need something from it - let me know. And yes -- that's partially why I'm afraid to cull the books -- there will likely be something I want, just the moment I give it away!!!! Safe travels

  2. Elaine that fabric is perfect for your barn star quilt. If it is a little to small what about inserting a strip of blocks made with your scraps.

    1. YES -- I must check that fabric out for the Barn Star Quilt. I have not yet. But couldn't be more perfect!