Saturday, August 23, 2014

substantial Saturday snippets

in which our plucky heroine moves forward the plan to transform the odd closet between the living room and the furnace room into tidy storage. It has been the box-room, full of the greatest number of randomly filled containers and bags, but will hopefully become a good space to keep my SCA and camping gear...

Friday night's task was to empty said closet... Finding a lot of non-SCA random things in there, that have just been tossed somewhere "out of the way". After two hours of removing the clobber and crap, the closet is a blank slate

Saturday morning my friend Kate arrived to work her organising magic on my space. Having the closet entirely clear made it easier to successfully arrange the things that need to be in that space, but boy howdy - my poor living room looks a lot like the intake zone of the local Goodwill. Everything from that closet is now in the living room, all 20+ boxes, and bags of stuff, and random artifacts, plus all  my camping gear and some of my SCA clothing. It is beyond a hot mess, it is almost cold fusion...

The far end of the closet has a few two shelves, which are now holding some of my camping gear and SCA clothing, the rest of it is either up above (for the soft lightweight bedding) or folded atop the small camping table, which holds the tent, the straw matting, and some assorted textile bits. Paracord, and decorated bags holding camping notions hang on one side of the wall. I am thinking that a laminated packing list would be a good addition, so I don't need to print one out before each event, rather like a master grocery shopping list...

The closet is now very easy to use, everything in there is intentional. The rooms that the 20+ boxes and bags have moved to are really frightening. I keep telling myself to be patient and persistent...

A set of narrow shelves still needs to be made, to hold housepaint, as all the cans will be also be moving into this space, along with the painting tools. I use housepaint rarely, so this is a better storage place than the workroom, and they can be stored neatly along one wall, once there are purpose-built shelves.

...whilst removing ALL THE THINGS from the closet, this Damascus knife blank showed up underneath a pile of boxes on the upper shelf. This is a keeper for sure, look how tiny it is!! All I can think is that I swapped for it at some trade blanket years ago, but since it is already drilled for handle rivets, I can easily finish it and it will be both beautiful and useful.


Someday my house will be set up so that all the things, supplies and tools will be accessible and the surroundings will be beautiful. After this particular day of decluttering I am really noticing how very much stuff I have all over the house, and how not all of it makes me happy, in fact a lot of it makes me unhappy or stressed. I just need to keep telling myself that in time it will all improve. This is, for me, part of a massive reorganisation of house functionality, after several years of post-cancer neglect. My intention is to give visible structure and support to my intention to continue living

I am getting ready to teach a short workshop on Surface Couching, and the Bayeaux Tapestry Stitch. Those are two very basic and historical embroidery stitches and with both of them together, you can make a design by outlining it, and by filling in the outline if desired; the techniques are very similar. I figure that a one page handout, and some felt, floss, and a needle will allow students to try it out for themselves.

After gallivanting all over the place Friday trying to find large-ish embroidery needles (big eyes and sharp points, not tapestry needles with dull points) and finding none in all the nearby sewing and crafty stores... (didn't have time to hit the big ones aka Fabric Depot and Mill Ends) I checked in Fred Meyers of all places and they had them in their TINY sewing notions section... not super good quality (Singer brand now gets their kit from China and the lowest bidder, apparently) but at least useable... Further consultation with my more embroidery knowledgeable friends gave me the information that the actual name of what I was looking for was "chenille needles"

Pears! from the backyard! There are actually twenty pears of various sizes on my little Bartlett tree, and as some have been falling from the branches, I have been checking and picking the ones that separate freely. They are all going into the fridge, as they may be buggy. The largest one so far weighs 8 oz! This is the exciting first harvest of the pears since the tree was planted in the spring of 2009...


August SMART goal challenge
1 wooly pony embroidery paper wasp nest destroyed fabric to Goodwill
2 third Orb enamel 2nd wasp nest destroyed bag to Goodwill
3 * parking strip planter improved yard waste bin
4 * north side yard cleared yard waste bags
5 * bathroom sink attached Rebuilding Center
6 * bathroom wall repaired paper to Shredfest
7 * broken toilet seat replaced ----------
8 * towel holder attached ----------
9 * SCA closet reorganised ----------
10 ---------- * ----------

I am grateful for running water, both in the natural world, where water running over rocks makes one of the most delightful sounds I know, and the sort that comes into our homes and out through the various taps and spigots installed. Water safe to drink, safe to cook with... Anyone, including our plucky heroine, who has lived without running water, is always grateful for and never takes it for granted.

I spent the better part of a year in a place with no water on site; where all water had to be brought in in 5 gallon buckets from the next town over, carried in on sledges in the winter and in the back of a car the rest of the year. I learned to be very sparing in how I used it. Living here is eversomuch easier that that year was
May this gratitude contradict despair


  1. The pears look wonderful. It's fabulous to have a harvest. And the closet! Well done! The boxes around the living room not so much but perhaps having them right there blocking your view of nicer things will make it easy to decide what to get rid of and what to keep!

  2. I discarded another two boxes full of junk today Claire... and hope that there will be a lot more paper recycling to follow them. I am really feeling how cluttered my house is right now; I have a lot of interesting things, but there may be just too many of them...

  3. I know exactly what you mean. I am a charter member of the "interesting things but too many of them" society. Personally I felt very liberated when I got rid of boxes and boxes of paper. I bet you will too!

  4. Great organising :-) I am hoping to apply similar thinking when I unpack all my wordly goods in the new house. I shall have some donation bags standing by.