New storage

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This was my fabric storage.  Lovely and folded.  It looked like this twice in the last year.  The open storage is perfect for a Type A.  When it comes to storage, I am so not type A.

In addition to the general failings of open storage, this shelf needed to have that piece of wood between it and the wall to not sway back and forth.

What is a girl to do?  Ikea.  Ikea is the best and the worst.  So inexpensive.  And my husband put together two of these labor-intensive cabinets.  And ta-da !

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I mean, right?  Just love this part of mu atelier now !  A servicable cutting table, lots of scrap storage, and room to display a mini quilt collection as I build it.  Where is the fabric?  There are two more cabinets coming with lots of those baskets so I can put the fabric in there without folding it all to line up.  More pictures and more squeeing later.

It is such a dream to have a room all to myself for sewing, and this beautiful storage makes this even more wonderful.

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Craft Empire, Bigger

I have crafted and sewn for years on my beloved large slab of wood desk in our bedroom upstairs.  Our house is old and the bedroom is often too cold or stifling hot.  In the summer I had to strike a balance between using the iron and running the room air conditioner.  And it was a bit cramped.  But it was my space and I loved it.  So much of who I am was created in that little space while I was creating things.  Jewelry, book making, and finally coming home to quilting.  It was my happy place.

Earlier this year, DH suggested that we could make the downstairs reading room my sewing room.  I nearly swooned at the thought.  And then we finally took a couple long, hard, tiring weekends and did it.

And it is my new happy place.  No electrical funniness.  No wild temperature swings.

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Room for everything…

like paints….

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And fabric and books and my signed George Brett baseball…

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and a lot of my ginger jar collection…

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my colored pencils and drawing pads…

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knitting needles and embroidery hoops…

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paintbrushes and bamboo and tiny drawings from Romania…

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rulers and rotary cutters and scissors…

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round tubes of interfacing and aida cloth and linen and paper….

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in-progress projects and charm squares and scraps…

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There is a design wall…

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And the kitten likes to spend hours sleeping in my chair…

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the furniture is eclectic and mishmash and ideal for making me happy and bright…

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There are nooks and crannies and glitter and flowers and crochet hooks and glue and ink and princess lego kitty and little boxes and bells and crayons…

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It is, as you can see, perfect.  I feel lucky beyond compare.  The fly in the ointment is it is just so perfect.  I have the space to do anything I want to make – and I can’t get going.

Posting this is my first step forward.  Next I am going to start cutting up little squares and hope it leads to something awesome in my awesome craft empire.

Grown Up

I have an awesome, all-to-myself, craft and sewing room.  A couple months ago my husband powered through and moved my cramped sewing space in our bedroom to a space of its own.  It is almost too wonderful to be true.  Which may explain why I suddenly have no desire to sew… but that is a different blog post – along with pictures of my new space.

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With all of my girly sewing stuff in a girly room of its own, we took the opportunity to make our bedroom a lot more grown up.  And I really like it.  I made new pillow covers and a wall hanging for above the bed before the desire to sew vanished.  I have a new bed quilt in the works.

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There is a new reading nook where my craft empire I was.  It is a cozy, wonderful little spot.

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The little kitten likes it.

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The wall hanging was made with the Spell It With Moda patterns.

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And it is home.

Carts!

Look at these things… I mean for reals, aren’t they awesome?

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These were about $100 from Ikea (the famous Raskog cart in a dark gray) and then my sweet husband put them together while we watched a few Doc Martins.  I really do love them.

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They have given me lots of extra space everywhere in my wee atelier just off of (ok, in) our bedroom.  I can breathe in my sewing space now.  Things are not jammed into every nook and cranny.  Yay!  The challenge now is to not buy more stuff.  But I am enjoying the space and the organization enough that I think I can persevere.  Plus I really do have enough fabric.  😉

2014 – The Good

2014.  Uh, blech.  So many things went more than a bit awry in 2014.  Work was, well, anyway…  My health was…. well…

Let’s focus on the good.  As always, thanks for reading and sharing and caring about me.  This is really a highly-censored personal journal for me, but I love there is a bit of an audience, especially since I abstain from almost all social media.  I love this outlet, I love sharing my projects, and I hope to make the blog fuller and more personal next year.

Here are some of my personal highlights (in no particular order):

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My stepkids.  This year we really got close.  I think this year they finally got me completely.  My SS realized that my smart-ass comments were meant to be funny, not that I am an idiot.  And sometimes he even found them funny.  And my SD started saying she loved me – all the time. W.O.W.  For years, people, including my stepkids, have reassured me that they are in fact “my” kids.  This year it felt like that was true.  In sharp focus I can see what they have gotten (at least in part) from me – including a fierce sense of humor, some kick-ass irreverence, a respect for the absurd, and the importance of looking past the appearance to find substance.  And they totally see the value I bring and they like to be around me.  The kids and my husband are awesome – and now I totally realize that they are more awesome with me.  I guess I will always be a little sad that I never had my “own” kids. But that is almost completely tempered with the sheer awesome heart-pounding joy of being a loved, admired, accepted stepmom.  ‘Cause that shit is hard.  And the kids, my husband and I earned it – through time and patience and acceptance and love and work.  I wouldn’t trade being their stepmom for anything – not even kids of my own.  Not. fucking. anything.  And that makes me a parent and that makes them my kids.

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My marriage.  This year has gotten stronger.  I feel like this year we have crossed a line into something that feels completely like forever family.  The steadiness of my husband’s support and love and encouragement is truly my cornerstone.  I can’t imagine not having that.  From outside our marriage looks “unconventional” – with me being the wage earner and stepkids and all that – but it is completely old skool conventional in that we totally have each others’ backs, he is my best friend, the person I want to see every day for the rest of my life.  Our marriage works.  Gawd, what a magnificent thing.  In an amazing moment a couple weeks ago, my step kids told my husband and I that we “were made for each other”.  It took my breath away.  That they know we will always be there for each other and a team for them is what my parents gave me growing up.  And that I gave the kids that gift – even if in a blended family – was so gratifying.  And now I get to tease my husband that he is so weird that he was made for *me*.  And he teases me right back.  Love that man.

IMG_1663My house. Ok, now this is getting a bit trite.  Kids, husband, home.  As I told my husband the other night when we went out for sushi, I am quite suburbane.  Proving it with this post.  But our home has been a challenge.  Things wearing out, no longer functional and no money to replace them.  This year ushered in new appliances, new downstairs bath with a working subfloor, and lots of little things fixed that have been bugging me.  Our house is not a castle… it is old and quirky (like us), but it is waaaay more livable than it was not too long ago.  One thing I do love about my husband and I is that we can see the joy in the small things.  And all of the little fixes and upgrades in our house this year,along with the general eclectic awesomeness, have brought us lots of joy.

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Quilting.  Now we get to it.  I have never, ever, ever immersed myself in a hobby like I have in quilting this year.  I have been a knitter and a jewelry maker – but they are nothing compared to quilting when it comes to total consumption of one’s soul.  I have spent too much money on fabric, and have too many times lingered at my sewing table when I should have been living my life (or at least showering).  But I do think quilting has saved my sanity this year.  My brain has always been very loud with worry.  I practically invented making a mountain (or mountain range) out of a molehill.  Work, finances, and my health beat a million bass drums of pounding worry into my brain.  Quilting shuts them up.  Amazingly.  I have gotten better and faster.  I have partly slayed the demons of fabric buying and unfinished projects, and what I have left is a passion that brings me so much joy.  This year I finished *60* projects!  That is 5 a month.  Lots of baby quilts for friends and charity, lots of pouches, lots of things for my home.

This upcoming year I am facing a lot of scary things.  The turn of the calendar doesn’t make those things go away.  But the four cornerstones of my kids, my husband, my home, and my quilting give me a strength of sorts.  I am scared, but not beaten.

Christmas-y


It is the second Saturday in December, which means that the Christmas season is in full force in my little suburb within a suburb.  Right now there is a constant drone of sirens as Santa rides around in a firetruck and hands out bulging bags of candy to kids.  I love this tradition – so surreal and so blue collar and so kind.  Just like my neighborhood.

IMG_2110It is full-on Christmas season in our house too.  I finished my Tula Pink city {Christmas} sampler.

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I loved loved loved making the blocks.  I indulged and completely skipped the triangles section.  So it was all lovely scraps and right angles.  Fun.

I fell in love with the striped, nestled setting that is featured in one of the sampler quilts in the book.  Ugh.  I like the result, but no fun.  So much strip sewing.  And I am challenged by keeping long cuts accurate.

But I am glad I stuck with it one looooong Saturday afternoon.  The stripes make it – and look at me sewing with solids!

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The quilting is free motion (!) rectangles.  Definitely far from perfect, but when the quilt was washed, the quilting provided a lot of lovely texture.  So much fun to free motion quilt.  I was sad when I was done.  As compared to straight-line quilting when I think I am going to give up the whole hobby if I have to sew one more line.

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The quilt is now ensconsed in our dinning room, the focus for 2-3 more weeks until it has to come down.

Ready for the next thing…

stoveI am soooo impatient.  I mean really, truly impatient.  I hide this for the most part at work and social interactions.  But I am the WORST at living in the moment.
Being married, having stepkids has done a lot to make me better.  Especially since the family I married into is not impatient.  They are willing to take time with things, be considerate in thinking about things. It mostly annoyed me at the beginning, but now I see the point, and have become pretty skilled at wait-and-see.
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We have needed new kitchen appliances for a long time.  Weekly we have another piece of our dishwasher fall off.  Our refrigerator leaks.  Our stove has, um, inconsistent heating.  Shit was broke.  But the funds for replacements was not there.  So I waited.  Picked out what I wanted online.  Added to my list of everything.  And waited.  Boo.
And then we had the money and after some hassle, DH located our new appliances and arranged for them to be delivered and installed.  Today was delivery day!  And while this was happening I waited at work, with reassuring updates from DH.  It was a loooong day.  I got to work at 6:45 AM and felt every minute until I left at 4.  A mixture of work and excitement.
And now they are here!  Well, almost.  The dishwasher was missing a part – so it will be here Monday.
The weird thing is, there aren’t that many “next things” for the house.  We need to fix the washing machine, and we really want to build a deck.  But slow and steady and suddenly most things are ok.  Which is a weird and wonderful feeling.