Friday, January 09, 2009

Mission: Organization (The Shea Episodes)

Episode 1!

Do you know the show, Mission: Organization? You know, the one where they go into a home and reorganize it for them. Most of these homes are worse than messy, they're scary messy. The kind of scary where you would be afraid to enter the rooms cause you might not be able to find your way out again.

I'm dealing with a couple of situations like that in my home.

I don't normally make New Year's resolutions, but this year? Yep, I want a more organized house.

I come from a background of depression era style hoarders. My grandparents had an excuse, they lived through the depression and lived on a farm where any little thing could suddenly become very useful again.

My parents were taught by these same people not to get rid of anything, you never know how useful something might be.

So, guess where that has got me? I never, ever get rid of a crafty type item. And it's been a darn good thing too. I'm constantly needing that stuff for school projects and cross-over craft projects. The hubby is just as bad with tools and guy stuff.

Oh, and don't forget, we've got two kids and a billion toys (I'm not kidding) to contend with.

So here's how I'm starting to tackle everything.

1. Mostly complete: Master bedroom - Used to be a combined office/bedroom when the hubby was living at home. I forced the hubby to use a much smaller desk that was given to us and to get rid of all the crap that was visible. We moved a small wardrobe from the Youngest's room to our room and hid all the office crap in there. I now have most of my bedroom back and where I'm not ashamed for guests to see it.

2. Boy's bedroom: Currently the boys are sleeping in separate rooms. We are moving both of their beds to the smaller bedroom and they will now share that space. My goal is to eventually get bunk or twin beds in there, but they can live cramped for now.

3. Playroom: The Largest of the two bedrooms is now going to become a playroom. All items that belong to anyone under the age of 37 will go in here. I'd like to have my downstairs mostly toy free as well and all toys currently down will now go up. The room is huge and will hold all children's junk nicely. The Eldest's favorite stuff, his clothes and everything that is tiny will go into the closet in there and we will put a latch on the closet to prevent the Youngest getting into it. By the time he can reach the latch, it won't really matter what he gets into in there anyway.

4. Garage: Would be nice to use it for what it's supposed to be used for and not as a storage unit. A year or so ago we thought we were going to move and began boxing up toys and other things. All of that will move to the playroom as well, even if it continues to live in boxes.

5. Dining room/my office/craft room: I hung a curtain in one of the doorways so that I can close it if company comes over. That way I can at least hide what ever I may be working on.

I'd show you pics of everything, but it's way too embarrassing.

I'm desperate to have a nice house again (a pipe dream with small children, but still.) If I can't have nice, I'll settle for a tiny bit more organized.

I'm currently going through each room as I get to it and I'm separating things into 5 piles: donate, trash, sell, attic or find a damn place for it. There's a couple of children's consignment sales coming up and I really want to get rid of some toys. We have enough for five families. Especially since I was on a children's consignment committee for so long. I got all the best stuff first and went overboard. Time for some of it to go.

It's going to be a while going through every room, but I'll get there. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

I shouldn't have

But I did!

I finished the merino today during the Youngest's naptime. My shoulder seems fine right now, we'll see if I aggravated it later tonight.

I'm just tickled with how this yarn turned out. I was a little worried since my second bobbin of singles didn't turn out quite as even, but not to worry, turned out great anyway.

3 Ply Yarn
Fiber(s): Merino (purchased from Cloverleaf Farms) & Rayon
Colorway: Riverstone
Yardage: Approximately 226 yards

I was feeling inspired, so I went out into the garage and dug through my craft bin and came up with some gold rayon thread that had been languishing for quite some time. While it sucked for sewing use, it was superb for spinning. It's incredibly soft, so it didn't take away from the softness of the merino and it gives the yarn a nice touch of glitz.

It's off to be blocked now and then it's destined to become a lovely scarf. I'll give more details on the scarf later.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009


Since Christmas, I've been itching to spend lots of time with my spinning wheel. I got the wheel out and sorted through my options of what to spin.

1. I could pick up where I left off on the whole oatmeal colored fiber that I'm almost finished with, but it's boring me to tears right now, so that was out.

2. Exotic stuff from SAFF - I've got Camel, two kinds of silk, and llama fluff, but I wanted something with color.

3. 3 lbs of Corriedale that's pining away for me to do something with it. First, I need to figure out what color I'm going to dye it. I don't have a clue what color I want. Then I need a non reactive pot. Since I'm going to be using acid dyes in it, it can't be one of my cook pots and I'm not about to sacrifice the ones I've got. I either need to hit a thrift store or walmart for that. The Corriedale is going to have to wait until I pick a pattern (I think), which will lead me to a color (I hope). I'm also thinking about blending in some of the Tussah silk I have with it. So, big project, that's going to have to sit for a while.

So what to spin? At SAFF I also purchased a lovely merino roving from Cloverleaf farms in the color riverstone. It is absolutely yummy. Soft with gorgeous earthtone colors.

I got 2 oz. spun into singles and they looked like this (although the pic doesn't come close to doing it justice:
Click for the full multi color effect!
This is by far and away the most even spinning that I've done. I mean, just look at it, nary a thick or thin to be seen.

I was feeling very clever, and took a two ply worsted yarn I had and split it in twain. Hah! I said Twain. Anyway, I put one of the plies and a sample of the two ply yarn on an index card. I used this as a control card, spinning some and then every once in a while checking to make sure my singles were the same size as the single on my card. Okay, I admit that I stole the idea from David on Ravelry (Ravelry link), but still, you have to admit it's clever. I have since purchased a control card, but until the other bobbin has been finished being spun, I'll continue to use this card to double check myself.

I was planning on doing more of it once I got back from the folks on Monday, but I seem to have damaged my shoulder. I'm hoping it disappears in a week or so and is not a rotator cuff injury. That would totally suck.

It could possibly have been caused by that bin of baseball cards (that belong to my brother that I was transporting for him) that weighed almost a hundred pounds that I had to lift into that back of the minivan that did it. I wouldn't recommend picking up something that weighs almost as much as you do. Really wouldn't. You would have laughed your a$$ off if you had seen what I had to do to get it in the van.

Who knows how I really did it. I just know that my spinning would aggravate the hell out of it if I tried it. Go ahead, picture me crying here. I really want that merino spun up so I can knit with it now! Not sure what I'll do with it. I'm not going to get a lot of yardage out of the 4 oz., I might just have to purchase more. Now wouldn't that be a shame?

Monday, January 05, 2009

Back on the wagon

It's time to get back on the blogging wagon. I fell off over the holidays, sorry.

I can't tell you how glad I am that the holidays are over. I'm ready to get back to some established routines around the house and to have the children back in school!

I went IKEA on New Year's day with a friend. That store is pure evil. Makes me want to spend money like nobody's business. But, did you know that someone has killed Elmo and Cookie Monster and is selling the furs there? It was shocking, I tell you!

I also found this cute foot cozy pillow that I have got to try and make:

Over the holiday, i also decided to pin some sweater pieces onto Endora so that I could get a better looksy at it:

This is going to be a really cool looking sweater once it gets finished. I'm calling this the 2 year sweater, cause that's how long it looks like it'll be before I get the damn thing finished.

This weekend, I took off and went to my folks house to try and help them move a server and some pc's into their home office. I failed spectacularly at just about everything that I tried to do. I got one server and one pc talking to each other and I got one pc and the internet talking to each other, but for some reason I couldn't get all of the servers, pcs and internet talking together at the same time. not good.

But I did accomplish something this weekend, I made a Golden Snitch for the Eldest:

He's a huge Potter fan now. He's only 8 years old and he's finished all of the Potter books, so I thought he'd enjoy this. We're thinking about attaching it to his ceiling fan to make it fly. We'll see. Might be pretty funny to watch him get whacked in the head with it if we do tie it on there. I guarantee he'll forget it's there and it'll happen.

Unfortunately, now he wants me to crochet a specific Pokemon character (Treecko for those "In The Know".) I'd have to make up the pattern and I'm not an accomplished pattern maker, especially in crochet. I might be able to cobble something together, but it's doubtful though.