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corn and wool

20 Jul



21 Jun


I didn’t take pictures of my stuff for this post. But trust me. It’s there.

We all have it.  Stuff, our STUFF. Things. Possessions… STUFF. It seems to come in stages too. When you move out of your parents house, you get stuff, when you move, you get stuff, when you get married- stuff, have a baby MORE STUFF.

Ugh. My house is completely over-run by stuff. Mostly stuff I don’t need, or there is simply an excess of “need” stuff.  For example, one of the last times I counted I had 78 vessels to drink alcohol out of. Um. I really don’t drink and when I do it’s a small glass of red wine. And hubby has exactly 3 glasses that he uses. How did that happen? I also had almost 50 mugs. CRAZY. I’ve since cut them down. A lot. I also had nearly 70 cook books. I like to cook but JEEZALOO!  The list goes on but I will leave it at that.

I’d say the biggest source of our collections are gifts. We got tons of glasses for our wedding, and for whatever reason people always give us gifts including mugs. I like my tea, coffee and hot cocoa a LOT, but I would say at most I could use 3 mugs at a time and that’s a little excessive.

We also got a lot of hand-me-downs when we were first starting out as a married couple- or even before that when I moved back to NY with nothing but my Rav4 stuffed over the top (literally!) I was very, very grateful for the second hand furniture and dishes (and still am!) I had nothing and no money to speak of save to pay the rent. But, as we moved forward and around the state we gathered new stuff and the old stuff seemed to stick with us. I got attached if you can imagine that. I couldn’t just get rid of something, I’d say, “Oh, but we used this stuff when we first got back together…” or “But I might NEED that…”  and we can’t forget, “but so an so gave me this!” Thus, I became a pack rat.

With the twins came a lot more stuff. Really, babies don’t need much, but somehow there comes lots of stuff when you have a baby. And I had two, so you do the math- I assure you it wasn’t simply doubled. *sigh*

But… with the coming of the twins, I realized something very important about stuff. I didn’t want it. Didn’t need it. It was creating a hostile environment and not what I wanted for my children. I want them to grow up in a neat, clean, comfortable home. Have you ever cleaned a cluttered house? It takes forever. You have to move stuff to clean under it, you have more stuff to dust… It’s a pain. I need easy when I have two boys running around. Sure, they have and will have stuff, just the right kind and amount of stuff. This really kicked my butt into gear and I’ve been going through our home pulling things out of rooms, out of closets… and trying to move it out.  It’s a really difficult and almost emotional process but I’m making headway a little at a time.

At the same time I’m challenging myself not to buy “new” stuff to clutter up the newly cleared space. I can thrift for things we “need” (I have an on-going list) and play things for the boys (quality wooden toys are pricey, so if I see good stuff while thrifting I’m allowing myself the pleasure.) The exceptions are some fabric and notions (thread doesn’t have a great shelf life so I worry about buying second hand- I’ve already had a few ruined projects this way) and anything where hygiene would be a concern (panties, etc.) I may also allow myself yarn for knitting, but I would really like to thrift that too. I’m planning not to buy ANY “New” clothes for myself or the boys. I really foresee this being a challenge. Until recently, I really liked to shop. TJ Max was probably my favorite store- especially given it’s pretty much the only store in the area other than Walmart. Oh yeah, I’m going to try to avoid Walmart all together as well as any big box store… I wonder if I can keep myself out of Target, I really love Target…  but I digress.

This is the challenge. Clean out the house, and be mindful about what comes back in. Hm… I think that’s the key: Mindfulness. Ah…


(Speaking of mindfulness, I’m reading Sarah Napthali’s Buddhism for Mothers  I’m not Buddhist, but I have to say thus  far this is a great book for mamas. Maybe a book review will be in order? hm….)

Messy Mondays continue!

18 Jun

Each Monday I’m going to post a picture of a room in my home just as it is on Monday morning- no straightening, no organizing, no setting for the camera. It is just how it is. If you want to play along link to your blog/ page so we can all see. 

Oh my is it a very messy Monday…

First, last week’s messy room today:

And today, I give you the kitchen. *shudder*

Ah… my ever in use kitchen.

Love the counter. I’ve got the slow cooker rocking some perpetual soup, my new yogurt maker and jars, coffee pot and french press (because a mama can’t have enough coffee some mornings…).

Now.. a lovely lady shared her kitchen too for messy Monday so go visit the Woodworking Momma!

She also made a linky for us! lets see if it works for me (I don’t work well with technology…)


Thanks for stopping by! If you want to make me feel better by sharing your Monday morning messes leave a link in the comments. Please, no picture perfect magazine spreads! :P

Messy Monday

11 Jun

Each Monday I’m going to post a picture of a room in my home just as it is on Monday morning- no straightening, no organizing, no setting for the camera. It is just how it is. If you want to play along link to your blog/ page so we can all see. 

Well, among meltdowns, marathon nursing sessions, a tired mama and gassy babies, I’m getting this post up. First, here’s last week’s room this Monday:


Improvement? Hm. A little. The vacuum was used and is just waiting to go upstairs to be used more… and there is a boy in the middle of the floor for tummy time. He thought it would be great to fall asleep. *sigh*


Woolies drying in the corner


At least the toys got organized… I need to put that tube away. It has a cute poster a friend had made for me. 🙂

Okay… so that’s last week, This week… it’s bad. Prepare yourself…

No…. Really. It’s frightening.


I can’t believe I’m going to show this.


The dining room. The dining table is also known as the dumping ground. *sigh* There are WIPs, Cleaning supplies, kid stuff, returns, stuff to be donated… all needs to be sorted. Yuck.

Thanks for stopping by! If you want to make me feel better by sharing your Monday morning messes leave a link in the comments. Please, no picture perfect magazine spreads! 😛

An Apron A Day Keeps the Dust Bunnies At Bay.

24 Feb

In my last post I said how I needed an apron for every day of the week. This got me thinking… why not MAKE an apron every day? So yesterday I busted out some left over fabrics, looked at my great grandmother’s apron (my favorite of the bunch) and decided to make something similar, and this is what I came up with….

The print is left over from a sale at Joann’s- for whatever reason I bought 5 yards, and so far I have made a skirt, camisole, shorts and panties and am now adding an apron. There are only a few small pieces left now, which I think will become potholders. One can ALWAYS use more potholders… The “purple” is linen I purchased from last year for my Easter dress… That really didn’t turn out so well, but this was a left over piece (the dress itself is still waiting to be taken apart….)

The construction was pretty simple, although I did make it a little more complex that gramma’s. Her’s was only one fabric and three pieces plus ties. I also made mine criss cross in back while hers was attached across the upper back and went straight down. Anyway, the front main piece is just a tall trapezoid, the sides are just about rectangles with a little bit of an angle, and the ties are all three inch wide pieces cut long enough to play with. I was a bit lazy and used the serger on all the inside seams, but finished the linen ties nicely (since they will be more obvious…) I think I would like to add pockets, probably in the pretty purple linen… I always need pockets….

Today’s apron was inspired by this one:

And my desire for warm weather so I can hang out the laundry!

That little pocket on the side is specifically designed to hold my phone (the casio “brigade”… thank God and Casio for waterproof and shock resistant phones…) Since I’m supposed to have it nearby all the time… “What use is having a cell phone if you forget to have it with you?” I hear… The pocket(s) on the front of this thing are just so huge I didn’t want to risk loosing my phone in there! But after last years apron getting mangled by me stuffing huge amounts of clothespins in the pockets… this seems justified. Both the front and back pieces are double layers of quilting cotton to make it a bit more sturdy, and the waist tie is some grosgrain ribbon that I found in my gramma’s shed (along with the favorite apron, boxes of fabric and tons of lace… oh, and cast iron cookware. :))

Last but not least in my sewing adventures… I’m working on headscarves/ coverings for sort of every day and church (if I find one I like). Functional and pretty I think these are an essential part of any goodwife’s “trunk.”

(please don’t mind how terrible I look in the photos.. it was 6AM!)

Historically, women wore caps and other headcoverings for religious observance and also for practical reasons- to keep there hair clean and keep bugs out! This one is for that purpose, more or less. I can wear my hair down (saving it from the turmoil of being wrapped in a bun) and it keeps my hair clean of dust for the most part while I’m cleaning the house (very helpful when dusting the corners and ceiling fans!) It will also save my hair from the sun when summer time comes around and I’m working out of doors.

Construction on this was SUPER simple. I measured around my head and took off an inch so that I could tie it tight. Then, I measured how long I wanted it to be- this one measures about 15 inches, it does not cover ALL my hair, but a good portion of it. I cut a rectangle to these measurements (about 20 by 15 inches) serged around the edge, added some lace to the long edge and pressed. Then I pleated the short edges and sewed ribbons to pleated ends. It stays put pretty well on it’s own, but it didn’t move at all when I used two hair clips at my temples. Pretty and practical! Oh. And it matches the first apron. 🙂

That’s all for now! More aprons to come, 2 down, 5 to go!
**If you would like full tutorials on these or any upcoming aprons, please let me know and I will do my best to make one up!
Happy sewing!