Stash Report #1

Judy over at Patchwork Times does this stash report that I think is great! Specially considering that I want to go on a crafting diet this year. She says we get to start at zero today so that’s what I’m doing. 🙂 I’ll report in each Sunday with the numbers.

Fabric Used (or removed) this Week: 0 yards
Fabric Used year to Date: 0 yards
Fabric Added this Week: 0 yards
Fabric Added Year to Date: 0 yards
Net Fabric for 2017: 0 yards used

Yarn Used (or removed) this Week: 0 yards
Yarn Used year to Date: 0 yards
Yarn Added this Week: 0 yards
Yarn Added Year to Date: 0 yards
Net Yarn for 2017: 0 yards used

pssssst – in full disclosure, I think I should say that I’ve been buying up a bunch getting ready for 2017. LOL Well… Not really a bunch, but I’m feeling the pressure so I’ve not been as picky as I normally am. Plus I’m kicking myself for not getting more of the Loops & Threads Woolike yarn from Michaels yesterday… It’s a nice soft yarn that’s 85% acrylic and 15% nylon, is a #1 weight, come 678 yards to a skein and is typically around $3 a skein. Yesterday and the day before they were on sale for only $1.29… Yea… I guess I got enough. I purchased 12 in the store yesterday & 15 online on the first day of the sale (when I didn’t think I’d be getting to a Michaels store). Plus, Joann’s had a really good yarn sale too. Now, before I disclose how much I bought yesterday (which don’t count towards the totals above because it was in 2016), let me say that my shopping trip was my Christmas present from my hubby. He gives me a budget and let’s me go pick out what I want from Joann’s & Michaels and we go eat at Olive Garden.

So. Yea. Anyhow… I actually came in under the amount hubby gave me to spend!?! And that was including a new TY beanie baby cat that my little girl is collecting (at $6.99 a piece) and her M&Ms which cost $1.49 at Joanns. Anyhow, here’s what I got.

This is my little girls growing collecting of the TY beanie baby kitty cats so far. They are in order (from left to right) from oldest to newest. Santa brought her #4. Today she got #5 which was included in my budget. 🙂

This is what over 15,000 yards of yarn look like 🙂

And this is the rest of the stuff I got.

See that floral fabric on the bottom left? My little girl pulled that bolt of fabric off the shelf, put it in the cart, and asked me if I could make her a dress from it! AWWWWWW! So, even thought the price of the fabric was $12.99 a yard (and I can’t remember when I paid that much for a yard of fabric – not even Tula Pink) I bought just a 1/4 yard which is enough to make the bodice of a dress for her. I’ll make the bottom skirt part in a solid pink to match since she absolutely -loves- pink! She melts my heart all the time, she’s such a sweet little girl.

I Got the Christmas kitty & puppy fabric because I just couldn’t resist! I mean serious, LOOK! It’s so darn cute! Vintage theme is my love.

The bunny print and the blue rolled up, I’m not sure, but I’m thinking I’ll split the bunny print between a dress bodice and trim for an Easter basket for her.

Butterfly print – because why not? We both love butterflies. lol

I’ve never used a water-soluble fabric glue pen before, but I’ll let you know sometime next week how it works. I’m using it for EPP hexies.

The yarn – well – let me say that I don’t have any of it set aside for any projects. Yet. LOL But I know I’m going to find things that I want to make so I wanted to make sure that I have some yarn just in case. We’ll see how long it lasts if I’m on a craft supply diet.

Anyhow, here’s a tally of what I bought:

  • 43 skeins of yarn (this is not counting the ones I bought online)
  • 1 package of colorful cardstock
  • 3.5 yards of fabric
  • a Fons & Porter water-soluble fabric glue pen
  • 2 Buttercream journals
  • 1 package of jewelry connectors
  • my little girls new TY beanie baby cat (#5 in the pic above)
  • her tube of mini M&M’s that she just had to have also 😉

Total retail value would have been around $250

But…

Thanks to sales and coupons, I paid a grand total of $67.69!!! (including tax)
$17.32 from Michaels & $50.37 from Joanns. (pst – my budget was only $75)

Plus, I forgot to mention that I got back $6 from Ibotta (Use the referral link and not only do I get credit but YOU get an extra $10 when you redeem your first rebate! 🙂 ) They had a rebate for $1 off any Big Twist Rainbow Classic and another rebate for $5 when you spend at least $35. Both rebates were for Joanns. 🙂 So I guess that brings my total down to $61.69 😉

Yea. I’m a happy lady!

How about you? Are you trying to curb your fabric / yarn spending? Or interested in trying to use your stash instead of buying more? Or just curious as to how much fabric / yarn you have coming in versus using? Let me know in the comments below.

My 2017 Word of the Year

Many people I know, myself included, like to pick a word for the year that they want to stick by. Typically my word is a positive, happy one. Which is great! However, after giving it come serious thought and consideration, I’m going with something that’s different for me.

simplify

There are many ways in which I want to simplify my life this coming year.

  • I really need to reduce the number of WIPs I have laying around collecting dust. 
  • Even though I’m hoping we are out of this rental house before summer time comes, I’m not holding my breath. Therefore I really need to simplify things by decluttering everything! That’s part of my Let’s Get Organized in 2017. So many things will be covered under this – from kitchen things, clothing, craft supplies, and just about anything else you can imagine under your roof.
  • Prior to joining a local quilt guild around the middle of 2015, I rarely did any typical pieced quilts even though I’ve been quilting now for close to 20 years (I’m an art quilter). Thanks to joining the guild, I found out about BOMs and too eagerly jumped on the bandwagon which is part of the reason why I have so many WIPs. I’m going to simplify things by not joining in any unless I want to keep the quilt for myself or for hubby. It’s too hard for me to stay excited about it for that long if it’s in fabrics or colors I don’t care for. (Caught Ya! BOM is going to be for hubby; The Milky Way BOM is going to be for myself; and Wild Babies BOM is going to be for myself for a couch quilt but my youngest will probably claim it. lol)
  •  I really have to stop trying to do it all. I was enjoying my empty-nest free time. My oldest 2 were driving themselves everywhere; I was self employed and loving every moment of it by selling my canned goods at local farmer’s markets, teaching canning classes, and writing online; my time was my own. Then I was surprisingly blessed with our late-in-life little one who was born with some medical problems (they’ve since cleared up). However, she is a very demanding little girl and I don’t have the time I’ve grown accustomed to. Therefore most of time I have a tendency to overbook myself when it come to crafting.
  • With so many WIPs, I’m participating in 2 different online finish-alongs for 2017 to help me focus and attempt to turn some of the WIPs into Finishes. By working on WIPs instead of starting more new, I’ll be simplifying.
  • Home cleaning is another way I need to simplify. Currently I use vinegar in place of several household cleaners, including fabric softener and down the drain to name a couple. However, in 2017 I would like to simplify by changing from any and all chemical cleaners to using 100% natural ingredients. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to get hubby away from using All Free & Clear laundry soap though… He’s a hunter and swears by the stuff. Claims it’s the only thing that keeps the deer from snorting and running away because it supposedly removes all scent and leaves none. We’ll see.

So, that’s my word for 2017 and the majority of my reasonings behind it. Do you have a word of the year? Are you going to have a word of the year? Why or why not?

UFOs 2017

Judy over at Patchwork Times is hosting UFOs 2017 and I think it’s a really neat idea! First, you make a list of 12 UFOs you’d like to complete in 2017. Each month a random number is picked. You try to finish up the UFO that is listed for the number that is picked that month.

I don’t know how much success I’m going to have since most of my UFOs are mostly in the beginning stages but I’m going to try! Here’s my list:

  1. Summer Solstice quilt
    This will be a Christmas present for a family member. About 1/2 the fabric is cut (background fabric is NOT cut yet).
  2. Vintage Truck quilt
    This will be a Christmas present for a family member made from a pattern I came up with. I’ve gotten most of the fabric for it cut already. Once I finish cutting, I’m going to chain piece the blocks together, fussy cut the trucks and applique them onto the blocks, sew up the top, quilt and bind it.
  3. Deer Head Silhouette quilt
    I’ve had a stack of khaki pants from a friend’s daughter-in-law just sitting here. They are not worthy of going to the thrift store due to being ripped and having paint splatters all over them (she works in a paint store), yet there’s plenty of good, usable fabric on them still. I’ve been playing around the idea for an improv quilt with them but haven’t been sold on any one idea until the other night. I’m combining something similar to the cover of Simply Moderne issue #2 with an improv background. This will be a Christmas gift for hubby for Christmas. I also have a stack of camo clothing of his somewhere that he was going to throw out (old, worn, etc) that will also be used in this quilt. This is a #makedoquilt that I’ve not started at all.
  4. Maggie’s 1st Dance quilt
    I started this with the best intentions and only finished 2 blocks. 🙁 Hoping to finish this for my youngest & I to use as a couch snuggle quilt.
  5. Crossroads quilt
    This will be a Christmas present for a family member. I’ve completed the first 3 blocks for this…
  6. Farm Fun quilt
    When I bought the panels with the momma and babies stuffies to make for my granddaughter and my youngest daughter I also ordered a charm pack and a 1/2 yard of the main print in white. I’m not sure how I’m going to do it, but it will be simple. I’m thinking of cutting the 1/2 yard into larger 9″ squares and pair them up with a solid that compliments them. We’ll see.
  7. Illusions quilt
    This will be a Christmas present for a family member. I have the pattern, and the fabrics that I’ve started cutting.
  8. Spooky Delights QAL table runner
    Well, I started this QAL with good intentions. Then I sewed up the borders wrong… After taking the time to rip out around 15 feet of stitching, I kinda lost interest for the moment. I would like to get this done as it’s the only thing I’ve cut into my precious (insert Lord of the Rings jokes here LOL) Ghastlies fabric for.
  9. Eagle table runner
    The pattern I designed and fabric is sitting here all together just waiting for me…
  10. Quilted Christmas Stockings for my oldest and my granddaughter
    These have been on my to-do list for about 15 months now… 🙁 I have the fabric and patterns.
  11. Christmas Mini Quilt QAL
    In the process of tweaking the pattern.
  12. Christmas Tree Skirt
    Like the quilted Christmas stockings above (#10), this has been on my to-do list for about 15 months now… 🙁 A tree skirt for my oldest that I’m determined to get finished this year! I have the fabric and pattern and that’s it.

So, that’s my list. They are all barely started so I’m hoping that I’ll be able to finish them in each month.

Introducing Let’s Get Organized 2017

Tired of everything being disorganized? Looking to get things in your home in order in the new year? Then come and join me for LGO2017! Join in for the whole year, or pick and choose weeks as they suit you. Come on, let’s jump right in.

What is Let’s Get Organized 2017 (or LGO2017 for short)? Every Friday in 2017 I’ll post up an organization objective to complete within the next 7 days.

Why on Friday? Most people have off for the weekend and this way it’s fresh in their minds for the weekend. 🙂

What if I don’t have one of the areas you’re doing? I’ll also be offering up some suggestions on how you can personalize the schedule to fit you and your home.

Let's Get Organized 2017

Reading thru the different weeks, I have craft area listed 7 times. This is because I have a craft room that needs some serious help. If you don’t craft, or your craft room / area is organized, then you can either (1) pick a room in your house (or the garage / shed / attic / whatever) that is a total disaster and break it up into the 7 parts.

I hope you’ll join me in some serious organizing in 2017! Go sign up for my newsletter (located on the top of the menu bar to the right) now so you don’t forget or miss a week.

Craft Supplies Diet

***WARNING*** Photos of what my crafting room actually looks like ahead… If crafting supplies in disorder, messes, clutter, and chaos stress you out, I urge you to turn back now. It stresses me out too…

I’m starting this out with something that’s been on my mind for the past few months. In order to be more accountable, I’m putting it out there.

I have more crafting stuff than I’ll be able to use in more years than I care to count.

The thing is, I don’t just do 1 or 2 types of crafts. I cannot walk into the craft store without “needing” something from almost every aisle in any type of craft / fabric store. Everything from paper crafts, quilting, sewing, embroidery, crochet, needlepoint, painting, drawing, baking, cooking, canning, woodwork, and more. Do you see where I’m going with this?

There are lots of people out there who have several WIPs in various stages of doneness. At last count, I have, literally, close to 100. *hanging head in shame* What can I say, there’s so many awesome and amazing projects out there that I love shiny and new! Then my A.D.D. kicks in and it’s old news (now before anyone gets annoyed – I’ve actually been diagnosed with A.D.D. as well as O.C.D. so I’m allowed to make fun of myself for it).

Anyhow, for 2017 I really want to try to NOT buy ANY crafting supplies of any kind with 1 exception. Items needed to finish a project I already have started. Huh? Isn’t that counter-productive or kinda like the edge of the rabbit hole? It is, but, for many things, like king sized quilts that are in various stages of doneness, rarely do I have enough money up front to buy all the needed supplies so things that I won’t need until the end (like batting / backing / quilting threads / etc) do not get purchased right away but are a needed component of actually finishing the project.

There is 1 more thing that I *may* buy in 2017 – a set of interchangable circular knitting needles from Knit Picks. I promised myself that I would learn to knit it 2017 if only to knit socks for my loving hubby. I’ve purchased 1 circular needle that was specified in the sock pattern I purchased. If it’s something I enjoy and am capable of doing, I will save up and buy a full interchangable set. This is really a big deal to me which is why I’m allowing it as an exception. Why could it be that important you ask? Well, my hubby is an amazing man who works long hard hours to provide for us and allows me to stay home with our little, late-in-life surprise blessing and doesn’t ask for anything ever. Anyhow, he’s a big man, around 6’4″ and wears a size 15 shoe. Do you know what it’s like to try to find socks that fit him? Yea… They’re functional, but I don’t think he’s ever had a pair of nice, warm, soft socks. So, that’s why it’s so important to me.

Ok, so that was 2 exceptions. But, that’s really it!

I’m so tired of the disorganization and piles here there and everywhere of crafting supplies. Another goal is to get my crafting room (yes, I said room) cleaned and organized. Right now I cannot even see my cutting table. So when I do get the urge to craft, by the time I gather everything together and get a space cleaned up to craft, I don’t want to anymore because I’m annoyed at the mess.

FYI – This room is not something that anyone has to walk thru in my home. It’s like an extra bedroom that get’s the door shut on it and forgotten about. That’s good because of the way it currently looks, but it’s bad because it’s literally become a dumping ground for anything and everything that doesn’t have a place…

craft room 12-04-16

 

Go ahead, it’s ok, take a good look at my disaster so you can feel better about your “mess” I understand.

Anyone wanna come help me organize? Awwww, come on, you know you want to. I’ll even have hubby cook up his famous fresh fried fish with hushpuppies and homemade french fries and coleslaw!

The monies that I would have used for crafting supplies will be put to good use to purchase organization supplies. Maybe another couple of bookshelves, some plastic bins, hanging storage, those sort of things. I’ve actually made an entire Pinterest board of nothing but craft room organization.

What about you? Is there anything that’s been on your mind that you would like to change / redo / or start over?

Till next time!
Mel

BP Meds?!? Me? No thank you!

Currently down for the count with double lung pneumonia, things have been kinda blaaaa. I’ve been back and forth to the Dr’s office 3 times in 4 days to receive injections of some really strong antibiotics in place of going into the hospital. Heck, I used that 2+ hour round trip drive to my advantage and did some serious crocheting. 🙂 Can’t find that kind of “free” time at home chasing around a high energy level 3.5 year old. LOL

Anyhow, the topic of this post is another 2017 Goal – lower my blood pressure – withOUT meds.

Huh? How did I get to here from talking about pneumonia? Well, at the Dr’s office they wanted to put me on bp meds even though I told them it’s higher when I’m there because I have issues (going back to childhood experiences) about going to the Dr’s. The longer it takes, the higher it rises. I typically make my appointments for first thing in the morning so I can get up, throw on some clothes and go. No thinking, no stressing over it, nada. My appointments for the pneumonia have all been in the afternoon. With hubby driving and the little one in her car seat. Yea, nothing to stress over there. LOL Anyhow… It has been bordering on the high side lately anyhow and my pulse rate is up as well. I can feel it. It’s from this excess weight I’m carring around. I know this. Now I have to do something about it.

I have nothing against meds, when they are needed and there’s nothing else that can be done about it. Currently I’m on Symbicort for my COPD (no I’ve -never- smoked) as well as a rescue inhaler for my asthma. Those things can’t really be replaced. However, there are things that I can do to improve my health and lower my blood pressure without having to take meds.

There’s 10 ways to get your blood pressure under control without medications according to the Mayo Clinic.

  1. Loose extra pounds and watch your waistline – The first thing that I need to work on is my weight. I weigh the same now as I did when I left the hospital after having my youngest daughter 3.5 years ago… 🙁 And, aside from when I was pregnant, this is the most I’ve ever weight in my life! And I do not like it. Not one little bit.
  2. Exercise regularly – this is how I plan on loosing weight. Considering how many hours a day hubby works anything I do has to involve our little girl. It’s been hard. Plus, considering the size of our home, there’s no room indoors for a treadmill. However, she’s getting a power wheels and I’m hoping that she’ll be able to ride on that while I walk around the neighborhood. When she gets a little bigger, she can ride her bike around with me.
  3. Eat a healthy diet – hmmmmm. I do mostly eat good things, however, I like my snacks. Unfortunately I really don’t see myself giving them up or scaling back on the bit that I do eat.
  4. Reduce sodium – this one is also going to be a bit hard. Why? Well, there’s not much salt used in our diets now. The only time I really get any is in my snacks and when we eat out (which is 1x a month if I’m lucky).
  5. Limit the amount of alcohol you drink – already done. LOL I may have 1 or 2 wine coolers a week if that and right now I think it’s been about 2 months since I’ve had any.
  6. Quit smoking – never started
  7. Cut back on caffeine – hmmmm – not too sure about this one. As it is I may have 1 or 2 cups of coffee a day and a cup of hot tea at night. I don’t do that everyday. But that is typically the most I’ll ever have in a single day.
  8. Reduce stress – ROFLMAO – so, um, when is world peace going to kick in? When is there going to be more positive things on the news instead of all the shootings / kidnappings / robberies / abuse? When are people going to stop road-raging? When are we going to make enough money so we’re not stressing over paying the bills? When are we going to buy a property so we can grow more of our own food so we can stop stressing over the ever increasing prices at the grocery store? Yep. Maybe one day. Till then, I’ll be right here. 😉
  9. Monitor your bp at home – already doing this. In fact hubby and I kinda have a contest going with who’s bp is lower. He wins 95% of the time. LOL
  10. Get support – done! Hubby is wonderful at this and I’m so thankful for that. 🙂

So, yea, anyone else have some things they want to work on to improve themselves? Speak up! Let’s hear about it.

Till next time!
Mel