Category Archives: Life

Cleaning spree 2017

I haven’t posted in a while, here are a couple of items I did while away on vacation this past January.
knitted-dorm-slippers
Better Dorm Slippers knit from a couple of Value Village wool balls.

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Fingerless Mitts knit with some of my first handspun yarn that I did on a drop spindle.

Well my husband went off on his annual golf trip again this year. Every year I tell myself I’m going to clean and up until this year I never have. Finally I got my act together and did some cleaning. Since the house was heading towards hoarding stage one, it was about time. I don’t really need to blog my pictures of a cleaned house but it’s nice to go back and revisit what I’ve done over the years so this is more for myself than others. My blog is more or less a diary of what I’ve done over the years so I can look back.

Kitchen
clean-fridge-door
Clean fridge door.

clean-fridge
Clean fridge.

clean-table
Clean table.

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Husband’s golf pencils, 66 of them now gone.

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What is this and why do I have it on my counter.

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Expired condiment bottles.

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All the stuff from the fridge.

stuff-in-cleaned-fridge
Fridge after throwing out most of the condiments.

I didn’t take a picture of the freezer at the bottom of the fridge but it’s clean as well.

Family Room

family-cleaned-2017
Family room cleaned, note the valence, which was taken down I don’t know how many years ago for some reason. My husband asked me to shorten it and I never got around to it but I noticed it when cleaning the room. It took me about 30 minutes to cut, shorten and hem it and another 30 minutes to arrange the folds after putting it back up. The room looks so much better – 30 minutes vs years, doh!

johns-area-cleaned
Husband’s area cleaned, finally!!!

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Telephone area, last time cleaned was 2011.

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TV – CD/DVD area, looks normal but was stacked mile high.

Laundry Room and Main Hall Closets and Front Foyer Area

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Cleaned foot rack.

games
All the games in the house now have a home in one spot.

coat-closet-and-games
Coats with orderly shoes and boots.

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Shoes to donate, about three garbage bags worth, more than it appears in this photo.

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Coats to donate.

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Coats in hall closet.

hall-closet-clean
Clean floor, wowzers, actually it now has the vacuum cleaner in it plus a grocery cart. I’ve never had a designated spot for the vacuum before now and I’ve been in the house over 35 years.

main-entrance-clean
This was so piled up with coats and shoes and other stuff, it just doesn’t look right now that it’s clean. Actually now that all the stuff is gone it looks barren and in need of an update.

I’d say most of the stuff I cleaned has been in a bad way for 10 years or more, probably more if I’m honest. Might be interesting to note that it took me nine days to clean it all and that wasn’t pushing myself. Why does it take so long to make something right especially when it takes so little time?

Karen

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Cleaning the Closet.

Well it’s that time of year when family come to visit and I am no exception to the tradition, my brother, sister-in-law and niece are coming to visit us so I’ve been trying to get the two guest rooms into some kind of shape so that they won’t go screaming and running from the house when they see their accommodations. Actually the rooms weren’t that bad with the exception of the closets. The problem is I don’t know whether or not they need to hang up any clothes in the closet so I figured it was time to tackle the walk-in closet of what used to be my son’s room.

I’ve been meaning to repurpose this closet into a pure craft storage closet but every time I’ve gone to do it I’ve opened the door, taken a look and then very slowly backed away from the door. Unfortunately I didn’t take a before picture because I’m that kind of blogger I only think of the blog fodder until half-way through the job. Needless to say I’m not exaggerating when I say that you could walk about one foot inside before you came to a standstill because there was that much junk on the floor piled into the space. The closet was a depository of all things that didn’t have a home. I thought that I’d blogged about cleaning this closet once before and I was going to put a link to the blog post but I’ve discovered that I actually didn’t clean the closet only the room Clean Room. I made some comment about tackling the closet when I was feeling better, apparently I had a head cold at the time. Well it seems it’s taken seven years to get over the head cold, it must have been a doozy.

Anyhow the job is done…sort of. I’m not quite sure what to do with a good part of the junk that is now residing on the floor, table and ironing board in my sewing room but I’m working on it. It won’t be seven years I need that room to sew in but I had to put the stuff somewhere while I was transferring it out of the walk-in. Here are a few pictures of the finished closet. It is an amalgamation of most of the contents of two smaller closets that were totally filled with craft supplies. The pictures are chopped up as it was hard to get a full shot. It looks messy but you can actually walk into the closet and best of all I can now see all my bins and boxes without having to take them out and shuffle through them all, which is what I did in the two smaller closets.

empty walk-in closet

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The sewing room as a temporary housing unit.

Karen

Still Working After All These Years

Okay this post is sheer motherly indulgence more for myself than for any record to put out there, something to look back at in a few years.

I was cleaning up the kitchen and decided to give my little ceramic dish a good scrub and then the little ceramic cookie a good cleaning as well. These were items that were given to me by my kids more than a few years back. I’m not sure what grade the kids were in when they made the little pottery items but it struck me that after all these years I’m still using the things and they serve their purpose well even if they do look more than a little worse for wear. I still look at them and treasure them and it’s been maybe 20 years? Sentimentality at it’s best I guess. It’s the same reason I don’t throw out those little treasures that still decorate the Christmas tree after all these years and those go back from kindergarten and my oldest is now 35 years old. Mothers, I’m sure we’re the same the world over.

blue pottery dish and cookie

blue pottery dish JDW

ceramic cookie that holds the tea strainers

pottery holding tea strainers and dish scrubbie

Treats and Eye Candy.

Yesterday I got a parcel in the mail from the Uk, it was a prize for a KAL that I had been in for the months leading up to Christmas. The KAL was to complete projects and record the yardage used. Now I wasn’t going to bother listing my yardage because all I’d done was a hat and baby blanket and there were others who completed a lot more work than I did but then I thought well I should get into the spirit of the KAL (knit-along) because the idea of the KAL was to try and use up stash yarn. Well imagine my surprise when I won, nobody else could be bothered to list their yardage, just goes to show you what can happen when you follow the rules.

Anyhow thought I’d blog the wonderful gift that Bev sent me:

package from uk
Exciting moment, the unopened box before me.

inside uk package
Ooh packaged up nicely so it wouldn’t move around, what is in here?

uk contents
Yummy, look at all those goodies.

I have to admit that I demolished the treats in fairly short order, I have no willpower when it comes to treats.

Now for the eye candy. I decided to play with my Hero carder today and thought I’d blast some photos out of the process. I call photos like this eye candy and I guess you’d only appreciate them if you were another spinner. I love seeing photos of colourful fibre. I forgot to take a picture of the first couple of layers but the order of laying out the fibre on the carding wheel was: black, firestar, purple, red, gold Angelina, orange, yellow, orange, gold Angelina, red, purple, firestar, black.

I made two batts for a total of 94 grams. The Hero is a small carder so doesn’t do batts above 50 grams and it was all I could do to get as much fibre on it as I did. Since there were two batts some of the photos are repetitive.

hero batt nova

middle of nova batt 2

middle of nova batt

nova with purple layer

nova with black layer

nova tail end batt 2

nova tail end

Nova end 1

nova end 2

nova 2 batts end view

nova batt 2

nova both batts tail ends

Since the main colours are black and purple with the red, orange and yellow as accents I’ve decided to name these two batts Nova.

Karen

Ice Storm 2013

It rained yesterday overnight so the result looked like this and we woke up to no power.

close up iced branchesa

ice storm 2013a

iced trees fronta

icy screena

Hopefully the ice will melt somewhat today because it’s supposed to get down to -17 C in a couple of days and I’m afraid that if we get wind there are going to be a lot of damaged trees. Several of our trees have branches down already.

Karen

Op-Shop Finds.

I haven’t been posting much because really there hasn’t been much to post. I haven’t really gotten much crafting done as I’ve been taking a break with my shoulder being so sore. I did go see the rheumatologist yesterday and she gave me a shot of cortisol so we’ll see how that goes. I do seem to be able to move it farther than before so that’s something.

First up I did finally manage to finish the pair of socks I was making for my dad. The only problem being is that they ended up fitting my husband’s feet instead so they are now his.

Kroy socks cadet colours
Paton’s Kroy FX socks in the colour Cadet. Picture of my feet hanging up there amidst the ceiling.

Next I decided to indulge in visiting Value Village yesterday. I was looking for two things, more tupperware (as if I don’t have enough) and I always look to see what knitting and science fiction books there are. I’ve been looking for any of Alice Starmore’s books for a long time and finally I scored one yesterday.

Tudor Roses

Tudor Roses by Alice Starmore. This book is currently valued starting at $99.00 on the used book market. It goes up from there and if I were to order it online through Amazon.ca I’d be paying $200.00 and change for it. Of course this (as my husband pointed out) is only if I’m willing to sell it. Someone in Ravelry said that the book is being re-issued and when it does the value will drop right down but that’s to be expected. I’m only surprised that with copies of used books being sold for over two hundred dollars that the publishers haven’t released the book sooner. Anyhow it’s in perfect shape and since it was a buy four books get one free I can pretend it’s my freebie 🙂

Another interesting thing about the book aside from all the gorgeous sweaters in it is that it gives the history of the Tudor’s and Henry and his wives so even if I never make a sweater from the patterns at least I can read the book and learn something. The patterns are very complex so I might not ever get around to trying out one of the sweaters but they are beautiful. The sweaters are the type that you pull out and work on a little bit at a time until three years later it’s done. LOL, then you hope that it fits and it looks good on you.

Some of the other books I scored:

Books
I’ve been reading Stephanie Pearl-McPhee’s book “Knitting Rules” and its been a fun read so far. Nice to see that I’m not abnormal and share several traits with my fellow knitters, vbg.

Last but not least I thought I’d post a couple of pictures of the snow that fell overnight. Unfortunately by the time the pictures have shrunk small enough to put up on the blog you don’t get the idea of the snow on the branches but it’s really pretty. I guess the snow fell without the wind blowing so it’s just sitting there decorating the trees just like the ideal picture of a Christmas tree decorated for the holidays.

Snow on branches Feb 28 2013

tree closeup
Snow in Whitby, February 28th, 2013

Karen

Cottage Time

I’ve recently returned from being away nine days at a friend’s cottage and although I don’t normally post family pictures I thought I would this time. Kind of long as I had a hard time picking which photos to include.

Some things to do at the cottage…


Board games.


Playing cards.


Working hard.


She’s taking another picture – relaxing and reading on the porch.


Watching the wildlife run by – mink.

Chores around the cottage, there are always new projects each year to be done.


Working on installing a new washing machine.


Pumping up the tire on the lift trolley.


Installing the dryer of the new stackable washer/dryer set.


Off to the dump with the old wringer/washer.


HD satellite.


Satellite dish on cottage rooftop.


Looking down.


Me looking squinty-eyed.


What you doing up there grandpa?


Installed and orientated HD satellite dish.

Other things to do at the cottage…

Going for boat rides.


Bye, bye grandma…


Bye, bye Chase…


Zonked out in the boat.

Fishing.


Handsome dude with a fish.


Even bigger fish.

And last but not least the major occupation at a cottage – swimming.

Getting the gear ready.

Who are you and why are you taking my picture?

The process of immersion…


Hi Honey.


Love you.


You want in?


No, no I don’t.


Yes, yes you do.


No! I really don’t!


Rats! Foiled again.

Other swimming pictures.


Baby wrangling.


Do it again…


Wheeeeeee!


Chillin.


Oh Jedi master I bow to your infinite wisdom.

Just some of the photos of our 2012 cottage vacation.

Karen

Op-Shop Loot.

Today I was working on my Seuss quilt and needed to go out and get some thread. The fabric store is in the same strip mall that the Value Village is located so I always stop in to see what there is (even though I don’t really have need of anything or the room).

I hadn’t planned on buying anything but $36 dollars later…


I’m a collector of paperweights, the nice ones. This little gem was priced at $3.99 so I snapped it up. Good paperweights are very expensive. Unfortunately this looks blurry in the picture but very nice in person.


“A Coming Of Spring” by Brent Heighton.


“Reflections of Winter” by Brent Heighton.

I spotted these prints and thought nice but wasn’t sure about the frames but picked them up and flipped to the back of the frame. From the dedication on the back I saw that they had been a house-warming gift to a couple. There was also a spiel about the artist attached to the back as well so this made me take a closer look and I realized that the pictures had been properly matted and the frames were actually of very nice quality.

Anyhow, once again the camera had the flash off so it wouldn’t be relected by the glass so you’ll have to take my word that these are very nice, very light and delicate and best of all they match the paint in my new craft room. In fact the pinkish matting on the stream picture is pretty darn close. Very happy to have paid the $7.99 asking price for each of them.

And some odds and sods…


Rubbermaid container now residing in my closet full of jelly rolls (fabric strips) – $2.99.


Plastic bin with sliding drawer, which is parked on a shelf in my desk awaiting stuff to be put in it – $1.99..


Odd balls of yarn, Paton’s Decor. One full ball of the multi and red and then two wound balls of the red. Enough for a hat or scarf at some point. The blessings group has a donation program so being cheap I’m not going to pay full price for any yarn when I can get it for less than retail – $2.99 for the lot.

I did buy a neat microwavable tupperware dish but forgot to take a photo of it. I’d picked up one of these before for the same price – $3.99. It’s a divided dish with a pop-up tab to vent steam when you heat something in it. I’ve been waiting for a reason to use the one I had and last weekend we had the progressive dinner run by the church. I wasn’t feeling well as my digestion has been off these past couple of months and Saturday was bad but then I thought I’m going anyhow and I’m taking my dish with me. So I filled the dish with food and ate about half of it and took the rest home. I took modest helpings but with the size of this dish I could really have packed it full. Friends who are tupperware collectors really liked the dish and I got the comment if you ever find another one give it to me but alas sorry guys – one for me – one for John, not sharing.

Karen

$24.99 or $0.99?

I started work on my Dr Seuss quilt yesterday and even though the table was in front of the window I found that there is still that area right at the pressor foot that still seems to need some extra illumination.

I had been using an Ott light but all of a sudden the bulb went dead and when I fiddled with it the light would go on and off and then stay off so I guess the bulb is shot. I’m not too impressed considering how much the replacement bulbs cost.

Anyhow even when the bulb was working it was still somewhat of an effort to position the lamp just right and I have had the thoughts that attaching one of those little mini lights to the machine would work well and with that in mind I stopped off at the sewing shop to see if they had any.

Well they did have some and they were $24.99. I stood there looking at the light thinking I didn’t want to pay $24.99 for something I wasn’t sure was going to work that well and I didn’t want to attach it to my machine with a sticky adhesive pad (Still a little possessive with the machine because it’s still brand new in my eyes.). The store did have a 50% off sale tomorrow but I still didn’t want to pay even $12.00. Then I thought “I wonder if they have this type of thing at the dollar store”.

Sure enough there were a variety of little lights at the dollar store. What I bought was this.


Mini light held on using scotch tape.

I attached it to the machine with scotch tape and I’m happy with that because if I decide I don’t want to use the light I won’t have any nasty sticky residue stuck on my machine. Plus it’s a buck so even if it doesn’t work I don’t care. I’ll have to see how long the battery lasts. I’m sure if I replaced the battery it’d cost more than the light. I wonder how much the markup on batteries are if they can sell them in $0.99 items?

Karen

Post Christmas Fun…

Well once again I was too busy to get up a post wishing everyone a Merry Christmas so instead I’ll jump the gun and wish everyone a Happy New Year instead.

Christmas came early this year with my daughter, son-in-law and grandson coming to stay on Dec 22nd. We always have a great time when they come to visit; add in the two boys back from school, my other daughter, her partner and the boys girlfriends and you get a lively mix.

We’re a great family for playing board games but we like the ones where there is strategy involved so lots of competition to keep things lively. This year Jonathan brought along a jigsaw puzzle that was quite difficult so the various members were busy hunched over the table trying to fit in all the pieces. This is what they ended up with.

Chase likes to be held and to be part of the action but sometimes he also reaches a point where he just wants to be down on the floor and playing with his little jungle gym apparatus with the flashing lights that seem to endlessly entertain him. We all joke that he’s going to end up in the Casino entranced by the lights one day.


Chase on floor playing wearing the hat Grandma made him that somehow turned out to big despite knitting the gauge swatch.

Finally I did venture out with hubby into crowded malls yesterday to hit up Chapters (bookstore) to use up some of the gift card that John gave me for Christmas. This is what I found that appealed to me vbg.


The Joy of Sox by Linda Kopp.

Nicely laid out with a bit of humour to it. I like that it’s a binder and lies flat so when you go to use the book you don’t have to worry about the pages flipping or the spine being bent out of shape. Lots of tips in the book as well as some beautiful sock patterns.

Anyhow, lots went on at Christmas and of course I never think to take pictures until after the fact. I hope everyone else had a fantastic holiday as well.

Karen