Friday, July 8, 2011

True Knit Art Show - Saturday, July 9th

I am excited to be participating in a new Craft show in the City of Regina. The True Knit Art Show is the brain child of two Regina Artists Madill and Cassie Ozog. They held their first show in April of this year and it was a huge hit.

I am going to be participating at the second show on Saturday, July 9, 2011 at St. Paul's Cathedral (1861 McIntyre Street, Regina). Admission is free! The sale runs from 11 AM - 5 PM! Come out and join us!!

I will be featuring my Organic Buckwheat Hull Travel pillows, Natural Lip Balms, Crochet Face Scrubbies and Crochet hair flowers.

My newest product to add to my shop will be available for the first time at this sale.

Introducing my New Organic Flax & Lavender Eye Pillows!

These Eye Pillows measure approximately 10" x 4" and are available 
in 7 different patterns of 100% Cotton!

 These fragrant pillows are perfect for aiding in your Headache relief!
Place them in the freezer for 30 minutes for cool relief or zap them in the microwave for tension headaches!

Come out on Saturday to St. Paul's Cathedral (1861 McIntyre Street, Regina) from 11 AM - 5 PM and see what other wares there are on offer!!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Value of Good Friends!

I recently celebrated a birthday (no, I am not going to tell you how old I am!). I am blessed to have good friends to share it with me. Two of my girl friends got together and hatched a plan for our 3 families to get together to celebrate.

As planning progressed and the date got closer, we got more excited to all be in one place at one time, something that had not taken place in a loooong time. What followed was a weekend of fire and firework, guns and guitars, babies and beers! A true redneck birthday party!

Here is what I learned about friends!

Good friends share their food!  

Good friends share their smiles!

 Good friends share their talents!

Good friends share their ideas!

Good friends share their homes!

Good friends share their families!

Good friends share themselves!

Thank you all for a wonderful birthday!
I am blessed with good friends!!!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Continuing to Simplify......Getting Rid of STUFF

Have you ever noticed how "stuff" accumulates? I don't mean useful things, I mean "stuff", those items that serve no purpose and seem to multiply exponentially overnight?

In my bid to simplify my life, I have become aware of how much "stuff" I have. A sugar bowl with no lid, backpacks with broken straps, books I have never read, clothes that no longer fit, my own drawings from elementary school (trust me, those I've had forever!!), dish sets where half the set has been broken, old hats, sporting gear from the 80's, a box spring with no mattress, a crib mattress with no crib (I've never even had a baby!!!), where does it all come from!!!???

Not only is there a lot of "stuff" in my life, but I tend to try and hide it. Out of sight,  out of mind! If I can't find a use for it, it goes up into the attic. If I don't have room for it, it goes up in the attic. If I am just tired of having to move around it, it goes up in the attic.

I have been promising myself for 2 years that I would sort through this unwanted "stuff" and have a garage sale. This week I took the plunge and ventured into the attic.

Honestly, I am embarrassed to even show you these pictures, but this is why I need a change.......

This is the South end of my attic. This end holds old luggage, old textbooks, photo albums, tax papers, old bedding, very old computers, several pieces of broken furniture, Christmas decorations and rolls of wrapping paper. I am sure there are more things hidden in there, but even I am scared to look deeper!!

This is my attic on the North end. This end holds more old furniture, including an old dresser, broken full length mirror, bed springs and so much more! This end also has bags of old clothes and boxes and boxes of books.

Now I am not a hoarder. In fact, the reason these items are up here is because I DON'T want them. The problem is that most of the stuff in boxes is in near new condition. Much of the clothing was worn only a few times (I would buy something and then change sizes!!) and looks brand new! 

Sorting through BAGS of clothing!

Books, books and more books!!!

The problem is that I can see much of it is still serviceable and I don't want to be wasteful and throw it out. So, the question becomes "what to do with it"? As mentioned earlier, I thought I would just hold a garage sale and get rid of it all, but I either never find the time or get rained out.

So this month, one of my goals is to see this space finally cleaned up and cleared out! What I would really like to do with this space in the short term is make it over into my Crafting Studio! Even though the walls are slanted part way up, there is plenty of usable space. the area actually measures more than 500 feet square! That is a lot of space I could be using to sew my pillows, crochet my scrub cloths, plan new items for my Etsy shop and store ready-made inventory!

Watch for a massive garage sale coming soon!!!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Flowers in Bloom!

This last winter was long, with few breaks to the monotony of the weather. Spring was slow to come and even yet true warm weather has not hit my part of the world. While we have had a few nice days, we have had more cool and wet days so far this spring.

I am happy to report that the flowers are finally beginning to bloom!
 These pictures of my Perennial Garden were taken this week.

Many spring-flowering plants are still not in bloom or even budding yet, while others are in full flower.

Phlox, Pansies and Avens showing their colors!

Yesterday I say my first bud on my tulips! My Irises and Roses show no signs of buds yet, but are healthy and green! I look forward to seeing their glorious colors unfold over the next few months!!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Finally in the Garden!!

So, this week I was finally able to start gardening!

For those of you who are wondering, YES this is very late!!
It has been very wet here. And cold. Too wet and too cold to get into the garden. This weekend finally brought some nice weather my way and I was able to spend part of the weekend cleaning up my Perennial Garden and hubbie tilled the Vegetable Garden.

In fact, I spent so much time in the garden that I can barely walk today!! My knees are so bruised from kneeling. I was using a garden pad, but it seems that was not enough padding for the number of hours I spent kneeing in the garden!!! My hamstrings and glutes are extremely tight as well. Who knew gardening was an "extreme" sport?! I feel like I did a hard leg work out!!!

And I'm not finished yet! I still have a lot of planting to do as I have not even begun to seed my veggies yet! I will begin on that tonight.

I did get my first picking on Rhubarb this weekend and look forward to some fresh Rhubarb Custard Crisp!!!!

So much to do, and so little time!

Friday, June 3, 2011

An Experiment in Simplicity Cont.....

So on Wednesday I announced my intent to simplify my life. I proposed to do this by removing the clutter, the excesses of my life.

First steps are baby steps and I started with my closet. This is an area of endless frustration for me. I can never find what I want when I want it! Last weekend my husband and I went away for a few days. While packing, I thought I would take my denim skirt. I searched the hangers and drawers in the bedroom and could not find it. I then looked in the seasonal clothes I have in storage thinking it might be with my summer items. No luck. I then went to the attic where I have MORE clothes in storage, still no luck. Fine, I decided I would take my Khaki crop pants instead. Guess what? I could NOT find them either!!!! I was beginning to feel like there was a conspiracy to keep me from going on my trip! I finally finished packing and left, still with no idea where these two items of clothing were.

Guess what I found when cleaning out my closet? You guessed it, my denim skirt and khaki crop pants. They were in an over night bag stuffed at the back of my closet under other things.

Now in my defense, I don't have an ordinary closet. As you will see in the pictures below, it looks like a regular closet, but the left hand side of the closet extends 3 feet to the side (in the wall) with no way to access it. To get at this space you have to literally climb into the closet, which I hate doing. That three foot crawl space to the left is where this bag of clothes and several other item had migrated!

At any rate, I am glad to announce that what was lost has now been found!

So here are a few pictures of the sorting process:

Various bins are for "keep", "store", "donate" & "throw away".
I think one was "laundry" too but we won't talk about that one!!

Now I did not start this project by taking "before" pictures (mostly because I was too embarrassed!), so you won't get the full affect of what I have achieved so far.

Here is a look at the closet towards the end:

LOOK at all this SPACE!!!

I have a few more areas of the bedroom to complete, then I plan to tackle the kitchen next!!!

Here's to feeling good about the first few days of a new undertaking!!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Starting June off Right!!

Well, the last few months have not gone as planned. I am sure I am not the only one who gets derailed by life. I have found myself growing increasingly frustrated with the outcomes of daily living. So I have had a great idea, in my opinion.....


That's right, simplify. And, while this idea is by no means unique, it is not something I have made a real attempt to do until now.

I have decided that I want to spend the next 12 months simplifying my life. I want to clear away the clutter: materially, emotionally, socially and mentally. I want to streamline my life so I have the time and energy to work on the things I enjoy. I want to feel more control over my surroundings, who I spend my hours with and what I fill my life with.

My first frustration is with "stuff"! Why do we fill our lives with meaningless "stuff"? Sometimes I think shopping is almost a disease. We are bombarded daily with "deals" that will save us money. The "new" and "improved" is touted from every bill board. I thought myself more immune to advertising, especially since I got rid of my TV, but I guess, from the amount of "stuff' I own, that I am no better.

Last week my husband suggested that what we needed to buy "XYZ" for the summer and I couldn't help but point out the long list of "summer" things we already had that we had no time to use! Why did we "need" more stuff when we have no TIME to enjoy it. This is not a unique condition. More people work longer hours to pay for their recreation and recreation-related items then ever before! I have decided that my time, and having control of it, are worth more to me than stuff!

To kick off my "Simplicity" experiment, I will be spending the month of June getting rid of superfluous items in my home. Trust me, this is no easy task! While my house is small by most standards, a mere 750 square feet on the main level, it boasts a full basement (piled high with "stuff") and a 600 square feet "half" level (also piled high with stuff). This means there are 2100 square feet of "stuff" filling my home. This is a lot of space for only two people and yet we have filled it!!

I would like to claim that my space is well organized and everything has a place, but that would be a HUGE fib! There is so much "stuff" in the house that, at times, I can not find what I am looking for and buy new items to replace what I have misplaced!!

Lets take my closet, for example. My 5 foot closet (shared with my husband) is so full that I can not find the clothes I want. I have become so frustrated with this situation that I have quit putting away my clothes, piling them on the chair or trunk instead. This does not exactly make for a tidy, comfortable or romantic bedroom!!

My goal for the first 3 days of June is to sort through my closet and drawers. Studies show that women only wear about 20% of the cloths in their closet. I have no doubt that I fit into this category. To make matters worse, I find that I contract and expand in a cyclical fashion. This means my closet holds cloths in sizes 10, 12, 14, 16 & 18 to accommodate these changes. That makes for a lot of clutter and unworn clothing!!!

Here are my goals for the rest of this week:
1. Remove everything from my closet and drawers.
2. Hang the items I currently wear and items of my CURRENT size that I am not wearing back into my closet.
3. Sort these clothes according to whether they will be donated, stored or thrown away.
4. Bag and remove these items before I talk myself into putting them back into the closet!
5. Go through my closet again and remove and damaged, ill fitting or out of style items and sort as per #3.
6 Take a few minutes to evaluate items in my size that I have not been wearing and determine the reason. Are they ill fitting? The wrong color? Out of style? Or did I just not know they were in there? Remove any items I will not be wearing and add to the appropriate bags for removal.

When I am done, I should have a closet of clothes that I wear, that are in good repair and that fit well. I should be able to see at a glance what I own and be able to lay my hands on items when I need them!!

I expect this will free up more than closet space! I hope it will give me a little more piece of mind and allow me to dress quicker. No more time spent digging for that one item I wanted to wear!

Over the coming days and weeks I plan to overhaul my living room, kitchen, craft room, workout area, laundry room (I think there is a basket of mending there from 2005!), upstairs and storage room! Trust me, that it A LOT of "stuff" to go through, but it will be worth it!

So that is June's start to me "simplify" project.
I hope you will follow along with me as I try to "de-clutter" and simplify my material goods.