Category: Organizing

This Week

This week has been a busy one. 

We brought Josiah into the hospital for minor surgery.  Recently he was diagnosed with both lyme disease and a hernia (both inguinal and umbilical – though the latter should resolve itself on its own).  I was really discouraged at first, but the diagnoses looked really good and Josiah has been the healthiest of all of us (I swear it’s the extended nursing and alternative vaccine schedule).

I didn’t get as emotional as I thought I would since we were waiting for a while and I was more concerned with making sure he was alright.  I had to get all gowned and masked up to take him into the operating room, where I was allowed to hold him while they put him to sleep.  They said he would start to get fidgety once the bubble gum-smelling gas turned nasty, but he just stayed there, getting limp.  Before I knew it, they were taking him off my lap and putting him on the table and I gave him a kiss before they whisked me outside.  I think the hardest part was actually seeing him afterwards – still doped up, and once he finally came to he kept crying that he hurt and his voice was all raspy from the breathing tube.  

He was tired for most of the day and one of his legs was numb so he couldn’t walk – and actually fell over and hit his head!  Poor little guy.  Phil went to work the next day and I told him that he was back to his “usual, slightly annoying self,” saying no and refusing to share with his big sister. 

This kind of experience puts things into perspective… but it still doesn’t make it easy when the kiddos misbehave.  Boy, how I was wishing for more of that medicine to knock them out!  Lately I’ve found myself in tears much of the time, the way the kiddos act when they’re with me.  It’s like they think I’m a joke as a mother, totally ignore me and disobey, and it’s only when I go all apeshit on them (without wanting to, of course) that they sober up and realize I mean business. *sigh*  When Daddy’s home it’s a different story; sure, they’ll misbehave, but they pay attention to him and he doesn’t have to repeat himself a million times a day.  He knew I was having a hard time of it and surprised me with a beautiful bouquet of flowers.

One of the things that drives me absolutely insane is when the kids take out every single toy they own – including baskets of blocks, tiny LEGO pieces, puzzles, pom poms, board games and their many pieces, in addition to the usual dolls and cars and so forth – and throw them around the house.  I try to let them be creative and not get on their case every two seconds about putting things away, but they inevitably fuss and whine when I tell them it’s time to pick up.  Gwen will slump over and say she’s too tired; Josiah will matter-of-factly say, “don’t want to.”  It’s either punish them over and over or do it myself.  I finally decided something had to be done and went on a cleaning spree.  Sure, I’ve simplified in the past, but I got more serious about it and took a lot of toys ‘n’ stuff out of rotation.  I cleaned off their bookshelves, reorganized a big cupboard with games and toys, cleaned up their rooms and rearranged some of the furniture to be more conducive to our new season of homeschool – which we start tomorrow! 

Ah… it feels so nice and clean… I better enjoy it while it lasts. 

I never got around to blueberry-picking this year, which we usually do, but earlier this week we made our annual trip to a nearby orchard for fresh peaches.  If you’ve never had a fresh peach or nectarine, you haven’t really lived!  I’d say fresh peaches are one of my all-time favorite fruits, and the stuff at the store just doesn’t compare.  We filled two bags, overflowing the brims, and have been eating them like crazy.  I’m hoping to make a peach pie and peach shortbread, but I don’t know if we’ll have enough at the rate they’re disappearing!

I met with the lady who’s going to place my handmade items in her store so I’ve been on a sewing rampage.  I’m getting really excited about this venture and hope it works out!  I wanted to have some more samples of my work to show her so I cranked out some crayon rolls, cedar sachets, another clothespin apron and some orange spice therapy bags (I sold the one I had in my Etsy shop!).  Since I’m trying to build up the inventory for her store I haven’t stocked more items online but am hoping to do so in the future. 

Oh – and I got my sew-in labels just in time!  They seemed a bit on the thin side, especially because I can’t fold them, but I love the layered look with fabric scraps.

Sewing: Another Knitting Needle Roll

A longtime friend-of-the-family has a birthday coming up.  She moved away a number of years ago but has always kept in touch, sending us beautiful handmade creations when we had our kiddos.  I decided it was high time I gave her a little somethin’ handmade!

I love my knitting needle roll, and since she also loves to knit, I figured she might appreciate one for her stash of needles.  Since I already practiced the pattern on myself I knew what to expect and it came out much nicer this time. 


I filled the top pockets with needles for the sake of the photo, but I found a bunch of extras for the lower pockets – some of them vintage from my grandmother’s stash! – in my collection to pass on.  Again, I used Made by Loulabelle’s tutorial with a few tweaks of my own, and I got the pockets right this time!  I wanted to personalize it, so I put together a little quilt tag and and finished it off with some freehand embroidery.

If I ever get my Etsy shop up and running again, I’d love to sell some of these.

Knitting Needle Roll

One day a week the kiddos go to their meme’s and I scramble to get as much done as humanly possible.  This week, between cleaning out our coat closet, moving around some furniture and trying to keep my ever-growing craft area organized, I realized I should really find a better system for all my knitting needles. 

I used to only have a few pairs, but each new pattern seems to call for a different size, and when my grandma passed away she had a whole slew of needles which became part of my collection.  Whenever I would see knitting needle rolls in the store I would look at them with longing, thinking how wonderful it would be to have one for my collection… but the good ones can be expensive.  Since I’ve been learning how to sew I decided – by golly, I’ll find a pattern! 

And I did.

It was, quite honestly, a pain in my butt putting all the layers together, and I’m still not quite sure what needle to use with which fabrics and why thicker threads end up snapping even after I adjust the tension. *sigh*  And working with bias tape is another thing – I always pick one that’s too small and then the stitches don’t catch the underside.  But… I did it. 

inside, empty



I kept referring back to the tutorial at each step, but as I was getting towards the end Phil turned the computer off and I thought I already knew the next step… so I ended up screwing up some of the pocket lines.  I assumed the lines for the smaller pocket matched up with the lines for the larger pocket and made them all the same, but I like the result better because I don’t necessarily need a larger space for needles or other contraptions.  I put straight needles in the large pocket and double-pointed needles in the coordinating size in the smaller pocket underneath.  No more knocking over their containers and trying to figure out the sizes! 


The tutorial doesn’t mention topstitching the finished product but hers looks like it was and it makes everything look neater, so I went ahead and did it.  I love the needle guard at the top which keeps the long needles from falling out.  Ah, organizational bliss!

I love me some shelves

I love to organize.  I’m always in search of The Perfect Organizational Solution for everything.  But I also have to work with what I’ve got.  Lucky for me, my hubby is pretty handy, being a carpenter ‘n’ all.  He actually asked me to prioritize our project list – no promises, though – and I told him I really wanted to have some shelves like these.  The first spot I wanted to put them was above the desk in Gwen’s room.  He just happened to have some old planks that he sanded down and re-finished. 


I love how they turned out and can’t wait to sprinkle some more floating shelves across the house – above the desk in the office, in the living room to spread around the photos and knick-knacks.  And since I’ve been simplifying our posessions I’m thinking an open-shelving plan for the kitchen would be sweeter than new cabinets.  Something like this or this or this?

Phil just shook his head at me when I hemmed and hawed over what to display on Gwen’s new shelves.  He told me I should let her pick what to display, but I maintained that I should at least give her some guidelines.  In addition to fixing up her desk area, I put some wall stickers from Auntie Nikki on her bureau. 


Josiah got his own wall stickers, and since his hand-me-down bureau (which I have yet to fix up) has pink drawer pulls I decided to boy it up a bit with the transportation stickers.  So cute!  I put the rest of them on the rail above his converted crib. 



I have a few wooden crates that used to belong to my grandmother and I’m always thinking of the best way to display them.  Currently one of them displays Josiah’s books ‘n’ things, but I’m thinking shelves, again.  I already took a cue from Pinterest and hung one on my kitchen wall.

What else can I organize?