Saturday, July 27, 2013

A quick photograph display

I know it seems silly to be doing anything decorative when it won't be long until everything goes into storage or gets moved, but while I was cleaning up my bookcase I decided to try something fun with all the strip photographs I've been accumulating from weddings.
Lately any Redbubble T-shirts have come with tiny clothes pegs to attach the information labels to the shirts, and I've been collecting them. So I attached the pegs to the photos, strung them on some twine, and attached them to the edges of a shelf.

I end up with a cute little clothes line of photographs!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Making Room for Mustard Seed

The arrival of a new baby, even when eagerly planned and anticipated, has a sobering reality when one actually looks around one's crowded one-bedroom unit and thinks "where is all the baby stuff going to FIT?".  Our baby, who has been nicknamed Mustard Seed since the beginning of this pregnancy, is not going to have an excessive amount of material possessions - I hope; I'll blog later about how I'm planning to encourage ethical gifting and, inspired by my sister, discourage new plastic toys - but the little things add up. We've received some second-hand clothes and muslin wraps, a rocking sleepy-chair for day; we need to fit in a bassinet or cot, probably find a way to put a chest of drawers in for the clothes.

There are two main components to making more room - the first is a major plan to renovate our current unit and the soon-to-be-vacant unit behind us into one lovely family home which will be ours for the rest of our lives. I'm not going to blog about this much, except when it impacts the rest of my life; at the moment we are talking with my mother-in-law, who owns both flats, about the legal side, and starting to gather estimates from builders on what the renovation itself would involve and cost.

The more achievable plan is decluttering. Oh, the decluttering. I'm going through everything, slowly but surely trying to whittle down possessions I don't want or need. Occasionally I think 'wait, even if I do get rid of X, is another four inches of space on top of a kitchen cupboard actually going to make any more room?' - but then I remind myself that if the renovation is as severe as I think it will be, all of our stuff will need to be in storage or in temporary rental, so the real question is 'do I want this enough to pay to move or store it?'. Often the answer is no.

I'm decluttering in the bedroom at the moment. Clothes are mostly done, which I'm feeling good about. I'm about to start hobby/craft stuff, which is a bit more painful. I'm trying to be realistic yet balance future needs. It is one thing to say that I'll never go back to painting miniatures or making terrain, but... I've said that before. And maybe in 6 years time I'll have a little boy who wants to paint monsters...

As a result of all this sorting, actual crafting is taking a back seat. I'm making some star-stitch booties from a pattern in a library book that was going very well and now I've hit a point where the pattern doesn't seen to actually work out. Blerg.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Stash-busting for the baby

With my last week of work over, I'm turning my attention to a variety of things - getting Parlour Duck crafts underway, working on my assignment for the embroiderer's guild class, and crafting for the baby.
Since I've found out that the baby is almost certainly a boy (the doctor doing the scan said: "I could be wrong. But it would be one of those cases that we write up to use as an example of how we can be really wrong.")  I've had to readjust my crafting ideas - I'd been so sure I was going to have a girl. Oh well. I'm now totally besotted with the idea of my wriggly little boy, so all good. So I've been back through all my magazines and torn out patterns, I've been trawling through free patterns on Ravelry, I've been borrowing books from the library. But before I go crazy and buy a lot of new yarn and fabric, I want to use up what I can from my stash.

My sister sent me a link to a great blog post where the blogger has arranged her stash so seriously, she can make GRAPHS of what is left to use.  Awe-inspiring. For about ten minutes I was drifting in a 'huh, that wouldn't be too hard' daze but then I realised that I'd use organising the stash as another procrastination technique.  Anyway, I dumped out my yarn stash and made a pile of all the yarn I'd either bought to make baby gifts or had left over from previous baby gifts to work out what I had to use up. Turns out, not a great deal.
Baby-project yarns from my yarn stash. 
In fact, the more I handle the soft-spun mohair (the turquoise yarn) the less I'm happy that I ever used it for a baby poncho years ago. It has a slight underlying scratchiness. So that might be used for a grown up project. I made the decision that I didn't have enough of any one yarn - except maybe the very fine cream merino - to do a large project, so these won't make blankets. The cream merino and maybe the pale blue/white/yellow at the front will make cardigan-size projects. The others will go into socks/booties/hats/etc.

I'd forgotten that making baby things could be so quick! I made a hat last Thursday. Grabbed the pattern from my stack of 'torn from magazine' sheets. Grabbed yarn from stash and hook from roll. Started crocheting on the train to work. Continued during the evening minding the counter at the store. By the time my shift was over, the hat was complete apart from weaving in the end, as I hadn't brought a large tapestry needle with me.
Baby hat, made from stash, completed over the course of a day at work. 
Now I'm making some socks from the same yarn, using a pattern that I've made for other people's babies over the years and really liked.  It feels good to be able to add stuff to the baby drawer that I've made for this specific, known-about baby.