Recent Posts

My Sewing Stash Is Safe

Cover Image

I plan to teach my children to sew. I want to instill in them a love for the craft which is really an art form all its own. My husband worked with a woman whose mom passed away.

He told me about how much fabric and sewing stuff she was griping about having to pack up and get rid of, this was right after she had gotten rid of it, or I'd have volunteered to help. I think about that a lot. Like, they probably didn't do her stash justice.

My daughter is only two, but she is already shows interest in sewing, so, hopefully she will want my supplies.

You Can Never Have Too Many

Cover Image

My hobbies are many, and my craft room is full. Take a look for yourself.

I use a spare bedroom as my craft room. I have to large shelves that hold most of my craft supplies, one is dedicated to my sewing stuff and the other has a mix of stuff like drawing supplies.

It's kind of an annoying layout since there is something on everywhere. But I make do. And I am such a succker for Konmari.

I have a closet organizer that house painting supplies and my drawers hold my yarn. I have one desk attached to the wall, I use that one for all hobbies that are not sewing and I have another large table that I use strictly for sewing.

Both tables were diy, the sewing table was made buy my husband and the legs are made by premade shelving units and he even cut I slit to help with cutting fabric. My husband drilled holes in the top of the table for the cords.

These shelves hold more random supplies and scrap fabric. I have two plastic units with drawers, one holds sewing supplies and the other holds more various craft supplies, each drawer hold certain types like cross stitch or coaster supplies. Also you can pick up plastic bins, wire racks, etc for storage and organization.

Make space to keep your ironing board out at all times. It's great to have it ready as you sew.

I also bought a collapsible cutting table. Best investment I ever made.

Lastly I have a pegboard that hold stuff like small paint bottles and scissors.

My craft room has no end

My Secret Supply

Cover Image

How are you today? I am in the process of destashing and it feels great. Why? Because I can easily collect a lot of material very quickly. The reason is simple, I have ways to get it rather cheap.

Something I do is I'll buy sheets on sale at the thrift store and use that for fabric. You can get super cute sheets for cheap and it's a ton of fabric. Some thrift stores even sell fabric, also for cheaper than you'd get at the fabric store. Old sheets are great if you are willing to try your hand at dye or fabric paint.

I know there are also some discount fabric stores, but these may be hard to find depending on where you live. Though we don't have them in my town. Just the big box stores and they aren't that cheap.

But my fav is the second hand store and yard sales. Which isn't for everyone. If that doesn't bother you. I've seen many blankets, sheets, curtains and just odds and ends for sale at the goodwill. I think a good hot trip in the washer with hydrogen peroxide or bleach would make them perfectly usable.

Sending happy decluttering thoughts your way, from VA!

Do you want some material?

Holly Bushes

Cover Image

We have some beautiful holly bushes, which are basically small trees now, surrounding my property. We've lived here for five years, and have trimmed them where we can reach them but nothing overly aggressive in respect to height and width.

My brother is a landscaper and he gave me some free advice years ago, which I thought that I would pass on.

The advice he has given me about trimming is this: "Take your time. Five years is a long time for us but a short time for a tree."

I hated this advice but it's spot on.

When we moved into our house there were some lilac bushes in the front of the house that the previous owners has shaped into trees. This would have been nice, but well, the trees had been neglected and there were some dead spots.

We had wanted to remove all of the dead spots and bring the trees down to a more manageable height but my brother encouraged me to take my time. As it turned out some of the dead spots were only dormant and over the last few years we've gently shaped it into something a bit more treelike.

Had I been as aggressive as I initially wanted it would've taken ~10 years for the tree to recover.

As for holly bushes, they are extremly hardy.

They will grow back faster than new plants even if you cut them all the way down because of the root system. If we really wanted to make them smaller we would get the latter and hedge trimmer out. But we'll save that for when they are too big. Since, there is not much of an alternative to aggressive cutting.

Do Landscapers Use Better Fertilizer

Cover Image

I guess I am really lucky. My brother is a landscaper so I get a lot of my knowledge for free. The stuff that I end up paying for is when I make a mistake.

Then it costs me.

But for today's question the answer is no. You are paying for their experience, their guarantee, and the cost of not doing it yourself.

Let's start off with:

  1. consider getting your supplies from Lesco/John deere. It is what most professionals will use if there is one in the area.
  2. part of what you get with a lawn service is their guarantee, most will come out and retreat weeds till the problem is corrected and you are satisfied. It may take a few calls.
  3. most everything is negotiable. Most lawncare services are competing for business. Price a couple out. I had it to the point where the lawn service cost was about what I was paying for Lesco products... Then it just comes down to preference.

While there are pesticides that you need to be licensed to apply, they are called "Restricted use pesticide" or you may hear them called RUP. They're generally much stronger than what you can buy or will ever need. And if you did need them you would want somebody who knows what they are doing to actually apply them.

By all means, learn what you are doing. Even with the over the counter products you can buy you are exposing yourself to potentially health harming subtances!

My brother just suggested that I use the Scott's 4 step annual program. I was going try out the 4 step annual program at my local Home Depot, it is much like the one from Menards.

Where it also comes down to, is for costs. Application equipment (proper, not a cheap-o spreader) and Herbicides is where the consumer loses.

But when I look out and see our yard there is the sense of pride and accomplishment. I don't mind the extra cost and the effort. Plus if I make a mess my big brother will always be willing to put it right.

The Good, the Bad, and the Quilter

Cover Image

I love to make things and for a couple of years now I have been hooked on quilting. It is easier than it sounds. And my journey started when my mother bought me a quilt set when we were expecting out first child.

I used kits for the first couple of projects and I will say, I've had both good experiences an bad experiences.

One thing I've learned over the years is that if the kit uses a pattern from a designer I don't recognize, I always ask to see the pattern first, and I ask if the place I'm buying the kit from has actually made a sample. There have been times when the patterns have had mistakes, and the shop didn't catch it because they never made the quilt themselves. This goes double for fabric company free patterns.

But for designers I already know, or from shops that I know have made a sample and have included any corrections in with the kit, I actually love doing kits.

There are times when I don't want to spend days picking out fabrics for a quilt, and just want to get one done. There are also times when I just simply love the fabric combinations that the designer or shop employees have chosen, and want that exact quilt with no changes.

A lot of people don't like doing kits because they want their quilt to be completely unique. That's not something that matters to me. As long as I like the quilt, I don't care if 200 other people made it, too. Yet, even if I use a kit, sometimes I vary it up a bit.

When you have doubts about a kit, or the instructions, be sure and read all the comments about the kit. Here is where online can really help.

Google the kit name, look at comments and what other people have noted about the kit or pattern.

Slso you should note if the Kit has a "level" notation: beginner, intermediate, etc. Some quilts look complicated for a reason, and some look complicated, and are not.

If you are absolutely brand new then I wouldn't pick a kit as your first project. My mother didn't know that, and my first attempt didn't turn out that great. The directions are quite short and assume you already know the basics.