The Ever Growing Project List

I really though that completing the last 3 holiday projects would give me time to breathe and relax before I started tackling other things. I thought wrong.

While I was working on the snowmen stocking holders, I had an idea that splintered off from those designs to something else. I figured that since I already had the tools out and was doing the same thing, I’d get the basics started for that side project even though I knew I wasn’t going to get it done by decorating day. So I now have several oversize wood ornaments that are sitting and waiting to be painted and decorated. The plan was to finish those up after I got my decorating done.

Well, we all know how my plans usually end up.

While I was trying to get those stocking holders finished, I had my neighbor ask me to make up a batch of masks for his kid that can’t seem to keep track of the ones he has. I promised I’d get to those as soon as I got my current pieces done.

I hadn’t even made it through the chaos of the Thanksgiving holiday before I had a request from my cousin to work on a family tradition piece for another cousin. So, now I have at least 2 additional projects I need to get done. Both the masks and the family tradition piece are somewhat time sensitive, so I’ve got to get started on those next.

The last week has been absolute chaos with the holiday and with getting all my decorations up. For the first time ever, I had a nightmare in my kitchen trying to prep for Thanksgiving as every single thing I attempted to make failed on the first round. If there is a Mercury Retrograde for things like baking, we were absolutely in it on Wednesday. I was ready to just cry and cancel the whole thing at one point, but managed to push through and get a decent meal out of it all anyway.

In the past, I’ve been able to get my decorating done in a day if I really push it or a day and a half if I take my time a bit. This year, it stretched to 3 because I just couldn’t pull it all together as quickly. My stupid annual cough has kicked in, but it is doing weird things this year, so I’m just worn down more than I’m used to. That said, it is all finally done and looks amazing.

I’m hoping I have all the things I need for these next two projects so I can get then knocked out and finally have some time to just sit and be for a while. I’d also really like that off switch for the creative portion of my brain. I need some quite for a while. And hell, maybe take some time to finally drag my camera out again.

Holiday Project #3: Snowman Stocking Holders

And done!! I kind of can’t believe I got these done it time, but I did. With a couple of days to spare, which I desperately needed because I have way too many other things to do over the next few days. I only managed that because I’ve spent the last several days doing nothing but work on these. During the day, I was in the garage building or downstairs painting and I spent the evening working on crocheting all the hats and scarves. I think I quite possibly put in over 40 hours of work just on this project.

Every single one is personalized in several ways. From design to colors, every one shows an aspect of the personality of the person it goes to. This is one of the times I was able to really pull off my entire idea and it came out better than I imagined.

They are seriously cute and are going to be something I look forward to pulling out and setting up every year. I am now officially ready to start decorating!!

Snowman Stocking Holders
Snowman Stocking Holders
Snowman Stocking Holder: Red & Green - Polar Bears
Snowman Stocking Holder: Red & Green – Polar Bears
Snowman Stocking Holder: Blue - Fox
Snowman Stocking Holder: Blue – Fox
Snowman Stocking Holder: Purple - Penguins
Snowman Stocking Holder: Purple – Penguins
Snowman Stocking Holder: Turquoise - Dog
Snowman Stocking Holder: Turquoise – Dog
Snowman Stocking Holder: Gray - Deer & Cat
Snowman Stocking Holder: Gray – Deer & Cat

Holiday Project #3: Stocking Holders In Progress

Probably one of the hardest parts of building my stocking holders is finished.

Stocking Holder Snowmen In Progress
Stocking Holder Snowmen In Progress

I had to figure out a way to cut “sides” into wood spheres to give the balls flat sides for the top and bottom. Let me tell you, that required some major creativity and patience. And I wasn’t entirely precise, because that is hard to do!

Then, I had to drill holes into those new flat sections so I could put a small dowel piece in between the balls so that when I go to glue all of this together, it has some stability and something to hold on to. Again, this wasn’t all that easy, especially that top ball that is still rounded on the top.

I have to carefully position a couple of these, or my little snowman is going to look like it is about to topple over (I did mention it wasn’t precise). Hubby said that no snowman is ever perfectly straight, so I’m being true to reality. I’m just going to go with it because it all still works.

The next part of this is to build the bottom box. I got some steel jeweler’s bench blocks to give the base of these some significant weight. Between that and the weight of the wood (all of those balls are solid wood), it should be heavy enough to hold full stockings. Hopefully. I’ll be building a wood box that fits around the bench block and the snowman will be bolted to the top of that box.

Box building is on my to do list for today. Hopefully I can get that part done because I have a whole lot of painting to do on these. Each one is going to be painted similarly, but with subtle differences that personalize them for each of us. They are also going to have their own color hats.

Stocking Holder Snowman Hat Prototype
Stocking Holder Snowman Hat Prototype

This was the prototype that I made to develop the pattern I’d need. I’ve made a few tweaks, but the hats will mostly look like this. This is the long tail version, but the guys both chose a shorter, traditional hat with a ball on top for theirs, so there are 2 different styles.

I’m using embroidery floss to crochet these, which is a joy, let me tell you. I adore splitting threads on every other stitch! But, again, it works and looks amazing!

I chose embroidery floss because of the color options that I couldn’t find in anything else in that small of a thread or yarn. And of course, because I’m such a pain to myself, even just using that floss as purchased wasn’t enough for a couple of these because I couldn’t get the exact color I wanted (no, I’m not picky, why do you ask?) I got the brilliant idea to “blend” two colors. That meant unraveling and splitting two different spools of floss and combining them into a new thread.

Talk about a massive headache! The first one I tested took forever and I kept having to stop and deal with tangles. I did finally figure out a process that works relatively well and doesn’t take that long. Thankfully each string of floss has 6 threads in it and I was able to get two spools of the new color by combining the 2 different colors and they had the same balance of color between them.

So far, I have 2 and a half of these crocheted. I need to put the white trim on the third and all need their little puff balls attached (that I don’t have yet). I’ll also be making matching scarves to go with the hats, but I didn’t want to test that out until I had a full snowman to fit it to.

When I first got the materials for these, I goofed and ordered a ball that was WAY too big for the base. They obviously wouldn’t work for this project, but it didn’t take me long to plan out 2 potential projects using them. One I may not do this year, but the other, I want to make at least one.

That will be a large ornament with the hanger top and all. I’d planned on doing that as a test for the whole process to build these snowmen, but I ended up not having the right size drill bit to work with the dowel I bought to be the top. As soon as these stocking holders are done and I have time to look, I’ll get that bit and work on the ornaments.

The other idea requires me getting a lot more materials and I really am trying not to shock the bank account too much. I thought it would be fun to try and build a bigger snowman with that larger ball being the center and the base being a glass bowl that I can make look like a snow globe. But, that is for a much future project.

I’d really, REALLY like it if my brain would just shut up for a while. I absolutely do NOT need any more creative ideas right now.

 

Holiday Project #2: Stockings

And project #2 on my holiday project list is done!

I had really wanted these to be a bit “more” than what they ended up. When I say “more” I mean that I was imagining that they’d have some really cool embellishments added that I could do just a little differently on each to personalize them fore each of us, but I just could not find a single thing that worked. Most likely I would need to do some hand embroidery on these to get the effect that I wanted (something with snowflakes), but I really do not have the time to do all that and still finish my other projects.

For now, I decided to just keep them all simple and the same. I may go back and add the embroidery at a later date or even add a little something to each one every year. I haven’t quite decided yet what I want to do, but this gives me stockings for everyone this year, which was my main goal.

*I will not go look at embroidery machines! I will not even consider an embroidery machine! Please, brain! SHUT UP!!!*

Other than that little bit of extra, these are exactly what I wanted. Like the hats, I have a good stash of extra material so that I can make more in the years to come when (or if) our family grows again.

BG is a little disappointed that the cats aren’t getting new stockings as well this year, but I decided to just keep our existing ones for them and go back to hanging them on the railing. The railing was really bare last year, so it gives me something pretty to put there. And since they won’t be with the others, I’m okay with them still being different for now. Again, I may go back to that when I have more time.

Next up… stocking holders!

Full Fall Color

I haven’t had much time for any photography that isn’t the portraits I’m doing for BG’s senior portfolio, but I did take a few minutes to grab this shot out my front door. I only get this view for a couple of days each year, some years I don’t get it at all as they change and drop their leaves at slightly different times. It is so pretty to stand at my front door and see such a range of fall color with just these 3 trees.

I was just trying to get the colors, so it isn’t my best shot ever, but it is still really pretty.

1st Project Done: Santa Hats

I got the first item on my holiday project to do list finished!

Santa Hats
Santa Hats

There were quite a few trial and error tests I had to run on scrap fabric before I could get my final design worked out. I wanted these to be a good quality that would last a long time, so I decided to line them, which made using any kind of standard pattern almost impossible. I took ideas I found online, made lots of modifications, and came up with something that worked for what I wanted.

Once I got that nailed down, knocking these out didn’t take long at all.

I’m really pleased with these. They are so soft, too! And, I still have lots of material to store away for any additional ones that will need to be made over the years, so I estimated well on the fabric amount I needed.

Next up, I’m going to work on finding all the materials I need for my stocking holders, which looks to be harder than I’d originally thought, so that is going to be fun. I also have to finalize my design for the stockings themselves and get started on those.

Not too bad considering I just put together that to do list the other day!

Happy Halloween!

It looks a little different than normal around here. We aren’t carving pumpkins or handing out candy this year. Instead, we are going to do our first big Family Night since MCG moved in.

I’ll be doing our traditional finger food/junk food buffet while we play games or watch movies (still on the fence as to which, though we may do both). Instead of carving pumpkins, we will be decorating pumpkin sugar cookies. I needed to still have a Halloween related artsy activity or I’d be one unhappy camper.

BG is insisting on still dressing up on some level and will be wearing her Maleficent wings and horns all day. The best I could do was find my fuzzy socks that look like candy corn. I would have done more, but I hate spending any time trying to cook while in a costume. I may still throw something on later when most of that is done.

We are definitely at that point in our lives with how old the kids are that it’s time for our Halloween traditions to start to change. I still love doing pumpkins, but we just didn’t have the time to go get any this year. Pumpkin carving isn’t one I’m willing to give up on a permanent basis. The rest? I think I’m good with some change.

Hope you all have a wonderful Halloween!

A Stay Puft Halloween

I finally get to post it! This is the costume I made for BG to wear to ballet this week!

It is a tradition at the studio for all the ballet assistants to wear coordinating costumes the week of Halloween. They are supposed to be simple, usually just a dressed up tutu and maybe something for the hair or attached to their leotard. Last year, each girl was a different kind of candy (skittles, kitkat, M&M, etc.)

The theme this year was villains. Most of the girls went with Disney villains, but there are way more BA’s than there are recognizable Disney villains. BG was stuck for a bit on what she wanted to do, then jumped outside the box and picked the Stay Puft marshmallow man from Ghostbusters.

To make life easy, we bought the tutu and I made everything else. It was all really simple and I knocked it out in a day. The bib needed some puffy paint to get the letters and I really drug out my creative brain to make that little hat work in a way that it could sit next to her bun. I had enough material to toss in a matching mask as well.

BG ended up wearing different costumes throughout the week for her different classes. She did a streamlined Maleficent for one class and was a green M&M for another that had the t-shirt, a headband with a little stuffed M&M attached, and matching socks. The M&M class was the one she assisted and all her friends were also M&M’s, but different colors. It was so stinkin’ cute!! It’s hard to say which I liked the best, but I am really partial to this one, though I might be a bit biased.

Newest Project List

I can’t decide if I need my brain to shut up for a while or not.

On the one side, I’ve had so many ideas of things to work on it’s not even funny. I’m exhausted just looking at the potential project list. On the other, this latest burst of inspiration is pretty exciting.

Normally, the holidays and decorating tends to sneak up on me. This year, I can’t manage to get what I need to do out of my head. Things will grow this year because of MCG and I need to make arrangements so she can be included when we are ready to decorate. I’ve been working through all the things I need to adjust or add to for her and how I want to go about doing that. It has given me a new list of things I need and want to work on.

First, we started a new tradition several years ago where we all have to wear our goofy, but traditional, santa hats while we decorate. I only have enough for the 4 of us and I want them to essentially be the same. My choices are to try and find another one like ours for MCG or get all new. Considering what I have are kind of cheap, crappy things, I really considered just getting nicer, new ones.

Of course that isn’t enough for me, so I’ll be making us all new hats with fun, comfortable materials. Knowing that we will most likely continue to add to our numbers over the years and I really don’t want to have to do this every time we grow, I’ll be getting plenty of fabric to make more in the future. My entire project list is going to take that growth into account as well.

The next new item on my list is stocking holders. We moved our stockings from the stair railing last year because of the construction workers being here and I didn’t want them to constantly be getting bumped or potentially damaged. I figured a way to hang them on my mantle with sticky hooks, but that sticky did some minor damage to my wood. I don’t want permanent hooks or anything and the contour of my mantle makes it impossible to use traditional hangers that would just sit on the mantle (at least ones with any kind of hook that hangs over the edge).

I could go back to hanging them on the stairs, but there is just too much traffic up and down now that it isn’t all that practical. We really loved the look of them on the mantle, so that is where I want them, but I needed to figure out at way to make it work.

After some looking around, I came up with a great idea to build my own hangers that would sit on my mantle. Instead of a hook that would hang over the edge, I’ll be making them with a smaller hook I can hang a ribbon from. I’d hung these on ribbon on the railing before, so it works really well this way.

I came up with the final decorative design ideas today. Something that I could easily make now and reproduce again years down the line as needed without having to buy a bunch of stuff on a guess as to how big (or not) we will grow over the years. I’ve learned that you don’t always grow. Sometimes you stay stagnant or even shrink, so I don’t want so much stuff that I may never use and this idea works perfectly and should be relatively simple to pull off.

When working out my plans for my mantle, I decided that I really, REALLY need to find a better home for our wifi router. We’d moved it there right before MCG came because it provided better signal throughout the house, but it is ugly and takes up too much space. I’m going to test out putting it nearby behind our TV in the corner of the room and see if it works. If so, I have a small table I want to build for it. I was thinking about building a similar one to put on my lower landing of my stairs heading to the basement, so I’d already had a plan for how I wanted to pull it off and should be easy enough to add to my to do list. If it works there.

The last item on my list is the stockings themselves. I haven’t decided what I want to do there. We currently have a sort of mishmash of different ones that I’ve gotten as the kids were born. They are fun and cute and I can do that again with MCG, but I’m not certain I want to. I love the idea of them being either coordinated or all the same. Again, that brings up the problem of growth and how I handle that. If I buy them, I have to buy a lot that we won’t use any time soon, if at all. That isn’t something I like. If I make them, I can do like the hats and just buy a lot of extra material. At least with the material, I can decide at a later date to use it for something else if it looks like I won’t ever need it for the stockings.

I really don’t know for sure what I want to do on that last one. BG has reminded me of how wasteful it is to get all new just because we may want them instead of actually needing them. She is my walking, talking conscious when it comes to environmental stuff and being wasteful. Sadly, even with that, she is also torn because she also loves the idea of having them coordinated/the same. I do have to make a decision soon, though. I need to have time to make whatever it is I decide on happen in time to get the decorating done.

Bare minimum, I have 5 hats to make and 5 stocking holders to build. If I do all the others, that will add at least one table to build and 5 stockings to make. That’s quite the list of projects to work on and get done over the next month. It’s quite a bit, but I’m really excited about working on them. My idea for those holders especially is going to be awesome.

The added bonus is that I’m going to have some fun things to share soon!

Craft Supply Pack Rat

I’ve been both lazy and productive lately. After finishing my room, I started checking a few other things off my bigger to do list while taking some break days in between.

Finally, after months of it sitting unfinished and ugly, my garage door is completely painted. It no longer looks like we are under constant construction around here. That was a huge “need to get this done” item off my list. Most everything else is “do it when I feel like it” and doesn’t have the kind of time related pressure that the garage door was pushing.

I’ve started lining my recessed area drawers in felt, which looks awesome and does exactly what I want it to. I’ve also finally figured out what I’m going to be storing in a lot of those. All my jewelry pieces that I made, but never sold. I’ll eventually get around to listing them somewhere, but I like to keep things organized and those little drawers are perfect for that.

One of the side projects I got dragged into was helping BG come up with her Halloween costume plans. Because of course she is doing things that require she have more than one. Thankfully, all are relatively basic since she wants them for dance but still has to actually dance in them. Besides tossing around ideas, that didn’t need much work from me except for one. I’ll be posting more about what I worked on soon, but am holding off to not accidentally give it away before she gets to wear it.

Of course, I took more time off after that as I’m trying really hard not to burn myself out with too may things now that I finally have the time to sit and breathe. Sadly, my inner creative demon isn’t letting me rest for long.

Today I decided to start trying to go through my yarn and get it organized into the storage containers I bought for them. Turns out, I WAY underestimated the amount of yarn I have and I don’t have nearly enough containers. I’m probably going to need to slightly rethink how I want to store and organize what is left, which means I will need to get more and/or different containers.

Not that any of this entirely surprises me because that yarn isn’t the only thing I’m needing to get organize and have space for. I did build an entire room so that I had the space to play with all that stuff I have. I’m worried that even after I get that closet built that is supposed to hold all those other things that don’t go into my cabinets, it isn’t going to be enough to store everything.

I might have a teeny problem letting go of anything that is even remotely art or creative related. If I think I can use it in a project, even if I don’t know what that project my be, it sticks around and probably multiplies when I’m not looking. I seriously doubt I’ll be allowed to build an entire room just for storage. My Hubby just might find his patience and support limit if I try.

Reusing A Little Fun

Since we decided to no longer do the garage for Halloween and last year was a huge no go because of Covid, all of my decorations sat unused last year. What I had been using in the garage doesn’t translate all that well to general decorating and all the other pieces I used to put out are mostly old, faded, and not in all that great of shape.

I also wasn’t much in the mood to spend hours putting up a bunch of stuff I wasn’t all that jazzed about. I told the kids to go though stuff and do what they wanted with it. Considering MCG is huge on that kind of thing, I thought they’d have a blast with it. Apparently not as I still really don’t have anything up.

In an effort to kick start something, I started pulling everything out to see what I did still like and try and do something with it. We are still on the fence of even trying to open the door to trick-or-treaters this year. We got so few the last year I did the garage, it really doesn’t seem worth it, so I’m not putting a whole lot of effort into it all.

As I started pulling stuff out, a few things sparked an idea. I had SO much stuff I’d never really use as it was, but would be perfect if I put them together into a wreath for my front door.

I love the idea of wreaths, but have hesitated just because they would take up so much space to store and I really didn’t want to have to find more space for more stuff. Making one with all the stuff I already had on hand, seemed like a perfect idea. It didn’t bring in a bunch of new stuff I had to find room for later and it kept me from having to either toss it or donate it.

Halloween Wreath
Halloween Wreath

For a quick and dirty toss together project, it works. Mostly. Since we have a glass storm door, it gets a little squashed, but maybe that will keep it from falling off as I just have it on a sticky hook for now. There are tons of things I would have done differently if I’d made this with all new things, so the final look isn’t quite what I’d typically go with, but I still like it.

I think I might have to do something similar come Christmas as I have WAY too many things that never see the light of day that would make a really fun wreath, though I might need a better base frame that what this one has. I either have to figure out a way to build one, or cave and get one, which I’d rather not do. Still, it will be fun to try.

And yes, I got to play in my new room while I worked on this. It is officially christened with a crap ton of glitter thanks to that white ribbon. Glitter that I may now never see the end of.

Craft Room Project: The End Result – Before And After

I’m calling it.

My room is done.

Finally!!

It only took me just over a year, but it is done!

Where it started:

Craft Room: Before
Craft Room: Before

The Plan:

Craft Room: Original Design Layout
Craft Room: Original Design Layout

The Final Result:

Craft Room: Final Result
Craft Room: Final Result
Craft Room: Final Result
Craft Room: Final Result

This has been one hell of a journey and an epically ambitious project, but I pulled it all off. I’ll say it until everyone is sick of hearing it, but I absolutely adore every single square inch of this space, imperfections and all.

I cannot believe it is finally done after all this time.

I still can’t believe that I did this myself. With what little experience I had before I started this project, I’m absolutely floored that I managed to accomplish it and in such a way that it doesn’t completely look like an amateur did it. Sure, there are all kinds of imperfections and little mistakes, but nothing huge or glaringly obvious.

I can also say, without reservation, NEVER again!

Small pieces that use some of my newfound knowledge and skills, sure. But a project this size? Oh, hell no!

Of course, I still have those connected side projects like building out my closet and refinishing the dresser, but my room is complete. I can finally unpack all the stuff from my desk that Hubby took over and do all the final move in and organizing that needs to be done. I can use the space in its entirety, as it was designed to be used.

And, I can focus on all kinds of other things that have been hanging out on my to do list for a year or so now. Many of them in my new room.

Now, where is that bottle of wine? I need to celebrate.

Craft Room Project: Final Steps

I got the final door hung yesterday. The reaction I got when I showed BG and then Hubby after they got home yesterday was hilarious and also why I am not currently posting new photos of the progress.

Each one of them, on their own, walked into the room, looked around, and then asked what they were looking at. Because the change was so small it was hardly noticeable. This one, because the door I hung was the clear front door and the overall difference in the room was extremely subtle.

I realized a while ago that each of these pieces I finish off feel huge to me as they are somewhat large milestones in these final steps to finishing the space, but when looked at from the whole perspective are really kind of small. The difference between how the room looked after I put the trim up on the cabinets and how it looked after I did some caulking, filling and touch ups was almost impossible to really see. It looked cleaner and more finished, but it was still so small of a difference that you only really noticed if you were looking for all the imperfections in the first place and then saw that they were no longer there after the next piece.

The doors really did change the look of the space, so that step has been very obvious. I could show that, but I decided that I’d rather wait and do a final “finished product” reveal when it is all done.

It does make me laugh at how I can do one really small thing, like paint the outlet cover I had to make and get that put back on the wall, but it feels huge to me in how it impacts the space. Like I’ll see a spot on the wall that maybe has a little bleed through in the paint that needs touched up. I look at it afterwards and think the room looks a thousand times better just for that one thing. When I hung that clear front door yesterday, I was all “Oooh! That just looks so amazing!” and then Hubby and BG come down and look absolutely lost because they don’t even see it. It makes me feel a little better about not posting any more progress photos right now.

Today I’m starting on the final pieces in the room, the drawer fronts. I have a little more math I need to work out before I can start the last cuts, but this should be the final sprint.

Craft Room Project: 1 Year Mark

The other day I had a memory pop up in my FB feed. It was from the day I had posted a photo of when I bought my counter tops for my room. From a year ago.

Never in my wildest imagination did I anticipate that a year later I’d still be working on this, that I still wouldn’t be done. I honestly figured I’d be able to probably get it done in a month or two. Maybe. Considering I’d never done anything at all like this, I had zero reference to get that estimate. Obviously I had extremely lofty goals and didn’t know what the hell I was talking about.

Lately, it has been slow going. Like, sleepy snail levels of slow. The garage, where I’ve had to move to finish the last pieces, is STILL insanely hot right now, making it miserable to work for any length of time. Between that and struggling to get up the motivation to get out into the heat and move everything around just so I can work for an hour or two only to move it all back so we can get the cars in, it has been hard to get out there and get much done. But, I’m getting there.

I hung all but the final door yesterday. That last door, the “glass” fronted one, is now glued and drying waiting on its turn to be hung. All that is left is to build the drawer fronts. I should be (as if should has actually gotten me anywhere in this whole process) done in the next week or two. At least with the bulk of the main room, which I’m using as my “done” point.

I still have a whole lot of side projects that are connected to my room, which I’m really thinking as more of a full studio rather than just a “craft room” because there are SO many things that are art-centric that I’m doing in there. I still have to design and build out the closet space, which is currently packed to almost bursting with things that still need to put away in the space and is waiting for me to finish before I can tackle that. I still have to paint the dresser that is in the room. I have a whole lot of boxes I want to build to go on some of those open shelves and in the cabinets. There are a whole host of things that need to be done in the adjoining room, but that is for much farther in the future.

None of those other things are anywhere near the top of my priority list right now. My target is to finish the main part of the room and then take a massive break. One where I can focus on doing some different creative things for a while. Or, you know, just do NOTHING for a while.

Yeah, that is sounding really nice right about now.

Going With The Flow

I’ve been quiet on here lately. Mostly because I really haven’t had much to say, but also because my brain is in a weird place.

I’m having a lot of really good moments I want to squee about and not so good ones I want to whine about. When I think about coming here and posting, I manage to talk myself out of it for one reason or another. Instead, I’ll just focus on working on my doors when I can (it is stupidly hot in the garage and I can only get in an hour or two of work at a time) or I bury my nose in a book and get lost in a story all while doing a lot of navel gazing on the side.

I feel like I’m on the edge of a major shift in my life right now. Yes, a lot of that is because my youngest, BG, is going through her senior year. Some of it is because of how different things are now that MCG is here and some of the emotions that is dredging up with those changes. There are also the signs that I’m physically shifting into a different phase as well (yay being female, NOT).

Maybe it’s because there is just so much, I can’t separate it out into post sized pieces or decide which piece to focus on when there are so many. I’m just not finding many words lately. For now, I’m going to sit back and see where this part of the ride takes me and hopefully I’ll find my words again along the way.

Switching It Up

I have, yet again, moved my work area to a new location.

After putting in the last transition piece for the flooring, I am no longer really able to keep working in the basement when it comes to building. That means moving all the rest of my tools out of the area.

This is both an awesome thing and a kind of crappy thing.

The awesome part is that the mess is pretty much done in the basement. I won’t have any more sawdust to clean up down there and I don’t have to worry about it spreading to every single nook and cranny, of which I now have WAY too many. All the tools being out of the space allowed me to do some much needed cleaning and I was able to put the new cover on the couch so that it no longer looks like hell because of the cats. Granted, it still has to be covered in a drop cloth when not in use because of those same cats, but it is usable again.

The crappy part? It’s SO hot in the garage!

Yes, we are quickly approaching fall, but this year, we have stayed warmer for much longer than we’ve had the last several years. And the garage acts like a furnace on most days. This limits the amount of time I can work because there is only so much of that heat I can tolerate.

Still, I’m thrilled that the mess is now confined to the one space in the house that can really handle that kind of mess without being a massive pain. It may take me a little longer to finish than I’d hoped, but that seems to be in line with every single other bit of this project.

I have one of the 6 doors built and ready to paint (pretty sure I said 5 before, but I apparently can’t count) and another one is ready to be built, but I realized that one needs to be painted first because it has a clear plexiglass front. I still have all the pieces to cut for the remaining 4.

The drawer front panels have been glued and are ready to cut and trim out. I got my custom electrical cover cut, shaped and fitted the other day, so it is ready for paint and to be installed.

These should be the final pieces to finish off the main part of the room. I still have a few side projects that are part of this overall project, like the closet and refinishing the dresser, but those I am putting aside as later projects so that I can focus on doing something different creatively for a while after I finish this first part.

Slowly but surely, I’m chipping away at my final to do list.

Brief Project Break

The office swap and repaint is done.

I’m exhausted.

I started the whole thing on Saturday and just finished putting the last things away last night. That is a whole lot of painting and moving of furniture and shampooing of carpets in that time. I’m going to take a small break today and be lazy before I head back down to my room to try and finally finish that one off.

I would really, really like to be done with all of these huge projects for a while. It feels like I will have remodeled or repainted my entire house by the time I’m done with it all.

That said, the rooms look stunning (sorry, no photos this time). Hubby is thrilled with his new office space and my new den (still haven’t fully decided what to call that room) is absolutely wonderful. Considering the kids are starting to wander down to play video games on the TV in the living room now that MCG is in the room where the games used to live, I’m definitely going to need the quiet space to be able to go read.

Today, I’m going  to sit in the quiet of the house as it is the last day for a while that no one else is home and just be an absolute slug. And keep my fingers cross that my stupid brain doesn’t decide to use that time to come up with any other brilliant ideas.

Yet Another Side Project

I think it is becoming glaringly apparent that I’m am utterly incapable of doing a project from start to finish without getting pulled off on a side project, because here I am, starting yet another project instead of finishing off my room.

This latest side project is a huge office swap that also includes getting the carpet shampooed in one room and the walls in both rooms painted.

These rooms have been tossed around between Hubby and I over the years. One room was originally just a general “the office” but was mostly Hubby’s. The other was our dining room that is too poorly designed to actually function as a dining room. After a while, the dining room became my craft room, but I hated that the mess and disorganization of that space was always front and center when you walked through the front door. Hubby felt a little crammed in the office as it is on the small side and is the worst place in the house for being cold in the winter and hot in the summer. So, we swapped rooms.

The smaller room didn’t end up working for me as a craft room, so that’s when we moved the craft space (mostly my jewelry bench and supplies) to the unfinished basement, but left the room as my office. It is the room I wrote my book in and was such a perfect space for me, at least for an office kind of room and felt absolutely cozy, but I still had to go to the dank basement to do anything not on my computer.

Above photos are from when the office space was first mine.

Then Covid hit and Hubby needed to work from home.

Because the dining room space he took over was never intended as an office, there is no door. There was no way he’d be able to do any of his meetings in there and have any kind of privacy or quiet, so he shifted his work stuff into my office (he stole it back, so this is really ALL his fault! lol!) and kept his personal computer and office things in the dining room.

Of course, him taking over my room is a huge part of what prompted me to build my craft room in the basement. Especially after we found out that the work from home part was going to be a semi-permanent hybrid kind of thing.

When I got about half way through working on my room, we started talking about rearranging things between the two rooms. There were still all kinds of things in the office he took over that were still mine and I needed in there often and had to wait if he was in a meeting. He is often between the two rooms for various reasons, so we just decided to move him back in and rearrange things in a way that will work better all the way around.

Part of why that room was so crowded before was because it was still considered something of a joint office space and I had some of my bookcases in there. The dog’s crate was kept in there as well, which wasn’t small. Between those, Hubby’s computer cabinet, a big roll top desk, and a good size file cabinet, there wasn’t much space to move.

Now, we are moving all my bookcases into the “dining” room and turning it into a library/den/sitting room (we can’t agree what to call it, though media library is the most accurate as it will have books, movies, music and all the kids video games store in there). Taking those out of the equation of what has to go into Hubby’s office makes it so much easier to give him some room. That and he won’t have my bookcases and all my junk as his meeting background anymore.

His room is going to get painted as I never wanted to deal with that in all the other moves and those walls desperately need it. That carpet is also going to get shampooed because that was the dog’s favorite room and she loved to come crawl under the roll top after she’d be outside and had dirty wet feet, so I have a seriously ugly stain that needs to get cleaned (though I’m pretty sure I attempted that before and it didn’t even lighten, but I’m going to try).

I’m also going to repaint the other room as those walls are in just as bad a shape after having been my craft room. Doing the jewelry and silver work is shockingly messy and the walls are evidence of that.

A huge reason why I’m doing this now is that my Hubby is on a hybrid work from home schedule where he has to be in the office for 4 days every so many weeks or so. This coming week will be when he isn’t home, so I need to get this done now or wait for an extended period again. Considering I’ve started pulling things out of that room already that need to go in my new room, I figured I might as well just get it all the way done so he doesn’t feel like he is living in limbo.

Doing all of that means that I have to completely empty out each room, one at a time. My house is now completely upended. Again. Everything from the office is now spread out in every open space in my kitchen, living room and dining room. Talk about crowded!

It will take a couple of days to get the first room done and then my hands are tied until Hubby can help me move things back in before I can start on the next. By the time these two rooms are done, it’s going to feel like my entire house has gotten a makeover.

Craft Room Project: Drawers Installed

I was so incredibly intimidated by these drawers. Especially after the epic failure of my attempt at the kiln shelf. I was so worried I’d run into similar issues with something not being square and off enough that I just couldn’t make any of it work.

Finished and Installed Drawer Boxes
Finished and Installed Drawer Boxes

The first one was a bit of a pain, but I figured it all out and it worked exactly the way it was supposed to. Once that one was in, the top two went in so easily. Now that they are in and done, I kind of wish I’d done more in other areas, but I’m also really glad I didn’t.

I still have to build and attach the faces, but I’m not nearly as intimidated by that as I was putting these on the rails. These really need some sanding and maybe some sort of inner finish instead of just the bare wood as well, but I couldn’t help but try out the inserts I got for each drawer just to make sure they will work.

Drawer Inserts
Drawer Inserts

My original plan was to build the organization into the drawers themselves, similar to the divider I have in the bottom one, but I just couldn’t bring myself to make them that complicated when I could just get something that would work just as well for a whole lot less headache. I could not be happier that I made that choice!

I thought that I’d probably like one of the two top inserts better than the other, but I really love them both. The drawers will be used for different things, so being able to organize each one differently really works. They both completely fill their drawers. Even though you can’t see it in the above photo, those amazing organizers goes all the way to the back of these REALLY deep drawers, which shocked me when I tested it out the first time.

Next up is to work on building and attaching those drawer faces and to finally work on getting those last 5 doors built and hung.

Last First Day

Today is one of those life milestones that you can’t decide to be happy about or cry about, but always feels like a mess of both.

It is BG’s first day of her senior year.

Her last first day of school.

It is even harder because she is my baby. The last one to do this. You’d think it would be easier the 3rd time around, but it so isn’t.

It is already hard, but toss in the fact that she is also in person for the first time in a year and a half and the fact that doing online isn’t even a choice this year even though kids are being way more impacted by Delta than the first time around and it is also really stressful to see her drive off.

None of that stress is relieved by the fact that even though it is her first day of school, her schedule is still a ridiculous mess because our district cannot manage to actually figure out a decent process to get these kids in the classes they asked for without them having to jump through a million hoops and going round in circles with the counselors. They have two days of basically BS assemblies and activities before actual classes start, so she still has a tiny cushion, but there is every possibility that she will not get it smoothed out until much later in the week.

Senior year is always a big deal. BG has watched how chaotic and so far from normal for it has been for the last two years of seniors and she really wants this one to be normal, but it most likely isn’t going to be.

She also has a challenging year of classes ahead of her if she can end up with all the classes she asked for. Even though she had a hellacious time in calculus last year, her summer going over it one on one with her teacher convinced her to take the second one. That alone will be extremely hard, but she has a couple of other college level classes she is taking as well.

I’m so proud of her for not letting the rough patch trip her up. I’m proud of her for getting back into it and reaching for more. With school and all she will be doing with dance this year, it is going to be her hardest one yet. I know she is more than capable. I still worry. That’s kind of my job.

Yes, she will still get that first day of college, but that is different. The end of high school is the end of an entire, huge phase of her life, so having her go off today for her last first day is full of joy and sadness and worry and pride.

Today I’ll be hiding out in my room, working on my drawers and trying to just let the day wash over me.