Monday, December 11, 2017

Week 50: Home Inventory

Monday: Read Organized Home Challenge #50: Home Inventory
Tuesday: Begin creating home inventory
Wednesday: Take photos/video of home contents for inventory
Thursday: Continue taking photos/videos of home contents for inventory
Friday:  Fill out home inventory forms
Saturday: Continue to fill out home inventory forms
Sunday: Copy/back up home inventory documents/files on and off site

Cleaning and Tidying for a Home Visit

This afternoon, we have a home visit by the local dog shelter. They are coming to make sure our home is a safe place to re-home a dog. So, we're cleaning and tidying, picking up and putting away.

The biggest problem will be the back yard. There's some garden rubbish and two sheds waiting to go to the tip, and it it not secure. The garden rubbish is being removed this weekend.

The following weekend work will start on demolishing the existing back wall, and rebuilding it closer to the house. This will create a parking space and a place for the rubbish bin. There will be a gate/door in the wall for access. In the garden, raised beds with seating will be made. The rubble from the old wall will provide drainage for the beds. I'm looking forward to creating a veggie garden.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Broken Ribs Fingerless Mittens

Company: King Cole
Yarn: Moods DK
Composition: Acrylic 70%, Wool 30%
Colour: 84
Pattern: Broken Rib Fingerless Mittens
Size: Woman
Needles: 4mm
Amount used:
Started: 10th December 2017
Finished: 11th December 2017

Cast on 40sts and join.

Work 20 rounds in k1,p1 rib.

1. (K3, p1) x 9, kfb, kfb, k1, p1.
2. K.
3. (K3, p1) x 9, kfb, k2, kfb, k1, p1.
4. K.
5. (K3, p1) x 9, kfb, k4, kfb, k1, p1. 
6. K.
7. (K3, p1) x 9, kfb, k6, kfb, k1, p1. 
8. K.
15. (K3, p1) x 9, kfb, k14, kfb, k1, p1. 
16. K.
17. (K3, p1) x 9, k to last stitch, p1. 
18. K.
19. (K3, p1) x 9, k to last stitch, p1. 
20. K to last 18 stitches. Transfer 16st to spare yarn. K2.

21. (K3, p1) x 10.
22. K.
23. (K3, p1) x 10.
24. K.
25. (K3, p1) x 10.
26 - 30. (K1, p1) repeat to end.

Cast off in lace bind off. Break off yarn.

Return to the 16sts on the spare yarn. Knit 5 rounds of (k1, p1), and then cast off in lace bind off.

Weave in the ends, using the one at the thumb to sew closed the hole.

Generally two mittens are required.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Christmas Cushions

Today whilst shopping, I saw the cushion above and thought it would look lovely in my sitting room. However, I would need five., and this would bring the cost to £75. Instead, I decided to make some. The materials for the cushions was £54, and that will make six. 

When I will have time to make them is a very good question!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Ava, will you be ours?

The Younger Offspring has been asking for a while to have a dog. At her 21st birthday, we agreed. They have been going to the local dog shelter to volunteer, and fell in love with Ava. She is very chilled, and very importantly for me, she doesn't pull when she's on the leash!  The dog would be the Younger Offspring's, but a part of the family.

Various things need to happen before we get approval. There's a home visit on Monday, then at the weekend garden refuse and the old shed will disappear. Just before Christmas, a new wall will be built and a new gate installed.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Ribbed Wrist Warmers

Company:  King Cole
Yarn: Moods DK 
Composition: Acrylic 70%, Wool 30%
Colour:  841
Pattern: Ribbed Wrist Warmers
Size: Woman
Needles: 4mm
Amount used:  
Started:  5th December 2017
Finished: 8th December 2017

Cast on 40sts, join.

1. (K1, p2, k1) to end of round.
2-20. as round 1.

21. K1, yo, (p2, k2) repeat until last stitch, yo, k1.
22. K1, (k1, p2, k1) to last stitch, k1.
23. K1, yo, (k1, p2, k1) to last stitch, yo, k1.
24. K1, (k2, p2) to last 3 stitches, k3.
25. K1, yo, (k2, p2) to last 3 sts, k2, yo, k1.
26. K1, (p1, k2, p1) to last stitch, k1.
27. K1, yo, (p1, k2, p1) to last stitch, k1. (48sts)
28. (K1, p2, k1). 
29. K1, yo, (p2, k2) repeat until last stitch, yo, k1.
30. K1, (k1, p2, k1) to last stitch, k1.
31. K1, yo, (k1, p2, k1) to last stitch, yo, k1.
32. K1, (k2, p2) to last 3 stitches, k3.
33. K1, yo, (k2, p2) to last 3 sts, k2, yo, k1.
34. K1, (p1, k2, p1) to last stitch, k1.
35. K1, yo, (p1, k2, p1) to last stitch, k1. (48sts)

36. (K1, p2, k1). 

37 - 39. (K1, p2, k1). 

40. (K1, p2, k1) to last 8 sts, cast off with a lace bind off.
41. Cast off 8sts with a lace bind off, continue in rib pattern.
42 - 49. (K1, p2, k1). 
50. Cast off with a lace bind off.

Use the tail of the yarn to re-enforce the area around the top of the thumb hole, and then weave in the ends.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Week 49: Holiday Decorations and Gift Wrap

Monday: Read Organized Home Challenge #49: Holiday Decorations and Gift Wrap
Tuesday: Declutter Christmas ornaments, wreaths and garland
Wednesday: Declutter Christmas lights and outdoor decorations
Thursday: Continue decluttering Christmas decorations
Friday: Declutter and organize extension cords and power strips
Saturday: Declutter and organize gift bags and boxes
Sunday: Declutter or organize gift wrapping supplies

This task has been moved over until the end of the week, or possibly next week. This is when the tree will be going up and decorating happening. 

Part of this year's decluttering is not buying any new paper and tape. The plan is to keep making fabric gift bags and wraps, fading out the paper. Although paper will be used for presents being posted out.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Hello, December

November was a bit of a wash out health-wise. I'm still struggling just now with a huge amount of tiredness. But I'm happy December has arrived. It's a new start, and I'm looking forward putting into action many of the plans I had for November.

The Christmas tree quilted hanging is the one I really one to get done, along with a few knitted items for friends. And, the little quilted Christmas trees.  I'd love to make some knitted Jultomten, but I suspect there will not be time.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

November Craftings

Youth's Socks
Started: 17th October 2017
Finished: 1st November 2017

Fancy Sleeves
Started: 2nd November 2017
Finished: 3rd November 2017

Gift Bags
Started: 16th November 2017
Finished: 16th November 2017

Gift Bag
Started: 17th November 2017
Finished: 17th November 2017

Monday, November 27, 2017

Week 48: CDs and DVDs

Monday: Read Organized Home Challenge #48: CDs and DVDs
Tuesday: Declutter entertainment center
Wednesday: Declutter music collection (CDs, tapes, MP3s, etc.)
Thursday: Declutter movie collection (videos, DVDs, etc.)
Friday: Declutter and organize music and movies in car, digital devices, etc.
Saturday: Declutter kids' music and movie collections
Sunday: Organize and properly store family movies

All already done.


My tumski is not a happy part of my body when it's been given gluten or high levels of dairy (mostly, but not exclusively lactose). For the last 8 years or so, I've been living gluten-free and dairy-light. This has brought serious benefits to my health and life. However, I feel it's not all it could be. There's can still be bloating and serious windy-pops, from the top, and also the bottom. 

The FODMAP diet was proposed and researched by Monash University, Australia. It was initially designed for people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome to reduce symptoms like gas, bloating, abdominal discomfort, pain, diarrhea, and constipation. It has since been recommended to others who have digestive problems. FODMAP and elimination diet, and after three to six weeks, the high FODMAP foods are gradually re-introduced. 

My plan is to start it in the New Year, but try out various recipes and ideas before then. The biggest challenge for me will be saying "No" to onions and garlic. They are in so many meals I make. But, it will be good to find out what is problematic, and what is fine. 

The very good news is I can eat chicken, rice, potatoes, carrots, parsnips, broccoli, corn, strawberries, raspberries and grapes. I can survive on this for quite some time, and I did when I had shingles. It was then my digestive problems became apparent. 

It all feels rather positive. I'm working towards a healthier, happier me. 

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Fancy Sleeves

Fabric: Star Trek: Next Generation
Composition: 100% cotton
Size: Medium
Amount used:  60cm plus M&S white shirt
Started:  2nd November 2017
Finished: 3rd November 2017

It has been a family tradition for the guys in the family to have a good white shirt with an interesting pattern on the sleeves. Over 20 years ago I made the first 'Fancy Sleeves' for The Beloved - Winnie the Pooh. The idea is that when worn with a jacket the sleeves remain hidden. Then when the jacket is removed the full glory is revealed. 

The Elder Offspring asked for one for her boyfriend, and this Star Trek fabric was selected. A Marks and Spencer's shirt was bought, and then the sleeves unpicked, along with the plackets and cuffs. The fabric from the sleeves was used as the pattern for the replacement sleeves, and the shirt re-assembled.

(The chances are very low that the recipient will see this post before his birthday, but I'm taking no chances. It is scheduled to be posted after that date.)

As I was hand sewing, I kept apologising as I stabbed their heads. 

Monday, November 20, 2017

Week 47: Purses

Monday: Read Organized Home Challenge #47: Purses
Tuesday: Clear out trash from and declutter purse
Wednesday: Clear out trash from and declutter wallet
Thursday: Make plans for eating leftovers
Friday: Declutter briefcase, work out bag, diaper bag, etc.
Saturday: Declutter purse/handbag collection
Sunday Declutter fall decorations

I'm not into handbags. I've maybe about four, and that's it. They don't become repositories for the crap of the world, and get cleaned out regularly.

It took me a few moments to work out why I needed to make plans for eating leftovers, and I don't. It's Thanksgiving in America, but just another normal Thursday over here. Leftovers are popped in a plastic dish, labelled with contents and dated, and frozen until needed. 

As for autumnal decorations, I'm not sure. Normally, we decorate for Christmas on the last weekend before Christmas. This year, that is Christmas Eve, so we will probably put up decorations on the 16th-17th. November is still autumn for us, so I suspect I won't make winter decorations until after Christmas.

Buying Stuff

Over the weekend, I received a 20% discount voucher for Marks and Spencer. It's a place I regularly shop, and rubbed my hands together in glee. Yesterday,  I realised today was the last day I could use it. It needed to be done today, or not at all.

The Beloved dropped The Younger Offspring and me off on his way to work this morning, and we started shopping at 8.45. It's a very good time to go shopping. No one's about at that time! I had a mental shopping list, socks, bras and tights. The Offspring saw a rather lovely sweater and I picked up a stocking filler too. The best bit was when I found a gift voucher in my wallet and the total was reduced by a further £15. 

I'm very pleased with what we have. However, it feels like I'm in a 'let's buy, let's buy lots of things!' mood. This is not a good place to be. Stick to the list! Buy intentionally, not on the spur of the moment. 

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Meeting up with Yarnies

At Yarnies today, I learned a little bit about the Japanese way of wrapping presents in fabric, (Furoshiki). This is the simplest style, wrapping a cuboid in a square of fabric. 

I have about 2.5m of the embroidered fabric, and about the same of plain. My plan is to make as many large squares as possible, and use the remnants to gift bags. 

When a friend was showing the technique to me, she explained people are much less likely to want to keep a square of fabric than a gift bag. She finds gift bags are often kept, but fabric squares and handed back.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Fabric Gift Bags

Work has started on fabric gift bags. The idea is to cut down on wrapping paper, but so far people have received gifts in fabric bags have said "Do I get to keep the bag?" and they say it with such a look of "I promise to be good, and use it!" that I haven't had the heart to say 'Sorry. no'.  Ah well, as long as it's being used. 

Sewing with this fabric was tad problematic. Every time I stitched through someone's head I apologised. "Sorry Jean Luc. Sorry Deana, sorry Geordie ..." It helped me to think of it as cranial acupuncture.

The second of the gift bags is being posted later, and I don't have any expectation of getting it back. The next batch, I hope to use for Christmas, and keep them at least for a little while.


And another one.

Dining Room and Hall

Today's To Do list is very short and simple. It will not take much time. This leaves more time for working on the Christmas wall hanging.

I'm trying to get into a regular routine of dealing with cleaning. I've been finding it easier to do a big blitz rather than having a regular schedule. My suspicion is that a regular set of tasks will keep the place looking better more of the time rather than the highs and lows of blitz cleaning.

To Do
put laundry away
dust piano and shelves
wipe table
sweep floors
straighten shoes
go shopping

Ta Da!
write shopping list
write list of irregular cleaning tasks
wash laundry
dry laundry

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Bathroom and Loo

Whilst cleaning the bathroom this morning, I was pondering. Why am I spraying cleaning fluid over the bath? It hasn't been used since the last time it was cleaned, nor the time before that, or the time before that! Why am I not just dusting it? And if I'm continually dusting something that's never used, why hasn't it been decluttered?

The bathroom is going to be redesigned in the next few years. Will the bath be disappearing? We have a downstairs shower room, and it is used every say, but the bathroom, which is beside the bedrooms, is used for to wash hands and teeth. It's also the location of the linen cupboard.  Wouldn't it make farm more sense to have a room people really want to use? A lovely big walk-in shower would be far better for us.

There's actually enough space to have a bath, walk-in shower, sink and linen cupboard. This might be the optimal solution!

To Do
put towels away

Ta Da!
clean sinks and surrounds
clean bath
wipe window ledge
put out fresh hand towels
wash loo floor
wash towels
vacuum carpet
dry towels
wash dishes
wipe work tops

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Today's To Do and Ta Da!

Tuesdays are bedroom days. It's time for a bedroom tidy up.

All of my 'to do's are 'ta done'!

Ta Da!
change bed linens
wash bed linens
straighten beside tables
change towels
dust bookcase, bedside tables, blanket box, chest of drawers and mirror
wipe window ledges
empty bin
remove clutter
empty bin in loo
mop kitchen floor
make fish pie for dinner
wash laundry
dry laundry
send cloth badge to Helen's daughter
put away laundry
make brownies

Monday, November 13, 2017

Week 46: First Aid

Monday: Read Organized Home Challenge #46: Medicine & First Aid Kit
Tuesday: Dispose of expired and unused medications
Wednesday: Make sure have adequate first aid kit contents
Thursday: Organize and safely store rest of medications
Friday: Declutter and organize liquor and wine cabinet
Saturday: Declutter unused musical instruments
Sunday: Declutter key ring of excess stuff

Medicines and First Aid kits were attended to in October. 

I only have one bottle of alcohol - whisky for feeding Christmas cakes. The Beloved has some wine, and perhaps beer, but it's up to him to decide if anything needs to leave. As a family, we consume very little alcohol. I suspect most of it is in the form of coq au vin, or chicken in cider.

Our instruments are played regularly. The piano was put into the dining room whilst the house was being built. To remove it would require the piano to be taken to bits, the window or newel post removed.  Even if it is only play whilst the Elder Offspring is at home, it stays.

My keying has a metal fob, and the front door key. Minimal, and effective.

A 15 Minute Day

After last week's illness, I thought I had recovered and many plans were made for today. And, nope! It ain't gonna happen. This needs to be a simple, easy day, a 15 Minute Day.

My day will be split into 15 minute segments. The first 15 minutes will be spent working, then the next will be time for rest. At the end of a rest period a decision will be made -  'back to work' or 'rest a bit more'. It's a way of getting stuff done whilst not ending up as a quivering little exhausted mess on the floor. 

So far, I've put on a load of laundry, swept the rear vestibule and the kitchen floor, and popped last night's dishes in to soak. Hold on, a To Do/Ta Da list is looming!

To Do
wash floor
make chocolate brownies

Ta Da!
wash a load of laundry
sweep rear vestibule
sweep kitchen
wash dishes
wipe work tops
dry laundry
wash sink
clean oven
wash bin
send birthday card to Dad
order birthday present for Dad
put away dishes
plan dinner
tidy sitting room
fold laundry
wipe appliances
put away laundry


For a 15 Minute Day, along with a migraine, I'm really rather surprised with all I have managed to fit in. Also squeezed in was some sewing, making the Christmas tree quilted hanging for the dining room. 

I'll try to get the floor washed tomorrow and make the brownies.

Christmas Tree Quilted Hanging

I saw this beautiful quilt at Quilting Digest. It was made by Material Girl Quilts. I'm going to make something similar using some of the fabric I have left over from the Christmas Tree table runner I made a couple of years ago.

All of the dark green with gold fabric was used up, as was the tree trunk brown, but I shall be using the lighter green, the swirly white, and the red border. 

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Weekly Cleaning Schedule

Monday: Kitchen
  • clean work tops and sink
  • wipe down cooker and appliances
  • empty bin
  • wash bin
  • wash floor

Tuesday: Bedroom
  • change bed linens
  • sweep floor
  • put away clothing
  • straighten beside tables
  • dust bookcase, bedside tables, blanket box, chest of drawers and mirror
  • wipe window ledges
  • empty bin

Wednesday: Bathroom, Shower Room and Loo
  • clean sinks and surrounds
  • clean bath
  • wipe window ledge
  • put out fresh hand towels
  • vacuum carpet
  • clean shower clean loo
  • wash floors
  • empty bin

Thursday: Dining Room and Hall
  • dust piano and shelves
  • wipe table
  • sweep floors
  • straighten shoes

Friday: Sitting Room
  • remove clutter
  • straighten sofas and chairs
  • vacuum floor
  • dust sideboard, coffee table, and bookcases
  • empty bin

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Thinking of Christmas

Last Christmas we tried "Something you want, something you need, something to wear and something to read." and a Christmas stocking. It worked out really rather well for us. The Beloved, The Offsprings and I each had the same amount of money spent on Christmas gifts. If it wasn't all spent on these four gifts a cheque was included in the stocking.

Various gifts have been bought. Some have arrived. Now I need to get on and make gift bags, and a Christmas tree skirt. I also want to make a Christmas tree wall hanging, some quilted trees and a few Jul Tomtar. 

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Wot? No Posts?

This year has been the year of my blog. I've been averaging about a post a day, and I've been rather happy with the content I've been creating. It doesn't matter to me that I'm pretty much the only person who reads it. It's the stuff I've been doing, and want to have a record of, a public diary/book.

And then, this month, it comes to a grinding stop. Some days I have been busy, making birthday presents, decluttering, cooking for guests etc. Other days, I've been doing stuff I've done lots of times before, and don't really have anything much to say about. And then, there's illness. I've spent the last two days in bed with coughs, sneezes and a brain that's too hot to think. 

A few rows of knitting have been done, but not a great deal. I'm starting to feel a little better, and very much hope that tomorrow I'll be able to do some sewing.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Week 45: Emergency Preparedness

Monday: Read Organized Home Challenge #45: Emergency Preparedness
Tuesday: Gather food and drink emergency supplies for 72 hour kit
Wednesday: Gather other emergency supplies into kit and store
Thursday: Create car emergency supplies and first aid kit
Friday: Create an evacuation plan and fire escape
Saturday: Place fire extinguishers as needed throughout house
Sunday: Make sure home adequately child proofed

Living where I do, the risks are very low. We very rarely get extremes of weather, although it can get a bit blowy. Storm Ophelia visited in October, and brought down a number of trees and took off some roofs. There was also some concern at high tide with the wind whipping up the waves. The Island's emergency services swing into action and restore order as soon as possible.

The other risk is a domestic fire. I think it would be sensible for us to scan in birth and marriage certificates, and store them on-line, along with information regarding insurance etc.

I have checked the first aid kit in the house and also the car. Both have been replenished and decluttered.

Our house doesn't need to be childproofed as we are all adults, but we do need to look at dog safety.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Magic Happened!

A birthday present was made yesterday (and it's killing me not to put up a photographs here and on Facebook!). I realised whilst I was decluttering my study that one of the reasons I took over the dining room was because the sewing surface in my study is a little computer desk, and it just doesn't offer the same area as the dining room table.

Whilst sewing I used the dining room table, (and here's where the magic happened), after I had finished sewing I put it all away again. the dining room is a dining room again! This is revolutionary stuff - putting things away after use. 

A few crafty things now have a home in the dining room, the sewing machine, iron and ironing board. I suspect the cutting mat will join them. Once a couple of boxes have been moved, I'll find a proper home for the iron and sewing machine.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Rainbows for a Refugee

Yarn: Absolutely no idea! It's a sock yarn though.
Size: Youth
Needles: 2.5mm
Amount used:  34g
Started:  17th October 2017
Finished: 1st November 2017

These socks started out life as a pair of long wrist warmers. However, they were too baggy around the wrists and were not worn. I frogged them back to a suitable place for heels and re-knitted them as socks.

Then there was a slight problem. One sock was 5 rounds longer than the other. This has now been rectified! And they are finished at last!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

October Craftings

Baby Hat
Started: 1st October 2017
Finished: 1st October 2017
Status: Finished

Baby Hat
Started: 1st October 2017
Finished: 1st October 2017
Status: Finished

Baby Rainbow Hat
Started: 2nd October 2017
Finished: 2nd October 2017
Status: Finished

Baby Rainbow Hat
Started: 2nd October 2017
Finished: 4th October 2017
Status: Finished

Hatathon Hats
Started: 15th September 2017
Finished: 9th October 2017
Status: Finished

Child's Socks
Started: 7th October 2017
Finished: 9th October 2017
Status: Finished

Birthday Cake
Started: 13th October 2017
Finished: 13th October 2017
Status: Eaten!

Youth's Socks
Started: 10th October 2017
Finished: 17th October 2017
Status: Finished

Youth's Socks
Started: 17th October 2017
Status: WIP

Autumnal Candles
Started: 18th October 2017
Finished: 18th October 2017
Status: Finished

Works in Progress
Chequered Baby Blanket
Started: 8th September 2017
Status: WIP

Muppet Quilt
Started: 2nd September 2017
Status: WIP