Monday, June 30, 2014

Stash and stuff

There's nothing like moving to make yourself reassess.  I remember several years ago helping our friends with their parents' estate sale.  I came away promising not to do that to my own kids.  I would purge.  I would retire and then start purging. I would go through closets and drawers and let it go. Well, there's nothing like putting a "For Sale" sign in your front yard to set that thought on fire.

I've been purging closets and drawers like crazy.  And I know come winter I'll wonder where that turtleneck top went but it's at the mission store now.  Haven't worn it for years?  Forgot it was even here?  Never, ever be that size again?  Gone.

I accumulate pretty stuff in drawers and baskets and just let them stay because they're pretty.  Even if I haven't touched them in years or used them ever.  I think I'm part crow.  They like pretty things, and their nests look like mine.  But I'm being ruthless.

Downsizing means just that.  Living in less space.  And that means not having as much space to put things.  So, dear girl, choose wisely.  Sentimental?  Handed down?  Choose carefully.  Handed down can stay. depends.  Maybe it will make the first cut but if we're doing this move to tone down the lifestyle so we can enjoy life a little more then .... choose!!!  Or pass it on to the child it belonged to and let them deal with it.

My former neighbor and still friend was listening to me lament one day and she said, "our possessions possess us."  She is 84 and really, really wants to move out of her house and into something very simple.  I told her that's what we are trying to avoid, making that kind of move at 84.

So,  I've been packing my stash.  The store ran out of the boxes I am using, the kind that you can see through and have a snap tight lid.  Yesterday, while the house was being shown ( !! ) we tried another branch and got four more storage boxes.  I finished packing the stash just now.

 I went from five deep drawers packed like this
to ten of these storage boxes all precariously stacked in the garage.  

That's a lot of fat quarters and yardage pieces and two tubs of SCRAPS!!!!  I found three UFOs and juvenile prints I forgot about.  I've been making quilts for the grands for so long I haven't made anything for me in years.  But Charlie is almost 9 and Michael is not yet 2 and the three girls in between them are growing and changing and some of these juvie prints aren't relevant anymore.  I work by hand and so quilts don't just fly out of here.  Michael needs a couple of catch up quilts since the others have had years on him.

So, quilt friends, I hope you continue to tune into my blog, but the piecing is not going to be happening for awhile.  I have three quilts needing to be hand quilted sitting next to my chair and when I collapse from filling and moving boxes at the end of the day I will put in a few stitches.  One of these is Michael's Christmas quilt so I better get moving.

Our round robin project with our German friends is almost complete, though!  By July 19 the quilts will be finished and we'll have a celebration the last Monday in July to show off,  drink some bubbly, eat some goodies and take lots and lots and lots of pictures. It will be the first time we are all together as a group and some will meet each other for the first time!  I thought when we started this that I would blog about it all through the process but really, I couldn't because we wanted the finished quilt tops to be a surprise for our friends in Germany.  That meant only occasionally mentioning the round robin.   At the end of the month there will be LOTS to talk about so there will be quilt conversations going on, just not my own work. 

Gotta go paint something.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Some books

We certainly aren’t.  We spend our lives trying to make ourselves into us but as we go along we get entangled in the lives of people we come to love, marry, parent, befriend, and along the way we become something.  But what?  We have dreams we think will shape our lives but we find ourselves bending to accommodate.
We Are Not Ourselves is the story of Eileen Tumulty, born in 1941 to Irish immigrant parents with problems of their own.  Her father, a strong personality is almost idolized by the community around him.  Her mother, not so much.  Moods swing, her homelife is dependent on those moods.  She longs for more.
Eileen’s dreams are sure to be answered when she meets Ed Leary,  even though she promised herself she wouldn’t marry an Irishman, she decides he is different enough from her parents she gives her life to him, hoping he will redeem her American dream. 
Ed has other dreams and they don’t include climbing the ladder of success.  Eileen changes again.  She has one child, Connell, and she changes again.  Now, resigned to her life, she does make the most of it and the three Learys forge a life together until again, they are all forced to come to terms with the worst life can give them. 
This truly sounds depressing, I know, but it isn’t.  I found myself anxious to get back to this story and thought about it when I wasn’t reading it.  That’s the sign of a good one.

Product Detailsby John Hutton

I remember the pair of red MaryJane shoes I bought for Elizabeth when she was about two years old.  I couldn't stop looking at her when she wore them, how cute she looked in them, her little white anklets and those red shoes.  All the things a two year old did during a day, the places she explored.  So, when offered a copy of this book, Your Red Shoes, I was immediately on memory lane.

This is a sweet book,  a book that talks to the child like a bedtime story in its quietness and simplicity, asking what adventures your red shoes will take you on.  But it was really a book for the mommy or daddy or gandma.  It's like looking at a photo album of your own little one and remembering....

If you're at all nostalgic,  this is a sweet book to share with your little one.