Friday, May 25, 2007

Tim Gunn is not the only Author on a Book Tour

Martha Kines is the author of a brand new book called Ivy Briefs: True Tales of a Neurotic Law Student. She is also a wife and mother living here in Scottsdale and has a blog called The Random Muse.

Her blog and her writing style were so entertaining and compelling that the publisher actually contacted her about writing the book!

Martha had a signing at our local Barnes and Noble last night. It was a standing-room-only crowd. She read several excerpts and signed copies for her fans. What fun. I had three of my boys along - they are always happy to hang out at "The B&N."

I started reading Ivy Briefs last night and it is hysterical. Congratulations Martha.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

My Entry in the Tea Towel Challenge

Well you know I had to purchase this pair of kitchen towels. I mean come on! They are red AND they have rick rack. I made them up into bags, but I've never used them or sold them. They're lined with red gingham and have pockets. So when Barb announced her first purse challenge, I knew that this would be my entry. What do you think?

Monday, May 21, 2007

Living Room Photos

These shelves are on the west wall to the left of the secretary desk. Still working on the desk....

Here are the new bookcases. They are on the east wall opposite of the secretary. I still have some work to do...

I know I like to see close-ups of shelves. Those are my Oz books from when I was a kid. They were my favorites.

For now I am resisting the urge to fill this with vintage beaded fruit.... NO MORE COLLECTING - Purge purge purge.... Hey - "urge" and "purge" rhyme.... I feel a Limerick coming on....

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Purging For Peace

This is a fabulous book! It contains essays from mixed-media artists. I haven't read the entire thing but last night I read "Purging For Peace" by Marilee Fosbre. This is exactly what I am doing. Purging the things from my home and my life that no longer bring me inspiration and focusing on the things that provide it.

It took Marilee two months to clean out her studio. I'm doing the entire house. I hope I can finish faster!

Tomorrow we have a charity pickup. I have three bookcases, one bed, one dresser and several boxes of household stuff on the front porch. Also the recycling bin is filled to the brim.

I received my new bookcases from Ballard Designs on Tuesday. They look fabulous. They're in the living room and I've already filled them. Also I've hung some artwork. Sorry - someone borrowed my camera for his golf outing and drained the battery.

Meanwhile, here is a link to the website of one of my favorite artists, Sheri Rice. See the fourth picture - the one with the Mona Lisa in the top left? I own that and I just hung it in a NEW SPOT in the entrance where everyone can see it!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Making Progress

More books to the library today and three more boxes of sewing stuff for the high school sewing club! I also dumped another ton of magazines in the recycling bin. BUT the best news is that I have my machine up and I am sewing again. I had a repair to a customer's bag that had been sitting for two weeks. What a relief to have it finished!

We had to pull everything out of the garage in order to have the walls painted and so now that everything is beautiful and clean we are going to have the floor coated and some cabinets installed.

Things are moving along here.

Also, I had some inventory left over from Summer 2005 and I didn't know what to do with it. There were some fruity skirts and some scarfles that I discovered in a bin under my bed. It's funny because although they did not sell (I just made way too many) they are still fresh and bright and unworn. So they aren't exactly "used," but not exactly "new" either. Anyway, I took them to Buffalo Exchange and they bought EVERY SINGLE ITEM. I got $136 cash - not a lot but better than nothing.

Tomorrow my new bookcases arrive!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Ruby Clears it OUT

At my mom's house after her death I was kind of surprised to see how much STUFF she has kept. Although only my mom and dad are living in the house she has every single room, closet, drawer and cabinet completely filled with stuff. The garage is incredible. I especially noticed that she had at least 1000 books on shelves and in bookcases in every single room. There were paperback novels, hundreds of self-help books and tons and tons of cookbooks. In the garage there were bins of magazines that honestly were too heavy to move. The one that I opened was all Christmas magazines.

This is a four-bedroom house and my sister's former room seems to be exactly as she left it when she went to college 20 years (or so) ago. Her record albums are in the closet along with her prom gowns and pompoms.

My mom had about 300 bottle of vitamins and "supplements" in cabinets in the laundry room and kitchen. She also had an entire garbage bag filled with vitamin bottles. Now - the vitamins I suspect were the result of Mom's generosity. She was a target for any of her friends who decided to sell Amway, Shaklee, Melaleuca, Arbonne or any of the others. I am sure that if a "friend" suggested, "Why not order a 1-year supply?" she would.

Mom also had a thing for "new" clothes. Whenever she traveled she had to have new clothes for the occasion. She didn't even really like to shop - she usually just mail-ordered. So... every closet is filled with her clothes.

I also discovered that mom apparently never threw out a single Christmas decoration in the 48 years that she and dad were married. Also any picture (photo or artwork) that ever hung on her wall was stashed in various closets.

None of this is 'bad' or 'wrong' - it is just how she chose to live - BUT it caused me to look around my own house. I realize that I have WAY too much stuff as well.

I am guilty of saving magazines and books. And fabric. And neckties. And vintage laces. And buttons. And quilts. My shelves and niches are "decorated" with various vintage knick-knacks and antiques items which were quite charming when I started out, but now have become too much.

So I have embarked on the de-cluttering-and cleaning journey. So far I have donated about 300 books to my library, filled the recycling bin twice with magazines, made three trips to Goodwill and one to the dump. And best of all - sent ten cartons of sewing supplies to the high school "textiles" department.

As long as I am pulling everything out I though we should perhaps paint the house a new color - so it is now a warm light taupe. (Bland yes - but I am going for something more neutral and calm.) I also had all of my cabinets stained a cherry color. They look great with the taupe. I have cleared my niches and shelves of all "accesssories" and even sold a lot of it to an antique dealer!

Of course I am nowhere near finished. I'll keep you posted.

Can anyone use any neckties?