Saturday, December 11, 2010

The "Ultimate Craft Room"?

It's been so long since I've posted, I'm almost embarrassed!  But since my last post I've put my house on the market, relocated, unpacked (2/3 of the way), found a job, and am now trying to figure out how to organize my quilting studio.

Someone sent me this link to some great craft room organization ideas from Lowe's:

I love some of the ideas, especially the WAGI Sundries Bar.  And this redesigned space might be great for a scrapbooker or someone who does other small crafts .... but I'm pretty sure it was not a QUILTER who designed the space.  Two huge things jumped out at me immediately:  the sewing machine is facing the wall (yuck!) and there's certainly not enough room to put a quilt top together, let alone quilt the finished piece.  And where is the fabric storage space?!?  There's certainly not enough, and what storage space there is doesn't allow you to see what you have at a glance. 

I like the closet organizer, with space to hang finished tops awaiting their final quilting.  But many of my quilting sisters are like me and need to be able to SEE what they have to work with; otherwise, it's off to the quilt shop to buy supplies for the current project, and months or years later, discover you already had that stuff but just couldn't SEE it.

My solution to this is to use see-through plastic bins, but those can only be used on shelving that does not allow you to stack bins on each other.  (Stacking bins is a sure-fire way to ensure you never again open the bins underneath the top bins -- they're just too heavy to move once they're filled with fabric.)  My favorite solution are those plastic "drawer" systems by Sterilite, like these:  My favorite is #2930.  I've got most of my fabric in these drawer caddies, generally sorted by color or type (batiks and flannels get their own drawers, as do multi-yardage pieces for backings).

The tricky part is finding these units.  Wal-Mart used to carry the larger drawer units like the 2930, but now they only carry puny ones -- a different brand, even -- that are not nearly large enough, and not nearly as sturdy.

All this leads to the question of the day:  how do you store your fabric?

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Amazing Photographer

So my daughter wanted to set up a day to take our annual 3-Gen photographs before I move to Ohio.  And she wanted to have them taken on the beach in Galveston by a professional photographer.  This was a photographer she found via "The Nest", an online site for young mothers, so I figured this would be a young woman sort of "in training", working on building a business.

Wow -- was I ever naive!  Kasey Marsh, the photographer, IS a young woman, and she's very laid back, fun to be around, and our experience with her was completely enjoyable.  So I wasn't expecting much more than some nice shots of all of us at the beach.  I was especially happy that she IS so laid-back, as I was feeling rather cranky about having to take time out from purging & packing, getting ready to move, and leaving my house at 5:15 a.m. to meet the fam in time ...

But the photos she took are positively BREATHTAKING.  I can't even believe it's us in those pictures -- we don't look like real people.  Here are some preview shots she posted on Facebook for us:!/photo.php?pid=1009978&id=16477234943&ref=fbx_album

Bottom line, if you want some AMAZING photographs taken professionally of you, your family, whatever, contact Kasey.  I *highly* recommend her.

Here's a link to her website:

Enjoy the eye candy, and then call her!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Book Mobile

I've whittled down my book collection significantly, and catalogued the ones I'm keeping in  Whew!  I've only got 376 books in my library now!  And that's after giving away at least twice that many.  Sometimes having a plethora of built-in bookshelves is not actually a *good* thing, I guess.  But I sure do love my books.

In the process of cleaning out junk, I came across my original Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes book -- the one my parents gave me when I was about 3, where I tried to teach myself how to write.  Oh the scribbles in the book!  They crack me up now.  They also bring me very fond memories of both my parents reading to me, and letting me "read" to them .... gosh I miss them.  Still.

I also found my ancient "French Fairy Tales" book, and my old Robert Louis Stevenson's "A Child's Garden of Verse".  Wow, I love those books!  The illustrations in "French Fairy Tales" are simple line drawings, but they're exquisite to me.  These books are both so old they have no ISBN's for cataloging purposes.  :-(   My parents read to me from those books, I read them to myself, and then I read them to my children.  It was quite gratifying to learn a few years ago how much our "reading sessions" mean to my now-grown offspring.  And it thrills me to know they read to their children.

When you're an only child, books can be your best friends, your windows on the world, the source of a vivid imagination ... reading is still a great comfort to me. 

Now we have Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Borders, and numerous other websites selling books (and a whole lot more), which explains why I had to get rid of SO MANY BOOKS.  :-)

Parents, read to your children.  I'm convinced it creates a special bond between you, one that lasts a lifetime.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Half Price Boxes

Have you heard of "1/2 Price Boxes" in the Houston area?  They're a fabulous resource for boxes of any kind, as well as moving and shipping supplies. 

I went to the Pearland store and got 25 boxes (20 small and 5 large) for only $25 -- you can't beat that price anywhere that I've found if you're buying boxes for anything.  The gentleman running the store was so helpful, and so sweet ... I've packed up all those boxes and will be headed back for more.

They also sell bubble wrap, peanuts, tape, tape guns, packing paper (blank newsprint), moving blankets, peanuts, foam, stretch wrap ... I'm sure there's more that I can't think of right now.

I found them on the Web, which is why I'm posting about them here.  I'm not affiliated with the company, nor will I get paid for this endorsement, but if you're in the market for boxes or shipping/moving supplies, I highly recommend them.

Here's a link to the website: