Oh my goodness -- it's New Year's Eve! I can't say "where did the year go?" because so much happened this year and well, I'm looking forward to 2022. Bring it on!
I did get a chuckle this morning as I looked back at New Year's Eve 2020. That's the beauty of a blog -- it's easy to see what happened on any given day. Well, it appears that I was doing the same thing last year. Cleaning up Studio B. HA!! I think it's going to be an ongoing process for a couple more years.
Here's how the decluttering process is working for me. First, things needed to find a home and for the most part, things are now very organized and do have a home. Things without a home are what cause clutter - so does excess. So now that things have a home, it's time to refine those homes. And this year has been about dealing with the UFOs, whether that was to finish them or to give them away or whatever.
And once that is done, then it's time to start all over and go through stuff again and eliminate what is no longer needed. And then you repeat until there's nothing left!
I started the day by going geocaching. I had a couple of caches close to the house, but I wasn't able to snag any of them. One, I needed a tool like a screwdriver to lift something in order to get the cache. Alas, I have a pair of pliers in the car, but no screwdriver. I need to get better organized. I solved the clue to find another one but then didn't feel like walking to find the clue. Sigh.............
So I headed into the small village close to me to see what I could find. I knew there was an Adventure Lab there. These are five-part puzzles and you need to walk to a specific location and answer a question. I felt it was sort of cheating since you get a lot of points for doing it.
OK -- after walking around for a VERY LONG time, I managed to get the first four parts. There was no rhyme or reason as to how the checkpoints were set up -- you had to backtrack a LOT. The final part was 2 KM from my car, so I decided to take the car. But I solved the puzzle and ended up here.
|The Credit River
There is a river that runs through our city and there are a LOT of geocaches along the river. Actually, there's a trail that runs the length of most of the river. I need to come back in the summer as sometimes, you'll need to wade the river and well, I wasn't going to do that yesterday.
However, these ducks had no issue with the cold water. In the first picture I took, I swear there are TWO ducks, but then I couldn't find the female. I'm not sure what happened to her.
|A mallard on the river
I had to get to the Legion to answer a question and I spotted this. Nice artwork on a utility box.
|Artwork on a utility box
Anyway, the final stop of that multi-part puzzle was the trail at the river. So I decided to walk down to the river. Wow -- it was so quiet and it would be a good spot to take Murphy. ON A LEASH of course. I don't think she could handle the current in the river, but not until summer!
While I was there, I decided to check if there were any regular geocaches nearby and YES there was one not far from where I was standing.
Turns out that it was near this piece of history.
|The mechanism for the sluice gate
What is that? Well, there was an interpretive sign right there and this used to be a sluice gate. I'm assuming from the picture that it's been moved.
|The interpretive sign
But that whole area beside the river used to be filled with mills. The one where I was standing was used to make textiles!! How cool is that? The mill is still there and I'm not sure what happens in it now. That whole area is quite fascinating historically!
Here is the defunct railroad, which I don't think has seen a train in quite some time!
|The defunct railroad
Here are the remains of the damn -- but it broke at one point and I think that's the time when they moved from water power to electricity for the mills.
|The remains of the damn
It's interesting how that tree grew around the sluice gate.
|The tree grew around the bar of the sluice gate mechanism
And lastly, here's the container that held the logbook. Easily accessible, but unless you were looking for it, you'd never spot it.
It was a glorious day out and I had great fun. The best news is this. I'm ONE cache away from my goal for this month. I should be able to get that today on my walk this afternoon!
|My monthly score
And oops -- my mileage has been a bit excessive this week. Between cleaning and sorting and all the walking, I've packed on the miles.
|My walking mileage for the last three days
I honestly couldn't help myself as yesterday afternoon rolled around. I had already hit my goal for the day, but I was going to miss that afternoon walk, so I went out again! I think the daily walk thing has now become a habit! And I hear so many similar stories on the Conquerer Facebook page! I MUST get my goals set for tomorrow as the new 2022 challenge begins tomorrow and it's aggressive so I dare not miss a single day!
I had to do a task yesterday that I was dreading. I needed to get my vaccine certificate with the QR code. My previous one did not have that. I couldn't just order it online as I have a different health card from most people. Long story --- procrastination on my part. Anyway, I called the number indicated and prepared to settle in for a long wait. WHOA!! Within less than 7 minutes, I had my vaccination paper in hand. And I spent a great deal of that call listening to their blurb about how to book an appointment. Good grief -- let's get to the point here!
Anyway -- that process went very well and I was super impressed. I didn't book an appointment -- I'm on a waitlist and I'm OK with that. I just needed that certificate in order to get into the gym next week.
OK -- so you want to see what happened downstairs? It's pretty ugly at the moment! But it has been an eye-opening experience.
Of course - I had help. Here was a place in the house that she had never been to before and she had to get in there the moment she could!
|Mom -- it's safe
Here's my view from the inside. I got my portable speaker set up and a stool so I could sit and I started going through project boxes.
|Inside the closet
Oh my --- this is the FIRST and probably ONLY project that DH bought for me. He later resorted to gift cards. But the staff at the store helped him pick the fabric and the pattern. Sadly, I've not started the project, but I can't bear to take this one apart, so it's back on the shelf.
|The project purchased by DH
What's this project?? It doesn't look familiar at all. Then I realized that it's a project that I got when Joanne (a shop owner and a friend) passed away a number of years ago. Her projects were divided up and people bought them. I bought this one blind.
Here's the picture of the quilt. Well, Joanne, I love you, but I do NOT want to make this quilt. The magazine went on the shelf with the other ones of this title series
The fabrics are a very weird color - very muted - very old-fashioned looking. I sorted them by color and put them in my stash. Project box - EMPTY!
|Fabrics from the unwanted project
Good lord -- I then found this box filled with sunflower fabrics. I have a thing for sunflowers - I love them, but seriously???
There was also a stack of patterns and it appears that anything with the word SUNFLOWER in the title, was good enough to put in this box. What the heck was I thinking? I sorted through all the photocopied patterns and they went into the recycled paper we use for the printer.
|A photocopied sunflower pattern
The bought patterns went into the pattern boxes. And another project box - EMPTY!!
Then I found THREE boxes marked TOILE BAG. In them was a ton of patterns, fabrics, and supplies to make tote bags. OK -- I don't need to keep these in a project box. If I want to make a tote bag, I'll find a pattern (or make it up) and then look for the supplies.
|Bag making supplies
Then I started just putting those project boxes that needed more sorting aside and before long I had this pile.
|Project boxes to pull apart
I still need to go through all these project boxes and empty them of the contents and put the contents back in the stash room.
|More projects to pull apart
This is going to definitely clean up that closet and ONLY the projects that I really want to finish or work on are here. Some of the projects have not been started, but I like them, so they went back in the clsoet.
At one point, I said screw this and took everything NOT sorted out of the closet. And this is what it looks like.
|Projects that I'm keeping
|Projects that I want to keep
Besides that pile of project boxes, I have all this to sort through. Yikes -- that's a lot, but I'll do it! The point is that even if I were to cram this all back in the closet on those seven empty shelves, it would be a significant improvement over what it was!
|Still to sort through
I found a bundle of Harry Potter fabric and a bundle of cute flannels for a baby quilt. Both of those piles got put into bags and will go to Diane to see what she can conjure up for a quilt. I mean --seriously -- I don't need the stuff!
|Fabric bundles to be donated to community projects
And I had to laugh as I went back to see what happened last New Year's Eve. Yep -- I had found a couple of faded cushion covers which I filled with scraps for pet mats. And yesterday I found a faded Harry Potter cushion cover, which is now filled with scraps for pet mats!! I think that's the last cushion cover.
|A pet mat made with a faded cushion cover
As the new year approaches there are going to be tons of places that will give you tasks for cleaning up your sewing space. Here's a word of caution -- you won't be able to do it. Unless your place is already pretty neat. It has taken me YEARS of organizing and NO BUYING (or very little) to get my place to where it is and I'm still far from being done.
So here's my advice -- And I'll try to write some tips each day to help you. Here's a head start on tomorrow's task - you are going to clean up the area around your sewing machine. I did that last night. I'll share the photos with you tomorrow. It's all about BABY STEPS - you need to have success and results in each area or you'll get behind and get discouraged.
Here are some tips:
1. Determine what you need around your sewing machine --- your tools -- snips, seam ripper, thread catcher, stiletto. You do NOT need anything else so get rid of the other stuff. And if you NEED something else, let me know what it is.
2. Then take everything else and FIND a home for it. Don't just put it in a basket.
Like I said -- I'll take a picture tomorrow and show you what I've done. If you are brave enough to share your before and after space, I'd love to see it and perhaps post it!!!
Speaking of cleaning, there is a house around the corner that keeps putting these boxes to the curb and the city is NOT picking them up. They are new to the area and do they not realize that they are expected to break those boxes down and put them in or beside the recycling cart?? I've got a mind to get the city on them -- it's a huge eyesore.
|A neighborhood eyesore
On that note, I've got a super busy day. Oh shoot -- I did more stuff yesterday, but you'll have to wait until tomorrow to see it. And get ready to blitz your sewing room!
Have a super day!!!!