Around the House · Crafting · Musings · YouTube

Starting The New Year

Happy First Wednesday of 2022!

Among all the get fit, healthy, slim, organized, up to date, etc., etc., videos and blog posts out there, I’ve found a couple that actually speaks to me and are relevant to my crafting/crafter’s journey.
You might find them useful, too.

On YouTube:

Just Get It Done Quilts is doing a 21 day de-clutter challenge. Now before you panic, these are easy 30 minute things you can do each day – with a time limit – so you can reclaim your sewing space.
They are practical ways to get back to doing what you love: quilting. Check it out.

Sew Becca is embarking on her 2022 get healthier journey by incorporating a quilt that will journal her journey. She is building upon an idea she learned from Scrap Fabric Love. Check out Becca’s videos for the explanation.
The beauty of this process is that it can apply to pretty much everything. So, if you want to track your water intake, the number of steps you make, the weight loss or gain, this could apply to you. Also (and the thing I find most amazing) is that the process does not limit itself to quilting. If you are a knitter, crocheter, quilter, painter, paper crafter, or whatever your jam, this process can be accommodated to you.

Sometimes it is the little thing that help us get back to what the life we want. Whether de-cluttering or tracking is needed, these are easy things you can do to get you where you want to be.

Around the House · Musings

Taking A Breather

Or, It’s Been A Long, Long Year

I started thinking about this month’s posts in November. Not unusual except that I was up to my ears with catalogs, online browsing, holiday card making, and the not so comfortable feeling that things were getting out of hand. Sound familiar?

Well, the shopping and the cards are done and out in the mail. The catalogs have been browsed so often there are fingerprints in places that are … odd. I’ve managed to corral them, shred the parts that need to be and toss the rest.

Enough already!

It almost feels as if the holidays have already been celebrated and we are at that point where clean up makes us wonder if we missed anything important. Like, maybe, the celebration?

When you look at the December calendar it is astounding how many different holidays there are. The mind boggles.

Like many folks I know, we started the actual shopping early. Why? Well, considering backlogs, out of orders, delays, and such, it just seemed like a good idea. An added bonus was the ability-come-requirement to think outside the box. That little extra that advised us to look beyond the normal, or usual, gift items and find things that were still a good fit but a bit more on target with the recipient in mind.

I do admit that at least one recipient on my list received a gift card because I found a literal plethora of items that would fit the bill. So many, in fact, I simply could not make up my mind. Part of me feels a touch guilty but part is curious to find out what the recipient chooses.

At this point, however, December is becoming a time when I want to put my feet up, have something tasty cooking in the kitchen, and something interesting and fun to watch or listen to.

Sort of a combination of sticker shock and jet lag, right?

Here’s to an interesting December!

Around the House · Shopping

Touching Base

It’s been almost a full year since I first tried these products and I thought it a good time to let you know how things have evolved with a couple of my very favorites.

L’Bri Pure N’ Natural

Last year a friend of mine asked what I was interested in for a Christmas present and I mentioned that I wanted to try the L’Bri shampoo and conditioner. Needless to say, Santa came through! In more ways than we thought.

I’ve always been a bit particular about the products I use on my hair. Some garden variety stuff leaves it dry and lifeless while the better quality items tended to require a bit extra to help my hair be its best.

Imagine, then, my amazement to try a shampoo that isn’t high sudsing, cleans well, smells great, and doesn’t require a huge amount. A little dab will do you – really! Top that off by not requiring a conditioner to de-tangle and the cake is truly iced.

A few months later I realized that my hair, which is notorious for either growing like a weed or taking its time to decide if, or when, it might add some length, had added a full 6 inches. Yes, six inches of growth. And not a split end or frizz in sight.

I love the skin care, too! Easy to use, not harsh, does the job and the results are what I would expect from a very high end department store brand.

I’ve added Citrus Melody Body Wash to my shower caddy and enjoy not only the lovely scent but the great clean, too.

Check out the full line of L’Bri Pure N’ Natural by clicking HERE.

Canagrow Programmable Timer

I have used a timer for decades to have the lights come on before I get home so I don’t have to fumble around in a dark house. This one has 20 on/off programs that you can set in addition to random, 7-day and countdown functions.

I bought this from Amazon to replace a very old unit that had finally bit the dust. I admit I was a bit surprised to find something so flexible and easy to use. I recently discovered it has additional features I wasn’t aware of.

What I do know is that it does the job exactly as I asked it to, was easy to program, and made living with the occasional power outages a lot easier because of its battery back up.

All in all, these items have exceeded expectations beyond anything I could have anticipated. Why not check them out yourself?

Around the House

Creating A Creative Space

Happy to catch Morgan Donner’s latest YouTube video where she brings us along as she and Mr. Morgan Donner create her new sewing room. Check it out:

Moving into a new home always brings some creativity to bear. Where does the furniture go? How to access all the ‘stuff’? Do I really want to use this room as it was labelled or can I just make it what I want it to be?

Having watched Morgan’s sewing room update in her old home (check her channel to find that video), I have an idea of what she needs and wants to be able to do the projects she works on. Seeing how she applies the wants and needs to her new space just makes the entire process more interesting. And thought provoking.

If you are developing a room in your home – and it can be for any purpose, not just crafting – are you including in your design things that not only provide the needs (shelving and window coverings) but also the things that make you smile?

This could be anything from more plant shelves to a place to display collectibles to room to hang artwork.

Have you spent time seeing how the room flows and what the light patterns are (or aren’t)? All of us who have put things down when we moved in because it was open space and it ‘fit’ only to shift things around later because traffic patterns or the morning/evening sun blinded us or made watching TV impossible know how frustrating living in such a space can be until things are rearranged a bit. 🙂

I recently watched an interior designer walk us through her home where she stated that it took a few years of living in the home before she knew it well enough to start in on the projects that transformed it from a place she lived in to her Home.

Creative spaces cover a wide variety. They can be sewing rooms, craft rooms, writing rooms, offices, to name but a few. When you combine some (or all) of these into one space, it can be a bit tricky. When you leave out the things that inspire you to actually perform those functions (sew, craft, write, etc.) you tend to have spaces that aren’t used as much.

It really doesn’t matter if you are renting, either. There are lots of creative ways to make your space work better for you that are renter friendly, easy on the budget and inspire you to do your best work.

There’s a reason folks love book cases. 🙂

Looking for ideas or inspiration to make the most of your spaces? Check out The Crafty Organizer. Lots of thoughtful projects to organize your home and work space with an emphasis on budget friendly.

Sometimes thinking outside the box gives us the freedom to create spaces that work better for us in ways that we never expected. Trying new designs or learning new skills helps when we need to add more form and function, too.

Happy creating!

Around the House · YouTube

Inspiration: Engineer Your Space

I came across Engineer Your Space on YouTube several years ago. I love finding creative folks who are courageous and willing to think out of the box when it comes to making use of small spaces. At the time, Isabelle LaRue was living in a small apartment in New York City. I thought her ideas and designs were interesting and doable by most folks.

It wasn’t long that she moved to Los Angeles and once again created a living space that is warm, comfortable, useful, and, most importantly, doable by the average renter.

Granted, she has experience with tools, but that is something that anyone can learn. They can also rent tools if necessary, so that shouldn’t be an impediment.

What I can appreciate the most is the way Isabelle tackles problems, areas, projects in ways that are creative and affordable. They are all Renter Friendly and geared toward small spaces, but that doesn’t mean that the average homeowner can’t make use of her ideas, too.

I recently revisited the YouTube channel to find updates on her apartment. I love the way living in a space gives you opportunity to find out how it works best for you and what you can do to make use of all the features.

Check out her website here: Engineer Your Space, but don’t forget to check out her other media outlets.

Around the House · Shopping · YouTube

Inspiration: Mr. Carrington & Luke Catleugh

My discovery of Mr. Carrington has led to a lot of ideas, inspiration, fun and, my particular favorite, arm chair travel.

Mr. C, as he is known in my home, lives in London, England. His channel focuses on DIY around the house, decor, shopping excursions, cleaning and easy recipes. Among a few other things. LOL

Frankly, he is one of the very few Appointment TV (aka: YouTube) I have. Every Sunday morning I sit back with my coffee and breakfast watching to see what he’s been up to lately.

My other Appointment TV is with Luke Catleugh. Both of these guys are friends and occasional coworkers. They share a love of shopping, DIY, decor, travel, etc. Luke is also quite an interesting and inspiring home cook.

Each of these guys bring a relaxing vibe as they share their latest projects, shopping hauls, excursions into the garden, not to mention those rare but thoroughly enjoyable meet ups.

Watching them has stretched my imagination when it comes to decor and DIY projects. I’ve also thoroughly enjoyed their travel experiences, too.

If you are interested, go to YouTube and search for Mr. Carrington and Luke Catleugh.

Around the House · YouTube

Inspiration: DIY Danie

I’ll be honest, I’m not 100% sure where I originally came across Danie Berger’s work on YouTube. I’m pretty sure it could have been while watching Alexandra Gater or Buy or DIY. What I am sure about is how much I enjoy her creativity, her willingness to be silly, her fearlessness when it comes to projects.

Note: I’m pretty sure Danie would not agree to the ‘fearless’ adjective, but there you go. 🙂

As I’ve discovered during the more than a year of following along, Danie has a love of a variety of things that often inspires her to make some amazing projects. She has allowed herself to think outside the box and create projects, and rooms, that appeal to the fan in all of us

One of my favorite projects is her Harry Potter Inspired Adult Bedroom. Check it out:

For those of us who love Potter, this room is an eye opening comfort space that gives all of us permission to play and explore a bit while not diving into any kind of ‘kid zone’.

This past year, Danie embarked on making magic in her very own first home. Check out her videos as she upgraded the decor in the living room, bathroom and bedrooms. Don’t overlook the back patio or garden upgrades, either. And, I have to be honest, I’m loving the She Shed. 🙂

I have to say that after watching her, I don’t look at things in quite the same way. Is there a DIY potential? What if…?

If you are interesting in checking out Danie’s work, go over to her website diyinprogress to see what she has been up to. She’s also on YouTube and Instagram and probably a few more spots – you can find all the info on YouTube, too.

Around the House

House Number Options

Who Knew There Were So Many?

One of the things on my To Be Done List is to update my house number. I really need something more visible and less, um, gnarly. When the original numbers were added years ago, they were fine, but time and weather have taken their toll and it is time to replace them.

I’m contemplating some major changes to the front of the house, too. I’m thinking a planter or two and maybe a nice walkway light. That particular area doesn’t get a lot of sun, so plants will need to be hardy and able to survive in the shade. It is also the area where the trash bins are kept, so there will need to be some thought about handling those.

I headed off to Amazon to see what they had to offer and, frankly, I was shocked!

In addition to the standard number and letter configurations there are signs that can be lit – either hardwired or solar powered. Wow! I could get really outlandish and play with colored lighting. Something I’m sure the neighbors would be thrilled about. Not.

In my feed today, this solution is interesting:

Easy. Affordable. Great if you have a handy person around.

I think the planter idea is a good one. I’m especially enjoying the plants on my deck and am looking to add more next year.

I always seem to be surprised at the number of options available. In a way, however, it opens up possibilities when I consider how I want to handle walkway lighting and a motion sensor to let me know when people are near my door. (I’ve been surprised a few too many times lately…)

Speaking of walkway lighting, I did see something recently that made me smile. You can purchase sets of solar lights for walkways in a variety of colors, shapes, sizes, etc. Did you know one of the options was pink flamingos? Yep. You can add a flock of the birds to your garden or lawn space.

I do have to chuckle because a few years ago a home in the area purchased their very own flock of flamingos from a local florist who had resin birds in a variety of species. I came home one day to find a lawn full of them! They were only out for about a month before they went on their way (I have no idea if they moved into the storage shed or what…) but while they were out they brought a smile to my face every time I drove by.

All I can say for certain is that I have a lot of research to do before I make my choice(s). I’m happy to have a lawn that the birds enjoy. No, not Flamingos, the neighboring flock of crows comes by to forage almost every day. Oh, and one of the neighbor squirrels has returned, too!

Have you made changes to your yard? I’d love to learn more.

Around the House · Musings

Odds & Ends

Happy Saturday! Or whatever day you are reading this. LOL!

I just wanted to say a massive “HELLO!” to all the regulars and a “Welcome!” to those who are new. I’m glad you stopped by and hope you make sure to return often.

I also wanted to let you know that I will be making some changes to the place in the next few weeks. Nothing Earth-shattering – at least I hope not – but I will be adding some pictures and developing some free downloads to some posts. I’ve been testing out some ideas and am getting ready to put them into motion.

I’m so glad you are enjoying The Orange Plaid Cat! I enjoy this way of chatting with you!

As always, please let me know if you like something by clicking on the “Like” button at the bottom of all posts and don’t hesitate to comment or send me an email.

Talk more with you soon!

Around the House

An Interesting Bathroom Update

More Home Renovation from DIY Danie

Danie Berger has spent the months since moving into her new home doing what I suspect most new owners do: making it her own.

This means reassessing the colors, style, changes, etc., that need to be done to make the home reflect the current owner/occupant, not the last. 🙂

One of the first projects she did was to change the upstairs bathroom from a lavender hodge podge into a farmhouse haven. I’m still loving the updated cabinet she did for her towels, etc. The one thing that wasn’t done in that bathroom was tackle the shower / tub area. Considering what she accomplished elsewhere in the room, that made a lot of sense, but the time has come and see what magic she spun:

I have to say there are some interesting inspiration pieces, er, updates here. And, I have to give kudos for the effort put into the area. Not sure I’d be the one to tackle such a project, but the end result is pretty awesome.

You might want to take the time to see what other projects she has been working on or completed in the house. The lady has a eye for style and color and I have to admire her efforts.