Around the House

A Little Reset

It has been a while, and things have gotten a bit busy around the house, but it is time to do a little reset.

You know, review all the media subscriptions and get rid of those you haven’t looked at in a while. In my case, I canceled a couple of streamers that I just wasn’t watching once I’d finished the series I signed up for. When the new series is available, I can choose to sign up again or not…

Speaking of streamers, I looked at those free channels I’ve subscribed to on my Roku box and removed those I haven’t watched in a while. I also took a good look at what I was watching – is there a better source? I recently posted about a free platform that has collected a wide variety of sources for stations I would love to watch but weather and distance make over-the-air viewing an issue. Turns out I’m watching it a lot and enjoying the convenience.

I’ve taken a look at my To Be Read Book Pile (which in my case is predominately audiobooks) and my media calendar to see when the next book by a favorite author is due.

Media calendar? Yes, I keep a calendar just for media – it contains reminders of books that will be published, series updates, and notifications of movies that I want to see. I find it an easy way to keep up with the various authors, shows, etc. without cluttering up my regular daily calendar.

Don’t forget to reset your modem! You might be amazed at the improvement in your signal. 🙂

Reset doesn’t just apply to media. Have you got a list of articles, websites, magazines, etc. that is stuck in a ‘Later’ pile? Now is a great time to go through that collection and remove the ones you know you are no longer interested in.

If you have an RSS feed collector and mark articles for ‘Later’, don’t forget to check out that list. If your reader seems to be a bit slow, chances are that the collection in the ‘Later’ list is slowing it down a bit.

And as odd as it might seem, have you taken a few minutes to sit down and consider what you want to do for the upcoming Winter Holidays? If you have craft projects you want to do now might be a good time to do some planning. Christmas and Holiday fabrics and papers are now available. Just saying… 🙂

Around the House · Media · YouTube

A Visit To Family Affair

I remember watching ‘Family Affair’ when I was a kid – not much older/younger than the kids in the show. Uncle Bill’s New York apartment was the epitome of 1960’s sleek lines, warm colors, and luxury.

For those who love mid-60s modern, this is one of those fantasy homes that can inspire.

Marina Coates has quite a few video tours of TV and movie homes that are worth watching not just for the nostalgia but to learn a few tricks of the decorating and design trade.

She even has a few videos detailing the specifics of how some of those iconic homes became so iconic.

Check out her channel and let me know what you think.

Around the House

Ready For A Refresh?

It’s that time again! If you are in between deep cleans, the refresh is a great way to restart your week. Month. Whatever. LOL!

What is a refresh?

Refresh refers to a bit of a tidy up or clean out. Nothing major, just a time when you put things where they belong, clean a bit, and make your space look a bit less lived in and more liveable.

It can be choosing a specific location (bedroom, kitchen, bathroom) that might need a bit of a small clear out or reorganization.

You could choose to spend some time going through your wardrobe and putting away seasonal clothes you won’t need for a while, setting aside clothes you can take to the charity shops, and making sure there are no items that need repairs.

Have you gone through all the various products you use in your bathroom lately? Are there bottles, etc., that probably could be disposed of? Are there items you have never used?

Refresh doesn’t mean moving furniture about or taking down the drapes for laundering. It can simply be making sure all the bits and pieces are where they belong – or find them a space where they belong and get them situated. That being said, changing cushion covers or floor rugs can make a huge impact on a space you see every day.

One of the side benefits of a refresh is the way it energizes your space and you, too. It is almost like stepping into a new home, or like going on a short vacation.

So, pull out your calendar and schedule a few hours to tackle the spaces in your home. This may sound daunting, but if you alot, say 30 minutes for each space – or all spaces – you might be surprised at how much you can get done. Set your timer and dive in!

Don’t forget to take the time to enjoy the refreshed spaces. Settle in with a cup of tea, put your feet up, put some great music on, and sit back to relax and enjoy your efforts.

Around the House

Rethinking Clearing Out The Stash

It seems to be ‘the thing’ to do these days; clear out all, if not most, of the things you own to simplify your living space.

As one who has a history of having loads of things collected over time and then having to do something with them, I get it. But I came across an article a while back that made me stop and rethink the clear out ideology a bit.

I’m an avid reader, music, and movie fan. As a result, over the years I’ve had loads (tons?) of material that fit into those particular categories. Truly. When I moved into my home after being a long term renter, I not only had to find a way to get my stash from one state to another, but from storage to the house. And my house is not huge.

At the time my video library was pretty decent, my music library reasonably sized and my book collection was, well, substantial.

I ended up giving away loads of books. My video library has always been conditional; i.e.; I bought only those things I knew I wanted to watch multiple times. There have been a few acquisitions that didn’t meet that criteria, but, thankfully, not many. My music library is still pretty <gulp> substantial, but overall manageable.

What I learned after moving and reassessing my stash was that most of what I had, or kept were things that I was particularly attached to. If I rashly got rid of all the stuff just to meet someone else’s idea of whatever, I’d be pretty upset and a bit broke – these items were not cheap and they aren’t all easy to find, either.

As I perused that article I mentioned, I got to thinking about having to restock a household. I know of a couple of people who have had to do this due to either a home burning down or natural disaster. We often encounter these disasters thinking about the family photos and such, what we often forget is the regular things we need to exist in our homes.

Things like, dishes, pots and pans, bedding, towels, clothes, not to mention pet items like beds, litter boxes and toys.

Notice I never mentioned electronics, video libraries, and such.

The things we have in our homes reflect ourselves. Even if we don’t always understand that. Some collect items for the sake of accumulation. Shopaholics, if you will. Even those items purchased not necessarily because of ‘need’ but more ‘want’ are a reflection of the purchaser.

While I don’t think living in homes that are so crowded that we don’t actually have use of the space (been there) is necessarily a good thing, I do think that it is worth taking the time to clear out things that are no longer needed or wanted rather than just pick it all up and send it away.

In other words, you can go a bit too far following the latest trendy craze and doing a massive clear out.

First, give yourself permission to do the task.

Second, make a list of ground rules. What to keep, what to sell, what to give away.

Third, stick to the rules.

Fourth, allow yourself a bit of time to process the clear out. It can/will be a bit emotional. Acknowledge it. Accept it. Move forward.

Fifth, enjoy the end result.

What you will discover is that most of what you have removed from your home are items you never really had much attachment to, or use for, and don’t miss. That will be a bit surprising.

The odd thing about a clear out, no matter if it is physical or emotional, is that by removing things that no longer serve you, you make room for things that will. You will no longer be overwhelmed by the clutter of stuff and have the room and time to embark on new experiences.

And, you will hang on to those things that give you joy, make you smile, work for you and fit in your home.

Win/Win, right?

Around the House · YouTube

Comfortable Living Spaces

I love homes that actually invite you to live in them rather than feeling like either a museum or a hotel room. And, to be honest, I’ve been in a few that felt like cheap motel rooms. 😉

The idea that change or clutter is a problem is a curiosity to me. When you live in a space you have clutter, you have change. It is as normal and everyday as pretty much anything you can imagine.

While I don’t live in a spotless home with absolutely no clutter would be a lie. I don’t live in a home that is totally clutter, either.

Mr. Carrington recently showed us the latest iteration of his loft space and it is lovely! As one commenter mentioned, who would have thought that the old, dark space could be transformed into a light, airy, roomy space? Check it out:

I love this room!

Mr. C’s love of finding inexpensive items and doing DIYs or refits works so well here. You never know what you can find at a car boot sale, or a second hand shop. With a little ingenuity, not to mention a touch of courage, you can create rooms with just as much interest, too.

The trick, if there is one, is to allow yourself to play. Nothing has to be permanent, so if you don’t like it, change it.

Want to really up the options? Why not get together with friends and share your unwanted items? One person’s trash is another person’s treasure – and, with a lick of paint, a spot of glue, a touch of glitter, you can turn that <ahem> trash into some spectacular treasure.

Let the party begin!

Around the House · YouTube

Loved This!

I’m a huge fan or Mr. Carrington over on YouTube. His videos are interesting, educational, humorous, thoughtful, and, if all that wasn’t enough, relaxing and personable. The time you spend with him is well worth it.

This week’s vlog is a ‘spend the day’ vlog that covers a lot of territory. Personally, I can’t decide if I like the King’s Cross visit (with The 9 3/4 platform) or the visit to Fortnam and Mason. Or all the places in between.

Check it out:

I always enjoy the forays into shops, be it charity hauls or adventures on the market streets.

If you are looking for something new and different to occupy your hands, check out Mr. C’s new hobby.

Enjoy!

Around the House · Musings · YouTube

Bits & Bobs

Or the occasional odd thoughts that cross my mind.

Reached into my desk drawer recently and discovered, much to my surprise, that I had three – yes, three – tape measures inside. One for sewing, one all purpose, and one honking huge thing used by professional carpenters.

Note to self: Clean out the desk drawer and the tool box to make sure things are where they should be.

Yesterday’s snow was a lovely soft blanket that averaged 2.5 inches across my area. It was light and fluffy without any sleet or ice. So nice, in fact, that I was able to take my broom and sweep off the deck in front of the main door.

Today, thanks to blue skies and sun that is warming everything up, most of the white fluffy stuff is gone. 🙁

My daffodils are blooming and, having gone through two snow blasts within two weeks, are still hanging in there. Here’s hoping that they can bloom without experiencing any more of the white stuff.

I find myself watching lots of ladies on YouTube who have taken care with their manicures.

Some love a variety of colors and finishes while others are rather subtle. All are quite nice to see. Even if I clicked just to watch the project. 🙂

Sometimes you need to find a space that allows you to process all the ‘stuff’ going on outside in the world without doing damage to what is going on inside your world. To that end, in my house at least, this means quiet music, classic cartoons, and a touch of whimsy where applicable.

The outside world will continue with what it is doing all on its own. The inside world needs all the help we can give it.

Sending hugs to all who need them.

Around the House · YouTube

Looking For Organizational Ideas?

Me, too!

I love to find inexpensive (i.e.: cheap) ways to help me organize my home. I try to find unusual ways to use things. Bookcases can be for more than just books, right?

I found a great resource over on YouTube: The Crafty Organizer with Norrine Burke provides lots of great ideas for finding ways to tackle (corral?) all kinds of things that need to be organized in the home, office, craft space, or whatever.

Check out her website and don’t forget to look her up on Instagram.

This recent video really gave me a lot to think about and inspired me to look around for ways I could incorporate her ideas in my home.

Enjoy!

Around the House · YouTube

Developing Your Design – Where To Start

I’m a long time fan of the Farmhouse Vernacular. Not only because the design esthetic is close to mine, but because Paige has developed a pretty clear methodology on How To Do It.

How to decide what your particular design is.

I know it sounds complicated and scary, but it really isn’t. It is also easier than you might think.

The first thing you need to do is collect pictures and samples of those things you love and want in a room, or your home.

In years past you would be directed to collect these things from magazines but these days you can create boards on Pinterest or similar boards. You can also use your phone to collect photos of items, etc., that meet the “I LOVE THAT!” criteria. (Note the capital letters.)

What is the “I LOVE THAT!” criteria? It could be color, style, design, inspiration or any other definition that makes your heart beat a bit faster and brings a smile to your face when you see it.

If you are a collector, you might consider including your collections in a room or two. If you have a particular fondness for a certain color or collection of colors, you might consider including them in your design for a room or two. If you feel particularly adventurous, you might evolve that collection of colors to flow through your entire home. It isn’t as difficult as you might think.

Are you fond of a particular style? Some folks really enjoy comfy cozy furniture that lends itself to curling up under a blanket to watch a movie. Others prefer clean clear lines with minimum frills. Not sure what you like? Take some time to gather ideas – note that reference to Pinterest noted above. 🙂

Personally, I prefer color in my home. I also like a touch of whimsy and a bit of casual comfort. I don’t love (let alone like) sofas or beds covered with pillows that require a complete stripping of the furniture before it can be used as a place to sit or recline on. I ‘get’ the idea but the reality is that I wanted the sofa or the bed to be used not as a display area. 🙂

Check out Paige’s latest on her gallery wall. It is an awesome collection of items that continues to evolve – something else that is a great idea as it limits or eliminates boredom of design.

The ideas extend beyond the gallery wall – you can use them in some form or other for the rest of your home, too.

Tell me what you think!

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.