August Challenge: Week 1

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Just a quick update from the Kindle. I hate typing on this thing so I hope it will be short.

Things are going great, I started on the 1st as planned with 30 minutes. Lordy, I got a lot done.

What a difference 30 minutes makes!!


Definitely encouraged by my progress, but increasingly losing energy, only 1/2 the time was spent in the room on Wednesday.

Day 2 before…

Still making progress though…

Day 2 after!

Day 3 I think I only managed 10 minutes if even that. No new photo for day 3, but I can tell you that the white box in the middle of the photo is gone.

This particular area is taking longer than expected but that is totally OK. There’s a lot to go through in those boxes and I am going through them as quickly as I can to make it as painless as possible. I didn’t put enough time in the schedule for this area because I didn’t realize what was in the boxes. Lots of things from my parents who have passed and I miss terribly along with stuff from when my son was little. He’s 23 and has been on his own for several years already. This room was his room. So…Lots of emotions happening in here but it’s getting better. I’m doing better while I’m in there and it’s continually getting a bit easier to do what I’m doing as I go along. I have decided to put up a photo of Mom and Dad to honor their memories and I already have Spencer’s painting on the wall. This idea gives me the comfort I need and keeps the emo down a bit as I carry on.

Note: OMG I just had the BEST idea of the photos I will put up for Mom and Dad. Pictures of them creating something! Now to find photos of them doing stuff like that. I’m sure I have some somewhere…

Day 4, yesterday, I took the night off. It’s been a long, tough week of insomnia, busy work days and a lot of aches and pains. One can only do so much. I just might go off schedule and go in there this weekend, but we’ll see what is going on.

I am happy with how the project is progressing and sometimes I just go in there and look around. Now I can envision what the room will look like and it brings a smile to my face.

Oh, and Kiko is there with me watching every move. I have found one cat toy between all the crap. The way she’s acting, I know I’ll find more. ūüôā

Stay tuned, next weekend will bring another update with photographic evidence.

The Great August Challenge of 2017

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(Grab a cuppa, have a seat, this is a long one…with pictures!!!)

For quite a while now I have been hanging out with a bunch of awesome folks over at How to GYST .¬† It stands for “How to Get Your Shit Together” and was started by Laura Hutchinson, formerly in Ireland and now in the process of moving to Ohio. Her videos and blog posts are informative, inspiring and all around just plain good for you if getting your shit together is what you want or need to do. She also has an e-course called the “Productivity Power Up” which is awesome. If you end up taking the course and there is a place for comments please add that you found her through Donna B @ I won’t get anything out of it but brownie points. ūüėõ The group is awesome and very supportive in everyone’s endeavors to get organized and improve their lives. Go ahead and check them out, you won’t be disappointed. The Irish accent is a bonus. Laura has a YouTube channel, Facebook group etc, etc… All info on the website.

Ok, on with the show.

Every August, Laura gives herself a big challenge. Consequently, she invites anyone in the group to join in the fun. The basic premise is to pick something off your to-do list that you just haven’t been able to get done, something you’ve been putting off, or something you really need/want to try/do. Then you concentrate on just that “project” for the entire month of August. Laura’s challenge this year is to discover her new home/area in Ohio. ¬†You can find a link to it on her website.

When it came to picking out my challenge, it really was a no brainer. I am going to FINALLY get the spare room in order and set up my sewing/crafting area. I have had issues with a massive creativity block since my Mom passed away in 2012 and I am feeling it begin to drop away, so time to get moving. Time to honor her memory, my family genes and quite honestly my peace of mind/sanity and get my ass making stuff. I have so many ideas rolling around in my brain and two sewing machines that have been ignored for far too long.

Plus it would be really nice if Honey could get to his hobby corner and guests could actually sleep in a non-cluttered room and have somewhere to put their stuff.

Also, I have a special project going for Honey that he has been waiting on for about three years. He’s been very patiently waiting…

Oooh, dinner is ready. Lordy it smells so good…

Ok, I’ve just had a wonderful dinner and a full glass of wine with it so let’s just dive into the before pictures shall we? I’m still getting used to drinking wine with dinner so I’m relaxed and content and just a bit sassy. This could get interesting. Or not.

First off, the room is 10 ft x 10 ft, one wall is all closet (albeit a really really awful one), and there is one window on another wall. At some point I will do a floor plan so stay tuned…ummm probably shouldn’t hold your breath.

View of THE room

Ok, I’m standing in the hall looking in…what a freakin’ disaster right? Now you know WHY this project was such a no-brainer choice. Full wall #1 to the left, full wall #2 across the back, wall with window (not seen from this angle), and final fourth wall that consists of super sucky pants closet. I really don’t like that closet, can you tell?

Somewhere in there is a table.

Wall #1 in all its glory. Very cute pencil drawing of my son from way back when, some wall shelves with the beginning of my organizing efforts and a whole pile of god only knows what on top and in front of an Ikea gateleg table. Between the shelves and the table are bars with baskets hanging from them. Yet another Ikea item from the kitchen department I think. When this was my son’s room, they held his art and school supplies above his drafting table. The table is now in a different area being used as Honey’s desk.

Somewhere under all this is a carpeted floor-you can just see the lovely brown 70’s lushness there in the front.

There’s that poor gateleg table peeking out of a pile crap. Can’t you just hear a tiny voice calling ” help me…help me”. Not much floor space available. Sigh.

How does one get back there? Good question.

Here is the corner formed by two full walls – aka the beginnings of Wall #2. That’s an Ikea Billy shelf unit with doors. In it are two sewing machines that have not seen the light of day for over two years. Only positive about that is they shouldn’t be covered in dust an inch thick. Honey uses the very top of that unit and the wall shelves above it for his RC helicopters. Not very easy to get to them. At all. I usually hear some swearing when he goes in there. Sorry Honey. That is about to change.

Isn’t that a lovely painting? I know the artist.

Wall #2 meets window wall. Really the only place to put the double size bed. That painting on the wall was done by my son when he was ten and at summer art camp. I got it professionally framed last fall and I will have it hanging on a wall no matter where I live. By the way, he just turned 23 years old, so yeah, it took me long enough. Only warm body sleeping on this bed is the cat. She’s just a little thing and found a few comfy spots.

Miss Kiko… She’s a talkative little Diva.

CAT PICTURE BREAK!!!!! Everyone, this is Kiko our two year old cat. She came to see what Mummy was doing. She has one eye and a whole lotta attitude. She’s spoiled rotten.¬†She’d make a perfect pirate but has issues with wearing the costume – yes, I bought my cat one of those pirate costumes…whuh…

Dun dun dunnnnn…who knows what lurks under there?

Yes folks, I put my bed up on stilts so I could shove more crap under it. Here we have a fully loaded under-bed-world of boxes full of who knows what. I think Kiko might have a stash of toys under there. I’m sure she was in there making sure I don’t disturb it. We’ll find out by the end of August, won’t we…

Wall #3 meets the worst. closet. ever. Ever I tell you!

Say Hi to Sarah Jane folks. She’s my never-been-used-yet dress form. She still needs to be padded out to mimic me and I haven’t had the heart to do that to her yet. Her figure is perfect and well, mine isn’t. Nothing wrong with that, but she’s such a work of art and let’s be truthful, I’ve been putting it off (aka too damn lazy to do it – aka I don’t know where the padding kit is…). Anyways, shitty closet behind her and window on adjacent wall. Pile of boxes and crap and a cart full of sheets and towels that need washing.

DISCLAIMER: the closet from hell is not included in the challenge. ¬†It really needs its own. If I have some August left after getting this room together, I will get going on the closet. To be fair to the damn closet, it’s not what is in it, it is the shape/structure of the darn thing. Really not conducive to anything.

Pretty much the easiest place to get to in this room.

A view behind the door. Not a very well utilized space, but I have plans for this that involve Honey and some power tools.

And… there you have it. Now you know why I don’t have a sewing spot and why I picked this room for my August Challenge Project. It has always been quite daunting to do anything in there but shift things off the bed or into our room when we have sleepover company. I’ve never really thought a weekend was enough and there have also been some emo issues connected to that room and the stuff in it that I may or may not cover as I post updates. The only thing I have done is add to the crap as I go through stuff in other rooms and find things that need to live in there. I will touch on that process as well. A lot has been happening in the Chaos since I last posted, so there is a lot to catch up on.

I have promised myself to do a minimum of 30 minutes in there every weekday night. I do plan to take a break on the weekends to work on my list of various other organizing or creative projects. This room is going to be tough to get through and I don’t want to hate it by the time I’m all done.

Maybe I should post more often…

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Be careful what you wish for folks…abra cadabra, here it comes.

(Note to self: you really shouldn’t drink wine before you try and do shit like this…end note.)

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A year of living grey.

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This is totally not about 50 Shades, so move along if you’re looking for that.

This is about going grey.

One year ago on April 1st, I decided to stop coloring my hair to cover the greys.  The evening of March 31, 2015 was the last time hair coloring chemicals have touched my hair. I had been coloring my hair for about twenty years.

I had been toying with the idea of doing this for about five years and would always chicken out. Always. ¬†My roots would get about an inch long and I’d say to myself, “you can do this, it’s only hair, it’s only a color…” and then two days later I’d be mixing the chemicals and banishing the roots.

I had convinced myself that the grey hairs around my face aged me.  I was convinced that I looked old and tired. I was convinced I was more than 75% grey. I was very persuasive. I believed every word.

By the time March 31st rolled around, I had let my roots grow out almost three inches. This time I was going to do it!  I was going to break free of the chemicals and go natural.  Then I saw my reflection in the mirror at work that afternoon and in about ten seconds flat I had convinced myself again that I should color my hair. That evening after dinner, I mixed up some Revlon medium golden brown and went to work.

By the time I got to the part where my hair “cooks” for half an hour, I knew I had made a big mistake. ¬†My scalp was starting to burn. I washed if all off a bit early, but the damage had been done. ¬†My scalp felt like it had been burned by the chemicals and it was very red. It was the most painful hair experience I’d ever had in my entire life. Coloring my own hair or having it colored had never felt like this before. ¬†Luckily that’s all that happened. I rinsed several times just to make sure that the chemicals were all gone and promised myself I would never go through this again…and then brow beat myself for having given in to my vanity once more. The redness faded after a few hours and my scalp was a bit tender for a few days. I had no blisters and still had all my hair. I felt very lucky.

My free time over the next few days was spent on Google and YouTube searching for ways to “go grey with long hair”. ¬†Most everything involved coloring your hair lighter colors for the next year or so in order to “blend the grey”. ¬†Then there were those that let the roots grow out a few inches and then cut all their hair off. Two extremes I was definitely not going to do to myself.

That Friday, on April 4th, Honey and I went for hair cuts. I sat in the chair and told my stylist it was time for a shorter style.  I went from below shoulder length to short and sassy.

Short and sassy, April 4, 2015

Short and sassy, April 4, 2015


I. Loved. It. Honey took a while to adjust to the look but he’s been supportive all along. I had no adjustment time because every five years or so I would tell my stylist “cut it all off”. ¬†I was going to cut it off gradually but decided to just go for it. ¬†It was only hair, it would grow back.

For the next nine months I went pretty regularly for trims.  Surprisingly my roots were a bit more camouflaged than I thought they would be with my hair so short.

August 2015, the grey is showing more.

August 2015, the grey is showing more.


Even more surprising was that I wasn’t as grey as I thought I was…I gave myself another swift kick for not stopping five years ago…oh well.

Fast forward to about November. The last of the color was now gone and being swept up from the floor around my stylist’s station. Time to grow it out. Talk about rough times ahead. I’m not sure I’ll survive the growing out bit.

Nov 2015-as grey as it gets.

Nov 2015-as grey as it gets.


There isn’t a most recent photo because…vanity. My hair is at an extremely awkward growing out stage and I am constantly threatening to shave it all off if it doesn’t behave. ¬†I shall post update photos if anything changes.

But Donna dear, how do you really feel about going grey?

It’s simple…I love it. I am free of the chemicals that held me hostage most of my adult life. ¬†When I look in the mirror I see my hair as wavy, sticking out where it shouldn’t or looking halfway decent. I no longer see the color. It has been an adjustment for my friends and family, but they know I’m still me. I haven’t changed. There are moments I feel more sassy because…well because…freedom. It comes with a new attitude.

Am I tempted to color again? Hell yes, but I don’t give in…this is me now and I like it.

If you are thinking of doing the same, go to YouTube. Search for “going grey”. ¬†There are so many videos of women who have made the transition. They’ve done it the best way for them and they aren’t going back. Best of all, they are happy with their decisions.

If you color your hair now and won’t stop, that’s ok. Everyone has their own personal reasons. No one but you should make that decision. No one but you can make that decision.

If you are thinking of starting to color your hair, think carefully. It’s an almost lifelong commitment. ¬†It’s a constant decision of continuing the process every time your natural color starts showing. It’s a lot of work, time, and money. ¬†I did it for twenty years and it was worth it to me until the last few years when I started questioning my reasons. Just be true to yourself and make that decision based on what YOU want.

Going grey was the best decision for me, so here I am.

Maybe I should check Ravelry more often…

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Back in December of 2015, I received a request to feature a photo of some socks I made on a designer’s pattern page. I finally saw the request today and gave my permission.

You can now see my stripey socks on Charles Voth’s Design Your Own Toe Up Socks¬†pattern page.

Can you guess which ones they are?

They would be the ones from “Chaosknitter”. ¬†Of course.

Category: Knitting, Ravelry | Tags: ,


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Canadian Geese in the Spring

Are so loud it makes my ears ring

They start up in the morning

Without any warning

Why don’t you just take off, eh?

Category: Poetry

Follow me on Bloglovin’

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Follow me on Bloglovin’

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Under construction…

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So far I have the new site, some structure, and all of my old blog has been moved over from Blogger.

Please pardon my dust as I try and figure out why some of my photos came over and others did not. ¬†That could take a while…there are 761 posts from the old blog. ¬†Lucky for me not every single one has photos.

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Welcome to the Chaos!

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For my 10th blogging year, I decided to treat the blog to some new digs. ¬†I’ll be moving all my ten-year history over from my Blogger blog over the next few days or weeks – depending on how much work it takes to do it.

If you are new here, I blog about general stuff. ¬†I am a maker: I sew, knit, quilt, crochet, make jewelry, and do general crafting. ¬†There will be plenty of stuff about that with quite possibly some tutorials! ¬†I am constantly organizing something or other and I shop. ¬†I have a relatively “new” English husband (Hi Honey!) and we recently adopted a kitten. ¬†We are empty nesters – my son Spencer is off living life in LA with his lady and two cats. ¬†So there will be plenty of posts about “life”.

Welcome to the Chaos my dear readers. ¬†Grab yourself a cuppa and put your feet up. ¬†I promise I’ll try my best to keep you entertained and keep the cuss words to a minimum.

*Note: Since I’m on my own website now (ooh, aren’t I fancy!!!) I’ll have some affiliate links to try and at least help me pay for all this fanciness – and my crafting and/or stationery obsession. ¬†I actually will have bought and used everything I’m publishing a link for, and I am honest about how I feel about things.

Something new coming soon…

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Bear with me folks.  Big changes coming to the Chaos soon.  Lots of posts with highlights from last year, a new word of the year, and LOTS more!!!

After ten years of on and off blogging, I’ve decided to get back into it on a regular basis.

Aren’t you lucky. ūüôā


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