Category Archives: Organizing

That’s how we roll in The Chaos

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OK, so my friend Antonella gave me these awesome covertible fleece gloves last Christmas in a most fetching green.  Fingerless gloves with the tops off, put the tops on and you’ve got warm mittens.  They even have zippers on the top to hold money, an ID, your bus pass, or a key or two.

I wore them every day when I got them until the weather changed and I didn’t need them anymore.  They were set aside and that was that til the next winter.

Well the next winter is here.  The temps dropped last week and there I was going through all my winter accessories and lo and behold, NO GREEN GLOVES.

I look night after night. Sound familiar? Yeah, I was also looking for my knitting needles.

So The Chaos was torn apart, put back together and torn apart again.

The needles were found, but not the gloves…until last night.

Also found with them were a few other items (from top to bottom as they were pulled out of where they were):

  • two organic face towels that have been earmarked for a special project
  • a large freezer ziplock bag (empty)
  • Ms Cow’s knitted sleeping bag (I was wondering where that was too)
  • the gloves
  • a small ziplock bag containing the leftover yarn from Ms Cow knitted sleeping bag and two sets of dpn’s (which I noticed were missing from the ones I found the other day)
  • a small silk pouch with my best set of zils
  • my favorite veil (used mostly in dance class)

Quite an eclectic collection of items, wouldn’t you say?

Oh, and Donna, where DID you happen to FIND all these items?

Ummm…wellll….

They were in a small tote bag sitting innocently next to a shelving unit in my bedroom.  I ummm never bothered to look in it because I thought the whole thing was full of the face towels that were the top layer.

I just so happened to accidentally knock it over as I moved the shelving cabinet to see if my gloves had fallen down behind it.

When BAZINGA all those diverse little goodies spilled onto the floor.

Of all the things I manage to lose in my apartment, I really do miss my sanity the most.

…and the secret knitting begins…

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…but not after two whole nights spent tearing The Chaos apart to locate my stash of knitting needles.  I had even went so far as to hit Michael’s during lunch yesterday to buy the needles I needed – knowing full well that a minimum of TWO SETS of the damn things were at home.

Somewhere.

Luckily for my wallet and my sanity, Michael’s didn’t have ANYTHING I needed.

And I found ALL my needles last night.

PHEW!!!!

So now this sweater languishes once again in the bottom of my project bag sitting next to the couch, buried under the new projects ready and waiting to go once the one on my needles is done.

Every night this week that wasn’t spent searching desperately for needles was spent going through a shitload of knitting patterns, my boxes of yarn, and my gift list and seeing who gets what and in what yarn, and wondering CAN I POSSIBLY KNIT IT ALL BEFORE XMAS?!?

You know, typical knitter crap.  You KNOW you are or already HAVE gone through all this, don’t deny it my knitting friends.

For the non-knitters, welcome to the insanity that is Xmas gift knitting.

Usually it starts earlier for me, in October or so, but I haven’t picked up the needles on anything since Mom’s birthday Damask shawl in June.  After the shawl, the weather got really HOT and I lost my mojo.  And it has stayed too warm-ish to knit until the last few weeks.

It came SCREAMING back Sunday night-along with high winds and colder temps.  Just in time to (hopefully) knock out a few small gift projects.  Now that I have all my damn needles, I think I’ll be OK.

Here’s an important tip…organizing all your knitting stuff into one general area only works if you ACTUALLY PUT IT ALL IN THE SAME DAMN SPOT.

So now after I finish off this post, I’m going to go back to watching Bocelli live from Central Park on PBS and pick up the needles and continue on with the first project on my list.

The only thing missing from this whole setup tonight is my faithful knitting companion Kitty.  I do so miss her company on these solo nights at home. 🙁

The Chaos is still where it was…

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…and the prospects for moving it aren’t too good right now.

That’s ok though, something will come up and when it does, we’ll be ready.

This Friday, I’m taking a half day, borrowing a friend’s car and taking a bunch of boxes to the Thrift store.

When I’m done there, I will be taking some Household Hazardous Waste to the local drop-off station.

So far, Spencer’s room is 95% ready to move.  He’s cleared out a huge mound of give-aways (which is what is going on Friday to make room for more sorting and piling of give-aways from my room).  Included in that mound, are some kitchen items and a few items from the “general stack of boxes from the storage unit”.

I’ll also be making a run to a local office supply store to take a box full of papers for shredding.  A lot of the boxes from my room are filled with old papers.  99% of which I do not need anymore (that’s how old they are).

I dread going thru the hall closet.  It’s filled with tools and hardware.  I’m sure I’ll dump the hardware and will want to keep the tools.  A woman and her power tools are not soon parted.

As much as I’m giving away, I’ve thrown away a lot too, and have recycled as much as I could.

And I still have quite a few boxes to go through too.  If there is anything I know what to do, it’s fill up boxes with stuff and store them in any nook and cranny that will fit them.

I’ve gotten out of that habit though and am making quite a few sacrifices to the “moving reality gods”.

I am greatly reducing the size of my stashes.  Just for the record, I did indeed type that with an ‘s’.  There are stashes for sewing, embroidery, knit/crochet, jewelry and general crafting.  I have applied the “culling the closet principal” of organization.  If I haven’t used the supply in question for anything within the last year and there is no immediate intended use, out it goes.

In other words, I’m winging it.  If I still like the supply and can picture myself making an item that is worth gifting, keeping, or selling, then I keep it.

A lot of things I have had so long that I just can’t even imagine wanting something made from it for myself, let alone giving something I made from it to someone else.

Time to set it free out in the world so that someone else can be inspired by it like I once was back in the day.

One good thing about Thrift Stores/Charity Shops is that items like these that are still usable and in excellent shape but have fallen out of my favor will definitely find a home somewhere…and for about 1/20th the price I paid for it.

I’m OK with that. Totally.

Well…it’s been a few weeks, hasn’t it?

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And still the Chaos is in the same place.  There has been no forward movement on moving.  I’m pretty much stuck in a loop.

Search ads online…call poster to set up appointment…go look at disappointing apartments.

Good grief, you think I have looked at hundreds, don’t you?

There have been only 3 so far.  Three.  It seems like I have already looked at hundreds.  I think it’s just because I check the adds about 10 times a day.

Once something gets posted you have to jump on the phone, so whenever I get a chance, I am checking to see if anything new has shown up.

I’ll be honest here and say I did actually see an awesome place.  That very first one I went to see after work.  I did not get it.  Disappointed to the max, but there are lots of people out there looking for the same things I am and at the same price points (lowest possible of course) that I am.  it’s tough out there.

The last two were awful.  I’m am not a picky person by any means.  And for me to say they were awful…well they just were.  The last two apartment buildings were “born” in the 60’s – just like me.  I think I’m holding up a lot better than they are, and that’s really not a compliment.  Not at all.

Cracked and peeling formica on the counters, peeled and warped under sink areas (can you say water damage?), one washer/dryer for a floor of 13 apartments.  Really?  Those poor overworked machines looked older than I did.  A pool that hadn’t been cleaned in MONTHS, probably longer.  An exterior that probably hadn’t been painted in 20 years.  Carpet older than the hills, cabinets that didn’t close, moldy caulk in the showers.  And these places were “ready for immediate occupancy”.  The musty/mildew/moldy smell was unbearable in the last one I saw today.

It’s really a shame too as these places have such potential.  Too bad the owners won’t put out the money to do a few necesary repairs and upgrades.  The managers mean well and can only do so much.  I just can’t see myself living in a place like this and don’t really know how others do it.

The worst part?  Large closets, fireplace, ROOMY living areas, kitchen with a ton of cabinets and EXTRA CLOSETS.  O.M.G. The storage possibilities in all these places were amazing.

I’m just very very bummed that they won’t work for me. 🙁

So…when I publish this post, I will check the ads again and see if anyone did any late night posting.

This is going to take some time…sigh.

On a happier note: Things going out from the Chaos.  LOTS of things.  The Chaos is shrinking.  Now if I could only get my waistline to shrink as easily and quickly as the Chaos!

It’s been over a month…

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…since my last post.

So, what have I been up to?

Basically a whole lotta nuttin’.

My to-do list grows daily, hourly even, as more ideas pop into my already crowded brain.

And I really shouldn’t act on any of those until I get a few things in my life cleaned up and straightened out.

Mainly my apartment and the reality that my son is a senior now and pretty well grown and getting ready to leave the nest.

I have to get my apt in order so I can move. I need a change of pace and somewhere not so hot, dry, dusty and pollen laiden. Good luck finding something convenient for me at a price I can afford, right? ack.

I have to come to terms with the whole “empty nesting” reality.

Bottom line, I don’t feel (mentally) like I’m old enough to be going through the empty nest bit…although sometimes I look and feel (physically) way more than old enough. Gah.

Where did the years go?!?

So what have I been doing?

Watching netflix and playing Wheel of Fortune on my new netbook.

Yeah, lots getting done here at Casa de Chaos. (she wrote sarcastically)

I feel like I’m living a comedy bit from the 70’s. Can’t remember who it was but I thought it was totally hilarious way back then…

Teacher: So what did you do on your summer vacation?
Student: I got up, I got dressed, I went to the corner and hung out with my friends, I came home, I ate dinner, I went to bed.

Teacher: What did you do the second day of your summer vacation?
Student: I got up, I got dressed, I went to the corner and hung out with my friends, I came home, I ate dinner, I went to bed.

Etc etc etc…

Now, it’s not so funny.

I am so stuck in a deep rut.

I’d say “Calgon take me away”, but that would only may my rut muddy, and then it would be even more difficult to get up and out of it.

(I know, pretty lame attempt at humor.)
Time to reset, recharge, re-whatever my reality.

When you start thinking of excuses…

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…not to do something you love doing, it’s time to stop.

What am I talking about? Knitting.

Not stopping knitting, just stopping knitting 2-socks-at-once toe up.

I know I was excited about it, I know there are others who just L.O.V.E. it. Honestly, I think it’s the most wonderful thing since just plain Toe Up and Magic Loop.

(hanging head and sighing) I just can’t do it. I can’t get into a good enough rythym with it and God knows I’ve tried. And tried and tried and tried.

I started making excuses not to pull out my knitting on the train. Not too far out there if you consider that my ride is short and it took me the entire 25 min just to do one full round on each sock. About 10 minutes was spent untangling the yarn and cables. How do people DO this?!?

But then, I started making excuses not to knit on the socks at home, in the evening, when I was doing laundry or watching TV when I had plenty of time (so to speak – it’s multitasking time, but time none-the-less). I started cleaning and sorting and organizing rather than knit.

You know it’s bad when you’d rather clean than knit. Especially if I’d rather clean than knit. I’d rather do ANYTHING than clean.

The 40″ size 1 square needle had to go.

Back came the size 1 bamboo dpns. Ahhh…. I’m back to enjoying knitting socks. They may be one at time, but they are getting done. I’m sticking to the toe-up thing tho, that I absolutely L.O.V.E., whether it’s one-at-a-time or two-at-a-time.

Oh, and after taking apart the two socks, and after knitting for about 3 inches further on one of them, I discovered that they were probably too small. I looked at my calculations, the instructions for the calculations, the sock, and (sigh) something just didn’t seem right. Asked Honey for his measurements again, redid the calculations (redid again) and sure enough…too small!

No worries tho…both socks frogged, yarn cakes remade, new larger socks started. I’m about at the same spot I was when I frogged the one I started with the other method. Knitting one at a time. 🙂

It’s so much easier to knit on the train, and people really avoid sitting next to me again since I have a mini-porcupine in my lap. They seemed to like the bowl of spaghetti better (seriously, with all the cables, yarn, etc – it looked like spaghetti). Guess it didn’t look so “dangerous”.

Anyway, I knit cos I enjoy knitting. Doesn’t matter what I make or how long it takes me to make it. I don’t even care if I have to frog several times before I get it right. Just means I can knit even more. 🙂

At the rate I’m going, Honey’s socks with be ready in no time flat – definitely way before he comes to visit. I might even have my pair AND Spence’s pair done too – and we can be sock triplets cos I’m making them ALL out of the Knit Picks Time Traveler yarn! hee hee hee

Edited to add:

Just want to give a shout-out to Charles Voth, author of Design Your Own Toe Up Socks. I’ve knit every single pair of socks (5 pr complete) since I started knitting socks with his method of measurements and calculations and they come out perfect for the wearer every time. Follow the link and the tutorial is for sale in the right had column.

Sorting thru the Chaos

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Today Spence and I used a friend’s car to haul a bunch of stuff off to the Thrift Store.

A b.u.n.c.h. of stuff!

We filled up the car…boxes, baskets, little shelves, bags. It felt absolutely wondermos to get rid of it all.

After, we headed off to IKEA to pick up a few things to organize Spencer’s closet. We’re doing a major rearrange and clear out in his room. We actually just walked out of that place with just a few items – and some hot dogs after at the snack bar. 🙂

A quick stop at work to pick up some more boxes (for packing up stuff for donation of course) and then it was home.

Last trip of the day was back to my friend’s place to drop off the car and here we sit. Tired out, but full on artichoke ravioli.

Tomorrow, we’re off on the bikes for a training ride. We’re doing this in a few weekends. I’ve done 5 mile rides and 10 mile rides…I should be able to do this ride. I’ll find out soon enough. If I can’t make the training rides, I won’t push myself to do the full ride. I really want to do it tho and Spence wants to come along too. Maybe even get his riding buddies to come along as well.

It really looks like fun and I hope the weather cooperates. Hope Summer doesn’t decide to settle in the valley on that particular weekend. 🙂

Drive by Update…

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Still adjusting to the work routine. Getting quicker on my rides to BART, but they still wear me out. Just wish it wasn’t so darn cold in the mornings still…

Haven’t done much crafting/knitting -wise. With all this coming home and falling asleep on the couch after work, things have gotten rather cluttered and creativity-stifling.

For a few nights this week, I have been putting things away and so on, so I should be able to get back to all my projects soon. This weekend as a matter of fact.

This weekend is a busy one. Antonella and I are off to San Francisco for a friend’s Art Showing, some bead store blitzing (mostly of our wallets, I’m sure) and a stop off at our fav stores on the way home if we’re still standing by then (and if we have anything left in those poor abused wallets).

Then we’re off to my place for a girl’s-night-in-crafting. I’ve been teaching Antonella how to make jewelry, so we’re going to make some stuff for ourselves, then she’s agreed to help me get some work done on some things for KublaCon.

There will be my 30min Spaghetti and Meatballs for dinner, some snackage, and prob some instant viewing on Xbox while we work.

A full day!

Can’t Blog now, watching Olympics

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My days are filled with doing not much – I just don’t feel like it. I am managing to get some stuff done from little bursts of energy or the urge to clean or organize something. Alas, nothing big enough to tackle the start of my Spring Cleaning jag that I mentioned a while back. There is supposedly rain starting tomorrow, so we’ll see if that gets me in the mood I need to dive into the kitchen deep cleaning scenario. I’m getting close…I can feel it!

In the meantime, it’s time for dinner and then…oh crap…it’s either Bones or Olympics. We’ll have to see what the Olympics offers tonight. I’m not into the ice skating anymore, so if that is on tonight, it’s Bones until 9pm then we’ll see what the Olympics has to offer.

Last night was exciting with the downhill and the half pipe and the speed skating.

Oh yeah, and I’m supposed to be knitting on Spencer’s beanie while I’m watching. Pah. Have not even touched it in weeks. I don’t even remember where I put it. Very hard to knit on it when he comes home from school in a sweat (he rides his bikebikebike to BART). Like he’ll be wearing it!

The rain finally came…

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Lots of updates…

Spencer is enjoying the new school. He’s actually getting homework! And he loves the fact that he has a locker. It’s the little things that make us happy. 🙂

Had my last surgery follow-up with the wrist doc. I am FREEEE…to do whatever I damn well please. He says everything looks great, my range of motion is excellent, my strength is pretty much “that” close to being 100% and he doesn’t want to see me again. :o) I still haven’t done any heavy lifting, but thankfully, no heavy lifting has been required. It still gets worn out if I overdo things though, so I do still need to be careful.

My friend who was waiting for licenses and stuff for his business is now “this” close to getting them. There has been much movement there in the last few days and some political intervention even. :o)

I have found a new supplier for dice beads! I am so excited I can’t even tell you! At our first Kublacon 4 years ago, I bought a wee box full of mini dice beads (200 in the box). I’ve been making things off and on for the last few years and now I am running out. This year, I decided to go ahead and get a Kublacon Flea Market spot for the Friday night of the convention when I signed us up this past week. I am very excited. I have been drawing things out, making lists, collecting up supplies for several months now and now it’s time to start cranking some stuff out. Most all of these designs and ideas have included dice beads…and PANIC! I needed more.

After trying to get some from various game shops (where I got them in the first place), I was very discouraged as they are not sold anymore. Last night I got a revelation and checked on Etsy and Artfire. Both sites have shops that sell not only hand crafted things, but supplies for hand crafters as well. SHAZAAAM! Next thing I know I’m ordering metal dice in silver and gold colors, and regular white dice beads, small red skulls and some little bells. I got a little bit of all of it and if they work in my designs and stuff, then I can order bigger batches. The gold and silver will really make my jewelry designs look awesome!

I have one rosary to make this week (jade and silver – it is going to be purty!), and then it is time to get crankin’ on Kublacon stuff. Spence and I have made a huge list of things that would possibly be good sellers at a gamer convention so now it’s time to make patterns and get the assembly line going! Yayyyyyy!!!!

Oh, and I’m back to sorting thru stuff here in the Chaos and took 2 cart loads of stuff to the charity shop this week!

My future is filled with sorting, spring cleaning (I’m starting in the kitchen), and making stuff.

Oh, and Spencer’s beanie is finally on it’s final start. I think this is the one. No more frogging!