Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Carving out spaces

A year ago today we closed on our house.  We weren't completely moved in until a couple weeks later.  It seems like the year has gone pretty fast, although there have been plenty of loooooong days since then. Our biggest improvement so far was putting up a fence a couple months in, but we're only now getting around to spraying on a weather-proofing clear coat.  The latter coinciding with a weekend project of Stew and the boys (mostly Wiley) working on a patio type floor for the dog pen.

Other than getting the pool set-up and dragging a basketball hoop over from our neighbor's, that's pretty much the extent of work we've done outside.  We've managed to keep the yard mowed with some consistency, but haven't maintained the landscaping or trimmed the front bushes.  Our front walk is pretty much blocked off now by the year's overgrowth, but we don't really care.  We'll get around to it eventually.  Actually I think it would be funny to let it keep growing out even more and then just carve a little walkway through it that we can put a gate in, with a sign that says "Go Away."  We're so neighborly.

On the inside there are a lot of projects we'd like to get around to also, like under-the-stairs storage (we've got a door cut for that!), painting, flooring, etc. but that takes money & time, both things that are on a budget for us.  Plus even a year later, I'm still stuck in a "not feeling all the way moved in" mode, still thinking of big improvements as of the maybe-someday-it-would-be-nice-but-first-I-need-to variety.  One of these days I hope to be able to quote Mrs. Incredible (Helen Parr) and call Stew at work and say, "We are now officially moved in... I finally unpacked the last box."  There are in fact several boxes up in the attic that still need to be unpacked.

Speaking of the the attic, more and more I'm calling it "upstairs" and finding myself trying to get up there as much as possible when downstairs chores are at bay.  I like having that space up there, even if it is unfinished.  It could be years before we actually get the rooms walled out, so I'm just using the space like I'd want to anyway.  Almost all the kids' toys & games are up there now, and I'm working more on carving out a little studio for myself.   It can get pretty hot up there, but I've got a fan going and it's actually somewhat satisfying to work up a sweat while I get stuff done.  Due to the heat, the kids usually just come up for a toy or two and then go back downstairs, where I almost can't hear them playing in the OMG-Why-so-loud? way that they do.  

From the tools below, can you guess what my latest project has been?

I've released my stored vintage clothes from their wardrobe box dungeons, stringing them up on wire between the studs.  I'm hoping that by being able to see all that excess I'll have more motivation to get rid of it somehow.  Either by re-opening  my etsy or doing eBay or maybe just using PayPal checkout through this blog.  But probably a lot will end up getting donated, possibly after I try to do another flea market stall first. 

Similar to the boys' toys, I'm thinking I might empty out my downstairs closet too and drag it all up there also, only hanging and folding clothes downstairs that I'm actively wearing.  Not only would that free up space in our closet, but it would make it a lot easier for me to realize what I'm not wearing and  be better able to weeds things out.  

Want to come shop in my store?
 Another project was getting a white backdrop set up, hopefully for photographing items to be listed online.  I used the short rolls of donated Ingeo fabric I've had sitting around since grad school.  It's fabric made of corn! 

If I don't end up using the wall for a backdrop, or even if I do, I might also use it as a makeshift canvas and create some sort of mixed media artwork along the edges of it.  Because not seen in these pictures is a big heap in the middle of the room, made up of craft supplies, yarns, fabrics, clothes to be reconstructed, etc. My goal is to get that stuff sorted out and more accessible so that I can spend less time sweating up there and more time making stuff up there.


  1. I wish I was better at organising my "stuff". if you could see my sewing corner/boxes of overflowing remnants/terrifying mess of crap, you'd know how bad i am at it.

  2. i can totally relate. i donated perfectly good art supplies, knowing i eventually would use them, but they were getting in the way of all the other project stuff. consolidating is good. i finally bought some big bins from ikea for remnants. three years ago i said if i didn't get to the bottom of my remnants then i would donate them. ha, maybe this year. in addition i'm holding on to some vintage stuff i want to sell - but oh, the effort! is that what i want to spend my time doing? these questions are a regular part of my life. good luck to you! can't wait to see how you move forward.