Saturday, August 29, 2009

A Closet Obsession with Order

My closet was a wreck and since I hardly ever manage to close the doors on that thing, I decided it was time to get to work. And so after a variety of trips to Lowe’s and a few other places I settled on the Rubbermaid closet system and bought a closet kit plus a few additional items to trip out my closet. I managed to find other places for my clothing for a while, removed the shelf and bar and got started.
The Rubbermaid system goes in relatively easily, my worst problems were fighting with the stud finder that seemed to give some pretty inconsistent readings. I finally got a screw into each stud and hung the top horizontal bar, the long vertical bars hang from that. Each one went in pretty quickly and easily with a screw at the bottom to hold them in place. The brackets have a little plastic do-hicky that snaps in place once the shelf is installed and that keeps the shelves securely in place. All in all I was pretty impressed at how easily the system went together and how secure it felt when it was in. It was far better than I thought wire shelving would be.

I started adding clothing and realizing that the new system gave me more rod space, but it was still going to be a tight fit to get all my stuff in that little closet. We’ve had some pretty nice closets over the years, I’ve been a little spoiled. But I knew I could make this one work. It took a while to go through the clothing, trying things on and making assessments about what still worked and what didn’t, but totally worth it.

I made another shopping trip, this one dedicated completely to shopping for hangers. I was in one store where there were some great looking hangers in the display, but some were broken. I considered that a bad sign and kept on walking. I love the look of a closet where all the hangers are consistent and while it took me a few tries to find a store that had enough of the right kind of hangers in stock. I did finally come home with three bags of hangers. Hanging everything and getting it organized was fun. I had no idea I had so many long sleeve shirts of the same color. It’s funny what you realize about your shopping patterns when you get a good look at what you actually have. Apparently I purchase tops in pink/fuchsia, lime and turquoise. Now that I know that, I can fix it. Today I bought purple! =)
I have more shoes than I thought. And getting them all organized in the shoe cubby (thanks to my hubby who put that piece together for me) was fun. Now I can reach for a pair of shoes in no time and I’m now free of the dozens of shoe boxes piled in the floor of my closet. I haven’t worn many of those shoes in a long time just because I didn’t even remember what all I had. And at 25 pairs of shoes (boots stored elsewhere) it is reasonable to think that if I purchase a new pair, removing an old pair shouldn’t be that big of a deal. I already parted with some and that’s great. Notice that I only have one pair of dress shoes that have a back on them, all the rest are either strappy or open back styles. I’m not a big fan of having shoes on the heel of my foot. I think I will keep an eye out for a pair of tennys though. I haven’t had sports related shoes in ages and since I’ve done some jogging lately, it might be good to have the right shoes for that. I suppose I’m a pretty good consumer, huh?!
Some of my favorite features of the makeover include having my jackets and blazers in the same closet with everything else and my tops organized by sleeve length and then color. I now have a tie rack that I use for hanging belts, scarves and tank tops. Love that!

And of course bins for clothing that just wasn’t made for hangers. All in all I’m pretty pleased with how it looks. And as I make my way through the weekend’s laundry, maybe most of it will fit and the rest can go to Goodwill. I do like having a place for everything and everything in its place.

Birch Trees

I completed this quilt a while back but never got around to posting photos of it. I finished up the hand work one Saturday and have been enjoying it on my wall ever since. It's all cotton, many of the colors are hand dyed and I think there is a piece or two of commercial batik in there. The dotted fabric was created using potato stamps in metallic fabric paint. The trees are a natural unbleached muslin that I thought was a nice contrast to the richer colors. I've used a combination of brights and muddy tones hoping that it would make the vivid ones really sing. The colors are machine quilted and the trees are hand quilted with embroidery floss. It took me a while to get the binding completed, it's a pretty complex trick with all the movement in the edging, but I like how it turned out.

Friday, August 21, 2009

A little cabin in the woods

Has been my home since Sunday. I went away to write the book and while I was out there I took some photos. This little song became my very favorite while I was there so it seemed they should go together. I can't believe how many rainbows I've seen this week, some I was able to capture and others I either didn't have the camera or was too late with the camera. I <3 Rainbows, food for the spirit!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Updates to the Website

If you go to the Soap Page of my website, ( you'll see that I've added photos of the soap I've made. Here are some of them:

And also with the Jewelry Page:

And check out my website for my portfolio, more photographs coming. Let me know what you think. Thanks.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Display and Dis Play

I’ve recently become Exhibit Chair at a local gallery. I create the displays and make sure the new work has a new home. (It has nothing to do with chairs – lol!) So I started working on the gallery ages ago doing planning but drove up yesterday to begin work on the more serious aspects of the transformation. I couldn’t finish the work yesterday so I had made the drive again today. And this afternoon at around four I finally had to quit because I had somewhere I had to be.

There are some forty artist’s work that I’m fitting into a modestly sized gallery in an old Art Nouveau building. I’ve only got a limited number of linear feet of wall space for wall stuff plus the 3D stuff that needs display fixtures and such. It’s a real juggling act and some people are supportive and (so far only one though when she speaks she says “we”) some are not. So I’m working hard at getting things put together in a way that works, trying to please people and hoping to be successful some of the time. Looks like I’ll need to go back for another day tomorrow because there is much to complete. The scale of the project is a little overwhelming, and so are some of the personalities.

This evening I went off to the theater. I’m one of three makeup artists working behind the scenes on a local production of Annie. We have a cast of 65, and all but one are between the ages of 3 and 20. I’m the one doing the bald cap for Daddy Warbucks and it is an adventure each evening. I’ve pinned more maid’s caps than I care to count as well as repeated makeup and hair changes between scenes. We’re taking people into full wig and makeup, and then back out again – all during the show. Many of them play a variety of roles, some even require aging for one scene and then going back to their youthful look in the next. It’s crazy back stage but it is fun.

This production is far more involved than the last one. I did makeup and hair for The Pajama Game (a cast of 26) and it was very straight forward. Once I finished the cast’s makeup and hair at the beginning, I could stay for the show or go home. Then I still had the evening to get some work done if I chose. In this case I’m working solid from around 4:30 until nearly 11:00. I put Ed into the bald gear, work through all the character changes and then take off the bald cap and clean him up at the end.

Theater and Gallery work are both excellent opportunities to express my creativity, so I'm enjoying it. It did make for a really long day.

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