Wednesday, January 03, 2007

The State of Things

I've been trying to catch up on my blog reading. There are a lot of lists out there, long lists of things accomplished in 2006 and goals for 2007. After much consideration, I think I'm going to pass on posting lists right now. I had a slightly better than average year in 2006 with 43 finishes. The truth is that I'm not in the mood today to look back at 2006; it was a good year, but now it is gone. As for goals, I'm still pondering what it is that I want to accomplish in 2007.

A few days ago I wrote a lengthy post about SharonB's Take A Stitch Tuesday and saved it as a draft. I would really love to participate in the challenge. I'm interested in surface embroidery and it sounds like an awesome learning experience. Now enter...a reality check. Today I looked long and hard at my "Things To Do In 2007" list and realized a more appropriate title would be "2,007 Things To Do." Ok, maybe there aren't quite 2,007 things on the list...but there really are too many things I want to do. In fact, there are quite a few things I have already committed to. I want to do everything, but the truth is I can't do everything. My overbooked October and November (and subsequent fall from the face of the earth) should be a lesson to learn from, not a pattern to repeat. As much as I would love to, I'm not going to participate in the challenge. I've deleted the draft. I'm looking forward to seeing the stitches that the participates are taking and living vicariously through them. There is going to be a lot of fun eye candy this year!

One of the projects on my plate is my office/craft room. I've mentioned several times that the sewing table is piled with stuff and has been for months. It really is sad, because the rest of the house is rather neat and orderly by comparison. For some reason I allow myself be a real pig in this space. The fact that I brought home a carload of stuff nearly every weekend in October sure didn't help. I have more toys than I know what to do with. Literally. I've been chipping away at the piles on the table. I worked on it for several hours yesterday, and when I finished it still looked like this:

Here's what you are looking at. The large dark bag on the left is full of kitted up projects. This is the original Move It Out Monday bag, with over 30 projects ready to start. The basket is one of 3 containers I use for WIPs. The white tote bag on the floor contains yarn and several knitting looms, one of which has about 2 inches of scarf on it. I took a class from Cyndi at Jeanne's stitch-in, and loom knitting is really fun. On the seat of the chair are a few charts with fabric but I still need to pull the floss. At the bottom of that pile is a sewing project. This brings us to the top of the table, where obviously there still isn't room for my sewing machine. The table top is a mish-mash of papers, leftover fabric bits, several projects that need "finishing" and a multitude of miscellaneous items that have no business in my craft area. To the right of the table I have a few things piled on the floor:

The box on the left holds charts and kits (and whatever!) that need to find a new home. The pink basket is mostly stuff from Sue's estate. I bought some of her finishes, as well as several of her WIPs. I intend to finish the WIPs but I need for a little more time to pass before I can begin on any of them. That's my new boom-box, plunked down on the floor. (It has since been moved to a safer location!) The paper sack is full of cross stitch kits. With all of this clutter around, I didn't have a flat surface to work on so I opened up the laundry closet doors and used it as a work space. Did I mention that my office/craft area is also the laundry room?

All of my cross stitch charts are stored in file folders, alphabetized by publisher in ring binders. Putting away new stash can be a smidge time consuming. I set things up with my box of sheet protectors on the left, a spot in the middle for whatever ring binder I was currently working on, and (in this case) two piles of free charts - the pile on the left are "to be filed" and the pile on the right is for "oops, I already have that one." This uber-organized filing system is a little time consuming on the front end, but when push comes to shove I can almost always find things when I look for them. So I'm sticking with it! I hope to have the top of the table "unearthed" before the weekend. I hope.

When not laboring in my office I did manage to get a little stitching time in. I worked long and hard on the Bent Creek Spring Soapbox project. Click here (then scroll down just a little) to see what it looked like in October. This is the progress I made before I finally said "uncle" -

This has become a very tedious project. The banding isn't fun to stitch on. Every stitch is a struggle. I'm a little more than half way done, so I will certainly be finishing it. It is a shame about the banding. If I had it to do over again I am sure I would stitch it on some other fabric. Next time I pick it up I will try using a bigger needle. My petites (love them!) are probably not the right tool for the job.

On a happier note, I put the Soapbox aside and started a new project on New Years Eve. It is "Topiary" by Homespun Elegance. I finished it in no time at all.

I LOVE the way it turned out. The colors are great together. I do love green! I haven't decided yet how to finish it.

Before I wrap this up I want to answer a few questions from the Comments section. First of all, some of you have been patiently waiting for a picture of the exclusive Lizzie*Kate design I received at camp in October. The picture is rotten, but you get the idea.

It came with sparkle fabric (not my thing) and the floss/button. I think the design is really cute, but the fabric will almost certainly get mailed to Joy.

Sue asked where the Lebanon show was located. Sorry to be so mysterious! Lebanon is in southern Illinois, about 25 miles east of St. Louis, MO. Mom & Me (LNS in Lebanon) has hosted the show for several years.

So that's the state of things. I'm off to declutter my office. Maybe it will help declutter my mind as well!


Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing the pics of your craft/sewing/laundery etc. room. You have made me feel much better. My bedroom is over run with stash and 2 full closets and 2 cabinets can be described the same way.

43 finishes in 2006? Wow. I'm not a goal setter either but did form a list and posted it figuring I could look back at some point and see how I'm doing (and if I stick to it). Keep posting, I love to read what you write. :-)

Cindy said...

You are a busy lady! I am one of those really strange people who just love to sort and clean my crafting items. LOL

Love the stitching and congrats on the first finish of this year!

stitchwitched said...

You've made super progress organizing your craft area. I know it's a lot of work because I've been working on mine also, LOL. And your stitching finishes are super, too!

stitchwitched said...

P.S. Every time I read it, the exclusive L*K design looks like it says, "Make me try" -- ha ha!

Cathy said...

Chelle, you sound overwhelmed! I hope that you are able to continue clearing your space and getting organized to how you want it to be. You'll feel good when it is done!

Sharon said...

Congrats on the topiary finish-very pretty. I like that exclusive LK design too-very colorful.

I think 2006 was a good stitchy year for you with those amazing 43 finishes. You have to have some organizational skills to complete that many projects.

Annemarie said...

Thanks for sharing these pictures, and for making me feel slightly better about my own stash overflow problems. I've been collecting charts, and the charts have been collecting dust. I have the same filing system as you do, but no time to do any filing. I'm not brave enough to show pictures of the state of my things!

Cindy said...

You're very lucky to have your own "space" for crafting! Thank you for sharing pics :)

Congrats on all of your 2006 finishes! Your topiary piece is very pretty.

Michelle said...

Love your Topiary Trees - they are great! My craft area got piled up while I was so busy in October and Novemeber. It is now clean. Keep working on it, and it will get there!!

Vonna said...

Wow, you've done a lot of work! Your filing system is very organized, mine is just thrown in some milk crates and put on a shelf! LOL!
Thanks for your very nice comments on my PS scissors fob...that was a quick stitch...I highly recommend it! :)

Anna van Schurman said...

You're way ahead of me in cleaning and organizing your craft room--I don't even have a desk! Good luck!

Lelia said...

WOW. You have some nice space for all your stuff. Organizing does take time, but saves in the long run. I get so frustrated looking for stuff -- it is easier to be organized & spend time geting something accomplished : )

I had a case of the 'lazy bug' today & didn't lift a finger to do anything. What a luxury.

Gina E. said...

Hi Chelle, Happy New Year to you too! Like everyone else here, I enjoyed reading about your efforts to organise your stash, and the photos. And like you and Sue, I don't set goals for stitching (unless there is a definite deadline date). I know what I want to do in a certain time, and I just have those in one basket. When the mood takes me, I decided on one item to work on for as long as it keeps my interest. Next time I have some stitching time, it might be another one. My stash is in a room which I laughingly call my den or study. It is lined with bookshelves, and has a desk and filing cabinet as well. The built-in robe has had shelves put in it to hold my stash of UFOs, SINS and floss, etc.
I have sometimes thought of doing lists like other bloggers, but it took me ages to put links on my blogs; I don't think I can be bothered putting any more on!!

Sew-in-Love said...

Well, I must say I agree with you about not joining in the 'TAST' challenge. I considered it too and realised that i just won't have the time, AND I don't have a quarter as much stash as you seem to have!LOL!!!=)

I have joined in a 50 project challenge which is designed to help us work thorugh our stash without making any significant contributions to it. So, yeah, I'm with you all the way!

Wish I had some hobby space, but I 'live' in about 4 boxes in the living room (carefully stored away) and 2 supermarket carrier bags in my under-bed drawer!!! We live in a shoe box, but I can dream!!!

Hugs, E=)

Barbara said...

Clutter is unavoidable, IMHO. I battle it into submission, only to turn around and find out that it's crept out of drawers and hidey holes and has staged a formidable comeback. LOL!

Nicole and Phil said...

I have enjoyed reading your blog, and seeing all the fabulous X stitch you have been doing this year! WOW, so much!!!
This Lizzie Kate design had me wondering for about 10 minutes. I kept reading it as Me Try an the second line....not as merry....and I could not work out what it meant! doh!!