Friday, July 31, 2015

Bed, Bed, Oh Heavenly Bed.....

After a month of painting, Rick and I will finally be able to sleep in our own house, in our own bed, this weekend. I can't tell you how excited we are about this. (We have weathered a 30+ degree hot spell, simmering in the extreme heat at my ma-in-law's while our wonderful new air-conditioned home was inhabitable because of the ongoing painting. However, without her kindness, we would be facing an enormous hotel bill, so we are eternally grateful.)

We knew that making the decision to paint every square inch of a three-story, four bedroom, four bathroom house meant a LOT of painting. But yesterday, I decided to start counting and listing everything that got painted or has to be painted and seriously - I can't count that high.

I think that two weeks of the four have been spent prepping. Taping, filling nail holes, caulking and then caulking and touching up the trim after the first coat - and the second.  One of these days, I will count the amount of trim, just to really appreciate the job done.

I can't say enough good things about our painter. He is friendly, obsessive about the job he is doing, and the kind of person you feel good about having in your home.

Yesterday when he started prepping the kitchen and right hand side of the main floor family room, I teased him about the exercise just being "fort building for painters" and he freely admitted to enjoying putting up plastic walls and temporary beams.

When I showed the pictures to our son this morning, he said the house looks like a set for Dexter.. Yikes, I was saying ET, but Dexter is really a scary thought.


So, not only does he put plastic walls up and cover all the cabinetry and separate the space where he will be spraying, he also covers the entire floor in the area with brown paper. Meticulous or just super smart about a quick clean up.

So today he is spraying the wood trim on the big sliding door to the deck, the large window in the family room and the smaller window over the kitchen sink. All the wood trim is going from wood to white - hence the incredible amount of prep. But after this - and once the remaining walls are rolled, we can start to take furniture out from the large plastic-covered structures in the centre of each room and place it where it belongs.  We will finally get to see how we like our furniture and art work in our new home.

I wouldn't advise the feint of heart taking on a job like this - either painter or paintee - but the results are definitely worth it. I will attempt to share some before and after shots in my next post. Because this truly is a stunning makeover.


Thursday, July 23, 2015

New Address. Same Boxes.

Well, we have arrived in Peterborough and have been camping out at Rick's mom's while our place is being painted top to bottom. Hence many of the same boxes we packed will have to wait to be unpacked.

Making the decision to paint out all trim should never be taken lightly. It is a HUGE job. Every window, every door, every crown moulding, every floor trim piece. And when you go from wood grain to white, every nail hole needs to be filled, along with every little gap.

Luckily we have an amazing painter who is not happy with less than perfection. And with only a light coat on some trim and a second on others, we can already see that this was indeed the right decision.

We have not had to purchase much for this house, since we were pretty much doing a lateral move, but we have acquired an outside deck set that is pretty amazing. As the deck is on the small size, we have opted for a higher (counter height) narrower table, and that is where I am perched right now writing this post.


I was very thankful to leave the boxes behind for four days while I taught a Wide class at Loyalist College in Belleville. Ten amazing students made the break from moving madness a much-needed respite and I didn't think about any of it until I came back.

I love open classes, because everyone's project is so different, and there are so many "lessons in the moment" that present themselves. Everyone got a good start on their project - and a few people got started on more than one. Good to take advantage of a teacher while you have one, right?

Here is the class picture that was taken outside our room. As you can see, I had two men in this class, which is a first for me. They were both delightful additions to the usually all-female crowd.



Will try to be more frequent in my posts once we are settled. Gotta scoot - the lawn guys are coming into my outdoor office lol.


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Fewer Weeks, More Boxes

We are down to just over three weeks until the big move. And the piles of boxes are growing in virtually every room. The studio is no exception. Until you pack it, you forget how much stuff you actually have. You forget how much wool and yarn and sewing material fits into those wire cubes that fill the long wall.

I have already filled 17 boxes and 6 bins. And that is in addition to the many Rubbermaid bins in the basement crawl space that are the "other" stuff - the felted wool sweaters, the blanket wool, etc.   I guess I can no longer kid my poor husband about the many, many, many boxes of hardcover books that he is moving to the new place. I am probably keeping stride with him - box for box.



Since the movers told us we didn't have to empty the big pieces, as long as there weren't bottles or breakables in there, I have shoeboxes of worms and small pieces of wool in two pieces and all my miscellaneous tools and necessities in others.

The walls are bare. I have taken down all my rugs and rolled them into my "hockey bag" (which has never actually been to a hockey arena). It was actually my daughter's camp bag many years ago and has carried my rugs to virtually every school and workshop I have taught in the past 8 years.


For the first time in over 5 years, I have packed away all my circular knitting needles, my dye samples and the other things that used to hang on hooks from a support pole in the middle of the room. 


Upping the degree of difficulty to this endeavour, I head off to teach at Loyalist College the day after our stuff arrives, so I have had to be mindful of what has to travel with me, so it will not get lost in the many boxes and bins. My supplies for class will be in rolling suitcases, other than the light box and frames, etc. They will be loaded into the truck and left there so that they don't inadvertently get unpacked. Fingers crossed.


As I purged each of the pieces of furniture in the studio, I came across a few things that I hadn't seen in quite a while. This is one such item - a rock I painted in the 80's that serves as a door stop (or a very very large paper weight) and it pretty much describes how I feel about the whole process of moving. Between the lists, the packing, the prepping for a garage sale and getting ready for my class, this pretty much says it all.




Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Some New Moves for the Move

A while ago, I read an article on Pinterest about different packing ideas, and I have been incorporating some of them.  One was to use towels and t-shirts to wrap things, so vases etc. are wearing t-shirts that were almost ready for the trash - but will keep things safe as they travel. Same with hand towels and place mats and cloth napkins.

But the best one so far was this. Use socks on wine glasses - actually any kind of glasses or mugs - and it is awesome.


how cute is this? 

And a great way to pack your socks!

Martini glasses needed a man's work sock.

So now they are all nestled together - with lots more socks left for glasses and mugs. And when I unwrap them clean and safe at the other end, I just roll up the socks and put them away. ta da!

If you are not already on Pinterest, consider it. This is where all my new knowledge is coming from. lol. Definitely a smarter approach to packing. I am sure I would be much better at moving if I did it more often. And I wouldn't have nearly as much purging to do. 

But once every 25 years or so is good enough for me.


Thursday, May 21, 2015

Creative Inspiration

While all the purging and packing is happening, although I can't really sit down and work on my own stuff, I CAN take the time with my morning coffee to be inspired by other creators.

This morning, I came across this amazing embroidery artist



I can't even remember how I found her, but her work is incredible. She considers herself an artist for whom floss is her paint and her needle is her brush. And most of her pieces involve some machine embroidery, like the  cactus here, plus some long stitch embroidery painting.

On her blog, after reading through a number of posts, I  came across a TED talk about cross stitch by a man who calls himself Mr. Xstitch whose site is here. He is an excellent speaker and presents a fine explanation about the "art vs craft" debate and his three factors for determining which is which.

Like most other artists today, he also has a facebook page and a pinterest page, so you can see lots of images there.

My early morning coffee time was made so much better by spending time with these two artists. And I feel inspired to get on with my day of more purging. I hope you take the time to visit both of these sites and enjoy the inspiration they provide.


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

More Purging, Packing and Loyalist Planning

I keep telling myself that the worst part of the purging is nearly done. My hubby did an awesome job on the garage, which is good because most of what I earmarked from the basement for "garage sale" has to move out there.

I made myself a "purge" calendar with assigned tasks for each day of May. Some days I do more than one of the places, which is great - I end up with more days of the month lol. And some things are starting to get packed already (even though June is supposed to be packing month).

Rick's books are the #1 item on his list and he is making great progress with the packing. He got 125 boxes for his books and isn't sure that will be enough. His hard-cover book addiction can give my fibre addiction a run for its money, any day of the week. When I asked if he had purged any, he said "yes". Funny that his purging is mostly all my gardening books. Oh well.

This is the only picture that looks like any progress is being made in the studio. The top shelf of my wire unit is now empty of yarn - five full boxes all managed to fit into one tall box. I have also gone through all pieces of furniture and gotten rid of things I don't want to take, so the packing should go quickly.

The wool and hooking stuff can't be packed until the very end as my poor students are dreading my departure and want to keep coming until the moving truck pulls out the driveway.


Since I go to set my classroom up at Loyalist College the day after we move, I am trying to get all of my prep work done well ahead of the packing. And then to make sure that all my class materials are not mixed in with the other hooking things.

If you don't know about Loyalist's Summer Arts Program, here's a link to their catalogue where you can see all the courses offered. This year, in addition to all the other wonderful courses, they are having a hooking week from July 13 - 16, with four classes and a one-day dye workshop. It should be lots of fun.

At least one of my students is doing a mat from a photo, and when I went to put her photo into my favourite online photo editing site, I found out that befunky has done a big "improvement". I was really used to the old platform, so found the new one a bit trickier to navigate. Also found out that many more effects are only available with the "Upgrade". And my teaching sheets feature screen captures from the site, so I will have to do a total re-do of those. Not something that was in the calendar.

And doing this class planning is a nice bright spot and a relief from the purge/pack/purge rhythm.




Friday, May 8, 2015

The Purge Before Packing

We have sold. And we have bought. So we are leaving Parry Sound for Peterborough - on July 10th.

The studio has become "purge central", mostly because it is next to the basement, which needs the most purging, but also because there is a good sorting table. And this is what the "chaos before the order" looks like. I have a pile to move, a pile to shred, a pile to get rid of. And a pile for "I don't know what pile to put this in yet".  There is also a spreadsheet on the computer to remind me where I put everything.


Because much of what is on the table was packed up and moved here 5 years ago - and never looked at again - I went through two big rubbermaid bins marked "Office Supplies" to see what was really in there. Enough printer paper and three hole punched paper that I will never have to buy again. That missing box of #10 envelopes I couldn't find. Four boxes of staples - and the four staplers. Several trips down memory lane including finding my kids' immunization records - they are 32 and almost 29. Also a Christmas tin full of cassettes, despite the fact that we have nothing to play cassettes on anymore. So, I do believe that this purge will all be worth it in the end.

To try to maintain a bit of balance, I am allowing myself a bit of hooking time in the early mornings, before I get down to work. I just bring my coffee in here, along with my blinders, and sit for a bit. On my frame right now is a sign - lettering is all done - just a show binding left to do and it will be ready to give as a gift.

The good news at the end of all of this is there is another studio space waiting on the other end of the move!!! And the good news/bad news is that the day after we move, I go to set up a classroom to teach a Wide Cut class during Rug Hooking Week (July 13-17) in the Summer Arts Program at Loyalist College.  If you go to look, scroll down the page and you will find the information on the right hand side.