The Sleeping Shelf

cats sleeping

This is the view in the wintergarden on this fine September afternoon. It’s nice and quiet here, and it turned into a beautiful day, which means that the wintergarden feels like a sauna, and the heat is migrating into the Studio. Shadow and Patches are in heaven on their sleeping shelf under the windows. I’m hanging out in the back room at the beading table, trying to stay cool(er)! Hmm, I don’t think I ever shared a picture (or the story) of my new beading area.

Perfect Sewing Caddy double towers with a table top from HinterbergI really wanted to order one of these Perfect Sewing Caddy double towers with a table top from Hinterberg, and I was willing to pay for it. What I wasn’t willing to do was pay them $250 to ship it over here. Sheesh. I realize it’s wood and all but, well, never mind. I wasn’t ready to spend $1,100 total on the thing.

A quick trip to Ikea (well, as quick as trips to Ikea ever are which is to say, pack a lunch, you’ll be there a while…) produced something even better, quite perfect actually, for less than half the price:

Beading Table

Three separate pieces: two bases on wheels with drawers (lots and LOTS of drawers!), and a tabletop, and I’m in business with plenty of space for all the little bits and bobs, beads and bangles, tools and fibers I’ve collected for a good part of my life. ITMan did have to do the “some assembly required” (more like “all assembly required” actually) but we’d have had to do that anyway with the pieces from Hinterberg. Get a load of these drawers:

Beading Table drawers

Six drawers in each base, four shallow and two that are deeper. Awesome. And perfect. Did I mention this was perfect?!? And being less than half the price only adds to it’s perfection. It’s more than a “Beading Table,” it’s an Embellishment Station. So now I can go hide out in the relative coolness of the “Library,” or back room, or Little Studio, or whatever it is when it’s too hot in the Studio, and play with all the bits and bobs, beads and bangles, tools and fibers, and I can even close the door if the other residents of the house are gettin’ on my last nerve.

And the cats? Well, they’ve finally decided they’re well done and have had to remove to the floor in the studio for a break:

Getting out of the heat!

Storage, closets and expansions

Cruising around in blogland this morning, I had a good chuckle over this post at unclutterer. Heh, welcome to my world of houses with no built in storage or closets. For the past eight years, I’ve lived in German houses, and the typical German house has no closets whatsoever and the bathroom storage, if there is any, is laughable.

As I understand it, homeowners are taxed based on the number of rooms in a house, and a closet is considered a room, no matter how small. A laundry room, however, even one so big as mine which is the size of a medium bedroom, is not a room because it’s “unfinished,” since the walls aren’t all pretty and smooth with wallpaper or beautiful paint, and the pipes are exposed on the walls and ceiling. Go figure. I’d be happy with an “unfinished” closet, thank you very much, and I’m slightly surprised that the Germans haven’t figured out that loophole yet. The pipes sticking out of the wall could double as wall hooks or closet poles.

Seriously though, I’ve spent the last eight years searching out creative storage solutions that don’t cost a bundle, but look half way decent, which is a pretty tall order really. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wished that JC Penney could deliver bookshelves and dressers Priority Mail. Instead of something nice that I might like to keep for a long time, I end up with this kind of junk, just to have something to use that’s better than nothing at all and doesn’t cost a small fortune.

Amy at MomAdvice penned a post that caught my eye this morning as well. I laughed a little at this one too, since I did spend a huge amount of time decluttering my house before the move, but the big holes I have in the house now are more because I have 30-40% more space here than I did in the other house than because I got rid of anything. And I do have holes; as a matter of fact, I have an entire room that I don’t really know what to do with.

The room on the side of my studio, dubbed “the Library” since that’s where we thought most of the books were going to live, is kind of purpose-less at the moment. We’d also planned to put the sofa bed in there if family every came to visit. (snort. Like THAT will ever happen.) The majority of the books ended up elsewhere with Plan B, some in the dining room and some in the office, and since I’m not anticipating a horde of relatives at my door, well, there it sits, a fairly big, empty hole in the house.

I didn’t really mean to take over nearly a third of the house…

Every morning I walk in there and think, “Wow, the natural light in here is just wonderful” and every afternoon I wander in there and enjoy the relatively cool temperature when my studio is feeling like an oven, and it’s only the middle of May. The lighting is better in there all afternoon as well, probably because it’s a smaller room and the light reflects off of the white walls. So what’s a girl to do? Start moving furniture, of course!

And even if I eventually resort to purchasing an air conditioner to keep from baking up here come August, it’s cheaper and easier to climate control a smaller room as opposed to this wide open studio. Come to think of it, keeping warm in the winter will probably be easier as well. And the Library Little Studio has something else the Studio doesn’t have: a door to close off noise from the rest of the house when I really need some quiet, and keep the cats away from my work if needed.

Oh, the irony of it all: I have a 450 square foot studio, and I’m moving part of my work area into the 126 square foot cubby hole/annex on the side. It’s kind of a bummer when what you think is going to be so perfectly wonderful doesn’t turn out that way in reality. I really can’t fit everything in the Little Studio, so obviously this is an expansion rather than a wholesale move. I didn’t really mean to take over nearly a third of the house, but it seems I’m about to do just that. I feel no guilt though, it’s all in the name of comfort and functionality…

A New System for Magazines and Much Hoo Ah!

When we got the bad news about how much stuff the moving company estimated that we have in our house, I culled books from the library mercilessly. Quilting books were not exempt, either. I also thought that the many back issues of American Quilter, Quilter’s Newsletter Magazine, McCalls Quilting, and a couple of others needed a hard look to see if I was really ever going to use any of them for anything.

I tackled QNM first, and looked through every magazine page by page, but pretty quickly, and tore out interesting articles or pictures of quilts that I liked or that I thought were inspirational in technique, design or color usage. The pile dwindled to nothing much faster than I thought it would, so I continued on with the IQA Journal, which is pretty thin and usually doesn’t have much in it that’s very interesting except pictures of the winners from the show in Houston. I went through this entire stack:

QNM Magazines

And kept out only this small bit of articles and quilt pictures:

QNM Magazines

Hoo Ah! Then I was sitting here thinking that this couldn’t be all of the issues of QNM that I had, since I’ve been a subscriber for years off and on, but mostly on. I started looking around further and guess what I found? Lots more:

More QNM mags!

It still wasn’t too bad going through all that, and then I just kept going through all the rest, because it didn’t take that long and it was kinda fun anyway. Nearly all of my many pounds of back issues have been reduced to a stack that’s about 2¼” high. A couple of days later, I tackled the old Martha Stewart Living mags from at least 10 years ago that were still sitting here as well. Hoo Ah Hoo Ah! Continue reading “A New System for Magazines and Much Hoo Ah!”