Tuesday, 27 September 2011

{Ditzy Tuesday} Crafty Home

Starting today, I thought I'd make Ditzy Tuesday a little more interesting by listing a few things that I'm doing, reading, etc, along with the luscious picture from Pinterest of my choosing. This idea is plagiarised from inspired by the weekly post "Things I Like Thursday" on Nessbow's blog. So here's edition No. 1:

I'm reading ... Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. You can almost smell the gardenias and the summer rain.

I'm sorting ... my wool stash. Technically, I've finished, I just need to get around to bagging up the rejects and taking them down to the Op Shop.

I'm obsessing over ... finishing off my list of 1,001 Things To Do Before I Die. Finishing writing the list, that is. Not finishing doing all the things on it!

The picture ... How wonderful it would be to live in a crafty wonderland like this! At first glance it seems cluttered, but you just get that feeling that everything has a sentimental value.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

{Ditzy Tuesday} Homewares

I was given some lovely cushion covers on the weekend, which has resulted in my feeling quite couch oriented at the moment! I love the calico cover here contrasted with the retro coloured granny squares.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Spring Cleaning

I'm in the mood to get rid of stuff, to purge, to make lists and cross things off them. Starting with my stash!

I mentioned last week that I have a list of all my yarn stash on Ravelry. I printed that out and went through it, trying to make some decisions about what to keep and what to toss before even looking at the wool. It was 9 pages. Nine pages!! A bit of a daunting task. But I was really in the mood to get it done yesterday. My ideal goal is to have all of the stash fit into our upright cupboard. This will free up a lot of the storage tubs and drawers that I have it all stuffed in. I did have some definite ideas going in: after my experience with making the Fuzzy Lavender Scarf recently, I know that one or even two balls is not enough to make anything useful. So I wanted to be ruthless with those.
Any eyelash yarn - gone! I hate that stuff.

Anything black - gone! I don't have a lot of black yarn anyway, but I can't see myself making something in black for myself or anyone I know. Plus it's hard to work with because of the dark colour.
Anything that I can't think of a specific project to make with it within the space of about 10 seconds - gone!

So it was a tough brief I set myself. Soon after I got started, I realised it was going to take even longer than I thought. About 20 minutes in, my head started spinning and I needed a short break. I had the typical hoarder's voice in my head: 'But I could use it for something' and 'but it's so pretty!'. I had to keep reminding myself that I'm ruthless, that I won't regret this.

I got about two-thirds of the way through my entire stash before I could take no more and gave up for the day. I was quite proud of myself though, and I'm looking forward to finishing so I can count the number of balls in the toss-box and see how well I did.

All this motivational de-cluttering has spurred me on to more, and I've decided to embark on a Spring-Cleaning-A-Thon. I've already done a bit with my books. I used the LibraryThing to check what series I have. If I had any unread series where I didn't have book 1, I tossed the rest. I got rid of 6 that way. Some other things I've thought of are:

* Toss 10 old make-up products.
* Toss 5 jewellery items I never wear anymore.
* Toss 5 pieces of clothing I never wear anymore/I really can't be bothered repairing.
* Go through the 3 boxes of random stuff I still have from moving house, and toss, toss, toss!

I'll let you know how it goes.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Celebrating my 5,000th

... my 5,000th Pin, that is!

I mentioned a little while back how I'd just discovered Pinterest and was becoming increasingly obsessed with it. Well, the obsession hasn't waned. It's practically a full-blown addiction now. Yes, I'm a Pinhead! It's even gotten to the point now where I'm subscribing to photo-blogs just to find new images to add to my pinboards.

I tend my boards like they're farms. I've noticed that they tend to get a bit buggy if they have more than about 400 pins on them, so I'll start a new one and divide the images between them. I had to divide Fashion into Summer, Winter and Accessories, but the original board was still too big, so I added Nail Art and Skinny Jeans and consolidated some pictures from different boards into a more atmospheric-themed one called Forest Girl.
I created another one recently as well for Tea and Coffee-themed images, to take a bit of the weight off my Things I Want board (which I call 'Straight to the Pool Room').

At the moment I'm having trouble with Just So Pretty - it was where I was pinning any kind of gorgeous, atmospheric image that made me go, 'aaah' or 'awww'. But now it's insanely long, and there are so many different types of pictures on there, I don't know how to divide it up. So for now I've just created Just So Pretty 2, and I'll decide later - if I can - how I want to divide them properly! At the moment I have 36 pinboards.

If you think I'm a complete Pinhead ... in my wanderings around the site, I've found members who are a lot more obsessed than I am! The largest number of pinboards I've seen is 137, and the largest number of pins about 23,000. It's my dream to have that many one day!

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Two Things I Really Like

1. Ravelry

I've probably mentioned Ravelry a few times already. It's website for cataloguing knitting and crochet projects, patterns and yarns, so it's highly relevant, to say the least! The reason why I remembered that I love it is ...

I started making this scarf last week:

I found the yarn in the drawer of the coffee table and started making it on impulse. It's just a very simple V-stitch, I could practically do it in my sleep once I got the hang of it. I was working away happily on it here and there for a week, when I suddenly noticed with a sinking feeling that the ball was looking a little anaemic. Will I have enough yarn to make a scarf that's not pathetically short? Did I have 2 balls of this yarn, or just the one?

Am I feeling lucky, punk??

So I looked up my stash of almost 250 yarns in my Ravelry database. The ballband had gone astray, and I couldn't remember what it was called. All I did was change the display settings to 'Alphabetical by Colourway', scroll down to 'lavender' and there it was! I do have two balls, and not only that, I know exactly where the other one is! Easy!
My careful record-keeping back when I bought the yarn (entering in the colour, location, a photo of it, etc.) has proved invaluable, but if it weren't for Ravelry, I could never have kept those records in the first place. Yay!

2. Protopage

I was put onto Protopage a couple of years ago by friend/mentor A., after I complained about my bad luck with finding a site/tool to read blogs with, that doesn't disappear after 6 months. Protopage is basically an extremely simple webpage creator. You add boxes to it which can contain blog subscriptions, links, lists, images or just text. You can make them open to the public, private, or password-protected if you only want to share your page with certain people. Mine is private, but I'll show you a screenshot:

I created tabs which can hold blogs on different topics: craft, art, fashion, culture, news, etc. My interests tend to oscillate between different things. I'll be totally obsessed with crochet for a month or two. Then I get bored with that and I want to read all about embroidery, or altering clothes, then back to crochet. I set up the tabs and boxes within them so it would make it easy for me to find blogs about things that interest me at that moment. And it's great!

Over time, however, I slowly noticed that I was slipping behind on some of my favourite blogs. While I was skipping straight to the Fashion tab to get inspiration from Le Blog de Big Beauty and By Anika, I somehow got 3 months behind on Crazy Aunt Purl and Little Lixie! I was strangely upset when I realised. It's like a friend that you love spending time with, and you suddenly realised you haven't called her in ages.

So I took the easy and obvious solution, and I created a new tab for my favourite blogs of all genres. Once I've read all the new posts from that, I then go to my current tabs of interest. I feel much happier now. Yay!

P.S. I started Yet Another new project last night. I'll post some pics soon!