Meet Lucy…


Lucy is a 1922 Singer model 66 treadle sewing machine with a back clamp – unusual as most are a side clamp for the foot. She sews like, pardon the pun, a well oiled machine. I picked her up several years back from a family who had been storing her in the garage for I have no idea how long. Prior to that she had been in a kitchen. I could tell because when I opened the cabinet the backside of the machine (the top when you open the cabinet) was covered not only with tons of dust but a layer of greasy grime that comes only from sitting around in a kitchen where fried foods have been cooked and over time particles wafting in the air have settled on there. I cleaned her up and she has been amazing to sew with since.

As part of my clearing out and downsizing I am having to sell some of my beloved machines as I will not have the room to keep all of them. Machines with a family connection are off limits. But machines I have picked up over the years like this are (sniff, sniff) on the chopping block. I’m hoping this one was the difficult one because she was such a joy to sew with and she was the first one I sold of this caliber. I hope the next few don’t feel like this to sell. LOL

I do have the comfort of knowing she went to a nice home. I know I’m talking about her like a kid or a pet, but these machines take on a life. Anyway, a very sweet woman now has her at her home in VA somewhere. She is a quilter and always wanted a treadle machine. She had completed a puzzle with the “Red Eye” decal on a treadle machine and was so pleased when Lucy looked just like her puzzle. In fact, she asked me if I had named the machine because I kept referring to it as “her” while speaking about it when she came to buy it. I explained that since it is a Red Eye decal, I went to red head, Lucille Ball with her red hair and I always loved her so I named the machine Lucy. So she will continue to call her Lucy and she just so happened to be a redhead as well, so maybe it was kismet, she was just meant to have Lucy.

She was sweet enough to send me this photo of Lucy set up under her puzzle of the machine she dreamed of having one day and now she has both!



How do you choose???

Going through things, and yes some things are easy to cull, but then you have the hot dog bun pan… I love home made hot dog buns. I admit it, I don’t bake them as often as I would like, but it’s one of those things you can’t make them without this special pan. So how do you downsize and yet hold onto special items like this???? Argh! How do you choose which child to get rid of?! That’s what it feels like sometimes.

Okay, I’ve got something like 8-10 pie plates, I can get rid of some of those. Not all of them because I do bake 5-6 assorted pies at the holidays, so I do need to keep at least 5-6 I would say. But I have to keep all three loaf pans for bread because some recipes make three loaves! Some are only one loaf recipes but I have quite a few that make three loaves at a time. I can pare down casserole dishes, I don’t need two sets of glass rectangular baking dishes, I can do without some of the miss matched mixing bowls, I can let the seldom used electric orange juicer go…

But there are those odd seldom used items I just can’t seem to bring myself to part with yet. Like the paper forms for panettone to be made at Christmas. Maybe some of these things will go once we are actually in the process of moving and I have to transport them from this house to the next. Maybe it becomes an “are you worthy of the transport” issue.

There does come that point in every move where you just get so exhausted you really don’t care anymore and you start giving away and dumping stuff just so you don’t have to move it. 😉 Or in the case of military moves you start worrying you are going to be over the weight allowance and will have to start paying for that overage and start giving away stuff to avoid paying. 😄

Breathe, just breathe… Lean in and shoulder it, and get through it all. Come out the other side lighter. I’ll get there.


Spinning my wheels…

and getting no where fast – you know that feeling? Seems like the more I try to get things done the more pops up behind it that needs to get done or the more things get put on hold and I can’t move forward and it’s frustrating.

I think the most difficult part is not having a hard date or time frame on when we are going to be out of this house. The owner wants to move back in and it was to be by the end of the year, we were shooting for fall (Sept/Oct-ish) and now that’s kind of up in the air.

I went on a packing spree last month and packed up things in my studio that I’ll now have to go find the boxes and unpack parts of them if we’re going to be hanging out much longer because I’ll need some of that stuff. sigh

My goal was to just start packing up rooms, clean them up, close them off and not use them again. Then just go in and do spot cleaning when we leave to dust/clean up from non-use. We’ll see if that plan continues. I do know I will continue to downsize things and keep moving forward somehow. I swear it was easier to do a long distance move with the military than this move locally! I’m not used to long drawn out maybe we’ll do it this time, no maybe it will be this other month, no – give me a firm month please… I don’t think I’m asking for much.

Studio space


Let’s talk fabric. You may find that along with roving (and other things) it’s a weakness of mine, but also a necessary evil for my work. I need to figure out how to tame the monster in this new configuration and as I go forward with a smaller footprint. I’m trying to *gasp* work my way down and use what I have on hand and not buy to “just have on hand for future projects”. This can be frustrating when you get into the middle of making something need a certain color for a pocket, or accent, fill in the blank and don’t have it. Then you have to stop in the middle of your groove until you can get to a store to find the right fabric to finish that project and change gears mid-project to move on to something else at that moment. Oh well…

I digress… so I need to find something to put my fabrics in that I can either tuck under the table my sewing machine and serger are on, or some sort of boxes/bins that I can store upstairs for the time being and bring down as needed. I’m thinking something open and airy so I can somewhat see what is in there as well as allowing the fabric to breathe would be better than enclosed boxes. They will be away from sunlight so I don’t have to worry about fading. I came across the following at a certain craft store that I’m considering –

The baskets to the left would go in and out if I stored fabric in those and eventually when we move might be stored on shelves in the room. The little cabinet to the right would go under the table in the room now I think. The drawer fronts are chalkboard and I can put solids in one drawer, separate by colors, whatever I decide and label them. I can see me ending up with at least 2 of those if not more! LOL If I use the lidded baskets on the left who knows how many I would end up there – it could be quite a few of those.

So, out of sight, out of mind and I would forget what I have, not use it and end up buying more fabrics so the baskets would be a bad idea? Or is that better because it keeps me from jamming more “stuff” in the studio and making it cluttered? You do get to a point where you can’t see the forest for the trees you have so much in there.

I know I’m fortunate to be faced with such a problem. There was a time when we could not afford craft materials for me when the kids were little and my husband was in the military. The Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society has (had?) a program called Baby’s First Seabag and part of the items given to first time parents were baby layettes and afghans that were hand knit and crocheted by volunteers. You could go pick up the yarn “kits” to make the items and then drop off the afghans and layettes to go into the bags. In about 4-5 years I had over 5,000 volunteer hours with them. I also designed custom counted cross stitch pieces for a local gift shop and would stitch for them. I had to create and the only way I could make things was if the supplies were paid for like that. I couldn’t afford my own “stash” like I have now. So I am thankful and maybe that’s part of why I have gone so overboard with some things, because I didn’t have it and I’m afraid I’ll run out. LOL

No matter, I’m now dealing with trying to figure out how to wrangle my fabrics, how to whittle the stash down to a “manageable” level, and how to organize it to find what I need easier when I need a particular fabric.


“Oh the places you’ll go…”

What a strange and wondrous journey this life has been and I have plenty ahead of me! Never in a million years as a little bare footed girl playing on a dirt road did I think I would go, see, and do all I have thus far in life and I am thankful for all of it and thirst for more. Like many I have come to realize that in order to do more I need to downsize and simplify my life. Whew, what a job ahead! (especially if you know me and all I have accumulated in the past 10 or so years! LOL)

So, join me on my journey to downsize my home, learn to live more simply, figure out how to downsize my arts – the largest challenge – and come along on my travels and adventures too.

Studio space

Unconventional living…

Okay, I admit it – my brain works a bit odd at times thanks to my “artist brain” right side brain dominant, think in circular non-traditional ways… So what does all that mean you ask? It means that as I’m cleaning out, going through things and trying to downsize in a nearly 2,800 sq. ft. house as we prepare to move into a smaller place later this year I decided to turn our dining room into my studio/reloading space for hubby.

We have an “eat in kitchen” with a smaller table in there (that table may be featured later when I refinish the table) and the large table we had in the dining room went to our kids because they needed it in the house they are currently sharing. Decent size room left empty, with the exception of a huge desk, on the main floor. Okay – desk into the living room and TV goes on it, dog kennel inside where a chair would go and the TV stand goes to the kids – that gives a totally empty “dining room” now!


Okay, still work to be done, and the kids need to pick up the TV stand in the corner so we can set up the reloading bench in that corner but you get the idea here… Gotta raise the “Game of Thrones” chandelier that I have to watch out for or I’ll scalp myself and if we weren’t renters colors and drapes would be changed. That chandelier would be gone too. LOL I still need to figure out storage for fabrics that can be swapped in and out since I have none of my fabrics in here really. I have 4-5 bolts on the top shelf of that unit, but in my old studio I had an entire shelf unit filled with fabrics. I’ve had to downsize all that and I stupidly boxed most of them up already.

Some of you may look at this and say this is downsizing? I know that room is bigger than many have for their studio/crafting space. It’s bigger than what I had for years. But for the past 8-ish years I moved my studio into the room over the garage which is approximately 300-350 sq. ft. I then overflowed that into a master suite room that was probably another 200-300 sq. ft. once I got my Schacht floor loom. Okay, so that did share the room with the queen size bed for guests and such, but still I had a lot of my weaving and spinning supplies in there.

In this “new room” I have space for cutting/measuring; my serger, a sewing machine (and I have many more of them); most of my spinning fibers; all of my threads for sewing, zippers, buttons, elastics, etc.; my Sizzix machine and dies; origami supplies; my start with resin supplies… I’ve got a 3 drawer bin and a 3-4 cubby thing with craft supplies for our grand daughter for when she comes over. I have a stool that I can sit her at the end of the one table in the foreground and let her work on things there.

Looms are still upstairs and I will need to figure out where to place them once we move but that’s a bridge to cross when I get there.

Sheers are on the way to be hung across the opening to block it off from the entryway so that I can somewhat hide the mess when we have friends over and they come through the door.  It’s a start, and I’m sure as we use the room it will change and adapt to what we find we use the most and how it suits us best.