Tuesday, July 28, 2015

One Of These Things Is Not Like The Other

This is another "get 'er done" post
This chair in my studio gets a lot of use.
Both sides looked like the left one 
before I thought to snap a pic.
Around 11 pm last night I decided I had put off fixing
these arms long enough, as in YEARS. I knew it was a quick fix
and I was tooling right along, covering the damaged
"PLEATHER", and glued it all back together....
 until I hit the last of four bolts
holding the arms on..
Over 30 minute later and many, many, many, 
curse words later, I went to bed.
Tried again today and poof, went right together.

I was feeling pretty smug and pleased
 until I tried to download pics into new "photos"
on my new Mac.
Dropbox kicked up a mighty storm for some 
freaking unknown reason and 2 hours later
on the phone with Apple Care my brain exploded.
Can we all agree we 50+ somethings 
have a steeper learning curve with techno crap?

Just sent out my first class announcement
for September.
 It's been 2 years since my last class, so
we'll see how it goes.
I keep forcing myself to face
new challenges, and deal with dignity
when life disappoints.
It's all a journey and I am NOT 
in first class seating, ha!


Monday, July 27, 2015


Spending hours in the studio:
Preparing for classes,
listening to playlists as my mood changes,
pondering life's condition
and hibernating.

oh yeah
it's hot

Saturday, July 11, 2015

It Started With An Unsold Cabinet -WBC 2015

When my friend Ronda and I closed our little space in 
Boulder City, I had a leftover cabinet that did not sell.
I parked it in the garage and there it sat for a few months.

I had a painting project that I worked on out there
and in the process I used the cabinet to hold supplies.
The lightbulb flickered and

A garage studio was born!

 A few years back I held a class out here,
 and draped some of the walls
 and ceiling with tulle and canvas to hide all
the storage and unpainted walls.
Gosh girls do you remember 
how much fun that day was?


Normally I held classes running 
down the center of my living room,
and that worked too.


I have not taught classes for several years now 
since I had the canvas, the space and the time,
I figured go for it.

Determined to set it up
with no expense,
I began a couple weeks ago.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Choosing to listen- choosing to act

Are you turning a deaf ear?
Refusing to listen? 
Refusing to act?

If you are brave enough,
look at your heart and
ask yourself why?

The glorification of busy
is a damn lousy excuse.

If nothing else, make a phone call,
write a letter, send an email.


Will you finally care when
 it touches someone you love?

and everyone else is shaking their head saying
"something should be done"

there ya go all nice and easy for you NV folks

other states
just google your state______ then senators/congress
                        ______then legislators

their emails phone numbers etc- all there

rant complete
for now......

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Don't Follow Alice

On days such as this one
it seems to me 
that the world is no different
than the one Lewis Carroll
had Alice fall through
down the rabbit hole.

Emmanuel A.M.E. Church

It will not stop until
silent people stop being silent.
Until people in this country
care more about life and decency than
they do about their favorite 
sports team, tv show,  
and fake celebrities.

This does not happen in other
industrialized nations.
What the hell does that say about us?

Tuesday, June 2, 2015


Thought you might enjoy the before 
shot of yesterday's dresser.
I obtained it for free from pal Annie.
It had been behind "the little shed that could",
 exposed to the elements
for a loooong time.

Now she is all pretty,
with classy new knobs.

Elbow grease and complete lack of funds
go a long way for me.
What are you working on?


Sunday, May 31, 2015

Into the woods, er, garage

Remember when I said I was 
heading out to the garage next 
for my purge/organizing quest?

Well, I've been out there for many many days.
Purged through every box and bin
 and scrubbed and cleaned. Whew!
Emptied out six bins and 14 boxes.

Then I took one side and turned it into another
studio space for painting and classes.
This involved painting and hinging together
4 shutters, 3 coats of paint each side,
a dresser that had to be stripped A LOT
and then painted...
but the sides were too damaged,
so after all that work I added burlap to it instead.
I still have garage ceiling to paint
 and lighting and, and, and....

Stay tuned.
I'll show you my VERY organized 
garage and studio very soon.

Four carloads of stuff over to the warehouse
and Ronda and I have so much more stuff
(how is that possible?)
to sell this Saturday the 6th, 
as she is purging big time in
anticipation of a move.

Local gals, let me know if you want to 
preview and purchase early. 
You will soon get email
with details if you are on my email list.

It's going to 105 today. oy vey!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Mad Men

Mad Man
My Father

If you're a fan of the show, you have heard
Ketchum and BBDO mentioned
several times.

Dad worked at both agencies in Pittsburgh
during the 50's and 60's.
He moved to Kennametal in Latrobe, PA
and worked there 2 decades until his retirement.
Advertising man through and through,
who forever influenced my appreciation of
a clever "turn of phrase".
He would be astounded by how 
social media controls advertising these days.

Anyone else been binge watching?

Monday, May 4, 2015

Heart To Heart to HomeTalk

 I left home at 21 so I have 
over 40 years of accumulating
stuff,organizing it, and storing it.

I have also purged hundreds of items, 
no, more like thousands of pieces of my own STUFF
and I cannot begin to guess at the thousands of 
client's belongings I have sifted, 
sorted, trashed, bagged, donated and 
wrangled into submission.

and yet....
I continue to purge frequently.
I'll tell you a secret..
the stuff breeds
No other explanation....

As I reviewed the pics I recently shared,
I noticed many items that I never or rarely use.
Granted, they are all neat and tidy and I have 
created efficient ways to store them, but 
why would I keep them?

While I've pondered this a lot lately, my good friend 
Sue has said "but you have the space
 to store them and your house is all clean and tidy
so what does it hurt?"
Granted.. I do not have overstuffed drawers, 
unidentified boxes or bins, crowded
closets that you have to push the door closed
with your hip but still...
Why should I keep a food mill that I might use 
every two years, or 4 -9"cake pans 
for the rare occasion I bake 
2 double layer cakes at the same time? (never) 
and I baked only one cake in all of last year!
So I am going to switch gears on you
from the organizing posts I had planned.

To start with 
I am going to re-show you that cupboard
on the porch. All nice and tidy..

I am going to give myself 
a heart to heart to home talk
 and show you what happens.

I will honestly tell you and show
you how I work through this.

How I plan to rid myself of
Just In Case Items that are 
so unnecessary.
JICI items are now my enemy.

Over the years I have read of several plans 
to de-clutter
1st day- throw out one item
2nd day - throw out 2  
etc for 30 days
(I know folks who would count post it notes and pencils)
pick a number of items of clothing say
100 and edit down till you reach that goal.

Now both of these and others are said to work
and I do believe they help you concentrate
 on your needs versus your wants,
but none of us live in the same spaces,
with the same amount of family members,
in the same climates,
with same job wardrobes etc...

A person living in 5,000 sq feet making $300,000
a year who entertains clients and friends every weekend
has different needs than my daughter,
living in 400 sq feet who meets friends out for dinner,
freelances and crosses her fingers for income.

So a heart to heart to home
for each of us is crucial.

I am an excellent purger,
organizer, and tidiness freak,
always have been,
and yet I have JICI's by the bagful..
now known to me as "jickies".

If a constant purger and organizer
 can down size, what can you accomplish?

I have no idea if I can do this
as well as I hope to,
but follow along and watch me 
succeed or flop...
I promise to be 100% honest,
and I may hit some bumps,
so feel free to call me on it.
My stomach just clenched,
when I looked up and noticed my paperbacks.
I love the look of my mini library....
Oh no!
What have I done?
Thank heavens I'm not starting in this room!
Ten minutes later
I had this....

with this...
headed out the door

On the top shelf were some float glasses
and vintage juice glasses from
my Grandmother.
I decided to get rid of my plain juice glasses 
from the kitchen and swap out for the yellow ones.
I'll enjoy using these much more.

I tested the amount of liquid 
held by another set of glasses I
frequently use (on the left) and discovered it held
 more than the specialty 
float glasses so out they go.
I also purged..

 *1 glass covered cake plate - kept one

 *some tupperware I never use
because other storage containers
 work just as well.

* the aforementioned food mill

*plastic popcorn holders cute but not necessary

*a fourth springform pan
(I kept mixed set of three sizes)
I had kept this fourth one cause it had the neat
raised insert which I never used!

*a small rice cooker 
lost my mind at 3 am on QVC one night....

I will give to whichever kid wants it.

* small barbecue tools I got for son
who has since moved and sold his barbecue

Since I took the pic I also purged the brown snack set
on the second shelf.
I am struggling with the vintage bowl stack..
occasionally used BUT>>they are JICIS

Then I hit the candle cupboard and purged into a box all 2/3rds
used up candles and scents I did not like.
A friend said she wanted them.
This freed up two drawers.
One I filled with extra outdoor candle holders
that were in a box in the garage;
and I still have one empty drawer, 
and more space on garage shelf.

None too shabby for ten minutes, eh?
Getting the idea?
Getting the groove?
I am psyched!


Saturday, May 2, 2015

Into the Closets

Are you still with me?
I've shown a lot of this before
but there are new folks visiting so...

This is the pantry.
Note the extra storage on door  
and baskets often can hold 
more items in less space.
No ant issues ever with jars.

Above the  washer and dryer I added 
shelves right after I moved in.
Wicker trays, serving trays, pizza peels, cookie racks,
oversized casseroles all find a home.
Baskets hold hangers for delicates and hanging.
They also hold letters for my church sign,
plastic rubbermaid storage containers,
to-go tumblers, and metal bakeware.

I added more shelves tucked into the corner for 
appliances. Wraps find a home on an angled wall
up out of the way;
again freeing up drawer space in kitchen.

See the basket tucked back on the floor?
There are two of them. 
One for kitchen towels waiting to be
washed and one for cleaning rags.
Also see the rod coming out from wall?
That holds pant hangers used for drip dry.

The entire closet is covered by floor to ceiling
 corduroy curtains that I love, 
that I got from Ikea many years ago.
Last but not least, a fold up and out
hanger for drip dry on the back of garage door.

Now many of you have more space,
more closets, attics, basements.
Some have smaller homes.
Some of you also have storage issues
regardless of size.
We all have the same home keeping issues.
I am showing ways to add storage 
within your own footprint,
regardless of footage.
I am hoping to spark your imagination.

There are many posts
about organization that you can find by
searching in top left bar or 
in labels section on right sidebar.
As always before organizing, do a good purge.
We all, unless you live in a "tiny" house
 (under 350 sq feet)
have more than we need.
But then again, they prove
how LITTLE we do NEED.

It's Spring, get crackin',
you'll be amazed at how good it feels.
I am overhauling the garage.
I will show when complete.
Look here to see how DD lives in 
a wee organized space of 400'

Enjoy your weekends 

Friday, May 1, 2015

More to Discover

On the porch a vintage cupboard

Filled with seldom used kitchen stuff,
more outdoor candle holders, popcorn maker
tupperware used only for large holiday, rice cooker etc.

A dresser normally in a bedroom
 does fabulous storage duty.
Very deep drawers hold scads of items.

From stationery to holiday paper products, 
summer outdoor tablecloths, 
recipe folders, cookbooks and more

Anything long and skinny goes here:
Chopsticks, drinking straws, plastic serve ware
magnets, cheese servers, etc.

Another drawer in kitchen made available
for other supplies.

I only use cloth napkins, so I have many....
The porch is right off the kitchen making
 all of this easy to grab.

My platters, pitchers, and cake plates are stored 
out in the open and
look pretty. Yes, I need to do a 
quick wash before using, 
but that takes just a minute.

Next time you are feeling overcrowded
with stuff look at your arrangements
 and maybe repurpose furniture for
a different use, and keep an eagle eye out
for sets of drawers and cupboards
when attending fleas, auctions and garage sales.

Because I store items in so many ways,
the usual storage places like kitchen drawers
and closets can be kept neat and tidy
because nothing is overcrowded.
When things are tidy,
you can find everything
 and clean it much easier.

Hope some of these 
give you ideas for your home.
More are coming...

Thursday, April 30, 2015

How DOES She Do It?

Folks are always surprised when I 
decorate for the holidays or a party.
I am always asked 
"Where did it all come from?"
"Where do you hide it all?"
Over my many years of homekeeping
and organizing for others, I guess I've got a few tricks 
up my sleeve, like a magician with cards.
Follow along and I'll share some with you.
Look behind the curtain and spot the wizard....

Tucked into a corner,
three vintage cheese boxes

Cookie Cutters

Potpourri for Fall Decorating

Pinecones for Winter Decorating

Normally these would take up space in a garage, pantry
or other storage closet.  Now they are hidden in 
plain sight.

Small cupboard I picked up cheap 15 years
 ago and painted. It is tucked
 into another corner in the family room.

You can see why- how cute is this?

In it I store all my indoor candles,
sets of hanging outdoor mason jar candles
 videos, and DVD's.

On top sit two small lift top vintage boxes that hold 
candle votives and battery votives
 that come out in mass for parties.

Storing my extra sets of dishes
out in the open is pretty,
and saves an entire cupboard or two!

A small lidded vintage basket 
holds all the latest catalogs and 
my Sudoku books,
keeping the coffee table always tidy.
I just pitch it all inside at the end of the evening.

An attractive vintage basket on top of
the fridge holds my
napkins and placemats at the ready
for counter or table, yet still out of sight. 
Another drawer freed up for other things.

A small cute mirrored cabinet 
holds spices.

Another rack holds more.
More space in drawers and cupboard.

Lift top antique trunk holds a dozen throws for 
winter cuddling.

That's just in the kitchen
and family room.
Come back for more...