Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Filling an empty spot

Frequent readers of mine know that I'm very fond of reorganizing my studio.  In case you're new to my blog or need to refresh your memory:

Original post about my craft room
Part 1 of reorganization
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Can't leave well enough alone (adding a china cabinet)

No, I am not reorganizing my space yet again, but there was a space on one of the walls I hadn't done anything with yet:

I have a number of pictures of irises (which is the main theme of the room) that I could have put up there, but it just didn't "feel right".  I also have a canvas I've been working on with an inspiration on it, but I haven't been inspired to finish it.  :)  If that ever gets done, I'll have to find another place for it, because I found a something else to put there!

Last week I was wandering around Michaels (armed with the gift card Steve's parents sent me for my birthday) in search of the yarn needed for the Crochet-Along I've posted about, and I was very pleasantly surprised to find a small shelving unit in the clearance section.  I've seen it at Michaels and JoAnn's for a few years, and I really liked it.  It has a number of cubbyholes of different sizes and a rod for spools of ribbons.  Even though I thought it was neat and useful, I couldn't justify spending $79.99 on it or even $39.99 with the rare 50% off coupon.  However, since it was on clearance (and since I had a gift card), I was happy to spend $29.99 on it!

Since yesterday was Labor Day, I put my husband to work putting the unit up:

"How's this?"
"Over to the left a bit, please!"

The poor dear - he spent part of the day yesterday making spaghetti sauce with a bunch of tomatoes from our garden:

"Five minutes prep, my ass!"

I did help him cut some of the tomatoes, but he did most of the work and then put the sauce directly into the freezer.  We'll be having it for dinner tomorrow night.  Hopefully it'll stretch to two dinners because it was an AWFUL lot of work for not very much sauce.

Anyway, after the rib dinner he also cooked he put up my new shelving unit, and I think it looks pretty snazzy:

I had had visions of doing what Cindy did on her wall (which I discussed in one of my Other folks' spaces posts):

But my shelves are a lot deeper, so the bead tubes would be stacked three or four deep.  That might not be viable, so I'll have to give it some thought.  Also, I had grandiose ideas of putting knick-knacks on the top of the unit, but the useable space is sunken.  Steve said we can get some wood to put up there so that my pretty iris plate and whatever else ends up there can actually be seen.  Must use all available space!

Gift cards are great!  Even at the $29.99 price, I would not have purchased the shelves without the gift card.  I may have mentioned that money has been tight lately with various vet/medical/car bills that have come in, and it was nice to be able to wander around Michaels and buy whatever I wanted without any guilt.

I am being thrifty, though.  Practically everything I've purchased so far has not been full price (clearance, sale, coupon, sale & coupon), and I've saved more than I've spent.  Because I'm a geek, I even made a spreadsheet so I can track how much I'm saving.  I do that with groceries, too, although that's mainly so I can make sure we stay within our budget.  I've been getting such a thrill with some of my savings that I will talk endlessly about it to whoever isn't quick enough to change the subject.  I'll spare you the gory details of how I got Cap'n Crunch for $1 a box recently.

Here are just a few more indulgences I've gotten with my handy dandy Michaels gift card:

This little guy fits perfectly above our living room window.  I'm calling him Bubo after the owl in Clash of the Titans (or, rather, in Greek Mythology).  He was less than half his original price, and I think he'll look nice with the color we're eventually painting the living room.

And (of course) more yarn:

I have seen this yarn a number of times in the store and touch it every time.  I have a rule:  If I pick up something three times and I can afford it, I must get it.  Otherwise, I'll be extremely disappointed later on.  This has come up with clothes, jewelry, beads...  So since I fell in love with this yarn and had a 40% off coupon, I decided to get one ball.

One ball, Traci?  What about the dreaded dye lot you ranted about?  Yes, dear reader, I had that same thought.  The sweater on the wrapper is really cute, and it says it takes four balls (although I just looked it up, and it'll take probably 7 or 8 balls for my size), so I was loathe to purchase just one ball.  However, I looked at the dye lots of most of the balls in the store, and they were all different.  How does that even happen?  I couldn't tell any changes in color, so I think I'll be okay getting a ball or two at a time when I'm ready for it.  I just couldn't resist getting this one so I wouldn't forget about it.

Speaking of yarn and dreaded dye lots and Crochet-Alongs, here's my weekly update:

Frisco approves!

As you can see, I'm nearly done with the back.  I have a few more inches before I can do the shoulders, which I should be able to do tonight.  I will have to add more yarn, though, which is slightly irritating.

Mom, unfortunately, has been having some reactions to the yarn.  It's acrylic, so there shouldn't be any problems, but she's been going through chemo which is likely messing with her chemistry.  Her hands were itching while she was trying to crochet, but after putting it down for a day or two the itching has subsided.

If I have enough time this week, I'll be reviewing another birthday present - a new camera!  All the pictures on today's post (except for Cindy's wall o' beads and the table o' tomatoes) were taken with the new camera.  There are a few things I want to try to get figured out before I post a review, though, so hopefully it will be this week.


  1. Re: the deep shelves and bead tubes. I have see little risers for rows of spice bottles so that all were visible in spite of being in front of each other. You could probably make your own risers out of scrap lath.

    1. Thanks for the suggestion! I was thinking about doing something like that, but I'm so short that I'd need a step stool every time I want to see what I have. I have another idea I'm hoping will work. I should know by Tuesday's blog. Stay tuned! :)