Wednesday, May 23, 2007
With the new bookcase in place, I was able to neatly organize two baskets of fabric, all my sewing notions, my book binding tools, leather scraps, and my sewing machine. And somehow I managed to make the whole thing look organized and cute instead of just messy.
As I have struggled to keep my crafts and sewing projects organized and neatly put away, I have come up with some great organizational solutions:
1. Get a tall bookcase that can hold not only your books, but also baskets filled with anything from stationary, thread, patterns, fabric, and sewing tools.
2. Get different size baskets which can easily be pulled off the shelves, used, and then replaced. I've actually had a lot of success cleaning up after a project using these baskets because items can be put right back in and then placed back on the shelf. Because it doesn't have to go into the basement or attic, it actually gets put away.
3. Get smaller plastic containers to hold things like bobbins, thread, and buttons. A little help in the organization makes accessing my sewing notions that much easier. Plus I like that I can find things quickly and know exactly what tub/basket everything is in.
4. Stack extra fabric on top of the bookcase. Since I always seem to have remnants or fabric waiting to be used sitting around my sunroom, I finally decided to fold it and place it on top of the bookcase. This way it is organized, but out of the way. I also like to use large wicker baskets to hold yarn and this fabric, which I then just set on top. It isn't as clean as I would like, but it is a million times better than having the baskets cluttering the floor.
5. Use the extra space under your bed. I keep metal bins under my bed filled with anything random items like craft paint and brushes, pictures, wrapping paper, and extra pens and pencils. Because these bins are smaller, they are easy to pull out and retrieve whatever I need.
So what is your favorite organizational tool? Anything you really love that helps you keep your life or projects in order?
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Friday, May 18, 2007
Wedding caeks don't need to serve 150 people or be taller than a small child. Why not make a beautiful one to display and cut later into the reception. I especially like how this one has more color and style. White is beautiful, no doubt, but why not try something new?
Do you have any favorite wadding caeks or decorated caeks in general. I actually don't care that much what my wedding will be like, but for some reason beautiful cakes matter. I just think they should taste wonderful and look just as good.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
1. Comfort Me With Apples, by Ruth Reichl
Written by a respected food critic and cook, this is a wonderful story of Ruth's life all centered around food. I honestly laughed out loud in the first few pages and the rest of the book was just as delightful. I highly recommend this for anyone who grew up cooking with their mom or has childhood memories of their mom or grandmother cooking. Reichl's style is warm, witty, and spot-on when it comes to cooking and the memories it leaves in our lives.
2. Mistress of Spices, by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
This is a wonderful story about an Indian women with a special insight into spices. Each chapter begins by telling about a different Indian spice and weaves it into the story. Delightful and imaginative in the way it uses these spices to enrich the story. A light read with the warm of India and its heritage of spices.
3. How Green Was My Valley, by Richard Llewellyn
Although not about food, this story has a warmth and richness that I have rarely found in literature. This story follows a boy growing up in a Welsh mining village as everything around him changes: his family, the town's mining business, and most importantly the transformation of his pictureque village as he comes of age and deals with loss, joy, and the inevitable fact that life is never as it once was. The author's language is beautiful and a joy to read.
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
Thursday, May 03, 2007
While talking to one of my friends who was there demonstrating jewelry making, an older women commented on how many talents we have and the amount of crafts we are each involved in. She then asked how we learned to do so much and fit it into our days. Without missing a beat I turned to her, smiled, and commented, "we're single."
There was no mocking or bitterness in my voice. I was being 100% honest. I love my life and the opportunity I have to enrich myself in different areas, be it social, professional, spiritual, or intellectual. Although my mom is worried about my marital status, I for one am extremely grateful for my current situation. However, this does not mean I am adverse to any available, handsome bones people want to throw my way.
The majority of the battle in learning something new is thinking that you simply can't do it. You haven't been trained or personally taught and someone more experienced surely needs to show you the way.
I threw this notion out of my head in my early teens when I declared to my mother that I could cook anything, because if I had done a few dishes and they turned out well, then how hard can it possibly be to cook something new? I started baking tarts, fancy cakes, and making up new cookie recipes. From there this desire to create, to learn and expand my creativity transferred into sewing clothes and linens, baking wedding cakes at the age of 18, cutting and highlighting hair in my early 20s, sewing my first wedding dress, tying flies for fishing as well as making my own fishing pole, and most recently, making hand-bound leather books.
For years it had baffled me as to why so many women around me were amazed at what I had taught myself to do. Then a few months ago I had this epiphany: I have always believed that I could do anything that I tried my best at and used my brain to figure out. I may not be an expert, but I still could excel. If you think that you can't learn to do something, that is must be too complicated without formal training, or that you simple don't have skill, then you won't succeed because most often you won't try or put in a good effort. I admit that I am not great at all things creative (I cannot draw to save me life). But that doesn't mean I can't learn to silk paint, design clothes, plan elaborate parties, or make my own t-shirts. Everyone has the ability to be creative and artsy; you just have to try.