I can see the floor!

I finished sorting through a pile of clothes that lived in the center of mom’s closet (its a walk-in closet) and discovered there was a plastic storage bin hiding underneath.  After clearing away the clothing, I realized I had found the handbag burial grounds.  I shall never need to buy another handbag as long as I live, fortunately mom had great taste in purses.  Dad said there are more in the basement, I hope he doesn’t bring them up here.  I don’t have a count on them yet, there are many.  The number of handbags doesn’t bother me so much.  I’d rather deal with purses than the shoes, oh lord, the shoes.  There are at least 3 garbage bags full of shoes in the basement, I know this because I put them there in an attempt to keep mom from wandering at night.  She wasn’t so far gone that she would leave without shoes.  There are a modest number of pairs still in the closet, mostly heels and hard soled shoes, ones I could hear her walking around in.  I need to sort them into matching pairs, figure out which ones fit me, and of those that fit me, which ones I would actually wear.  Just because the shoe fits, doesn’t mean its comfortable.  I tried on one pair and it was totally a “ohmahgodohmygodgetthemoffme” moment.  I think they were land piranha masquerading as a pair of Naturalizers.  I also need to get a count for donation purposes.  You know, all this stuff really should have been handled in an estate sale.  I know we have exceeded the maximum donation amount dad can claim on his taxes.

The closet is nearly cleared out other than one small hanging section and the shelves.  I’m fairly sure the clothes remaining will all be donated, not sure why I don’t just grab them and stuff them in a box.  I think its because, once they are gone, they are gone.  It will also mean I will need to sort through my closet and try to figure out where to put all the things I have found.  My closet is rather small.  Good thing I have all these empty storage bins lying around.  And yes, I’m being sarcastic.  I will use a bin for the clothes set aside for crafting purposes, may need two.

All of this sorting has me thinking I should get rid of my things too.  Its not like there will be anyone around to clean up after me when I die, so I should really simplify.  I think having less stuff will make me happier in the long run.

After seeing the single square released for this week’s CAL update, I figure I’ll hold off a while.  I like the square, but its not enough for me right now.  I’d hoped for at least 2 new patterns.  Its okay though, they will come in time, and while I wait I can work on other things.  I pulled out the geranium needlepoint to see what I was getting into.  Mom had begun the upper left quadrant, made a mistake, started to pull it out, and then abandoned it from the looks of things.  I’ll leave as much of her original effort as possible, but I’ll have to finish removing the cut threads.  I decided to work on the solid yellow portions of the chart before fixing the cut part or messing with any of the fussy colour changes.  The canvas is very crumpled and we don’t have a stretcher frame, at least I don’t think we have a frame, so I’m not sure how this will turn out.  I’m hoping it will flatten out as I am stitching.

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geranium needlepoint

Here it is in all of its crumpled glory.  Mom’s work is on the left, the part I started is on the right.  Its over 14 inches wide and tall, so I’m wondering if it is too big for an album cover afterall.  I have time to think on it, its going to take a while to finish stitching it.

Tomorrow’s another day

My mom used to say that, “Tomorrow’s another day.”  Actually, she always spoke in idioms, and growing up, I often longed for a meaningful response from her.  I was folding sheets today and thought of her saying “three sheets to the wind”, which meant someone was drunk.  That’s what got me thinking along these lines, the sheets, not drinking.  I’ve been terribly depressed these past few days, and I wonder if it is from going through her clothes (and mine) to send off for donation.  Originally, I was planning to donate the sheets as they are all twin sized, but something dad said made me change my mind.  What he said isn’t important, but it got me thinking of using the flat sheets as quilt backings.  I’ve always wanted to make a quilt and I have collected a variety of fabrics over time, to do so.  The fitted sheets are fairly worn, so those may need to be discarded or turned into rags… though I suppose if I cut the elastic off, I could use them in place of batting?

Tomorrow is the next installment for the lilypond CAL, hopefully it will contain a few floral squares to reignite my interest.

I keep reading and hearing people talk about how relaxing and therapeutic crochet is, how it contributes to a tranquil state of mind.  When I crochet, I seethe.  I brood.  I chew over old slights.  I swear at old memories and relive embarrassing moments.  When does the tranquil part start?  I could use some of that.

I thought about it while I worked at the last 2 rows of the third rectangle (lily pond CAL).  In a way, I suppose I am processing all those negative experiences that I didn’t want to deal with at the time.  So therapeutic, possibly.  Tranquil?  Not so much.  It felt nice to crochet after a couple of days sorting through boxes of clothing.  I didn’t even mind that I was working on yet another rectangle.  I don’t wish to begin the 4th one, but I already spoke of that in another post.  Three is enough for now.

One thing on my mind while crocheting this evening, has to do with the clothes.  Several of the boxes my father dragged upstairs, contained my old clothes.  Some I had all but forgotten, purchased in the hopes of a better job, a brighter future.  Office clothes, dress slacks, suits, most only worn on interviews that never amounted to anything.  Date outfits too.  I have all these nice clothes but nowhere to wear them, no wonder I had them boxed up.  They represent a person who never was, a life never lived.  Now, in addition to these somber thoughts, there was a silver lining of sorts.  You know the saying, “You don’t always get what you want, but God gives you what you need.”?  I mentioned before how my Dad and I have been walking around in worn out clothes.  I was in need of new undies especially, but also tee shirts and jeans.  In one of the boxes, was a stack of nearly new shirts and sweatshirts for my Dad.  In another box, I found underwear and bras, all in my size.  Apparently I bought them when I still worked in retail, but I don’t know why or how they ended up in a box in the basement.  I also found nightshirts and my old tee shirts, in better condition than the ones I have been wearing.  I still need some new pants, but it will soon be warm enough for me to wear my skirts again.  So I guess what I am saying, is I feel that God is still looking after us and to have faith.  I’m not convinced that there was a reason behind all the misfortune, I’ll need some more distance from it before I can consider that point of view.

I also hope this depression lifts soon because right now, all I want to do is crawl into a dark hole and die.  And yes, that was another idiom of my mom’s.  I could fill the page with them.

The clothes I have put aside for crafting are made of some gorgeous materials, silks, linen, cotton, beautiful stuff.  I can almost hear people say,”Oh no, you are not going to cut that up?!”  Oh yes, yes I am.  Really now, who wears silk pants in Junction?  Nobody.  My dollshouses and bjds will be turned out in style… eventually.  I have to perk up first.  Impossible to sew with tears in my eyes.

Argh

There I was, finally making a dent in the closet of doom.  A closet that made my own closet look spacious and organized by comparison.  I decided to tackle the sweaters next, when HE started in.  Dad started telling me about the boxes of clothes in the basement.  I told him I would get to those when I finished the closet.  He talked about the boxes in the basement some more.  I replied I would get to them when I finished up here.  He dragged the basement boxes out into the downstairs living room, I ignored them.  I am focused, I will not be deterred from my chosen task.  Then he brought them up stairs, one by one, filling the upstairs living room with those blasted boxes.  The living room where I was sorting the clothes from the closet.  Boxes I will now have to sort through if I want to have any room to move.

I’ve been Shanghaied.

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This appeared after I had already cleared out 3 bins worth of clothes.

 

On a related note, I found some clothes that fit me, and some clothes that are suitable for dollmaking and miniatures.  I also found a box of clothes belonging to Dad, those I piled upon his bed with an evil laugh.  He tried to get me to hang them up for him and I replied with “I have enough to do with all these boxes you dragged up here.”

We had snow today; I didn’t like it.

Sixty-four

Sixty-four pairs of pants, plus one pair of shorts, were in my mother’s closet.  Some still had the tags on them and I joked with my dad about whether he wanted to try some of them on.  She had expensive clothes, one pair cost her $139 and that was the SALE price.  Dad and I walk around in tatters and all these new or nearly new clothes are going to Goodwill.  I started with the pants because I knew none of them would fit me, so the sorting would go quicker.  I did try on one pair of jeans with the tags still on, it was in vain, there was no way this rear end was going to fit in those pants.  What surprised me was the size difference wasn’t as big as I thought it would be.  In other words, I’m not as large as I mentally picture myself… so there’s some good in all of this.  The pants are all in sizes 4 or 6.

Going through the rest of her clothes will take longer.  In addition to trying on the medium sizes, I will have to check everything for jewelry.  She left her jewelry on the items she wore frequently.  I still need to go through the pockets of the pants, not looking forward to that.  Unless I find money, then it will be worth it.  The sweaters that don’t fit me, I may reclaim the yarn from, if I like the yarn in the first place.

I did find one treasure that I am keeping whether it fits me or not.  A very delicate, lacy, knit cardigan by Ann Taylor was crumpled on the floor under a pile of other things.  Its gorgeous.  I haven’t tried it on yet, but really, I don’t care if I look like a lace wrapped sausage in it.  It’s too beautiful to give away.  It might fit.  Here’s a couple of detail shots.  The bottom of the cardi has the same finish as the sleeves.

cardicuff

sleeve

cardi1

blah

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My enthusiasm for this lilypond CAL is waning, and “blah” was my predominant thought during the crafting of the 3rd rectangle.  The next pattern doesn’t come out until April 21st, but I’m not sure I can force myself to finish the 4th one between now and then.  I may wait until I see what comes next, if it is the center blocks, then I may have enough motivation to complete the 4th rectangle.  If it is more panels, then there is a good chance this may end up in the unfinished project pile until the rest of the patterns are released.  Its simply too much blue and green, I need pinks and yellows… like the ones sitting in front of me, waiting to be used.

needlepoint geranium

This is the cover photo from the kit.

On the bright side, I can always work on the lovely needlepoint kit that was once my mother’s.  Mom was never that crafty, so this kit was started but never finished.  She’d rather read her murder mysteries.  I think she was perplexed that my sister and I were so into crafts.  She started with needlepoint out of curiosity, two of her projects I finished for her while she was alive.  Both were framed, and one actually went to live with my sister; it had fruit on it.  She had it hanging in her kitchen.  The other is here, that one was embroidered now that I think about it.  I wonder if my sister’s kids will keep the framed piece or whether it will end up in a garage sale.  I try not to think about these things too much.  It’s just stuff.  Maybe it will end up with someone who loves it, that’s a nice thought.  I actually have two unfinished kits of mom’s, along with the geranium piece, the other is of a woman in a kimono.  I’m not crazy about the gal in the kimono, it reminds me of the needlepoint wizard I started and really disliked.  I think its the faces, the faces look funky.  Since I paint, there is no shortage of artwork for the walls, so my thought with the needlework pieces is to make them into journal covers or covers for photo albums etc.  I seem to remember a small needlepoint kit, maybe 6X8, not sure where that ended up.  I don’t think it was finished, but I haven’t come across it.  I think it was of flowers.  It might be in her closet, I haven’t gone in there except to retrieve a footstool.  Maybe tomorrow will be a good day to drag everything out; damn… I wish my sister was here, or that I had someone close to help.  Its just me.

Oh, and I finally figured out how to resize my pics in Picasa, its in the export menu.  No more ginormous photos.

2 down and number 3 begun

These first few blocks sure eat up time and yarn, going at a comfortable pace, it takes me two evenings to complete one rectangle.  I won’t post another pic because, thankfully, the second one looks exactly like the first.  Good to know my gauge is consistent, I was worried about that.  Perhaps once I complete all four, then I will post a photo.  I realized I did not post a link to the CAL patterns so I am remedying this oversight today.  Looking at the finished blanket, I am sure I will not have enough of the dark blue to complete it as pictured.  However, since I am thinking of using it as a towel or bathmat in the bathroom, I believe I can work with what I have.  If I need to buy more, I can, but I have a few skeins of cotton yarn in greens (different brand) that I can use if I change things around a little.  I have enough blue for the center of the blanket and the changes I’m thinking of involve going from a square blanket to a rectangular towel.  I think it will work. Stylecraft CAL

After feeling like I had no friends in that game I play, I decided to make one.  My selection was pretty random, but they are friendly and we hung out killing monsters for a while.  Obviously, this isn’t a deep, meaningful connection, but the company is nice to have.  Its good to have someone to chat with about nothing, I miss having someone like that in my life.

My father is planning on having company stay with us next month, so we’ve been working on getting the house in order.  I hope for his sake, they DO come to visit.  However, this particular brother is great at making excuses so we will see.

One of Four, Lily pond

day1

And we’re off!  I spent most of today working on the first “block” which is really an elongated rectangle.  I have to make 4 of them, but since I have 2 weeks until the next release, there is no rush.  I was thinking since I’m using cotton, this may make a nice bathmat or bath towel.  I have a wall hanging in my bathroom with koi and waterlilies on it, this would fit right in.  If I have any yarn left over, I could add an edging to my hair towels to coordinate, my hair is so long now that I could use a few more inches of towel when I’m drying off.  Functional fussiness.  I had thought of sewing two towels together, they are those super absorbent microfiber kind, but if I cut my hair then I’m out of a towel and stuck with one ginormous one.  So an edging (for the towels) and a trim (for me) maybe the best compromise.

Since I made dinner, I was a little distracted.  I imagine the blocks will go faster if I can focus on just them.  The photo shows up to row 18.  I hope to have it finished before I go to bed.

I am using the Classique Cotton DK, I made colour substitutions as follows:

Mint> Sky Blue
Aqua> Azure
Fern> Dove
Lily> Hot Pink
Olive> Leaf
Teal> Greek Blue

I think if I had seen the completed blanket before I ordered my cotton, I would have chosen softer shades instead of trying to match the colour swatches provided by Stylecraft.  All the colour changes make it a bit busy for my tastes but it will still look fine, the cotton is nice to work with at any rate.

Oh and I am feeling the after effects of my walk yesterday morning, the aches and pains kicked in after dinner this evening.  That’s what I get for sitting and crocheting most of the day.