2020 30-Day Minimalism Challenge

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

NaBloPoMo and The 30-Day Minimalism Game...

Last November (2018) was the first time I completed 30 days of posting in a row for NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month).   While I don't think this "event" is an official thing anymore, it was such an interesting challenge last year I've decided to do it again.  

This time with another challenge in mind:  The 30-Day Minimalism Game.

I'm not going to explain the game here as the short video above does that perfectly. But here's what this will hopefully look like here...  

Starting Friday for every day in November, regardless of anything else I may blog,  I will post a picture of whatever items left my house that day - all in an attempt to minimize my stuff.  If I actually manage to do this my home will be lighter by 465 items on December 1st!  😃  Hubs is on board too so maybe if we work together and inspire each other, we'll actually get rid of more things.  

Note:  Since it's likely I won't be able to physically post each day, I may find myself post-dating some posts.  Or maybe I'll pre-date some and schedule their posting - in which case, you'll be none the wiser.  Regardless, pictures will reflect what left the house on (or by) the date that is shown on the post.  Hmmm... it also occurs to me that I may decide to combine some days - in which case, a post here or there may contain a picture (or pictures) of more than just one day's worth of stuff.  I guess I have options for ways I may handle the issue of not being able to physically post daily.  Those details aren't terribly important to me.  The thing that's important is that I maintain motivation for the clearing out of some unnecessary stuff.  I think my ideas above are fair and will still keep me playing according to the rules - like anyone's keeping track...  except me.  😉

Want to join me?   For either NaBloPoMo, or the 30-Day Minimalism Game, or both?!?  

Join the fun, or please just stop by and visit me from time to time to see how I'm getting on.  Hopefully, I can see this challenge through!

Sunday, October 27, 2019


Today's post is an update on all the organizing I've been doing over the last week.   I made it a goal to get all of my stashed yarn into a large closet.   

I'm used to making do with a hodge podge of cardboard boxes, but after studying the situation I decided that things would not only look nicer if my containers had some uniformity to them, but things might also be more efficient.

So...   I set out to make all of my somewhat organized (if unimpressively  stashed) stash a little more neatly contained.  This is only a small portion that had taken up residence in the corner of my "yarn room":

I considered the various sizes of plastic containers I had easily available to me, and I finally settled on these nifty boxes I was able to buy at Walmart (I figured it would be easy to get more, or easy to return if I bought too many):  

The second day I had to go back and buy more.

I also made use of some containers (mostly cardboard shoe box-size boxes) I already had.  And after several shifts of reorganizing, by mid-week I finally felt like I had something to show for my efforts.  It's still not the prettiest of storage systems, but it's so much more efficient.


Became this:


Became this:

And this:

Became this:
My apologies for so many dim and uncrisp pictures.  It just wasn't happening today...

Now, I have to admit...  I did not get everything in the closet.  I still have to use these zippered bags to hold quite a bit of worsted weight yarn yet:

It should also be noted that I can't get one box of crocheted threads in the closet.    And clearly, I'm still using a few cardboard boxes for some things. But still...  I'm pretty happy with what I managed to get into the closet - which isn't just yarn, but also my cross stitch/embroidery supplies as well as some other crafty bits on the shelves.

Once the room is painted and I move a bookshelf into the room, I'll be able to make some different decisions about some of what's stored on the shelves of the closet and who knows?  Maybe I'll get my thread in there afterall.   😉


When that big job was finished, I then set myself to accomplish another organizing chore I'd been dragging my feet over - my printed out crochet and knit patterns.  I still have way too many, but after sorting through and pitching duplicates and patterns I no longer wanted, I organized what was left into these fun binders:

I'm happy to report that after spending so much on the plastic containers, these cost nothing to put together thanks to a plethora of 3-ring binders we've recently emptied (which were mostly recycled from somewhere else to begin with), and my over abundant paper stash I also have.  I may have to work on paper crafting supplies next...

The icing on the cake about all this organizing is that it's helped me see some projects I want to start working on, and see yarn/color combinations I hadn't noticed before.  There's something about putting your hands on every single thing that makes it more real - yes, Marie Kondo, I was paying some attention when I read about your "magic".   While my yarn has always been organized, this reorganization got my brain geared up and excited to make new projects - which means using more yarn!

Speaking of using yarn...  In between all the organizing, I also managed to start a simple knitted ribbed scarf this week:

What I did here was measure how much I was able to knit in one hour.  Now this is worsted weight yarn and I think my needle is a size 8. In one hour I managed to knit three inches (on a scarf that is about 6 1/2 - 7 inches across.  I honestly have no idea if that is good speed or not, but when I calculated how long it will have taken me to knit this scarf to a length of between 60 - 75 inches, I discovered that this simple scarf will have around 24 hours of knitting invested in it.  😦  

I seriously would have rather not known that.  

But now that I do I will still plug on with it...   Thankful that I can crochet.  Because if I had to depend on knitting alone to use up my stash of yarn, it would take me several lifetimes.

As is, I shouldn't need to buy any more yarn in this lifetime.

To see what other YOPers are up to, visit their blogs in my sidebar.  👉

One more thing...  Starting on November 1st, I plan to unofficially participate in NaBloPoMo again.  I'll post later this week what my personal challenge will be, but I'll say now that I have something fun (for me) up my sleeve.  I'm curious to know if anyone else is considering doing this.  Let me know below if you are!  

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Short and sweet...

In between normal (regular and irregular) activities like my part time work, ESL tutoring, Bible study, serving opportunities, connecting with friends...  I've managed to continue organizing and getting rid of things I no longer need to hang on to.  At one time I envisioned taking pictures of stuff leaving the house - because I thought that would be interesting and even a bit inspiring.  But I've found it doesn't leave in picture-taking moments, and any particular run to the donation site(s) doesn't look like much in and of itself...

But still...  our home is getting a little lighter and small home improvement projects are happening as we have time and inclination.  It's all mostly good. 

The only crafty thing I've done in the last couple weeks is cross stitching some smalls.  I hope to eventually turn these into little ornaments, or even just small pillows to put in a bowl or basket at Christmas time:

The patterns are from vintage issues of Just Cross Stitching Magazine.  

And it seems that's all I've got for this Year Of Projects post.  To see what other YOPpers are up to, visit the links to their blogs  --  somewhere over there in my sidebar.  👉

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Button, button. Look who has buttons!

Mom died in February of 1994 and Dad in February of 1999.  Somewhere between those events I became the owner of a tin of buttons.  

A very BIG tin of buttons.   

That at one time was just about chock-full.

I've been sorting them ever since.

Oh, not regularly...  

Every few years, or so, I pull out the tin and clean some and then store them with like buttons.

I've got quite a collection of old buttons.

Though, I don't keep them for the sake of collecting them. 

That isn't what I'm interested in.

I clean them and sort and store them, and once in a while use them for crafting purposes.  Or for costume purposes when my sons were younger.  These old buttons have come in handy over the years.

I'm not sure who started collecting buttons in this tin.  I suspect my grandmother (who I never really knew) began the collection and then my mother probably added to them.

I'm not sure what inspired me, but today I decided to pull out some buttons and spend a little time sorting and cleaning them.

And it occurred to me that someone else might be interested in seeing some of them.

I'm working from this 👆 batch today.  

A few at a time, I put some into warm soapy water,
Scrub them a bit if they need it, then lay them on a towel to dry.

It's so much fun to see the different buttons - both as I'm pawing through the mass of dirty ones hoping to find matching ones; and then as they lay on a towel drying themselves and I imagine what I might use them for...

This batch is going in next:

To be cleaned and added to these for sorting out again later:


Sunday, October 6, 2019

A full, happy week...

Is was a good week, last.  In addition to cleaning up from a big house project and bringing hubby's study more or less together (there will be pictures someday), I was able to reclaim my "yarn room".   I put "yarn room" in quotation marks because ultimately I really don't want to have a room devoted to yarn, but for the time being that's mainly the purpose it's serving.  

Eventually, I hope I can turn it into a room that reflects my interests and will contain the stuff involved in pursuing those interests (which is far more than just yarn).  I could call it my study, I suppose, but at the moment it's still undeniably...  a yarn room.  But now with plenty of room for sorting and figuring things out.  😊


A week or so ago a friend asked me if I would teach her young daughter the rudiments of embroidery (this toward her earning an American Heritage Girls badge).   Having plenty of supplies, I went looking for some free designs online for embroidery samplers.  For a very first project I settled on this sweet little beginner Heart Sampler.

Last weekend, after picking out our colors for our respective samplers we all set to work:

My young friend was a very quick study and it was a fun couple of hours of stitching together.  Hopefully, we'll get together soon to finish off what we started, or if she completes her first sampler on her own, maybe we could begin another!  What a pleasure it was to see a little one so engrossed in a new hobby.  She's a natural.  😊


And then this weekend saw the long-awaited arrival of old friends from Michigan.  On Friday night, we enjoyed catching up, and on Saturday the men went their way and the ladies theirs.  We gals ended up in Indianapolis at the Mass Avenue Knit Shop.   

Over the years since I've become a yarn hoarder collector, I've driven by this shop a number of times - early on I drove right past it because I couldn't find it, and later - after I had a general idea of where it was - it just never seemed to be on my agenda when I was in the area.  So I'd never before stopped and shopped there.  This time it was our mission to find it and check it out.  

While it's a totally unassuming place on the outside (I regret I didn't get a picture), inside it seemed HUGE to me!   I was slightly overwhelmed by the size of the space and the number of people who were there (they were having a weekend retreat), but the owner, Susan I believe is her name, greeted us warmly and explained the layout of the yarns and where to find whatever we might be looking for.  

After wandering around for a while, looking at and squishing yarn, I found what I think might be perfect yarn for making a Doris Shawl (I was gifted the pattern a couple of years ago). 

An employee, Susie, wound my yarn into cakes on this beautiful vertical yarn swift that, I believe she said, is made by a local wood worker.  With her permission I'm posting these pictures:

What a lovely finished, heirloom-quality swift.  

And my pretty caked yarn:


Then late Saturday afternoon we girls met all the menfolk for a birthday/retirement celebration dinner at The Bosphorus in southern Indy. 

For the first half hour or so we practically had the place to ourselves, but during normal meal hours, this is a bustling place that serves delicious Turkish food.  Anytime, it seems, the atmosphere is casual and friendly.  

While middle son (on the right) insisted on being a goob as I tried to shoot a picture, and while I'm hoping someone has a good picture of the birthday boy (the fuzzy one on the left), this is the best I can do at the moment for a picture of my three sons.  I'm a blessed mom with these three.

And late this morning, we said goodbye to our friends as they headed back to Michigan.  The let down was greatly felt as we waved goodbye from our front porch and they drove off in the rain.  😔 

I'm now in my quiet, getting-ever-more-orderly house.  Hubby headed north a little bit ago to his mom's to see if he can be of some help organizing paperwork this evening and tomorrow.  

Maybe I'll manage to make some more progress on my "yarn room"! 👍