2020 30-Day Minimalism Challenge

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Doilies and dishcloths...

It seems, at the moment, I can only manage a Year of Projects update every other week.  This past week I finally finished my Autumn Splendor doily:

Nothing much to say, really.  Except that I kind of want to make another one, in a different color.  Why?  Just because.

I'll wait a couple of days to see if the feeling passes.  


I snapped the picture below back in May and I thought I might finish up a bunch of knitted cloths by the end of the month:

Nearly 4 monhts later, I did finally manage to use up most of the yarn above.  These dish/wash cloths will go into my stash for some yet to be determined destination:

It seems a bit frivolous to be posting about such mundane things as doilies and dishcloths this weekend.  

Like most of us, I suppose, it seems my mind is continually on the chaos and heartache of people desperately wanting and trying to escape from Afghanistan, and now on our own country's southern shores today Hurricane Ida is threatening people's businesses, homes and, no doubt, lives.  

All the while COVID continues to wreak havoc - in our small town we've heard that our local hospital is routing sick people to towns over an hour away, because there are either not enough beds or workers to manage the influx of patients.  Several friends of ours have gotten terribly ill this time around.  The COVID Delta variant seems to be lurking around every corner - more so than ever before.  

And we mustn't forget that the people of Haiti are dealing with the after effects of an earthquake two weekends ago - followed by tropical storm, Grace.  Seems like a ridiculous name for a storm, if you ask me.  But it prompts me to pray that grace abounds for survivors there who are trying to recover.  

If there is some other massive tragedy I'm not remembering at the moment, feel free to include it with a comment, if you like.  I'm praying for all in harms way.  It seems the very least I can do.  

I'm sorry if this is all too heavy for what is normally a lighthearted post.  Heavy is what my heart is feeling right now, but at the same time, I wanted to connect with blogging friends.

I hope you have a good and safe week ahead. 

Saturday, August 28, 2021

Making Space...

I decided to go through all my kitchen cabinets and drawers this week, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that I don't have a lot of superfluous stuff in there.  I imagined I would have all sorts of strange things in the deep recesses of a few hard-to-reach corners of my old kitchen cabinets, but I didn't.  Not much anyway.

That said, I did manage to painlessly purge some items that I never seem to use, or that are old and I have better versions of:

I'm not going to itemize everything, but I'd like to highlight a few things.  First of all, an old plastic ice cream bucket that's probably 20 years old (or more).  Normally, I wouldn't count garbage or recyclables in my Making Space challenge, but this bucket has been under my kitchen sink holding an odd collection of sponges, non-abrasive scrubbing pads, plastic scrubbies, rubber gloves (that I rarely use) and some cleaner I was given when we bought our glass top stove - 15? years ago.  I haven't used it since discovering how effective vinegar and baking soda are.  I threw away the old stuff, and put what I'm keeping in a nice rectangular basket I had in my stash so everything fits much better.  And I'm finally recycling this relic of bygone days when we use to buy ice cream by the bucket-full for our family of five.  

Also, there's a jar candle that needs disposing of. Again, normally, I'd just clean out and recycle the jar and not mention it, but this candle has taken a long time to burn down.  It's cause for celebration, so it gets counted.   The paper napkins are being removed from storage and put where we will use them up, but everything else is either being donated, tossed or recycled.

And I spent some time this week going through more Taste of Home Magazines...

And I culled through my recipe files and am recycling duplicates of recipes, or recipes that no longer look like something I'd fix.  I'm counting the pile of cards as one thing gone.  I have 22 TOH magazines above that will soon make their way to the library free shelf so added to the kitchen stuff in the first picture, I'm getting rid of 54 things this week!  

Making Space Week 45:  714 things gone!

Saturday, August 21, 2021

Making Space...

I want to thank everyone who left comments on my last Making Space post.  I enjoyed and appreciated the responses to my question about any of your experiences in moving - whether you moved across the country or stayed in the same area.  There was some good food for thought there.  So thank you!

I'm getting to a point with books where I'm having to apply more thought than I want to (IOW, it's getting harder), so I'll probably be taking a break from them for a while.  While I'm sure books will show up again at some point, without too much brain strain I was able to get rid of 37 more books this week.

The picture is simply representative.  Some books ended up leaving the premises before I could get a picture.  That's just the way it goes sometimes...

And with hubs nearing the end of digitizing decades of slides, we're able to get rid of bunches of slide trays. We have found that a salvage store nearby (that specializes in vintage stuff) will take these items.  Hub informed me today that a couple of months ago he took around 20 trays there already (no one thought to take a picture), so adding the collection of the 25 pictured below to those already donated, we've gotten rid of at least 45 slide trays.  So far.  There are still some more that will end up leaving when Hub is truly finished with this task.

So adding everything together, I'm counting 82 more things gone from the house!

Making Space Week 44:   660 things gone!

Sunday, August 15, 2021

More thread crochet...

Still making doilies...

This week, I finished two more small ones from the book, 99 Little Doilies:

# 85 - the second time I've made this doily.  

It's another accidental duplicate. I really don't understand how this happens since I'm trying to keep a careful record.  Not careful enough, evidently.


Okay, maybe this is what happened... Maybe I meant to make #84 when I accidently pulled the pattern out for #85.  And I was too far in once I noticed my mistake.  Yeah...  I think that's the story.

And now I'm making a larger doily.  I've made this before as a gift (twice, I'm thinking).   It's close to finished, but not quite.  Hopefully, by next week, I'll be posting a picture of this wrinkly thing transformed by its final rounds and a good blocking:
This pattern is called Summer Splendor - only mine is going to be Autumn Splendor.  I'm loving this autumny color called Ginger.

In fact, I pulled out some more autumn-colored crochet threads this week as I straightened up my craft room, so watch this space for (hopefully) more thread-crochet projects!

Saturday, August 14, 2021

Making Space...

A beautiful weekend here, I was up and out early (for me) for a spontaneous meetup with a friend for coffee (well, she had coffee, I had breakfast).  Sitting outside, downtown, across from the courthouse, I'm reminded what a quaint little town we live in.  We've been trying to decide if an eventual move will mean buying a house somewhere else in the county, maybe a little closer to the "city" (because there is a dearth of houses for sale here), or staying in Small Town USA. 

It would be interesting to hear from any of you who've moved from a home of many years.  Did you stay in the same area, or did you move elsewhere?  We're not interested in moving far away (like to warmer climes), but we're beginning to challenge the notion that we'll automatically stay in the same town we've lived in for the last two decades.  This is such a process...

Meanwhile, as we wait for the right house to appear on the market, I continue to whittle down stuff.  Today's haul is a hodgepodge, half-hearted attempt at decluttering.  

The posters I acquired many years ago.  I used a couple and the rest have been stored where they'd be safe from getting damaged, and where I would completely forget about them.  The zippers (all about 22" long), I'm sure largely came from MIL's stash last year, and I'm just now realizing that I'll not likely ever make something that requires a zipper that length.  The other things are just stuff I don't want or need.  An easy goodbye.

I don't know whether to be encouraged or embarrassed that, without much effort at all, I can pull together nearly 40 things to leave the house and I will never miss them.

Making Space Week 43:  578 things gone!

Saturday, August 7, 2021

Making Space...

I almost wasn't going to post this week because I hadn't managed to declutter much, but then I remembered that middle son came last weekend and took away some things, and I have pictures!

Then, today I spent a bit of time going through a small linen closet I use to store scrap yarn balls, finished projects waiting for their purpose to be revealed, and some other miscellaneous crafty stuffs, and decided to rehome some of it.

So, in the end, I came up with a respectable amount of stuff.  I'll let the pictures mostly speak for themselves:


Just couldn't reach...

Aahhh...  there we go, everything secure in back

Loaded up and ready to roll...

Humoring mom with one last parting shot...

So long, Son!  
And thank you for helping me with my challenge!  😁

Since much was boxed up by the time I got out to the garage, there was no way I could count items, but I'm going to declare 20 things gone that middle son carted off.  I know that under-represents what he took home with him, but I'm good with that.

For my haul today:

Some more things I've been saving for the yet-to-appear grandchildren.
I'm growing less inclined to save things for them.

I decided to rehome these crocheted and knitted items 
- just going to donate them.

One way or another these sewing tutorials above that my mother-in-law had and a "course" she completed are all going to find a new home.  The sewing lessons will likely be tossed, but I'm going to let sister-in-law make that decision.  All I know is, I enjoyed looking at them, but it's time for them to leave my house.

And hopefully, someone will find a use for these yarny ball scraps.  
Do you think?

So with some underestimating of what has left, or will soon leaving here, I count 43 items.

Making Space Week 42:  538 things gone!

462 more things to hunt down and clear out 'till I meet my goal! And 10 more weeks to do it - if I've counted correctly.


Now to address a question asked in regards to a post I wrote a couple of weeks ago where a reader was puzzled by the large number of dishtowels I own.  

I totally understand!  And I think I can clear up what may be puzzling, or at least give a glimpse into how I use the prolific number of kitchen towels I own.

In a week or week-and-a-half's time I almost always go through the 25 or so dishtowels that fit in the kitchen drawer I've assigned them to.  And when I have a load, I launder them - actually, I hope I don't blow anyone's mind with this, but I sometimes do two loads of kitchen towels and dishcloths a week because I separate the white towels from the colored towels and dishcloths. I try to stagger their use, though, and I often wash darks one week, and whites the next (putting the freshly washed cloths in the back of the drawer).  There is no schedule.  I just wash dish towels and cloths when I've run out of the whites and when I've run out of the colored towels and cloths.

It probably would have been helpful if I had explained that we wash and dry by hand every single dish and piece of silverware and pot and pan used. Every day.  Two or three times a day we do dishes.  I know it may sound a bit archaic in 2021, but we haven't owned a dishwasher for the last 23 years - since moving to this house that didn't have one, and without remodeling the kitchen one did not fit.  It seemed odd at first, but it soon became part of the pattern of our lives.  While studies have determined that some dishwashers may use less water than hand-washing does, I believe I can honestly say that washing dishes by hand doesn't take much (possibly, any) longer than rinsing, pretreating, stacking, unloading, and sometimes having to dry still damp dishes from a dishwasher.  

It's just doesn't seem like a big deal to wash dishes by hand.  In fact, it's often a peaceful activity for me.  When I stand at my kitchen sink I spend a fair amount of time looking out of the window.  I've watched the neighbor kids grow up, and my own boys playing outside.  I've watched the seasons change, and the shadows in the back yard and on the deck change their orientation as the year progresses.  I've been alerted to many beautiful sunsets that called me to interrupt the dishwashing and go outside and see the whole big sky myself.  I've also shared this task with the other members of my family. Hubs washes the dishes fairly often, and our boys grew up washing dishes by hand.  And while they all have dishwashers in their own homes now, they don't seem to flinch at the idea of washing dishes after a family holiday meal.  Sometimes they even volunteer.  

That said, all of this does take a number of dishcloths and dishtowels.  And when I say dishtowels, I mean tea towels as well as terry cloth towels.  I find, anymore, that I mix and match what I dry dishes with. Once I learned how to wash terry cloth towels so they didn't attract lint, I was golden - I often prefer them now for drying dishes.

Add to the daily dishwashing, when I'm doing serious cooking or baking, I can use several towels in a cooking session - washing and drying my hands after handling something messy, sometimes wiping up a spill, or even grabbing a towel to hold onto something hot, or to provide a quick pad for putting a hot pot on the counter. Sometimes I use a fresh towel to blot water off just-washed lettuce, or to dry any produce I might be washing off. Is it becoming clear how I can go through so many dishcloths?

Add to all of that, I am pretty fastidious about kitchen towels and dishcloths being fresh (for example, I never use a towel I've wiped my hands on to dry dishes or produce).  And while hub will try to get away with saving a dishtowel for drying dishes later in the day, I consider if it's gotten wet enough to have to dry out, it's used, and it goes into the category of "dirty" and into the collection of towels waiting to be washed. To dry them while they wait to be washed, I hang them on the oven handle or take them to the laundry room where I have a basket dedicated to dishtowels and cloths and I often drape the wet ones over the edge of the basket - tossing them into the basket to collect when they're dry.

So maybe by now it's not so puzzling that I would keep 25 towels handy in a kitchen drawer.  The 50 or so in storage are probably superfluous, but I do enjoy rotating different towels into the kitchen drawer with changing seasons (mainly, we're talking autumn, Christmas, winter and spring/summer. If we had an automatic dishwasher, I imagine the number of towels I'd keep could be cut down pretty drastically. Or maybe not. Having a generous supply of kitchen towels has become my habit.  I have a whole system for washing them, and rotating them in and out of the kitchen drawer on a near-weekly basis, and the linen closet seasonally.  All that said, I'm open to change.  Who knows...  maybe someday I'll have a dishwasher again and will only keep a skeleton crew of towels and cloths for the kitchen business.  

By the way, washing dishcloths by themselves is, I believe, what keeps them lint free.  And maybe my front loading washing machine.  I do love that thing.  Years ago, we had a top-loading washing machine that didn't have an normal agitator.  It left lint on darks when I washed them, so I imagine it left lent on everything.  I was never so glad that an appliance needed replacing.

And that, dear reader, is all I have for this weekend!  Thank you for stopping by!

Sunday, August 1, 2021

Still rockin' doilies...

Not much crafting happening here, but still feeling the doily vibe I whipped up a fun and quick doily called Andromeda:

And then once I got that pinned out on the blocking mat, I started another "little doily" from the book, 99 Little Doilies:
It only needs two more rounds and blocking, but that wasn't happening before posting this, so this is what I have to show.

Except for the above, and crocheting some on the blue, white and gray ripple afghan (that I started last year), this is all I've got.  That blanket needs to get done already, so I'm trying to devote some time to it.  I'm intending it for a gift in October, but I'd love to finish it by the time I turn the calendar over at the end of the month.   

Speaking of the calendar...  anyone else just incredulous that it's August already?!?   When I started 2021, I looking achingly toward summer because it would mean I was in a quiet time regarding settling my brother's estate. Now that we're here I can hardly believe it.  So much work behind.  Still some probate wait time ahead. Hopefully, it all goes smoothly from here on out.  

I hope you have a great week ahead.  Weather here (in central Indiana) this upcoming week looks very promising (in the 70's, low 80's F - and 50's at night).  Ahhhh...  Going to enjoy before the dog days of summer take over again. 

Catcha later!