Hello and happy Saturday Dear Readers! How was your week?
Here is a round up of some of things I’ve been enjoying lately, paired with some photos I’ve take over the past month. I love all the tiny leaves and cheerful flowers at this time of the year, don’t you? It’s been lovely watching all the flowers and leaves slowly open, the birdsong floating through the air, rain showers and the quiet and busy hum of the bumblebees as they go from bloom to bloom…
What I’ve been working on: a sewing project that I’ve had in the works for several years… I finished it and will be sharing it next week. It’s nice to finally be able to check that one off the “to do” list!
As I’ve been sewing in the evenings, I have been listening to the audiobook of “A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens. It’s one of my favourite books- I listened to a recording of it a few years ago, and decided it was time for a re-read/listen: I’m about 2/3 of the way through now. I don’t particularly love reading Dickens, but I absolutely love listening to his stories! If you decide to read or listen to it, just make sure you don’t start the final 1/4 of the book in the evening, otherwise you’ll have to stay up until 3 AM to find out the ending! (That’s what I did the first time I listened to it- I was very tired the next day, but it was worth it!)
I’ve also just finished reading “Facepaint: The History of Makeup” by Lisa Eldridge. It was such an interesting and in depth look at the history of makeup from ancient times to the present day. I enjoyed not only the text but also the photography, and the photos of all her vintage makeup collection. Why don’t more makeup brands today make pretty packaging? There’s so much boring plastic out there…
I have also been borrowing some more decorating books from the library, and “For the Love of White” by Chrissie Rucker was another good one. Most of the homes in the book are too modern for my own taste, but I think it can be inspiring to look at decorating styles that fall outside of our niches. Sometimes we can get in a rut, with home decor, fashion… anything really, if we focus too narrowly on what we already know we like. Curated Instagram feeds and Pinterest boards with suggestions of photos “you might like” can, over time, stifle creativity, whereas seeing new things, styled in ways different than we normally would, can be extremely inspiring. I’ve always grown up in homes full of colour, and it’s taken me a while to realize that I actually really like White as a colour, not just a neutral, so this book (full of homes from England) was particularly calming and lovely!
This blog post, from Farmhouse on Boone, taught me something new. Before the days of refrigeration people had so many ingenious methods of food preservation, and water glassing eggs is one of them. My mom has chickens, so maybe we’ll try this in the future? I love discovering new-old ways of preserving food!
Well, that’s all for this week. I hope you have a wonderful weekend, whatever you have planned!
Hello and happy Saturday, dear Reader. How was your week? Mine has felt a bit hectic, with a big project at work that I’m trying to finish up today. (Plus all the other things of daily life mixed in!) Earlier this week I took some new pieces to my display at the gallery and I remembered to snap a picture of what it looks like right now.
Some of the new illustrations are these three vintage dresses.
I have also added this trio of dresses to my Society6 shop. They are available with or without words as greeting cards and I have prints too. I hope to do more of them, because vintage dress styles are just so fun to draw and paint!
Well, that’s all for this post and I hope you have a wonderful weekend however you spend it.
While I’ve actually been living in my new bedroom for a couple of months now, I figured that the New Year was a good time to share how I have finally settled my new closet organization. I love to organize, but I also like to make my closets and storage areas “aesthetically pleasing”, so here is how I have done that in my new room, in case you are also thinking of conducting a closet refresh for the new year!
The closet in my old room (here) was designed with shelves across most of the area, in order to hold sewing fabric and supplies, with a small rod on the side to hold the UFO’s (UnFinished Objects) and Projects-In-Progress. So, when I moved into the room, as a bedroom, I had to change the way I sorted things, because of the small rod area. Now I have moved into a new bedroom which has a standard closet with a full rod, though there are small shelves on the left side of the closet, so I again have had to change the way I organize my clothes.
Starting with the top shelf, all of my out-of-season hats are stored in hatboxes. While I do love to display my hats, they can get dusty, so I have opted to only leave out a few hats for the season. These cream hatboxes are ones I recovered with a map printed wallpaper and I’ve got labels taped on, so I know which hats are inside without having to pull everything down.
I also have hats stored in this large blue box. The cloth bag holds my petticoat, which I don’t wear all that often, and it takes up less space in a bag than hanging.
And no, I don’t have cake stored in my closet (I wish!)- guess what’s under that cake carrier?
Yep, another hat! It was my mom’s idea to keep a hat in there, since I didn’t have anywhere to store the carrier- and then that way I can enjoy looking at the cool vintage cake carrier!
On the far right of the top shelf, I have a tall stack of shoeboxes. I keep all of my neutral coloured shoeboxes (not the neon orange Miz Mooz ones!) to store my shoes in when they are out of season. Since I don’t need to access them regularly, the stack is all the way to ceiling! Closets with headers are annoying, so I always like to keep infrequently used items up there. I also have these boxes labeled with what is inside.
In front, I have a spray bottle of vodka. Despite the fact that my closet is starting to resemble a pantry, it’s not actually for sneaking a drink; it’s for spraying clothes in between washes. Spraying clothes with alcohol is an old theatre trick to keep costumes free of odours in between shows. I use it for delicate and dry clean items or for things that aren’t dirty, but for which I want to extend the time between washes.
Now moving down to the rod, on the right I have all of my fancy evening dresses under garment bags in the very back of the closet. Then in front of them I keep my dressy winter coats. I keep these coats in this closet because I like to select them alongside my outfits, whereas I keep my everyday winter coat in the front closet.
Next I have my scarves, organized in the iconic IKEA Komplement organizer. I didn’t have enough scarves to fill it, so I folded it in half. I don’t love having the scarves in my closet like this, since it makes browsing a bit more difficult, but I don’t have a better place to hang them, so it works for now. In front of the scarf organizer I have a hoop shaped hanger to hold my belts. Again, not the best spot, but it’s what I have for now.
After the belts comes bottoms on wooden hangers with clips. I have organized my items by type and each type of garment has a different kind of hanger.
For my tops, I have these vintage wooden hangers I got off of Poshmark. They were originally from a fur storage vault in Toronto. Since I’ve kind of got a capsule wardrobe right now (from getting rid of so many clothes in 2020-2021) I’ve switched from using slim velvet hangers to using these. They definitely take up a lot more horizontal space, and I might not use them forever if I add to my wardrobe in the future, but right now I am quite enjoying seeing these lovely vintage hangers in the morning when I get dressed!
After the tops, come the knits. I KNOW you’re not supposed to hang sweaters and knitwear, but I really can’t be bothered to iron or steam creases out every time before wearing them… and so I keep my most commonly worn knits hung up. I use vintage satin padded hangers, which, again, do use a lot of horizontal space, but they are so pretty that it’s worth it! Knits that I don’t wear as often are stored on a shelf, but for these, I’d rather hang them up than be wrinkly.
And at the end of the clothing rod, I keep my extra few hangers from items that are in the laundry.
Now moving on to the shelves along the left, which hold a lot of my accessories and knitwear. I use the top shelf as a bit of display area; here’s where the aesthetics perhaps take precedence over the economical use of the space.
I don’t like having all of my jewelry on my dresser, so I store my special occasion pieces here in the closet, and everyday pieces on the dresser. I also like to keep a few hats out on display, so I’ve got one sitting here and one on my dresser. I also put this little miniature tea set here just for fun.
I have a couple purses leaning in the back, but I might replace them in the future with a picture. I have a small print of this piece by Marc Johns, and I’d like to put it in here once it’s framed, even if it’s something that only I will see, because it will bring a smile every time I look at it!
The next shelf down also holds knits- the ones I don’t wear as often. I put in this wooden half shelf (which fits perfectly!) so I could double the amount of space and put my berets here too.
The next two shelves hold my purses and bags. My small vintage clutches and travel shoe bags etc. are stored inside the cream overnight bag and the large wicker bag.
And finally, on the floor at the bottom is a basket I use to hold my work clothes… the old ones I wear to refinish furniture or other messy tasks like that, but don’t need access to all the time.
To the right, under the shorter hanging garments, sits my vintage laundry hamper. I will always be indebted to my brother for this hamper, because I found it at the thrift store for $2….and their debit machine wasn’t working. I didn’t have any cash, so he lent me the money (forfeiting whatever he had found) so I could buy it! Since then I have seen people selling these for MUCH more- sometimes for up to $50, so I am so happy that I got it when I did. Oh, and yes, I always carry cash now, just in case!
Now moving out of the closet and to the left, on the wall beside my dresser I have my jewelry frame. I made this probably 14 years ago, and it has proven to be one of my most useful projects. I did a terrible job attaching the fabric with hot glue, but even so, after 14 years it’s still holding up! And it works so well to organize long necklaces, brooches and dangly earrings. I am a person that needs to see what I have or I will forget to wear it, so this works perfectly for me.
In my dresser I store my “unmentionables”, socks and tights in the top two drawers. And then in the bottom drawer…fur collars! A bit unconventional, but I decided to put them here to keep the dust off them… it works.
Lastly, to the right of the closet sits my bookshelf. I use the bottom two shelves to store shoes and boots; I keep my everyday winter boots in the front closet, but all the other shoes stay here. I keep them here so I can match them to my outfits easily, but also to keep them from getting battered in the communal closet! In the basket, are all of my shoe and clothing care items.
So that’s pretty much how I organize my closet! It always varies a bit from season to season, but I think this will be how it stays for a while. This is only my in-season clothing too, by the way. The rest of my summer clothes are stored in two plastic bins under the bed. I don’t like keeping everything in my closet year round because it overwhelms and clutters the space, and I think it is good to give my pieces a rest from hanging if they aren’t being regularly worn.
(Oh and, not pictured, I keep my fabric tote bag and everyday purse hanging on the back of my door, along with my bathrobe and shawl, for easy access.)
How do you set up your closet? Do you like to do a closet organization refresh in the New Year? Do you prefer to put an emphasis on the practicality or the aesthetics when you are organizing?
“Happy New Year” Dear Readers! Does it feel like it should already be 2022 to you?
I’ve had an enjoyable and productive last few weeks of 2021, how about you? Above, I received this lovely pottery dimensional candle holder for Christmas, and it’s so nice to have it sitting on my windowsill reflecting the light in the evenings.
I like to change out my wreath depending on the season, so I put gold stars on it for New Years, just for fun!
I don’t often get up before dawn, but the last time I did I was met with this beautiful sight. I haven’t gotten up that early since, though, I guess it wasn’t enough of an enticement to leave my cosy warm bed.
One of my mom’s succulents is blooming. I have no idea what this plant is- it didn’t have a tag. Do you know what it is? We call it the “alien plant” since it has long stems with round leaves and spines that look like antennae.
As for projects lately, I’ve been enjoying some more embroidery. This time a little pouch for my sister. I’m really enjoying making these, and I’ve been contemplating adding some to my Poshmark Shop.
I’ve really been wanting to make things with my hands lately- embroidery, sewing etc. However, I haven’t felt like sewing anything for myself because fitting patterns is the worst part of sewing, so instead I’ve started making other things- like baby clothes. Not because I’m having a baby anytime soon, but because kid’s clothes are so fun to make! I plan on creating a bit of a stockpile of them to gift to families in my church who have little ones on the way, as well as bringing some pieces to the pregnancy care centre.
These little felted boots are so adorable, aren’t they? And little hair bows are a quick and easy (and cute!) project to whip up in an afternoon. I’m having so much fun making these, that I may have been dedicating just a bit too much time to them lately…. well, it’s the New Year now so time for a fresh start!
Do you make New Year’s resolutions? I make a list of 3-4 goals for the year, whether personal, creative etc. Last year I planned to finish organizing my hard drive and compiling a photo album of all of my Instagram photos…but I didn’t get to it…so, it’s back on the list for this year. Other than that, I haven’t thought of any other goals, but I’m sure I’ll come up with some in the next few days.
I hope your 2022 is off to a great start! Happy New Year!
Here we are already at the end of July and beginning of August! The summer seems to be going past very quickly- how about for you?
This has been the Year of Reading for me- I’ve just finished book #33. I’ve been trying to spend my evenings reading, rather than browsing the internet. It’s been nice to get through quite a few of the books on my list, although of course, as soon as I cross one off, I find several more to add to the bottom!
I requested Mistress Pat by L.M Montgomery from the library (review: not my favourite of her books, but still enjoyable) and the copy I received was this beautiful first edition from 1935! I love it when they keep older editions of books in circulation, rather than replacing them all with new copies.
We had some exciting visitors to our place; my sister walked out the back door, and spotted two lost Mallard ducklings in the flower bed! When their mom never showed up, we brought them inside and put them in a brooder, and then my mom brought them to the wildlife rescue shelter a couple days later. They were so tiny and cute, and actually very quiet as well. (At least compared to the chick we’ve got inside; we named him Mortimer, because he never stops cheeping!) They were hard to photograph and got a little bit panicked when my sister picked them up, but I’m glad I got a couple of pictures to remember them by.
I’ve been working on some more watercolour illustrations; this time houseplants. I’ve been trying out this mini format- just 4″ x 4″ and I quite like it. So far I’ve done a Kalanchoe, a grouping of Cacti and a Pothos.
I’ve added them to my Society 6 shop as greeting cards or mini prints. There are “hello”, “happy birthday” and “thank-you” cards as well as blank ones available. I will also be listing these original paintings in my shop here, but am waiting for some mats I ordered to arrive first (hopefully they arrive soon!).
Ps: I’ve also added some more photography prints to my shop, and am slowly adding more as I have the time.
How has your summer been going so far? I hope you have a great weekend!