Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Goals for 2011 and Quilter's ADD

Okay, I had an epiphany this past weekend.

Whenever hubby asks why I have so many fibery projects around the house, I've always told him that the colors and textures make me really happy. He gives me a hug, and walks away muttering to himself that he could never get any work done with so much stuff around. I shake my head, knowing that he doesn't understand my creativity.

Sunday afternoon: I realized that I have trouble finishing projects because there is too much visual clutter!!! I get majorly distracted. I told this to hubby and he literally, LITERALLY, fell to the floor laughing. Okay, so sometimes he is right.

My goal for 2011 is to have only 2 projects visible at any one time. One for quilting/sewing and one for knitting/crocheting/beading/paper stuff. Anything else has to be contained in a bag, box, or bin. I figure one year is long enough to REALLY know if I am more productive that way. I am also going to keep a journal with projects in queue, and projects finished.

This is kinda scary. I've always worked with my areas looking all Kaffe Fassett colorful and cluttered. We will see how it goes!

Cathy B

PS: Fishies Rug is on hold until I can order the yarn I need to finish.
PPS: Remember when saddle shoes were cool? I wish cool shoes were that comfy now!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Fishies Rug

I got the gauge figured for my Fishie Rug. Size 8 needles, 2 strands Peaches and Creme dishcloth cotton, loose tension. Only problem is that I only have one of the colors I want for the rug. Need to do some serious online shopping!

Friday, December 10, 2010

FishAlong! 2010/2011

I do love me the FishAlongs! We are starting tomorrow, December 11, 2010. Instead of making the afghan, however, I am making a Fishie Rug for my guest bath room. I need to experiment to get the correct needles and strands of yarn.

I will let y'all know the progress.

Cathy B

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

What am I working on now?

Well, I am knitting a shawl for my sister, working on Bonnie Hunter's Roll, Roll Cotton Boll mystery quilt, finishing a few dozen potholders, putting borders on Mary Johnson's pattern Tessalating Pinwheels, planning out the finishing touches on 6 quilts, and REJOICING that my husband finally went to the doctor after having bronchitis for 5 weeks. Men! Can't live with 'em, can't do really heavy lifting without 'em! No, really I am so happy he finally went and got the meds he needs. I love that ol' puppet maker.

The pic above is Blue Jeans and Flannel Shirts. It is a pattern I wrote up a few years ago. Email me at if you would like a free copy.

Take care!

Cathy B

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

And he thought it was his idea....again!

I often make suggestions for projects that I would like my husband to do around the house. Not nagging, just suggesting.
One recently was my suggestion (last fall) for him to tear out the closet in the sewing room (it is only 7.5 ft by 10 ft) so I could have a wall of shelves for storage. "Too much work!" he said. "It's a bedroom and needs a closet." Okay, I let it go. Then we were watching Hoarders and I asked if he thought I was a fiber and craft hoarder. He hemmed and hawed, but didn't actually say anything. I took him by the hand and led him to the sewing room. "Where do you propose I store my stuff? I only have cardboard boxes and a card table." He looked around for a minute and then said "You know, if we took out this closet, we could put a bunch of shelves here!" Brilliant! And he truly does not remember me mentioning this last year! He has an artist's brain, (and keeps it in a jar in the closet! lol) Anyway, the room is done except for new flooring(!) that will go in next month.

The most recent event was this past week. I do all of the office work for our business, which is a lot of paper! I haven't had a desk to work at for the 1 1/2 years we've been here. I work at the kitchen table, on the couch...wherever. And I have stacks of papers and things to file in almost every room of the house. I suggested in January that if the piano was gone from the office, I could set up my desk there (yes, I have a desk. It has been in the shop since we got here, as there was nowhere for it to be.) He didn't want to move the piano because he MIGHT sell it. Anyway, last week I spent an hour looking for a receipt. DH said "You know, you really need some office space and a desk." Arggh! Yeah, I know! He looked around the office a bit and said "We need to move the piano, then you can put your desk there!" Yay for the idea! He wanted to put it in front of the bar in the livingroom. (You know, those old dry bars from the 70's?) Thankfully, it wouldn't fit there. So on Saturday we ripped out the bar. Can I get a hallelujah! That is another project I wanted done since before we moved here! THREE projects done!!!

Result: The bar is out. The piano is in the livingroom. My desk is in the office. I have a bookcase to assemble to put all the file boxes in.

Life is good!

Oh, I got rid of a ton of stuff too. Yay, YAWYK!

Oh, and since so many of you enjoyed the David McCallum eye candy, here's another one!

Cathy B

Thursday, August 5, 2010

I'm in love with my shredder...

I just finished shredding a box of paper. Some of it was junk mail, but a lot of it was receipts, old checks and check registers, credit card statements...stuff that I don't want anyone to get their hands on.

In the olden days I would take all such stuff to the credit union and they would put it in their shredding bin. After I got my own shredder, I really went to town! Shredders don't cost much for the peace of mind they give. I think I our shredder cost $39 at Walmart.

I had my identity stolen 20 years ago, and occasionally something still surfaces. Don't wanna do that again.

As for what to shred and what to keep---I keep anything that may concern our taxes for 10 years, sealed in a box with the year written on the outside, after taxes are done. We have our own small business, so documentation is very important! After 10 years I shred all the contents of the box except for the tax return copies. I only keep credit card statements that have to do with the business. The others are shredded when the next statement comes in.

We use the shredded paper as packing material when we ship puppets. I put the shredding in a plastic grocery store or walmart bag and tie it firmly closed. Free packing, going green!

Today's pic is of our backyard where we lived in Minnesota until last year. Beautiful, isn't it? DH just couldn't take the long northern MN winters anymore.

Well, time to alter shirts to fit puppets. Quilts are more fun!

Cathy B

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

More stuff gone, and a bonus pic!

Well, more stuff is leaving.

48 cassette tapes (trash--I don't even have a player any more!)
3 clothing--donate
2 clothing--trash
2 clothing--sold

It is so liberating to get rid of things! My favorite de-cluttering gurus are Peter Walsh and Marla Cilley (Flylady). I love to get into the psychology of keeping and getting rid of stuff.

My current 'eureka' is that I only have the space I have. If I have more stuff than will fit in that space, something has to go. Simple, but profound.

Today I have been sewing arms and legs. DH makes ventriloquist puppets ( and I do the sewing and altering of clothes. We send 'em all over the world, which is kinda cool.

Now for the bonus pic: David McCallum from the mid to late 50's. No reason to post this other than he was so cool looking. This pic is from a great movie called Violent Playground.


Cathy B

Monday, August 2, 2010

More stuff Gone-gone!

Well, more stuff is out of my house. Yay! I got rid of:
4 planks, 2 to the trash and 2 to a neighbor
10 pieces of clothing (6 to trash, 2 donations, 2 sold)
4 cupboard doors (to the neighbor)
1 dvd player (donation)
1 window screen (trash)
1 bag recycling (trash)
4 boxes of expired food (trash)
4 cell phones (donation)

So 29 more things gone.

I have a lot of sewing projects I am doing for other people, which will really up the total when they are done. If only it weren't so stinkin' muggy right now! That's an Arizona monsoon for you!

Monday, July 19, 2010

YAWYK day 13

Yesterday I got rid of the following:

1 giant icky lazy susan from my kitchen--this thing was 3 tiers high and wobbly!
1 magazine-yeah, I know, big deal. But it does add up!
18 skeins of yarn--still trying to sell my stash
1 hose--I have a new one, why is the old one still here?

It was hot and muggy yesterday, and today looks to be the same. Didn't know about monsoon season before moving to Arizona!

I will have to sew potholders with the ac pointed right at me!

Quiltingly yours,

Cathy B

Friday, July 16, 2010

Day 10 of YAWYK

Well, I've been doing a lot of sorting, but the following have actually left the house:

1 bag of recycling (trash)
1 old door mirror (trash)
2 knitting books (sold)

Not a lot, but gone!! I have tons of stuff in piles, and just need to dispose of them, or finish them (those potholders, and rag dolls for my nieces, and LOTS of quilt flimsies!)

I am also giving away Dresden Plate plates on the Stashbuster Fling It All group at:

Well, back to sorting. Oh, and maybe some housecleaning!

Cathy B

Thursday, July 15, 2010

My, how this week has flown!!

I was away for 3 days, coming back to a computer that would not recognize my sign-in! Hubby fixed it all, but being computerless for several days is traumatic!

I have been going through stuff, sorting it into piles--trash, donations, and for sale. I'm not going to post the stuff on the counter (to the right) until it is actually out of the house.

I'm working on some more crumb blocks, to empty a bag of scraps I have. My daughter has 6 friends that are having babies before the end of the year, and I thought that baby blankets made with crumb blocks would be so nice and colorful! I will back them with flannel, 'cause that's how I like them. I posted a crumb quilt I made for hubby. He calls it Art Gallery Crumbs.

There is a yahoo group that I listmom that is specifically about crumb quilts. The url is:

And I have more followers! Hi everyone!

Take care!

Cathy B

Thursday, July 8, 2010


Just noticed I have only one follower. I know a lot of people are reading the blog, because they write to me. Anyone else want to follow so my one follower isn't alone. (Picture a sad puppy face here.)

I am now on my way to make potato salad with my sister, using my mom's secret recipe. Well, it really isn't a secret, she just doesn't remember how much she puts in of the ingredients. My sis has a more scientific mind, and has been measuring and adjusting. She finally got it right!! And this potato salad is my husband's favorite food in the world, so he is gonna be so thrilled at dinner. And breakfast. And lunch tomorrow. And.....well, you get the picture.

Happy Thursday!

Cathy B


Yesterday I got rid of 49 items!! I cleaned the refrigerator and freezer for a whopping 22 items into the trash. 5 clothing items to donate. 2 wire storage racks to donate. 20 old icky video tapes to the trash. Yay!

I did bring something in. A new skirt DH bought me. But more is going out than coming in. That's progress in my book.

I have a bunch of potholders I'm making for family members. Need to get them assembled (they are all cut out) and sent to their new homes. Out of my house, into theirs!

As Peter Walsh says, You only have the room you have. If it doesn't fit in your existing space, you need to get rid of stuff. And as Flylady says, You can't organize clutter, you need to get rid of it.

Anyway, happy flinging!!

Cathy B

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

You Are What You Keep

Hi all! I found a nice blog and challenge for my continuing declutter fest. It was started by Tabitha in Arizona. The goal is to get rid of 2010 items by the end of 2010. She started about a month ago, so there is still hope for all of us to purge 2010 items by the end of December. There are 177 days of the year left, so that comes to 11.35 items per day. When you start cleaning desk drawers and kitchen cupboards, that's easy peasy!!

I am particularly thinking of my quilting cohorts. Besides our household stuff, could we get rid of quilting stuff? You know, the tools you never use, the books that are gathering dust, the fabric that just doesn't move you. And if you are a member of the Stashbuster yahoo group, you can sell, trade or give away your quilty stuff on the Fling It All group:

You can see Tabitha's blog by clicking on the icon on the right.

Happy Flinging!

Cathy B

Friday, June 25, 2010

What a nice day!

Today I got to do volunteer work with friends in the morning, take lunch to a friend who just got out of the hospital, and got all my errands done. Gonna go pick up husband in an hour, and then we get to have dinner and replace electrical outlets!

All good, all happy.

Cathy B

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Just when you think it's safe.....

Had a frustrating time yesterday. One of the outlets in our house felt hot when I went to plug in a lamp. Really hot. DH checked it out, and disconnected it and turned off the circuit for safety. Unfortunately, that was the circuit that the office runs on. And the window AC in the livingroom and the office. Bummer. No AC, and can't work on the computer. Spent most of the day in the bedroom making dishcloth patterns, eating chocolate chips cookies, and watching old dvds. Not as productive a day as I would like, but what can you do?

He put a new outlet in last night, and things are turned back on. Yay! We found out we need to replace all the outlets on that circuit, that the existing ones are not up to snuff for the load we put on the line with our computer and AC. Our place is kinda old, but it's ours! And replacing outlets is better than a fire!

Today looks to be MUCH more productive.

Take care!

Cathy B

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

It's a Hot Time in the old town today!

Well, we moved to Arizona from Minnesota to get away from the cold. And we did. It has been warm enough here to run the AC every day for a couple of weeks. But at least I'm not fighting ticks and mosquitoes!

We have been re-doing my sewing studio, and I am very excited to have enough shelving to actually store things! It makes me feel more creative than I have felt since we moved here a little over a year ago. I don't like working when I have to dig for what I need!

A heads-up: I am in the middle of writing 3 pattern books for knit dishcloths. I will be selling them primarily as E-pattern (you download the pdf from your computer and print out each pattern as you work on it), but will print up books for those that want it. The advantage to the E-patterns is that it costs so much less, and you get it immediately. My husband sells his book on making ventriloquist figures that way, and people have been thrilled. Especially people in other countries where the shipping from the US costs more than the book!

Keep posted, and I will let you know when these are released!

Happy fiber fingering!!

Cathy B

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Conversation Hearts Scarf

Is this just the greatest heart pattern ever? I love it. It is by Alison Grenier, and the free pattern is at:

I hope to make up a bunch of these to use up bits and bobs of yarn. Anyone else need to make a bunch of these? One of the great things about this is that you make up all of your hearts before assembling the project. Great take-along project!

Cathy B

Monday, January 25, 2010

New Fish Along!!

We are starting a new FishAlong on February 15, 2010. If any of you would like to join us in knitting or crocheting a Fishie Afghan, you are welcome. The link is to the left, under the Fishie Afghan.