Friday, July 20, 2012

Extreme and Stormy Pantry Makeover

What does one do in Seattle when plans have canceled due to summer thunder and rain showers? I know, sounds wimpy doesn't it? I mean Seattle and rain usually go together. However, a bus ride downtown in the rain wasn't on our agenda, so we will postpone our excursion for another day. Instead, I know what sounds fun....Organize my pantry! I googled: "My pantry is the size of a closet" for some ideas. I seriously did. Well, turns out that my shelves are a good thing to have instead of other things like "no shelves" or, according to some people who also hated them..."wire baskets."
Here's how mine looks to start...Not too bad, but not too good either.

I should show you how many bags I removed from the lowest shelf area. They were taking up far too much real estate. Three bags stuffed with, well....plastic BAGS! And then all the paper bags. We will use some of both for garbage, so I am not one of those people who can go bagless in Seattle. I will recycle the plastic. And yes, I do have some reusable bags, so don't judge me!:

Where to begin? First, REMOVE all items from the pantry. This could get fun.  Ah, but first, turn on the music, and get out the chips. I mean, I had to clean things up, right? Plus, they are from T.Joes and have no preservatives. They sure are ORANGE though. Weird. Now we are rolling!

All right. That wasn't too hard. Oh, what's that you say? Arrange the items according to HEIGHT so you can see your tallest items. Put "like items" together.... All right. Next?

Check all items for the EXPIRATION date. Ok, that sounds easy enough. That means start a bag for RECYCLING  and start another bag for things to be TOSSED OUT.

Oh, you mean the moment I have been waiting for has finally arrived? I can chuck the can of sardines in the trash that I have so patiently and nicely been saving for my husband to eat? He says he would never eat them "alone"...and that's just how he would eat them around, they are expired...So sorry. Bye Bye, sardines!

Next, WIPE off the shelves so they are nice and clean. My sort of empty shelves before they were cleared:

 Ta Da! Then come up with a plan to put the things back that makes the most sense. Well, we also have a daughter who likes her certain kinds of food and so I thought maybe I'd give her some space for it. The Vias are mine :):

So she will get a little shelf...I overturned a tin to make a raised shelf for the smaller cans, like olives and tuna that get hidden. I put all the canned food on one shelf.

And all the pasta on another shelf. Gee, do we eat much pasta? Not really. Why does it get a whole shelf? I might have to rethink this later.

Ok, so here is the before, minus all the bags on the lower shelf:
And here's the after. Saved some bags, but now have room for napkins. Things are easier to see and have a place. It looks alot better to me, and that is what counts right? Even if you cannot tell a difference, I sure can. I took out 3 bags of trash and two bags of cardboard, and 3 plastic bags full of plastic bags (!) to be recycled. At least it looks tidy for the next few hours, right?

That SO inspired me, I moved on to the baking cabinet.
Tons of stuff in here too, and alot of it expired. I was able to move a few items that were not used often to another cabinet location and free up more space for important things used all the time in baking.  And after, much better!

Now let's tackle the all around medicine, tea and weird cabinet by the sink:
Can you say "expired vitamins?" That took up alot of valuable room here. Also, tea...decaf, regular, and all kinds in between. I was able to get rid of, consolidate and rearrange, toss and...voila!
May not look different to you, but it is a kinder, cleaner version of what it was before! Yahoo!
Now I had so much more energy left after all this, I used my Shark and vaccumed and steam mopped the floor! It was a stormy day, but I made good use out of it. I wonder what I can organize next?

Monday, July 16, 2012

Thrifty Fun Summer Finds

Sometimes a little summer thrift browsing can make you happy! Here are a few of my recent treasures. A little West Elm vase found at the consignment shop near me in a pretty chic shade of blue. The flowers were from dahlia plants in our yard that we planted last summer. I just go out and clip more when I need fresh ones.

An avocado green vase from thrift store in that old type of glass that reminds me of my Grandma Lois, fit for some of our lavendar, also from the back yard.

A Sigrid Olsen top found at V. Village for a mere pittance. I have never been able to afford one from this designer.

Some Franco Sarto flats found at St. Vincent dePaul, never worn. And some Me Too flats, also never worn. Both for mere dollars. I am loving thrift store finds!

A summer fun plant found at Trader Joes that can tolerate indoor lighting as well as shade, with beautiful curling leaves and a plum underside.

Having shopping and summer fun doesn't have to cost much! It's time to go out in the back yard and pick some blueberries :)

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Roma Wrap/Shawl

I hear you need to keep your shoulders covered when entering churches in for fun, I thought I would try a little wrap/shawl and see how it feels. It might be too heavy and hot to wear, but I thought since I already had the yarn, why not? I am not particularly into shawls, but I think I might be more inclined to wear one that is more the size of a wrap and not too busy and complicated. I found this one on Ravelry.  It is called  Azzu's Shawl. Shown in progress, the little wrap...using one skein of a sport weight superwash Unisono merino wool using size 7 needles. I have used this yarn before and it's really pretty, made in Germany. It is self-striping and lovely to knit with. 
This was a fun project to take along and knit while at the beach or in the car. Very simple. I was able to make it to almost the end of the pattern, then was about to run out of yarn so I bound off. 

Modeling  the finished wrap/shawl at the ocean. It is pretty, yet smallish. It looks rather bunchy as it is not blocked out yet. The stockinette edges roll in some. However, blocking can work when I get home I will try that.

Kind of cheating here and holding the point down in the back to spread the shawl out for you to see.

Shown blocking (below). I hope to see if I can get some more width and length out of it once it gets smoothed out.

After blocking, shown on a chair:

Before blocking.....

Below, after blocking....I didn't use official blocking pins and do it all exactly the right way, but I did use push pins on mats with a towel over it. Even so, with my not being exact in my methods, blocking still makes all the difference as far as the appearance!
I will model it again later on....for now I must unpack!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Ocean Views

Working on a little shawl with the lovely ocean view is quite relaxing!

At our favorite beach on the Oregon coast with the family...Time for some R and R, great sunsets, food and family!

Our favorite bench is still on the trail overlooking the beach. I even made it down the trail, with some assistance, post surgery. Taking it slow, it is manageable and great to get down for a walk on the beach each day.

No matter the weather, every day is a great day when you are at the beach!