Posted in Clutter / Hoarding, Goals, Growth, Happy Planner

Being Content with What You Have

If you are not content today,

there is nothing you can buy

this weekend to change that.

I read this as I raced through my Facebook this morning.  It really said everything I wanted to write about today.  One sentence that says it all.  I could begin and end today’s blog with a minimal amount of lines, compacted in 17 words. However, let me elaborate.

I’m not to proposing you avoid going to the grocery store.  Most of us need to shop for food at least once a week.  I’ve read books on ‘Once a Month Cooking’ or even prepping your food on Sundays.  It is possible to wait for what you ‘want,’ but impossible to avoid getting things you ‘need.’

Let’s talk more about things you want.  We make plans to buy a widget, think a bit about if we can live without it and ultimately save the money to purchase it.  This is a planned purchase and not what is causing your house to be cluttered.  It is the multiple unplanned purchases that you have made that is one of the causes of clutter.

Here is an example from my home. I have an admission to make.  I own 5 vacuums.  Yes, that is right.  FIVE.  How in the world did this happen?

  • One vacuum was my daughter’s when she was in college.  I fixed it, but she had already bought one to replace it.
  • The second vacuum is a vintage Electrolux canister.  I used that for my wood and tile floors, as well as cobwebs in the corners, etc.
  • The third is a Hoover upright that I used for my carpet.
  • The fourth is another Hoover upright that is perfect for pet hair on hard wood.
  • The fifth is a german made canister unit that I found new with tags at a thrift store this past spring.  I absolutely love it and it has replaced all of my vacuums.

This problem seems easy to solve.  I should just get rid of the first four vacuums, right?  Here is what I found out after purchasing (without saving, planning or needing) the fifth machine.  Our garbage service does not accept anything that has a motor and/or electrical cord.  Several larger thrift/rummage stores do not accept vacuums.  I would not feel right about selling them as they are all over 5 years old and we have pets.

If I had known all of this, I probably would have thought twice about purchasing the last vacuum.  I would have questioned myself a bit more on whether I really needed it or not.  I would have investigated on how to get rid of my four vacuums before buying the fifth

This is one extreme example of how clutter in the home happens; and worse yet, the inability to purge it.  We purchase things because we want to ‘upgrade.’  We purchase items to replace something that doesn’t work as well.  We purchase stuff that we have forgotten we already have or misplaced.  It goes back to buying clutter we want and do not need.

If you are battling the never-ending war on clutter in your home, take some time this weekend before purchasing stuff without thinking about if it is truly needed.  Pat yourself on the back.  Put the money saved in a jar for a rainy day fund.   Better yet, for your next vacation!




Posted in Growth, Happy Planner, New Office, Seasons

The Heat is Back

No, it is not Indian Summer here in Central Illinois.  We were getting spoiled with weather in the 50-70 degrees; and, windows open day and night.  I shouldn’t complain as I’m not in the path of Hurricane Florence.  I just prefer the winter over the summer.  The more snow we get, the happier I am.

I’m obviously NOT working up in the attic today and I missed going up there in the early morning, when it was cool.  I had an appointment this morning, then travel to the next town to go grocery shopping.  I live in a small town that is without a grocery store, so I travel about 10 miles to pick up some items needed for dinner.  While there, I met up with friends and had lunch at their local fast food joint.  By the time I got home, the attic was way too hot.

I worked a bit on my office.  After a while, I needed to change gears.  I realized I had never pulled out the instructions on the Vintage Simplicity pattern.  It was as I thought.  One of the possibilities does not have ruffles, so I can use that for my male or uni-sex aprons.  The instructions are easy and straightforward.  Ditto for the instructions on the adult bib patterns.

I looked at the menu on my calendar.  Then I realized when making it up, I assumed the weather would remain cool.  85 degrees and we are having mexican tortillini soup, cornbread and….wait for it…..Pumpkin Bread for dessert.  It’s mid September, the leaves are falling; and, not too early for fall favorites.  However, it doesn’t fit with the weather and the central air running.

It’s Friday!  What are your plans for the weekend?  We are babysitting our son’s dog (grand-puppy) and I’ll continue purging the office.  I’m determined to have it done before Friday of next week, when the heat is supposed to finally break. After that, I can start designing my first prototype apron and bib!

Everyone have a great weekend and we hope those of you affected by Florence are safe and you receive all assistance needed.


Posted in Goals, Growth

Life Goals – Edited

I saw this Instagram this morning and had to share it.  The original author made her goals, the 2nd author edited it to fit her goals.  I thought I might edit it to fit my life goals.

  1. Make those around me feel the love I have for them. Be guided on what their needs are that don’t necessarily fit mine.
  2. Find inner peace by loving myself and the woman I have become.
  3. “Collect” more memories, rather than “stuff.”
  4. Make my parents proud of how independent I have become.  Not not so independent that I have forgotten their needs or fail to cultivate the relationship.
  5. Get rid of the “clutter,” in my home, in my mind and toxic relationships.
  6. Make my immediate family proud of what I can achieve.

I try not to make my blog too personal,  but the goals edited really caught my eye this morning.  What is amazing to me is that these life goals have changed over the past year without my even thinking about it.  I would think that is a good thing, being open to change instead of steadfastly stuck.

How would you edit my goals to suit your current time in life?



Posted in Alzheimer's, Growth, Inventory, Sales, Sourcing

Ready, Set, Execute!

Today, my sister and I went to a couple of stores to pick up patterns for the Alzheimer’s Fidget Apron and Cuff.

I have graph paper and I could make my own pattern, but I would rather adjust a pattern and save some time.  I was really determined this time to make a final choice.  I’ve looked at so many types on Pinterest (1,629 to be exact.)  The most important criteria will not only be ease of use, but also something that is totally different from what I see on Etsy.

There I sat, at JoAnn Fabrics, looking at 5 different brands of pattern books and something caught my eye in the Vintage Section!   Simplicity (8232) has a 1940’s-1960’s vintage pattern selection.  I found the perfect pattern that will need some minor adjustments.  It does not have a defined waist, but does have tie-backs that I will omit.  You place it over the head, with the neck being all one piece.

There is also another apron on the same pattern that is basically 2 different size hearts sewn together in a vertical pattern.  I might be able to use that around Valentine’s Day.  Again, just omit the tie-back.

I have quite a “collection,” (hoard) of material.  However, I did want to get an idea of what type material would be best for both the apron and cuff.  Washability will be primary.  Durability will be as well.

I found some solid blue, Cotton/Polyester Duck material.  It’s a primary color that will be easy to match with materials I already have.  It was on sale,  However, I needed a cheaper outlet; in order to max out my profit and compete with others on Etsy.

The second place is a recycle store where you can find just about anything that people might throw away.  That includes patterns and material.  The best part is that it is so cheap; and, they price it all per pound.  For $10, I was able to find more solid duck material in red, green and brown as well as the thread I would need.

While at JoAnns, I picked up a pattern for adult bibs.  Again, they slip easily over the head.  They are very basic.  Simplicity (2687).  I began brainstorming that I could make the Fidget Apron and the Adult Bib as a color coordinated set.  It wouldn’t take that much time and might escalate the profit margin even more.

Let me know what you think.  Should I just stick with the Fidget Aprons or should I make a color coordinated set with a bib?





Posted in Alzheimer's, Growth, Inventory, Seasons, Time Management


It is another beautiful, fall day in the Midwest.  Our Eastern neighbors are evacuating because of Hurricane Florence.  Our Western neighbors are doing the same for Hurricane Olivia.  I’ve put chili in the crock pot and ready to dig through the “collections” which are scattered throughout my office.  I am trying to avoid using the word “hoard,” but I’m only fooling myself.

I honestly wanted to run out of there and do anything but this daunting task.  I keep remembering that I have a schedule I want to stick with to have my first prototype completed by the end of October.  While that seems like a long ways off, it really isn’t.  I’m seeing Christmas trees to remind me of this.

First, I went back upstairs to the attic thinking I had a few more boxes to go through.  Thankfully I don’t, because today is warmer than yesterday and it is an uncomfortable temperature up there.  I was also trying to ignore the pain in my back and arms from yesterday’s purge.

Back to the office where I sort through the “collection” of material I’ve amassed in the past decade.  I was happy to find more than just holiday material and believe I have enough to make at least 3 prototypes. Remember, it is only a hoard if I have no plans to use it.

My sister brought over some apron patterns to choose from and I’m close to deciding which one and how much material it will take for each.  I want one without ties that will simply go over the top of someone’s head and flatten at the neckline.  It’s important that it be easily removed by the caretaker.

On to the sewing notions I didn’t know I had.  I have enough beads, bias tape, elastic cording, Velcro, D-rings, lace and such that I was able to come up with several ideas on how to piece this together.  My sister and I agreed that I will definitely need lining to stiffen up the material in front, I’ll need to investigate just which product that will prop up all that I plan to attach to the apron.

What does all of this have to do with today’s blog title?  Well, as I sat in the center of my office, I was surrounded with all of these pieces to a puzzle that will be a Fidget Apron.  That feeling of being totally overwhelmed and thoughts of failing started to enter my mind.  Truly I’ve made it so that if I do fail, I’ve lost nothing but my time and a bit of pride.

Then I looked up and had forgotten I had leaned a picture against the wall a few days back.  It simply says “Believe”





Posted in Uncategorized

Purging the Attic

Today has been a beautiful fall day.  The best part was that the temperature reached about 70 degrees.  Our attic doesn’t have HVAC, so I wanted to get up there before we either have a heat wave or the snow begins to fly.

Neither is comfortable to work in.  What makes our attic particularly difficult is that it peaks in the middle at about 6ft.  This means you’re constantly hunched over and bumping your head on drywall or insulation.  Regardless, I felt it was the perfect opportunity to clear out my craft items that have been stored for more than a decade.

My hope was that I would find material and other notions for the Alzheimer’s Fidget Aprons prototypes I plan to make.  This way I will be investing no money into the project.  It will also give me a chance to come up with more creative ideas.

I found that I have plenty of material to make the aprons.  Actually, I can make several if I were looking to make one with a holiday theme.   I had not planned on doing that, but it appears that I have been “collecting” holiday fabric and forgotten about it.

I located my quilt making equipment as well as all of the fabric I had saved to make a few of them.   Then I found, in perfect condition, each of my children’s sport uniforms from T-ball to baseball to soccer to basketball.  I was originally going to make a shirt quilt for both of my kids before they headed off to college.  That plan obviously backfired since both of them graduated from college years ago.  It might be fun to go ahead and make them.

I used to embroider as well as cross stitch, but then didn’t we all do that a few decades ago.  I decided to purge and donate all of that, as well as my crochet and knitting.  Remember those sweatshirts we used to decorate with stitch witchery and use puffy paint to accent them?  Well, I just threw out a few dozen containers of dried up puffy paint.

I was all set to call it a day when I open the last tote and found two sewing machines.  One was for my daughter to use and the other I inherited.  I have no idea what to do with them and I don’t think Goodwill would take them as a donation.

Two hours and 7 garbage bags later, I felt like I made a huge dent in my craft supplies that I had collected (hoarded) over 2 decades in the attic.  Now it’s time to throw away, donate or begin using all of the treasures I found.




Posted in Uncategorized

If My Sewing Machine Could Speak

I know the title seems a bit “out there.”  I promise I am as sober as a judge.

I remember the day I purchased my 1971 Kenmore 1207 sewing machine.  I walked to a garage sale just a few houses away and there it was!  The lady had arthritis and had not been able to sew for years.  I paid $10 for it and all of the attachments.   The original instruction booklet stated it was still under warranty as it had a 20 year guaranty on the motor.  It was 1987.

The first item I sewed on it was a purple jumper and matching purse for my sister’s 6th birthday.   It wasn’t long after that my husband and I were expecting.  The machine sat at the kitchen table as if were a guest for dinner for most of the pregnancy.  I sewed bumper pads, sheets as well as matching curtains in blue and white pinstripe.  I had purchased so much of that material that I ended up making two summer jumpsuits!

We moved to a larger home and the sewing machine sat on a card table in a spare room.  I sewed curtains for 3 bedrooms and began sewing maternity dresses for work.  After we knew our next child would be a girl, I purchased pink pinstripe material.  You guessed it.  I purchased so much material that I was able to sew her 1st Easter dress.  I still had material from my son’s layette and sewed shorts for his Easter outfit.

Before we moved again, I found an old cabinet to keep the sewing machine.  No more tables and dust protectors.  It was compact and I could keep my projects underneath. I managed to sew curtains for both kids rooms as well as our bedroom along with a few pairs of shorts .

After all of the curtains, I decided to sew Mother-Daughter Easter outfits.  I’ll never forget the hours I spent and was sewing a hem on her dress Easter morning.  Mine was a fitted lined jacket and skirt while hers was a dress with matching barrette.  It still hangs in my closet as a reminder of how I could sew anything I set my mind to.

A few years later, I made matching Christmas outfits for my son and daughter.  Hers was a Daisy Kingdom (how we all remember those from the 1990’s) prairie dress while he had a matching vest.  That set still hangs in my closet as a reminder that I could sew a designer pattern.

My son became interested in sports,   He was very tall and it was impossible to find his size in baseball pants.  Another mom with an older boy had the same problem the year before and she showed me how to tailor his pants.  No one would have ever guessed.

With both kids in activities and neither wanting any hand-made clothes, the sewing machine took a hiatus.  Actually,  I took the hiatus.  I remember my daughter taking scraps of material and making her own “designer” pieces.

Both of the kids are adults now and the machine has been moved to my son’s room.  I pulled it apart and gave it a good cleaning just this past week.  The warranty has run out, but the only thing the needed was a new needle.

I opened the bobbin case and went to select a bobbin.  I realized as I was looking for a bobbin that I had kept the thread from all of those projects.  In my sewing case, I had kept swathes from as far back as the purple jumper.

I think if my sewing machine could talk, it would thank me for the good cleaning I gave it and the possibility of a future full of projects.