As much as I hate to admit it, summer is winding down around here. While there are still seven or so weeks of summer according to the calendar, our summer break will be done in just over three. That is actually later than we usually start school.
Thoughts of school naturally put me in the mood to get more organized. I'm adding in a new student, after all. Caleb has had his fun year-plus to adjust to life in our family and learn English. It's time for him to get on with the business of learning to read and do math.
For quite a few years we have used the dining room as a school room. We worked at the dining table and hid our mess behind the closed doors of a huge armoire. When we adopted Caleb, it became necessary to give Lacy the sewing room and move all my machines, fabrics, notions, etc. to another place. We decided to convert the dining room exclusively to a sewing/school room because it just made practical sense to do so. Do I love having my sewing room open to the pubic on the first floor? No, not really. But there will be time again one day for another sewing room upstairs.
Over the spring and summer, this room has gotten its share of use. I've been making baby items like a crazy woman for Cradle Moon. And in the process the room had really gotten turned upside down. So before we started back with school, I knew it was going to take a serious dig-out to get it to where we could feel relatively at peace in the space. I can only handle clutter for so long before I reach my breaking point.
So the past couple of days have been dedicated to cleaning up, digging out, and organizing the sewing/school room. Maybe you'd like to see the progress I made?
First order of business was making pot of jasmine tea. Definitely one of the sweet things in life.
Lacy loves her mama. She brought me a boatload of jasmine tea from China last month!!
I started by dumping out all my scraps onto the floor. I have a big ole' basket of scraps which I use continually as I stitch quilts, diaper bags, appliqued onesies, you name it.
My goal was to group my scraps by color per the suggestion in this fantastic book I purchased the other day. Organize your scraps by color and you will hear angels singing. Well, not quite, but they convinced me it would radically improve my creativity and efficiency.
On to the stash. "Stash" is quilters' lingo for a piece of fabric bigger than a bread box. Big enough to not be considered a scrap. Or something like that. I separated all my stash fabrics by color and grouped them accordingly.
Which brings me to my handy new storage chest. This thing rocks.
Bottom drawer, my favorite fabrics, all 30's reproductions--not organized by color because I typically use them together and don't mix them with other fabrics. They like to stay with their friends, so they get their own drawer. Later I may sort them by color.
Yeah. Definitely will will sort them by color.
Moving across the room. This is the baker's rack gone quilter's shelf. I really should have taken a before shot. But it would have shattered your image of me. Let's just say it did look pretty good at one time. But it was never organized the way I wanted. Now it looks great. I could look at it all day.
The top shelf holds baskets with lesser-used patterns, notions, etc. Then comes quilting magazines, and a basket with ribbon spools. Next are the scrap bins. Etc. Etc. That bottom shelf is holding one of those comforter zippy things that you get with blankets at places like TJ Maxx. It's holding batting and polyester stuffing. Works great for lots of bags, keeping them all together. Oh, and the wine holders work nicely for holding rolled up items--in this case, tissue and freezer paper. Good because jasmine tea would look silly in those holders....
A peek into the ribbon basket.
This is a rocker I'm getting ready to slip cover. I bought a king-sized set of green paisley sheets at Ross for $12--more than enough fabric to easily cover this chair. It was high time I had a comfy place for visitors to sit while they keep me company.
OK. Mr. Patience has waited long enough. Caleb is dying to show you the school cupboard. Here it is all closed up, the way I like to leave it every day when we finish school.
Here is is all opened up showing the contents I want to hide.
The curriculum I'm using with Caleb next year, My Father's World from A-Z. It's kindergarten technically, but it teaches beginning reading, so it's perfect for Caleb. Besides, you can easily adjust any curriculum up or down a grade level just by adding in or subtracting material in each subject. I love this curriculum and he will, too.
That right there is his math. Yep. Takes up a whole drawer. But I couldn't resist. He loves anything to do with numbers and I've heard it is the best out there. Why not? I've only used at least ten other math curricula with my other six kids in the past 22 years. What's one more? And the re-sale is great if I want to pass it along next year when we're done.
The Phonics Road to Spelling and Reading. It's the best I've ever used. We're starting our third year. After this, one more year of the phonics curriculum, then it moves into a Latin course that last another four years.
She hasn't moved very far. She's busy finalizing her journal she kept while she was in China for three weeks. And yes, that is electrical tape holding her hand-me-down computer together. Whatever works.
That pretty much sums up the sewing/school room revamp. I'm very pleased that everything has a home. That's the secret to keeping it in order. Every item must have a home it can return to. There is plenty of room to move around, create, study, or just live in here. So, come on over!