Thursday, January 09, 2014

Quilts, Angels, and American Girl Dolls

It occurs to me that new year's resolutions serve to distract us from the fact that we are now facing a dismal stretch of toil, with not much to look forward to for nearly four months.  I've made a couple of finite, short-term resolutions that I hope will help me accomplish a more amorphous long-term goal.

The weather could not have been more cheerless yesterday.  It was like spending the day in the plot of The Field, accentuated by damp laundry.  Nothing contributes more to squalor than damp laundry on makeshift clotheslines draped all over the bathroom on a rainy day. I think we are going to have to get the dryer fixed.  Europeans get along without dryers, but Europeans don't expect their trousers to be laundered after each wearing.

I did make progress on the housecleaning project.  Last weekend was a fairly cursory cleaning of the kids' rooms.  Where is the boundary between cleaning and snooping?  I'd rather not cross it.  Grace keeps her room pretty clean without any nagging and Seamus' room is so small it's like a monk's cell.  All it needed was to clear out a few things that Ian left behind when he moved out.

Next, I did the closet under the stairs and now the Christmas decorations are neatly boxed and firmly stacked.  Yes, I did find the missing N to my noel.  I also found this calico angel, lying face down on the dusty floor.

I made her years ago.  I have a childish habit of anthropomorphizing inanimate objects and I felt so terrible about the forgotten angel that I've propped her up in the kitchen to watch over us for the year.

This weekend I tackled the upstairs bathroom, which is a major undertaking.  I found these quilts which I made when the kids were little.  The space between the washing machine and the wall is probably not the ideal place to store them, but it is the only space I have.  These quilts were a cheerful sight on a dreary Sunday.

Irish Chain quilt I made for Ian's first big boy bed 
I made this pinwheel quilt for Brigid and Grace 
I made this one because I love the log cabin pattern 
I wish I could make a living from sewing, but it is so time consuming that charging a living wage for your time drives the prices higher than people are willing to pay.

Also found between the washer and the wall: a gaggle of American Girl dolls with their entire collective, rather sumptuous, wardrobe stuffed into a gorgeous dance bag from our ballet days.  I moved the doll clothes into a plastic bin and I'm appropriating the ballet bag for myself.  The dolls themselves were too dearly bought to give away.  My grandmother had a secret attic hidden behind a bookcase that pulled away from the wall.  In the attic were my aunts' old dolls and I used to love playing with them.  I'll save our old dolls for my future grandchildren.

L-R: Not a "real" AG; Josephina; Molly; Elizabeth; Emily
Kirsten is missing.  I wonder what happened to her?
After all this cleaning and turning out of closets, I don't have bags and bags of stuff to throw away.  I did donate a modest stack of books to the library book sale and there is one trash bag full of stuff for the Salvation Army.  Another partially-filled bag of stuff was diverted to Ian's apartment and probably less than a bag of stuff too decayed to donate that went to the trash or recycling.

Anything to report from your world?

15 comments:

  1. Those quilts are beautiful! I especially love the log cabin quilt.
    My dolls (not AG as I was before their time) got packed up and Edie plays with them. I suspect when the time comes, they'll all be packed up together to be opened when there is another little girl in the family.

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  2. Mr. G's room is painted and I sifted through two random piles of crap, so that's something I guess.
    I like how you set out that angel for the year. And sometimes it's enough just to put things away well, don't you think?

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    1. Yes, I really just want everything to be put away. We truly don't have that much stuff.

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  3. I find that paring down the kids' old stash is a gradual process; Every now and then we'll pick through a box and each time, more loot hits the road. It's the same with my own things--as time goes by, so many things lose their emotional luster. There are a few special stuffed animals or dolls that, like your angel, feel like family and can't be jettisoned. Cramming them into a box seems like burying them alive, doesn't it? Even if they're well dressed and laid out, face up, in a nice Rubbermaid bin.
    That said--there is a lot of digging out going on here, too! Even a good sort-and-stack helps.

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    1. It IS like burying them alive. I still have some of my favorite toys out on shelves in my daughter's room because I can't pack them away.

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  4. When I'm in the mood, I love a good few hours to sort through things and purge, purge, purge. I have tried so hard the last few years to get rid of things and bring less things into the house. My pinnacle moment in this effort was that when we moved from our townhouse to our single family home this summer, we only donated about 2 bags of stuff to goodwill. We are still unpacking and there are 2 scary closets that need to be sorted through, but it's mostly things that haven't been relocated to their proper, new home in the new house.

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    1. Impressive! It's so nice to be streamlined.

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  5. And by "less things", I meant, less stuff/fewer things, of course.

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  6. We have been making progress on the purging front as well, and it feels good. Emma (13) went through her room this break, and we've got several piles: throw out, donate, and keep.

    Those quilts are just amazing. What beautiful detailed work!

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  7. I had no idea you are a quilter. Those quilts are stunning.

    Nothing to report here that hasn't already been bitched about on social media.

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    1. Thanks! I haven't done any quilting lately because I haven't had time.

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  8. A secret attic hidden behind a bookcase? Was there a family of Jewish dolls hiding from the Nazis in there?

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  9. Those quilts are beautiful.

    I am saving all of our Thomas the Tank engine railroad stuff for the grandkids because 1) it's pretty good stuff (not the cheap plastic toys) and 2) it represents way too much of a financial investment to just give away. Unless I find some deserving Thomas the Tank Engine-loving pauper. Then I might give it away.

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