Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A Different View

Since we've made THE BIG DECISION, I find I'm looking at all my stuff differently. I open a drawer, and I see it as a space to be cleaned out. A closet becomes a sorting opportunity. Not that I've really been so efficient as to get to all the nooks and crannies, but I have been mentally making a list. Where to start? What to do?

Most of my time this week is spent getting ready for the Annarella Girl Sewing Room and Craft Sale. (Doesn't that sound grand.) Now as the day, Thursday, approaches I'm at the point where I worry if anyone will come. There is so much stuff I can't believe that it all came out of my workroom. How did it all fit? The variety of fabrics, yarns, trims and craftiness is amazing. I can trace my crafting life from needlework - embroidery to crossstich to free hand crachet, to baby stuff - flannel to softest faux fur burp clothes; purses using upholstery fabrics - I even have a few to sell; finally to Annarella Girl with all the cotton fabrics.

Gathering it all together, touching it for one more time, reminds me how much I've enjoyed my creativity. I joke about it being my mental therapy; but, in truth, working with my hands, the process of visualizing an idea and then crafting it is important to my well being. Although I've never made a scientific study, I suspect everyone needs to exercise his/her creative muscle in order to be happy. Like food and shelter, creation is a human essential. How else can we explain cave paintings?

Sunday, June 23, 2013


The morning greets me with a sunny smile. A humming bird hovers around the sprinkler shower. Nestled in the green leaves of an old oak tree, a scarlet cardinal ornaments the branch. Swallows flit in and out of their apartment building.

Breathe in, breathe out. My soul is filled with joy. A reminder that it is greaat to be alive!!!!!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Looking for a Few Good Books

Actually, I shade the truth. I'm looking for a LOT of good books.

See where I'm going there is not a library and UPS doesn't deliver Amazon. What am I going to do to keep myself in reading material? I can't imagine sitting on a beach without one or crawling into bed without reading myself to sleep. I've been know to go into an anxiety attack if I've read everything in the house. When living in 2 story houses I have a book in progress on each level. My favorite buildings in the towns where I've lived is the library. You can see that I'm facing a dilemma.

Soooo, I'm building a library of paperbacks to take with me. Even as much as I read there are thousands of books just waiting for me to find them and devour them. So I'm taking all suggestions for favorite reads from everyone.  Send me names of what you've enjoyed recently. Or how about the books you read, reread and consider essential. I'm compiling a reading list - a "summer reading list" for all year long. Fiction is my favorite - all types - science fiction, mysteries, historical, modern; but I do indulge in a little non-fiction, especially humor and biography.

Every time I go to the Georgetown library I visit the second hand book section with my list in hand. Every time I'm thrilled when I find something from my list. I'm stacking them up ready for the island. This fulfills my mission in so many satisfying ways. Cheap!!!! Light to pack!!!! I will have books to read!!!

I still have room for more. Share with me what you would pack to take to your deserted island. Thanks.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Bits and Pieces

So far, this excursion to "no more stuff" is enjoyable but I haven't begun the tough areas yet.

I've been busy gathering, measuring, pricing for my Annarella Girl Sewing Room and Craft Sale. Going is all the dresses, skirts, onesies, headbands from the spring shows. 50% off. What a deal!!!! I want to start with a clean slate when I move. And until then I'll be happy doing custom orders.

De-stashing. All my yarns. There must be 20 containers. I used to do a lot of crocheting. In the last couple of years not so much. And now faced with life on a tropical isle, I don't fancy working with yarn. So it is all going!!!! $.50 a skein.

Fabrics. What can I say. For you who have been in my workroom, you know how much I have, but even you are not aware of my hidden stash from various projects over the years.I used to make faux fur burp cloths. So there is satin and fur. Then I made flannel burp cloths. Soft cotton flannel and minky left overs there. Some years I've made Christmas stockings for all my kids and grandkids. These used upholstery fabrics. More leftovers. Lots and lots of materials and trims. $.25 a 1/4 yard or $1.00 a yd. Lots of remnants have extra since I only measured where there was a full width.

As you crafters know there are lots of bits and pieces, ribbons, embroidery threads, books, cross stitch materials, rug canvases. The supplies are endless.

I'm so excited to see this all go. It is looking for a good home. For everyone in my area spread the word. Lots of goodies for sale at extremely reasonable prices.

Friday, June 14, 2013


I've spent a lifetime gathering stuff. I love my stuff. So it is with no small surprise that I find myself emotionally ready to get rid of my stuff.

In the process of de-stuffing, I'm just at the beginning. I start in my sewing room. The place in the house that is all mine and not shared space. My realistic side realises that when it comes to shared things my husband and I are going to be engaging in some serious negotiation as to what goes. I say "everything." I hear his "but...."

In the workroom I'm the dictator. I created not only a functional sewing room, small business office and a shipping center; but I filled it with inspirational pictures and objects. Ahh, I am attached to these.

I find myself fondling a small viking figure picked up in Denmark. What a fun trip with family and friends. It reminds me of the wonders I've seen.

I smile at a figurine called Thelma which is my guardian angel. She was an aunt who died too young. When I look at her I'm reminded of family silliness and fun in Virginia.

Another souvenir is my Russian doll with the exquisitely painted face. Her patterned clothes with mixed colors marked the birth of Annarella Girl and my fascination with textiles.

And above her the Brian Andreas piece I've had for 15 years which encourages me to dream, work, do.

The saying has always been for me and about me. Now as I let it go, I hope it can inspire the dreams of another.

Family memories, like this picture of my daughter and oldest son one Christmas. What joy!!!

 In main all remind me of people I love, places I've been, thoughts that are inspiring. It's very personal. It will not be the same to anyone else.  I can only hope that some like the Brian Andreas piece find someone else to remind to fly with dreams. Some things may find a home with family. I'm thinking Thelma really needs to go to watch over one of her daughters .

and finally I might take my little viking back to the sea. He's so small he won't take much space and maybe he's ready for retirement overlooking the sparkling blue Carribbean sea.

Thursday, June 13, 2013


As responses come in to my big announcement, it seems that my hubs and I are part of a new trend. As friends and family tip toe towards old age, all are trying to figure out how to live well and follow their dreams. So many are seriously downsizing. Maybe not carrying it as far as we are - that is getting rid of it all - but still going from houses with many collections, much furniture, big yards to condos and apartments.

Why? Many are looking for the same thing we are. Less responsibilities. Fewer expenses. Lowering stress. More time to enjoy travel.

Here are my dreams. No grass, bushes or trees to cut or trim. Well, honestly, we stopped doing that long ago, but now we can be free from paying someone to maintain our yard.

Fewer rooms to dust, clean, paint, update. And a lot less stuff. I've enjoyed all the art that I have. I know how lucky I am to have it. But I can let it go. I can enjoy the thought that it is giving pleasure to others.

Taking the money that we spend for water, electricity, insurance, mortgage and using it to travel, seeing old friends and making new memories. (And those memories don't take up as much room as stuff. A lot less to pack up and carry with you. But so much pleasure!)

When I was the mother of young kids, I sometimes dreamed of running away. (Oh, come on, who of us as parents didn't have this fantasy a time or two?) Finally the time has come.

The only surprise is that we are part of a trend.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

A Left Turn

After my long break, since end of April, from this blog, I'm back but with some changes upcoming.

We, husband and I, are simplifying our life and responsibilities. We're getting rid of 95% of our belongings, everything except some clothes, one car and some kitchen stuff, and running away to the Bahamas.

How did we get to this stage? We discovered during our long drive to the East and back that we had reached the same point. We were tired of the responsibility of all our stuff. I think of it as the tyranny of STUFF. Our house and possessions have served us well. We've raised a family, seen the birth of grandchildren, celebrated family Christmases and Fourth of Julys,  but we want to pass the baton. Kids, you take over the traditions. We want to be free. Live where we won't be worried about upkeep. Where we can drop everything and go.

I will take a lot of my sewing room. After all Annarella Girl is my mental therapy. But I'm sure the sun, blue waters and gentle breezes will lead to some changes and only make it better.

So we begin the long, arduous task of sifting through it all. Finding new homes for our things. My faithful readers, you will probably have to endure some gnashing of teeth as every corner of every closet is pulled out to make the decision - go, sell, donate, give to children and grandchildren.

I'm excited. It's another adventure in a life that has given me so many wonderful experiences. So stayed tuned. I need your support and thoughts as I work through this.