Friday, September 27, 2013

Space Bags: Fact or Fantasy?

By now most of you have seen or heard of those plastic storage bags known as Space Bags, or some equivalent.  While they aren't pretty (and neither will you stuff be once it's stored in one), they do work and they're pretty easy to handle.  My mother put a bunch of pillows and blankets in some for me a couple years ago, and gave me extra bags to use just in case.  Last week I put a king-size down comforter in one, and the results were impressive:
Madonna CD added for scale purposes!
 It really is as simple as enclosing it in the bag and using a vacuum hose to slurp out all the air thru the little round door in the side.  I didn't think my vacuum cleaner would do a good job because the nozzle is wider than average but it all went to plan.  The hard part was making sure the zip lock at the opening was securely fastened all the way. 

This kind of bag is kind of nice to store away things in a pile on a shelf.  The bag shown here hasn't taken on any extra air, and neither have the ones my mom sorted out for me.
Don't use it to store your kid, dummy!

Monday, September 16, 2013

One! Whole! Year!!!

It's a day of celebration at the Fitzrovians' headquarters today.  This marks a year of blogging my house cleaning/organizing/decorating self-administered therapy.

 Don't get excited, this is from a few years ago.  But, it sure looks good.  I need to go to the store anyway tonight, hmmm....

A lot has happened in the last year.  I haven't spelled out everything in this blog for my own reasons, but I can say I have turned a corner and am happier than I have been in a long, long time.  I still miss Dylan so much, I lost my best friend when he died.  I am lucky to have so many people in my life who have kept me going and made me feel loved.

In spite of the difficulties of getting this place in order, it's been fun and rewarding.  It's not over yet either.  I'll still be charting my progress here, never fear!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Housecraft Brakhage

Remember when I got on a high horse last time I posted and said what self-control I have?  Well, it was a load of shite.  I'm better than I was, and I am improving, but I sometimes think it's not so much that I have fewer things than my tastes are changing and I am just replacing them with other items.

Whenever I go to the Bay Area, which is about once every month or two, I make a point of visiting the thrift stores, and I head straight for the tchotchkes.  My personal favorite places to shop are the Alameda Museum's store and the Salvation Army, also in Alameda.  Their prices are so freaking good, I feel like that woman who blamed the casinos for enabling her gambling habit.  Fortunately I'm prone to frugality even when I'm going overboard.

I'm posting a few pieces from my last couple hauls:
This is a vase.  Or a candle holder.  I guess it's my call, but it doesn't really matter what it's supposed to be anyway because it combines just about everything I like in one figurine.  It's a 3" mouse in Laura Ingalls Wilder-wear, leaning against a tree trunk reading a book!  My kitchen is woodsy-camping themed and I almost never get to go camping.  Also, it's blazing lemon yellow, which I also adore.  The Timelords brought this from the 70s and put this in the  Salvation Army just for me.
Speaking of "just for me", this beautiful little pitcher was in the museum store the last time I visited Alameda back in June or so, and I was lucky enough to grab it on my August visit.
Frosty the Snowman was a green and grassy soul...
Most thrift store visits have a "WTF" moment, where you can't help but wonder how someone thought making and packaging a product was a good idea.  But then you're glad they did, because you find these types of things.  At first glance I thought it was a votive holder, which makes perfect sense.  On closer inspection I perceived it was a mini planter for grass.  Grass in the head of a snowman?  Wha?! 

You meet such lovely people in thrift stores too, like the woman who loudly accused my brother-in-law of following her from her car (we were all already inside the store when she showed up). She was later heard muttering something about the CIA as my sister and I looked at shoes.  Or the guy I heard in Better Bargains offering a staffer a check to hold while he "borrowed" a bunch of clothing so a friend could try it on at home.