Divine Bird

I believe in a high-fiber diet…like wool, alpaca, cashmere…

Cleaning House – Light-filled Edition


On Sunday, I woke up and decided that I wanted to be able to use my sewing machine by the end of the week. That has driven a lot of my action for the past couple of days. I didn’t get much done on Sunday due to running a million errands, but today we had a snow day at work, so I put my time off to good use.

I was going to save this for the end, but I am so happy with how the Craft Space is coming along that I just have to share it now! It’s nowhere near done, but look how much we’ve accomplished so far! I feel inspired when I look at this corner. There’s so much color and everything is within reach…can you blame me for wanting to actually use it instead of just working on it all the time??

Does this or does this not look like a super fun space??

So anyway…the progress. Because I have been using the sewing table as a staging area, I had to start by finding homes for a lot of the stuff covering it…which turned into a session of putting up lots and lots of lights, among other things. First, we put away pretty much the rest of the Christmas decorations into a proper bin. Bags, tags, hangers, lights–it’s all been packed away to await next year. That actually cleared a lot of space, even though the total mass of decorations wasn’t very much.  As we put away the holiday stuff, I was able to unpack my non-holiday lights.

Now, I have a serious thing for fairy lights. I love the colors and the gentle glow they give a dark room. I have had two sets in particular for over 20 years–I’ve talked about the chili peppers and the moons before, I think–and this year I replaced the old light strings with brand new ones for safety reasons. Tonight, we hung them both up in their new homes. The peppers are in the kitchen, of course, and the moons are over the doorway to the kitchen.  At the moment, they have to be unplugged in order to turn them off, but I’ll put them on timers eventually.

Chili peppers ca.1995, moons ca. 1999. Notice the switchplate, too!

Next, we took down the old colored Christmas lights that we used for the last time this year…they, too, were very old, and I wouldn’t feel safe using them again. In their place, we put up some deep purple LED fairy lights. Because my living room is SO yellow, I’m trying to counteract that yellowness by using purple accessories. The lights look amazing! This photo doesn’t do them justice.

Amazing purple lights are amazing

And while we were at it, I put up the lavender lights from Ikea. Once we get the fridge moved in, we can shift the living room furniture down a bit, and my chair will be centered under this shelf. I will have my sparkly cozy throne eventually! :D  I used four Command hooks to give them some depth, and put both strings on a timer that will go off when it’s my bedtime. They’ll come on in the late morning, when I’m most likely to be sitting down to work on my editing.

This shall be my throne of light and cozy

At this point, the “cleaning” session was really about taking care of lots of tiny tasks that both crossed things off the to-do list and created better storage and display for my things. The old expanding peg rack by the front door has been replaced by a proper set of heavier-duty hooks that also look much nicer. We also hung up two small white shelves over the spinning wheel wall. They should help keep people from walking into the spinning wheels, and the wheels will keep people from walking into the shelves. Mutual benefit! For now, my grandmother’s teacups and Dashing’s grandma’s vase are on there. I think they look super cute!

Love how this wall is coming along!

Whew! With all those little things done, I started sorting through the craft supplies that have gathered throughout the cleaning process. I’ve been making these yarn wreaths for gifts and the shop, and found an incredible deal on the forms. The problem is, they are really difficult to store as they’re bulky, somewhat delicate, and round. Angie had the incredibly bright idea to put them on a tension rod in the alcove between the basement door and the coat closet–and it worked beautifully! I have room for more if I find another deal, and this can even store the finished ones between shows. Brilliant!

Seriously, it’s out of the way, yet visible, yet not unattractive. Win-win!

Aaaand while I’m at it, I should show you the adorable wall sconces we found at the charity shop the other day. Angie wanted a little light in the stairway so at night she doesn’t have to fumble around in the dark but doesn’t want to wake Dashing up with the big hall light (since he goes to bed early when he’s feeling sick). For the princely sum of $5, I brought home these wrought-iron-style tea light sconces and spray-painted them purple. Angie found these awesome LED tea lights that have a built-in timer. We set them to automatically go on at 7pm and off at 1am. How cute are they?

I cannot get over how cute these are

I took one of the timer tea lights and put it in a sun-shaped sconce of my own in the kitchen. This is an otherwise dark corner, but now it looks so inviting.

I’ve had the two upper left prints for 20 years, and the right & bottom pieces are original watercolors by my step-MIL.

And just for fun, here are a few things I set up/put up around the room. My unicorn marionette that my dad gave me many years ago, a plaster Leonardo relief, and my art horse finally has a rider! :)


So that’s the update for today. Despite still not feeling well, I think I used my time wisely. Having things like the lights and the shelves in their proper places and NOT in the pile of “stuff to go through” actually gave back a ton of space, and I’m a lot closer to being able to sew again. The crazy thing is that we did even more than this–we figured out a great use of a piece of pegboard I had in the basement, emptied three boxes of stuff, and put the gift wrapping supplies away, not to mention all the cooking Angie and I have done in between. For an “idle” weekend, we sure made major progress!


  1. That looks great. I love fairy lights but I have a hard time using them without it turning out dorm roomish.

  2. Ahh! Everything looks so beautiful! Kudos on your hard work… it’s clearly paying off. :)

  3. Love the fairy lights. I need to find some for my granddaughter.

Tell me what you think.

%d bloggers like this: