Monday, July 13, 2015 0 comments

How I'm keeping the purging/moving momentum going ...

I'll be honest. I am not a 24/7 motivated moving machine. I can't even wake up in the morning and start purging items from my house as soon as my feet hit the floor. I need a little "down" time, even when life is hectic and busy.

So I've learned to go with the ebb and flow of my energy levels. There are at least a few hours every day that I can purge household items "like nobody's business," as they say. I take advantage of those hours and do all my purging/throwing away when I'm energized for it.

So what do I do when I'm overwhelmed or just need a break? I do things that aren't hard on the brain and/or don't require tough decision-making:

  1. Take pictures of things I need to sell.
  2. Upload said pictures to local Facebook selling groups or Craigslist.
  3. Browse Pinterest for more ideas for RV living. (Hey, at least it's relevant!)
  4. Play a game on the computer. (This is for some serious brain vacation time, after I've made really hard decisions and feel like my head is going to explode.)
  5. Take a 15-minute nap if I'm tired.

I try to limit #3 and #4 to about 15-20 minutes at a time, since they can easily get out of hand. The important thing is that I'm giving my mind a break from the hard decisions, and then I'm usually energized to get back at it.

This is nothing earth-shattering, but it has helped me tremendously in the last few weeks. We still have a few weeks before Moving Day, and I'm hoping this strategy will help me to get everything done in time!
Friday, June 12, 2015 0 comments

I downsized my yarn ... and still have too much!

If you remember, I'm downsizing the possessions of four people from a 5-bedroom house to a 32-foot travel trailer. I knew my yarn stash was going to have to go down drastically, and I finally worked up the courage to do it over the course of the last few days.

This is what I got rid of in regular manufactured yarns. In my defense (and lest you think I'm wasting TONS of money), a lot of this was donated to me.

This is what I got rid of in my recycled yarns (mostly natural fibers unraveled from thrift store sweaters).

When I got done, I felt like I had accomplished something ... Until I realized that I still have six large space bags full of yarn. They're all my favorites, but I just can't justify the space it will take up. I'm going to have to go through it again and make some hard decisions.

I just thought I'd share to keep things real. Some people make it sound so glamorous and fun to downsize to so few possessions. I do look forward to the simplicity of downsizing, but there are some hard decisions to be made along the way.
Saturday, June 6, 2015 1 comments

Easy DIY "Sleevies" (Sleeve Extenders)

I wear my sleeves below my elbows, and it's not always easy to find shirts with sleeves in the right length. My sister-in-law told me about sleeve extenders they make for guys (especially in athletic fabrics, although I'm not sure why). But I wanted a girly version that would work with my casual and dressy clothes. I was puzzling over this last summer when an easy solution came to me - try girls' leggings!

I've been using these for a year now, and I love them just as much as - if not more than - when I started. I've had numerous requests for a tutorial, so here you go ...

The first thing you'll need is a pair of girls' leggings. These are the kind I'm talking about - the footless, jersey-knit kind, not footed tights. You don't need lace trim, but it's a pretty touch. I found these at the thrift store.

Before you buy them, slide them over your arm to make sure they're going to be a good fit. (You might get some strange looks, so I recommend shopping for these on a day when the store isn't very busy.) You want them to be tight enough to stay put but not so tight that they're uncomfortable.

Everyone should be able to find a size to fit them. I have very small, child-sized arms. These fit me well, and they're a toddler size. If you have very large arms, you may want to try ladies' sizes.

This is all you have to do: Cut them at the very top of the leg. You're done!! Wasn't that easy?

You can adjust the length of the "sleevies" to suit your particular tastes, if you want them a little shorter. Capri-length leggings are good for shorter "sleevies," too. If they're too big at the top, you can always take the seam in a bit with a sewing machine, but I haven't had to do it to any of mine yet.

To use them, simply slide them over your arms before you put your short-sleeved shirt/dress/sweater on. Adjust them to the desired length on your arm and then put the outer layer on. No one will ever know!
Thursday, June 4, 2015 1 comments

The blog got a new look!

Ever since I sold all my vintage sheets, I've been thinking about re-doing my blog. Well, I finally took the time to do it, and I think I have all the "bugs" worked out. If you find broken links or any problems, please let me know (using that little envelope feature to the right).

This is a drastically different look, but I like it and I think it works for a non-vintage-sheets approach to blogging. Again, I won't be changing my blog themes or topics, but our move to full-time RVing will certainly affect the kinds of projects I tackle and write about. I hope you stay on and enjoy the ride (pun intended)!
Wednesday, June 3, 2015 0 comments

Our tow vehicle

We began the search for our tow vehicle by looking at trucks. That's all we had ever seen pulling campers, so we thought you had to have a truck. But if you've priced extended-cab trucks capable of pulling a camper recently, you might understand the sticker shock we got.

A knowledgeable family friend finally thought to ask why we wanted a truck. I'm sure the look on our faces said it all - Didn't we need a truck to pull a camper?? He informed us that a Suburban was every bit as capable, if you got the right one. And so the search began.

A few weeks later we bought our Suburban 2500 from John the Baptist. (I'm only partly joking. The man's first name was John, and he is a Baptist. You just have to understand pastor humor around here.) ;)

It's a well-kept beauty that was within our price range. In short, it was nothing short of a miracle! And my dream of purchasing our next vehicle with cash came true. YAY!!
Monday, June 1, 2015 1 comments

Let me show you our "new" home!

I thought I'd introduce you to our travel trailer.

Here's what she looks like outside with the slide out:

This is a good, concise view of most of the inside, which I showed you in my last post:

That's the master bedroom you see at the end. There is a folding partition for privacy at night, but it unfolds in the daytime to make a LOT more visual space in the trailer. Little things can make a BIG difference!
Here are the bunks you can't see in that picture (because they're behind the camera):

These bunks are the same length as twin-sized beds, but 9" narrower in the width. Both of my kids are thin, so I don't anticipate this being a problem. There is another folding partition here, if we want to section it off from the living area at night or before the kids get up in the morning ... or just to extend the size of the bathroom area when no one is sleeping.

As you come in the door, the couch is right in front of you. The upholstery doesn't look like anything special in the pictures, but it is in brand-new condition, so I'm not planning to re-upholster anytime soon.

The seat part flips up to store things underneath. Those throw pillows are gone.
Next to the couch is the built-in dinette. These are both part of the super slide.

There is storage space under each of the booth seats, too.

The kitchen area is on the other side of the trailer by the couch and dinette.

For a travel trailer this size, the kitchen area is impressive!
 In the back of the travel trailer, there are the bunks (already shown) and a small but serviceable bathroom:

The shower is about half as long as a traditional shower, but we're not large people so it shouldn't be an issue.
No, that's not my husband in the mirror. These pictures were taken by the people who were selling it. :)
Not shown: a wardrobe closet next to the refrigerator/freezer. We were really excited about that since we will have to have our dressy clothes as well as our casual clothes.

I hope you've enjoyed a little peek at our new home!
Saturday, May 30, 2015 1 comments

What has been keeping me busy lately?

Lest you think I've died or quit crafting, I guess I better post an update and explain what has been occupying my mental and physical energy of late.

This is a view of the inside of our travel trailer.

To put it simply, my family and I are transitioning from being a full-time pastor's family to being a full-time, living-in-an-RV evangelist's family. Yes, we are moving four people from a two-story, five-bedroom house to a 32-foot travel trailer. No, we are not renting another house or huge storage unit. Yes, we are getting rid of at least 90% of our possessions. No, we are not crazy.

Like many people I've been reading after lately, I've been suffocating under the load of too much stuff. I long for a simpler, more manageable life. When my husband told me that he felt it was time for us to enter full-time evangelism, I knew our time had come to act on those longings. It is time to downsize to what we can reasonably manage and use.

I'm sure some people think we've lost our minds. After all, who in America understands that a 32-foot travel trailer with a slide-out is really more than adequate living space for a family of four? If you asked people in many other countries, they would be envious of the beautiful, cozy place we will have all to ourselves. It's all a matter of perspective. And faced with the choice of living out of people's guest rooms and suitcases or living out of a 32-foot travel trailer, I would pick the travel trailer every time. (You probably would, too.) :)

This is our travel trailer and Suburban, parked and waiting for us.

As of this writing, we have about another two months to finish the transition. We have our Suburban and travel trailer already purchased and waiting for us. We're simply trying to figure out what we really need in order to live simply and how to get rid of what we don't need (without just donating it all to Goodwill). There are days when I'm optimistic that we're doing great and then there are days when I don't think we're going to get it all done in time. I'd guess that's pretty normal.

My husband suggested I start another blog called "Wilderness Wanderings" to document our experiences living in the travel trailer. (Our travel trailer is a Wilderness brand, and my husband is a Bible scholar. He gets a kick out of the whole "wandering for 40 years in the wilderness" irony, especially since we'll be traveling around the country preaching and singing.)

Instead, I think I'll incorporate it into this blog, since I don't expect to be blogging entirely about RV life for years on end. I'm sure I'll be featuring my crafting projects along the way, and I really don't need two blogs to manage. After all, I'm simplifying, right?? And I'm sure I've featured some of my home projects on this blog before. My home will just have drastically changed size, that's all.

I'll try to keep you updated on how things are going, but if I go MIA for awhile just understand that I've probably gotten overwhelmed and don't have time to keep you up-to-date because I have to make the most of every minute I have to get things done in time. I'll be back. I promise!