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Downright Me

A crafter's journal

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Around the house

Furniture Socks

My friend Amy has made some knitted furniture “socks” to put over the legs of her kitchen chairs. I thought they’re a great alternative to sticky felt pads, which allways fall off when I move  our furniture around.

Since we have new hardwood floors everywhere I wanted to try these self-made protectors on our sofa. Instead of knitting I decided to crochet them in single crochet stitches and used some leftover grey wool yarn. Now I will have to wait, if the “socks” stay on the sofa legs. If so I will make them for all of our movable furniture.

 

The costs of living

When we made our decision to move to Zurich/ Switzerland we were fully aware of the high living costs they have here. Still I was shocked every time we went to the supermarket. Food costs twice as much as in Germany and we also spend double the amount on rent.

But I start to see the advantage in this. Continue reading “The costs of living”

Christmas is over, the move is done but there is still lots of stuff to do. We decided not to spend too much money on furniture. We  bought most of our new things at IKEA, which meant putting together closets and shelves ourselves. We finished our bookshelves yesterday and today we built our bedroom closet. Now we have to unpack the last boxes and put everything in the right place. I hope we will be done when the New Year begins.

Moving day has finally come. Since yesterday our belongings are being packed. Today the last boxes will be filled, the last pieces of furniture will be disassembled. We are glad that we decided not to pack everything ourselves, instead we chose a local moving company to do it for us. These guys are so much more efficient than we would have been. We could not have done it that fast.

Tonight we will be in our new apartement in Zurich. The moving guys will get everything to customs at the Swiss border tomorrow morning and in the afternoon the unloading and unpacking will begin…

Hear myself think

Finally things are starting to get back to normal. The house is almost in order and there are a few things left we still have to do. My brain is starting to relax  and I can hear myself think again. Now I do not always have to do the things I have to, but also the things I like to do. Right now this is mainly saying my good byes to the friends I made here over the last 16 years. Continue reading “Hear myself think”

Accumulus Maximus

Last spring my mother in law had to move into a nursing home. She had lost her leg and as a result she now needs constant help. Before this happened she lived in a house all by herself so it was really hard for her to leave everything behind. We spent weeks driving back and forth collecting everything she wanted to keep: furniture, dishes and vases, glasses and table linens. My mother in law remembers when she bought all her things or who gave them to her which seems to give her comfort. She has a fairly big appartement in her nursing home, which is now pretty crammed with all her knick knacks. If we would have let her, she would even have put more things in there, but we told her that she needed space to move around with her wheelchair.

Now we are in a somewhat similar situation in which we have to leave a lot of things behind and I find myself to be very disconnected. Continue reading “Accumulus Maximus”

Leafless in Zurich

We had a huge garage sale last weekend. We were very lucky,  it was a very beautiful Sunday, so we were quite successful. We sold a lot of things but there is still stuff left that I want to donate, give away or just throw out.

Yesterday the rain started and I am afraid it will continue until we move to Zurich. Usually I do not mind fall weather, I like to cuddle under a blanket, sip some hot tea and work on one of my knitting projects. This year I do not really have the time to do this because of all the moving preparations. By now the trees have changed colors and  I have been raking leaves for the last two weeks. We plan our move to Zurich for the middle of December. By then the trees will be leafless. In less than two months I will have a new home in a new country. Feels a bit unreal.

Cowabunga

Living in a rural area, one is used to all kind of animals in the garden. We have lots of birds, squirrels, hedgehogs rabbits, moles, martens, cats, occasionally the neighbours’ dogs and very rarely a fox. Today however we had a very unexpected visitor. I was taking some pictures in the backyard when suddenly a cow strolled in, as if it was the most natural thing for her to be there. Needless to say I was very surprised to see her, checking everything out, waltzing through the flowerbeds. I have no experience with farm animals so I really did not know what to do.

My neighbour called the farmer, who arrived five minutes later and tried to lure the cow with some treats to put her on a rope. After a while half the people in our neighbourhood were watching the spectacle. In the end the farmer was successful and able to reunite the cow with the herd.

It turned out that some unauthorized person had opened the gate and had done so before. The last time half the herd escaped and the farmer spent hours getting them back. That is not funny, endangering the animals and the people who might get hurt by the frightened animals. We were all wondering who would do such a thing. Luckily nothing serious happened this time, just some trampled flowers and me spending the next half hour cleaning our driveway. The cow obviously had been very excited when she came up that way. She left a clear trace.

I just hope that whoever does these „pranks“ will soon come to his senses.

Last year I read the book “Magic Cleaning” by Marie Kondo, a Japanese Woman who has dedicated her life to organizing her life and that of others. She uses some easy to follow but drastic rules to unclutter your space. Some of them are too extreme for my taste but the general idea is something to consider. I don’t know if there is an English translation of the book yet, I read it in German.

2016_Blog_Schrank0002I already applied her principles to my wardrobe and I got rid of almost everything I never wear (some items I am still holding on to for sentimental reasons) and organized my shirts in boxes. I had to go through all my clothes a couple of times to really feel the difference. Now I have less stuff in my closet but I feel I have more to wear, because I like all of my clothes. We hang on to so many things that we do not need or haven’t used in years just because we spent money (sometimes a lot) and we feel guilty by throwing it out. But this is something I experienced myself: it feels so nice to have only things in your closet you feel good in. I do not get annoyed by putting on outfits that do not fit or in which I feel uncomfortable.

Nowadays I check my closet for unwanted objects every three months, and every time I lose some items that I have not worn since the last time I reduced my wardrobe but I am at  the point where I can open my closet and find an outfit in less than five minutes and feel good about it. And If I am looking for something in particular I can find it and do not have to fight my way through all the shirts, pants and skirts that are just messing up my closet.

So as I am planning to reorganize the rest of my house and my belongings over the next couple of weeks I will try to apply Marie Kondo’s principles there as well. With a little luck with the same rewarding results. 

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