GETTING ORGANIZED...or one can at least hope!

Cathy's Sewing RoomHH ME’ers!!!, (Hello Hello, Machine Embroiderers)

Just back from a glorious trip to the beach. Yeah!!!! Cool
While there, I came to the conclusion that before I take another embroidery class in order to blog about it,I needed to …… Whoa! …… Stop!......... & GET ORGANIZED!!!

I needed to:

1.    WRITE DOWN what I already have.

2.    FIND A PLACE to put it.

3.    ASK for your input.

4.    INVITE you to ‘share my beach home” (see photo) for a visit  (1-1 tutoring on machine embroidery, the Brother PE-700 machine itself, computers, or……  ???? ( LMT’s….(licensed massage therapists are you there???Smile )

5.    Purchase items ( shop – yeah ) if necessary to help me get organized for my new passion.

6.    GET HELP with what I’m not getting done myself or getting frustrated over.

The solution looked simple on paper, ……but  it would involve more time, $ and energy. So I then realized I needed to regroup, analyze the situation,  & then ….. ta dah….PRIORITIZE….!!!!

1st thing done -
MOVE the guest BED OUT of the guest room/office to make more room.!!!! (There’s still room for more gadgets !!! & I would LOVE your input on that topic in the forum.
Cathy and Mickey
2nd- went shopping…this time with a specific plan & purpose, but forgot the measurements ..oops)

New Furniture

I bought a special craft table that ‘hides doodads galore’, a folding cutting table and a SIMPLE sewing table for my Brother PE-700 that would hold a few important items. I also got to find a place for my DARLING unexpected Orlando furniture purchase (see photo). It’s 1 of a kind & it always makes me smile.!

Junior Senior?

Aarrgh….I also bit the bullet and bought a laptop PC so I can eventually do machine embroidery like most everyone out there does. (…… downloading the designs over  the internet!!!!). Personally I DON’T like the little cards that can get lost. That’s me, but that’s how I feel at least for now. Speaking of losing things…(I wear my reading glasses on my head, have my keys around my neck on a lanyard and I’ve switched to a fanny pack for Pete Sakes…just so I can get home with what I started out with!)  I am just a JUNIOR ‘Senior Citizen’…I am not even a ‘full fledged discount on my meals’ senior yet…and lo & behold I have had to resort to drastic measures already. What happens when I get REALLY old ????!!!! Please fill me in!!!

Organizing Designs

OK back to computers….not my favorite subject,….. I know there was one fellow at Community Circle who took time to try & explain how it (downloading) could be done with modifications to my new Apple, but the reality is…the Apple store here isn’t geared for that and I am a  duck out of water for the time being with everything else I’m trying to learn. So, my ME teacher helped me order a laptop for downloading all those BEAUTIFUL designs out there!!! But it is going to be VERY important that I ‘organize them’ into something…& thank goodness I had purchased the Catalog Xpress & Alphabet Express in Orlando. Big Smile  (So that ‘cart before the horse’ purchase turned out ok!!!) Wink

Calling All Newbies!

I have yet to down load 1 thing. Sigh…I am SUCH a beginner…but that’s OK. It’s where I am for now. I read of course, the ‘advanced’ bloggers and admire them & all those who really know their stuff…and my goodness, so many of the readers have so much experience too!!! What a wealth of information and experience there is on AnntheGran. Once in awhile I read something from someone NEW like myself.  The website is for ALL ME’ers!!!! No question is TOO basic!!!  The advanced people are SO willing to help us Newbies. Now remember folks, my blog is specifically written to make sure beginners like me, can learn from others, enjoy OUR journey starting out & maybe avoid some mistakes.

Software Experiences?

I ‘d LOVE to hear from those of you who have either of those 2 products (Catalog & Alphabet Express - product reviews here)….How has it worked for you? How DOES it even work????  TIPS PLEASE  etc etc or better yet…show me at the beach!!! (If I had a wiggling carrot icon that I could put in about now I would! Paradise Just picture a cute seagull dangling that carrot swaying in the ocean breeze!!!)

I can't wait to start on Ann’s lace hearts because I NOW know how to make lace!!! Yeah!!!!! Speaking of which….HOW MANY OF YOU TRIED LACE for the 1st time??? Is there even ONE of you out there who did????   I haven’t heard from you!!!!!!…..Some said they were going to try….Did you???? Hmm?

Machine on new tableI also bought a new phone and a new ‘head set’ so that my hands can be totally free when I am getting instructions over the phone.( eventually) (It isn’t set up yet..but soon I hope.) Feel free to send me your phone numbers in the meantime though!!! (Did I mention that I am spending ALL of my retirement checks for the moment!!!! Tongue Tied)

Two Simple Questions

Now as always, I have a gazillion questions but will narrow them down to 2….Don’t Faint!!!
1.    Please share your MUST HAVE gadgets or items you wouldn’t want to live without). ( w/price and why  you love them so much - if you have the extra time for details)
      So far at the forum we have a short but great list & it is really helping me prioritize. (Thread Pilot, Havel scissors, the tote from Ann’s store, tweezers, magnifying glass, & paint brush). You can give me your ideas by clicking here.   

2.    Space Design ideas….When you SIT DOWN to machine embroider….WHAT do you REALLY need and WHERE do you put it?????? Judy in Florida shared a picture of a wall unit that I’d LOVE to incorporate!!!!!! You can answer that one by clicking here.

So, thanks ME’rs  who have already contributed to the ‘gadgets forum  & have supported me along my way here as a NEWBIE! Confused I love your thoughts-  be they long or short. I really do love them!!!

Have a great June everyone!!!….I hope you’ll send us photos & give  me hints & ideas  etc….!!!!


Cathy in Oregon….who just shared her rose garden with a deer this morning.

P.S. (I’m sending this in a bit early because I have a grad class for a week coming up fairly soon  and it will be time intensive.) I’ll still check on my blog and the forums. HAPPY EMBROIDERING!!!!


Comments (29) -

So much to say and so little time!  I remember my first days at ME and I just had fun with my Disney designs. I had a PE-180D.  I embroidered anything that was not nailed down.  I used old towels, scraps of fabric and felt squares I had for other crafting.  

I am in a condo and I went up and down the units to show off my Goofy and Pluto!  Did you know that in a Disney survey, most people said that they were most like Goofy than any other Disney Character.  What about all those Prince and Princesses???  

I also did lots of FSL which were planned as Christmas presents.  I did lots of free designs on my jeans and night gowns.  

I guess I never thought about what else I needed, I just wanted to look and admire my wonderful work.  I did, however, look at the back and was a bit dismayed when I saw loops and thread breaks.  But, that did not slow me down!

Get in there and thread that needle!


Well Hello There Cathy,

I am finally posting to your blog. I really

do try to keep my word!     Alphabet Xpress........

I purchased it in Orlando, I do love it, however, I misunderstood the number of FONTS that came with the program, I really thought we'd have all the FONTS Ann Cobb demo'ed. Anyway I am using it and I do love it. ( Would like to add some fonts, not sure how to add once purchasing new fonts) For my  E machine I stiil need my own software to use the program. With your machine I think you only need the Alphabet Xpress software with a PC and your card program. I have made many graduation presents with ALPHABET XPRESS. Can't send pic cause they went as fast as I stitched em up!

CATALOG EXPRESS.....Bought that one in Orland too. Do love it with some reservations. Anything you download from the internet be it free or paid, this is a great place to keep everthing. You must always know where the file is that you unzip the desings to. It would be a very, very good idea to keep a binder with a pic of the design in catagory order from the original pic that you see of the design. The catalog does not present a true pic of the designs, it's sort of a cartoon image of the pic...but now this does help to keep one organized. (You do want to get organized........I thought so!) If you purchase a CD or have your designs on cards or anyplace besides your PC, Catalog Express doesn't record where the file is. It does remind you a glance that you have the design but it just doesn't tell you where. I hope this helps you somewhat. I wish I could just jump over there and embroidery with you. I so remember my first few months at M E ing it was like it was only a year ago, oh my it was just a year can really go far in a year....I have just sold my first piece of was weird, but rewarding...(To sell it) I'd love the chart on how much to charge but I couldn't quite understand where to find it. I saw the chatter about it on the forums then it disappeared.  

Until your next adventure,


jalcumbrack 6/13/2008 5:52:51 AM

OK Cathy,

This is so not fair.! Look at the size of that room!! I want to trade !LOL!!

I think you have done the right thing,Prioritize things. Some times it is good to take a step back ,so you can then move forward in a good way. First ,you need a space to do your craft in.Doing ME does require a certain amount of that.Now its time for the things that will make doing your craft easier.The best thing you can do for yourself from now on ,is to keep that area organized and neat.You don't want to waste your precious ME time,trying to find something you need.

As far as Alphabet Express and CAtalog Express,those two things rate high on the list of must haves,I wish I had bought them sooner,as they sure seem to give me more time to sew.Instead of looking for the designs I had scattered all over,I go to it and down load so fast that I almost feel guilty. You all did notice I said almost lol.

It looks like you are doing just fine Cathy,and have allready tackled the first part of this crazy wonderful art,and that is organization.Without that,we would all be lost.Claiming your space and setting it up just for ME.

It takes time,none of us learned all of this over night,but anything worth doing is worth the time invested to help it to go smoothly. The less time you spend looking for things,the more time you will have to sew and learn new things.

You have definatly taken steps in the right direction.Please don't feel you have to get all the gadgets right away either,it takes time for you to decide what is right for you.

Good luck My friend,You are doing a wonderful job!!

travelbug1237 6/13/2008 12:58:29 PM

HH & THANKS Pat, Al and Judy

for taking the time to make comments. I REALLY appreciate the input on

getting organized, gadgets, and your experiences. Yes, I DO feel like I have a wonderful place now to do the ME'ing I so want to do.

  For me, I just had to stop trying to do so many different types of MEing until I got myself better organized. I love my newly dedicated room, with 'room to grow'. I am SO looking forward to E building the hanging wall unit that holds

stabilizer, hoops and gadgets. (That photo was accidentally left out & the one you click on now would need to go into the art studio.)

   Pat, I TOO love Pluto...he's so lovable and well meaning. - I'll start Meing again shortly...I just HAD to get organized and CLEAN my home...I just have the living room and the in-law suite & then I am free to REALLY hunker down and ME a storm!! Smile Yeah!!

Al thanks for going into detail on the Express & Alphabet. I WILL return to your comments often....when I am ready to download. I am not quite there yet....but are SO welcome to  "JUMP right over"  to help me anytime!! far not one person has taken a 'bite' to visit my cozy beach house!!!

  Judy thanks for understanding where I am coming from. Boy I'll tell you what is REALLY hard right now and that is there are SOOOOOO many cute designs!!!!  I want to 'buy them all' but I KNOW that until I get my lap top

ready to roll with the software to organize them...I need to WAIT a bit.

I have more than once put the cart before the horse! Smile It will be just awesome when I can actually download and have a method of FINDing the designs I so want to buy.

   Thanks again for the tip Al to have pictures in a binder etc.


It's so exciting to see you having so much fun with your machine!  I was in Orlando when you won, and my best friend and I were standing and applauding the extraordinary justice of the prize.  You might remember her...she was one of the first ones you met at registration, Mary Digiovanni.  You were quizzing her about what kind of machine to appropriate that you would win.

I have both Alphabet Express (love it!!) and the Catalog Express programs.  The best tip, as Ann suggested, is printing out that instruction booklet for A/E...I have a much better sense of what I'm doing now.

I really enjoy the resizing tool on Catalog Express; I have enlarged some designs as much as 200%, and shrunk others down to only a fourth of their original size.  I just have to make notes to myself when I store them in C/E, like "ladybug, smaller" so I don't confuse the designs.

Enjoying the summer, embroidering, now that my teaching year is over!!

laurgassman 6/13/2008 4:08:51 PM

Hi Cathy,

   Had to laugh at your priority list of getting the ME area organized.  I too am using a small guest room.  Haven't allowed myself to take out the trundek bed as I have so many things stored  under it!!  Oh well.. I did buy several small folding tables (2' x 3') to hold my Janome 4900 and one for my Brother Serger 3034D.  I find myself sometimes working with all three on a project.  Woo Hoo I am cooking on those days!  The other thing is my ironing board and all its essentials are always up and ready.  Sounds a bit neurotic but it works for me.

    I will send you some pictures later as we are leaving on a 6 week "See the USA" trip as our grown kids call it.  Part of the trip is a week at a Dude Ranch with all 17 of us to celebrate our 50th Anniversary.  By the way ....don't mess with the old ladies....they are a crafty lot!!!  

     My favorite project so far has been making hang up garment bags for my college grand children for the "evening gowns" (yeah you read it right gowns!),  interview suits , and gasp ! can you believe sport coats and suits!??     Personalized with  their names and some embroidery that related to their interests and plans for their lives.  That was a serious case of seat of pants creating but the kids were pleased and now their mom wants one too!  I will send pictures later when we get back.

   Love you blog and your sense of humor...  I have had my ME (Brother Inovis 4000) since last November.  Most important lesson so far has been to stitch out my designs so I can adjust colors etc.  The second most important thing I learned was to create a resource notebook with the samples of the stablizers and what they work best for.  The third was the notebook with pictures of the designs downloaded from the internet...  Haven't figured out how to catalog which thumb drive I put them on but since I plan to acquire a laptop that will stay with the Machine that will soon be a non problem.

   Life is good to have such a fun new interest that will give pleasure to us and to others as well.  My husband was telling someone he was surprised that his boxers had escaped my "practice" I have a surprise in store for him!

    Look forward to more 'lessons" from a fellow newbie.  Enjoy every day....laugh live and love!!!


When you really get old you forget where your head your neck & your butt is.

jalcumbrack 6/13/2008 6:45:47 PM

Don't worry ,Cathy, you will get to the point that you can and will be able to pop over to the computer and load your "new" designs to sew out.I have the feeling that once you get going that nothing will stand in your way ! Just remember to have FUN with this,I know I keep stressing this,but it is very easy to caught up in things and get stressed over not being able to get everything done. Guess what ,we had a whole weeks forum on nothing but the dust bunnies in our houses,lol. Just don't let it get to you. Everything does get done eventually ! My hubby ,Tom is great with the helping out so I can do the things I love to do as well.Just today he put away the dishes,took care of the laundry and took out the trash for me.We have been so busy this week everything just got away from me,lol,including those pesky dust bunnies ! Take care ,an oh by the way,I will take you up on that beach house,but not this year. We have too much going on right now.

choctawcharlisews 6/13/2008 7:56:14 PM

I noticed that you had space under and beside your sewing table.  In my sewing room, in that space I put a wooden six drawer chest.  In the top drawer I put my measure tapes, fraychecks, seam guides, etc, 2nd drwer holds a divided box of all my different needles. 3rd, boxes of feet, 4th, hoops, 5th, bobbins (boxes, holders, empty, thread) 6th my vacuum attachment to clean my machines and computer.  I also have on top of my sewing table a small 4 drawer chest that has all my little tools, clippers, screwdrivers, spacers, etc, that you reach for constantly.  I also keep my flash drives there for my weekly back up.  Hope that gives you some ideas.

CharliAnn  =^,,^=

colleenhughes 6/14/2008 12:43:51 AM

Sounds like I need Catalog Express and Alphabet Express. I can't wait to download something every day! Now I have this amazing lot of stuff on various CDs and try to organize them myself!  I have my Elna(Brother)8300  as well as Serger,Computer and Sewing machine in one room, and a lovely mahogany mini chest of drawers for my Cottons. This treasure was made by my late Stepfather for my Mom in the fifties.  She did wonderful "needle paintings" - machine embroidery using a straigh-sewing machine! I still have one of her framed pictures. What a needlewoman she was.

Talk about prioritizing -whenever I am ready to sit down at my Emb.Machine, to have some fun, somehow work interferes! So this morning I got up before dawn to see what's new on Ann's website, and here I am chatting instead of embroidering.

So here goes,  I have a pile of Polar Fleece Blankies(throws) to personalize for my grandchildren, each with their name and a motif chosen by themselves.

It is winter in South Africa and we are having an energy crises, so this way the family can keep warm with less heating.

We don't have central heating, so rely on gas or electric heaters.

Cheers for now, let me have my fun!


I'd love to see the boxers when you get done with them.  Then I can tell "my" husband, "See, at least I haven't  done this yet!!".


O.K.  I spent the whole day getting my sewing room cleaned up to take pictures.  I posted them to the projects gallery.  My room was once a small guest room 11 X12 feet so I've had to cram a lot in a little space.  I do all kinds of sewing: dressmaking, embroidery, crochet, crewel, crossstitch, shadowwork, etc. and also paint, do ceramics, and many crafts, so I have loads of "stuff" to store.  I got the idea for the under cabint bins from your photo.  All the units are standard kitchen cabinets that I got from Lowes.  I had to saw a couple of inches off the base units to get them the right height, but it was really easy with a skill saw.  We bought the countertop in standard lengths from Lowes also.  My husband built the corner units.  I have laminate to put on the top of them, just haven't gotten to it yet.  As you can see, I have used all kinds of drawers, cubbies and whatever else I could find to stick things in.  The top shelf over the SE is filled with all my reference books.  All the shoeboxes are labeled with the contents...I hate to have to search for something.  The lamp in the corner was a desk lamp with a magnifying lens that my husband adapted and put on a stand for me.  I use it when I'm doing that tedious job of removing stitches.  The bins with small drawers came from the Walmart hardware department.  They are meant for storing nuts and bolts and such, but they are very good for all the tiny notions:  hooks and eyes, bobbins, needles, pins, velcro, glue........On the project wall, the chest holds all my interfacings and my hoops.  The box on top I use for spraying adhesive to keep it from going everywhere.  I have various sizes of cardboard frames that I use to keep the adhesive from gunking up so much on my frames. The drawers hold all my precut stabilizers.  I go ahead when I have a roll out and cut a stack of sheets and keep them in labeled drawers so that I don't have to drag out the whole roll every time I want to do a project.  The bins on top are my in-progress projects.  Each has an index card telling me whats in it.   I usually have several things going on at once and this helps me to keep each one separate and all the patterns, printouts, folders, etc. together.

My closet still needs some work.  Right now it holds and hides my stabilizer rolls (I hope one day to have them on the wall) and my stacks and stacks of patterns all in labeled drawers.  The storage room contains a lot of other stuff, but it has a connecting door to my sewing room (it used to be a porch) and I have my ironing station, dress form and, as you can see from the picture, bins and bins of fabric.  I also have another closet elsewhere full of fabric bins. I have managed to keep new uncut fabric, fat quarters, heirloom sewing fabric, and teddy bear fabric (I occasionally make teddy bears for the Department of Family and Children's Services to use when they are transferring children) and scrap fabric all in separate containers, but I keep threatening to take a week (or maybe a month) and go through all of it and toss or donate what I know I'll never use.   I'm a packrat and I hate to throw anything away, but it's that or move to a bigger house and my husband has vetoed that idea.  Anyway, as I said the pictures are in the gallery.   I hope you get some ideas from them.  I've already gotten some from you...I really like that wall unit for stabilizers.  I will tell you this.  No matter how "perfect" you get it, you are going to be changing it over and over from now on.  We MErs are forever finding a better or more convenient way of doing things whether it be storing or stitching!!!

Cathy --- Your sewing room is awesome.  So tidy & white!!!  But, wait -once you start w/the gadgets, books, fabric, stabilizers.   Oh my, oh my!  You & Judy have nice long rooms.

I took photos of my sewing/quilting/embroidery & office room but my furniture is dark & the room is perfectly square so they did not read well.  Guess I was lucky, I did not have to purchase furniture for my was “gathered” from around the house.  The word Eclectic comes to mind; possibly Shabby Chic.

When my daughters moved out, I acquired their Ethan Allen bookcases (1970s) which have base units w/drawers & cabinets & also their desks.  Ohhhh, was I suppose to experience “empty nest” syndrome?  Oops.  After 20 years of sewing in my Dining Room, I had to decide which bedroom I wanted!  I had bought in the 70s, a Yield House sewing cabinet which has folding leaves on each side…mighty handy for my laptop & my Madeira Thread Chest.

The room was set up in a “C” formation but since I had to move in a desk for the embroidery machine, I had to turn my room into an “E” formation.  Next to the embroidery machine are 3 binders containing all my embroidery designs along w/the color charts placed in sheet protectors & special project instructions accordingly.  All are categorized.

I have mason jars filled with Mother’s & Aunt’s buttons, scissors, thimbles, thread, lace, etc.  I display my Grandmother 's spools of industrial cotton thread.  My grandmother worked in a sewing factory (literally a sweat shop).  She was a wonderful self-taught seamstress & only wish I had half her talent.  My uncle early on in his career was a pattern cutter in NYC in the garment district.  I display his pattern cutting rulers on the wall.  I refused to take his pattern cutting scissors--my gosh the blades had to be a foot long!  My Dad’s 1950s black metal curved lunch pail holds my quilting scissors, quilting thread, needles and binder clips.  It can easily go where I decide to bind my quilt(s).

My embroidery chair is a 1950s folding wooden chair.  When not in use, folds.  My sewing chair is a 1940s choir boy chair.  Both are hard & uncomfortable as all get out, but because of that, I move around more!  Oops, did buy 1 item for the room.  I ran into a wire bakery bread delivery basket.  At first glance, it had “fat quarters” written all over it!  Perfect fit.

One item I could not remove from my room, but did contemplate it recently is my big, old comfy 60s chair now covered w/a denim slipcover.  Chelsea the Calico faithfully sat in this chair while I sewed.  That is when she was not sitting behind the sewing machine pulling out pins that I had missed & flicking these pins around the room (her photo is posted in tribute).  This prompted my best purchase ever -a retractable magnetic pin grabber.  My “pin plucking” Chelsea passed away 2 years ago shortly before her 20th birthday.  Chipper the Pomeranian (was my Dad’s faithful companion) now occupies the big, comfy chair & Cassie the Aussie Sheppard mix (a rescue from Arkansas) occupies the braided rug.  Dogs & 40 years of stuff.  Life is good.

Remember:  "Junk is something you have kept for years & throw away 3 weeks before you need it!"


travelbug1237 6/15/2008 1:35:55 PM

HH ME'ers,

     Thank you ALL-  for all the wonderful comments.

I have a lot to digest (but will revisit often)

with so MANY many good ideas for getting organized. Between this and the posts on my questions on 'gadgets' I am getting a GREAT education by those who KNOW what they're doing!!! You don't know how much that means to me!

   I feel REALLY blessed to have been given this opportunity to learn a new craft and to be taught by the best!!!! There are so many of you who have kindly given of your time and expertise to help a Newbie. I'm sure there are some other beginners out there too that are grateful ....but I just happened to have been invited to be a blogger on Ann's I get all this extra special attention and help!

 THANKS AGAIN everyone...& I hope you all having a wonderful Father's Day!

Here's a special HUG to all the 'male'  embroiderers whose on Ann's site!!!!

We love Dads!!! (& wanna be dads )


Cathy in Oregon

I too am somewhat of a newbie. I have a BabyLock  Esante that I bought last fall.  Thanks to a daughter that is a computer genius, I have learned how to download free patterns. I keep them in a file named patterns on my desk top. I then copy them to a CD to use in the lap top-purchased from my son in law who didn't use it because it  is an older model. I print a picture of the pattern and put in in a plastic sleeve in a three ring binder with the location of  what ever CD it is on. So far I only have 2 CD's but it is growing! I have sooooo much to learn!  I am in the process of turning a spare bedroom into a dedicated sewing room with a table for both my embroidery machine and  my "old workhorse" sewing machine as I also do garment sewing.

I am a newcomer to machine embroidery.  I did it a different way round to you, once I knew I was going to buy an embroidery machine, I downloaded everything I could, then had to wait for the machine to be able to use all my wonderful downloads.  I am also well into free standing lace, every time I make something, I look at it and can't believe my little old machine has done it!  So far I have embroidered quite a few t-shirts for my two grandchildren and myself, always feel really pleased when they turn out okay.  Well, they are then designer originals aren't they.  Would like an extra 24 hours in every day now, so I can really get going on all the other things I want to do.  Nothing to do with embroidery, but I notice iself1 has a white German Shepherd, I am also owned by two of these dogs, and seem to be forever tweezing white hairs out of my sewing and crossstitch.  I love reading your blog, also Annthe grans of course, it is so nice to know even professionals can go wrong, means there is hope for me.  


My shepherd, Velvet, died this past spring.  I'm still in mourning.  She was a wonderful dog!  I know what you mean about white hair; it's been months and I'm still finding it everywhere.  I'm looking into getting another one.  Did you get yours from a breeder?  If so, which one? The breeder here has inbred them too much. Velvet had bad hips and epilepsy from age 2.  She still made it to eleven, but  I don't want to encourage bad breeding practices so I won't get another one here.  How about posting a picture of your babies?


If you can master downloading free designs, this is the perfect time.  Designs in Machine Embroidery is introducting there online magazine.  This month you can check it out for free and they are celebrating there 50th issue and have over two hundred freebies you can download.  The website is  I am also new to ME, I got my machine two months ago and am still learning the secrets to success.  I love Ann The Gran and have found many tips and helpful advice, in addition to the free designs.  Keep on Blog'n

serenemachine2 6/22/2008 3:30:13 AM

Okay, it is 12:30 AM in So.Cal and I am still reading!!!  I can only say "There is a fine line between a hobby and mental illness"!!  I think I have it!!  But so do all of you!!!  More stuff than my head can really wrap around.  Organization, new things to buy, new programs to learn.  How will I ever get anything actually embroidered????  Thanks for all your fun writings and sharing your "hobby"  (lol) Smile

travelbug1237 7/2/2008 3:50:19 AM

HH everyone....

  Just a quick note to let you know I haven't abandoned ship so to speak here at the beach. I just finished my 2nd grad class...(oh so fun.)...and will be here at the beach for the 4th of July too...Then I have my LAST required grad class to keep my Oregon teaching certificate current starting NEXT Monday for an intensive week , but ....THEN I will write another blog.

  I'm so sorry my 1st July one is not ready for Greg to edit. It will be helpful to beginners I believe. I am SO tickled to hear somebody mentioning 'lace.' I wrote an entire blog on it and then didn't hear a word from any of you.....It's not hard and is OH SO beautiful.

  The next project I write up is SUPER simple also.

I have about 9 topics to write about now but must get my grad classes out of the way & then I will write away.

  SOOOO glad to hear there are some REAL NEWBIES out there too that have joined AnntheGran!!!

Welcome!!! We LOVE having you participate!!!

Keep sharing and feel free to ask a million questions....I know I do!!!!

   I love seeing and reading your contributions!!!

  EVERYONE have a SAFE 4th of July!!!!


Cathy @ the beach enjoying the beautiful weather & more yummy razor clams!!!! Yum again!!!


Just wanted to let you know I just read the most wonderful article in the July/August issue of Creative Machine Embroiery about Gismos & Gadgets.  I immediately thought about you when I read it.   Good Luck with you class.  

I only started ME in February, having loads of fun, but couple of disasters lately.  I embroidered two towels with my grandchildrens names, was going to add a design as well, but managed to shear the thread of the nut.  Brother were very good, sent me a new one by return of post, but I am scared to try any more towels.  Also one of the names didn't fit on the hoop, needed to re-hoop to finish it in the larger font, but didn't know how to make sure it stayed in line.  Any tips please.  Also lself have replied to you by private e-mail, let me know through this column if you didn't receive it and I'll try again.  

Quite envious of all you lucky people off to Florida. although in England at the moment our temperatures are hitting 29-30 degrees, and all I can do is wilt.  Musn't moan, winter will be here soon enough.

Hi fellow MEers!

Here are some things  that I use to help me stay organized --

For my stabilizers -  Someday I'd like to have room to put them all on rods like paper towel holders, but I don't have room for that yet!  So for now I have square canvas "hampers" from Target.  For the shorter rolls I recycle the plastic covers that come on our local paper to cover the rolls to keep them clean.  I take the label and wrap it around the outside of the stabilizer, cover the roll with the plastic and tuck the ends of the plastic into the tube.  I can read the labels through the plastic.  I'm trying to find plastic bags that are taller for my wider rolls of stabilizer - does anyone know of a source - preferably not to buy but to recycle?

For my thread -  I use stacking plastic drawer units so my thread isn't out in the dust and light.  I cut some pegboard the size of the drawer bottoms.  I glued short dowels (6" for my large cones, 4" for my smaller cones), spacing them so that the cones will fit nicely.  That way they stay standing when I open & close the drawers, and they stay in the order I want them.  I order them the same as my color charts so I can find the right color fast (unless my granddaughter has rearranged them!).

Over my hooping table I have pegboard that holds hoops and other tools.  There are so many accessories for pegboards.  Home Depot is a great resource!  I like the holders that have several round holes for organizing my scissors.

And my little scissors I wear around my neck at all times!!  They are the kind that stay open unless you squeeze them and are great for trimming threads.  I dropped them ones though, and "caught"  them

between my legs - a natural reaction when something falls into your lap!  But because they were open, I impaled them into my inner thigh!  NOT a good thing to do!!!

Besides my little trimming scissors, I have long bent tweezers that I use to help thread the needles.  I can reach behind and grab the thread easier.  I don't have feeling in my fingers so this really helps.  I also keep a little bright flashlight close by so I can see into small places when I need to see what's going on - like the bobbin, thread tangles, or what-ever!

On my door I have one of those "in-box" things that has four "slots".  I don't know if I can explain it very well!  But I use those for all the info about each job that's in work.- the work order, the color sheet, and any other info that goes with the job.  I work from the top down and use that to prioritize my work by due date.  If I have something to do "just for me" I add it there also, or else I never get around to makeing pretty things for myself!!

For storing blanks - I have commercial racks (Costco) that hold large plastic tubs.  I label them well!  I also store my fabric stash this way, sorted by color.  I have one tub with "projects" that are waiting to be finished.  If it gets too full, I have to finish something before I can add another project!

I have a carpeted room, which I'm not sure I like, but then I don't get those dust bunnies I guess!  All the thread on the rug isn't good for the vaccuum.  So before I vaccuum, I use one of those "as seen on TV" rubber things with a squeegee on one side and rubber teeth on the other side.  It picks up the threads and stabilizer bits easily, and it's easy to clean the thread out of the teeth.  I use this after every session - I'm messy and throw everything on the floor as I work!!

My house is a disaster!  I try to stay organized in my studio, but never seem to get organized in the rest of my liffe!!  I guess I have my priorities!

Cathy - I can be a chatty as you!  But it is so fun to have others to chat with that have the same interests, passions, and (dare I say it?) quirks as I do!

Hugs to all - Pat (SunRai)

Hi Cathy,

I just love your sewing room, you look pretty organized to me.  I wish I was that organized but I am not as my sewing room is always in a chaotic state. I live in a manufactured home and my sewing area is the former den in front of the house and it is filled with containers of fabric and all my embroidery supplies is in a cabinet that is part  of a cutting table. I have a doll clothes business and have lots of patterns and also lots of 15"-18" dolls that I sew for. My embroidery machine is is one one table and my sewing machine and serger is on a table next to it. I am glad I have my room but there is not much room to move around with all the fabric that I have in containers,. If I want fabric in the closet next to my sewing machines I have to move containers to get to it and if I want fabric that is in a container I have to move them and them when I find what I want I have to put all back in the closet so I can sew.

Laurie in Bend

travelbug1237 8/5/2008 12:16:06 PM

Sorry I am so behind on these...not sure if you will ever revisit these or not, but I am going to 'speak' to you even if it is some time later!!! Sorry...

LMJ....Thanks for sharing the article location and topic. It sounds like it would be a great investment in time to read the article!!! THANKS

(oh and btw,  ALL my summer classes for grad credit are done now...I just have  'tutoring' lessons..SmileSmileSmile

  HH Pat Ferrens...oh my goodness you're in England!!! Hello Hello!!!

No I don't believe I got your private e-mail....but I DID answer some private e-mails only to find out that I was sending them back to the general something I was asked not to do that now I am ONLY answering in my 'blog' comments section. I am SOOOOO sorry if you got ignored which apparently you did!!! I hope you came back here to check to see if I answered you!!! Better late than never they say!!

  I can understand your 'wilt situation'. it's gonna be 95 degrees today and was 93 yesterday and I totally roasted!  I hope it has calmed down for you by now.

  Ethan ( E for short in e-mails ) and I just visited your beautiful country last year. Our ship landed in Dover and we spent a night or 2 on 'Castle Street" in a  B&B. We had a tiny balcony but if we opened the doors, we could look up and see the castle!!! Total magic day or night!!! There was also a special ( what we call a Saturday Market"there one day, and we loved seeing all the vendors ( from France too)! We still have some beautiful items we were able to purchase there. We also took a double decker bus you're so famous for out for a country ride and had seafood at a very famous place to the locals there...

When we reluctantly had to head home....we had a most FUN trip riding the "007 bus " into London!!!! That totally cracked me up!!! London has changed SO much since I was there when I was 12....

   I would love to hear more about you and how you got started in MEing and if you have any others near you so you can get together for help and sharing. ( I live in Oregon on the West Coast so I missed the recent Florida get together...although I did get to meet Ann at her 1st annual Community Circle in April. We are in high hopes she'll have a 2nd one!!!)

   Oh now to your question...WELL I have ONLY done 'hand towels' NOT any plush type material yet.  We used a cute but simple 'redwork'  design on a cotton towel. Let me go back and read your comment to see if you were using a plush material or cotton....Be back in a minute... doesn't say...but there is a brand new blogger on site

who has extensive commercial and personal embroidery experience...( Judy Alcumbrack...I THINK that's how she spells it and her blogs are specifically geared to answer technical questions.)  If you don't get your question answered in the next day or two let me know & I will see what I can find out for you. Boy...I hate to leave you hanging here...but I don't want to give you poor advice so I will make sure that I find an expert to answer that question for you.

OH and I am SOOOOO glad you are having FUN!!!! I REALLY want to know how and why you bought the Brother ( I have the BrotherPE 700) Is yours the same?? Tell me more!!!! SmileSmile

 Sunrai and pualele...I will write to you later this evening. I have an early luncheon I must get ready for and then drive to. ( Sorry I didn't check back on this blog so I am answering you late. SORRY...) I will have more time tonight as E is at the fire station for 24 hours.



travelbug1237 8/6/2008 2:26:53 PM

OOPS Sunrai and Pualele iself1.... Sorry...had car trouble AGAIN yesterday...sigh did NOT get back to you until just now.

I did respond to some of your other comments on the other blogs though and am working myself backwards. I didn't know there were comments still coming in from my older blogs.  

Anyway  HH!!!

Pualele...Well thank you...I am glad you think my craft.sewing room looks organized...Well I guess it IS because I don't have the new stuff unpacked yet and have it stacked in the other room. Also, I haven't done any MEing in this room for a few weeks so it is still clean...but once I get going again...out comes the stuff and well can be cluttered fairly quickly.

( I moved the press iron into the master bedroom temporarily because I have air conditioning in there....I DON"T want it in there so it will be getting moved out just as soon as I can get a shelf built for it. It is light weigh with a handle so it will be easy to set up when needed...and since i DON'T like to will only be a rare occurance!!!! ) lol

  Laurie, one thing I learned when I went to interior decorating school was

to GO UP instead of OUT when you have limited space. Do you still have free wall space???? The 'function of that den is now a CRAFT room" so that changes how you would decorate it...SO adding shelves, wall units, portable closet, fold down tables etc etc could be added.

If so that might be a solution for you... finding the right shelving or getting a handyman who can build you something is another story, but 1st let me know if you HAVE any free walls, be it 1,2 3 and maybe even part of 4....JUST THINK UP instead of 'out'.

( I lived in Japan for a year and was AMAZED how so many FAMILIES lived in VERY very small places.) We sometimes think of a mobile home being small but it is HUGE compared to most living in Japan.

Hope this helps!!! Do let me know about any free wall space.

( When I had E build me new cabinets in the kitchen he went CLEAR to the ceiling and we used a lot of plexiglass and they turned out really neat.)

It has REALLY cut down on cleaning time more dust way up high and it is a perfect place for our canned cherries etc etc. Smile

HH Sunrai...We need to get your TIPS....published!!! Well I know some of our readers will read this....but this would be a great sheet of hints to refer to!!!

  As to the 'bags" that are larger than your stabilzers...Actually E found a place in Portland that has FOOD grade zip lock type bags in a VARIETY of sizes.

I use the extra large size ones myself to keep EACH  MEing lesson in it..I put my stabilizer, needle type, bobbin, thread, etc etc plus notes on the particular project ALL in 1 large special order ziplock. We bought a box of them and we have been using them for over a  year. They are also freezer grade and are quite sturdy. ( E didn't think I needed that many when we ordered them...but they are REALLY really  handy ) and now he uses them too for putting fish in, to pack clothes etc etc. They are a bit spendy....but we DO recycle them ourselves all the time....but I sure do love a fresh one now and then. Smile

I'm down to about 20 now and I think the box had 60 or 90. It is an expensive intial outlay of $ but the size and quality is great. (They also had bigger ones too!!!)

 thread.. Did you use KITCHEN drawers or the clear box like ones that are designed for thread? If you have a change, could you send us a picture of it?

Yes, peg boards are great!!!

( I keep skipping back and forth between your post and my comments ) so this may turn out a bit at least you'll know why....Smile

  You have a 'hooping table' ???... PLEASE elaborate!!! How big is it?

Did you get your holders in the organizational section or where the pipes with holes are? I can't tell you how many times I have gone in w/E while he is shopping for plumbing supplies and my mind is going "WOW this would be great for...." and it has to do with 'decorating or organizing"....and it is SO much cheaper shopping there than regular stores that sell the regular organizational supplies.

  Your scissors...OOOOO OUCH!!! Did you need stitches???

Do you use actual scissors or those neat little snippers that our way round in the middle that you squeeze?

Oh...and because of your hint and another ladie's, I bought the tip curved

tweezers and they ARE great!!!!

   PICTURE PLEASE of the work order in-box. Oh is it like the office organizer that goes on a wall that has lots of slots??? If yes, then I do know what you are talking about...they come in metal or acrylic...right? I'm sure glad you DO do some pretty things for you!!! GOOD FOR YOU!!!!!!

  Flashlight...I know I am really NEW to Meing and sewing etc but I find it incredibly hard to believe that machines don't already HAVE SUPER BRIGHT lights already built into them!!??? I think maybe the very newest ones just coming out now do, but why not before???!! Ladies & didn't hollar loud enough before, but if they have indeed corrected the problem...good for the machine manufacturers!!!    It is a BASIC necessity!!!

 Fabric....Boy it sounds like you have that down pat!!!  I hope one of my closest friends is reading the part about 'finishing one project' before buying more fabric.....but immediately I need to point a finger at me....not for fabric but with DESIGNS!!! Holy Cow how does one restrain themselves!!! ????

It must be the same thing for those who sew or quilt ....I guess ya just gotta get that fabric that you love. OK I am not judging lovers of fabric..I just know it can become an overwhelming situation fairly fast. ( I've done it with so many other things...just not fabric.)

Storing blanks....I don't know what you mean by that unless you mean

they are items like towels, bibs etc etc that need to be ME'd...Those are called 'blanks' then. Right? ( Have mercy on me here....I am a beginner!!) DO throw everything on the floor????

Ummm....Well it sounds like you  are taking extra care though to keep from damaging your vacuum. I bought a vacuum once that was recommended by our school custodian. ( It has a magnetic edge on it (& a super long cord!!!) so it would pick up paper clips ( but it would be good for needles too I would think.) The thread issue....I have a very small, cute $1 minature folding 'laundry basket' that I keep right beside my machine...I think it takes less than 4" surface space and I put my clipped threads in that. Also, I believe someone mentioned putting a piece of ....oh what's that quilt stuffing you use. called ...come on Cathy THINK...ummm'  Oh ...batting....someone mentioned having a piece of batting that attracts thread...Some one help me out with that....OH I KNOW WHAT WOULD WORK....THOSE special cleaning cloths that you don't use any cleaning products with!!! ( I spend time cleaning any loose threads from the washer/dryer load when  I DON'T want to attract it, but in this case it should be perfect!!!...YEP I'll try that.??? It sure would save you from the extra step you take before you vacuum.

  Getting organized is an on going issue for many of us. FOR is because I buy too much of just about everything. I LOVE things organized though and I love CLEAN so I create more work for myself ( and E !!! Smile)

BUILDING UP ....Smile We can talk about this more later.

E  just came home and I want to spend some time with him.

THANKS again for sharing such GREAT information!!! I know it will help lots of  


    Oh and I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your pet Lself1. Shepherds

are quite smart and wonderful I hear. I'll write more to you later, but in the meantime....just know that I am really sorry to about your loss.

   Oh my goodness, I think I didn't respond to several  of your posts...I will get to it asap.

travelbug1237 8/7/2008 11:07:46 AM

HH Pat Ferrans....OH are 'way into lace!!! " Oh I want to hear more......and YES of COURSE, they are all 'designer pieces!!!"

How great is that.....lucky grand kids I'd say. DId you put lace on some of their items or are you doing bookmarks, ornaments or???? Please share more!!!!For sure....we could use 24 more hours a day!!!! Smile All for hugging and MEing...right???? Thanks Pat, I 'm so pleased that you enjoy my bogs!!! That makes my day!!!

Hope to hear from you soon & all your projects you've been doing on your machine...SOOOO you ordered your designs BEFORE you got your machine...but you must have known which 'format' you were going to need, correct????

HH Russ7857..... Sorry I am so late in getting back to you. ( It's been kind of a crazy past month...)

SOOOOO you are doing VERY well it seems with the help of both your daughter and SIL....isn't great ( and humbling ) to have the 'younger generation' showing us how to live in this new 21st century? ...and wasn't that NICE you got a lap top too!!!  So do tell me if you have time, what you've been stitching lately!!! I'd really love to hear.

Thanks again for taking the time to write me!!!

    HH Joan in New Jersey!!! Long time no hear and am SO happy to hear from you!!! Hey...did you have a chance to read about 'our Miatas?'

Did you ever have trouble with your electrical system???

I'll write you more...I was taking classes and then did another couple blogs and it's been hectic. I can hardly wait to hear from you again....feel free to write on my current blog.....sometimes I forget to come back here and check...

HUGS to you Joan!!!

   Colleen....did you get everything downloaded??? I needed help from the support team in Canada at AtG....She was wonderful and they are both

ready for me to start downloading designs....that will be another project but once that is done I should be able to ME up a storm!!!! Tell me where your at one that OK.. I'd really like to hear your progress!!!  Did you get all those polar fleece blankets done for those grand kids??? Betcha ya did!!!

South Africa...oh we so loved it there. E and I spent 6 weeks in Africa on our honeymoon. What a wonderful place to be. Are you in J-burg?

Cheer you...You bet!!!  I agree, let's have fun!!! I'm still trying to get things in order...but one of these days I really will be ready to ME to my heart's content.Smile

 Oh Colleen...I forgot to say that your room sounds lovely!!!! bet your ideas helped. The 'lady' chest of drawers I have  , are now filled with goodies....I may change the ORDER of them for reachability....but I too now have them organized by items. I just LOVE having a drawer for scissors, one for bobbins, bobbin holder and empty ones....etc

Thanks for the tip!!!

  Oh dear Rosarypark...OK....I'll keep that in mind while I still have one! SmileSmile

Laurie, How was that dude ranch??? Share all the stories you want with me...I'll love hearing about it.

Glad you like my sense of humor..I love yours!!! CONGRATULATIONS on your 50th wedding anniversary!!!! That is JUST WONDERFUL!!! Please share that recipe for success with us please!!!!

Having your ironing board up makes total sense to me....I'm doing that now...although I AM going to move it out of my master bedroom ( where the air conditioning unit is.) I will just need to go shopping for another AC

and put it in another room where my 'MEing Stuff " is.

I think it is GRAND that your  grandkids have 'gowns' and suits!!! Do they ballroom dance also???? We want to hear all about your trip!!!

 OH Sewwhat2...You sold your 1st piece!!! Tell us ALL about it!!! We want to hear....oh and THANKS so much for your input on the Catalog Express and it's alphabet buddy. I just got those downloaded last Friday ( & I am finally responding to you here in AUGUST!!!..sorry about that) but I am 'not there yet' to start downloading the designs. When I do, I will refer back to your helps and Judy in Florida's helps too! Thanks to both of you!!!!

Vm1221...Hello Hello so many weeks later than when you wrote me...sooooo sorry....but better late than never, right. SO what do you teach???? I can hardly wait to hear!!! And I met your friend and quizzed her...I hope I talked to you too!!!  THANKS for all the WONDERFUL info you just gave me....I am finally ready ( almost ) to actually USE the CatX & Alphabet. Thanks for telling me to download the instructions to keep on hand. Great tip!!!

When does your school year begin....We use to go back in August.

Well I hope to hear from you and all about your 'summer'.


I HOPE I have personally mentioned each and everyone of you that took the time to write me. If I have accidentally left you out, please know that I will try to not do that again.

HUGS and everyone have a wonderful August!!! ( Yep, I am just getting back to you on this blog now....) Please know that I DO appreciate each and everyone of you and the time you take to 'help' me on my very 'beginner's journey!!!"


CinO ( Cathy in Oregon )aka Chatty Cathy/ CrashCourse Cathy & TravelBug

Hi all. I have just moved all of my sewing things downstairs.The room is the same size as before, but the layout is more usable and the closet is..... well, a walkin. I went to HomeDepot and bought 3 base cabinets that you use in the garage. They are bigger than kitchen cabinets. I use one for my PR600 and the other two I placed side by side, added a formica top (from Home Depot) and voila... a cutting table with eight LARGE drawers underneath. On the wall I added pegboard for all my hoops and my scissors. Since I don't have a laptop but I do have a desktop, which takes up LOTS more space I stuck it in the corner (which is also used as my "office") I use a notebook for my designs that I have stitched out (practice) and any notes and stablizers used etc. and it also serves as a sort of memory book. I will take your advise and go up, because I still need more... uhhh stuff?

Did I mention my cutting table snuck into the next room. shhhh don't  tell anyone...   ;^) OK I will fess up, the table is in the next room because hubby and I share it. He does leather work, I do MEing and I am trying my hand at quilting.

The hardest things to find are divider things for the drawers. I don't want plastic bins with lids, too much of a hassle. i would just like various size bins. Any suggestions?

I also use the cutting table for hooping, pinning, layouts etc etc.

The bags that blankets or sheets come in are saved for "in the works" projects. That way all the pieces are kept together and I keep notes on which threads are being used. Takes time, but in the long run takes less time than trying to remember or match the threads or find the fabric I just knew I cut but can't find.

Now, are there any ideas on how to organize the closet? It is about 5ft by 6.5 ft.

It is great reading about everyone. I have been reading here for about 3 months and have posted only a few times. I have been MEing about 1 1/2 years now and still consider myself a beginner.

Glad to "know" you all.


travelbug1237 8/21/2008 2:46:54 PM

HH cme!!!!

 Thanks for taking the time to post. (I just happened to come back to make sure I hadn't missed anyone...I have a few newer blogs since this one, but I am more than happy you took time to share.

  Yep, I do have a couple of suggestions for you...& glad that 'going up' will help you. I do that all the time when I start 'cluttering' my floor space up which I can do in a nano second if I am not careful.

  !st...for drawer dividers....My suggestion would be to get PLEXI glass and have it cut in strips to match the exact size you want. ( I have priced the 'sock dividers' which I have purchased in the past from 'organizational' stores.

They add up fast. You can get a sheet of plexi glass from the local home improvement store ( in different strengths...but for separating the drawers for ME items I think you can go with the thinnest. SOMEtimes they will cut them for you for free or a small charge....but if you or your hubby is handy with a saw...( E's not here to ask which is the best one to use, but if you go to my

latest blog on redwork...I'll put the answer in there when I can get a hold of him. ( He's out on a run at the fire station right could be a long time before I can talk to him....) but I won't forget you.

I was just thinking about dividers myself as I am starting to TRY and organize all my gadgets and ME collectibles!!!! SmileSmile I WILL get myself organized and

ready to really get busy but I still have so much to do in order to do it justice.

  I had to laugh....I completely understand  'shhhhhh ing" things. I have

removed my guest bed from the guest room office....and my next move is to

take over the living room of our inlaw suite that doesn't have an in-law in it!

I can't decide whether to put the craft table with the press iron in there or

move my machines in there....but I THINK I am going to keep my machines in the former guset bedroom. ( Can you tell I am thinking out loud here!!!)

OH dear....  

  OH...I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE your idea of using the LARGER cabinets and using the formica table. I just might have to go down and

check some of those out!!! E ( Ethan ) use to build cabinets commercially

so if I can show him a picture he can usually replicate it. If you'd like to share your photo with us....we'd love to see it. I do have a picture of yours in my mind though.

  I have the fold up  cutting table still in my office area. I really really don't have this all figured out yet....but I will!!!! I think I'm almost done shopping!!!...ha....

 Congratulations on the MOVE downstairs!!! It sounds like you have created a special place for YOU and one you can also share with your husband who does a wonderful craft too. That is SOOOOOO great!!!

   I have a question for you..You put one of your machines on top of the cabinet...correct? It must be one that stitches where you don't need to be sitting, correct???

  Oh and as far as a desktop. I LOVE LOVE LOVE my Apple desktop!!!

I am suppose to love and appreciate a pc of the other kind...I'm not there yet. I love graphic arts not science or business applications....or whatever.

I love color coded, cute, fun &  SIMPLE!!! SmileSmile I love the sleekness of the new Apple desktop too. I just love it. I don't use it for MEing though at all.

I have my Apple in my office on a newly made desk area & it is plugged into the high speed....boy is that a treat! My new pc is wireless or so I am told!

SmileSmileSmile I am so not enthusiastic about it....but will no doubt learn to love it or atleast like it because I will be able to download my designs into it and then

organize them with Ann's Cat X and Alphabet helper.

 Let's see if I understood correctly about the bins? Do you like the pull out

verticle ones you can get? Those you don't need to lift the lids....or are you talking about bins that need to be really large? I have all sizes of the pull out kinds and the largest hold a bolt of fabric that is off the cardboard.

 OH the closet....What a great space you have!!!

The 1st question to ask is what is the FUNCTION of the space?

Tell me more what you have and want to store in there....what size....what items. If you go ahead and ask me anything on my latest blog I will be more apt to see it sooner than coming back to this one.

(You have a GOOD sized closet...and it has one or 2 openings??? Is it a walk thru in addition to being a walk in??? If it is a walk through then you have 2 vertical walls vs. 3. Tell me a few more details and I will help you some more.

 Well I hope this helped you some. It helps a lot if I can SEE an area and then I can help you plan it better.....but a couple more rules of thumb...

for example in our kitchen I had E build the cupboards CLEAR flush to the ceiling! I just LOVE them and it added substantial space for storing canned fruit jars. They look pretty up there because I had him use plexi glass.

Maybe I can submit  a picture in a future blog to give some ideas.  I love clear and I love glass or plexi for MANY things. It helps to have a husband who can build things but  you'll get the 'idea' and it can be adapted with easier installed

shelves rather than actual cabinets. you've been MEing for a year and a half!!! What is you favorite projects to do? Do you love lace, or redwork or .....??? I'd love to hear!!!

Any tips you want to share will be great too!!! I'm all ears!!!


Chatty Cathy in Oregon

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