Month: February 2014

Family of friends

www.nestinthewest.comLast week sucked. Family drama. Migraine-inducing weather changes. Bad news. Financial stress. The kind of week that makes me want to cocoon away indefinitely. But I didn’t. My friends wouldn’t let me!

Like many others, I grew up in a dysfunctional family. We’ve come a long way but unfortunately we never seem to completely outgrow our old roles and hurts so spending time together can still be challenging. Thankfully I have some amazing friends! You know that old saying that our friends are the family we create? It really hit home for me as I made my way through a rough week. Unknown to each other, my friends showered me with support.

  • One coworker brought me a super thoughtful Valentine’s gift. Friends that remember their single friends on heart day are a special kind of awesome.
  • My unofficial-book-club friend sent me 3 books by a new author. So sweet and appreciated by this bookworm.
  • My far away bestie somehow knew that an email wasn’t going to cut it and called at the exact right moment. She has the uncanny ability to send love. A parcel or hand written card arrives with wishes straight from her heart to mine. So fortunate.
  • My close friend just moved into a new home and sent me off with fresh-baked cookies when I visited her new digs. We meet for coffee regularly and sort out all the problems of the world. Is there anything as heartwarming as a chat with a gal pal?

And it doesn’t end there. My neighbor sent an encouraging comment about the blog, which she has supported since it’s beginning. Ditto for my fitness friend and my new friend from my recent getaway. Another coworker gave me a little extra mothering and also encouraged me to work it out in the gym.
www.nestinthewest.comThank goodness for the kindness and understanding of friends near and far, new and old. I am so grateful for their support. The thing is, our friends see us as we are while our families tend to see us as we were. I hope you have a wonderful family of friends in your life. Now I’m off to show this week what I’m made of!

Saved a fave – t shirt upcycle

Do you ever find yourself emotionally attached to a piece of clothing? I know it’s silly but I have this long sleeve t-shirt that I just love. It’s the perfect weight to wear under a cardigan, on its own or over a tank. I’ve worn it a lot. So much so that I noticed this hole. Dang!
www.nestinthewest.comI just couldn’t part with this one. We’ve spent a lot of quality time together and travelled to London, Hawaii and Seattle at least. So, instead of throwing it away, I followed a whim and gave it a new life, actually two. I cut the shirt just under the armpits and presto-magic, had an infinity cowl. But wait. There’s more. I cut each sleeve, also just below the armpit and had instant leg warmers! These are great for keeping warm while letting newly painted toes dry or for an extra layer with skinny jeans or tights. www.nestinthewest.comwww.nestinthewest.comNo need to pull out the sewing machine, the jersey knit fabric doesn’t fray and just kind of curls in on itself making a finished enough edge for these casual projects. I wear the cut side of the cowl closest to my neck while the finished edge is at the bottom. For the leg warmers, the cut edge is on my foot and the narrower finished edge holds them up on the calf.
www.nestinthewest.comIt’s times like these when I almost wish my Scottish parents read the blog – they’d get a kick out of my resourcefulness. Must admit that I didn’t actually reach for the scissors until after I’d found this replacement!!
www.nestinthewest.comWhat about you?…any clothes you just can’t part with? How do you prolong their life?

All shirts are from the Gap.

A weekend make-over

Last weekend was a three day-er here and I believe long weekends are not to be squandered. When I learned the weather forecast I decided to tackle a big indoor project that’s been on my to-do list for over a YEAR! That’s just the beginning of the shame. Brace yourself for the tragic display that was my craft/office area.
www.nestinthewest.comOne of the selling features of my teeny townhouse was an extra ‘bump out’ in the bedroom perfectly suited to a den or office space. I purchased just one new piece of furniture and it was an IKEA Expedit wall unit to act as a bit of a room divider. Well, in theory that was great but reality is it blocks a lot of light and doesn’t provide enough desk space. It became a holding cell for paperwork and assorted junk. Not efficient at all. When you live in a small space, every square foot has to be functional and this just wasn’t.
www.nestinthewest.comClutter on the desk, behind the desk, even under the desk. Nasty! My first step was obviously tackling that. My system requires a bag for recycling, a box for donations and a bag for garbage. I filled all three!
www.nestinthewest.comI flipped the Expedit on its side….and loaded it up. Then I took a break and went to my nephew’s hockey game. My older brother got an earful and was subjected to my photos when he asked how my day was and I took the opportunity to run a dilemma by him. I knew I wanted a desk top that would rest on the wall unit on one side and a filing cabinet on the other. Any suggestions for how to account for the 6 1/2″ height difference? He offered to come take a look bit I like to be independent so instead I just went with his idea…build a box, duh. This concludes Day 1!
www.nestinthewest.comwww.nestinthewest.comDay 2 started with a trip to the lumber yard – which, by the way, I love! I put myself through university working at one and the smells are so good. I got some white melamine, had a very kind Rona guy do the cuts for me and set to work on my box and desktop. The rest of my day was spent arranging cords, accessories and homemade art – totally my idea of fun.
www.nestinthewest.comAnd here it is!
www.nestinthewest.comwww.nestinthewest.comwww.nestinthewest.comI’m over the moon happy with this. Seriously, I’m wandering in just to look around and swoon a little. Bonus that it’s the perfect spot for some craft weekend reminders. Also, I’m ridiculously proud of myself for figuring it all out on my own…for $31. Weekend well spent!