Tuesday, December 29, 2009


I wrote about whether or not to make resolutions...and I've thought about it a lot. Here's what I've decided. I'll be making New Year's "Suggestions" this year!!

And we've been talking a lot about challenges. Trudy suggested we do something related to our group, i.e., hoarding and we were to answer here, in front of the group, what we would be doing. And take photos. Some of you have already done so, in the comments after her post the other day.

I, too, had been thinking about a challenge like we did last year when the group started. We were going to do something every month and we started by posting the photos of what we did in the Yahoo Groups.

We are all so unique, have different talents and skill levels, so rather than assign a certain item to make, I thought it would be fun to make something in a theme, or a color. Blue is a good color to use for January. So, if you are up for it, I have a further challenge to add to Trudy's. Make something with ONLY items you already have, no buying anything else to add to it. It can be anything you want to make but it has to be predominantly blue. Then post your photo at the Yahoo Groups site. I'll make an album just for the challenge. Annnndddddd.... I will offer a prize!  Everyone who participates in the Blue Challenge will get their name put in a hat and I'll send a prize to the winner!!

We can do two things at once, I can multi-task, how about you?

And for Trudy's challenge, I will clean up the mess I call my workshop/room. I'll take a before photo and progress as I go along. Yikes. You meant Valentine's Day of 2011, didn't you, Trudy?

Sunday, December 27, 2009

A Hoarders' New Year Challenge

With the new year just around the corner, love them or hate them, new year’s resolutions are just waiting to be made! If you’re like me, I’ve made many over the years, and keeping them has been a little less than a total success. Okay, a lot less than a total success! Even if you don’t normally make resolutions (why make them only if they’re going to be broken?), most of us will have some kind of craft goal, or something we want to do differently, in 2010.

I’ve been reading suggestions on how to increase the likelihood of actually following through with resolutions: define your goal, create your plan and tell people! That’s where the Hoarders Unite Team comes in! Telling other people can help you keep your resolution because it might provide some needed motivation.

My challenge to you is to state here, to the rest of the team, one resolution related to crafting and/or hoarding that you want to achieve before Valentine’s Day. How hard can that be to keep? Of course, you can list more than one if you want to!

Maybe you want to reorganize your craft room

or try a new craft

or simply do more crafting and use up some of your hoard.

So, if you’re up to this challenge, post your new year’s crafting or hoarding resolution in the comments to this post by January 5.

Then, no later than February 14, send me a photo of the results of your resolution, and a bit about how it went (send email to katherinemba@yahoo.com)

On February 21, I will post your photos and stories, and also post at least one photo of something from your Etsy shop (free promotion for you - yay!).

I’ll start by posting my resolution in the comments to this post. What is your new year’s resolution? Post it now – and let’s help support each other in reaching our goals!

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all have a great start to 2010!


Whoa It's Me: http://www.etsy.com/shop/WhoaItsMe

Finding Things: http://www.etsy.com/shop/FindingThings

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Awhile back I did a post of helpful hints. I'm always intrigued by such and especially the helpful hints of different eras. The following come from a book published in 1979.

  • How to preserve a newspaper clipping: dissolve a milk of magnesia tablet in a quart of club soda overnight. Pour into a pan large enough to accommodate the flattened newspaper. Soak clipping for one hour, remove and pat dry. Do not move until completely dry. Estimated life: 200 years. (I have a newspaper clipping from my Grandmother's wedding which took place in England in 1918! I don't think it was treated, though.)
  • Store out-of-season-clothes in large plastic lidded trash cans. Not only will your clothes be moth-proof, they will stay dry in damp basements.
  • Keeping Jack Frost off windows: It gives several options and the last one is "head south."
  • Here's a good one I have used. How to hide nail holes from the landlady: rub toothpaste into the hole and smooth with a damp sponge.
  • If salad greens are wet and you need them right away, place in a pillow case and spin dry in your washing machine for a few seconds. This hint is especially good to know if you are serving salad to a large crowd. (Yeah, I'll get right on that...)

and last but not least I'll leave you with this helpful hint:

  • Whispering works wonders when a child is angry. Simply whisper gentle words into his ear. He will stop crying so he can hear what you're saying. And, 100% effective on husbands!

(Mary Ellen's BEST of helpful hints, Special Edition, Mary Ellen Pinkham and Pearl Higginbotham, Warner/B. Lansky Books, Revised Edition copyright 1979.)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Victorian Visions by Nanalee

Nancy is one busy woman. I’m finding that’s another trait common to Hoarders Unite team members! Nancy, or Nanalee, as she is known on Etsy, has two shops:

Victorian Visions by Nanalee (http://www.etsy.com/shop/nanalee) features vintage jewelry and home d├ęcor, and a variety of handmade items.

Garmenture (http://www.etsy.com/shop/garmenture) features vintage clothing and accessories as well as restructured, upcycled or altered clothing and accessories. I love browsing through both shops – they offer an eclectic selection of fabulous items!

Creating for Etsy is only one of the activities that keeps Nancy busy. She has just finished making 12 scarves and 23 hats, some for her grandchildren and some for charity, and is busy making charm bracelets for her daughters and daughters-in-law for Christmas. Other craft activities include making collage art and greeting cards, as well as scrapbooking, She’s tried all sorts of crafts over the years - painting, ceramics, sewing clothes for herself and her children, embroidery – the list goes on and on.

Nancy comes from a large family (she’s the oldest of 14 children), and she recalls always making gifts. Looking back, she recognizes that her mother and father provided a lot of creative inspiration, but at the time, they used words like "frugal" or "broke” to describe their craftiness! Her mind is always thinking of what she wants to try next, and she has a notebook full of ideas and a white-erase board to help hold her thoughts.

Listening to music while creating is an absolute must for Nancy, and she loves to sing along to her favourite 50’s music. Sometimes, she’ll stay in her room, thinking of more things to do, just so she can keep listening to her music. She’s also been known to cuss on occasion when things aren’t going well (I don’t think she’s alone with that one!).

All of those craft interests and ideas need a lot of supplies. Even though she had to get rid of a lot of her hoard when she downsized three years ago, Nancy, still has tons of paper, stickers (stored in alphabetized file folders), paper ephemera, embellishments such as buttons, plastic items, fabric items, beads, old jewelry pieces, ribbon, and seashells, to name a few. In addition to craft supplies, she has a hoard of tea cups and saucers, vintage creamers, miniature shoes, evening bags, purses, jewelry, and now clothing that she plans to deconstruct and alter.

Nancy has had a mystery project in the works for the last few years, but she’s keeping the details to herself for now. But she did tell me that it involves a lot of caps from water and pop bottles that folks have been helping her collect – bags and bags of them. It’s all very intriguing!

Nancy considers her wind chimes to be the most interesting things she’s made from something from her hoard. They’re made from recycled things such as discarded keys and metal baskets. The first one she made was with a metal hamster wheel that she bought at a yard sale for 10 cents. It is rather large and round, spray painted bronze, and has all sorts of keys on chains hung from it. It makes the most beautiful music.

Looking at Nancy’s photos of her stash, it’s easy to see how organized she is. She likes to use plastic shoe boxes and freezer containers, ensuring all are labeled with the contents. She’s always reorganizing and coming up with better storage ideas. As she lives in a very rural area, Nancy relies heavily on shopping online for her supplies.

Nancy quit working outside of her home about five years ago, and that’s allowed her the opportunity to focus on her creative endeavors and online selling venues. She and her husband of 40 years have six children and 15 grandchildren. All live close enough for frequent family get-togethers.

As if all of that wasn’t enough to keep her busy, Nancy also has four blogs. My Blah Blah Blah Blahg http://nancylhoefer.blogspot.com/ gives a peek into her life, family and friends; Vintage Visions http://vintagevisionsbynancy.blogspot.com/ provides a venue for writing about her love of all things vintage; and Handmade Heaven http://nanaleesnest.blogspot.com/ was started for her artfully handmade crafts. More recently, she has started writing about growing up in her blog, Growing up Rich in a Poor Family. http://lovingthelalas.blogspot.com/

Posted by Trudy

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


  • I certainly do have a brain block when it comes to this blog and Wednesdays. Sorry, Hoarders. I'm late because I just went to read the newest post and realized I was supposed to write it!

  • Go look at a Treasury on Treasury West. I was fortunate to get one last night. It's called AQUA CADABRA. I think it turned out to be a very nice one. As are all of our Treasuries because we are so talented and wonderful!!Hurray for the Hoarders!
  • I am heartened by the write ups about us that Trudy is doing. They are so informative and I am amazed at the similarities between the individuals, including myself. I'm thinking we have a bit of "soul sister" in us. Wouldn't you agree?
  • Another warm fuzzy I got when viewing the photos and I saw the "workroom" of NoelBelles... I showed it to my husband because he does tend to make comments about my workroom. It is always messy. No matter how I try to be organized as soon as I start working it becomes a mess once again. Ho hum.
  • I've made a declaration. As soon as I am finished making my Christmas gifts I plan to start photographing and listing all the "stuff" that is waiting to go for sale in my shops. I will take a hiatus from creating so the multitudes of "stuff" can begin to find their way out of my house.
  • Our family Christmas get-together is this Sunday and I imagine some of you will have some sort of celebration over the weekend as well. Merry Christmas to all of you and may peace, love and family be your most cherished gifts this season and into the New Year.
  • Blessings, Nancy

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Noel Belles

Mary Ellen began NoelBelles as a project for herself and her sister, so that they could work together despite the distance between them. She lives in Tennessee and her sister is in Rhode Island. NoelBelles offers a broad selction of fabulous Christmas ornaments and decorations! Here are just two. Many are on sale right now - what a great opportunity to beautify your home this season and next.

She also has two other fabulous Etsy shops: RockingRetro for fascinator and hair accessories (http://www.etsy.com/shop/rockingretro) and ThatsaHat for larger fascinators and full hats (http://www.etsy.com/shop/thatsahat).

Mary Ellen has been crafting since she was eight years old, when her grandmother showed her how to embroider. She stitched on everything that wasn't nailed down, and hasn’t stopped since! She has tried all types of crafts, and says she keeps her mind open to all possibilities when finding inspiration. It may be a random grouping of materials on her work table, or she might purposely fully research a subject.

Hoarding, thankfully, is limited to all types of craft supplies: fabric, yarn, beads, natural elements, buttons, ribbon, lace, birds, artificial greenery, vintage jewelry, patterns, feathers, millinery supplies – you name it. She’d need a larger house if she decided to hoard anything else – she already has a storage locker!

Once, Mary Ellen came home from a quilting convention all fired up. Coincidentally, at the time same time, she discovered that there were a lot of 4x4 quilting squares available on ebay. It doesn’t take too much imagination to see that this could spell disaster! After a trip out of town, she returned home to a mountain of packages and a less-then-thrilled spouse. Although she has made some quilts for the grandchildren, she still has “a few” squares left to do something with. That means she’ll either be quilting until she is 110 (maybe longer), or possibly making a donation to a woman who makes quilts for charity. Or, she may just open a destash store on Etsy. We hoarders will all be watching for that! Here is just a taste of her quilting square stash.

Mary Ellen has a few hoarded craft items that she has been carting around with her for a while, and she has yet to give up on any of them. As an example, she has a number of Victorian paper cutouts that she was given years ago, that will finally get used for her planned new Etsy shop, VictorianBelles.

She loves making fascinators, which was a completely accidental craft opportunity. After learning how to make ribbon flowers at the aforementioned quilting convention, she then tried making hair accessories with them, added feathers, did some research, and the next thing she knew, she was making fascinators. Meanwhile, it has been strongly suggested that she steer clear of quilting conventions!

Mary Ellen says her decision to rent a storage locker was the key to marital peace and harmony. That‘s where she keeps her finished inventory, plus her shipping supplies. Notice all of the hanging fabric and the one pair of men's pants on the photo below (with hats) - it's not like her husband has absolutely no room at all! Using clear plastic storage bins helps keep her organized. As far as acquiring supplies, she loves shopping on line, especially those Etsy sellers with destash listings.

Mary Ellen is retired and remarried two years ago to a wonderful man who also acquired her six children, four and counting grandchildren,and a cat. All of her hobbies involve crafting of some sort. She also loves helping at her church. Most recently, she completed the costumes for the Nativity pageant.

Check out fabulous Christmas items at NoelBelles here:

Saturday, December 12, 2009

eXPLODING Hoard Stash!

I don't know about you, but I have all manner of mess here at Deer Palace this time of year. I have ALL my yarn out in the living room behind the recliner chair for ease of access as I knit, knit, knit my fingers away. At least it is sorted into bins and totes. Wool in one, wool blends in another, acrylics in another, cottons in another...

I have stacks of fabric on the floor behind my sewing chair. My sewing table and chair are permanently set for the season in the space between the living room and dining room. Great for warmth and easy to keep ongoing projects handy. Notions, thread, scraps, zippers, scissors, measuring devices, display board, needles, tailor's chalk, pattern and idea books, and elastic all jockey for space on my table and the surrounding floor space.

The ironing board blocks the laundry room doorway. The iron blocks the door to the washer. Rubber boots for going outdoors block the door of the dryer. A stack of books on the side table blocks the light from the lamp. The exercise trampoline on the rug in the middle of the living room floor blocks the straight path to the front door. My daughter has a similar problem on her craft and play table:But, all of this is necessary for me to function in this season, in this cold, in this holiday time of year. I use the exercise trampoline 3x daily for 20 minutes each time. I bounce my way to increased circulation as I watch television. I am considering knitting while I bounce and watch television. I walk by the sewing machine and stop to sew a few stitches. I iron the fabric I am about to sew. I knit every time I sit down in a living room chair.

I am guessing there are others of you out there
with the same crazy chaos
happening at your house.

The anxiety will ensue right about
February when it is time to clean it all up and
find places for it all to go again.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!



Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Since it is a busy time of the year and I think we are all otherwise occupied with making gifts and possibly baking for our friends and family, I thought I'd share a couple of recipes you might wish to try. The first one is really a strange concept and I have not tried it for a long time but my mom and my aunt used it a lot over the years.
Powdered Sugar Candy
Boil a small potato with the skin on. Let it cool some. Take the skin off. Put potato in a bowl. Add powdered sugar to the potato. Stir and continue stirring. The potato turns the sugar to liquid or vice versa. Stir and continue to stir in powdered sugar until it turns the consistency of pie dough. Roll it out on waxed paper. Spread with peanut butter. roll into a log and CHILL. After it has chilled, cut it into little pieces.
Peanut Butter Fudge
This is delicious!
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 tbsp. water
Stir together over medium to high heat. Boil to soft ball stage. Remove from heat. Add:
1/3 cup peanut butter
2 tbsp. butter (or margarine from cube)
1 tsp. vanilla flavoring
Beat with mixer until it loses its shine. Pour into buttered pan, chill, then cut.
Hope all is well at your house!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Hoarders Celebrate the Holidays

We’ve all been busy getting ready for the holidays and creating some wonderful gifts for those on your list (or maybe yourself!). We’re counting the shopping days until Christmas - 19! Still time to peruse the Hoarders Unite team shops.

It’s been a fun and creative year. We’ve been busy accumulating, hoarding, creating, and organizing; accumulating more, creating more – well, you get the picture. It’s not easy for any of us to part with our treasured supplies. But even more satisfying than adding to our hoards is creating something special, and knowing that it will put a smile on someone’s face.

Here are some of my favourites from the team's latest holiday offerings. I wish I could highlight all of the team’s shops, but our team continues to grow. So, be sure to check out all of the Hoarders Unite Team shops at http://www.etsy.com/search_results.php?search_type=all&search_query=hoardersuniteteam+

Garmenture has created this beautiful cuff, knitted from black yarn and adorned with beautiful ecru lace, gold and black lame' bits, a rosette of the same ecru lace, little pearly beads and a beautiful brooch. The brooch can be removed and worn separately.

These fabulous earrings are both elegant and edgy. Amber illusion beads... inside you'll find shades of orange, green and what's that? Yes, silver foil for that added sparkle! Clear glass beads with an amber core top them and add that extra zing. Tiny sterling saucer beads to accent finish them perfectly. And, gift wrapping is free!

Red and elegant, this brilliant necklace is perfect to brighten up any day. The red focal bead is a resin red cinnabar that measures a little over one inch. It is set on an antiqued brass chain that measures 19 inches from end to end. An antiqued brass spring clasp fastens the ensemble.

This beautiful Christmas bracelet is loaded with Czech glass pearls and little Christmas charms - stockings, trees, wreaths, candycanes, gingerbread men and Santa! This bracelet measures 6-1/2" not including the clasp.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Not only do I hoard art and craft supplies, I hoard little tidbits from magazines, church bulletins, newspapers, etc. I recently came upon this one and thought it worthy of sharing.


  1. Never worry over rumors or what "they say" ~ first, get the facts.

  2. Know definitely your worry problem, write it down, face it.

  3. Worry about only one problem at a time.

  4. Set a definite day, afternoon, or night for worrying.

  5. Never worry in bed, in the dining room, living room, or at church.

  6. Select an air-conditioned room, lean back in an easy chair.

  7. Set a time limit. If you must go beyond it, give yourself credit for time and a half.

  8. Never worry with a frowning face. Smile, sing, or whistle.

  9. Never worry when you are tired, sick, angry, or depressed.

  10. Never worry while working, playing, visiting, shopping, or gossiping.

  11. Two times never to worry: a) when yo can help the situation; b) when you cannnot.

  12. Never worry alone. Take it to the Lord.