A New (Old) Obsession: Monopoly

I don’t know about the rest of you, but Monopoly was a staple in my house growing up. We always had to have more than one game at a time as pieces – and especially tokens – were always walking off. So, we’d buy a second to replenish the first. Or vice versa. 🙂

So, it was no stretch of the imagination that I had to collect Monopoly tokens. I have quite a few now, I am guessing somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 or more sets, and some are super neat! I have learned much about the game’s evolution as well… did you know during World War II they didn’t use metal tokens (they needed the metal for the war effort) and wooden tokens were used in the game.

I will have to take some time to photograph all my sets. Most of them live on narrow little shelves in my home office, but recently I have started collecting again, so quite a few reside around the little free space I have around my keyboard.

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But along with collecting the tokens, I ended up with lots of other Monopoly pieces. Game boards, property cards, Chance and Community Chest cards and dice. But mostly? Monopoly money. And I just knew there had to be something fun that I could do with all of it.

I started kind of small, using some of the money to cover a star, boxes and tins. This was easy enough and once dry, I sprayed several coats of an clear sealant over the top.

But, I knew that I had to do something bigger. And once I found an older but sturdy four drawer chest, I knew what was going to happen next!

I started covering the sides with the Monopoly money and realized that covering both sides, the front and the top might be a bit too much. I finished the front and sides and kind of liked the plain white top (primer) but wanted to see what paint I still had in my arsenal. When I kind of squinted my eyes, I could see a lot of yellow/gold and the white, so I wanted to play one of the other three colors: pink, blue or green. When I checked my paint stock, I found a perfect blue (and there was plenty of it!).

There was, of course, the drawers that had to be covered as well. This was all well and good, as I was able to watch movies and do the gluing.

BTW, I simply used slightly watered Elmer’s glue, applied with a 1″ brush. Simply brush on the glue, lay on the bills and brush more glue over the top. It takes a little effort to make it look random and still cover all the surfaces. I tried not to get anything repetitive or lined up and tried to get as many upside down and sideways as right side up.

I left the bills overhang the edges and sides and once dry, simply used a single edged razor blade to make a nice neat edge. I couldn’t believe how easy this was!

Then I moved the cabinet into the garage and painted the top blue. It took several coats to get it saturated and looking really good. I also painted the inside edges of the drawer opens blue as well.

Once it was good and dry, I rolled polyurethane over the entire box and drawer fronts (twice!) for a really glossy finish. It will make everything last a long time too!

Now it was time to put drawer pulls on. It was The Kid who had the idea of making larger versions of Monopoly’s classic houses and hotels. And the houses were cut from 2″x2″ and the hotels from a 2″x4″ that we had in the garage. It was a fairly simple construction using the band saw. I then sanded them smoothly and painted them their iconic colors (standard Rustoleum high gloss paint from The Home Depot).

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We realized that they would need to stick out from the cabinet in order to be grasped, so The Kid cut 1″ dowels into 1/2″ segments and drilled through the centers (and of course painted). They were then glued into the centers of each ‘house’ and ‘hotel’ and by the time I got home from work, they were ready to be attached.

This is one of those jobs that I keep The Kid around for! He is so good about measuring and taking care of the fine details! All that was left was to move it into the sunshine and take photos!

And there it is! I think it would be great for a kid’s room, especially one who loves to play games (real games, not on their computers and phones) or to help organize a family room or rec room. It was just so much fun to make!

This particular piece was made using Monopoly Deluxe Edition money, but I have several different editions (including Junior Monopoly) that I still want to use for something! So much fun!

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Have you done something like this? I’d love to see what you’ve done!

julie

Fabric Storage and Organization: Reducing Exposure to Sunlight

Recently I read a couple a handful of storage methods for quilters and their fabric. There are as many different approaches to how this is handled, as many ideas as there are quilters.

Well, I’d like to add my storage plan to the mix. Much as I love the site of fabric, I know that it is not conducive to maintaining colors in fabrics, to allowing your fabric to be exposed to light, especially the rays of the sun. But the plan also needs to keep your fabrics close at hand and easy to get to. Allow you to be able to view your fabrics as a whole while still protecting it.

I’ve seen organizing from many different perspectives, such as style, patterns, colors, even sorted by the amount of fabric. Some store fabric in baskets, plastic containers, drawers and on shelves. The possibilities are endless and many decisions are based on a number of factors, such as how much fabric is being stored, how much of each fabric, how much money a quilter has to spend and also how quickly the fabric is used.

I, myself, am a collector. I have often said that I could quit buying fabric and still have enough to make quilts until I die and will still have one helluva estate sale! My quilting room has been dubbed “little JoAnn’s” as some days it seems that I have enough fabric to start my own store. I have a saying on the wall of my quilt room that reads:

Definition of a Quilter:

1. Knows what a ‘fat quarter’ is.

2. Has at least 5 projects going at once

3. Owns 65,000 yards of fabric

Well, folks, that describes me! So, let me show you how I handle my “65,000 yards”: 2015-05-24 17.56.14My quilting room is actually a converted bedroom. For resale, I didn’t want to eliminate the closet, so I converted it with storage units. On the left wall, there are both drawer units plus open shelving.

2015-05-24 17.56.25I found the baskets and they worked perfectly for this purpose, as they were the right depth as the cabinet and for nine inches of fabric (basically a quarter of a yard). They help reduce the small amount of sunlight and keep things nice and organized.  And you can see the color of the fabrics through the holes in the front, which also allow air flow around the material. And above all else, I close the closet door, leaving the fabrics in total darkness. No fading allowed here!2015-05-24 17.56.35The drawers slide in and out quite nicely and I can transport a single basket to the cutting table and back. 2015-05-24 17.56.01Here you can see the basket conveniently sitting on the cutting table. I can pull fabrics and cut what I need, then return it to the basket and the basket goes back into the closet. Almost all of the small pieces of fabric are stored here.

Any larger size, including fabric still on bolts, go into the extensive cabinetry that I had made and installed when we first built the house.

DSCN0186I have, in an earlier post, shown you my wonderful quilting room, but did not share with you what was stored in them.

2015-05-24 17.58.33From left to right: The first cabinet is black, white and black & white fabrics. The cabinets, as indicated previously, were custom built to be the exact depth of a bolt of fabric, give or take.

2015-05-24 17.57.17I tend to buy fabrics when they are on sale or clearance and keeping it on the bolts, not only keeps the fabric more organized but also cuts down on the creases from folding. Larger cuts of fabric go on the top shelves. I also moved quite a bit of this when we migrated from California to Missouri and it was so much easier on the bolts.2015-05-24 17.57.28The last cabinet contains most of my solids on the shelf and my reds and pinks on bolts. Isn’t this just wonderful? Sometimes I like to go up and open all the doors and then go through all of the fabric and admire the colors and patterns.2015-05-24 17.59.22And last, but not least, these boxes lined up across the east wall contains pre-cut squares; I most usually use 2″, 3″ 4″, 5″ and 6″. One of my favorite sizes is 2″ x 6″, perfect for the ‘fence rails’ or ‘braided’ patterns. I also store scrappy squares that I complete as I have time and scraps.So, I am interested in how you store your fabric; do you store it by color or size or something else? How much fabric do you have on hand at any one time. Is it more difficult to use up your stash than to buy more? Share your ideas!julie

Uh Oh, I Think I’m In Trouble Here

So, when I get frustrated or overwhelmed, I tend to stop creating and start cleaning and organizing. Yesterday was no different. I am a bit overwhelmed in the garage – to the point where I can now not get my car OUT of the garage. Sigh.

Also, my home office was rife with clutter, to the point where I couldn’t hardly get to any of the computers. Much less sit down and try to be productive.

So, out came the organizing bins and with that, the ‘attic closet’ that I store them in had to be organized so that I could get empty ones out and full ones back in. We started there. Pretty much pulled everything out of the ‘attic’ and made quick decisions on what could be kept and re-stored and what could be donated or thrown away.

With much of that done, I had the boxes I needed to work on the office. All the empty boxes that had been collected in my office were sorted by which ones needed to be kept (and organized in a container) the ones that no longer needed were broke down and readied for recycling. That was pretty easy. Carried the containers up to the ‘attic’.

Next came putting everything back into the attic storage (quick definition, the ‘attic storage’ is not actually the attic, but space behind the closet in the guest bedroom. It feels like an ‘attic’ because it is unfinished and cold, but the real attic is a floor up.)

We had a pretty large pile to be donated and that went into the truck for the next trip. The containers all went back in nicely organized by size. But then the brakes were hit!photo 4

Quite a few months ago, I organized the quilt tops that had been finished and awaiting quilting. I sent one large box off to my friend Gloria for quilting and set the other box back into the guest bedroom closet (closet, not the ‘attic storage’). I really had thought that there was only one box left. I really felt like I was making a dent in getting quilts quilted and then bound and completed.

In yesterday’s flurry of organization, more boxes were uncovered. First it was one. I sighed. Then another was uncovered (it began to feel more and more like an excavation). I called The Kid over. We removed more boxes and there was number three and four. Holy cow!

I also took one box and loaded into it all the denim quilts awaiting the discovery of someone who is willing to take them on. I think I broke Gloria’s machine with one of the last denim quilts she quilted. 😦 For this I feel really bad.photo 2

So, I moved all of these boxes into my sewing room. I have to figure out something. And until I do, I cannot – CANNOT – start any more. This is nuts! I also have a large armoire in the guest bedroom which was my baby’s storage in his nursery. It stores TONS of quilts. It is now pretty full. And another dozen or so finished (at least they are finished!!) are sitting on top of the guest bed. I suppose this is where I am grateful that I don’t often have guests!!

I am planphoto 5ning on counting all the unfinished quilts which should allow me to do some math. I am beginning to believe that I could invest in my own long arm machine and would be cheaper in the long run than paying someone else to do it.

Oh, by the way, I did some searching on the internet to find someone to hand quilt my rescued quilt top and I found one woman who priced a queen sized quilt at $15,000. No, there isn’t too many zeroes or any typos. Good grief… if I thought I could get someone to pay me those kinds of numbers, I would totally do it! I can’t imagine! Can you?

I am hesitant to even mention the dozen or more quilts that are already in process… I’ve either cut for blocks or have the blocks and just need to assemble. I am so overwhelmed by all of this that I have decided to go watch a movie and do more cross stitch. Right?!?!

julie

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