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Sep 26, 2011

Happiness is a Clean Sewing Table

This may not look like anything to brag about to you, neat readers, but for me this is as good as it gets.  I can actually see the table under my sewing machines!

At the table pictured above I mainly do things like make buttonholes, sew on zippers, wind bobbins -- tasks like that.  My primary sewing goes on in the living room at one of my machine tables, even if it's at a machine that sits atop the table as opposed to in the table.  Good enough.

It's always hard to say goodbye to old friends, but I am so glad I sold my Pfaff 139 and Singer 99 this past weekend, and proud I found good homes for them.  I won't lie: I spent about twenty minutes last night looking at vintage sewing machines on eBay, but I think it was just a reflex and not anything to worry about.  Would a Viking 6440 really enhance my life?  

I think I'm ready to consider new projects.  Of course, I must spend some time preparing for the Men's Boxers Sew-Along that begins in just one week.  I really should stitch myself a practice pair.

Like Old Man River, the Daily Ditch just keeps rolling along.

This bucket hat, which I bought on some sunny vacation where I found myself hatless,  photographs nicely, and would be great if it were made from some light, water-repellent fabric like microfiber.  This Made in China cotton version is so heavy that it makes my head sweat just putting it on.  I know it will work for somebody, however, because as soon as I put it out with the recycling, it was gone.

Remember the post-lp-and-cassette tape/pre-iPod days, when you listened to music on CDs?  Or when you backed up your computer files on a CD instead of an external disc drive?  Might as well talk horse and buggies, right?

I used to burn CDs all the time and would buy plastic CD jewel cases by the dozen.  Well, I haven't burned a CD in years, but I still had a huge stack of cases just in case (as it were).  Not anymore!

I'm finding old technology and technology-related items the hardest to part with.  They're usually still functional in some way -- like those portable TV sets -- but ultimately worthless.  I still have a few old videotapes but own no VCR or TV to play them on, and I'm holding on to an old (well, not that old) mini DV movie camera just so I can play old mini DV vacation tapes.  (If I want to make a movie today, I use my regular Canon digital camera.)  I'm sure I'm not the only one.  Thankfully, I never owned a slide projector!

Have you ever had footwear so comfortable that you literally wore it out?  That's what happened to these Gurkee sandals, which I've owned for about five years.  They are made of polypropelene rope and are incredibly comfortable.  You wouldn't believe how often people comment on them, and they say good things!  I wore this pair for the last time yesterday, and my left heel was literally scraping pavement -- that's how much I loved them.

Off to the dump they go to decompose, which shouldn't take more than 15,000 years.

I think that's enough for one day, don't you?  I have some tough choices ahead regarding old stereo components (receiver, turntable, etc).   Dump?  Without them I can't play my records, but truth is, I don't play my records (not to mention I don't own speakers -- a way-earlier dump).  What to do?

I'll have more to say about ditching dilemmas in the days ahead.  Some items can be hard to part with even if they've sat unused for a long, long time.  We have to trust that letting them go is to our benefit and opens up new space in our lives, literally and metaphorically.  I'll leave it at that.

Do you still own a record player?

Have a great day, everybody!


  1. My first thought when I saw your post title was, "Ain't it the truth!" ☺

    Great job on the ditching! I moved DH's record player just yesterday. He has no records, yet refuses to part with it. Sigh.

    Your sentiment is right on target. Parting with the stuff will open up your space and more. Happy Monday! You're a great motivator!

  2. Your clean sewing surface is a well timed. I was on hold on a long call last week, and found myself staring at my sewing table which was HEAPED with sewing detritus, not to mention, every drawer in my sewing dresser was pulled out and stacked around the room (don't ask). I began absently tiding up, making order of the drawers, putting them back in the about empowering. Now I actually feel like doing some sewing.

  3. Yaaay for your clean sewing tables! I'm glad you took a picture to remember it by. I get so excited on the rare occasions when I see a clean space that I immediately fill it with three new projects, and then have no proof that it was ever clean.
    Carry on with the good work!

  4. I like my Viking 6440 but if you'll remember it needed a new cam shaft or at least part of one when I got it. Apparently these are prone to cracking. In the end I don't use it for anything but topstitching.

  5. my husband has records and a record player. But he hasn't listened to anything but the radio in years. We do have a radio that has a DC player in it. Takes up very little space and has great sound. The wave of the future but everyone keeps holding on to the past.

  6. I don't have a record player but my teen daughter just bought a new one, which is a record player that also has a cd player attached, for her boyfriend who plays in a rock band. Apparently, the old has become new again. Kind of like vintage clothing.

  7. LPs are trendy now among those who grew up decades after records and record players were passé technology. My own daughter nearly had a panic attack that she would lose an auction bid for an 8-track player. (!) Someone might pay you a few pennies for your equipment.

  8. VCR tapes make great pattern weights, so save those.


  9. Most electronic equipment should not be thrown directly into a dump. There are places that will take it for recycling.

  10. Peter DO NOT BUY VIKING!!!!! I just returned 2 in 4 days one that the top gears froze to the shaft with just a few hours of like 4 to be exact! and the other only sewed 45 min and the computer went out! I am a bernina person forever from now on they have a Very nice machines that are only pennys more but you get real service and quality! and they have a machine just like the one you mentioned but it is only 168.00 brand new with a life time warranty!!!!!! Do some research and you will love them as much as your vintage machines because untill this year I only sewed on vintage machines now I still have all my vintage machines and use them for there differant purposes but I love my BERNINA's all 4 of them they will stay with me forever like my vintage machines!

  11. Thanks, Tracey! No more coffee for you today. ;)

  12. Speaking of ditching stuff. I am currently trying to get rid of a LOT of old laser disc movies. Wonder if any europeans still have a soft spot for such ancient technology. Else they go on the dump...

  13. Peter,

    Can all this ditching in one part of the universe make others unditch? Up my machine total by one (another featherweight, and on a Sunday evening!).

    Maybe we're all hoarders, and it just takes the right trigger to come along?

  14. I love my family's record player! I use it when I sew. I think if I had an ipod that held more than 500 songs, like my current one does, then I might use that instead because I do have an ipod stereo. But I don't, so that's that. We only just got rid of our mini portable tv sets, but we've got loads of VHS because we still have a VCR. Sadly, it is hooked up to a a monstrously large and DEEP television set we got out of the trash years ago. That's one tech thing I wouldn't miss because the speakers hardly work anymore!

  15. Not only do we have a record player, I just bought a fresh needle for it! I'm ripping all the CDs to MP3 though. Thats a much easier job than converting vinyl.

  16. When I was a kid, my dad had an awesome stereo and a ton of records that I was forbidden to play for fear that I would scratch them. What do you think I did whenever Dad was out? I now have a record player that I use every single day. I love the snap, crackle, and pop of it. Still, we did have to offload a ton of records that were given to us to "hold" by other family members. Those were truly awful records. If you don't listen to them, ditch them.

  17. Keep the record player. Unlike cassette players, they keep up well and listening to old records is so nice - and gives great ambience to a party. I love my record player, and am always on the look-out for interesting records. I am very picky about what I bring home though, so my record collection is minute - mainly records that I cannot get as CDs or mp3 files or that have interesting covers etc. Also, my kids absolutely love listening to records - and it is kind of nice to raise kids that know what a turntable is and what vinyls look like :-)

  18. Get thee to Look for records you may still ever consider listening to. Get cd out of library, rip, return. I've only lost ONE record, of my ex-collection, the other one just turned up on amazon.

    Mind you, I still have a good old tuner (and matching speakers) connected to my living-romm PC. One cable, cheap way to vastly improve library dvds, not to mention keep good sound quality on the radio.
    The rest, you can ditch. Really, go ahead, old technology is the worst.

    Mm. Illegal advice. I think I'll stay anonymous for this one :-).

  19. why did you sell your pfaff 139, Thinking of buying a similar one, did you not like it and why did you sell your pfaff 30 and keep your old singers are they just as strong as your pfaff. thanks for your input. I love your blog you are so funny, a good writer. Sherry

    1. Hi, Sherry. I sold my Pfaff 139 because I didn't need another zigzagger and it took up a lot of space in its plastic carrier. I sold the Pfaff 30 because it really didn't do anything my other straight stitch machines couldn't do. Both Pfaffs are excellent machines but I was running out of room!


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