Before and After: Balcony Plants

In 2013 there was a single Lack Ikea table on my balcony with a spider plant that I had transplanted into a slightly bigger pot that basil was sold in and is not meant to be permanent. I don’t see any pictures of the original almost-dead little spider plant that I saw on the Lowe’s clearance shelf and said “I can save you!” The balcony also had a pack of lettuce that failed to grow and a big planter of dirt.

balcony before (spider plant before)  balcony plants

Two years later that spider plant has outgrown its actually-a-pot-this-time and would like another one, and the round planter has two basil plants that are doing ok. The Lack table is at the bottom of a pile of plants and shelves.

The balcony has assorted tables, shelves, and chairs. It has a hummingbird feeder, a seed bird feeder, and a bird bath. Some of the plants are thriving and others will get a chance at a better life at my new house soon.balcony plants cornerbalcony plants bird feeders

balcony plants low pots

August 1, 2015. Tags: , , , . Links, Pictures, Words. 2 comments.

Before and After: Front Door Planter

There are multiple sets of photos on my computer taken over the years with the plan to post Before & Afters. I’m moving to a house in a week and there won’t be many Afters for these. As I like to say, some problems resolve themselves if you wait long enough.

Before pictures on the left, After pictures on the right.

door planter before side viewdoor planter after side view

The ponytail plant didn’t make it so I bought a spiky $1.50 plant on a whim. It thrived even through a summer so I bought another when it appeared on the left-for-dead clearance shelf. The bit of white showing through between the plants is a seashell from my childhood. I had a shell collection as a kid and it’s the last one I’ve kept.

door planter beforedoor planter after

On a less successful note, the sweet little ivy plant is not growing well in the planter and it hasn’t exactly died either. Yet?

ivy before ivy after

July 31, 2015. Tags: , , , . Pictures, Projects, Words. Leave a comment.


This is the longest break I’ve taken from my blog. I lost my domain name in the meantime through failure to renew on time, so I have to wait a few months to see if the squatter company renews it for themselves or if I can take it back. Let this be a lesson.

So let’s get started. I have a smattering of pictures over spring and summer and then I started taking them again in September until “I take care of them soon”. Funny thing, this shirt is in the sink right now getting dyed black. I put it in the water and said to myself, “I probably have a Before picture somewhere, right?” And bam, there it is in the first picture I need to post tonight. Let that also be a lesson: take a step and the universe will support you, I guess? Expect to see this shirt in an After picture in several weeks.


What I Wore to Work Today: April 16, 2013
Shirt: Goodwill, $1Thursday
Pants: Goodwill, $1 Thursday
Belt: Target
Shoes: Payless

2013_04_16 smile

September 30, 2013. Tags: , , , , , . Pictures, What I Wore to Work Today, Words. Leave a comment.

T-shirt refashions

From my mom, it’s the sandwich shop where I worked during college summers.

I had a drawer full of t-shirts that I didn’t wear and I’m trying to pare my possessions to items I either actually use or are deeply meaningful to me.  I decided to refashion them into the size and fit of my every-weekend-plus-then-some Goodwill t-shirt.  While I discovered after the first one that the Michigan State shirt is stretchier than the other materials and I couldn’t quite figure out how much extra to cut in order to approximate the same amount of movement, I like them quite a bit.

I went to several meetings during college, didn’t learn to juggle, my friend Sarah took the shirt several years later, and gave it back to me this month.

I celebrated my sewing triumph with a run while wearing one.  As I mentioned a long time ago, I’m doing a half-marathon in January and in theory have been “in training” since last winter, which didn’t mean much beyond going for a run every few months.  Suddenly January is just around the corner and I’m still barely squeezing past two miles.  I registered today, paid my money, and marked the “plan to walk/run” box with an estimated finish time of 3:25.  There’s a 4 hour cutoff, so if I can keep up an 18-minute-mile pace for 13.1 miles I’m totally gonna do this thing.  Right now my tentative plan is to run 2, walk .25, repeat.  I’ll find out how it goes when I add another mile to my route on Thursday (before the hours of Thanksgiving eating) and then another this weekend.

From a clothing swap with friends last winter.  

Am I wearing SpongeBob SquarePants pajama pants in the last pictures?  Yes.  My mom gave them to me several years ago because they were soft and even though I haven’t seen the show or the movie and I just turned 29 without any small children in my life, I enjoy wearing my SpongeBob SquarePants pajamas.  They’re quite comfortable.

No before picture of the CrossFit shirt, I had already messed with it previously and just improved my work.  I wore it to the gym today and one of the owners said, “Hey, cool, nice hacked version of our shirt!  I like what you’ve done, you look badass!”

November 23, 2010. Tags: , , , , , . Pictures, Projects, Words. 2 comments.

Refashion: green shorts


I turned a too-big-for-me pair of green Old Navy shorts from Goodwill into shorts that are about the right size and reasonable enough to wear although nothing special.  The rise is a little high and the fit isn’t perfect; when I took them in public for a test run it was fine, they’re serviceable and I like the color.


August 19, 2010. Tags: , , , , , . Pictures, Projects, Words. 2 comments.

28 Day Organizing Challenge: Before Pictures

Remember the Great Space Clean-Up of 2009?  Yeah, that didn’t work out so well.  There was a narrow band of time that showed improvement, followed by a relapse to possibly greater depths.  I’m trying again, this time with a shorter time window, the possibility of prizes, and the knowledge that others just like me are tackling their own spaces, small and large.  I’ve joined Org Junkie’s 28 Day Organizing Challenge.  Here are the Before pictures of my sewing room.  (If you want to see a trash pile in more detail, click on a picture for a bigger version.)

February 1, 2010. Tags: , , . Links, Pictures, Words. 2 comments.

Great Space Clean-Up of 2009: Amy Lee

Amy Lee has volunteered the Before pictures of her sewing room as part of the Great Space Clean-Up of 2009.  Impressive!

July 25, 2009. Tags: , , . Links, Words. 1 comment.

Sewing Room: Before

I have decided to share the Before pictures I just took of my sewing room, with the theory being that I will post After pictures within a couple months.  It’s gotten so bad that while working on the zigzag baby quilt, I’m really only using my sewing room when I’m sitting at the sewing machine itself.  Everything else — cutting, pressing, arranging, pinning, etc. — I’ve been doing in the spare room next door.  I have acknowledged the depths of the problem, I have motivation from within to change.  The process begins today.

If anybody would like to share Before pictures of their own sewing room or other space clearly in need of some attention, I’ll link to you.  Maybe it’s as small as a junk drawer or as large as a three-car garage, I know you have your own disaster area.  Let’s organize them before the end of the year.  We can call it the Great Space Clean-up of 2009.  Who’s in?

The Sewing Room Partially empty bookshelf Unused dresser
So many piles and boxes Oh look, a sewing machine!

Some things to note:

  • The first picture shows part of my current zigzag baby quilt.
  • There are over half a dozen unpacked boxes sitting around.  We moved into the house 11 months ago.
  • The dresser is still wrapped in the plastic the movers used to hold in all the drawers.  Again, we moved into the house 11 months ago.
  • Does the crumpled paper bag of gift wrapping supplies really need to be in my sewing room?  And could the supplies maybe be kept together by something other than a crumpled paper grocery bag?
  • The closet doors are open because there’s too much stuff in the way to close them.
  • The bottom two pictures show quite a few clear plastic bins and drawers.  In theory, these can be used to hold things other than slightly smaller clear plastic bins.
  • The window had blinds at one point.  They fell on me one day around Christmas when I pulled on the string to open them.  They have been leaning against the window ever since.
  • I regularly vacuum the patch of open floor space, especially before laying any fabric on it.  The patch keeps getting smaller.  I pretend not to notice.

July 22, 2009. Tags: , , , , . Pictures, Projects, Words. 5 comments.