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In your small house, where do you put ____?

Posted by marti8a (My Page) on
Mon, Mar 5, 12 at 13:45

Feel free to fill in the blank with your "where can I put this?" item.

Mine is sewing paraphernalia, other than fabric & sewing machines.

I spent a week with my mom after she had knee surgery, and I decided she is a Compulsive Clutterer. And since I have a degree of OCD, or COD (in alphabetical order), I usually feel an intense need to declutter when I get home from her house.

So yesterday I pulled all the crap out of my den and piled it in the living room/junk room to decide what to do with it.

Since dd has moved back home, I only have one spare bedroom and have all my fabric stash in boxes under that bed. That system is not working either, but that's another issue.

In the den, I found I had 3 boxes of stuff, like zippers, buttons, yarn, interfacing, and patterns, and no where to put it. Also found my stash of scrapbooking paper.

In my someday plans, I'd like to build in a wall of shelves like Nancy did, and I can put doors on the bottom and hide this stuff. But for now, I have 2 bookshelves, both stuffed with books and some trinkets.

I've looked around and don't see any spare space to put this stuff, except the attic. I don't want to put it in the attic because I know I will never go up there when I need something.

Is there an untapped source of space I'm missing? End tables are both stuffed, both big beds have stuff under them. Where do other people put this type thing?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: In your small house, where do you put ____?

I put stuff in the basement that I'm not going to use by the end of the summer, to make room for the stuff that doesn't have a place to go.

I weed my books ruthlessly to make room on the shelves for other stuff, which I put in baskets. If I've had a book for more than 2 years and haven't read it, out it goes. If it is fiction and I've read it, same thing, unless it is so wonderful that I cannot live without it.

When I am done finding a place for everything that needs to be upstairs, I'll tackle the basement. IOW, like Scarlett O'Hara, I'll worry about that tomorrow.

I gave away my fabric stash, but I had a good reason for that. I'd had the fabrics and a new sewing machine for over a decade. I have yet to remove the machine from its case. So three years ago, I kept the machine, but got rid of everything else. I still plan to sew again, imminently, but I've yet to do it.

My goal is to make sure I have a place for everything so I can put everything in its place instead of moving stuff around from spot to spot.

To keep myself from buying more stuff with no place to put it, I stick it in carts on internet sites and wait until I've talked myself out of it. Usually that takes no more than a week.

I also make rules for myself, and the #1 rule right now is no collecting things unless they can be hung flat on the wall. I do not have space for more stuff.


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I think the bookcases are a great idea! I also put some of my stuff, in an old armoire. That's where I hang my 'nice' fabric...that's too nice to fold up and throw in a box. Now, I just need to get started on the sewing! :)


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I thought about giving away my stash, but with the rising costs of fabrics, I decided to hang onto it. I already regret giving away my stash of fleece. I could have used that so many times.


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I have most of my stuff like that in those plastic shoe boxes - and then in a storage cabinet in my LR (now). It will be in my craft/storage/exercise room in the new place. 1 box of misc thread/needles is on the top of a chest in my bathroom for now. I can no longer get into my LR - lol! I have it barricaded with storage bins to keep my girl out of it. One of the workmen broke one of my windows in and there's glass in there somewhere that I haven't cleaned up yet and don't want her getting hurt.

I haven't really done any sewing in about 30 yrs anyway. I recently have been hand hemming numerous sweat pants/slacks from my sister. Most also need new elastic in the waist. That's probably a BIG clue why she gave them to me...too stretched out for her also and she doesn't sew AT ALL. I doubt she knows where a needle is in her house. So, I sew... I've been hand stitching the elastic in since my machine is in the LR too. Hasn't been used in decades and will need a super cleaning before it's used again. If ever.

There are 2 built in bookcases in my new bdrm - I plan to have them moved into the craft etc room. I also have a very large storage cabinet (double doors on the front of it) that will go in the craft room. I will be getting rid of most of my fabric - when i find it I'm giving it to my sister for her annual church sale.

I'll have to put a few more shelves in the left bkcase.

Photobucket


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RE: In your small house, where do you put ____?

I think the most underutilized space in most houses is the upper 3-4' of vertical space in the closets. Particularly in reach-in closets where there is no easy access to that space. Typically that little shelf above the clothes rod becomes a pile of messy sweaters and purses.

As for accessing the space, there are options.

1) use after-market organizers. In our master closet I built one of those metal and plastic shoe cubby things, and put it on that shelf. That keeps the bulk of our shoes organized and not consuming all the floor space in the closet.
2) Add doors to the wall space above the closet doors and build in shelves and dividers as needed.
3) Redo the closet opening so that it runs floor-to-ceiling and install custom doors. With this arrangement it is possible to use a built-in that has a clothing bar that pulls down into the room. This way you can store a lot more clothing in a given space and free up space elsewhere for other items.

Here is a link that might be useful: pull-down-closet rod


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That's good usable space. I think it was shades who had doors put over her closet doors to access the space above.

3 of my 4 closets are deep enough to put shelves above the normal 1 shelf. there's room for 2 in 3 of them, if I find I need more storage space I'll put a 2nd one up there (for a total of 3 shelves). The most shallow closet will take 1 shelf @ 8". the others can take a 12" shelf.

the higher up the shelf the more shallow it is - makes it easier to access what's stored on them.


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"I still plan to sew again, imminently,"

Clueless, I am SO with you on that! I am just learning how to use a pattern, I have always done simple things by eye and measuring tape until now. For Christmas several years ago, DH got me a serger because I had made up a bunch of skirts, and did not have the patience to sew over all of the cut edges. You guessed it - serger is still in the box and I have not made anything since!

But I do have some very pretty fabric!


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jakabedy, I've seen those pull down closet rods before and thought one would be great in my laundry area. They are really pricey though and I keep thinking there has got to be a simple way to build one. Then it occurred to me that it would be far easier to put a normal rod up there, and rig a hook on a pole like clothing stores do to lift off the hangers on the tall rods.

See, I'm a cheapskate! lol


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Oh mercy, there you go, Steph, making me feel guilty for not sewing!!!

Well, I had to get rid of my Mother's stuff when she died, and it was so bad that I vowed I would never never stash fabric and sewing supplies like she did. I called her quilting circle, and they came over to get all the fabric to sell at 3 yds for $1 to the members, and donated the money to the public library for quilting books in memory of my mother. Would you believe they made $350 from that sale?
It took me a year to clean out the rest of the house and put it on the market to sell. I do not recommend leaving STUFF for your heirs to give to people, it just does not survive well. And fabric deteriates too. Dry rot after a certain period of time.

Presently, my fancy Viking Designer sewing machine is in its wheeled case in the walk in closet, beneath my hanging clothes. All the fabric I did not give away is in the drawers of my queen-size storage bed. And it is NOT tall.
I told someone not long ago to put their beds on lifters so they can stash taller boxes down there. I used it to make scrim fabric curtains floor to ceiling for the 34 x 12 foot family room in Massachusetts. Not quite sheer, but a natural fiber that lets in light while obscuring the view.

And, if you are wanting to do some construction work, try using space in the hallway, lowering that ceiling by a foot, and putting doors up high on the walls inside the rooms which line the halls. I saw that in a small space living book. I've also seen folks put a closet NOT to the ceiling, and if the ceiling is way up there, like in a cathedral ceilinged space, they turn the space above the closet into their private bed space. Of course, if you are challenged by climbing, have bad knees, or must go to the john during the night, it has its drawbacks!!

Marti, take a look at the IKEA cabinets for doors which lift up and the cabs are mounted the LONG way sideways, not long way vertical. I'm still planning to put roll out tall cabinets as my pantry. Those close-together roll out drawers are wonderful. And IKEA is cheaper than most places, because the materials are less expensive. And Marti, I do not think of you as a cheapskate, you are a very budget conscious person, with a lot of ideas and always looking for the perfect way to get everything you want. Sort of remind me of Lavender Lass as a Scotsman!!
hehehehehe.


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RE: In your small house, where do you put ____?

Thanks ML. I saw a picture today of pull out clothes closet cabinets and thought it would be cool, but would take up a lot more wall space and that's a premium for me too.

In one bedroom, I have some vintage furniture and the chest and dresser are on legs with at least a foot under them. I hadn't even thought of that space, but I bet I could find some cute baskets, or cover some boxes and use the space.

I've got shallow plastic bins under the bed in there, but the problem is the room is so small that there is really not enough room to pull out the bins. As a result, I don't want to pull them out often to even find what I've got there.


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Oh Clueless - "I gave away my fabric stash....had the fabrics and a new sewing machine for over a decade. I have yet to remove the machine from its case...I still plan to sew again, but I've yet to do it."

I thought I was the ONLY one who would buy a sewing machine, leave it in the box, and never use it!!! I'm preparing to move to a small retirement home and got to stop this behavior!! I've put it and the fabric with a large pile of stuff going to the auction!!


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RE: In your small house, where do you put ____?

If it's any consolation, I bought a new machine a few months ago and haven't used it yet, other than to see how it works.

Here's another "where do you put it"

Where do you put your ice chests and suitcases?

I keep ice chests in the attic. It won't hurt them if they get dirty, and they're light weight so easy to get down.

The suitcases are a different story. I used to keep them in my closet, with one inside another. But I recently redid my closet and eliminated that space. If I don't build any back, I plan on putting them in the upper cabinet over my washer and dryer. Haven't checked to see if it fits yet.


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RE: In your small house, where do you put ____?

Marti we use soft sided suitcases We travel light when we do travel. I keep then in hall closet one inside the other. One of the bags holds all the rest. I use different bags for just an over night. We have not gone anywhere since 2006. And then it was just an over night.

I keep the coolers right at the top of the stairs in the shop loft in the winter. In the summer I keep them at the bottom of the loft stairs. Easy to set into the car that way as we need to take the coolers when we go grocery shopping.

Yes I am the one with an open top to my closet in my studio. I have considered building a solid shelf all across for storage but the wire baskets work really well and I just use a curtain to close off the top part from view. Some one else after us could easily close the top in with full shelf and doors or just the usual wasting space way.

Picture is before we moved in. I used the bins as drawers in the wire cubbies. I added more wire cubbies.

Here is a link that might be useful: Extra closet storage.


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I haven't used a suitcase in 14 yrs - i doubt I'll ever use them again but will keep them. I'll store them up on one of the upper shelves in my closet - stuffed with extra comforters that I'd only use if someone stayed over night. If someone does, they can help me get up there and get them down - lol!

I have several large boxes of fabric that'll be donated to my sister's church when I run across them again. I'll keep my sewing machine (and eventually clean it up) and it'll live on that laminate piece that is now in my kitchen. I plan to have it moved to the back bdrm to be used for sewing, other crafts and wrapping presents.

my coolers are soft paks. they'll live up on a shelf in my pantry. they're needed for grocery shopping often out here!


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Yes, I carry a couple of soft pack cooler bags in the car for frozen foods when I go shopping. My first trip to the grocery store up in Massachusetts, I was doing my usual sorting of the cold stuff to keep it all together, and noticed the bag boy had this strange look on his face. I almost explained it "keeps things from getting hot" when I caught myself ---hey, its below freezing out there and there are piles of snow ploughed all over town!!! hehehe, geography makes such a difference in life styles.


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RE: In your small house, where do you put ____?

'geography makes such a difference in life styles.'

lol! it sure does. I can go to the store Nov - end of Mar (maybe half way thru April) w/o a cooler. I shop at W or grocery that are only 1/2 -1 mile away. i do have them pk all frzr/cold stuff together. That's so I can easily take all of that in on my first trip in.

I don't usually go to the store daytimes in the summer anyway. I wait til the sun goes down/dark then slither down the road! It IS still very hot then tho - just don't have the sun beating you to death. no a/c in my car either. I don't go out much at all in the summer.


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RE: In your small house, where do you put ____?

Since I'm single, and I hardly used the dining table, I now use it for a craft space. I also have a cabinet I bought and painted from a yard sale where I store extra batting and supplies.

Craft Area

Photobucket


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RE: In your small house, where do you put ____?

lavenderfem, I love your painted furniture!


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RE: In your small house, where do you put ____?

Marti I have a dresser on legs. I used two plastic, single, drawers under it. Then I took a lace valance on thin rod across the bottom of the dresser like a dust ruffle hiding the drawers. It is easy to flip up to open them. Makes great storage. I happen to keep extra bath items in one drawer and medicines in the other. Might not be a good idea if you had small children that might get into the medicines.


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RE: In your small house, where do you put ____?

Chris, I did a similar thing with my plastic craft drawers. I had a lot of them that I kept my jewelry-making supplies in. Mostly rocks! I did not have furniture to hide them with, so I had Lowes cut a half sheet of furniture-grade plywood into the right size to make table tops to sit on top of each drawer set. Then I stained and finished each top. I bought fancy upholstery fabric and made "skirts" to hang from the plywood tops. Since the fabric was so heavy, I just used Tacky fabric glue to finish each panel's top, hem, and sides. I then stapled the top edge of each panel to the plywood edges. I have ric-rack to glue on top of each edge, but have not bothered. No one really noticed the staples.

I used the tables scattered around the family room. I had one behind some furniture with pictures sitting on the top, another on the hearth, where I set a plant on it, and the third was on the other side of the hearth.

When we remodeled the kitchen, the family room got a face-lift. The new linoleum clashed with the area rug that matched the fabric on my craft-drawer-tables. I had to get a new rug. Now that my DF-in-law has been gone for two years, I plan to take his old room and make it into a guest/exercise/craft room, and the tables and rug will be used there. First, that room needs to have the wallpaper stripped, a floor installed, and new paint. This room served as the temporary kitchen when the kitchen was remodeled two years ago, and as storage for the contents of the library/office/music room during last summer's foundation fiasco. I still have plenty of things that need to move out of there. We all know, however, that since there is a three-year moratorium on remodeling projects at my house, that this will not be done anytime soon!


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RE: In your small house, where do you put ____?

ain't 3 yrs about up yet? lol!

you know I've got several of those plastic drawer stacks here - haven't figured a space for them in the new place - uh-oh. I can break up a few of them and line across a shelf in one of my bdrm closets. I use it for misc bathroom stuff. I use one in the bathroom here because I have no drawers in there (in vanity type). i did plan to put my craft ones on the shelf in the closet in the craft/storage room. maybe I can use the other one in the laundry room for now.


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RE: In your small house, where do you put ____?

I love those smaller craft drawers in my studio. I bought a shelf that holds sever sets of three drawers. I keep the colored glass separated in each drawer and when I need a color I just pull out the whole drawer and use as a tray. Then it is easy to put it all back. I WANT to get back to my glass so badly. The city has been in the way the last couple of weeks. Hoping after today's meeting I will be done for the rest of the week and the I can play.


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RE: In your small house, where do you put ____?

One of the current problems in my small house is
WHERE DO I PUT THE PLANTS DELIVERED BEFORE I PLANT THEM?

Ah, mercy, I am going into hosta big time, and this far south is not an easy chore to handle. So I have the new deliveries sitting in a watering can beside the kitchen sink. I have 5 hosta in one can, taking pictures of them how they look now.
This afternoon, I got another plant delivery from NC, Plant Delights Nursery, and it was six plants. One was false rosemary a native from Florida, a coreopsis native to this region, a ground orchid---would you believe that plant I was looking at the roots and totally missed TWO REALLY PURPLE FLOWER STALKS OPENED. They were very well packed.
But my kitchen is not set up properly to be a nursery.

Where do you deal with your plants?


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plants? you mean those things I buy, set outside and forget about for wks, then look at 'em. they're dead and I say 'oh dear!' ???? those?

well, last yr puppy DID eat one of 'em...


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RE: In your small house, where do you put ____?

I'm afraid I'm no help either ML. If I don't plant them right away, I tend to be like steph. But while waiting, I usually put them in the garage.


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How many folks are serious gardeners? Container gardeners?
It seems to me what I need to add to the kitchen remodel plan is an outdoor sink like a laundry sink, to sort of go with my outdoor shower. Then I could pot and unpot all day long, and take a shower to clean up before coming in the house.

Ever since we had a vacation in a house in Virginia Beach which had a lovely outdoor shower, I've been fascinated by the luxury. It is a luxury. A most hedonistic pleasure in bathing with sunlight and a breeze, and tucked safely away but a feeling of openness. Not the same feeling as a locker room shower, this is really different. Maybe like a pool house rinse off with a hair wash and nice clean clothes.
Depending on where you are located, such an outdoor shower could provide the bathing facilities for guests.

Remember the way the showers were set up on M*A*S*H? They had an oil drum up high and the water heated up in that. It gravity fed to the shower down below. I can see such a setup in the desert, Steph. Save some on your water heating bill, huh.


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RE: In your small house, where do you put ____?

The prettiest plant in my garden right now is one that I forgot to plant for over a year. It just sat in a pot in the part of my garden that is the sunniest and warmest. It lasted the entire winter last year, which was brutal. It is flourishing and is full of pretty blue flowers. I guess it is celebrating being set free from that pot.

I have never found a good spot to keep my vacuum cleaner or my ironing board. I finally put the vac on my screened porch. I'm sure it is not good for it but there is just no other place. The ironing board stays set up in the guest room/home office but is always in the way or covered with papers.

I'd love an outdoor potting area with a sink. Dream on. right now everything happens in the kitchen sink.


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When we built a deck off the back, I had DH step down one step and place a small 4 x 4 platform as part of the exit to the deck on that side. And, I had him drill a hole big enough for the hot/cold reinforced water hoses exactly like those connected to the washing machine--which was on the other side of the wall there. By putting a pair of "Y" connectors to the water supply for the washer, we could have hot/cold water for an outdoor shower very simply. I bought the parts to the shower, with a hand wand as well as a high up rain head. There is a bench there, so I put the bath tub for the small dogs (a galvanized wash tub oval in shape) and can bathe them with the shower wand and not have to lean over. I did not think about a utility sink there at the time, but now I'm thinking about the sink AND the shower outdoors when we redo the kitchen.

This redo will allow me to create another closet indoors, in the present wide hallway, because I'm moving the door to the master bedroom (a surface mount barn door set up) to be just off the kitchen. Actually it will be a small 6 x 15 or so seating area added there, not directly into the bed area itself. DH says he does not think it is a good idea, but I've seen stranger arrangements and have no qualms about it. Certainly a two bedroom small house has enough "togetherness" without bedroom doors staring at one another. So by the time we add that little seating area to the square footage of the house, we'll total about 1075. And that will be IT. I'll be done with all major projects.

Oh yeah. In that closet in the hallway, it will be about 4.5wide x 3 feet deep and a good place for the cleaning stuff and the vacuum, bulk supplies like cases of P-towels and T-Paper. Maybe my bird supplies and such too. This closet will have metal vents at the top and no shelf across the top, because the return air vent for the HVAC is overhead--along with the inside half of our split system. It is a heat pump with the blower and whatever is in it, outdoors on the south side of the house. No clothing will hang in this closet, so no oily/greasy dust will soil them.
Another idea related to thinking like a boat builder, which I'm used to doing, since I was a boat captain for 20 years.


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Just adding more. I keep my ironing board in the sewing/guest room just leaning against the wall behind the door. It is a vintage wooden one. They have less leg to them to try to hide. Many years ago I made a snazzy cover for it with lace edging and all that. It is getting a little used looking now and some day I will make a new fun cover. This way when the door is shut and guest is in the room the boars is a pretty addition to the room and not just an ironing board.Oh Goody another project. :^)))


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ML, I'd like to see that shower set up, it looks interesting. I used to hate giving the dog a bath because I had to lean over the tub and it just killed my back. The dog didn't like it either and we always ran out of hot water before we were done. Only a 5 gal water heater out there.


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Marti in my years gone past. LOL I was also a dog groomer. Dilute your shampoo one third shampoo to two thirds water. It gets them just as clean and so much easier to rinse off.Use a small soft brush to brush the shampoo through the hair. Rinse. If long haired dog use a dash of cream rinse. My washing station is an old restaurant sink.

Like this only I bought mine at Army Surplus for $65 dollars and it is Galvanized.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sink


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'It seems to me what I need to add to the kitchen remodel plan is an outdoor sink like a laundry sink'

could you put one up in a potting table outside? I found a good one yrs ago at a yard sale. Still have it and someone (on here maybe?) suggested I use it outside to wash muddy dog feet when needed (sometimes it does rain out here!). I bought it for 5.00 to be a fountain, but i do have a fountain so the dog feet sink will probably be it's job.


'I can see such a setup in the desert, Steph. Save some on your water heating bill, huh.'

yes! I have taken a shower (of sorts) outside when my plumbing pipe weren't working. I have a 2nd water storage tank that operates on gravity feed so I used that. While mostly dressed since I don't (yet) have a covered space out there. I've also colored my hair out there holding a hose (the rinse it out part) because it was easier on my back.
i think getting a cheap handheld for out there is a good idea (they don't last long here. even those for watering plants end up 'soldered' onto the hose end by the heat).
I do plan to turn off the hot water heater this yr. if I figure out how. my friend is coming out soon to do some work and I'll ask him. I might even need a new one in the new place as I've noticed the water there smells and has little specks in it when left setting in the wash basin. kind of rusty looks specks - good clue there.


'I have never found a good spot to keep my vacuum cleaner or my ironing board.'

that's a bummer, isn't it? most houses don't seem to have a place. we need more women designing them! I designated space in the closet of my craft/store/misc room for those things. finally they'll have their OWN home! I will no longer have to move them from room to room, walk around them etc. Actually, I have little use for either anymore - lol! guess the upright will still be needed for the area rugs tho. I'm planning a hanging rack in the utility room for new dust mop type things. I used to love to iron, but haven't done that in over 20 yrs now. don't even have an iron - will have to buy one. They come in handy when hemming things. I have to hem any pants my sister gives me. So far I've either just cut them to fit me or just hand turned them up and hand stitched 'em in place. Not the best way to do it.


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