Thursday, August 26, 2010

Dreams of Downsizing and Simplifying

Now that we are 3 families living under one roof I have been seriously contemplating my "space issues." I have always had space issues, and one of my symptoms is recurring "house dreams" in which I am living in a home where I find rooms that I didn't know were there, and I claim them to fill some need I have for more space. Oh yeah, and these rooms are usually furnished by the previous owner in some outdated but strangely appealing style, as if somehow I found a secret passageway and find myself in Mike and Carol Brady's ultramodern powder blue and sunshine yellow master suite. And I am so excited to move in to the space and make it my own.

So I have gone through many interpretations of my dreams and space issues and for a long time thought it had to do with people in my life and my need for personal space. But I am older and wiser now and have finally come to the conclusion that I am constantly overwhelmed by my material possessions and the need to maintain them. How silly is that? The simple solution is to just get rid of stuff I don't love and the things that don't serve any purpose in my life and create a space that will make me feel good. I have been blaming my lack of energy and creativity on the fact that I can't get motivated to organize my stuff. And I look around and see that there is plenty of space and I don't want to organize it because it just doesn't fit into my life or make me happy.

Step 1: I took some pictures of how I am living now. Things I love and things I hate.

I am not a "hoarder" really! This is how everything landed when big K moved in and we relocated my office downstairs. It has been 4 months and we haven't used anything in those boxes. Maybe they don't belong anywhere?

Who could work and feel inspired in such a dark ugly space?

These things have been in storage for 6 years.
Another storage room, some of this stuff is actually used, some should go bye bye!
I like my bedroom, everything in here makes me feel happy. I painted this room 5 years ago and still love the colors.
I like these two chairs. They can stay. the bookshelf is hideous and the wall decor is going.
The denim PB Charleston sofa, good. Red table, yes. Pay phone, yes. Rocker and Harley blanket... hmmm. I am going to make a white denim slipcover for the sofa, and find a matching chair to slipcover too eventually.
Coffee bar and troll dolls make me happy. I salvaged that enamel top farmhouse table sitting top down in the mud in my friend's back yard and painted it cobalt blue, then I saw an exact replica in cobalt blue in the LL Bean Home catalog a couple years later. It even had the same brushed nickel bin pull! $500.

I can never have too many flip flops, but maybe they don't all need to be right inside the doorway.
This shirt from Old Navy makes me happy. It is so soft and in my favorite color.
I can see my bird bath from my bedroom window in the morning when I wake up. We have Mountian Bluebirds and Nuthatches year round and hummingbirds in the summer that we care for, they make me happy.

This little table we built from recycled fence pickets makes me happy. I am planning to whitewash it and make another one to match.

Crank and Trixie bobble heads make me happy, the kids call them Grandpa and Grandma. Yes, they do look just like us, except for the cleavage maybe!? Art deco cigarette box and ashtrays are chartreuse so they must stay, and the martini picture is just kind of my style.

The beast, and my Baby Lock serger. Well maybe one day I will replace the beastie with that Viking Diamond, or maybe not.

Couldn't live without my cobalt blue Kitchen Aid.
My really huge blue clock. I have a thing for clocks even though I could care less what time it is.
My maid Flo, and Charles my butler, always ready to serve a plate of canapes or Christmas cookies, and their salaries are quite reasonable.
PB knockoff wine bar, minus the rodent. I hate the rodent thingy but she makes Anna happy so I tolerate this travesty for the time being.
My Fiestaware collection. I have stopped adding to it. All these colors inspire me. This is one thing my kids will fight over when I die. They have already told me so.

So my plan is to start with a blank slate, clear out the entire space and paint then move back in the things I want to keep and get rid of everything else. And after months of contemplation and feeling overwhelmed trying to decide what I need to do to make my life simpler, more organized and more conducive to creativity, I finally came up with this plan. Then tonight I ran across this blog post by {Simple Mom} and I had to laugh!

Stay tuned, I will be posting our progress throughout the weekend.

TOMORROW: We choose colors, finally!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Featured Artist - Marly

I won't say that I have been unproductive these past few weeks. I actually have been busy with quilt kits and kids and lots of fun stuff. But I haven't got any new crafty stuff to show off, boo hoo. That's OK, 'cause I got people and they can pick up the slack here for me. So I decided to do a "featured artist of the week" to show you some of my favorite peeps and their awesome stuff.

First off is my sis 'n law, Marly. She is, of course, one of my favorite people in the world and oh so talented too! Marly has always done the most beautiful handwork, quilting and embroidery and punchneedle designs. I am a machine sewing kind of girl, so it always amazes me when someone has the patience for sitting and doing beautiful hand work.

A few years ago she started playing around with wool felt and designing these amazing primitive style ornaments, tags and seed packet holders. I love the way she puts the colors together and embellishes them with little buttons and embroidery.

She is a bit of a "CCL" and has a "few" feline friends sharing her work space at home. They keep her company and inspire her too. The kitten mitten ornies can hold a little bag of cat nip for your favorite kitty.

Love these little candle mats to decorate a side table or mantle.

Garden decor, perfect for hanging in the kitchen or on the garden shed above the potting bench. These are my favorite!
Holiday tags and ornies for the primitive/colonial home.

I love the snowmen even though I hate snow and cold weather!
Pet mitten ornies with treats for your favorite four legged friends.

Personalized wall hangings "Portraits" of your own fur babies are her newest art pieces.
I hope you enjoyed Marly's art. She doesn't have a store but sells locally. Reach her through my blog if you are interested in seeing more of her designs.
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