Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Unstuffing Ourselves

Today I'm gonna talk about crafts, design, organizing, cooking, decorating, DIY, and homekeeping in general.  My sister has probably just spewed whatever beverage she was drinking all over her computer screen and is now racing to the bathroom for fear of peeing her pants from laughing so hard.

Notice I said I was gonna TALK about that stuff.  I never said I was actually gonna DO it.  I'm really quite capable and I really do do some of that stuff on occasion, but not nearly as much as I used to or as I would like to.  I'm hoping to change that after we move to Houston and in preparation I've subscribed to about 473 blogs covering those topics.  I thought you might be interested in some of the things I've bookmarked for later reference.  Not that I'm procrastinating, you see.  I said I would do this after we've moved and we haven't moved yet so I'm still in the research and development phase.

I like looking at other people's pretty houses and furniture to get ideas for stuff that I can do around my own house.  Some day.  Maybe.  One new source I found is a magazine called Lonny.  It's full of tons of really great designing and decorating ideas, lots of pictures and not very many words (my favorite), but the best part about Lonny is that you can look through the whole magazine online for free.  Then when you see something you like on one of the pages, you click on it and it will take you to the website where you can get one too if you have $1700 to spend on a coat rack.

Pom poms seem to be everywhere these days and they're not just made out of yarn anymore.  I've seen them made from tissue paper, felt, coffee filters, fabric scraps, muffin cups, etc.  My favorite are these little beauties I spotted over at Craftaholics Anonymous.  They're made from old t-shirts cut into strips.  They just look so soft and fluffy, I have to make some.  I'm gonna use some of our (Jayson's) old white t-shirts that really don't need to make the move with us and would probably look great with my urban shabby cottage modern vintage chic decor.

Another crafty project I'm going to tackle in the not too distant future is this perpetual journal from Rhymes With Magic.  I love the basic idea of it but will probably make a few minor changes to her design, one being that cheesy plastic bin she put it in.  She got it for really cheap but you can get not cheesy stuff for really cheap too.  And the magazine pages she used for the dividers are colorful but I think I would prefer using some coordinating scrapbook papers.  That's just how I roll.

This shelf of covered books from Sweetblogchria is also an idea that I like but will modify.  I'm on the lookout for a couple of bookcases since our books are living in a built-in unit that won't be going with us when we move.  I would love to cover all of our books in coordinating papers with pretty matching labels on the spines.  I couldn't even find pictures of what I've got in my head so I guess no one else has been stupid enough to do that.  This picture was the closest one I could find but I guarantee you my books will not be nearly as...uuhh...sweet.

I've seen bookcases where the books are all arranged by color and that's nice but it's overdone and I wanted something a little different.  This picture from A Perfect Gray shows books stacked with the spines toward the back which actually looks kinda cool.  But...I would like to be able to grab the book I'm looking for off the shelf when I need it and this arrangement doesn't provide for any kind of identification.  This is for people who don't actually read their books.  My idea is a lot more work, but it's also more functional and practical.  I think.

I'm not a huge fan of swags but this one at The Shabby Chic Cottage caught my eye.  Maybe I should clarify that.  I'm not a huge fan of swags as in garlands or drapery, but I am a huge fan of SWAG as in Stuff We All Get.  This little swag is made from strips of fabric and ribbon tied around a string of white LED Christmas lights.  I wouldn't use a beach theme for mine, but I can see this with a Christmas theme or even just some pastel colors to go with my pastel house.

Ugly House

I am still working hard on trying to love those colors and avoiding a disaster like the picture on the left.  I think I can manage that however, I do sometimes feel like I'm barely one Veg-O-Matic short of the picture on the right.

I'm excited about having more time for some DIY projects after we move and I already have a to-do list for several pieces of our current furniture.  I love looking at this kind of thing online and seeing the before and after shots.  Some of them are amazing like this dresser that I have to admit I would have just left at Goodwill.  But the cute little couple over at Bower Power bought it, fixed it up and ended up with a gorgeous piece of furniture for under $50.

I also like finding quirky or unusual ideas that I can borrow such as this twig chandelier from Funky Junk Interiors.  Jayson usually lets me make all of the decorating decisions but I have a feeling he might have an opinion about this one...which means I'd have to make it and hang it while he's not home.  Not that I would hide it from him or anything, I just think he might be more accepting of the finished product if he didn't have a lot of time to think about it.

I've run across a few recipes lately that look quite delicious but, naturally, don't agree with my current and probably temporary habit of healthy eating.  I thought I'd hold on to them anyway since I'm not about complete treat deprivation, just moderation. Bakerella's Red Velvet Cake Balls seriously make my mouth water.  And I'm pretty sure I would love the Apple Pie Floats from How Does She?.  I really need some of those paper straws.  They make me happy.

My goal for the month of February is go through every single item that we own and do a major clean sweep.  I'm talking everything from the junk drawer to the boxes in the attic.  When Taylor and I go to Houston to visit Jayson, we are there in a house with the bare minimum of furnishings and stuff.  Instead of making the house feel cold and empty, it feels absolutely exhilarating!  I didn't realize how oppressed our stuff was making me feel until I got away from it.  I have stuff in boxes that I haven't even seen in 5 years.  Why am I keeping it??!!  We are definitely going to unstuff ourselves.

I've admitted to having some minor OCD tendencies, but I'm pretty confident that I can keep from getting carried away like this freak lady I read about in Sunset Magazine.  Her family lives in a minimalist home and produces almost no garbage at all.  Ever.  Of any kind. 

She doesn't buy any prepackaged foods, she takes her own jars and canvas bags to the store and loads them up from the bulk bins.

Each family member has a specific number of clothing items and that's it.  She shops at thrift stores twice a year to replace clothes that are stained or outgrown.

The lady, Bea is her name, uses only 4 beauty products since they come in evil non-recyclable packaging.  She orders compostable toothbrushes from Australia and they don't use Q-tips.  I can see giving up paper towels and using only cloth napkins.  But what alternative is there for a Q-tip??  And being a woman, naturally I can't help but wonder what she does once a month when most of us rely heavily on certain disposable products.  I'm sure it's okay to talk about this now since I lost all my male readers after the first sentence.

Seriously, what does she do?  I have a feeling that there are probably non-disposable products out there that can be used for such a situation but that thought grosses me out so badly that I haven't even Googled it.  And I Google everything.

All I can say is more power to 'em.  If it makes them happy to have waxy ears, then so be it.  I guess I just don't love my planet enough to give up Q-tips.


Shamayn said...

I couldn't help but laugh when you admitted having "minor" OCD habits!!! HA!!! That's about as minimalistic as your gonna get! Your obsessive organizing doesn't gel with minimalistic living. Your need for boxes/bins/tins with labels aint going away anytime soon.
I have seen the alternative for disposable feminine products. They have pads that you have to wash! Yes, washable kotex!!! ICK! And then there is what I call the "rubber hat". It's a latex thing that looks like a diaphram that acts like a cup during your period. Messy. Disgusting. I will stick with my high pollution producing habits. I'm good with it.

SkylersDad said...

I am sure nature mama just lets the flow run down her legs, it's what nature wanted! Right?

Shannon Green said...

I could have lived the rest of my life without hearing any of that from either of you. Icky poo!

And Mayn, I don't even want to know how you know all of that!