Wednesday, January 26, 2011

January Projects!

Here we are, mid January and this morning I finally had my epiphany regarding what we do in January.
This is the month for organizing and planning ahead!   Not a real favorite for the procrastinators among us - but none the less, planning, organizing and spiffy-ing up for the upcoming year is really what January is all about.
My calendar is all up to date with birthdays properly noted, my closets are cleaned out with all the outfits I’ve “outgrown” being distributed to their proper charities - which leaves me free to move on to the more advanced stages of organizing and planning - painting things and rearranging the furniture.
In regards to painting things ... I’ve asked my assistant, Duncan, to demonstrate for us how the simple act of changing the color of a piece of furniture can change it’s whole personality.
Here is an end table in green.
Here is the same end table in black.  It's kind of astonishing what a difference it makes, isn't it?  Much richer I think.

If painting isn't your thing, try switching up the furniture a bit.  I don't know why, but I always look forward to re-arrange the furniture day.  I guess it's probably because as a kid we would go through this drill about every other month and it was always fun to watch the family bump into stuff and stub our toes as we learned to re-negotiate our route through the living room.  Regardless, re-arranging is a great way to change things up  and give you a new perspective on life - or at least on your living room.
Finally, if none of these fun January activities appeal to you - I have one more suggestion.  Commit to having a green year and start with a smart, roomy new shopping tote from Echo!   Duncan just loves his and has decided to use it for all the stuff he used to haul around in plastic garbage bags.  Well --- almost all the stuff ..  he still takes his plastic garbage bags with us on our walks because the Echo bags are far too nice for that. 

Friday, January 7, 2011

January Inspiration!

Every January, I want to start off the new year fresh and perfect.  For some reason - this year, my need for fresh and perfect has me paralyzed.   I’ve been wandering around my shop trying to take down the Christmas decorations and find something interesting to put together for this long gray month.  A fresh, perfect, inspirational January decorating theme is what I crave.  
I pop a couple of crunchy dried out pine needles in my mouth, pretending they taste like Rosemary and convincing myself they are a yummy addition to my fresh new January diet plan .... but still ... nothing.
Sure enough - I’m starting off my new year .... un-inspired.
I stare at my computer and consult with Facebook, trying to decide if it’s just me, or if  everyone is experiencing the same creative standstill and just like that - up pops my overachieving cousin Megan.  Megan is the one who had Halloween completed in July, Christmas packages were wrapped in September and she is currently working on Easter.  “Snap out of it”, she proclaims.  Just start!!
For anyone else out there who might be looking for some direction, here are some easy - do it yourself ideas from Megan (an accomplished re-purposer) that might help you jump start your creative juices for a fresh, decorative and  purposeful 2011!
An old milk can, Her daughter Sophie's red scarf, last year's snow flake lights and sticks from their tree make up this January centerpiece.  BTW - Megan tells me that the bench belongs to our Grandmother Esther- who turns 95 TODAY!  Here's to Grandma -  an original thrifter before thrifting was cool!

Megan's new "crafty room" .  She started this (transform a corner of the basement) project yesterday, so she'll keep us posted as she moves along. 

Ever wonder how to marry a kind of ordinary clock and an old picture frame ... here you go.

And finally ... an old window re-purposes into a message center for her four kids.

Thanks Megan ... I think I'll go paint something red now!   And here's my contribution - for anyone wondering how to re-purpose all those dried up pine needles from your tree ... try them in soup!
Happy 2011!!