Wednesday, September 7, 2011

An Alphabet of Dreams

(I made these kitchen curtains in July. If you click on the picture, you can better see my barnyard animals, which are there so I can pretend I live on a farm. A tiny, tiny farm.)

Today I rearranged our bedroom furniture. Which is to say, I've tipped the first domino. Now that the bed is in a pleasing new spot, we will have no choice but to a) paint the bedroom; b) go back to IKEA and buy the other chest of drawers to match the lovely dresser we bought in August; c) replace the bathroom sink and mirror; d) put in a new bathroom floor; and e)paint the bathroom.

Then we will naturally want our bedroom to be extra neat at all times, so we will f) weed out all the clothes we haven't worn in over a year and sweep all the dust bunnies out of the closet. Peeking into the hallway we will be overcome by the desire to g) organize the linen closet; h) put my office closet to rights; and i) take boxes of boxes of books to the library donation bin.

By this time the weather will have cooled, at which point I will go back into the attic and j) sort through all the games and puzzles and donate 98% of them to Good Will; k) go through all the last day of school bags the boys have brought home over the years, replete with math folders and paper mache moons, bags I've chucked into the attic with the thought that I'd make lovely scrapbooks out of their contents (it will never happen); l) make an honest effort to go through the bins of fabric and table cloths and sheets and honestly assess how much, if any, of it I'll use; and m) burn all the Lego.

Okay, that's only half the alphabet, but you get the idea. I have been bitten by the organize/makeover/make lovely bug. It's a fall thing, I think, even though we haven't had any true fall weather, aside from a few mornings that have been pleasantly cool. I have gotten two books out of the library about organizing and unstuffing and decluttering. One of them is taking a very psychological angle, giving quizzes and asking me about my values. Really what I'm looking for is a stern taskmaster to say, "You haven't worn that skirt in five years, and you've gained twenty pounds since then--out with it!"

I will keep you abreast of my progress. It might not always be pretty, but at the end of it, my life will be totally perfect. I know!--I can't wait, either!


Today I picked up a copy of Where Women Create. Have you ever read it? Essentially each issue profiles ten or fifteen women artists and crafters and shows lots of yummy photos of their studios. I normally don't buy this--it's way too expensive--but I thought it might be inspiring, given my current mood, and besides, one of the profiles is of the artist Susan Branch, whose blog I found via Pom Pom. It's quite wonderful and cozy and homey, as is Susan's art, and I enjoyed her profile very much.

I mention this because I know we have several Susan Branch fans in our midst, so if anyone wants to borrow the magazine, please let me know. We can even do a round-robin. It really is a fun magazine to look at, and I'm happy to share. Drop me a comment if you're interested.


Pom Pom said...

I'd like to look through the women create mag! I do like Susan Branch's art and attitude very much!
Oh, that darn organizing virus! I certainly do not have it. I've had it before though, so maybe I've developed some immunity. But, you go and tell us of your progress please!

victoria said...

I'm liking the kitchen windowsill farmyard.
Sounds like having an attic is quite a trap.

Tracy said...

I love your curtains and your teensy little barnyard. Very cute!

We've just begun a complete repair and refit of our ensuite bathroom. I love IKEA. Our new washstand and basin is from there.

magsmcc said...

I was wondering if you were me right up to the scrapbboks bit- do you not think we will get get the scrapbooks done eventually?!

But you're obviously well ahead of me on the cerebreal front! I haven't borrowed a book for me out of the library in tooooo long! Don't post across the Ocean- save that for the Grand Tour! Hope to see a Mole in your little farmyard soon!

Melissa E said...

I always get bitten by the organizing bug about twice a year...I bet you just wanted an excuse to go to IKEA! I love your farm...I bet it takes hours to feed and care for all those animals though! :-)

wayside wanderer said...

Oh, what a lovely window...curtains and animals! I am not very good at window treatments so appreciate the beauty when I see it.

The Attic is in my future. When we moved in we shoved junk up there and as soon as it gets cool enough I need to go up there and organize it. NOT looking forward to it one bit.

Susan said...

Your post reminds me of "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie." Surely, you'll not end up like Mouse. Right back where you started.

Lovely window treatments and charming farm! Just the kind I love: no smells or chores involved. You can go on vacation and not worry about who's going to tend the animals.

GretchenJoanna said...

I LOVE reading about your decluttering efforts. I notice that you start out saying "We" and end with a mere "I." But remember, Frances, WE are all in this together and rooting for you.

Do root for me, too!

Angela said...

I like the idea of an alphabetised list - you never get more than 26 chores on it. I am going to revise my 'September Jobs' list forthwith and delete some of the impossible tasks.
Got the new IKEA catalogue last week, but refusing to let myself visit. I shall get overwhelmed with the urge to buy things I do not need and cannot afford.
Repeating 'Must declutter - all my friends are doing it too' to myself.
And THEN you and PomPom distract me by introducing me to the delicious artwork of Susan Branch! How could you? I may waste HOURS wandering through her earlier blogposts when I ought to be attacking clutter heaps and cross off on the to-do list.
I am leaving the pC THIS MINUTE to go do useful stuff. Honest I am...

Sara Padrusch said...

Oh honey, you just described my whole life! I like to imagine that rich people do not have to do the middle class shuffle of possessions that we are subjected to any time we want to make a small change or improvement. There must be people for whom a minor home repair does not turn into a major production involving swearing and sweating.

I have not had a chance to mention it, but I was very impressed with your attitude towards summer. It is very much how we spend the whole year! Benign neglect, etc. can be a very efficient way to parent.

I know I owe you a letter. I am having trouble finding the time to sit down and write because I am busy furminating the dogs and doing laundry. Sigh. Soon I hope!


Gumbo Lily said...

One thing leads to another. I've got project after project in my head and just a few completed. Still, I'm charging forward! I wish you all the best.

Love the curtains and the critters.


debbie bailey said...

I like your curtains. The redo/organizing bug has hit me too. I'm sprucing up the kitchen and totally redoing my daughter's bedroom. I'm throwing away stuff left and right, and it feels good.

The dB family said...

I have that bug too. First I have to get this week over with though. Can't wait to get started. Frighteningly, I am getting started in the storage room and then working my way out from there...provided there is a way out :oS.