Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Quest for a Clean and Simple Home

What is about helping someone move or clean their house that inspires you to purge and reorganize your own home? My brother recently moved and my mother and I trekked to Minneapolis to help him downsize. Choosing the items to sell and what could and should be kept was not pleasant nor easy for him. We do become attached to our possessions, they can become a part of identity and give us a sense of security.

On the long road back to Chicago I began going through my home mentally. Several years ago I downsized on living square footage to opt for a single family dwelling and the holy grail, my own garden. When I made the move I stuffed my oversized furniture into my little house and my basement, determined to figure out how to fit it all in. Well, it’s 4 years later and I came home to finally rearrange my living and dining room in a manner that suits the house and me. It has resulted in two pieces that will not fit anywhere (never did, no matter how hard I tried) nor will they fit into my basement …narrow hallways and lots of corners in this little abode.

One of the pieces is an overstuffed, yet unbelievably comfortable chaise made by Mitchell Gold. The other is a contemporary neoclassical entry table made of burled mahogany and stainless steel that I adore. I am quite distressed to say goodbye to it. Alas, I have no plans to ever move so it’s time to make the hard decisions. Craig’s List was a successful venture in Minneapolis, we will have to see how they do in Chicago. It will sad to say good-bye to these pieces but I am sure there is a home that will welcome them and I certainly can use a little more breathing room. It is time to begin living more simply. They are just possessions after all…

Have you had any pieces of furniture you’ve had to let go of that were a bittersweet good-bye?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

PrairieGarden- 2010 Calendar

Okay folks, we are hitting the holiday season and while I try not “push my products” on this blog…if there was ever a time to do it, it’s the holiday season.

So! I hope you will forgive me but over the next weeks I will promo an item from my Etsy store(s) now and then. Just want you to be aware of your shopping options :-). So here it goes…

Come and get it!
Your very own personalized 2010 Calendar. Send me a list of your family’s birthdays/events and I will incorporate them into the calendar. Now, you can get the calendar without any personal dates should you prefer….no pressure…just options. Each month is a different photo from my collection. It’s a great way to have a bit of garden on your refrigerator all year round.

Okay…that’s end of this public service announcement…this week anyway…

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

My Couch Cinema: A Simple Curve

One on my favorite things to do is rent movies. I actually prefer to rent them and watch them on my little 17 inch screen than actually go to the movies. I am addicted to “replaying” a scene and The Bonus Features. Love them! There are movies where I like listening to the director talk through the film as much as the movie itself (such as Bridget Jones Diary… I laughed more during this adventure than the actual movie).

Well, with budget cut backs in the business arena it has lead to budget cut backs in my own home, I’m betting your home as well. Renting movies had made it on the list of things that are unnecessary and can be enjoyed in more lucrative times. Recently I found a loophole to this decision…the library. I loved the library as a kid and could not wait to go and check out new books. If you saw how many books I have in my home now (I quickly took this very un-glamourous shot of ONE of my bookshelves) you would realize that I replaced that childhood habit of borrowing books with purchasing books. Alas, that pleasure has also been curtailed in the last year or so. But again, the library is my loop hole to that decision too.

Since I moved into my home, I admit several years ago, I have been meaning to get my library card. I am only 4 or 5 blocks from the library but I kept putting it off. Well, last week I got on my bike and zoom – a-zoomed over to the library and got my long awaited library card. Let me tell you, my 9 year old self reemerged and I walked up and down the isles with resurrected glee. Something new, that was not there as a 9 year old, were DVD’s. Who knew? Well, okay, perhaps I’m the last to know.

I picked up A Simple Curve which is a Toronto Film Festival winner. While I’m not person that longs to watch the latest blockbuster I’m also not the standard film festival follower either. When I rent these I know there is a good chance I will try reading a magazine (also something I’ve cut from the budget by the way) or doing a project while watching the flick. Let’s just say I know the highly acclaimed movie may not hold my attention. This movie was a pleasant surprise. It’s about almost 30 year old Caleb, raised by draft dodging hippies in rural Canada. It’s a sweet film that still makes me laugh out loud thinking about it. One of my favorite scenes is when he talks with his father about wishing he could just be one of those guys that has no idea how to make yogurt from scratch. I won’t tell you what else he wishes he didn’t know…I have to leave something for you!

Oh, and PS…the library is also a loophole to my magazine budget cut backs. I’m telling you, you have to go to your local library. Now if they just supplied me with a good bottle of wine and chocolate…I’d never leave.