Thursday, September 8, 2011

A Parting

I went to an estate sale today. I do so periodically. I like to search for mid-century modern items that might like to come home with me. I know that this appears to fly in the face of my anti-fussy, decluttering, life stage - but there you have it.

I went to this particular sale because they had advertised cross stitch items: kits, booklets, fabric, floss...

Wow, this woman had an incredible amount of booklets! Hundreds and hundreds! Many lovely kits as well. I did purchase some, both for myself and for my "job."

A sad thing was that there we also several completed or nearly completed cross stitch projects themselves. I did not purchase any. I don't have a desire for these types of things if they haven't been created by me or by a loved one. I suppose if I came upon an old sampler (not likely, I know!) I would probably seek to acquire it if it were reasonably priced. Barring that, probably not.

But it did set me to thinking about completed cross stitch projects. Over the years, I have made many things and given them away. They are for the recipients to do with as they please. They are gifts. But it does give one pause.

I have told my daughters that, even if they do not care for my cross stitch projects - which they don't! - that I would very much appreciate that they not get rid of them. They can be removed from frames, rolled up and stored for posterity. Someday, someone may dig them out and be thrilled (too much to hope for?) to find something hand crafted by great, great, great, great, great-grandma! One can hope.

I wonder what some of our handiworking ancestresses thought. How about you? Do you ever think about what will become of your creations? I would love to hear your thoughts about this.

Next up:  Photos of items made "back in the day."


Friday, September 2, 2011

Labor Day cometh...

A change of pace here today. I'll take a break from my "treasure" photography to prepare for the coming holiday. Being of little motivation, as I have noted, I'll not be going overboard, but I must do some spiffing up and some food preparation.

I have been seeing some interesting recipes, from Mexican Roasted Corn and Jalapeno Potato Salad, to Oven Roasted Green Beans with Pancetta. Yummy sounding!

Now if I could just come up with a main dish!

I hope everyone has a safe and fun holiday weekend!


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Bit of Retro

Prior to and during our remodel, I got rid of TONS of things, most of which were not of great value - either monetarily or sentimentally. However, even though I'm almost down to the bare bones, it may still be too much - especially if we downsize. 

Add to all this, that at the same time I'm trying to pare down, I also gain new appreciate of, yes! more stuff! Oy! I have fallen in love with mid-century design. I love the furniture, the dishware, the art! My husband thinks a lot of it is cool, but has no interest in having it. In a way, I guess I don't really want a lot of it myself, but if I can slip it into our new sleek, modern style - all the better.

For instance, several years ago at age 40, I finally discovered beer! Well, ale actually. For several years my husband and I enjoyed exploring the many styles and varieties of beer. We made it a point to visit any micro breweries and/or brewpubs anywhere we went. We had a ball! We even made beer for a while.

Last summer, while looking for interesting (and cheap) wall art for our newly decorated living room, I came across some vintage magazine beer ads. I did some research and found there was an entire advertizing campaign in the '50s and '60s geared toward making beer more "respectable." I purchased two of the ads that were drawn by the same artist (there were several different artists) that both had my accent color of red. My husband cut the mats and framed them and they now hang in the living room. I love them.

Not the best photos, what with the glare and all, but hopefully you get the idea.

An idea emerges...

So, I like a lot of things but don't want to be engulfed in a lot of things. Hmmm.

A few years ago, one of my daughters shared with me a great idea from a friend of hers. This clever woman photographed the cute little items that her children made at and brought home from school. She also photographed special assignments, reports, tests, etc. Then, at the end of each school year, she turned them into books. Not scrapbooks, mind you, but glossy hardcover books from Macbook or Fickr or Shuttefly or whatever your choice is!

I love scrapbooking (I know, I know! I haven't done any in forever! [See Profile statement re motivation - or lack thereof...]) but scrapbooking is time consuming, labor intensive, messy, and expensive. The photo books are clever, fun, relatively inexpensive, and fast! They also fit very nicely on your bookshelf and look great on the coffee table.

My daughter used the idea to make a book of my grandson's (her nephew) first year. What a great idea! She used photos taken by all of us and put them together as a great gift for her sister on the little guy's birthday. After all, who is more deserving of a gift on a child's birthday than the mother?

So it occurred to me that I could use this same idea to save the memory of "things." My plan is to photograph some of the items that I cherish - from my great-grandmother, my grandmother, my mother. Also, perhaps, the few items I have that were my father's. I will then use a quick and easy template for a photo book and add some notes about the items and perhaps a photo of the original owner. I plan to keep the items themselves, but I will not have to have them on display to enjoy them. I can simply look at the slim, glossy, book! Easy to share with others, too! I am loving this idea!

This deer planter lived on the bottom shelf in my grandmother's kitchen thoughout my childhood.

Likewise, this rooster planter was a constant in my great-grandmother's home.

As our home approaches an empty nest, we have been remodeling and redecorating. My husband and I like to think of ourselves (perhaps mistakenly) as still young-and-with-its. Neither of us wishes to live in an old lady's house! We like clean, contemporary decor with not a lot of clutter. This juxtaposes with my desire to still have contact with the past. I look at my photo book idea as the perfect solution!

So now I must get busy! I'll have to dig some things out in order to photograph them! Wish me luck, my cupboards are filled with UFOs (un-finished objects)...

Starting Out

When my husband and I were first married - almost 30 years ago! - we didn't have much. Over the years, as with many people, we have accumulated quite a bit. During this time I have also held many garage sales and donated many, many bags and boxes to charity. I often wonder what my house would be like if I hadn't! Frightening!

My husband was always the tidy one, made anxious by having lots of stuff around. I didn't quite get it. I was a stay-at-home-mom busy with three children and did my best to keep up with the housework, but frankly, I wasn't all that interested in having the perfect home - not if I was the one who would have to make it so, that is!

In the ensuing years, beloved family members passed on, and I was reluctant to part with various of their possessions. They were filled with cherished memories of cherished loved ones. But what to actually do with these items?

Also, during this time framed photos of my children appeared regularly, as did holiday and gift items made by them at school. More stuff.

Add to that, various little collections begin to grow...

Fast forward many years, and now I've caught the anxious-with-too-much-stuff-around bug. So, what to do? How do you keep from being overwhelmed (can you say "hoarder"?) while still honoring your past?

So, how does one keep from being overwhelmed by stuff?

Monday, August 29, 2011

Next up: Appreciation not Accumulation

I like a number of things. This doesn't mean I want to have all of them. Coming up, my thoughts on how to weigh the one against the other...