Sunday, July 7, 2013

Applying the Lesson

Back when I cleaned the bedroom and tidied the nightstands, I decided that I needed something to bridge the surface of the nightstand to the height of the lamps.

At first, I thought I would find a piece of artwork to put on the wall. Obviously, I haven't enough room to put anything on the nightstands proper. I'd forgotten all about these images with the mirrors:

source: Cote de Texas

I'm glad.

As a result of the tchotchke challenge, I realised I didn't want a meaningless mirror or a mass produced piece of art. Instead, I wanted something personal. Fortunately, Ikea had a sale on frames last week, so I picked up a few. Then, I set about looking for photos of landscapes I've taken and had them printed up as 8 x 10s.

 Moose Lake, Mount Robson Provincial Park

Looking south towards Montana at Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park

I took these on two separate vacations.

Some people would prefer pictures of their kids, and that's fine, for them. My bedroom, though, is my sanctuary and at the moment, my kids are not what I think of when I think "escape" and "calm."

Last night I fell asleep with a huge smile on my face.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Lessons Learned from the Tchotchke Challenge.

Following a nudge from the Nester, I cleared all my surfaces of all the stuff that was on them for the month of June. Here's the post showing what I did, with befores and afters.

I decided to participate in a Home Tour without the tchotchkes. (Side note: Has there ever been a word whose spelling has never been more matched to its meaning? I mean, really, look at all those letters!)

Cleaning up for the Home Tour led to some significant insights for me.

The most consequential of all? My clutter threshold is even lower than I thought it was. It has been getting steadily lower as the years have gone by, but my tolerance for clutter is at zero. Really. Absolute zero. Without the tchotchkes, the only things out were the things we left out --both intentional things, like projects I'm in the midst of doing) and unintentional things, like dishes, socks and shoes, and you know. Both were unacceptable.

I found myself getting antsy, uncomfortable and, unfortunately, cranky. I wish it were not that way, but there it is.

A few other take-aways:

1) More real things, please. As I mentioned in my mid-month musing, I want more plants in my life. Tricky, as I have North facing windows and a black thumb. But, I'll try.

Look at that vast expanse of uncluttered surface space. I like it. It's a great example of how negative space certainly helps define the focal point!

2) I want more flowers more regularly. I had some lovely white and yellow mums this month--I carried them from the kitchen to the living room and back again. Without tchotchkes they were indisputably the focus of the room. I liked that.

3) Something about store-bought tchotchkes seems highly artificial to me. I really only want things which are meaningful or hand-made. I am resisting putting things back because I do not want to re-introduce all that artificiality back into my house--but we'll see how dedicated a purist I really am. I loved the punch of red my artificial tulips gave the entry way.

trying out some picture frames in the tall "holes" of my dining room/home office/craft room shelving

4) I love landscape paintings made by amateur artists that I find in thrift stores. I purchased a new one just last night. I have decided to hang my modest collection en masse, bad frames and all.

5) I want to paint my own landscapes.

6) Even without tchotchkes, I have too much clutter.

7) I am beginning to seriously examine my attachment to my books.

This was a great challenge. In fact, I think we should go further. It brought home just how much I enjoy clutter-free surfaces and it helped me define and refine what I want around me in my home.

I will be taking my time putting things back.

Linking to the Nester's Thoughts Post, of course.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...