Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Does This Bring Me Joy?

You know, I laughed at the question.

I mean, you know, yeah, well, it is a great question, but I don't really trust my emotions all that much. What brings me joy today may not tomorrow. And worse? Something may not bring me joy right now--but it just might down the road.

But, I am struggling with this whole minimalism thing as I do the Cure and declutter the house simultaneously.

Does this bring me joy?
This bookcase I agonized over decluttering just last week?

Well, actually, yes it does. Now that I have lived with it and styled it a bit, it made me smile just last night.

Does this bring me joy?

It used to. I was a happy lady the day I brought these old books of mine from my University days out of storage and placed them on the shelves.

Now, they tower over my head as I sit at the computer hour after hour, day after day, and they just seem to be collecting dust.

They don't really bring me all that much joy anymore.

I do love to decorate. I love pretty things. I love well designed things. I love making compositions and displays. I love playing with texture and colour and form.

But have I done that here? Is this the place to even do that?

I want the biggest damn painting/print/canvas of water I can find. Or clouds.

Like this:

Taken in southern Alberta in the summer of 2010

It could look something like this:

Don't laugh. I haven't figured out photoshop, yet. This was done in Word. Yes, it's a scanned in word document.

It's an engineering print*--and it can be printed out 2 x 3 feet or 3 x 4. (The one above approximates 2 x 3). I could either put the print up with tape (the image is actually just printed on standard paper) or I could mount it on a board painted black (to simulate a frame, as here), remove all the shelves the top and bottom and prop it on the bottom shelf. 

Maybe. What do you think?

*engineering prints can only be done in black and white and they cost less than $10.00. Apparently, the quality is not the greatest, either.


Paula said...

I am not laughing. I am loving what you just did, inventing a new situation, imagining the photo on the wall ...

go for it!

I am in the same situation here, only that there are zero shelves mounted on the walls and I want to decorate the apartment with my artwork, aka photo. :-)

I am willing to give away a lot of books (&Billy-shelves) only to generate the right setting for large pictures on the walls. The shelves are 220cm high and dominate the room. That's why I always kept the walls empty.

good luck with the project!

PS: I enjoy your company very much.

Marie said...

I say spend the $10, put it up and if it doesn't bring you joy, you're only out $10. I think the wall would be beautiful with a colorful sunset over the water, without any shelves. (I live within 20 minutes of the Pacific Ocean so this is probably easier for me to take a photo of than you!)

Alana in Canada said...

Paula--thank you for the encouragement and your nice compliment!

Marie: the problem isn't the $10 it is the agony of shuffling things around to make space for all the things I want to keep on these shelves!

I would LOVE a photo like that--especially in colour but then we're talking about spending over $300.

Anonymous said...

I think it looks like a television screen. I'd keep the shelves, but change what you have on them or keep looking for a print that you can frame or how about a picture collage?

Lisa @ Lisa Moves said...

I like the idea of art there. You can get a giant color picture blown up at Posterbrain for about $50 (I can't remember the exact amount I paid for the boys blown up pics, but I'm pretty sure it was under $50. Maybe under $50 for both of them, come to think of it. Although I cannot speak to shipping to Canada.) Ikea Ribba frame is US$24.99, which is not terrible for a large piece of art. Or just mount it on a foamcore board?

Alana in Canada said...

Anonymous, I have a collage of pictures above the sofa in the living room, so I don't want to repeat that here. I agree, though, the black frame does make it look sort of like a TV!

Posterbrain? I'll look into it. Thanks Lisa. And yes, I'll check out Ikea's sizes for frames, but foamcore is right about my speed at the moment!

Marian said...

My initial reaction to the shelves above your desk was that they looked beautiful - not too cluttered, just the right balance of books and objects, with plenty of white space - but then when you said "they tower over my head...day after day...collecting dust" I thought, hmm, that's a very good point too :(

I think - if you have a good spot for the books/objects (a place OTHER than ON the desk surface) and you don't mind the considerable work of removing the shelves, fixing the drywall, and re-painting (!) - then the feeling that they tower over you means you should take them down. Your picture is absolutely gorgeous (we spent three years in Saskatchewan and I found the "big sky" prairie landscape awe-inspiring) and I think a big print of it would look fantastic there. I've never checked out price/quality on this, but another option would be a photo canvas: Wal-Mart's photo department can make photo canvases in varying sizes.

(I see you have the Norton anthologies, 1 and 2 :) I have the very same volumes on my shelf in our living room/office. I brought them up from the basement one day a couple of years ago, thinking I would like to do some reading from them. I never have...)

thefarmersdaughter said...

I like the idea of a large piece of art over your desk. I have a huge menu board from the 50'S? 60's? over my kitchen desk (it's from a local cafe) I think a large picture of the sky would be great for your concentration and mood.
I would take everything off the shelves and put a large "something" up there to check it out before committing to anything. I have hung large pieces of fabric or gift wrap up so I can see what something new would look like on a wall. I put fabric on the wall to decide If I wanted wallpaper once. Once I saw it up, I decided I didn't like it. Saved me a lot of time and money.... just a thought.

Alana in Canada said...

Marian-- I did recently edit the shelves and get rid of a box--that is what you are seeing. I happen to like the current arrangement, too, but, the shelves are not only over my head but there are bookshelves to either side of me, too, and everything combined is getting to me these days.

Lorijo--excellent advice. I am not at all anxious to take it all down and patch it all up. I will do a real dry run for sure.

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