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God bless this mess

From the New York Times:
“An anti-anticlutter movement is afoot, one that says yes to mess and urges you to embrace your disorder. Studies are piling up that show that messy desks are the vivid signatures of people with creative, limber minds (who reap higher salaries than those with neat “office landscapes”) and that messy closet owners are probably better parents and nicer and cooler than their tidier counterparts. It’s a movement that confirms what you have known, deep down, all along: really neat people are not avatars of the good life; they are humorless and inflexible prigs, and have way too much time on their hands.”

Click here to read the rest of the article. Thanks for the link, Claire!

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Clutter busting

With my two open houses finished and then a jewelry-making birthday party for ten girls today, I’m ready to hang up my pliers for a while. I’m almost finished with special orders, which is always a relief. And I’m still doing classes at Sparkles.

So what am I going to do with all my free time? On Friday morning I brought in a professional organizer, Amanda Kimball from Purely Practical Design. Love her. She and I went through the whole house and identified the problem areas, then she gave me assignments like on Clean Sweep. Note the photo of my beading area; she said to work on this last. I comfort myself knowing my clutter problem isn’t big enough to get on the show. I’m actually pretty organized, I just need to remove some stuff I don’t use. I could pay Amanda to help me muck out, but for now I’m going to see if having someone following up will keep me accountable enough to do the work myself. The second photo is what I’m taking to the curb. Feels good!

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Before & After – bathroom

I loved the spaciousness of the upstairs bathroom when we were first looking at this house. The photo on the left was the way it looked with the previous owners. It had a lot going on in the way of pink trim, peach walls, and deep green tile on the tub, though (not to mention the dresser). The photo on the right is how it looks after we painted it creamy beige yesterday.

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Before & After – Steve’s Room

This is Steve’s dressing room and will become his home office. Wallpaper and red trim were replaced with creamy beige. I have some framed B&W pictures of New Castle to go on the walls, and I’m going to look for a bamboo roman shade for the window. I’m not a big fan of curtains, so if I do have a window treatment I normally use something simple that will show off the woodwork.

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Stripping with the handyman

I was washing windows this morning when I realized Handyman Darren was not having much luck with scraping the wallpaper off the walls by himself. I picked up a scraper to help him out, then I remembered a trick I’d read about. Saturate the perforated wallpaper with the blue solvent, and stick plastic sheeting to the walls to let it soak in before it evaporates. After we tried that and switched to vinegar for the solvent, we were peeling off long, satisfying strips of wallpaper – much better. Now we need to fill the gouges from scraping, sand, prime and paint. There’s a reason I haven’t stripped the wallpaper in the year and a half we’ve lived in our house! I was going to let Darren do it all himself, but I’m paying him by the hour and it’s more fun working alongside someone than by myself anyway. There’s another room (a bigger one) that has wallpaper, but I think I’ll save that until some of the other jobs are finished.

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Maintenance Day

In the name of Spring Cleaning, I am having a handyman come and remove some wallpaper (courtesy the previous owners of our house) and do some painting. Yes, this is something I could do, but I’d rather do other things. I helped my friend Stephanie remove wallpaper, so I know what it’s like.

Oil change? Check. Furnace cleaning? Check. I think I might wash the windows, too. Each window still has the outline of the factory sticker, which was removed upon installation a year ago. This year I can’t just get new windows; I have to clean them. Good thing we got tilt-ins to make the job easier. Problem is, we live about 10 feet from a busy street and the cars kick up dirty water when it rains. Plus, Dear Riley likes to press her nose against the windows to see what’s happening outside.

Still no pictures of little Travis. 🙁 Can’t wait to see that sweet little guy!

I took some time over the weekend to scan and post my current stash of bracelets and necklaces. Earrings are coming! I’m at my limit of web space with my current host, so I’m looking into some other options, which may involve some site downtime (who knows?).
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The picture to the right shows the bathroom how it looked during our home inspection, before the previous owners moved out. Tan walls, red trim (next to teal in the adjacent room). Notice the cabinet doors, which are melamine laminate and don’t hang evenly.

The picture to the left is how the bathroom looks now with the ledge added above the tile. The trim is all off-white now, and the walls are Coke-bottle aqua. There’s a collection of coral we found washed up on the beach on Grand Cayman, along with some sea glass and other beachy things. I’d like to make a single door for the sink cabinet and do a mosaic inlay with sea glass to go with my shore theme. Not this week, though. I gotta get back to my studio!

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Getting white-haired

Steve and I are working on our powder room. On Saturday we cut wood to install a decorative ledge above the tile. Yesterday and today I’ve been painting the trim and upper wall (and my hair, hands, & clothes) and my arms feel like they’re going to fall off. I’ll post photos when we’re finished.