Poetry & Words

WRITING & WORDS :: Gussy Sews Inspiration Workshop :: ‘Clean all the things!’ v.s. One Year to an Organized Life

I bought this book a few weeks ago.

One Year to an Organized Life by Regina Leeds

I can hear my mom saying, “People who buy organization books and people who actually organize are not the same people.” I know, I know, mom. You’re right.

I want to be organized. It’s not like I didn’t have THE best example in the world, growing up. My mom’s a cleaning and organizing whiz. Seriously, she’s amazing.

And then there’s me.

It’s not so much that I don’t know how to be organized. It’s that I don’t actually act on what I know. (Which is far, far worse. I wish I could claim ignorance.)

This is fairly humiliating to admit.

The thing is, I truly desire to create a calm, peaceful, inviting space for my family. And this year, I feel very strongly convicted that I need to conquer the clutter. I need to keep a clean home.

For one, my husband works hard all day long and he deserves to come home to a relaxing environment. I want to provide this for him.

And two, well, did you see that post earlier this week where I mentioned that my parents packed up our house last move? It’s not the first time they’ve boxed up all my things and cleaned our house from top to bottom.  As embarrassing as it is to admit this on my blog? Far more embarrassing to have my mother, the queen of clean, wiping out my freezer and seeing what actually is under the kitchen sink and in the back of the closet.

I hang my head in shame.

My approach to getting a handle on the housework, though, looks a lot like this:

Clean All the Things via Hyperbole and a Half

[via Hyperbole and a Half]

I’m kind of an all-or-nothing person. Yes, I know that’s a logical fallacy. It’s also how my sad little brain works.

I’m also quite the multitasker. The older I get, though, the more I’ve come to realize that my version of multitasking is really distraction in hyper drive. Productive? Not so much.

We all know the fable of the tortoise and the hare, but I look more like a bunny on a sugar high hopping from room to room than I do a slow and steady tortoise.

All this might not be so terrible if I wasn’t also a perfectionist. So, I work myself into a clean all the things frenzy, hop from room to room starting a billion and five organizing projects, then sit down and cry when my house doesn’t look like a magazine after one day hour.

So when Natalia from Ma Nouvelle Mode emailed me about Regina Leed’s book One Year to Organized Life and suggested we go through it together, I was only too eager to say yes. (Natalia’s in France. I’m in Florida. Don’t you love the internet?)

The book is broken down into chapters which correspond with months of the year. January’s four-week segment was all about kitchens, and February will go through bedroom organization.

via Amazon's Look Inside feature of One Year to an Organized Lifevia Amazon's Look Inside feature of One Year to an Organized Life

So far, I love it — it’s encouraging, the tasks are manageable, and best of all, I don’t end my cleaning frenzy lamenting “I should have done more! I should have done better!”

Viva la clean!

Gussy Sews Inspiration Workshop!

CHRISTMAS :: Gussy Sews Inspiration Workshop :: Christmas Decor, Scandinavian Style

I didn’t get enough white Christmas yesterday with Monday’s Pretty Things :: Scandinavian Christmas, so I thought I’d link up with the Gussy Sews Inspiration Workshop (which isn’t until Thursday. I scheduled this post a day early. Oops!).

Photo by Sofi Sykfont for Lantliv magazine - Scandinavian Christmas tree
Scandinavian Christmas tree – photo by Sofi Sykfont for the Swedish magazine Lantliv 

Scandinavian Christmas - Roy Alsén Photo and styling Anne-Charlotte Andersson and Anna Kvarnström for the Swedish Magazine Livet Pa Landet
Scandinavian interior – photo by Roy Alsén, styling by Anne-Charlotte Andersson and Anna Kvarnström, for the Swedish magazine Livet På Landet

Exterior of Home in Denmark in Winter - Snowy White Christmas - Image from Sköna Hem

Exterior of Danish home at Christmastime – photo via the Swedish magazine Sköna Hem

Mother and Son on Wintery Christmas Porch in Denmark in Winter - Snowy White Christmas - Image from Sköna hem

Mother and son on wintery Christmas porch in Denmark – photo via the Swedish magazine Sköna Hem

Someday, I think I’d like to have a tree decorated with all white and silver ornaments, and maybe some cranberries. Ahh, dreamy. Right now, though, we have something a little more beautiful than that. ;-) Despite endless reprimands,  the toddler-baby removes a rather high percentage of our Christmas tree ornaments on a daily basis, and strands of lights keep burning out. The decor theme, more and more, is looking like dark, blank patches. But when I look at Aveline’s dancing, happy eyes staring up at the tree, the tree is as perfect to me as any in a magazine shoot.  Oh, I love her!



Gussy Sews Inspiration Workshop :: Red, the Color

The prompt for this week’s Inspiration Workshop hosted by Gussy Sews is…RED!

I haven’t linked up since my first time participating during vintage week, but I couldn’t resist this theme since red (along with black and white) was our main wedding color!

So, without further ado…a handful of RED pictures from our wedding…

Wedding rehearsal photo - groom in black and bride in red

Wedding cake on red damask tablecloth

bridal and bridesmaids bouquet with red bracelets

Red zinnias

All images via B. Sarah Klein

Gussy Sews Inspiration Workshop!
Inspiration, Little Style

Gussy Sews Inspiration Workshop :: [Baby] Vintage

Today is my first time linking up with the weekly Gussy Sews Inspiration Workshop. Gussy Sews is hugely inspirational to me — she’s a Michigan girl living in the Twin Cities, who, after teaching herself to sew just three years ago, now runs a very successful handmade business! Each week she chooses a theme for the Inspiration Workshop, and bloggers everywhere participate by sharing their interpretation of that theme. Gussy says,

This week’s prompt is vintage. Do you have a favorite vintage piece of clothing or accessory? How about a favorite vintage shop? Or is there an old car you admire? The possibilities are endless…

Alrighty, then! Let’s get started. No big surprise that I’m interpreting vintage with a baby flair, right?

Reproduction of Vintage 1930s Girl’s White Cotton Dress

I’m especially drawn to the simple designs from the early 1900’s — the ’10s, ’20s, and ’30s. In fact, a very talented friend handmade Aveline a gorgeous little garment fashioned after a 1930’s dress.

Entire Dress - Vintage-Inspired 1930s Girls Dress Reproduction copy

Hem Detail - Vintage-Inspired 1930s Girls Dress Reproduction copy

Shoulder - Vintage-Inspired 1930s Girls Dress Reproduction

Isn’t it lovely? It won’t fit her until she’s a little older, so until then it’s displayed on the wall in her room.

Vintage 1910s, 1920s, and 1930s Baby Dresses and Rompers

I just love old baby clothes. Have you ever browsed the Belle Heir website? It’s so easy to get lost amongst all the pretty vintage baby things. This 1935 number even has the same kind of pintucks as Aveline’s dress!

1935 cotton batiste dress with embroidery and pintucks via belle heir vintage

Here’s a linen romper from 1910 — such delicate embroidery! (That blue section you see around the goose is cross-stitched.)

bluegoose c 1910 linen baby romper via belle heir vintage

Don’t you just love the black stitching on this 1930s peach gauze dress?

peach cotton gauze 1930 baby dress via belle heir vintage

I like the subtle addition of color with the striped placket on this 1930s linen dress.

Linen Stripe Vintage baby Dress 1930 via Belle Heir Vintage

Another 1910-era cotton romper.

Cotton Romper 1910 via Belle Heir Vintage - Baby

Vintage 1930s Knitting Patterns

It’s fun to imagine the little people who wore these outfits. The photographs on vintage patterns, like these 1930s Bairns-Wear Knitting Wools pieces from the Vintage Knitting Lady, give a little peek into what the wee girls and boys might have looked like. I gotta admit the recurring appearance of nuns made me giggle.

Bairns-Wear Knitting Wools 1930s Pram Set

Bairns-Wear Knitting Wools 1930s Babies' Cardigan

Bairns-Wear Knitting Wool

Bairns-Wear Knitting Wools 1940s Sunsuit

Bairns-Wear Modern Baby Wear Knitting Vintage

Now I’m completely and totally inspired to make Aveline a dress like I mentioned in my creative goals for the remainder of 2011. Off to look through my stack of fabric!

Gussy Sews Inspiration Workshop!