DIY Paper Christmas Tree


After an entire November of minimizing, I felt especially inspired to create something. This tree was a lot of fun to make! Even better, I didn’t have to buy anything. Being festive with what is easily available is a holiday tradition. Scrap paper, scissors and painter’s tape are the basic supplies. It’s a wonderfully forgiving project.


First, I cut something around 100 leaf shapes out of scrap paper (sewing patterns, old calendars, shopping bags, tissue paper… you get the idea).

IMG_6504   IMG_6537

Then, tape (painter’s tape) several horizontal paper strips to the wall. It helps with space planning. This also reduces the number of individual pieces of tape I had to stick to my wall.



Taping out the perimeter (big blue angled line, right) also helps get an idea of space. I ended up using it as a loose guide.  A super straight edge or a triangle-tree can look a little stiff, especially since my “building blocks” were on the more rustic side.

Finishing touches include those easy-to-remove adhesive wall hooks, for hanging ornaments (see that one almost hiding in the photo below?) and lights. Lightweight lights! These are LED on a thin wire string. They’re easily secured with tape. You can hide all kinds of less-pretty tricks behind those leaves.

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For more minimalist decorating ideas, visit Light by Coco. She is such an inspiration. Not to mention, one of the biggest most positive influencers on my massive decluttering initiative.

I hope you enjoyed reading about my DIY paper tree! Have a happy holiday (and crafting) season.

How Many Dishtowels Do You Need?

How many do you think you have? How many do you want?

FullSizeRenderIf I hadn’t been minimizing, my guess would be around 20. Because I actually laundered (finally) and folded every single dishtowel in my house. I now know I have (had) 33! That’s a little excessive, wouldn’t you say? Even worse, this suggests some big pile-up potential in the laundry room.

My new goal is to never let laundry pile up. I thought about this and how I could only minimally alter my habits to get this to be easy. This brought me to ask “How many dishtowels do I actually need?”

Every Saturday I’d like to routinely do 1 load of clothes and 1 load of household. The household would consist of something like; 1 set of queen sheets, 3 additional pillow cases, 2 bath towels, 2 hand towels, 2-5 washcloths, 1-2 dishtowels, 1-2 dish rags.

The good, I edited my kitchen down to 12 towels (7 towels, 5 rags) to support this new method. Here’s how it looks!

The bad, I know I need to get that number down further. However, it seems that trying to manage a balance of festive (those bottom two are ready for the Christmas season) with “ok to get dirty” is getting in my way.

This is exactly the benefit of committing to getting rid of only 5 items/day. It allows you to get momentum without going too far and feeling overwhelmed.

Regarding the dishtowels, and what they symbolize for me, I’m working on detangling like and want. I’m working on appreciating a thing in the moment and not bringing it home because it made me smile for a few bucks.

All that and I was only able to get 1 towel out of the house! The remaining 20 are shoved in a plastic bag in the back of my closet.

Here’s what I was able to get rid of today

  1. Sunny-side dishtowel (because folding it to look right was more complicated than I’d like)
  2. Duvet cover
  3. Pillowcases that match the Duvet cover (note: separate decision equals separate item. I thought about keeping these, at first. Feeling great about letting them go!)
  4. Flannel pillowcases
  5. Queen top sheet (fitted fell apart years ago)


Color + Light: A study of palette on a winter afternoon.


You ever look around your house?



Not just at the things or the nagging chores, 20140223-125554.jpg

but at the colors . . .



The decorating choices you’ve made . . .


and what the light does when it enters your space . . .


Yesterday was so bright!


Everything looked so different. I had to take some time and watch the afternoon unfold.


A Travel Gift from India

These yellow pillow cases fit right in with my existing textiles. A gift from my generous friend who likes to travel and has great taste! Also, someone who shies away from publicity. So, rest assured friend, I won’t blow your cover ;)


Gift shopping is something I hope to get better at when I travel.

Jewelry Organizer from The Davis Flea

Shopping at The Davis Flea, I found this practical beauty from  the I Want A Pony booth.  Jen Kniff, a Flea founder, was kind enough to snap my pic. This piece, is not only homemade, it’s an upcycle by a local crafts woman! Pretty important Shiz, right?


Nicely coordinates with my “vintage” paneling.20120901-112217.jpg

Added some string ties to the rails, just to have more places to hang. More I Want A Pony finds on Etsy.

Organizing with Springs

It’s Sunday! A gorgeous-blue-skied non-90-degree Sunday. I went to The Davis Flea again. Ed Quinn, Renewed Home has rapidly become one of my favorite dealers. He picked up all sorts of cool stuff at Brimfield this week. Among the batch, springs! I never knew I needed or wanted springs. Ed knew. These things are great. Hold pens, letters, notes . . . a kitchen utensil as you cook. Get a branch and some clothes pins, make a crazy message center. Or, just leave them sitting around. They’re pretty engaging.

Next stop, brunch at M3.

Nesting on Main

I had my HS reunion today. It was sweet. Only way it could have been better is if more alumns showed. Catching up was fun. Time goes by so fast. I detoured through the Concord Center on my way home. I used to spend time there way back in the early ’90s. This time, mission to browse Nesting on Main (discovered here, on Shiz, via co-blogger C!). Worth it! Gorgeous store. Theme is that of the seashell hunt. At least, that was how I felt at every turn. I was a beach comber! Could have stayed there for hours.

Bingo digits.

As a nod of gratitude to my blog mate, a puzzle. Can she crack the code?20120721-202231.jpg

Lofty welcome.

Entryway shelf & mail caddy

I did it! It’s July and I finally hung the shelf from the gorgeous piece of lumber I bought at Rockler back in October. Getting stuff done.


Then, just yesterday, I found this handy caddy at the Davis Flea. Well sized for the shelf. Perfectly sized for holding the daily mail.20120708-171142.jpg

Salt’n’Peppa here . . . Yeah, I dunno. They were cute and on sale at Anthropologie. 20120708-171218.jpg

The Davis Flea

The Davis Flea. It’s how I got my shopping back!

After weeks of not posting I’m finally moved to shop again. (I guess I’ve just been loving my new job that much, so back off retail therapy). Premier The Davis Flea last Sunday and with a pocket of cash, there I am. This Sunday I return with a camera. Are you near Somerville? Check it out. It’s very cool. It’s well curated so the ratio of cool stuff is quite high. It brings the discovery of the rural fleas to the urban realm. Convenient. Alluring. Brilliant idea! Glad it’s here. Hope it stays.

Other event treasures include live music and fresh apple-cider donuts.

The Davis Flea, founded by Greg Ghazil, Jennifer Kniff and Maureen Nuccitelli

Flea finds from last week:

Desk Week Day 2-Pens

Pens are fun! Especially felt tips in varying weights. I bought a multi pack with tip types: 01, 03, 05. It’s awesome! I doodle fat, I doodle fine. After that initial break-in period I recall another purchase and I doodle in color too! Now I run errands with 15 pens in my purse! Just in the name of being prepared for creative whims or something. It sucks, but it’s a nice problem to have.


Pictures in Chocolate

This is the kind of thing you come up with when you stay up ’til 2am.

I was sitting in my work room, annoyed with my computer. Waiting…. waiting…. waiting. Became focused on all my clutter, so I started thinking about how I should motivate myself to organize. I picked up the empty chocolates box I saved, cuz I found it potentially useful. Then, I thought about those square Hipsta photos in the other room, also just lying around. Eureka and voila! My pictures find a home, while some of my clutter finds purpose.

Nesting Stoneware

Izmir Measuring Cups, Anthropologie. Ornamental and functional these cups are beautiful enough to have just lying around, no need to actually use them. HOWEVER, you should use them because they’re delightfully handy. I admire them for their ongoing visual appeal and usefulness. They nest for easy storage, have cute pinch spouts, markings for measuring and each is a different color and design. I use them for serving nuts and olives—I get to feel fancy without putting in the effort. (The tiniest one is for the pits.) They’d also make for perfect bathroom or dresser accessories.

I never did get to have a set of those nesting Russian dolls when I was a kid, but having these seems to have filled that void.

Spring Birds by Miaow

Lovebirds to celebrate the coming spring! Created by Miaow, Somerville, MA. Find them at local craft fairs or on Etsy. Made from a variety of of traditional suit materials. Each has a unique personality, wings that can pivot (the “hinge” is a button), and can perch comfortably in the palm of your hand. I fell for the undeniable male/female of this couple. Looks just like me and my hubs.



Spring-Inspired Marimekko Bathroom

It seems like I live at Crate & Barrel these days, and not just because I buy quite a few–OK, most–of my home accessories from there. (You know how, on Cheers, everyone yelled “NORM!” when he walked in the door? Well, that is sort of what happens when I stroll into my local Crate.) Anyway. This weekend, I was on the prowl for a breath of fresh air for my bathroom. Today’s weather was gorge (hi, 70+ degrees!), so I blame the spring-like day for this shopping splurge. My bathroom = Marimekko explosion.


This isn’t my bathroom, of course, but it helps paint a picture:

Image: Crate & Barrel


Does that work? “Fab‘dict”? Definitely reads better, so be careful saying that one out loud. Ooooh, I got it!: “Daylignt Savings”? Get it? Cuz it’s about time AND a deal. I just ordered MORE stuff! I have the app now and push alerts for when new sales begin. I think I have to stop. I can’t stop. The Fab interface is just so juicy and clean. They know how to trigger my tactile desires. The only way I can act out these urges is to have these objects in my possession!!! Ok. This is good. I just sound sad. This is exactly the type of public-facing humiliation I’ve been needing.

This week’s tactile cravings come from paper. Thick, embossed paper! Created by Emily H. Martin of OrangeBeautiful—a super cute Chicago based boutique and studio. It’s been fun reading about Emily. Without Fab, I never would’ve been introduced to her beautiful eye!

And, look. It’s sold out! Now it’s even better.


Bowled Over

Tonight, after work, I decided that, instead of relaxing on my couch, I needed to head to Target instead, to scope out some of the home accessories I’ve been e-stalking. To my delight (but my wallet’s sadness), there was cuteness at every turn. I walked out of the store with a cart-full of awesome, and this large porcelain decorative bowl is one of my favorite purchases of the night. It’s currently sitting on my dining room table–full of fresh lemons–as I type! Best of all? It was under $20.

Image: Target

A Bright Idea

I haven’t purchased this product yet (it’s on my list!), but it’s so darn cool I had to write about it now. Idea Paint turns any surface in your house, office, wherever into a dry erase board. It even comes in a variety of fun colors. The creative possibilities are pretty much endless…as are the compliments you’ll get from your friends when they see this awesomeness in your living room.

Image: Idea Paint

Meet Kiki

I have a thing for vases. And by “thing” I mean deep, deep love. Especially adorable ones, like the Kiki Vase from Crate & Barrel (where, you’ll soon notice, I buy many, many things). I picked up three of these vases to adorn a naked, clearly unhappy shelf in my kitchen. This vase is perfect if you’re searching for a simple decoration that will still stand out. See for yourself:

Images: Crate & Barrel