DIY Paper Christmas Tree

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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.

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

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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.

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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!

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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)

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

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You ever look around your house?

Mantel

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

but at the colors . . .

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The decorating choices you’ve made . . .

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

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Yesterday was so bright!

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

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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 ;)

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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?

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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.
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Organizing with Springs

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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.
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Next stop, brunch at M3.