This winter I am focusing on following through with a lot of small house projects. The projects have included cleaning, sorting, purging, lighting changes, and oftentimes organization-based problem solving. I have vacillated between focusing on one room, trying to see it to the end and flitting from room to room tackling things willy nilly. Recently, one project forced its way to the top of the list.
I have gone through many arrangements for keeping jewelry organized and accessible. Most recently, I had a temporary (possibly enacted more than a year ago!) solution of a tree branch propped up in a wide and deep glass vase. The vase was filled with black beans to counter balance the jewelry. I hung a lot of necklaces from the branch, but was careful not to overload it. I had generally found the balance between loading the branch as full as possible but still making sure the base outweighed the necklaces. I frequently brought it RIGHT to the limit.
One night, as I was walking away from it after having just closed the door to the cabinet it sat on, I glanced back in time to see everything shift just enough that it got knocked off balance. In sloooooow motion, the branch started to tip, taking with it all of the necklaces, the glass vase and the black beans. At first just the branch and necklaces fell to the floor. Then, the vase, which had spilled some of its content on top of the dresser started to roll. It proceeded to spill the rest of its contents as it fell to the floor, coming to rest next to a floor heating vent. Yep. Black beans and necklaces were everywhere. I was too far away to stop it, but close enough to watch it all happen.
Leading up to this moment, I had been having one of those nights where I was super productive and was feeling on top of it. You know that feeling? The feeling where you know you are going to get everything on your list done AND get to bed on time. That was the place from which I was yanked as I saw what amounted to a mighty hefty cleanup job.
As I stood there looking at the enormous mess, I had a fraction of a second to decide if I would laugh or cry. I laughed and then I summoned Paul to view the scene. After he got over the shock and awe, we proceeded to clean it up together. There were beans in the heating vent, beans under the bed, under the bookshelf, under the dresser (which is completely on the other side of the room) and even inside of the cabinet I had just closed. A few of the necklaces were broken in the fall, but all things considered, the damage was minimal. I had learned my lesson. The branch was not the answer.
I decided to think long and hard about my next jewelry solution so that it would meet my needs, be super secure and not a total eyesore. It is important to me to be able to see my jewelry. If it was put away, I probably wouldn't wear it very often. Inspired by this idea, I searched around a few stores and found what I needed at Ikea (Fintorp Series).
The hooks are secured on the rod, so they slide back and forth securely. The hanging white thingie holds chunky bracelets and shawl pins. My bracelets are hanging above that. I think it is about as organized as a massive amount of cluttery stuff can get. I may weed out some more things that I don't wear anymore, but that project is for a different day. Hopefully not prompted by this falling off of the wall! (We hung it on studs, so I think I should be covered.)
The full arrangement looks like this! The green box is the same one that is in the first photograph. It was the color inspiration that largely drove my color choices in our bedroom. It holds my rings. The tins underneath it are watchmaker tins. They used to hold spices, but now house my earrings. Some of my earrings smell sweet and some smell savory, depending on which tin they come out of. I've washed and washed and washed them., but it seems the smell will always be there.
When I was up there photographing the jewelry, I disturbed Fanny's bath time, hence the foot in the air.
This is one project I am really glad to have done.
I'd call myself a maker. More specifically: a knitter, an urban gardener, a food preserver, a cook, a baker, a reader, a photo taker, a budding sewist and an all-around dabbler. I enjoy using this space to record the things I see, make, eat, and do.
My husband and co-conspirator on the much linked to Mega Man hat. He is the house expert when it comes to all things with electrical cords/chargers and/or anything that requires configuring. When I first met Paul he was a smoker and a vegetarian. Now he is a non-smoker who enjoys making smoked meat in his BBQ. Paul recently dove headfirst into brewing beer and is quickly acquiring mad brewing skills. If you are really lucky, he will invite you to one of his Meat Meet Supper Club dinners or Beer Release parties.
Cast of Characters: Fanny
Fanny joined our family in 2008 and has been keeping our laps warm ever since then. When we met Fanny at a shelter in Boston, we thought she was a small, adult cat. We were wrong. She must have been less than a year old, because when we brought her home and fed her, she kept getting bigger and bigger and fluffier and fluffier. In addition to her stellar cuddling skills, Fanny’s claim to fame is that she is a polydactyl cat with a fused or “super” claw. We think she is super in every way.
Cast of Characters: Uli
Uli joined our family on Valentine's Day of 2015. We met him when he was just a few hours old and took him into our home at 7 weeks old. We are looking forward to many years of shared experiences and adventures with this inquisitive and energetic German Shorthaired Pointer pup.
Cast of Characters: Camilla Cordon Bleu
Camilla is our chicken with charm. She is usually the first one to come running to see if you have a treat for her. She is also the chicken most likely to be found perched somewhere she shouldn’t be or wandering off by herself to explore a new area first. Camilla is a Barred Rock, lays brown eggs and is the smallest bird in our flock.
Cast of Characters: Nellie Noodle Soup
Nellie is our bridge bird as she seems to hold the flock together. She usually roosts between Camilla and Petunia and can be found happily foraging alongside either one of them. The only thing that ruffles her feathers is finding herself alone. She is a Rhode Island Red and our biggest hen. Nellie is our first layer and lays brown eggs.
Cast of Characters: Petunia Pot Pie
Petunia is our crafty dodger. She is the hardest to catch and the last to be won over with treats. Her feathers are beautifully ornate which helps make up for her slightly bullyish attitude towards Camilla. She is an Ameraucana and and she lays light blue eggs for us.
In Memoriam: Tchazo
Tchazo, our Weimaraner, was born 3 days before Paul and I had our first date. During our first date, Paul and I egged each other on about getting dogs. Eight weeks later, Tchazo became a part of our lives. After almost 12 amazing years and countless adventures together, we said goodbye to Tchazo in 2014. Tchazo loved life, especially the parts that include eating, smelling, sunbathing, playing and cuddling on the bed. We will forever remember him and the lessons he taught us about joy.
In Memoriam: Jack
I adopted Jack at about the same time Paul bought Tchazo (see previous note about egging each other on), but since Tchazo was young and needed to stay with his mom for a few more weeks, Jack came into our house first. For a while, he HATED Tchazo but they eventually became 24-7 buddies. After nearly 11 years together, we had to put Jack down in March of 2013. Jack was a little crazy in the head, but we learned how to live with it. His favorite things included licking the floor, lying under the couch and gazing at me longingly. Jack was physically incapable of wagging his tail whilst being petted. I like to think it is because he was soaking up the love so intensely that it required his full concentration.