Cut and Paste

My SisterFriend set a schedule for herself and her kids this June that gave each weekday a theme:
Make-It Monday (making something crafty or from-scratch)
Low-Tech Tuesday (a day with little time spent on technology)
Wet Wednesday (pool time!)
Thoughtful Thursday (doing something for someone else just because)
Free Friday (no big plans)

How creative.  How inventive.  How "I-better-get-a-plan-cause-school's-out-and-I'm-about-to-be-outnumbered".  Whatever the motivation, I think it's brilliant and that our zoo-crew may put a spin on something like this for the remainder of the summer.

If I had thought about it earlier, I would have gotten her to write a guest blog and talk about how this schedule went in the month of June.  Today was her final official June 2011 Make-It Monday.  I wonder what she did today...

Here's what I did.

I have been working to carve out and sharpen up our home office.  Our house has a formal dining room that we use as the library.  This room is definitely at the tippy-top of my list of favorite things about our house.  By no means is it a big room, but there is just something about it.  It is warm and cozy.  We all seem to pile into it on occasion; to read or color or listen to records or watch fish swim or all of the above.  It's a great room.  And it is an ideal space to incorporate a workspace into because of its warmth and comfort, and because the kids can pile in and stay occupied while we work.  That last point is pretty important because no matter what we try, the kids can't be kept away for long.  Where we are, they are there.  How sweet.  How suffocating.  How short-term.  I will enjoy it - or at least make it work - while it lasts.

One of my website regulars over the past few years has been The Unclutterer.  I enjoy the site so much that I bought the ebook about a year ago.  One of the concepts she introduces is having a "landing strip" in the house that is designated as a sort of catch-all for when you come in the door - mail, papers to be filed, keys, electronics charging station, etc.  We have a cut-through from a hallway into our library that is the perfect space for a landing strip.  From the beginning of living here, that is exactly where we have designated the landing strip to be.  The breakdown, however, is that the other elements of organization - a desk in our bedroom and a filing cabinet in our closet - were nowhere near the landing strip.  Even utilizing the landing strip concept, we still had no central "office".  This translates into things landing on the landing strip but never making the way to their final destinations, i.e. papers to be filed never getting filed because nobody wants to lug them from the landing strip to the closet, etc.  Today, I remedied all of that.

The desk and filing cabinet now happily live in the library - this sweet, inspirational, convenient space full of antiquities of our own past and the pasts of others.  Bringing it all together into the room makes too much sense and seemed right from the second the epiphany struck.  I love the idea of sitting in that room and writing, filing, sorting, and keeping order of our personal affairs.  What I didn't love was the eye-sore of a filing cabinet in this room that holds all kinds of unique, sentimental, and nostalgic bits of life.  I want the room to be functional as an office, but I don't want to lose the charm that the room has held for us by filling it up with cold, uncreative pieces.

I know it's just a filing cabinet, and a filing cabinet does not necessarily a room make or break.  But we can do better than this, I think.  A little thought later, I pulled out some supplies I already had and got to work transforming the cabinet.

The supplies: decorative paper, glue, scissors, and
paint brushes

 This was nothing more than a decoupage project, really.  I tore paper at my own whim, sort of got an idea where I wanted to paste it, painted glue on the back of the paper, and stuck it to the filing cabinet.

Painting the glue on the paper

The first piece applied
I continued tearing and gluing paper, layering it up on the cabinet.  On the top of the cabinet I chose to put a map of Prince Edward Island, one of my favorite I've-never-been-but-you-can-bet-your-booty-I'm-going places.  Once all of the paper was glued into place, I sealed it all with an application of enamel glaze I had left from centuries-old crafting projects.

After I sealed everything, I wanted a slightly more finished look to the cabinet, so I decided to paint the trim of the cabinet in black.  I knew black acrylic paint would easily peel off of the metal cabinet.  I tried a Sharpie but realized quickly that wasn't going to cut it.  Determined not to have to leave the house or purchase anything for this little impromptu project, I got creative and pulled out this...
Yep, black nail polish did the trick.

I couldn't be more pleased with the total finished product.

I remembered I had xeroxed copies of some Athens, Ga. history on
Ma Luffin' Mayun's family.  I added them to the cabinet.
So, once again, everything old is new again.  I love how something so simple can bring change in just the right dose.  And I love this room.  Here's to more time spent within it's walls, reading, writing, laughing, and living.

my helper

...and don't believe everything you read.  I assure you,
it was her.


  1. Anonymous8:21:00 AM

    I am always amazed by your creativity and resourcefulness. You inspire me! (and your pictures are lovely!) - Loves!

  2. Anonymous9:27:00 AM

    so cool chop! I love it and I love you! You got skills and now a better place to pay the bills! A

  3. Thanks, Branny. Mutual inspiration is a good thing!

    And hey you, Ma Luffin' Mayun. Thanks for bringing home bacon to pay the bills!


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