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My favorite colors are green and blue, preferably together. There are lots and lots of green and blue pairs of things around the house, and that was also the case of our main snuggle spot in the house: a large mattress covered with pillows, where many of our games and naps take place.

Yesterday I felt very much in a rut, ready for spring and some bright colors. The fastest way to fix that seemed to change the pillows. So I eliminated all greens and blues, and used some of my most favorite fabrics in my stash choosing from among pinks and oranges. Most of our pillows now are with fabrics directly from India, but there is also that shiny floral in the middle, made with a Chinese fabric my niece brought for me in one of her travels. The brightest of them all, bottom left, comes from a dress (size xxl, I believe) I found at Goodwill – I love buying fabric by the pound 🙂

Keeping things simple and quick, they are all made “envelope style”, where the fabrics overlap a bit at the back of the pillow. With yet another blizzard coming our way spring is a long way away on the outside world, but things are already blooming in our house!

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I went to Home Depot the other day, just wandering around for inspiration. I came home with plenty of both, materials and inspiration. My first project was some canvas storage bags for all the soft, bulky items we all have around the house. Soft toys, yarn, socks… they all found a home, in style.

The process was very simple: I lined a table or the floor with some paper to protect from spillage, spread canvas (I used the cheap one used to protect floors when painting the walls) and then L and I painted / splashed / dabbed with color. I was in a blue and white mood, so we kept the colors simple. The large piece of canvas we made was enough for 3 bags, so I divided it in equal pieces and just sewed around the edges. Then, to create a wide base, I folded the corners and sewed along the crease there as well. Done!

I also picked up some paint chips during my inspiration trip, with no specific project in mind. The first thing I made with them were small open boxes, which I then held together with some pretty duct tape (another Home Depot score I couldn’t resist!) I plan to use them for organizing the tiny scraps of fabric that come out of other projects: I have plans for all those little triangles and rectangles from trimming corners and seams!

Okay, I ‘ve got nothing on the crafting front. But I do have photos of some beautiful big jars I bought at the thrift store.

They now hold white and brown rice, and white and whole wheat flour. I like the large openings, so that my hand and measuring cup fit easily. To make sure I know what’s in there, I cut a label from the original packaging and keep it inside. Easy & pretty!

The (3-day) weekend is half way through, and I am already having so much fun. The train ride yesterday was beautiful, despite delays. Winter landscapes are very impressive, especially when they include frozen ponds and dead marshes, stark tree silhouettes and a hazy sunset… The camera was out of reach, but I doubt I could have captured the beauty anyway.

At home (northern headquarters), there was in-progress mess: the kind of mess created before it is all better. I played with L’s books. In the beginning, setting in order the books that came from his childhood-to-now book case felt a little too close to what I do at work, until I decided to turn it into a “how well do you know your loved one?” game.

Taking more of an archival than a library approach, I started by making piles of similar things. Easy – it is second nature to me. As I held each book, I found myself thinking of how it got to come to his possession, when, why, based on what interests at a certain time in his life. We do this for work processing anyway, but rarely have a way of confirming our guesses. It is the dream of any archivist to be able to have access to the life behind a collection, but in general I believe we are trained to zoom quite well into such details.

After a while, I started telling him what my guess was. Most of the books, he had acquired before we knew each other, and that was the challenge. I was happy to discover I nailed each and every one of them! 🙂 Even the one that made me think “What the hell is this doing here. It doesn’t fit him at all. I bet someone just gave it to him and he keeps it for sentimental reasons, with no intention of ever reading it.” Bull’s eye!

Skid was there helping, and gave her very definite node of approval to a book with a very cute story behind it:

Malory’s Le Morte D’Arthur was a public library book, and L’s favorite book at 9th grade. After taking it out so many times when no one else cared for it, the librarian decided to de-accession the book and gave it to him. What a lovely gesture!

In the end, it all got into three major subject piles, and then arranged by size. Not a recommended classification system, but it certainly looks tidy!

Spring cleaning can be so unrewarding. Even after spending an entire day cleaning in the kitchen, things still appear with little difference. At least they are clean, easier to find, and some stuff was thrown away. I took pictures to see the difference, and the comparison kind of disappointed me. sigh!

BEFORE

AFTER


Thankfully, I had help

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