Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Clutter-Busting My Desktop

 You may recall a while back I de-cluttered the bulletin board above my desk. It went from looking like this:

To this. Much neater!:

But the neat bulletin board made other areas of my desk look flabby, like they weren't pulling their weight. For instance, these large, blue storage files, below. They took up a lot of precious desktop space and they weren't easy to get into. Plus, they are filled with stuff I don't use all that often:

So I moved them to a sofa table nearby. They look rather handsome there, don't they?:

Over the last few weeks, I've tucked all my loose magazine and newspaper clippings into a bunch of pretty, new binders (Martha Stewart products, available at Staples). I tried perching some of the binders on top of a small stationery organizer that had been kicking around since I found it in an alley months ago:

I didn't like this arrangement. The stationery caddy almost looks as though it's saying, "Oof! Get offa me! I can't breathe!":

I pulled out the stationery organizer and thought about how I could use it best. It's a good size, as you can see compared to my cell phone:

So I labeled the two little drawers and put a lot of my stationery stuff in there. (Heh. Who knew? Stationery stuff in a stationery organizer.):

I use the top of the caddy to showcase some of my favorite objects, like a Victorian pen stand in the shape of a pug, a cast-iron ram, an antique magnifying glass, and a teeny, hand-thrown bowl that holds two stones:

Now the pretty binders are all lined up in a row. There's even two empty ones, so I have a little room to grow:

Each binder has an identifying tag. I found these Martha Stewart tags at Staples:

And best of all, when I sit down at my laptop to write, there's a loooong expanse of clean, clutter-free desk on my left side!:

Next up, whittle down the two-part "In" box:

*Sigh.* There's always something.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

A Simple Springtime Lunch

Heirloom tomatoes with smoked salt.

 Little balls of goat cheese marinated in olive oil and Herbes de Provence. Whole-wheat pita bread.

And strawberries for dessert.


Saturday, April 27, 2013

Time Capsule of a Happy Childhood

A few days ago, I was digging through some storage box for something, and I came upon this bag filled with little bitty things from my children's long-ago days:

I tipped over the bag. What memories came spilling out!

I saw evidence of The Boy:

And Lovely Daughters #1 and #2:

Lots of round things--beads, marbles, mini basketballs, and such:

Some of the jewelry they wore while spending hours happily playing Dress-Up:

Wands from the bottles of bubbles I blew for them until they were old enough to do it themselves. And puzzles! We built many a puzzle together as a family. The children called the little green turtle...Gertrude? Mildred? I used to toss her in the pool and let the children dive down to retrieve her:

I have no idea why I saved such odd bits and bobs, but I'm so glad I did. It's like a time capsule of their childhood days:

 It makes me smile, seeing all these funny little things. They are evidence of the love that saturated our lives. And the happiness, too:

When my parents were alive, they used to keep lots of little toys and playing cards and games for their grandchildren in the drawer of this little end table:

Kids, when you come home, go to your Great-Grandpa Ramsay's table.

Your childhood memories are waiting for you there!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

New "Silver Beauties" Crush

I have a new "Silver Beauties" crush. Her name is Linda Rodin, and she lives in New York City with her rescued poodle, "Wink":

photo credit: Ari Seth Cohen, of Advanced Style

Omigosh, how I love this woman's style!

 photo credit: Ari Seth Cohen, of Advanced Style

Ms. Rodin is a model-turned skin-care maven (her line of products is here) and a stylist to big-name modeling gigs, like Victoria's Secret. She has such flair!

She's just a few years older than I. Could I pull off her looks? I've already got the long, silvery hair. I've got the tortoise-shell glasses:

And now I've got the lipstick, just $8.50 at your local drug store:

Revlon's Super Lustrous Lipstick in "Wild Orchid":

But can I emulate this gal's moxie?

We shall see....

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Pale-Green Love

Last Sunday, some beautiful things fell into my lap, all in the same beautiful, pale-green shade. Two eggs from an Auracana chicken:

A box (and a bag, for that matter!) containing my favorite Parisian macarons:

And some just-picked-that-morning Fava beans:

The eggs and Fava beans were from a neighbor's organic garden and chicken-raising enterprise. The cookies were from another neighbor, who brought a box for me on her way back from Paris. It's uncanny how closely the eggs and the macaron box are in color:

Fava beans, when fresh, are softly furred and very pliable--not at all like the nasty, hard things I usually see in the grocery store. Fresh Favas are also very easy to peel. I cooked them briefly in boiling, salted water, then tossed them with some cherry tomatoes, goat cheese and olive oil to serve over a bed of linguine for Sunday dinner.

And of course we had  macarons for dessert.

I am blessed with the loveliest neighbors.

Monday, April 22, 2013

An Artsy, Craftsy Earth Day Idea

Hokay, so it's Earth Day, and we're all recycling like crazy, right?

(Not yet? Well, today's a good day to start.)

If your municipality has a crummy recycling program and only takes a few things (newspaper, glass bottles, aluminum cans, and plastics marked "1" or "2," for instance), I have a tiny, humble little suggestion.

Think of your local preschool, after-school, boys' or girls' club, or even senior day-care center. Could any of your non-recyclable stuff be used as art materials?

If your community recycling stinks, a lot of non-recyclables make great fodder for creativity. For instance, the cardboard core from the middle of a roll of toilet paper, paper towels, or gift wrap:

Wine corks--either of real cork or manufactured product:

Berry baskets:

Those plastic thingummies that hold tights, socks, and men's boxers at the department stores:

The little net bags at a grocery store that hold shallots, garlic bulbs, and other small-sized produce:

 The cores from the middle of rolls of dog-poop bags:

The plastic tabs on bags of bread and rolls:

Look at the stuff you're throwing out, or the stuff you haven't gotten around to throwing out (old keys? extra twisty ties? bits of yarn or embroidery floss? leftover wire hangers?). Chances are, it would be welcome in somebody's art supplies closet.

Happy Earth Day!


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