Thursday, March 20, 2014

Storage as art

I had two problems with my bedroom space. I hadn't hung anything on the walls, and I have about a bajillion too many scarves hung up on the coat rack in the corner.

I actually decided to go for the smaller of the two rooms in my two-bedroom because I had more furniture that needed to go in the library/craft/makeup room. Also the smaller bedroom didn't share a wall and that was really the deciding factor. The point being that there just isn't much in this sleeping space.

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I decided to remedy my two issues with the help of these handy little clear Command hooks I discovered.

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I also used some (a lot) of the Velcro Command strips on this mirror I found at Goodwill (have you ever tried to remove Goodwill price labels? It's like the best glue in the world which is why I didn't even bother trying to remove the label on this since no one will see it anyway.

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 I put them all over the mirror and then snap the wall side ones into place, then it's a cinch to peel the backs and simply stick it to the wall. I've done this for other art and it works great. The heavier the piece, the more strips you want to use. And they aren't difficult to remove as I had already stuck this mirror on the wall and decided I hated the position of it. Sigh.

I used a pencil and a measuring tape to map out spaces 12 inches apart on my wall, stuck my hooks to the wall, and voila.

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It gets some of the scarves out of the way and makes art out of them. It did occur to me this might be slightly tacky and juvenile but I decided there were no decorating rules. I hung up the bag because I think it's adorable and the poor thing is always getting wrinkled in a pile somewhere. In case you're wondering I bought the bag here.

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Above the dresser I hung the mirror where I can use it to see what I'm doing when I put on jewelry. The mirrored tray I've had for ages and the jewelry tree was a Christmas gift from a friend.

 I jumped on the giant blingy statement necklace bandwagon and those things do. not. fit in traditional jewelry storage no matter how many ways I tried. So I used some tiny clear Command hooks (seriously the company just needs to start offering me stock options at this point) to hang them from instead.

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And it turns the necklaces into well-stored art much like the scarves.

Just an FYI - jewelry is more likely to tarnish out in the open like this but if you've got a jewelry buffing cloth and some time in front of the TV you can easily take care of that.

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The dresser was a gift from my old neighbor who I was telling about trying to paint a dresser I'd salvaged (to be featured in another post) and he told me he had a dresser I could have. How great was that? (Those storage boxes to the side were blogged about here way back in 2009)

 I went from blank walls and piles of accessories to dig through to decorated organization.

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What do you think? Tacky and juvenile? Or would you try something like this in your home?

Also, I have to confess my real reason for being so absent from blogging anymore is that I've run out of storage space on blogger and it is just a pain to upload them to an outside site and then get them over here. It just makes blogging not as fun.

I do spend quite a bit of time on flickr and you will find much more of my goings on over there.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Mr. Darcy's Dilemma & Delight - a review

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I have actually been reading Pride & Prejudice spinoff stories for several years. When I worked at a school I saw one of the students reading one and then the idea was new to me so I read a few like Mr. Darcy's Diary and Mr. Darcy's Daughters (the latter of which is a part of a series that I really like). Since then I have read several every year. Somehow - according to my Goodreads lists anyway - I always tend to start and end my year reading these spinoffs. This year I mixed it up by reading this one a few months before the end of the year. I am such a rebel. ;)

Mr. Darcy's Dilemma and Delight is a different type of story about how Elizabeth and Darcy come to fall in love. They've already got some history - the history we all know - and then we find out how evil George Wickham truly is.

The story begins in medias res ('in the midst of things' if you're not a lit nerd like me) with Darcy out doing Darcy things like looking majestic on a horse and contemplating his responsibilities when he hears strange sounds that indicate someone is in trouble. He (unseen) witnesses Wickham walking away from - as further investigation enlightens - Miss Elizabeth Darcy sobbing on the ground. That's as descriptive as it gets, in case you were worried. And I promise that isn't giving away too much of the plot as it is in the synopsis as well.

Darcy mans up and gets help for Elizabeth, even going so far as to help her conceal events from her family (ruination for the sisters as well hanging in the balance).

We really breeze right on past the proud Darcy here and jump right into the most thoughtful and caring man on the planet. This man thinks of everything and creates a provision for it and he has a mindful, caring hand in Elizabeth's healing of her emotional trauma. And working through his doubts of how to care for a broken woman whom he still loves despite his hatred of Wickham and the evil that his actions wrap them into was a wonderful progression to read.

Elizabeth, in the meanwhile, is not a total shrinking violet. Obviously she has her rough patches and anxiety moments but she has an active hand in the restoration of herself that was written in a very gentle and believable way. She wasn't always one way or another because humans are not and emotions sometimes rule and sometimes we have good control over those things. If Austen's Elizabeth were a real person she would be very proud of this representation of her.

In the end, the love Darcy and Elizabeth develop is so full and deep it's like gentle waves washing over all the terrible things they've endured and making it all clean. A truly beautiful thing.

And there is no way you walk away from this book not completely in love with Darcy yourself. You thought the original made you love him? You ain't seen nothin' yet.

Amazon has the kindle version for only $4.99 (as of this posting)!

Fun fact: the cover photo - I totally took that. :)