Friday, May 13, 2011

Spring cleaning and downsizing..

I've been keeping busy cleaning house lately...
Kitchen closet renewal!
 Besides taming the lovely brigade of ants that have made themselves at home in our sunroom, I've been sorting, cleaning, freshening, and downsizing every room in the house. The playschool children have been on vacation for the past 2 weeks, so I've had ample time to really delve into housekeeping projects. I'm so ready for them to return to our home!
I am really trying to master the art of being minimalistic with our playthings and supplies. Less is really more when it comes to toys, and I don't want excess to  stifle creativity or the value they place on very special things. I moved many things up to labeled bins in our attic; mostly books.


I've been an avid reader my entire life...books have kept me company, scared me more than any movie, and have made me ponder many, many concepts. We could dive into a pretty serious conversation about reading and reading readiness, but that's for another time:) In short, I'm keeping a few picture books that contain quality art and soothing images. The focus is on creative play.


Our art supplies (watercolors, block and stick beeswax crayons, colored pencils) needed some housekeeping, so I rubbed our crayons with a rag dipped in olive oil. I also shaved down our block crayons, as W has made many attempts to eat them for a snack. Our colored pencils were given a new home in a log of wood with holes drilled into the base.


Upstairs in the play room, I hung our hand dyed curtains and I am loving them. I created some new Spring vignettes for the top of our book case, which is in the center of the room.




But the bravest deed of all was when I decided to tackle our attic. That's going to take awhile! I am trying to keep all toys and books that are "out of rotation" and seasonal items organized upstairs...it is a work in progress and it's worth it.
Most of all, we are enjoying beautiful weather, many long walks, and evenings down by the creek.



This weekend, I am a performer in the play Birth: A Play by Karen Brody. The character I am reading has a birth experience similar to mine, and I'm hoping for it to be somewhat cathartic for me.  I'm in the middle of writing W's birth story and I'll have it posted here sometime next week. It's been the toughest subject I've written about yet, but it's very real proof that journaling continues to help me make sense of  many experiences in my life...even some that I am subconsciously trying to forget.
*The giveaway for a spot in The Magic Fairy Wool class ends tomorrow...best of luck!**

18 comments:

  1. wow! i am in suspense waiting to hear your birth story now! your home looks lovely and all the organizing is so worth it indeed. one day i will have a home to organize again. for now it's live in the moment! : )

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  2. Love the photo of you and W by the creek. I hope Nathan and I can go with you guys sometime this summer!

    xoxo

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  3. Wow! We are doing some similar organizing and purging in our house too. I try to keep the books we have out for our daughter seasonal as well, but sometimes it is hard. Do you have any tips?

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  4. I find the process of spring cleaning such an important and necessary step in my year. Your space looks lovely.

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  5. Beautiful spaces. I love being inspired by other's homes and the way they organize. Love your log homes for the pencils! Beautiful!

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  6. you might like this post i wrote last spring on ants: http://www.byhandathome.com/2010/03/spring-waldorf-elementals-or-how-to-get.html (i also just read that gnomes LOVE pineapple. not to eat, they just like to be around it. ha!)

    i think i am less doing and more thinking, so this is something i shall think about, er... do something about!

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  7. We have been on a continuous purging process lately.Inspired by Simplicity Parenting our goal has been to focus our energy towards what is meaningful. May you be successful in your journey(hopefully before the attic gets to hot;))What fabric did you use for the windows(the ones you dyed ) it looks lovely!? BTW I too have a birth story that has left me scarred in more than one way I hope your play gives you the healing needed.
    Blessings,
    Mandi

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  8. Have you read Homemaking as a Social Art? So inspiring.

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  9. I just recently found out I was pregnant again, with a daughter at 20 months. We are very excited and in a flash I realize I really need to process my first birth story. I have been letting it roll in my head for a few weeks now and am just a tad closer to committing it to paper.

    On another note, I have a really hard time with reading readiness. Perhaps I don't understand it enough. We have a whole wall of books (6 large floor to ceiling bookshelves). We moved the bottom few rows on a couple of them and filled them with my daughter's toys and her books. Given a choice of anything to do in a day she would read books morning to night. She loves them. I haven't more than 3 books since she was born, so it isn't mimicry. It has been fun and interesting to watch her slowly explore her body and I try to encourage it as best I can, but when inside, its all about the books. Ok I should have just wrote this all out on my own blog ;)

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  10. Wow, I am inspired by your productive purging and cleaning! Love the log homes for your art supplies and the peaceful moment by the creek. Weekend blessings of joy to you!

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  11. I am so sorry that your birth story requires healing. So so sorry. I hope that writing and sharing that story with other women is exactly what you need. Sometimes the more you tell it the less it hurts, I hope this is the case. Love.

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  12. I too am in the middle of writin R's birth story. For me it is so much about healing. Looking forward to reading yours. Jade x

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  13. The spaces are beautiful. I love the basket of books...we seem to have the same taste in children's literature from the picture! I am a huge fan of Gyo Fujikawa's illustrations...especially her books of Mother Goose and children's poems.

    I kind of go back on forth on the book issue--Gabriel loves them so much. He even sleeps with them at night. Yet, I can see the wisdom behind the idea of less is more and letting them be little until they are ready to grow. So many folks put pressure on their kids to aquire all the skills we were expected to master by Grade 1 in pre-school.

    My son just seems to pick up letters and numbers out of thin air without us teaching or putting any pressure on him. He is learning quite organically...just the way John Holt describes in his book, "How Children Learn."

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  14. Hi Rebecca,
    I always come to your blog when I need some inspiration! I am in the process of simplifying my home, toys, supplies etc. I always find seeing your beautiful home so helpful and inspiring. Thank you for this post. Love, Maria Weinert

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  15. Rebecca - The crayon and colored pencil holders are such a fantastic idea. Best wishes for your play! Thanks for sharing - Hope you had a wonderful weekend!
    ~Stephanie Lynn
    www.bystephanielynn.com

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  16. What a beautiful post! Some fabulous ideas you've shared too.. I love it!

    I would love to have you share this at my For the Kids link party! Come join the fun!

    http://sunscholars.blogspot.com/2011/05/for-kids-friday-9.html

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  17. Beautiful! What did you use to dye the curtains? I love the color :)

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