Monday, April 12, 2010

This Week: Clutter and Floor Coverings

Let me say first, we absolutely love our home.... it is, however, what one might euphemistically describe as "petite."  A real-estate agent might call it cozy.  We've sussed out some good space-savers (a fold-away kitchen table, for example) but the single most important thing we've found that keeps "cozy" from feeling claustrophobic is continual de-cluttering.  We de-clutter daily, weekly, and in bigger ways, half-yearly.  Every six months, we comb the house to clear out any unused or unneeded items....often things that were hard to part with during the previous cleanse seem truly extraneous by the next.  So, each spring and fall, we rise early to host our own stall at the local flea-market.  We always share our stall with a friend, which has multiple benefits: splitting the stall-rental fee, better filling our space if we only have a few boxes of stuff to get rid of, and most important, companionship.  Companionship to while away the early hours, to lend moral support when haggling goes awry, and to buy one another a warming cup of coffee or watch the stall during a much-needed break.  Hooray for companionship!

Yesterday, I was lucky enough to be sharing our stall with a wonderful friend and fellow-crafter who just happened to be doing her own massive cleanse of fabrics and scraps.  I had the privilege of scouring her stash first and squirreling away some lovely pieces.  As we were packing to leave, there were still several large bags of scraps unsold, which were destined for the recycling center.    I grabbed them and tucked them away in our backseat.

In order to justify this massive re-gaining of clutter, I explained that I've had a scrap-project in mind for a while - -which is true, I do!  I saw this rag rug project a few years ago and then again in Amanda Soule's book "Handmade Home" and it has been on my massive projects-to-do list for some time - - unfortunately, always destined to stay at the bottom due to it's project-time estimation of "a season."  A season!  Eeep.   Our white (Yes, white. What were we thinking?) living-room rug has been on it's way out for a while, and from time to time, I find worthy replacements but can't justify the cost.  A rag rug is perfect.....I love that it uses up material that already exists (as opposed to buying new) and that it will display so much fabric from this friend, as well as cloth from our old napkins, clothes, tablecloths etc.  A wonderful extension of life for these objects.  Plus, with it's blend of colors and materials, I imagine it might hide our household wear and tear a bit better than, ahem, white.

So, the project begins -- the kids and I have spent the morning sorting our bags and and I've begun cutting and tearing material into strips.  I've been trying to focus on greens, blues, reds, and browns -- for the most part leaving out the pinks and purples.  Both toddler and baby love playing with all of the colors and this has been a good part of the project to share with them.  Wish me luck with this ambitious endeavour!  I'll let you know how it goes in a season or so......

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