On Starting Over

I bought this stand a while back to use as a TV stand.  

I don't know what it was finished with before.  I sanded it.  I decided to paint it a funky green with one if those no prime no sand chalk paints. 

It was peeling quite badly. I was not going for a chippy rustic look.  I did not like the finish.  So I scraped and sanded it off.  

Here's where it ended up, with a Martha Stewart color in Behr's Ultra paint and primer in one. 

Change Your Environment: Change Your Life

This post could also be called any of the following: 

"Where Has Dixie Been?"

"How the Cozy Minimalist Course is Changing My Life"

"Rediscover Your Home"

"Quiet Your Home, Quiet Your Heart"

I've taken some time off blogging and art making to make changes in my home.  I wanted to cozy up my family room/kitchen/dining area.  I'm an artist but the room doesn't reflect that.  It looked like the train station to Boring & Neglected & Worn Out.  Example:  I had bought a temporary $20 rug for my family room FIVE YEARS AGO.  It was only okay then and after 5 years it was bedraggled.  Granted, other stuff has been going on in my life these past few years.  It's a gift to be able to think about paint colors and furniture.  Here are some before shots:  

For my birthday, I gave myself Nesting Place's Cozy Minimalist Course, which is a online four week course to teach you "How to Decorate Any Room Starting Right Now".  If you've read this blog at all, you know I LOVE Nesting Place. :-). I highly recommend this course!  It is now offered in a self-study format at an affordable price.  Read the details at the link below:


It was not only 4 weeks of fun, it is changing the way our home feels in so many ways. I made decisions on some things I had been waffling about.  I'm getting rid of things that don't contribute to the well-being of my family or give me joy.  There have been positive ripple effects to other rooms in my house and my life.  Change begets change.  

I never want to forget that a house is meant to serve the people who live there.  It's not a stage set.  We will live and move and laugh and snack in this room.   I have been making decisions with my people in mind (if course it can be pretty AND useful!). 

When the room is done, I will share before and after pictures, but I am still in the midst of making changes.  Goodbye, Powell Buff!  Hello, Mascarpone!

 I've done quite a bit already:

Antique Fabric on the Walls

A very nice person gifted me with a small lot of antique fabric a few years ago.  I put it in my stash.   Some of it was quite fragile. I decided to frame the pieces that are fragile. 

And some pieces have a modern sensibility. 

The Transformative Powers of Cheesecloth

Last year I hosted an art party. It had been a long winter and I wanted to see some friends and do something fun. So I set out a long table with two painting panels on it and palettes of paint. I invited people (many of whom were non artists) to make random marks of color on the canvas, with the idea that I would "finish" the painting. Well, I haven't done that yet.  Here's where it was left at:

It's a little on the bright side because we were using pure pigment right out of the tube. I want to subdue some colors but don't want to obscure all the marks that were made at the party. I had the idea of hanging cheese cloth over the painting to get a sense of glazing. In a sense, it's like slipcovering your paintings.  

This was fun.  It gives me ideas of what I might do.  

Day Two

I needed to read this post from 2011 again....
Have you heard this saying?

If everything's important, 
then nothing's important

Yeah, I thought so.   I like to do a lot of things.   I didn't even list all the things I must do, just the things I like to do.   I'm talking to myself here, but if it helps you, then great.   Dixie, you can't do everything.

Life is about making choices.  The constraints of our time and our space help us in making these choices.   In fact, psychologists propose that constraints contribute to creativity and inventiveness.  That's good news!   I only have so much space and time, just like the rest of you.

Some questions to help me in my choice-making:

What will I wish I had done (next year, in five years)?

What would I do if I weren't afraid?

Which things fit with my creative personality?
Which activities are most practical for my life?

Which activities contribute to the family budget?

Some things I need to cut down on:
Playing around with the colors and backgrounds on the sites that I write for.   It's fun but it doesn't necessarily make the sites function better.    In five years will I wish I had made a painting instead of switching the background of a site from pale ochre to yellow?   

Pleasing people.  I really, really, really like to encourage other people and help them.   But, and this is tricky, am I ignoring the needs of my family and even myself to please another person?  Sometimes the other person isn't putting forth as much effort to help themselves as I am.  I'll still help people who need it, but I won't worry as much about pleasing people.

The online checking loop that takes up a lot of time (ouch!)....first check email, then check news, then check facebook, then check groups, then check twitter.   Then start the loop over again.  Will I wish I had made a painting or created a folk doll instead of doing some of those things?  

Side note.  My family hates the picture above.  It was taken by my photographer friend Dani Pease. I was modeling for a project of hers about women of a certain age and what we've learned. She took a lot of great pictures that day!  I was goofing around for this one.  But she caught something in it because it got ALL kinds of reactions from my family.    I put it on the fridge before the kids got out of school last year and my son with autism went right to the picture and threw it away even before he had his snack.   It looks like the face I make when he is being told he's lost a privilege.   My husband said, "Don't post that picture."  My other son said I look mean.  And yet here I am posting it.   It's a great motivational poster for ME to hang in my studio while I do the sorting of STUFF.   I mean, really, if I try to keep the 3" piece of string, do you think that woman will let me?  

Are you still with me?   

You're probably a friend 
or family member. 
Or you need to clean your slate, too.


"Do not let what you cannot do
keep you from doing what you can do."

John Wooden


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