Hibernating is what I do in January. I nest, and lose momentum on things that I’ve started. I think it’s partially due to trying to piece together our lives post-holiday (post-Santa, post-travels), and also, because it’s damn cold and I can come up with 40 good reasons not to step foot into the snowy backyard if I don’t need to. I’m trying to appreciate it for what it is – a lull in my normally self-imposed chaotic schedule in which I can think about planning out my year and tonight’s dinner, finding a home for that West Elm barracuda, and rearrange the sectional in the living room again to troubleshoot new baby proofing and entertaining strategies.
We’re closing in on two years in this home already, and making an earnest effort towards making it feel “complete” by continuing to furnish and customize features to fit our lifestyle. Maintenance-wise, plenty of things need our attention at some point, like the bathroom with cracking tile ($$$$$) and the unusable fireplace ($$$) and the barn siding ($$), but maybe not this year if we can help it. There will always be intense projects looming on the horizon, and our spring is already lined up with treehouse upgrades and garden plans, so I’m kind of enjoying the prospect of meeting smaller goals for the next few months, and finishing what we’ve started.
I’m working off two lists–one of “simple” tasks that if I were a little more decisive and organized, could be crossed off in one weekend, and one of “hard/annoying/cost prohibitive” projects–and a goal of finishing most of them before adding more to our plates. It’s a mix of DIY and must-buy, encompassing everything from garage doors and beds, dressers and area rugs, amplified storage and children’s play, and a whole lot more. It won’t be the year for blasting through money on decorative throws and new bedside tables (I’m not sure that seasonal pillows are my style anyways), but I might indulge in a new camera if the tax season works out in our favor.
How do you guys hibernate?
I’ve spent enough time working in advertising and observing branding to really appreciate when a company does it right, when its impeccably consistent, and desirable. I’ve got my eye on you, Marimekko. You’re a looker.
I’ve been known to now and again frame pages from magazines–when I was decorating my first house, I acquired tons many simple metal garage sale picture frames, and used trimmings from the monthly Anthropologie catalog. It worked out really nicely to fill gaps in my (very lacking) art collection, and I liked the creativity involved with making due with what I had.
When I bought some Marimekko fabric for this holiday tapestry, it arrived with one of the company’s catalogs, which is, of course, beautifully represents all of its products and makes me want to spend lots and lots of money. I was in the middle of a project at the time for an advertising client who had a BIG ISSUE with using TINY FONTS in a brochure, so due to the timeliness of its arrival, I immediately honed in on HOW TINY the product descriptions were throughout the magazine (and how they did not impede my interest in the products in the least bit… in fact, I think I paid closer attention to it <shrugs shoulders>).
On the interior table of contents of the catalog, I was really drawn to the simplicity of the images and text, so I tore it out for inspiration, and decided to make something of it.
Three of the images on the table of contents featured people (models that I didn’t know). With the intent of repurposing the layout and personalizing it a little bit, I chose three images from my own collection, resized them close to the size of the graphics on the catalog page (actually, I made them a little bit bigger so that when I trimmed them, I could crop into my image and also still easily cover the Marimekko model).
I cut them down to size, and double-side taped them in place (easy peasy). (Side note: For anyone who received a nifty 50mm lens for xmas, I highly recommend trying it for action shots in daylight, not just portraits. And learn how to shoot manual, for goodness sake. Your photos will turn out beautifully.)
I dropped the altered table of contents into one of my stand-by IKEA RIBBA frames – the proportions were spot on, which can’t always be said for IKEA frames. I considered matting it since I had torn the lefthand side of the page when I ripped it from the catalog, but the rough edge didn’t really bother me once I had it against the dark background. (That gray border is actually a cut mat that would have worked with this print, but I think it looks nice as a background instead… less formal. It is a newsprint tear sheet, after all).
I’m digging it a lot. A taste of one of my favorite brands, colorful patterns that Marimekko is known for, blended with a few little images from my own life.