Tuesday, May 20

Thinking Outside The Box

I will have to admit that I am not one who likes to think outside the box, and lately I have been doing a lot of that. I recently completed a wonderful book called The Hidden Art of Homemaking by Edith Schaeffer, and am now about 3/4 of the way through For The Families Sake by her daughter Susan Schaeffer Macaulay. Both are wonderful books, although I think that The Hidden Art of Homemaking suggests more concrete ideas, than For The Families Sake. I haven't read For The Children's Sake yet, by the same author, but I have heard that it is a great homeschooling resource. I will refer to The Hidden Art of Homemaking first, as it is fresh in my mind, and I have completed the book. Basically, it gives you the encouragement you need to create beauty where ever you are. In every room of your house, every hotel you visit. It suggests that you take a bit of "homey" beauty with you. It states that beauty can be expressed through music, books read aloud, home decor, fashion, food... you name it. Now these suggestions are not Martha Stewart suggestions, although most of us would secretly like to be as creative as she. These suggestions are down to earth, and deal with the fact that we are able to create beauty with what we have, because at some point in time, these things were beautiful to us, otherwise we wouldn't have them to begin with. It also suggests that creating beauty from things we are tired of, will give us a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. For example, a table that needs to be refinished can be made into a new beautiful piece of furniture without much money at all, just a little elbow grease. A few rooms can be brightened with fresh flowers from the grocery store. It's all in separating and arranging them. Framed children's artwork, can be works of beauty on your walls. Gentle music played in the background can set a calming mood for your day. Basically, thinking outside the box, with the things you have right now, and either rearranging them, or making something new with them.

Now, I am not saying that we should never get rid of anything, because that would be just nuts, but I am saying that living with what we have vs. buying new stuff, makes sense to me.

So I started making changes in my home. The kids have been painting pictures, and I have repainted some decorative pieces that I had that were not matching my current color scheme. The kids and I have been studying famous artists, Shakespeare, and listening to the great composers. It's been fun. I will post some photos later today.

Creating your own creative outlet is something that Ms. Schaeffer suggests, in any area that excites you. It is scrapbooking for me. It kind of relates to what Stacy Julian of Simple Scrapbooks always says. "To challenge yourself, you need to think outside the box." She always says that in order to make scrapbooking a fun hobby, you have to give yourself a challenge, and complete it. So I decided that I was going to create some scrapbook pages using only scraps of leftover paper and cardstock. I left my usual scrap room, and grabbed my Rubbermaid tub (that is full) of scraps, adhesive, a box of generic stickers and embellishments, scissors, a few markers, a stapler, and went to the kitchen table. I hunted for papers that went together, and attached them, and made quite a few beautiful pages. Pages that I am sure I would not have completed without challenging myself. Best of all, it was fun. Very fun. More fun than I had had in a long time scrapbooking. I feel that it is important for those of us who stay at home, to challenge ourselves in many areas, in order to feel fulfilled.

Cooking... Last night, I decided to challenge myself in the kitchen. We are running a little low and groceries, and payday isn't until next week, so on Sunday, I made a list of everything we had in our pantry and freezer, so I could figure out what I could make with what I had. So last night, I made turkey meatballs, "real" risotto (takes forever to make, but was really really good...), and fresh cauliflower. I also made a Jello cake for dessert. I probably would not have made any of those things without challenging myself.

Yesterday for breakfast, I made homemade oatmeal, with cinnamon, brown sugar, and applesauce. This morning I was less enthusiastic, and we had strawberry yogurt with Grape Nuts on top. I also made bran and banana nut muffins from mixes I had on hand.

It's all about trying to be content with what we have. I read that on Merranda's blog, and have been meaning to tell her that those words are so encouraging for all of us, in our throw-away society. It's so important for us to do our part.

Have a GREAT DAY!!!

1 comment:

MerrandaVK said...

thanx! I do that too, often -- make a list of our groceries and try to eat them all up before I shop again.