The July Decluttering Challenge Wrap Up!

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If you’ve been following the blog, you know that in July, I took on the Freedom from Clutter Challenge…  and I need to report what happened!

I was super good in the beginning, like we all can be.  Every day, I found my four items and it was wonderful.  I took several loads over to the free store and the place was really lightening up!  At first it was EASY!  There were so many little things that I was kinda holding on to and yet really didn’t want…  knick knacks, books, etc.  Easy!

However, by the first ten days or so, and 40+ items gone… it got a little harder.  I found myself slipping a bit.  I would miss a day, but I would make it up, 8 items, 12 items…

It was a bit more of challenge.  Just was.  I have been working at decluttering my life for years now.  Honestly, easily over 8 years.  I have just been at it for ever it seems.  And I finally feel like I have reached a good stopping point!  I am so thrilled.  I made it up until the last week.  The last load went over and it was a wee bit shy of the total 124 items.  I made it to 115.

I think I could have perhaps found a few more things but I decided, that enough was enough.  When I look around the house, I see clean, clear, no clutter.   It feels fantastic.   Even the girls were amazed.   Of course, they have their own spaces and they can be a little ah, cluttered… but hopefully seeing the rest of the house, they will be inspired to finish up and get to a very happy point.

Now, this doesn’t mean that I don’t have anything around.  Or that my living space is spartan and empty.  Nope.  Still got the stuff that means something to me.   But the nice thing is that it ALL MEANS SOMETHING to me!  It does!  Sure there are a few things that I wouldn’t be going after in a fire.  But right now, I am enjoying them.   And I have really made some awesome strides in personal papers and memorabilia.  That was a huge area that really benefited from this challenge.  My box system seems to really be working.   I still have about a dozen boxes from the storage room to go through, but I want to take those easily, comfortably.  A trip down memory lane in a cool fall day with a cup of tea and a free afternoon.  I feel I can cut those in half, just sorting out the fluff and keeping to good stuff.

One of my goals for the coming winter is to get back into scrapbooking.  And genealogy.  They seem to go hand in hand…  I love both.  Once I get the rest of my dozen boxes sorted down, then I can start to see what I have and how best to store and display it.   I do know that I want to start scanning things…  documents and papers and such.  But I do want to research how to do it, that makes sense.  How it can be easily stored in a sort of accessible library.  I want a rhyme and reason to the files and folders once finished.  That will require a little bit of forethought and some ideas.

Well, in the end, I think it was a remarkable challenge and I’m very excited that I did it.   It was not that hard, really, 4 items a day is not too hard if you have the desire.   I liked that it was not some huge undertaking, a massive purge and such that messes up your house and is likely to make you a bit crazy.  Usually, it just took me a few minutes to go around and pick out the victims of the day!  My box would fill up pretty fast!  Towards the end, yes, it was getting tough.  However, that was mainly due to this challenge being the final end of my long journey!

Please give it a try!   Doesn’t have to be July…  it can be any month!  Just 4 a day.  Or 2 a day, whatever works for you.  It does feel good.  It does!

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Horse Post Cards…

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I’ve had these two lovely old horse post card prints for a few years now.  I just love them.   Pencil with watercolor, they are beautiful.  One day, I decided to look up the name of the artist.  Alderson.  What a delightful story I found!

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Apparently, it is not just one artist, but a pair of sisters from Britain who were born in 1900 and began painting horses and animals to pass the time.  One sister would drawn and paint the front of the horse and the other, the back end!   They would sit together and work as a team.

Pretty amazing! These sisters names were Dorothy Margaret & Elizabeth Mary Alderson.

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Sometime in the 40s or so, a Switzerland printing firm began to offer lovely art postcards and chose six of their paintings for a series.   I didn’t know this and when I found out, I began to snoop around and see what I could find!   I had the black mare and the dappled gray mare in the two old frames.  I’d like to frame them a bit better, because the cards are okay but the mats have a little damage.  Soon!

Well, I found three more of the post cards!  Yeah!

A liver chestnut, with a delightful birthday note on the backside and then a sorrel and a pretty light golden brown horse.  I think there is one more, but I haven’t been able to be sure!  There is not a lot of information about them.

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Now, I’m not a big art collector at all, but recently, my friend Jess bought a painting in a pile of old art for a dollar of a bunch of St. Bernard pups.  Turns out it was an original painting of this fellow who was well known for dogs and she sold it at auction for several thousand dollars!  Wow!

I know a couple post cards from the 40’s are not the same, but you know, I love them.  Love the style, and of course, the subject matter and just everything about the whole cute story.  I just love the sisters!  I wish I knew more!  I have seen some scans of other paintings they have done, some working horses in the field and towns, just really neat.  I think that I will collect their work, slowly and carefully.  The Alderman sisters.   How cool is that?

I found these on eBay and Etsy.  I didn’t pay more than $6 a card if I remember.  The two framed prints I got for $10.  Once I get the last card, I might frame them all in a similar look so they can all work nicely together.

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Morning Chores…

Just a little slideshow walk through of my morning chores this week…  just enjoying the nicer weather finally…  the bugs are dying off and the place is drying up…   Yeah!

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