Monday, September 30, 2013

Things as They Are

 Yesterday I attended the Southern New Hampshire Doll Show and Sale where I saw an abundance of "most wonderful" dolls.  Much like the collection of dolls detailed in Phyllis McGinley's book The Most Wonderful Doll in the World, there were baby dolls and bride dolls, china dolls and dollhouse dolls, dolls with braids, dolls with bows, and dolls for every occasion. When faced with such a glorious array of creatures it's funny how you begin to pick them apart. Each was beautiful in its own way but it seemed whenever the decision to purchase one of them came into question suddenly the critic came out. One had such sparkly eyes but the mouth was painted far too bright. Another sported the most adorable dimples but sadly not the blond hair that was hoped for. Such dissatisfaction with details can unfortunately have disastrous side effects. Luckily I had recently read McGinley's book and knew better.
The Most Wonderful Doll in the World you see, is not really a book about a doll at all. Instead it's about Dulcy, a little girl who "found it hard to be satisfied with Things as They Are," and as a result forgoes playing with any of her dolls because not one of them can compare with her exaggerated memory of the misplaced Angela.
So who did I come home from the doll show with?

Well she didn't have a skating outfit...nor could she skate.

She could not sing or say "Mama" or wave her hand.

She did not come with pajamas, a bathrobe, a riding suit, leather shoes, gloves, or a purse and in fact the one little pinny she did have had definitely seen better days.

...she did have a need for a home where she would be welcomed 
Just as She Is!
In defense....let it be known!
 Technically I did not buy her at the doll show and thereby ignore item #1 of the previously revised Project Cottage Quest list which stated "Stop buying stuff."
No siree, my mom wanted to buy her for me and I merely let her.
Thanks Mom!!!  

Saturday, September 28, 2013


 Leo Babauta...that's what's next, is right now, and  has been for the past four months!
 I stumbled upon his blog last spring and soon after acquired one of his books. I loved reading his take on simplifying. Whether your looking to declutter your house, your schedule, your mind or your entire life, he's got some great suggestions about where to start and how to stay motivated. 
I was so inspired by his words of wisdom....
 ...that I soon after purchased several more of his books. I know, I know not exactly a progressive step in the simplification process on my part. But then neither were those endless to-do lists I created in relation to my cottage quest endeavor. That's not to say the seeds of a more minimalist mentality had not been planted however.
I'm fairly certain they were planted. Planted quite firmly in fact and that they merely needed a nudge to sprout. Thanks to last week's pillow progress they did. 
So what happened after I threw out all those lists?
I made a new list. But, not before I fully embraced these words from Leo.
Simplify your list down to the barest of
essentials, and you can eliminate the need
for complex planning systems.
Easier said than done that's for sure but after several days of contemplation on what was essential and multiple edits of the list it now looks something like this.
1.stop buying stuff
2.declutter the stuff you have
3.pare down paperwork
4.refresh the house one room at a time
5.develop an upkeep routine
Now to stick to it...

Sunday, September 22, 2013


So....all I wanted to do was make a self lining pillowcase for dolls.
Working out the details of this little pillow project had me puzzled more often than not this past week. Typical of my nature I made things far more difficult that they had to be. It wasn't until Friday afternoon that I finally had one of those light bulb moments and all was revealed! I was astounded by the simplicity of the steps I would need follow in order to achieve my desired results and honestly felt quite stupid for not having realized them from the get go. I was, however, smart enough to write out those simplistic steps so that next time my brain will have an easy go of it. I was also smart enough to see there was a life lesson in this past week's pillow project.
The steps needed to achieve most anything in life are often quite easier than I predict them to be.
That's it...that's what a little pillowcase taught me.
My predictions of complication manifest themselves over and over again into reality. Most recently I infected my "Cottage Quest" endeavor by creating such an enormous mountain of to-do lists that I  completely overwhelmed myself. No time for a game of cards with that thing hanging around. So guess what I did this weekend?
I threw it out.
Every bit of it.
The list on the fridge...GONE!
The pages in my day-timer...GONE!
The mini notebook in my purse...GONE!
The army of sticky notes throughout the house...GONE!
But I'm still here.
So what's next?