Friday, April 4, 2008


"Out of clutter, find Simplicity. From discord, find Harmony.
In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity."

Albert Einstein ~ Scientist
I think baskets are as beautiful as they are useful. I use baskets throughout my home to help with organization. I have them in all shapes and sizes. I like their texture, form, and function. By far my favorite basket is a large oval laundry basket. I began my love affair with this particular basket about seventeen years ago! (Pictured below, my beloved basket.) When I was growing up we had those round soft plastic laundry baskets. When they developed muffin top and clothing started to spill over the sides, they just sort of smushed down and lost their form. They were flimsy and floppy and more often than not they dumped the load of clothing your were carrying. When I got a home of my own, the sturdiness of plastics had improved and I graduated to the rectangular shaped laundry baskets which held their shape and never ever developed the muffin top smush! I found them to be very unromantic, cold, serviceable, but sterile. (Baskets in my pantry, this one holds cloth napkins.)One day while shopping I came across an old fashioned looking deep oval wicker laundry basket and its appeal was irresistible to me so I bought it. At first this lovely basket just served to shuttle laundry from the hamper to the washer and dryer. Then it shuttled the folded laundry to dressers, cabinets, and closets. When it was empty it served as a little nest for my tiny daughter. I can still see her sitting inside on a down filled pillow, tiny legs outstretched, tiny toes curling around the rim under one handle while resting her back and head on the slope and handle of the other end. She is covered with her favorite yellow blanket, her bare toes peeping out as she watches a favorite video. (The large one holds place mats, the two smaller ones hold napkin rings and place card holders.)The basket became a boat that sailed the mighty seas, or turned over it was a turtle shell as she crawled underneath. It served as a car when her brother pushed her around in it or as a bed for her babies to nap in. It became a u-haul of sorts to transport toys from one play area to the next or served as a quick stashing place when unexpected company were pulling up the drive, everything was tossed inside and spirited away. (This one holds sacks of snacks.)The biggest and best way this basket served my family was its aid in organization. People who know me now deny that this can be true, but it is, I harbored a dirty little secret! My family and I lived in clutter!!! I have a reputation of being extremely organized, at heart I am not, it is something I have had to work at and overcome and it all started with a prayer, a purple paperback, and my beautiful laundry basket! (This one contains pet grooming products and small laundry items.)I was swimming in a sea of clutter. I could not seem to get anything done. I would begin cleaning a room, find something that belonged somewhere else, carry it to that room, see something that needed to be done there, begin that task, leaving the other one unfinished, and repeat the process over and over and over again. At days end nothing was done, I was frustrated, my husband was frustrated, and my kids were frustrated. I knew there had to be a better way. I was a very new believer at the time and I had just read a verse from Scripture, "Let all things be done decently and in order." (1 Corinthians 14:40), that made me certain that God desired for me to have order in my life. This combined with a sheet I acquired that defined forty operational definitions of character qualities, which had this to say on the subject, "Orderliness vs. Disorganization ~ Preparing myself and my surroundings so I will achieve the greatest efficiency.", made me certain that there was a better way. (These two hold mixes.)I sent up an earnest plea for help and that is when I discovered my little purple paperback, the wonderful Christian author, Emilie Barnes and her organizational expertise, which helped me to swim my way out of the sea of clutter. One day I was at a garage sale, buying more clutter, when I spotted a purple paperback on a ten cent table. It was a book on organization. I scanned the book and became so engrossed in it that I read two chapters while standing there. Little did I know that ten cents, a purple paperback, an awesome author, and a wicker laundry basket would change my life! The book was Survival for Busy Women by Emilie Barnes. Her fifteen minute method seemed very doable to me. (These hold picnic supplies.)The greatest tip I gained was the laundry basket one. It was simple, easy, and effective! I simply placed the laundry basket in the doorway of the room I was cleaning, as I came across items that went in another room they went into the basket. I did not cross the threshold of the door. I did not run into another room. I stayed focused and developed a routine and habit to my cleaning. The basket moved from room to room and was emptied as I went. Sometimes at the end of the routine there were still items in the basket and so began the process of creating homes for them, releasing things that were taking up space and unused, evaluating our current needs and lifestyle, and slowly crawling out from under the clutter. This sounds simple but it was a purging process that literally took me on a journey for quite a span of time. (The cutlery basket holds zip bags, the other two hold drink mixes and boxed teas.)I was pretty clueless on Christian authors at the time and had no idea what a true treasure I was purchasing. I graduated from my purple paperback to many of her other books that helped me to fine tune the process. Even greater than the books and application of the steps was the provision through prayer. Money was tight and I needed not only ideas but supplies to implement the ideas. So I did what she suggested, I prayed and asked for my needs to be met and they were in some of the most astonishing ways that made me know that as I desired to honor the Lord in orderliness, to serve my family, to create a haven out of the havoc in our home, that He cared not only for cleaning out the clutter from my heart, but my environment as well. (Another favorite basket, gorgeous grandsons tiny toys rest in this basket, he likes to dump them out and sit in the basket more than playing with the toys.)At one point I really wanted about a dozen of those wire baskets, in various sizes, that attached to the inside of cupboard doors and created extra pockets of storage space. I went to a couple of stores to price them and found them to be out of my current budget. The prices ranged according to size and ran from $4.00 to $12.00 each. I simply asked for some way to be able to purchase them. At the time I had a booth in a local antiques store and on my way home I stopped in to drop some things off and straighten up my booth from weekend traffic. I happened to look across the isle as see what appeared to be two large paper bags full of what looked like those wire baskets I'd just priced. First off this was not a flea market but a high end antique store so you didn't find this type of merchandise there and secondly I thought they must certainly be for display use of some kind. I crossed the isle to see a tag hanging over the side of the bag. I flipped it over and it it read, (I kid you not!), 2 bags (1 dozen wire baskets), $10.00! (A bathroom basket organizer.)I gingerly picked up the paper bags and pulled out their contents. As I did I was astonished to see that these were brand new, never been used, in various sizes and the amount I had determined I needed, and they were indeed for sale for the sum of $10.00! I rocked back on my heels, bowed my head and sent up a prayer of thankfulness and gratitude right there in the isle. These were a gift from my Father, who knew my budget and the desire of my heart, and He supplied my needs from His storehouse of riches. (A wine basket holds flashlights and catalogs while a trio of baskets hold table cloths and table linens.)I sort of miss my laundry basket when I clean now as it is no longer needed to accompany me on my daily pickup routine. All our stuff now has a designated home and it has returned to it laundry shuttle days. It no longer holds all those miscellaneous articles in need of putting away. So, you wonder, what does Miss Sandy's laundry basket now hold? Today it is holding a plethora of paper things to share with you!

First off it holds some pretty paper laundry from the Hanging Up Springtime Swap! These are the beautiful little garments I received in the swap.
A darling dress from Life and Art With Glamma Fabulous. The details on this darling dress and pinafore are hand drawn and the attention to detail is stunning! I love the little posy in the polka dot pocket! Thank You, Kelley!A tiny chapeau in the form of a cloche hat embellished with a tiny ruffle and glitter band, sporting a jaunty feather and silk posy are from Follow Your Bliss Designs! Thank You, Maryann!These beautiful bloomers made of gingham and posy paper are trimmed with paper lace and a blue bow. They were made by Rosa, of Stripes and Roses Cottage. Thank You, Rosa! (Don't you love her name!) A pair of proper gloves made with exquisite details of ribbons, lace, glitter, and roses on a field of tone on tone pale aqua paper are from Dream, Create, Inspire. Thank You, Jeanne!A pretty in pink glittery glammed up butterfly fluttered in from Viv's Whimsy. Thank You, Viv!And last but certainly not least is my little green checkered winged Myna bird friend who is sporting a dapper green bow tie and and a lapel decor of vintage velvet posies from The Unfinished Flower. Thank You, Patricia!I love magazines, it is a weakness, a sickness, for me if you will! Here in my basket are my most recent purchases. The other day I found a new publication being carried in our area and I hope in yours too! It is, Life:Beautiful, Faith For Your Journey. This publication is so awesome! This is a magazine like no other, "...the evidences through photos and words that God is in every minute of every day. And that through simple daily tasks such as cooking, offering hospitality, using our gifts and talents, serving others, managing work and home, raising our kids, being a good spouse or friend, we can come to a full understanding and acceptance of God's personal love for us, and we can all live beautiful lives."The Spring 2008 issue is chalk full of inspiring ideas. There is a section of lemony goodness that will tantalize your taste buds with zesty lemon sweet treats! A pretty party idea for dining with our feathered friends as featured decor, patterns are included! There are some sensational gardening and organizing ideas! And oh so much more such as calendar pages for daily Scripture reading, contributor columns by Dr. James Dobson, Gary Smalley, and Joyce Meyer. You will find sections devoted to little Rest Stops for the soul, fabulous Finds or unique items to purchase, Crafts, Dinnertime, being a Good Steward, Organization, Health, Projects in home decor, Life Lessons, Life Works, Travel, and even current Christian Media including books, movies, and music!

I had to pick up Somerset Life! Some of my favorite bloggy friends are featured in the current issue!
On page 34 is Rendez-Vous at Hotel Dieu by the Corey Amaro of Tongue in Cheek!
On page 71 are a whole flock of beautiful birds by Laurie of Charming Designs!
On page 76 a journal by Sandra Evertson is featured!
PLUS ~ My very favorite feathered nester, Dawn Edmonson of The Feathered Nest has a featured design on page 79!!! Her pretty pincushion shoes are prancing across the page! AND on page five there is a comment quoting her! Now I could name drop here about all the other great bloggers featured, like Lori Oles, Heather Bullard, Jenny Holiday, Karla Nathan, Rebecca Sower, Delia Jemaiel, and oh so many more, but I won't! Just get a copy and see for yourself! CONGRATULATIONS to all these wonderful and artful bloggers on being featured in this publication and for giving the rest of us a dose of inspiration in artful living!

If it has romantic or flea market in the title I am sure to purchase it, so I got these two also!
Romantic Country for whom the lovely Fifi of Chez Fifi is the editor, contributor, and stylist! Ms. Tara of Bella Pink is featured in the shopping section and her lovely article on pages 28-31! Our very own beloved Penny of Lavender Hill Studio is featured in a two page spread, pages 24 & 25! This issue is full of romantic roses, dreamy hideaways, shabby chic decor, and more!

Country Decorating ~ Flea Market Style is just up my alley featuring dramatic displays where themes and dreams are made to come true in creative design. There is also a section on organization and storage ideas.
Shannon Quimby of HGTV and author of Color, Create, and Decorate , has a feature on flea market makeovers and two of my favorite junk queens, Sue Whitney and Ki Nassauer's new book, JUNK Beautiful is featured on pages 10-11! Can you guess what I'll be doing this weekend?

And now for the final paper product in the laundry basket ~ a peek at the prize for my 100th post which is coming up soon! Anna Corba, is one of my favorite paper artists.
A part of the give away will include this book, CD of clip art, and a DVD of Anna, herself, demonstrating the paper crafts in this publication! I am putting together a prize package to go along with this gift set so check back in next week to sign up!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! I've got to run, I am turning into quite the party animal these days! Yes, another entertainment this evening here at the Quill. Number one son's Birthday is Sunday but we are celebrating tonight and I must go and create a delicious desert to devour after a drive by dinner! That's right, Miss Sandy picked up a menu from number one son's favorite restaurant, will call in the order this afternoon and handy hubby will pick it up. Easy entertaining at the press of a few buttons!

Miss Sandy


Rosa said...

Hi Miss Sandy,
I'm so glad you like the bloomers I created for the Hanging Up Springtime Swap, and you are quite welcome. Just wanted to let you know that I do have a blog:, please stop by and visit whenever you can.
Like you, I'm a magazine addict...I'm trying to go through some of them and clip out what interests me, I feel like they are taking over our house.
Take care,

The Feathered Nest said...

WOW! Miss Sandy!!! What a wonderful, engaging post sweet girl. I love baskets too....they look so much prettier than plastic don't they? Thank you for your sweet recognition and words about the little ad in Somerset Life ~ I'm just going to bust when the actual issue comes out!! Thank you sweet friend,

Bejeweled said...

What a great post! I love all the baskets you have and all the ways you use them!

And you can never have too many magazines filled with beauty and creative goodness! I have the new Somerset Life too. It's just gorgeous and it is so fun to see all your friends in it, isn't it?

Digging for Pearls said...

I love baskets as well.

I wanted to let you know that I am having a book giveaway. To enter all you need to do is post ten struggles you face as a Christian woman and also your age. I am trying to survey as many women as possible for research for a book I want to write. If you have a few minutes, come check out my blog. Thanks and God bless.

Charmingdesigns said...

Oh, your baskets are wonderful!Thanks for mentioning me being in the Somerset mag! Have a great weekend! Laurie said...

What a great basket collection! I just love using baskets to hide things in, and organize.

And thanks for your kind mention of my little contribution to Somerset Life!

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

What a wonderful post brim full of information and insight. I'm a Flybaby, but whatever works is fantastic. I always loved to clean and cleaned way too much. It's an OCD thing, I believe. Flylady helped me to put things in perspective and regain a whole lot of time.

I love your baskets! As you know, I'm a huge fan of baskets, too.

Thank you for featuring the magazines. The first one I had never heard of and will be looking for. It sounds fantastic!

Hope that a wonderful time was had by all last night at your son's birthday party! My son is an April boy, too. ;>

Hugs to you, dear Miss Sandy!

Kari & Kijsa said...

Love all teh baskets and the goodies in them!! Have a fabulous weekend!

kari & kijsa

Cindy Is Crafty said...

love the baskets and cute swap goodies! :O)

The Feathered Nest said...

Hello sweet friend!! I just posted about setting up your own link page ~ Please email me if you don't understand it OK?? You're such a sweetie! xxoo, Dawn

bluemuf said...

My dear Miss Sandy, I have just spent the most enjoyable time reading this lovely post. I have been so inspired with all your baskets and the many uses you have for them. I really like the idea of taking the basket with you as you clean each room.

I love the little treasures you received in the Hanging up Springtime swap. The are so sweet.

I need to get out and pick up the new Sommerset Life next week. It looks wonderful


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