Marian ParsonsOrganizing29 Comments

With the boys out of school, it’s been really difficult for me to get in my groove, but I have been able to pick away at some organizing projects.  Organizing is the kind of project that can be done in pieces between building Lego’s (I’m the “piece finder”), Ukulele practice, “snack picnics” and playing Creationary.  In the past few days, I was able to get my linens starched, ironed and organized for their next use.  The drawer looks so pretty now!

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And I’ve been working on my office shelves.  As I mentioned a few days ago, I’m moving my decorating books to our home office shelves, but I don’t want all of the spines to look too busy, so I’m wrapping them in brown paper.  Brown craft paper is pretty thick for this kind of project, so I’m actually using a roll of the thinner brown paper that’s sold in the painting aisle with the drop cloths.  It’s used to protect floors during painting and renovations and it’s perfect for projects like this.

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While I’m moving things around on the shelves, I’m thinning out the accessories and making sure everything I move back into place is something I really want to keep, not just something filling a space.  The group picture is of my Oma’s kindergarten class and the Civil War mini-balls were collected by my Opa in Petersburg, VA.  (He used to ride a pony through the tunnel leading to the crater before it collapsed.)

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You know how I feel about scales and I have a soft spot for binoculars and opera glasses as well.   I’ll probably swap out this scale at some point, though.

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I’m mixing in a lot of ironstone as well, since it’s my very favorite thing to collect.  I filled these square ironstone bowls with wooden spools and some darts out of my Opa’s attic.

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Another shelf shows off another family photo as well as some ironstone and wooden croquet balls.  As you can see, I’m keeping things neutral, but adding some color with boxwood topiaries.

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Of course, with organizing, it gets worse before it gets better…


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Tomorrow is a very exciting day…my new Pottery Barn sofa is being delivered!!  I can’t wait to see how it looks in the space, but I’m also looking forward to having a comfortable sofa again (and so is my back!)  I’ll share pictures tomorrow.

family room collage

Today, I received the order of antique hemp sheets for the online shop (and some of my own projects) and the new lighting for our videos.  I have several planned upholstery, painting and slipcover projects lined up to make some new video tutorials and now Jeff will be the cameraman and editor.  Yay!  Exciting things…


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29 Comments on “organizinggallery”

  1. Hi Marian! I love love love that bag /purse on your desk! Please keep me in mind if you ever grow tired of it!!! 🙂

  2. I find it unspeakably cool that your Opa collected those minie balls himself. Good reminder that the Civil War wasn’t all that long ago, if the debris was still lying around that recently.

    1. Hey Hannah, Marian’s dad here. The battlefields were still pretty much just raw woods and grassed over mounds and fields up until the 1970s or 80s. In the 1960s during the centennial remembrance, several of us youth, along with a lot of older Civil War ‘prospectors’ with mine detectors could pretty much go anywhere along the lines of the Petersburg battlefield and dig up a coffee can full of minie balls. I’m sure it was even easier back when her grandfather was doing the same thing back in the late 1920s and 30s. Many a good afternoon was spent out there with a .22 (for squirrels) and a shovel.

      1. I don’t know what mini balls or the crater are but would love to have you elaborate/educate. Marion, I am over the moon for those wooden darts from Opa’s attic 🙂

        1. Mini balls are the bullets that were fired during the Civil War and they littered the ground on battlefields. My family is from Petersburg. VA where there was a long siege during the war. (The north had the southerners surrounded.) So, the Union (north) decided to dig a tunnel under the southern lines and fill the end with dynamite and blow a crater with the idea that they can surprise them and capture the city. Unfortunately for them, they didn’t think about how they would get out of the crater, so it was a miserable failure. The crater and tunnel were still there when my Opa was a boy and he would play in it.

          A lot of the earthworks (the forts and trenches they made in the dirt) are still there. In fact, I used to ride horses over the trenches when I was a girl! 🙂

  3. When will you be listing stuff for sale? I may have asked this yesterday, but forgot to check back. Will they be listed on Etsy? Thanks!

  4. I can’t wait to see how your new sofa looks with the pillows you made. I also like purging and cleaning out things in my home because it is uplifting. My family sometimes asks why did you sale that piece or get rid of something. They just don’t get it and I’m ok with that! Go luck with all your cleaning and purgIng!

  5. Could you share how you scoot your furniture around so easily by yourself? What do you put under the legs? I loved the previous mirror that you showed -the trumeau one. I enjoy following all changes and refining that you’re up to.

  6. I love the brown paper on the books – makes things look so cohesive. We’re doing the same thing with some of our bookshelves, using brown paper that our movers used to pack up our dishes last summer. Your bookshelves look very pretty all spiffed up. I’d love to see a wider view of the overall shelf, as soon as you feel it’s ready. I love all the close-ups, and your photograph is really great. I’m eager for the pull-back view too, to get the overall sense. Will keep watching… 😉

  7. Today is the day! Looking forwarded to “seeing” your new couch!

    Before you started sewing your slip covers, what brand/type did you buy? I am ready for white!!!

    Thanks so much!

  8. Rarely, very rarely, do you do anything that leaves me flat but…covering books in kraft paper seems blah. I think it’s a case of you say tomato, I say tomatoh (well, actually I do say tomato but you know what I mean…ggg…). I love books and part of the love affair is seeing their titles, all cozied up next to each other, yes alpha. I cannot imagine covering books, hated doing it in school and refuse to do it now.
    That sofa though…seriously green with envy!

    1. I gotta say I’m with you on this one, Sandra. Covering the spines of books so they’ll blend in better with decor is just too photo shoot-ish for me. Not that they don’t look nice, all neutral and styled on the shelf, of course. But like you said, tomato/tomahto. I’m this way about covering a refrigerator, etc, with panels, too. It’s a fridge, why ya gotta try to hide it? 😉

      However, those organized linens in the drawers — to die for!!

  9. Brown paper wrapped books actually look good. I was wondering if they make those chalkboard labels in a size small enough to fit book spines. I think that would still keep the books in a neutral color, but give them a bit of a ‘pop’ while allowing you to uniformly mark the book titles on the spines.

  10. Your shelves look great. I am thrilled that the hemp sheets have arrived. I immediately clicked on your “shop” tab to buy them, but they are not listed yet. I will buy 2 when you are ready to sell.

  11. I am totally with Sandra on this one. Books are beautiful and make a room come alive. Brown paper makes them dull and hard to find the title you want. I know how much time covering them takes because I use clear mylar like the library to protect my pretty dust jackets. Your new sofa looks beautiful I am sure you will love it.

  12. Would you share some of your favorite decorating books??? My sweet husband gave me your book for Christmas. It is wonderful!!!

  13. You can even make the insides of drawers look gorgeous! I love how you tie the linen napkins with twine. I always throw mine in after I iron them and hope for the best when they get used again! Very exciting stuff coming your way, looking forward to what’s new here in 2014. Happy New Year.

  14. I totally get covering your books not everyone makes their books as pretty as yours is without the dust cover! Love your attention to detail! I know you collect lots of ironstone but do you also collect blue and white also, if so where are the best places to look for usual pieces? Do you have any that you might list on your shop eventually?

  15. I understand your rational for covering your books, but I guess I like the mix of different fonts and find it visually pleasing. Different strokes, eh? I had to comment about your collections, because we all have those items that we’re drawn to. I love egg cups and if they have rabbits on them, so much the better. Love scales, just like you. I am also drawn to anything with birds on it and have collected them before the latest bird craze-put a bird on it! Wonder why we like what we do? Oh, and like you, I am drawn to blue and white, such a classy combination. You and I could NOT go thrifting together, our tastes are too similar and we would be grabbing the same things!

  16. Loved your dads comment:) We are history buffs; can’t wait to tell my husband this little known fact that I learned from a decorating blog:) Love the shelves too!

  17. Hi Marion
    Doesn’t it feel good to get things organized?
    Where did you get the blue and white check fabric? i have been looking for fabric exactly like that! Rhondi

  18. Oh how i love organization. To me it’s like art. I’m am so mentally disorganized, that when i see order and symmetry i’m in heaven. It calms me down. Same with the books, too much visual chaos with all the fronts and random intense colors, that’s why i like seeing them covered too. Everything is looking so good, and coming together all over your house. You must be having so much fun…


  19. Hi Marion,

    A wonderful friend of mine gave me your beautiful book for Christmas. I love it and I am really enjoying reading it. You have such great ideas. Could you tell me what you think of putting furniture in front of a French door. I don’t need to use it as a door because I have another door to reach my back yard. The room is so small that if I don’t put furniture in front of it there will be room for a chair and sofa only. What do you think?

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