DIY, Movies and Budgets

This is the first weekend in forever that I’ve had some time to myself. I had a great evening with a dear friend and have spent the rest of the weekend focusing on relaxing. The healing process will take some time, I’ve been told, and running around like a chicken with my head cut off is only delaying the process. I tried to keep that in mind.

I tackled my first DIY project. There is a combination bathroom/laundry room in the basement and since there is no main floor powder room, guests would potentially see my skivvies hanging on the line. I wanted to hang a partition curtain to divide the space into two rooms. I have been hauling around a piece of Manuel Canovas fabric (love!) for years and was thrilled to find that it fits the space perfectly.

Technically it’s two pieces of fabric sewn together (it was a decorator’s sample I bought at a sample sale years ago with the notion of making throw pillows) so it has an almost ombre effect. Pretty! I’m quite pleased. It felt good to do something creative.

I also saw Les Miserables. What a fantastic film! I didn’t know if I’d like it. I’d read some pretty harsh criticism of it online but I loved it. It’s not the book, of course, but I think they did a really amazing job of keeping the important parts of the story intact (it’s pretty faithful to the musical, if you’ve seen it). The message of true Christian love and grace comes across very clearly. As does the message of Christian hypocrisy. I’ve experience both in the past six months so that part of the film really hit home. And the visuals… Oh, the visuals! The film is gorgeous to watch. I’d love to run out and buy some Les Miz inspired fashion (inspired by the men’s wear in the film):
Les Miserables Inspiration

Les Miserables Inspiration by dwellonthesethings 

Lauren Ralph Lauren wool jacket
$445 –

Carven short skirt
$675 –

Dolce & Gabbana suede booties
$825 –

Paris Photography – City Photo, French Architecture, Stone and white,…

Trop chic, no? But alas, after all of the financial hits I’ve taken this year (I’ve already fallen off my fiscal cliff), I need to adopt an austerity budget. I’m terrible at budgeting (I’m a whiz at Quicken; it’s the discipline to follow a budget that trips me up.) It’s particularly hard when financial scarcity accompanies other troubles (and, of course, it always does) because nothing soothes the soul like a steady stream of deliveries from and Sephora.

I’m quite well stocked. I don’t need any more lipstick, sweaters, paintings or design books. But need and want are two different things. I will have to tape a note to my credit card reminding me of this. I also need to keep out of consignment shops, as I can’t turn down a good deal. One of my favourite bargains for the new place was a really pretty painting. Originally, it had been sold by a very good gallery in Toronto and it was practically free. I couldn’t resist!

Which is, of course, the problem. So I’m going to avoid retail establishments and online stores (goodbye One Kings Lane!) for the month of January. I’m also going to spend less on services. My house is small, so I plan to clean it myself. I’m shovelling the snow myself (although the driveway size and two big snowfalls are making me second-guess this decision.) In the spring, I’ll probably attempt to tackle the garden with my children’s help. They like to get dirty so I’m sure they’ll be game. Blonde highlights are a need, but I did go a bit darker on my last visit, so I can space out my appointments by a few more weeks.

I also need to find more fun activities that are free. Perhaps I should start watching Buckwild for inspiration. They always seem to have a good time in the preview commercials and I’m not thinking filling up the back of a pickup truck with water for some roof-diving will bankrupt anyone. Until then, I’m going to be blogging (there are so many new cool bloggy things since I was last in the world: hello Polyvore!), learning how to use my camera properly, reading blogs (if you know of good design blogs, let me know), hugging my kids and my dog, and counting my blessings.

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