If You’re Going To Save Scraps of Ribbon…

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

What I try most to NOT do is, in any way, encourage or enable the amassing or retaining of clutter. But as with all things, one must reach a point of compromise, and as it concerns ribbon scraps, such a compromise is needed. 

Given the overwhelming quantities of ribbon scraps so many of you are in possession of, I am painfully aware that any solutions I offer on the matter may merely add fuel to the bow-tied fire.

You, friends, you are not only re-gifters; you regift in re-packaged packaging, and as yet still have a shiny-object fascination with any and all “perfectly usable items.” And lo, though you have no shame, I say unto you that I do not judge you, but love you, and not only that: I’m willing to meet you in the middle.

So here’s what: firstly, you need to ditch the true scraps. You’re bumming me out with that 4-inch length of twine! You’re disappointing me with those wrinkled, flatted, fraying bits of papery-cloth that once resembled presentable gift wrap! Do us both proud and part ways with the ribbons that aren’t long enough to wind ’round a thimble, or that are straight up ugly.

Then–if you insist on keeping them (as one of my clients recently did; there were extenuating circumstances vis a vis career that earned her a pass )–bring a sense of order to your ribbons. (I’m pretty sure this is the “I know you kids are going to drink, anyhow, so I’d rather you do it safely at home,” organizer-blog equivalent.)

To reign in my client’s cut ribbons, I wound them around flashcard-sized thin wooden “cards,” and then secured them with either pins or tape (depending on the ribbon). The same feat might be accomplished using squares or rectangular pieces of thick cardboard, a la Martha:

Just, you know, aim to be anal enough to make your cardboard pieces of uniform dimensions. 

While I was winding, I got to wondering: is there a better way to do this??

Bee-Inspired‘s approach, the old wind around a TP roll, must make up in functionality what it lacks in prestige. 

Clever ways to organize ribbon scraps.

Meanwhile, over at K.I.S.S., clothespins save the day: 

Clever ways to organize ribbon scraps.

But officially now the gold standard for ribbon scrap organizing is the obviously ideal solution of wooden spools, as Rachel from A Crafted Life demonstrates. 

Clever ways to organize ribbon scraps.

Would that I had had those on hand. Next time. Which there’ll be so, so many of.  


Pull-Out Storage: A Simplifier’s Secret Weapon

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

There’s a time for daydreaming and a time for mainstreaming. We all love to do the former by ogling images of beautifully customized spaces, wherein things like pull-outs are integrated into the design, rather than added as afterthoughts. 

The reality is that not all of us are in the midst of a remodel, and therefore capable of instructing a contractor to incorporate entities that increase storage functionality.

But when it comes to pull-out/roll-out options, it really doesn’t matter whether you take the daydream or the mainstream approach: the options available to your average consumer are entirely winning in their own right. 

Will they match the cabinetry? Maybe not. But will they vastly increase accessibility to areas like under kitchen and bathroom sinks? Will they help to ensure things like cleaning supplies, pots and pan lids, baking trays, and more, stay organized?

Oh baby; you butter believe it.

Pull-out storage products are the secret weapon of the DIY-er and the Simplifier. Here are 7 of the best:

customize cabinets with roll-out drawers and holders that are as easy to install as they are organizational super stars.


1. U-shaped roll out under sink drawer Ingenious design that accommodates plumbing under sinks! 

2. chrome pull out cabinet organizer – Hefty, substantial, and durable. 

3. Bamboo roll out cabinet drawer Feels most like legitimate cabinetry. 

4. Simplehuman pull out cabinet organizer  Has adjustable dividers and removable base tray for easy cleaning! 

5. Roll out tray organizer – R.I.P. Cookie sheet stacking. 

6. Pull out trash can – The best. Period, the end. 

7. Roll out pots and pans lid holder Oh, you fancy, huh?






Monday’s Meditation: On Accidents, Cigars & Deeper Meaning

Monday, January 15, 2018

Monday's Meditation: On Accidents, Cigars & Deeper Meaning

A week and a half ago, I twisted my ankle while working out, and from somewhere inside my foot came the unmistakable (even if one has never heard it before) sound of a bone-crunch.

Pertinent to this anecdote is the detail that I am absurdly stubborn and ridiculous when it comes to bodily injury. I am capable of healing all that is in my body with my mind, and if I’m not, an Epsom salt bath will be is my guiding mantra. Don’t talk about it, don’t focus on it, don’t tell lots of people about it (via one’s blog), or it will expand in importance. Concentrate on healing, make like you are fine, and you soon will be.

So, naturally, I taped the foot up and carried on, defying defeat.

On the following Monday, my best attempts to conceal a limp from my doctor-client failing miserably, I heeded her advice and headed for a doctor of my own.

When a loving, caring individual who, themselves, is trusting your guidance, suggests that your approach to medical care might not be wisest in the long run (a.k.a. cockamamie and irresponsible) you acknowledge it might be time to admit your way isn’t working.

So I made like an adult and submitted myself to the x-rays which confirmed that the snap-crackle-popping over the weekend had, in fact, been the bone in my foot fracturing.

The good doctor bid his adieus after breaking the news, and ushered in his stead a nurse to fit me for a boot. I watched as she unharnessed the length of its many Velcro straps, bowled over by the height of the thing, entirely unappreciative of her ski-boot comparison. I did as I was told and slid my heel into the furthest reaches of the beast, the lump in my throat swelling with each Velcro strap she secured.

I hobbled the length of so many corridors back down to the parking garage feeling as though my life-momentum had been unceremoniously quashed. I was a car with a boot on it trying to drive. I was a small child trying to swim with a tire big enough to be swing. I was going to cry. It was definitely going to happen.

My mind was spinning, desperately trying to decode the situation in order to see the bigger lesson. Maybe it wouldn’t have been had I not gotten into a car accident a handful of week’s prior. Surely I was meant to be reading these events. They must have been trying to tell me that I needed to slow down, or that I was bad, or not careful enough. And why did things like this keep happening? Because I hadn’t yet made the changes I was supposed to! Because I hadn’t sufficiently addressed some horrible, lurking flaw, surely. This was my fault. I had brought it on myself. To punish myself. For being flawed! But I want to be good! I thought. I want to learn the lesson! I am paying attention, I swear! 

A block out of the parking garage, now in full-cry mode, I pulled over and dialed my dad. And this is what this story is actually about, because miraculously, he answered.

”Dad? Can you talk?” I blubbered.

”Yeah, baby,” he said.

“I was just fitted for a boot which is longer than my leg because I fractured my foot and I just keep thinking that—-“

He listened to my tears, and held my self-pity and my striving.

”You know, Arianne, we have a saying in psychology about Freud,” he said. “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.Sometimes a foot is just a foot.I think you’re attaching too much meaning to this.”

”Oh.” I breathed. “Oh. Whoa. Okay. A foot is just a foot.”

To get why this stopped me in my tracks you have to understand that this was coming from the man who’d always insisted on the importance of serving the greater meaning. Yet here he was, telling me a cigar was just a cigar.

And just like that, everything was fine. I stopped being upset. I adopted a different attitude about the boot, namely: marginal annoyance.

For as much work as we must do to look for the learning, there are times when the lesson is that there is no deeper lesson. And not to put so much pressure on ourselves. And that accidental life circumstances, by their very name, imply the conditions with which they are brought about.

That’s what this story is about. It’s about a cigar being a cigar, and a foot being a foot, and car being a car, and a whatever your thing is being whatever your thing is.

Sometimes, things just are, and the most insightful thing we can do is not to give those things more meaning and importance than they deserve. That was, after all, my intent to begin with.