Monday, November 30, 2009

The 25 Days of Christmas

This year will be the first that I host my family in my home for the holiday. Our tradition is to get together on Christmas Eve, since the nieces and nephews have other families and such to visit, so this is the only time we can get together. Unlike a lot of families, this time of year has never been very stressful for me since I make the stop to see the kids on the designated day and then spend Christmas Day with my friends. This year is making up for the past decade as I am already experiencing anxiety attacks that even double doses of Xanax and martinis can’t calm.

You see … I am the odd ball in my family, refusing through just simple choices to remain out of the box finding sitting on the edge a bit more comfortable. I have my own sense of style that no magazine nor Martha Stewart would approve of and never minded until now. There is very little ecru or beige in my home and my decorating motif is bibliophile mixed with crafter and a touch of animal tumbleweeds. There is no theme, unless you count my bowling ball collection in the front garden or the blue glass in the back, and my shabby chic tends a bit toward the shabbier in some eyes. I am assuming (always a bad thing) that I may be the talk of the day after with my kin as the crazy aunt who lives in the shoe.

But the blame for my anxiety isn’t only on how I perceive their perceptions. It is also due to my own expertise at indecisiveness. Until now. I found in my overflowing garage treasures I forgot about and have no one telling me to stop so here I go. With limited funds, friends and cohorts who appreciate my individuality and yes, a lot of creative vigor I am on a mission to not only transform my home in 25 days, but also to create presents for my friends and family and keep myself sane while doing it.

Here’s my game plan. Keep this blog up and running, since it allows me to do one of the things I do best, write. Also I am open to suggestions from readers, inspiration is key for anything creative. In times of stress the most important thing to do is to stay calm, so at the top of my list is a very healthy diet, daily exercise and meditation, and playing with all of my four-legged kids. Then comes painting, cleaning, knitting, cooking and wrapping all of the goodies I hope to bestow on gracious loved ones. It will be difficult, but when I think about all the work others are doing, I can keep up for at least a month and have fun doing it.

This week’s task: Re-do the hideous bathroom with what I have. This means spending next to nothing and retooling those things I already have such as paint, curtains, elbow grease, friend’s leftovers and dollar store finds. Plus a lot of hope!

We start with painting the dark wood paneling that has haunted me for 10 years, the ceiling which has had a sunburn peel forever and the door. I may even do the cabinets as well to give the basin a new feel. This should take a week of evenings after work and a Saturday of finishing. I would love to show it off the next time Paul stops by.

Ren has offered some finds from her garage to help out, draperies to enliven the room and a Web site to inspire and learn from. I may ask Paul for some help hanging lighting and other crafty ideas (he is a very creative man) and see what else my pals have to get rid of. It’s a small bathroom, but already I feel like taking all those projects that promised to be completed and egging them on to completion. No walls will be torn down or windows crashed through, just a few coats of paint, some hopeful finds in the mess called my garage and champagne toasts as I soak in my luxurious bath.

Plus as an extra incentive, since the shower will be out of commission for a week or so, I will be off to the gym each morning to workout and shower. That will be a nice touch to relieve the stress of the holiday and open myself up to a new habit.


Miss Wendy said...

This is a great challenge for you. I look forward to the updates.

misschris said...

Ohh before and during photos please. I love redecorating on a budget and I'm helplessly addicted to decorating blogs!

Praers said...

Oh there will be pictures, and we are talking major budget. So far the most expensive item should be the frame for a print I have, that is of course a weird size. I could make it cheaper with some sketches I got in Paris, since they are normal size, but why make life easy???

I have a friend who redid her bathroom, everything from top to bottom for only about $200. She got the vanity and the tile from friends, the shower was the most expensive piece. All her accessories are from the dollar and thrift stores and honestly the room looks like a million bucks. She is a genius.