Monday, February 25, 2008

The Idea File

I was perusing my 'idea file' when I saw a picture of a small terracotta pot, planted with grass, used on dining table as a place card. On a metal plant marker in the pot of grass was written the name of the guest. This is a clever and fresh idea for a spring party, Easter dinner, perhaps. I get many of my ideas from catalogs, magazines, online, or decorating books, but I like to tweak them a bit. How about party favors? Or Easter gifts for family and friends?

The metal plant marker gave me an idea. I wanted a way to visually display my One Little Word, but hadn't thought of anything just right. Potential suddenly seemed to radiate from my little pots of grass. The new, green life. I ended up with this:

So, for our Project Heidi: Decorating 101 assignment today, I want each of you to start your own idea file. It doesn't have to be anything fancy. A manila envelope. Whatever. I purchased this little file for 99 cents at Staples the other day:

Whenever you have some time, go through any catalogs or magazines lying (laying? that one always trips me up) about your home. When you see something (it can be an add for baking soda for all I care...) that jumps out at you, cut it out and put it in your idea file. It is okay if you don't know why you like it, or what you will do with it. I'll give you specific ways to use your file in future lessons. But they won't work if you don't have anything in your file!

Pottery Barn catalogs seem to work really well for me, because the pictures show fully decorated rooms, creative displays, and great color schemes, rather than small pictures of merchandise only. And they are free.

This idea file is also a good place to store a thin spiral notebook for writing down decorating and design tips such as the Rule of Three.

The simple candles that I embellished (here and here) also came from my idea file. See, you need to get yours started!


Anonymous said...

I really liked the pot plant concept... :) good one!! yes... one word makes all the difference

Anonymous said...

Yeah - a project I already do! Except I should find a pretty folder to put the ideas in.

I just found your blog yesterday and have spent too much time reading instead of doing what I should have (laundry, dishes, etc!).

I'm adding your blog to my list that I read daily. You've got great pictures, wonderful dialog, fun ideas, plus you are a kindred spirit.

I homeschool, am in a book club, could exist on chocolate, and have a lot of the same thoughts, motives, ideas as you. (Except that I'm homeschooling 4 girls!)

Looking forward to catching up to your old posts and reading new ones.

Barbara in AR

Anonymous said...

What a great idea with the grass! Too cute!

I have a folder just like the one you mentioned that is just growing and growing!

Anonymous said...

I was JUST thinking about doing an idea notebook, so now you've settled it! I keep seeing things I love, and then not knowing what to do with the idea.

Love your blog, and you, actually! My in-laws live in Eugene, and we go to your store every time we visit them. Kind-of an annual girls ritual. I LOVE it! Thanks for adding all the loveliness there.

Busy Little Quilter said...

My idea file would have to include ideas I have found on your blog! I love it!

I visited Today's Creative Blog and found you. I'm so glad I did.

I started an idea file a long time ago. Some things I had forgotten about. One day I was looking through my idea file and ran across a picture I had cut out of a Garnet Hill catalog a few years earlier. It was a picture of an antique bed with this beautiful comforter. At the time I saw this picture I thought it would be great for my daughter's room. What was funny is that, although I had forgotten about the picture, I had decorated my daughter's bedroom just like the picture! I guess it got into my subconscious.

It would be fun to start another idea file. I find so many ideas through blogs like yours.

Jenny said...

You have the best ideas! I love visiting your blog and seeing what you're up to! I am still hunting the wheat berry seeds. Whole Foods was out when I was there last week. I can't wait to plant some! Thanks for the inspiration!

Renee said...

I have an idea file. Many dreams lay waiting there. Incidentally, I have used this same idea at baby showers. I used 3 pots of grass with the same copper plant markers. Each marker had the baby's first, middle and last initial. The pots were laid on a whimsical floral square of fabric. I later made pillows for the baby's nursery out of the fabric. I gave each guest a packet of seeds tied to a potted plant. Some how I encorporated garden tools and gloves, but I can not remember how! Any way, I love this idea of putting our word there in the grass. So beautiful. Thanks so much for sharing your creativity.

Anonymous said...

I, too, have an idea file. However, until now it has only held decorating ideas. You inspired me to expand it. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I have them all in separate notebooks. One for decorating inside; one for decorating outside in the yard. I cut them out, put them on regular notebook pages with scrapbook sticks in spiral-bound notebooks. You never know where that idea went if you don't organize and keep it!