Ask Kate

Kicking Clutter to the Curb

Monday, January 4th, 2010

There is such a thing as The Clutter Monster.  He is real, and he used to live in my house.

The Clutter Monster broke into my house sometime last year, and made himself right at home. At first I didn’t mind.  He’d leave a pair of socks here, or a few papers there – nothing to get too worked up about.  I was so distracted with my projects and this blog and my job and helping my kids with their schoolwork that I didn’t realize how this new roommate, The Clutter Monster, had really impacted my life.

Every night as I lie sleeping, he began to wreak havoc on my home, leaving his piles of unorganized stuff everywhere.  The clothing, the papers, the toys steadily amassed all over the house.  There was that moment when my husband asked me what I wanted for Christmas, and I replied “To kick out the Clutter Monster.”

I finally realized over the holiday break that any time I was feeling a sense of anxiety in my life, it was because I was overwhelmed with all of the “stuff” in my home that I was forced to take care of.  There were many days I would literally throw my hands up in frustration.pb with text

Then I had an epiphany.

I thought to myself, what if those piles didn’t exist?  What if “poof”  they magically disappeared?

Was there anything in those piles that was so necessary I’d miss it if it was gone?  Would I really care ?  Were those things really all that important ?

The obvious answer was “No”.

I realized how relaxed I am when there is order, and how much anxiety I feel when there are excessive piles of laundry, paperwork, or toys lying around.   Clothes I didn’t wear, papers I didn’t need, and toys that were broken or never played with.  I decided that the feeling of serenity from having all that “stuff” disappear was far more desirable than the “stuff” itself.

So I decided to kick the Clutter Monster to the curb once and for all.  I decided I wouldn’t start any more projects until every last room was returned to order.  I’ve been dedicated to this task for over a week, and along the way l’ve learned a few things.

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Picasa is My Friend

Monday, December 21st, 2009

OK peeps, I think it’s time I spill the beans on how I take and manipulate my photos.  Several of you have sent me emails asking me about the camera and the software I use on this site.  I’m here to share.  Sharing is what I do.  I love to share, especially with those of you just starting out.  Ha, that’s funny.  “Just starting out.”  That’s me, like, nine months ago.  Strange, surreal, and completely true. 

But first, before I share, I have a few confessions to make. 

First confession:  Believe me when I tell you I am a complete amateur when it comes to photography.  (Some of you are saying, “Um, yes, we know that.”)  In fact, if you said the word “aperture” to me a few months ago, I’d have looked at you cross-eyed. 

Second confession:  I have a really killer camera that does half the work for me.  My weapon of choice is a Nikon D60 and it totally rocks.  Mr. CG bought it for me two years ago when I complained about my flimsy digital never taking pictures when I wanted it to.  You know that 3/4 second delay that misses the moment ?  That fleeting precious moment when your kid is doing the cutest thing ever ?  Then your camera never captures it ?  Hated that.  I complained constantly.  Tears welled.  I might have thrown my old camera a few times.  Then hubby bought me my Nikon. 

Yes, they’re expensive, but oh my goodness gracious darling, are they ever so worth it.  Mine has paid for itself tenfold with the quality of pictures it has given me.

nikon d60 

For example, take this most recent picture of chocolate covered biscotti from yesterday.  My friends, I simply set the camera to “no flash” and shot this beauty.  The camera did 80% of the work. 

biscotti up close

Third confession:  I’ve learned to never ever ever use a flash.  The flash is not your friend when taking up close and personal shots of your latest craft, project, recipe, or kid.  Turn it off, that’s all I can say.  Turn.Off.The.Flash.  Light is your friend.  The flash is not. 

Fourth confession:  I do not use Photoshop for my everyday blog editing.  I don’t have the patience, time, or in depth knowledge of Photoshop to manipulate every single photo.  Yes, I’m learning the program slowly, but I never turn to Photoshop for my everyday blog photos. 

I use Picasa.  Picasa is free.

Picasa is my friend ! 

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