Black-out Inspired Decorating Fun

This past week has definitely been a roller coaster of a ride. Starting with an earthquake and ending with Hurricane Irene resulting in several days of a complete power outage.

This gives us much time to contemplate how dependent we have become on all of our electronic devices. Not just computers, TVs, and phones, but also laundry and vacuuming.  I found myself seeking a manual carpet sweeper that the young store clerks had never even heard of. Everything we depend on needs to be plugged in.

It was peaceful sitting with friends talking by candle light and playing our old board games. This situation gave many of us a chance to reaquaint ourselves with the simpler things in life.

It made me realize how important it is that we should all set aside time in our hectic schedules to turn off the electronics in order to get to know ourselves and the people and environment around us. Take a step back to the past, before texting, when we actually had to communicate one on one.

There are a few things we can do to achieve these goals without being pushed by a black-out.

  • Take the time as a single or family to volunteer for an organization like Habitat for Humanity. You will learn how to renovate and construct homes while helping society. This also gives the opportunity to learn how to accomplish home improvements that you might require for your own home while making new friends.
  • Before electric, quilting circles were very popular. These can still be found in craft stores and smaller fabric shops. Meet people and learn how to make a beautiful quilt.

    a quilt made to use as a wall hanging
  • Set up old-fashioned  painting parties with your friends. Take turns chipping in to paint each others homes. The host of each site will provide food, beverages and a party to celebrate the completion. Work up a schedule to do a home a month. This provides fun for the families and will save money on hiring a contractor. Teach the kids how to prepare, paint, and clean-up so they can play their part.
  • Find do-it-yourself projects for the family that are fun and creative. You can make your own pieces of art and have a great accessory for your room on a budget. Wall art, sculptures, chandeliers, and sconces can be fabricated out of so many different items such as ribbon, jewelry, beads, drinking glasses, cd cases, bic pens, globes, paper cutouts, silverware, chopsticks, recycled garbage, shells, wine or beer bottles, and tree branches. You can make it a family project and challenge everyone to come up with their own ideas of what to use. Happy meal toys can be fun for a child’s room.

    bottle caps made into chandelier

Take a breath and sit back. Plan a time with your family and friends when everyone will get together for an activity that is electronic free. Turn off the cell phones and computers for a few hours and enjoy. Make your own music and never be afraid to dance!

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Enjoy and subscribe to my articles at the examiner http://www.examiner.com/interior-design-32-in-new-york/carol-ruth-weber

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