I love clean windows. In fact, I love them so much I don’t even mind all the work involved to get them clean. Tuesday found me doing just that…washing every window in the house, and although I was tired when I finished, I was so happy looking out through all that shiny, sparkling glass.
Clean windows are rejuvenating to me. The dirt and grime is gone from the windows and everything is clear and clean. For some reason, that always carries over into my life and I mentally wipe away old thoughts that are weighing me down. You know the kind…those nagging little trouble-makers that I should have let go long ago. The repetitive and almost mindless nature of the chore make it a perfect time to run through them one more time then be done with them. Like crystal-clear glass, I want a fresh, un-smudged surface to start from again. I’m never sure which comes first…whether the clean windows lead me to a clear mind or somehow I know the cobwebs in the brain need cleaning out so I’m drawn to cleaning the windows. But whichever way it is, I like that feeling of a freshly-scrubbed outlook.
Life is hard, and often when we experience anger, perceived injustices, or hurt feelings we’re not ready to deal with them for a variety of reasons. So we push them back into the corners of our mind and if we’re not careful, they will eventually cloud our judgment and rob us of our happiness. Is window-washing the cure-all for getting rid of these? Probably not for everyone but I always feel like I really do see more clearly when I’m done…literally and figuratively. So I’ve chosen my clean windows and the clearer outlook I gained as a result as my blessing this week.
Here’s the layout I created:
Cardstock: Bazzill Basics Paper
Patterned paper: KI Memories
Acrylic frame and letters: Heidi Swapp for Advantus
Photo turns: Junkitz
Mini brads: Queen & Co.
Punch: EK Success
Alcohol inks: Ranger Industries
There are two parts to this layout...and since one of them is clear, that's hard to show. The top layer is a clear acrylic frame that holds the title and a few decorative elements, and the second page is a photo of the view through the glass of our front door. The camera exposed for the bright light outside, leaving the door itself looking black and while that might not always be a good thing, I wanted the focus on the glass and the view outside. I tinted some clear acrylic letters with alcohol inks to give them a watery look and applied them to the bottom of the frame but extending up into the center space. It’s simple but given the nature of the layout, that’s what I intended.
Here’s the missing layout from a few weeks back celebrating reconnecting with my high school friends:
Cardstock: Bazzill Basics Paper
Patterned paper: Scenic Route Paper Co.
Chipboard and felt flower: American Crafts
Mini brad: Queen & Co.
Ribbon: May Arts
Ink: ColorBox, Clearsnap
Font: Underwood913, Internet
While it might not seem like it at first, both pages use a similar design technique: Elements chosen specifically to reinforce the theme of the page. Here two different papers are actually tied together to form the background and convey the message of connections. And the see-through nature of the frame and letters on the first one plays off the theme of windows and the concept of clean. I use my share of generic embellishments to add color and shape to a layout (ala the brown flower in the second layout), but by and large I try to chose decorative elements that contribute to the overall theme of the page.
Washing windows is a lot of work, but it’s much easier than it used to be thanks to Cat. When I blogged some time back about my love for clean windows, she shared her “recipe” for a cleaning solution and promised if I used it my windows would sparkle…and she was right! So I’ve christened her formula as Cat’s Amazing Streak-free Window Cleaner and am sharing it here so you too can have clean windows. Who knows, maybe you’ll gain a clear outlook in the process, too.
In a five-gallon bucket mix: 16 oz. Rubbing Alcohol, 1/2 cup non-sudsing ammonia, 1 squirt dish detergent. Add water to fill bucket. Use a long-handled brush to put cleaner on window then rinse with a hose. The alcohol keeps the water from streaking and your windows will SPARKLE!
***Each Friday's post is part of my 52 Blessing project...an effort in 2009 to be more aware of and grateful for the blessings in my life.