Hatton House Diaries

One day, we decided to buy a 125 year old Victorian House in Des Moines, Iowa…….

Day 14 – Minimalism Game – Kids Clothes Are (Not) Taking Over November 14, 2013

Filed under: Family Stuff — hattonhousedsm @ 6:19 am
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wpid-20131116_212554.jpgI have the only granddaughter and grandson on both sides of our family. Sure, I’d rather have tons of nieces and nephews, but instead, I have two awesome kids that want for nothing. They have plenty of toys and a great collection of clothing, especially my daughter, who gets hand-me-downs from a friend with excellent taste in clothes. This is a wonderful thing, until they outgrow them. We are still planning to have another child, but it’s taking a little longer than planned to make that plan happen, so what started as a few boxes of extra clothes is now an out of control wild prairie of Rubbermaid boxes across the preserve of our 1000 SF attic. It’s not OK.

So I’m starting slow….a box of my shoes that don’t fit anymore and pants that aren’t at all special cast off by my son, sizes 3-5T. They’re for sale on my Minimalism sale on Facebook. Get these things out of my house folks, right here: https://www.facebook.com/tanyakeith/media_set?set=a.10202251802514841.1073741831.1183778292&type=3

Also, the Ebay page: http://www.ebay.com/usr/djotzke#

Please, buy our stuff.


Day 13 – Minimalism Game – Spice Girl November 13, 2013

Filed under: Family Stuff — hattonhousedsm @ 5:59 am
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wpid-20131112_213054.jpgI have a problem. I have cool stuff I could sell, but I seem to get lost in the thought of how complicated it would be to sell it. I will have to find it, clean it, photograph it, list it for sale, meet with the buyer….ugh…it’s all so complicated. I will put it off forever. I will sometimes donate things I know I could sell, just because it’s so much easier. What I’m learning through this minimalism is that inaction can be just as draining as action. Seeing stuff time after time and having to think, “ugh, there’s that X again. Someday I’ll get rid of X” takes energy, energy I was expending over and over again.

Case in point: The spice rack from our first home. We used to have a house with no cabinet space, but a fair amount of counter space, so we moved everything we could out of drawers and into counter based storage solutions, such as this lovely spice rack. I thought it was so cool looking, and I loved the part it played in our first home. Now we have a home with plenty of drawer and cabinet space, but very little free counter space, so I moved the spices into one of the drawers, but couldn’t seem to let go of my little rack when I unpacked the kitchen stuff.

But 12 jars and a rack….that’s 13 items, if I could just force myself to clean it out and list it. So I dumped the several year old spices, cleaned the jars, photographed and posted. In the end, it didn’t take that long, and once it was posted, it didn’t take long for it to sell and the drop off was seamless. The lesson: less stuff and more cash in my pocket is the way to go. I promise you, there will be more to come!


Day 7-12 – Minimalism Game – Company Coming November 7, 2013

Filed under: Remodeling and Design Projects — hattonhousedsm @ 8:03 pm
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I’m cheating. I worked ahead. We have friends visiting this weekend, and I wanted tasks done, stuff out. Plus, once you get going on decluttering, it gets easier. I enlisted the kids on filling out the numbers for the weekend, but we made it with room to spare, and two huge boxes of clothes, toys, and books are on their way to charity. Have a great weekend, minimalists!


Day 6 – Minimalism Game – GET OUT! November 6, 2013

Filed under: Family Stuff — hattonhousedsm @ 5:41 pm
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kitchen lightTechnically, it’s one thing, but this 6 arm chandelier has been sitting in the corner of my dining room since I changed out the kitchen fixture 6 months ago, and Thanksgiving is around the corner. I’m not sure why it bugs me so much to list things for sale. It’s just annoying, getting the photos, measurements, writing the ad, posting the ad, dealing with the calls about the items…ugh. But this thing is worth more than $5, and I should sell it before one of my kids or cats breaks it! Listed for sale, buyer coming to see it tomorrow! HOORAY!! Get out of my house!


Day 5 – Minimalism Game – Cheap Hangers Must Go November 5, 2013

Filed under: Family Stuff — hattonhousedsm @ 10:19 pm

wpid-20131104_195636.jpgThe great closet cleanout continues. This time, dry cleaner hangers must go! I know, kinda a weak post, but there’s a bunch more that we’ve listed for sale that will hopefully be gone soon. And my closet with nothing but seasonal clothes that fit and I would actually wear….amazing. Takes so much less time to get dressed now!


Day 3 – Minimalism Game – Orphaned Mitten Day November 3, 2013

Filed under: Family Stuff — hattonhousedsm @ 10:18 pm
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wpid-20131105_090635.jpgIt’s time to let go of mittens with no matches. I’m giving up on ever finding your pairs, my friends. I’m so sorry it didn’t work out. Maybe next time, I’ll post in Craigslist Missed Connections, but today, you’re out the door. I’m going to work my way up to doing the same for your sock brethren. That’s a much bigger bag, I have a couple weeks.


Day 2 – Minimalism Game – Trash It! November 2, 2013

Filed under: Family Stuff — hattonhousedsm @ 10:18 pm
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wpid-20131105_090705.jpgDay 2 of minimalism game brought on a big cleanout of the master bedroom and my closet. I set up boxes for sell, donate, trash/recycle, and a pile for putting things away. It was one of those situations that got worse before it got better, but by the end of it, I had two big bags of trash, and lots of organized chaos. Taking out the trash was awesome, going back to the chaos, not so much. 


Minimalism Game November November 1, 2013

Filed under: Family Stuff — hattonhousedsm @ 10:41 pm
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I’m suffering from big house syndrome. Our house is big enough that I don’t have to declutter. I don’t have to get rid of things, I don’t need to be careful about what I bring in. I can have things on top of things, and never run out of space to live. Or do I? All this stuff just creates things on top of things , making me crazy. It’s messy, and it’s ruining my creativity.

Enter the minimalism game. I watched a friend of mine do it last month, posting the one thing that he got rid of on the first, two things on the second, three things on the 3rd, and so on, and so on. He posted how hard it was at first, but then, as he went on, how freeing it was to move so much stuff out of his house. I thought, sign me up. You can read more about Minimalism game on the original blog post here.

So here goes: November 1st, one box of box of things that I’ve kept in my bedroom for probably a year, and never donated because I was still adding stuff to it, supposedly. It’s out of the house, and I have reclaimed three square feet of my house. Bring on the rest of November!


Hatton House Studios Work by Tanya Keith and Amy Carrell Hanging at the Juice Company! September 17, 2013

Filed under: Hatton House Studios — hattonhousedsm @ 4:04 pm
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Juice CoAs we work on restoring the house, we’ve started to think of this place as a retreat for artists and writers to some day come and stay and refresh their creative spirits. while we prepare the house for overnight guests, I will sometimes invite over my artist friends to create with me as I am painting or making pottery. The eat-in kitchen has become the studio, and I love having friends or my kids around me as I create new work.

The Juice Company in the Shops at Roosevelt currently has a show of our work hanging for you to see some of the things that we’ve been working on this Summer. On the north wall is mixed media artist Amy Carrell, and on the south wall are paintings by me, Tanya Keith. My pieces are acrylic and mixed media paintings, featuring works with Hebrew and German language, a few that my children collaborated with me. I hope you’ll stop by, grab a smoothie and check out some of our work, and maybe even do a little early holiday shopping! Local art that supports local restoration is sure to be a hit!


#FlashDineDSM, the Local Take on Diner en Blanc September 3, 2013

Filed under: Keep It Local,Things We Love About Des Moines — hattonhousedsm @ 12:37 pm
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flashdineA few weeks ago, I got a Facebook invite to Des Moines FlashDine III, and was intrigued. The instructions were to wear white, have white table linens, and come dine, BYO everything, at a location to be announced the day before the event. The event photo was from a previous event at the downtown sculpture park, and it looked like people were having fun.

I’ll be honest, I didn’t even look further into the tagline “A local take on Diner en Blanc,” but you could get lost in the beautiful photos on the international website for that event. People in white, dining at beautiful sites around the world, holding white sparklers to the night sky afterward. The whole effect is so lovely, it would have made my decision to go so much easier.

We’d spent most of the day Sunday cleaning house, as the Hatton House bedrooms have never really been put right, and with a Labor Day paint sale going on, I wanted to purge n’ paint my weekend away. We’d pretty much abandoned the idea to go FlashDining when I got a Facebook message from one of our friends that they were going, and they were bringing their boys our son’s age. Now it seemed silly NOT to go. We should take a break, go do something cool, not spend the weekend slaving away in 6 year old debris.

Now, what to bring. A quick search of Twitter showed a few ideas of food that would serve well at room temperature, so I thought about what we had in abundance: eggs and tomatoes, and dug into the fridge to find swiss cheese, goat cheese, Balsamic vinegar, and required items to make Gruyere Cheese Ring (or as Doug calls it with plain Swiss “Cheese Ring for the Proletariat” and tomatoes with goat cheese and balsamic vinegar. Not too bad for 40 minutes notice!

The event was gorgeous. People brought out beautiful meals and table decorations, creating linked bubbles of intimate dinner parties. The heat wave we’ve suffered lately broke, leaving an almost cool night along the river. We ran into friends we haven’t seen lately and listened to music and had conversations while the kids chased each other around the terraced landscaping. It was perfection, lovely and unexpected.

I did a little more digging and found the original importer of Diner en Blanc to Des Moines was Larry Cleverly of Cleverly Farms. Larry has a great following in the local food culture of Des Moines, and he told me he read about Diner en Blanc in Paris and thought, “Let’s do this in DSM.” It was that simple, he said, “I picked a date, put it on my farm page & tweeted about it. The first two years we had it in the Sculpture Park and about 125 people attended.” This year, thanks to some publicity help from a few friends, he was able to get it more widely publicized, but hopes the event will continue to grow organically. He pointed out that, to his knowledge, the 2011 FlashdineDSM was the first such event outside of Paris, because, y’know…that’s how things tend to spread…Paris–> Des Moines. Oh, how I love this city!

You can follow FlashDineDSM on Twitter, and try to catch the FlashDineDSM IV. We’ve been kicking around the idea to do a monthly dinner club of some sort here at the Hatton House. An event to keep pushing us to complete projects to show off, and to share our home with Des Moines. We had so much fun flashdining, we may have to push ourselves to get the dinner club off the ground here at the Hatton House, only with maybe a little more than 40 minutes to cook next time! If nothing else, look for FlashDineDSM IV sometime next Summer!