Start 2009 off right with a few resolutions we promise you won’t mind keeping.
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Have More Fun With Your Decorating
Add a touch of color and pattern to your room with fun and stylish lampshade slipcovers by frockZ. Created by friends Shelly Dick and Wanda Guadamud of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, these inexpensive covers offer a small change that delivers big impact. Made of a spandex-blend fabric, they stretch right over your existing shades (solid white or ivory works best). The slipcovers come in 29 fabric patterns and cost between $26 and $34. www.frockz.com
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Take Another Step Towards Living Green
Fabric designer Amy Butler has reinvented some of her cheery patterns as Gift Wrap Green, a collection of wrapping paper and gift bags made of 100% post-consumer recycled paper that’s printed with soy-based inks ($12.75 for a set of three rolls). www.amybutlerdesign.com
Embellish your packages with biodegradable, natural cotton ribbons from Cream City Ribbon. The ribbons, which are printed with soy-based inks, are sold individually ($5.99 to $7.45 for a 10-yard spool) or as a kit of 20 designs ($49.99 for 100 yards). www.creamcityribbon.com
Corral your gift-wrapping supplies in an under-the-bed storage piece, such as this canvas Hideaway Storage Bin by Hable Construction ($215). www.hableconstruction.com Inexpensive plastic and recycled fiberboard ones are available at The Container Store. www.containerstore.com
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Show Off Family Photos
Upload all of those holiday pictures from your digital camera, print them, and put them on display. We love this wall of memories in a Georgia home because each frame illustrates a past family trip. Various styles of collage photo frames are available at hobby and crafts stores. Or work with your local framing shop to create custom arrangements. Keep the frames and mats similar for a cohesive look. Label each frame with the event and the date.
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Get a Bit More Organized
Think small, not big, and the task won’t be so daunting. The cold, dreary days of winter are the perfect time to tackle that heap of home-maintenance records, manuals, and warranties as well as plan your projects for the upcoming year. We suggest the Home Mainte¬nance Organizer ($21) and Things To Do Around the House Pad ($7.50) by Knock Knock and The Handy Household Helper from Chronicle Books ($16.95) to get you started. Each includes helpful tools that make the job easier and even a little fun. www.knockknockstuff.com or www.chroniclebooks.com