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Maximalists & Optimizers

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June is always the month when I start whining about how busy I am. No time to stop and smell the roses (which, appropriately, are blooming away in my yard) and no time to finish all the projects I've started. School's winding down and summer's calling. I've got some exciting picking trips planned and so much to take care of before I can hit the road.

I recently became familiar with the book How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life by Scott Adams of Dilbert fame. In the book, Adams makes some obvious but insightful distinctions between simplifiers (who, well, make simple plans) and optimizers (who are always trying to squeeze one more thing in to their brilliant plans, but have to accept a higher level of stress in exchange).

Adams decribes himself and his wife as follows:

“In about an hour, the optimizer in the family will return home from whatever she is optimizing and potentially introduce several changes to my plan.  If the changes work, our evening will be even better than I imagined, or perhaps more productive.  That’s great!  But the changes will also introduce new opportunities for things to go wrong.  This balance works well for Shelly because she has nerves of steel.  I’m more like a squirrel that wandered into a monster-truck rally.  I don’t have the constitution to optimize.”

Not surprisingly, when it comes to stuff, I am also trying to squeeze one more thing in. More is better for those of us with a restless eye. Here are some interiors that exemplify maximalist decorating, that I particularly enjoy- mostly culled from Design Sponge and The Selby blogs.

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My Shop

I am also drawn to individual objects with a whole lot going on. I've been putting together some new Etsy listings and was noticing how some of the maps, in particular, are quite busy in their designs. The antique French maps, below, from the 1880s, are just brimming with cartouches, vignettes, hand-coloring and extremely ornate fonts. The cartographers got a little carried away…love it!

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