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Blogging Challenge – Day Nine : What’s in My Bag?

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My bag (or, rather, bags – I have too many of them) generally contains more than it should.  I am a hoarder in all areas of my life, why should the contents of my handbag be any different?  I am terrible at clearing it out regularly and it usually has about six months’ worth of receipts in it.  Also, about eight hundred tissues – used or not, who can tell? – and at least three pens, possibly leaking or not working at all.

So, today’s bag-hoard contains :

  1. A Pair of tongs –  This is because I cannot reach those stupid ticket machine thingies in the car parks (when you have to lean out your window).  Whose arms are that long?  Certainly not mine.  I usually end up putting my neck out.  So, I have tongs.  I will take them out of the bag and just leave them in the car today though.  Promise.
  2. Concert ticket – A couple of weeks ago, in the midst of my house-buying anxiety, I went to a concert with my cousin.  I had been looking forward to it for months but was so not in the mood to go that night.  In fact, an hour before hand, I was having a major meltdown and crying so hard I gave myself a massive nose bleed.  Over-dramatic much?  Anyway, the concert was AWESOME!!!  It was called “Totally 80s” and featured lots of one-hit wonders and some more successful musical acts of the 80s.  Wa Wa Nee, Martika, Berlin, Real Life, Men Without Hats and Paul Lekakis.  It was great.  They were all SO GOOD and sounded amazing.  It was a nice distraction for me and, predictably, I have held on to my ticket.  But it is going in the bin today. Really and truly. Pinky swear.
  3. Purse – Well, obviously my purse is gonna be in there.  It contains no money but does have lots of receipts and a tonne of other crap in it.
  4. House-buying documents and whatnot – I am currently carrying all my documents and forms and everything to do with my new house around with me like a pack horse.  I am paranoid something dramatic will happen and I will need the information immediately.  This is unlikely now, with settlement a week away.  But I am not very smart and apparently like to lug stuff around.
  5. Gloves – I feel the cold.  We all know this.  I have a pair of black knitted gloves that have skeleton bones printed on them.  They are children’s gloves.  I have tiny hands.
  6. Bandaids – my dermatillomania is kicking my butt at the moment so I am trying to keep it under control by keeping my fingers covered.  I keep bandaids on hand at all times.  I buy bazillions of them.
  7. Numerous set of keys – I have house keys, car keys, my Mum’s house keys,  friends’ house keys, lots of keys to work etc.  Basically I jangle when I walk.
  8. Phone – The dreaded mobile phone.  I am not one of those people who is constantly on their phone.  I forget to even look at it half the time and mostly use it as a clock.  I HATE talking on my mobile and I never answer it when I am driving.  Don’t text and drive, people!  I actually bought a new iPhone about 6 months ago.  I haven’t switched over to it yet (because I am a chronic procrastinator) and am still using my extremely ancient iPhone that has multiple issues.  Basically, it is dying, poor lamb.
  9. Teabags – Um, yes, I carry teabags around with me.  Mostly green tea and lemon ones.  Just in case I go somewhere – to someone’s house for instance – and they don’t have any tea.  Who would such a person be and why I would be friends with them, I do not know, but it’s just in case.
  10. Lip balm – I have a lippy in every bag I own.  Cruelty-free ones of course.  If they smell nice and taste a bit like fruit/chocolate/cookies, even better.

That’s pretty much it, except for the usual “lady” products and scraps of paper and general junk.  I should probably clean it out.  Today even.  Or tomorrow.  Or in three week’s time when I move.  That seems like a good idea.  Then I will have a new set of keys to put in it!

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Be You – (and try not to hoard)

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For your consideration today, a couple of doodled Little Peeps cards… I’m trying to pack everything up in my house and, unfortunately, that includes all my craft stuff.  So, doodling is about the best I can do right now.  Otherwise, I will do like I’ve done in the past and have stuff EVERYWHERE and try to create things in the midst of boxes, packing tape and general chaos.  Like the year I made a whole bunch of Christmas cards, despite the fact we were moving in a few days time and I was supposed to be tidying up, not making more mess.

As I pack up my stuff and decide on which pieces I should cull before I move (SO hard – you know I can’t get rid of stuff, right?), it occurs to me perhaps now is the time to develop some sort of decorating identity based on what I actually like, and what speaks to my nesting soul.  I am going to try and keep only what really resonates with me and not what I think I SHOULD keep, for whatever bizarre reason.  But this new plan has some fatal flaws.

For instance.  I have an ugly, stained-glass rooster lamp.  My cousin gave it to me when I moved in to this place, my first rental by myself.  It’s ugly, the lamp.  And slightly demonic-looking when lit up.  But I keep it because I love my cousin and she bought it for me because she thought it was quirky and different.  Like me, she said.  How can I get rid of it, knowing she bought it because she was supporting me in my individuality and going completely against her own decorating taste which would, in all honesty, have burnt the rooster lamp as some sort of effigy to the design-deprived?

I have ornaments that sit in boxes because they don’t really appeal to me, but the person who gave them to me does.  Getting rid of them would be like telling the person I no longer have a need for them.

I have teddy bears given to me when I was ill in hospital.  I’m 42 years old and I don’t need teddy bears, don’t particularly even want them, but there they sit, in my lounge room, on their own chair.  Because someone gave them to me.  Out of love and a desire to bring me some comfort when I was at my lowest.  I feel like I should keep them just because of what they represent.  Even if I really don’t have room for them, and the people who gave them to me in the first place would probably tell me get rid of them anyway.

So, this packing up process is going to be a tough one.  But probably an important one.  I need to stop hanging on to things that really don’t matter, and focus on what does.  I should surround myself with things that say “This is Me”.  As opposed to things that say “Someone really nice gave this to me and I like them a lot so I can’t get rid of it, even though it clashes with everything else I own and doesn’t actually fit anywhere and kinda makes me a bit miserable because I could actually put something nicer there that speaks to my soul and makes me feel good”.

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I should probably have a chaperone.  Someone who will shake their head and say “No, you do not need that broken teapot/frayed cushion cover/doll-with-no-legs and [insert friend or family member’s name here] will not mind if you remove it from your home. In fact, they will probably wonder why in the heck you have kept it for seventeen years…”

I WILL do it.  I will.  Maybe.  Bit by bit.  With a few relapses every now and then.
Although, my new place will most likely have an extra bedroom so, y’know,
that means extra storage space.

🙂

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Authentique (A Lesson in Hoarding)

I am a bit of a hoarder.  I may have mentioned this once or twice before.  I’m not like the stacks-of-newspapers-and-empty-cat-food-tins style of hoarder, not yet anyway (just wait until I get a cat!), but I do tend to hang on to bits and pieces that most people would just get rid of.  Especially things that can be used in crafting.  And, usually, those things will never actually get used.  I won’t ever need them.  Well, not until two seconds after I’ve thrown them away.  Such is the thinking of a hoarder.

Occasionally, when the stars are properly aligned and the crafting Gods are smiling down upon me, I do come across a scrap of something-or-other that has been saved, that just happens to be EXACTLY WHAT I NEED RIGHT NOW TO FINISH THIS CARD.

Take this card, for instance.  I struggled with it for some time.  It was late in the day and I was getting a bit squinty and sweary and was in a total mess.  I had made the little bird lady and was happy enough with her.  I quite liked the bird cage behind her.  But the whole thing needed a word or phrase to finish it off.  Do you think I could find something appropriate?  No, I could not.  I wanted “Unique” or “Quirky” or something similar, but nothing I found was the right size or colour or style.  I started eyeing off my bookshelves – maybe I had a book I could cut some words from?

Then, when I had just about given up, I found this little scrap of packaging, with the word “Authentique” on it.  Right size and style of font.  That would do nicely, thank you.  Edged it with some ink, glued it on and sighed with relief (feeling a little smug because hoarding had come to the rescue at last, just as I knew it would).

So, sometimes, just sometimes, hoarding pays off.  More often than not it just makes a mess and clutters up your house but, just very occasionally, it saves the day and stops you tearing your hair out or cutting up your library.

Hope you are living clutter-free and authentically today.  But if “authentically” for you means keeping bits and pieces you might need one day, your secret is safe with me 🙂

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Mum’s Xmas Pimping

Mum’s Xmas Pimping

My last post featured my attempt at sprucing up my house with some festive decorating.  This takes me one evening and I give up about half way through and say “that will do”.  My lovely Mum, on the other hand, goes all out and makes her home a veritable Winter Wonderland.  Even though Christmas takes place in our Summer.  And it takes her about a week.

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My Mum has the “touch” when it comes to coordinating ornaments and colours and themes.  Her arrangements look “just so” whereas mine tend to lean towards the “just because”.  She is far more organised than me and all her stuff is neatly packed away each year so she knows where to find everything the following Christmas.  Her baubles and candles match or complement each other, as well as coordinating with everything else in the room.  She has “themes” going on.  Like, blue and red and white in one room, or natural greens and browns in another.  Her Christmas trees have themes.  And I say Christmas trees plural, because she has, like, six or so trees.  She actually bought another one today while I was with her.  Her old one was looking a bit ratty and sub-par.

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The only year I have ever known Mum to not decorate to some degree, is the year she split from my Dad.  That year everything was just too hard and icky and she didn’t have the emotional strength.  But it bothered her, and she missed it, and the next year she was back with a vengeance, not letting anything stand in her way of creating the perfect festive flurry of coordinated loveliness.

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But a lot of the things she uses to decorate with are second hand finds, op-shop treasures and vintage pieces handed down.  She doesn’t spend a lot each year on new baubles or other trim – she makes a little go a long way.  Mind you, she could easily fill a room with all the stuff she has and that’s even after getting rid of a lot of things she no longer loved or needed (her decorating style has changed over the years, as anyone’s does). But I love that she takes pride in it.  And I love that she is anti-bah-humbug, like me.  We love Christmas.  We love it because we are blessed and lucky to have the life we have, the friends we hold dear and the family who supports us.  The decorating is just really a shrine to that.  A shiny, glittery, sparkly shrine.  With a tree or two or six to round things out.

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Someday, I hope my home will be as pretty and well set out as hers.  I try not to compare myself to her because we are different people, after all, and we lead very different lives in terms of the time we have to devote to making a home, and making it beautiful.  Plus, I am a messy slob and she is not, ha ha.  That’s probably the main problem, to be honest. I think she despairs of me, secretly, but she never says anything about my mess.  And, to be fair, I have inherited my hoarding tendencies and love of “stuff” from her so, y’know, she’s got some blame in all of this 🙂

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I hope your home makes you feel warm and secure this festive season, whatever it looks like and whoever you share it with

x

My Week in Pictures

My Week in Pictures

It’s been a busy week.  I haven’t had time to even think about blogging, let alone do it.  Plus, it’s been so hot and my little office where my computer lives is stifling and stuffy and ugh.  So I’ve spent as little time on the computer as possible.

I have been crafting though…I had to make some hot pink earrings for a friend at work but, as hot pink is not a colour I usually work with or like, I had difficulty finding anything in my bead stash to even start.  Which meant I had to go out and buy some more beads, of course.  I won’t show you what I made – I’m not at all happy with any of them.  It’s funny how colour choice affects your (or, at least, my) ability to make and create.  I like paler pinks – more shabby than shocking I guess.

I got them done as quickly as I could then moved on to other orders I had to complete…

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…I had a go with memory wire (and managed to stab myself in the thumb with it – blood everywhere!)…

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…my iron count has been a little low the last few months so I had to have an iron infusion
(look away now if you don’t like needles and hospital stuff…)…

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…I went for walks…(but not as often as I should have…)…

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…lots of bird watching…

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…baby swans!…

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I got some belated birthday gifts…including this gorgeous handbag from a friend of my Mum’s…(I don’t normally wear or use leather but as I didn’t buy it I guess it’s ok…plus it is so lovely and soft and stylish.  Sorry cows, I will still keep to my non-leather-buying values, but I’m keeping the bag…)…

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…and a lovely jewellery box from (drum roll please!) TIFFANY’S!!!…

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…the same lovely lady (my volunteer library assistant) gave me this beautiful gift AND  made me a take-home curry
to have for my dinner (Oh my God – so yum!).  She is too good to me…

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…my penal Rem’s partner Dianne sent me a lovely Valentine’s card…
(you should check out her blog if you haven’t already – it’s great!)

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…I discovered my new favourite sweet treat – frozen grapes!

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I also went op-shopping and bead shopping with my Mum and bought a ridiculous amount of beads.  I think I have a problem…

Now it’s Sunday evening yet again and soon I must pack up and get ready for bed.  I am trying to get to bed before 10pm these days because I am always so tired and can never get up in the morning.  I have a busy day tomorrow – lots of meetings and a three-hour “fire suppression” training (as I am supposedly a fire warden for my building).  I’m hoping the day goes quickly and that I manage to get some things done even though I will not be at my desk.  Every week I tell myself I am going to sort my desk out and get things in order, but I never have time or anywhere to put everything.  So I just try and make all the piles of stuff look tidy.  Moving them from one place to another helps, as does shuffling them, hiding them under the desk and shoving them in the filing cabinet marked “to deal with later”.

Have a great Monday everyone – hope you are more organised than me 🙂

Hoarding is an Art Form

Hoarding is an Art Form

As I have pointed out before, I am a hoarder.  Not in the “put me on tv and embarrass me in front of millions as I show you my house filled with three-story high piles of newspaper and boxes of cat poop (when I don’t even have a cat…well, I don’t think I do…I haven’t seen him for a while…)” kind of way but the normal “Man, this house is a pigsty, why do I have so much crap?!” kind of way.

I think I have always been this way.  I remember keeping stuff as a kid that most other kids would have thrown away.  I always loved stuff that was free.  Junk on someone’s verge?  I’ll take it!  Clothes someone else has outgrown?  Sure, thanks!  Books that are probably to young for me now but I used to love them and hey, in twenty years I might have kids?  Hand ’em over!  I was always planning for a future where I would need these things.  A future that pretty much never happened, in most cases.

Anyway, having a hoarding issue creates stress in other areas of your life.  My husband is starting to look at me in that “I knew I should’ve just gotten a pet fish or something instead of getting married…A fish would be neat and tidy and wouldn’t interrupt me while I’m watching Star Trek…” kind of way.  He sighs a lot.  That’s never a good thing.

Deciding to have a day of crafting becomes a huge drama as I have to first clear a space in all the junk on my crafting table before adding more mess to it by actually crafting.  I don’t work neatly – I spread out and there is stuff everywhere.  I don’t understand how people can be artistic and tidy.  I can’t see how the two go together.  I mean, I read those magazines that show you how other artists “create” and I despair.  I don’t believe they are real – they can’t be.  I reckon there is secretly a pile of junk just out of camera view that gets moved around for each shot.

My craft room is definitely the worse hoarding spot.  I keep every scrap of paper and fabric and ribbon and bits and pieces.  Usually they are so small as to be useless but I still keep them.  There’s also a bit of the eco-warrior in me so I keep the bits and pieces rather than adding them to landfill (so I think).  What I try not to think about is that I am actually creating my own little landfill spot, right in my very own home.  I could be buried under it all one day and no one would know.

So this weekend I am trying to get things straight.  I’m determined to de-clutter at least one corner of the room.  I want to see the floor again and discover what is hidden by those boxes behind the door.  I’d like to be able to open the door in the first place.  I’ve already chucked out the contents of one file…well, almost all of it…I re-filed some of it because, well, y’now, I might actually decide to practice Bach Flower Remedies again sometime soon.  I haven’t looked at that file for about 12 years but hey, I might soon.  I’ve cut up some magazines I don’t need any more and put the clippings I do want from them into a photo album so they’re easier to access and I don’t have to go searching through a million magazines to find them. I’m going to make labels for the countless drawers I have so I know what’s in them (ooh, there’s a new concept!) and what should go in them.  I figure if I just do a bit each day, maybe I will be finished by…Christmas?

So if you do see me on “Hoarders” in a few years (oh, who am I kidding?  I mean months…) time, please think of me kindly and know that I did try.  I really did.

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