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Love the Moment

Hello everyone ūüôā¬† I have been on leave for a couple of weeks and placed myself under a strict no crafting ban.¬† I knew if I got stuck into making things (and, therefore, making a mess) I would never get tidy and organised.¬† So I had two weeks of sorting and culling and making my home fit for human habitation.¬† My craft room was going to be last on the list as it is an area I close off anyway and doesn’t get seen unless I want it to!¬† Needless to say, it is still in a mess.¬† I just didn’t time to complete the tidy up in its entirety.¬† But the rest of the house looks good now.¬† I even had some visitors during my leave and I wasn’t embarrassed to have them in my space.

On my final two days, I let myself do some crafting.¬† I figured it was my reward for doing adult stuff like dusting and ironing (ugh!).¬† I started with this canvas – a freehand painting with acrylic paints.¬† I drew a design straight on to the canvas, which is something I don’t normally do and did not incorporate any paper or mixed media elements.¬† I decided to just go with the flow and not think about any of it too much.¬† The worst thing to do is start comparing your work to someone else, so I tried really hard to just enjoy the process, regardless of whether the finished piece was good or not.

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I was pleased with the final outcome.¬† I don’t mind that she’s got a big head and ridiculously long neck, or that her hair resembles a teddy bear hat.¬† I am just glad to have had a go and not fussed over it all too much.¬† I’m not normally brave enough to put a design straight on to the canvas, so this was new for me.¬† Normally I draw it out first and often draw and paint the person on a piece of paper, before cutting them out and gluing them to the canvas, after I’ve worked out the background.

I had some issues with the wording – it took me forever to decide on the words and I just couldn’t make anything work.¬† I had this “Loving the Moment” stamp that I had picked up in an op-shop, and it seemed to fit the space perfectly.¬† The¬†design itself didn’t stamp out very well, due to the non-flat nature of the canvas, so I had to fill it in afterwards, but it looks ok.¬† I’m not sure exactly what “moment” she is loving (best not to ask a lady these things!) but I’m going to say it’s representational of me just enjoying some peaceful, creative crafting time, all to myself.

So, I am pleased with this one.¬† It isn’t perfect, but that’s ok.¬† I’m going to keep practicing and trying to find my own style.¬† It’s the only way to get better.¬† And, in the meantime, I am enjoying the process and the moment ūüôā

Thanks for stopping by x

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Rest in Your Nest

A silly little collage, this one.¬† But I think the sentiment is fairly relevant.¬† At least to me anyway.¬† Home is where I go to rest and¬†recharge and, yes, hide, more often than not.¬† I’m not sure how an albatross fits in with that but, hey, let’s not get too deep here.¬† Sometimes an albatross is just an albatross, right?

I’ve been reading up on introverts and highly sensitive people, both of which I am, and most of the stuff I’ve read says it is important for us to recharge and to find quiet places in which to do that.¬† So, for me, that’s home.¬† Or anywhere near the ocean.¬†¬†Maybe that’s where the albatross comes in?¬†¬†ūüôā

Hope your home is safe and happy sanctuary, today and always x

 

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Nourish (Because Sometimes Doorknobs Just Fall Off)

It’s late at night.¬† You’re hungry.¬† You know you shouldn’t raid the pantry but to hell with diets and the whole “don’t eat after 8pm at night” nonsense (what am I, a gremlin?).¬† Time to check out what snacks are available to us.¬†¬†

Enter kitchen.  Attempt to open pantry door.  Door knob falls off in hand РDISASTER! 

What can you do?¬† a.) Forget about the whole thing and go to bed, sad and unsatisfied?¬† b.) Try the fridge instead?¬† c.) Rummage through your handbag to see if there’s a long-forgotten mint or something?¬† d.) Wrench the pantry door open with a knife and vow to put a new door knob on tomorrow?¬†¬†If you answered “all of the above except A”, you’d be correct.¬† Let’s face it, A was never an option.¬†

My house has many features that are, through age or just crappy design, falling off/breaking down/not performing so well.¬† Doorknobs are one example.¬† I’ve replaced several now in different rooms but, for the kitchen, decided to go with something a bit more jazzy.¬† I probably shouldn’t draw attention to my pantry (it’s not like I’m not VERY FAMILIAR with it already!) but I wanted to do this little project and not have to open the door with a knife ūüôā

These little wooden doorknobs are currently available at Kmart, in Australia, for $1.00 each.¬† One dollar!¬† I do not want to know where the materials were sourced from at such a price – it would probably hurt my brain.¬† They had different shaped ones too, but I bought the regular round one.¬† I collaged on various scraps of patterned papers and washi tape, then (using a stencil I had made) draw on a heart shape.¬† I then painted the doorknob all over in blue, leaving out the heart-shaped area.¬† Details were added with permanent black pencil, a white paint pen and a bit of stamped text.¬† The whole thing was sealed and varnished and¬†voila!¬† It was done.¬† (It looks a bit “cloudy” in places because I had literally just finished sealing it so nothing had dried before I took the photo).¬† I sanded back the edges slightly too, just to give a bit of extra detail.

So, an easy, inexpensive little decorator project that could be applied to lots of furniture and household items.¬† I’m still thinking I should have stamped “DO NOT ENTER” instead of “NOURISH” on my doorknob, but I will try and have some willpower of my own, instead of expecting inanimate objects to guide me and tell me what to do (or, in this case, what NOT to do) when I get the midnight munchies.

ūüôā

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Home

What do you love about your home?¬† For me it is cosiness.¬† I don’t like big, open plan homes with lots of space and sparse furnishings – they seem very cold and unfriendly to me.¬† There are times when I wish I could be more¬†Spartan in my decorating style¬†and live in a less cluttered space, but that wouldn’t be me and I wouldn’t feel as comfortable.¬† I like colour and pattern.¬† I like being surrounded by things that are special to me, or have been gifted to me by someone I love.¬† My home isn’t very sophisticated or adult looking.¬† I have nice artworks, but then they are, quite often, accompanied by something silly or incongruous.¬† I have lots of vintage items, but then they’re sitting with something from Kmart or a discount store.¬† I don’t care – it’s whatever makes you happy, right?

My house is small.¬† But that’s ok.¬† My hoarding habits are probably better being contained anyway ūüôā¬† But I do like cosy.¬† I like to feel cocooned.¬† I like to feel safe and enclosed.¬† I like to look around the room and see all my “precious things” – they have memories attached to them and they’re important to me, even if they’re not “on-trend” or matching or stylish.¬† I have started culling a little bit – as much as I like my stuff, even I have to concede that I do have a lot of junk.¬† But if something has a real emotional pull – I keep it.¬† It’s there, in my life, for a reason.

So, what makes a house a home, to me…..

  1. Colour.¬† I like white – I really do – but I would always pair it with lots of bright colour.¬† Shabby-chic white I love – because it’s distressed and homely and paired with lots of pretty colour, wood finishes and interesting textures.¬† But stark white, I can’t do.¬† Plus it shows up dirt too easily ha ha.
  2. Plants.¬† I am not a great gardener, as I have pointed out before.¬† But I do like lots of plants around the place.¬† Greenery is good.¬† As long as it stays green ūüôā
  3. Soft furnishings.¬† I like a cushion or two.¬† Embroidered tablecloths.¬† Throw rugs and patchwork quilts.¬† Especially when they’re handmade ones.¬† Curtains I can take or leave – at the moment I am stuck with the ones that came with the house – but I HATE vertical blinds with a passion.¬† Unfortunately, I have those too.¬† They will be going as soon as I can afford to get rid of them.
  4. Candles.¬† I definitely have a bit of a pyromaniac streak.¬† But I love the soft light they give (hey, I’m in my 40s – I need all the soft lighting I can get!) and they create such a nice ambience.¬† I love the fragranced ones – vanilla, berry and gingerbread are my favourites.¬† My house always smells like cookies.
  5. Books.  I am a bit ridiculous with books.  I have LOADS.  But I just love having them around me.  A house without books is not a home. For me, anyway.
  6. Pets. This is one aspect that I am currently lacking in.¬† It’s so sad.¬† For most of my life I was surrounded by animals.¬† Now I don’t even have a budgie or a goldfish.¬† I am working on getting cats though.¬† One day (in my fantasy world) I will have a¬† property large enough for geese and dogs and rabbits and chickens, cows,¬†and sheep again.¬† One day.
  7. Art.¬† Whether it be a family heirloom worth thousands, or a cute crayon scribble¬†created by a special munchkin in your life, it’s important to have art around the place.¬† Things that inspire you or just make you smile.
  8. Music.¬† I always have music playing.¬† I have to have at least the radio on when I’m cooking or creating.¬† It helps to block the world out and focus you inward.¬† Plus, I like to sing.¬† I would die if anyone else heard me, but it is one of life’s joys, having a sing-a-long to a favourite tune.¬† As long as the neighbours don’t complain, it’s all good.
  9. Nooks.¬† I nearly bought a house last year purely because it had¬†a reading nook with a balcony overlooking the garden.¬† Oh I loved it.¬† But I did not like the neighbourhood or the low popcorn ceiling (ugh!) or the ugly dark grey carpet (I was never sure if it had originally been grey or not…).¬† I really struggled to let go of that reading nook though – it was glorious.¬† I’m still dreaming about it now.¬† I would have spent my life in there, snoozing in the sunshine or pondering the Universe.¬† Sigh.¬† But nooks are important.¬† Every home should have a cosy little corner somewhere.¬† A place you automatically go to¬†recharge and recoup.
  10. Photos.¬† I think it’s important to have photos in your home.¬† Family photos, travel photos, childhood photos – they’re all important.¬† They remind you where you’ve come from and where you’re going.

Most of all, your home should be a place of sanctuary and security.¬† It should be the place you feel happy to fall asleep in.¬† The place you can’t wait to get to at the end of the day.¬† Granted, I am a bit of a hermit, and I probably spend more time at home than most people.¬† Because I need lots of me time and space, anti-social wench that I am ūüôā

My seven-year-old niece had a sleepover at my place on the weekend.  She slept with me (much more fun than sharing with Daddy Рhe snores!) and although I copped a few kicks to the back during the night, it was nice to share my space with that precious little person.  Having her be comfortable and feel secure with me is what home is really about.  I want my home to feel cosy and welcoming to everyone who visits me.  Especially the little ones.  That is way more important to me than having the most expensive furniture or crockery that matches my napkins.  Because home, most of all, should be about family Рwhatever family means to you.

Hope your home is a happy place today and always.

x

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Spoonfuls of Love & Kindness

Anyone else feeling the world is an icky place to be right now?¬† I always try really hard to focus on all the good and not dwell on the bad,¬†but it’s becoming increasingly difficult.¬† I feel¬†so anxious about¬†what the future holds, don’t you?¬† Do we even have a future?

When feeling this way, I just want to curl up in a giant cookie, suck my thumb, and pretend the world’s not there.¬† The next best thing to doing¬†all of that is crafting.¬† I can lose myself in paint and glue and paper and the chaos of my craft room.¬† Sucking of the thumb is not advised during this time as it will usually be covered in all manner of art mediums, but cookies are allowed, as long as they’re washed down with copious amounts of tea.¬† Some music on the stereo, a nice warm cardi, and I’m all set.

This weekend I worked on this collage piece.¬† It’s quite pink for me, but maybe I was chanelling my inner child and wanting some comfort and cuteness.¬† Maybe that was just the colour I grabbed first (after culling all my papers a few weeks back, I am now a bit low on supplies…might need to go shopping ,hee hee!) and it has no emotional ulterior motive at all.¬† Whatever, I am quite pleased with this one.¬† It came together so quickly (for me, Mrs Snail-Pace) and I like its sentiment and theme.¬† I can see there’s a couple of spots I need to touch up (not outlined or finished off completely) but I will do that before¬† varnishing.

I do think kindness is the most important quality a person can have.¬† I think it creates a foundation for everything else.¬† If you’re inherently kind, you won’t judge people, or be intolerant.¬† You will put others first and not seek to oppress or demean anyone.¬† You will strive for the greater good, and help others to do the same, by your example. There is strength in love, and it should never be seen as a weakness.¬† Love and kindness should be encouraged in schools, and in churches and in our community.¬† Instead of someone getting three million “likes” because they achieved the perfect duck pout or showed their boobs or bought a new handbag (the cost of which would probably feed three families for a month), we should be applauding those that do good.

We should be celebrating kindness and spreading love and compassion.

Anyway, I am getting on my “be nice” high horse again.¬† I had a lovely weekend – caught up with an old friend, spent time with my family and brand new baby nephew, and did lots of crafting.¬† I had time to myself, and time with loved ones, which is the perfect balance.¬† I nested and baked and slept and tried not to think about the outside world.

Hope you experience, and share in, some love and kindness today x

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Taking Stock in May

Aggghhhhhh.¬† I had written a fairly long post here and it JUST DISAPPEARED. [insert swear word here].¬† I don’t know what happened.¬† It was there – and then it wasn’t.¬† So annoying!¬† I have no idea what I even wrote.¬† So I have to start again.¬† Sigh.¬† And, of course, what I wrote before would have been BRILLIANT to the point of being genius.¬† Now whatever I write will be rubbish!¬† Double sigh.

Anyway, moving on… What I had been saying, before I was rudely interrupted by computer tomfoolery, was that one of my favourite blogs is Meet Me at Mike’s, created by the very talented Pip Lincolne.¬† It’s a great little blog, with lots if inspirational ideas and good stuff.¬† In fact, the blog’s tagline is “Good Stuff for Nice People”.

One of the regular things Pip does is have a “Taking Stock” post, where she lists the things she is doing that month (or week, or whatever), the things that are inspiring her and the every day stuff that is making her world go ’round.¬† She’s even kind enough to have a prompting list you can copy and paste.¬† And you know I am lazy and need that kind of help in my life. ¬†I pretty much wish that life could be one long list that someone else writes for you, and you just have to fill in the blanks. ¬†Even better if they let you fill in the answers with a pencil. ¬†That way, if you make a boo-boo, you can erase it and start again. ¬†I’d probably go through a lot of erasers.

So, my “Taking Stock” list for May…

Making : A mess.  Always.
Cooking : Lots of comfort food. ¬†It’s cold and I am sick of eating salad. ¬†So, soups and polenta and porridge are the go. ¬†I am trying to avoid making cookies…sigh.
Drinking :¬† Tea.¬† Always tea.¬† But a lot of Passionfruit and Hibiscus tea.¬† Because it is¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† delightful.¬† I don’t normally do “fruity” teas.¬† They smell wonderful but taste pretty insipid.¬† Like watered-down cordial.¬† But this tea is fab.¬† It does, unfortunately, smell a little bit like cat pee.¬† But it tastes delicious.¬† You should try it.
Reading :¬†I just finished “The Good Mayor” by Andrew Nicoll. ¬†It’s bloody delightful. ¬†One of the reviews describes it as a book that “makes you want to go out and fall in love” and, indeed, that is very true. ¬†I don’t read romance novels (AT ALL) because – hello! – I’m bitter and twisted, but this one is different. It’s quirky and funny and heartbreaking and, oh, just read it already! ¬†I couldn’t put it down. ¬†You won’t be able to either.
Trawling : Job sites, sadly.  Times are a-changing.
Wanting : A steamer for my clothes. ¬†I know – pathetic. ¬†But some of my clothes are very tricky to iron and I don’t end up wearing them much because I dread the inevitable crease-fest.
Looking : Home-decorating books and magazines and websites.  My house does not reflect this, but one day it shall.  Oh yes!
Deciding : Whether I should get rid of my bead / jewellery-making stash. ¬†I need to de-clutter and figure out exactly what I want to do, craft-wise. ¬†But I know that as soon as I get rid of it all, I will need/want it. ¬†Such is the life of a hoarder…
Wishing : I could win the Lottery. ¬†The big one. ¬†The one where I could buy my family and friends houses and set everyone up for life. ¬†Money can’t buy happiness but it can go a long way towards taking some worry and stress away.
Enjoying : My guilty pleasure is Catfish.  The TV show, not the actual fish.
Waiting : For a family announcement.
Liking : Hiking. ¬†Ooh, that rhymed! ¬†I am very unfit and hurt for days afterwards, but I do enjoy getting out and walking in the sunshine and fresh air. ¬†Exercise doesn’t have to suck. ¬†I’m not going to be scaling Mount Everest any time soon, but I am liking trekking around our local landscape.
Wondering : Why I am like I am.  But I cannot afford more therapy so I will have to figure it out on my own or just quit wondering.  Embrace the weirdo that is me!
Loving : My family and friends.  I am so blessed.  A lot of people have come into my life that I am so grateful for.
Pondering : Life, The Universe, and Everything. ¬†And also why I can’t stop thinking about food for three whole seconds.
Considering : Taking up yoga.
Buying : Home maintenance stuff.  My house is falling to pieces.
Watching : I’m a bit obsessed with Russel Brand this month.¬† So I am re-watching a bunch of his DVDs.¬† I mean DVDs with him in it.¬† I don’t mean I broke into his house and stole a load of his¬†personal DVDs and then watched them.¬† That would be weird.
Hoping : That things will be ok.
Marvelling : At how beautiful, wise and loving my nephews and nieces are.  They never cease to amaze me, and give me hope for the future.
Cringing : At how much Income Protection insurance costs.  When you have pre-existing conditions, you basically have to pay double what everyone else does.  So I get to have a kidney problem, mental heath issues AND a huge insurance fee.  Awesome.  Two thumbs up.  As soon as I decide to drop the insurance, I know I will get hit by a car or attacked by killer bees or something.
Needing : Better exercise clothes.  I tend to do the baggy-pants-and-baggy-t-shirt combo and I generally look like a bag lady.  A sweaty, wheezy bag lady.  I am not confident enough to wear the tight, workout gear everyone has these days.  But I should probably try to be Рit would give me more incentive to actually get my butt into gear.  So I can get my butt into the trendy gear, so to speak and look less homeless.
Questioning : My life.  What the heck am I doing with it???
Smelling : The lack of perfume on me.¬† I have run out of my favourite scent – “Butt Naked”¬†by Somethin Special.¬† Terrible name¬†but I love the smell of this perfume oil.¬† I always get complimented on it and it’s just a happy, yummy scent. It’s got top notes of strawberry, cherry and coconut, which is just delightful. ¬†Plus it is not tested on animals, which makes me very happy indeed.
Wearing¬†: Warmer clothes. ¬†And Pants. ¬†Ugh. ¬†I hate pants (trousers, slacks, jeans). ¬†I did just buy some cropped, linen pants which I actually don’t hate. ¬†They are very comfortable and I don’t feel like a lumpy, dumpy sausage in them. ¬†In fact I feel rather nautical. ¬†If I wear them with a blue and white stripey sweater, I feel downright jaunty!
Noticing : How people don’t say “Bless You” when you sneeze anymore.¬† It’s so rude.¬† I just say “Bless Me” when I sneeze now.¬† Cuts out the middle man.
Knowing : I have a LONG way to go before I am an adult.
Thinking : Way too much.  But not about the right stuff.
Admiring : Sarah Michelle Gellar.¬† She just seems like a decent human being.¬† A great Mum, and wife, and she doesn’t get caught up in all the celebrity nonsense.¬† Plus, y’know, Buffy kicks arse!
Getting : Lots of bills.  Man, they are all coming at once!  Pretending they are not there does not help.
Feeling : Anxious.  Lots going on.
Hearing : At the moment I have Tears for Fears’ “Head Over Heels” in my head. Constantly. ¬†That’s probably because I keep playing it. Constantly. ¬†Don’t judge me – it’s a good song. ¬†I miss the 80s.
Embracing : Wearing glasses.¬† I am trying really hard to remember to wear them.¬† Most of the time they end up on my head, like a hair band, rather than on my face.¬† But I’m trying…

So that’s me for the month. ¬†Lots happening and lots to think about and worry about. ¬†What are you up to in May? ¬†Any big plans for change or transformation?

Thanks for dropping by – and DO check out Pip Lincolne’s great blog, Meet Me at Mike’s – you’ll get lots of inspiration and ideas ūüôā

 x