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This weekend just gone, I was very busy with one thing or another – picking up people from the airport, babysitting and catching up with friends.  I am trying to be more social and force myself to go out at least once a week.  I’ve gotten in to the habit of staying home, alone, a lot.  There’s nothing wrong with that, I suppose, but I am prone to being a hermit and I don’t want to get too comfortable staying away from people.  Being WITH people is hard for me.  I always feel out of place and out of touch and just plain wrong, especially in groups of people.  I realise this is why I find the working week very exhausting.  Being around people constantly is hard.  I love my friends and I am eternally grateful that I have them in my life but I am not sociable by nature.  I enjoy one-on-one situations, where talking is easy and there is no competition for attention or trying to get a word in.  Mostly I just feel self-conscious in a group of people and so I am getting very good at avoiding being in those situations.  But I have to try and get better at being in someone’s company, other than my own.  And I don’t even like myself that much so anyone’s company should really be preferable, if I think about it sensibly.  And I have wonderful friends, I really do.  THE BEST.  I don’t know what I did to deserve such lovely people in my life, but I will never stop being very thankful for them – each and every one.  And I want them around me more than ever.

My home is very important to me, and I am trying to make it a space in which I feel happy and secure, content and relaxed.  I’d like it to be a place in which I am happy to entertain, instead of being an embarrassment of mess and chaos.  I like having people over to share a meal or watch a movie, or just talk and chill out.  But I don’t do it as often as I should because my house-keeping skills leave a lot to be desired.  My house is clean – let me just assure you of that – but it is generally in a state of disorder, created by crafting and cooking and MAKING things.  Which is fine, I tell myself.  I am creative, I say.  I would rather be drawing than ironing.  I’d rather be stitching and beading than mopping, or washing or tidying.  But I suppose I should learn to find a happy medium between the two.  Create a little, tidy a little.  IMG_0161

This weekend I spent some time doing just that.  I finished off some jewellery for a co-worker and then did the dishes.  I potted some plants and then vacuumed.  I did two loads of laundry and some ironing before re-arranging some of my ornaments and other knick-knacks to better display my collections.  I found that if I break up the chores I have to do, rather than attempting to do EVERYTHING all at once, making myself miserable and resentful, I got more done and at the same time felt as though I had been creative too.

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I have tried to make little “pockets” of cohesiveness in my home.  Making this corner have a theme, or that shelf a clear collection of things that go together, however vaguely, brings a sense of order and tidiness. Which are two words that I don’t normally associate with myself.  I am not tidy nor am I orderly.  But I am trying.

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The problem, if it is a problem, is that I like lots of different things.  I don’t like just one colour (though I am generally drawn to blue the most) and I don’t adhere to one kind of style.  I have bright things and shabby chic things, cute things and grown-up things.  I have dark things and magical things.  I have vintage and new things.  Nothing really goes together but the challenge is to make it all seem like it does. 

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And, at the end of the day, it shouldn’t matter anyway.  I want my home to be comfortable and pleasant to be in.  I don’t want visitors to feel they are in a show home.  My couch is meant to have feet on it and my table shouldn’t be so perfectly arranged that people feel they can’t sit at it for a chat and a casual cuppa.  So I am trying to figure out what makes my home mine.  What says “I live here”.

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Little by little I am figuring out who I am and what my place in the world is. Starting with one corner or shelf or bookcase at a time.  As long as I don’t have to dust them, I’ll be fine.

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Rustic Country Easter

Rustic Country Easter

Happy Easter or Eostre or Smyngus-Dyngus or whatever you celebrate (if you celebrate) this weekend.  As a good-for-nothing heathen, I basically celebrate having a few days off work, seeing my family and bemoaning the fact I can’t eat chocolate.  My brother and sister-in-law, however, are making up for my lack of respectful worship and/or church-going abilities by taking their four children to church this morning so that they could learn a bit about one of the real reasons we even have Easter in the first place.  They themselves are not religious in any way, but they felt it was important the children understood that the holiday is not all about chocolate and bunnies and going on egg hunts.  I myself lean towards the older, pagan traditions and meanings behind Easter but that is just a personal preference and belief – I don’t judge anyone else for what they believe in.

Anyway, moving away from the heavy and slightly inflammatory subject of religion…  This weekend I spent a lovely couple of days at my Dad and Step-Mum’s farm in Boyanup with my Mum.  I have spoken before of how well my parents get along and how my Mum really enjoys going down to see my Dad and Step Mum.  It’s such a relief.  It wasn’t always this easy and pleasant, believe me, but they have built bridges and gotten over them and now it is just NICE to spend time in their company.  My Mum and Step Mum get along well and have a laugh (I mean, nobody knows my Dad as well as they both do) and my Dad is just so happy that he can have us all there with him and it’s not weird or uncomfortable.

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Dad had quite a bit of work around the farm to do so us gals went sight-seeing and shopping.  Lots of little vintage shops and antique stores were open, as well as cafes and other places of interest.  I haven’t gone antiquing for ages so this was a fun afternoon for me and the prices in many of the shops were unbelievably cheap.  At a shop called “The Quirky Den“, I got this adorable little W H Goss vase for just $4.  It’s so cute.

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At first I was put off but the bear baiting / dancing bear image but then I couldn’t “bear” to leave him behind.  He can be safe with me and never have to perform again (except to just look cute on my display cabinet).  He can sit with my miniature bears.  My Mum bought a nice blue and white plate and my Step-Mum picked up several nice pieces of china to decorate her walls, including a little miniature house which she collects.  The Quirky Den was indeed quirky, but well worth a visit 🙂
Their prices are very reasonable and they have lots of great stuff.

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We also visited a GORGEOUS little shop called “Rustic French Living“.  Ooh la la!  So pretty and chic and gorgeous.  I will let the pictures speak for themselves – I wish I had bought something in there…I was eye-ing off the lovely little rabbit/Easter tags but then didn’t get them.  Regret!  Will definitely have to go back another time and spend a longer period there.  It was getting late and so we only looked around for a little while.  But beautiful stuff 🙂  They also have cakes and tea/coffee if you’re partial to a bit of refined refreshment. If you’re in Western Australia and travelling through the South-West, do stop in and have a look.  I wanted to buy everything…the lovely ladies in the shop were very welcoming and did not mind me taking photos (sometimes shop people get a bit huffy when you do it, so I always ask first and tell them what it is for).  You can also visit their awesome Facebook page here

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That evening we were treated to the most gorgeous sunset – the colours were amazing and I am so glad the photo does it justice.  Just beautiful – isn’t nature amazing?

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Hope your weekend was as relaxing and happy as mine.  If you can eat chocolate, I hope the Easter/Eostre Bunny was generous.  Have a great week everybody 🙂