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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 🙂  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 🙂
  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 🙂

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 – he 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 – whatever family means to you.

Hope your home is a happy place today and always.

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Quote for the Day : Go Outside

“…Go outside.
Don’t tell anyone and don’t bring your phone.
Start walking and keep walking until you no longer know the road like the palm of your hand, because we walk the same roads day in and day out, to the bus and back home and we cease to see.
We walk in our sleep and teach our muscles to work without thinking and I dare you to walk where you have not yet walked and I dare you to notice.
Don’t try to get anything out of it, because you won’t.
Don’t try to make use of it, because you can’t.
And that’s the point.
Just walk, see, sit down if you like.
And be.
Just be, whatever you are with whatever you have,
and realise that that is enough to be happy.

There’s a whole world out there, right outside your window.
You’d be a fool to miss it…”

— Charlotte Eriksson

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Decorating FTW

I’m finally getting sorted in my new house.  I have procrastinated long enough, waiting to have all the storage display furniture I need in order to put things away and stop living out of boxes.  But, having come to my senses, I have decided that if I wait until everything is perfect and I have everything I need (or want), I will never get tidy have a home that I can actually feel happy to have visitors in.

So, with that in mind, I did a big clean up today and proceeded with some serious nesting.  My new console table in the entrance is great – it will enable me to store lots of stuff and it’s light and easy for me to move (with removable shelves).  I had wanted a sideboard/buffet for this area but had been unable to find one I liked or could afford.  In the end, I figured an “open” storage item would be better in my little house, and make things feel less closed in. I want to get baskets for the bottom shelf but am having trouble finding just the right ones, so at the moment it has IKEA boxes in it (not shown)
– they’ll do for now.

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I am going to have the big mirror mounted on the wall but, for now, it will just sit on the table.  It’s heavy enough to stay put.  I’ve tried to make all the knick-knacks and decorative pieces in the same sort of colour scheme/tone.  There’s artwork by my brother, a vintage child’s suitcase (rescued from a rubbish bin!), some op-shop finds, a stone gargoyle from a visit to the UK, tarot cards and a teeny weeny little vintage ivory elephant my Mum gave me.  I kinda hope the elephant is actually bone, not ivory…but it’s really old so I’m thinking it’s the less-than-p.c ivory.

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I think it’s all come together well.  I just hope I can get the rest of the house sorted and fit for human habitation and guests.  I actually hoovered and mopped the floors today!  Like a grown up person!  I did laundry and weeding and dusted and generally acted like an adult.  Hopefully this will not just be a passing fad for me.  I’m trying to be more domesticated.  I need to get a smaller vacuum cleaner for the stairs and second floor – lugging my big Dyson up and down the stairs is not great for my back.  I’m still suffering with a sore rib (it’s Costochondritis which is very painful, but nothing serious – just gotta give it time to settle down) and so I’ve probably done more than I should today.  I’ve lifted lots of heavy boxes and not rested at all so am expecting to be a bit delicate tomorrow.

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My craft room is still in a terrible state (hence the crafting lull I find myself in currently) but I am hoping to tackle that next.  I am dying to get stuck into something creative.  At the moment, the most creative I am being is moving boxes from one end of the room to another and figuring out ways to stack them so they don’t collapse on me.

Hope your day has been productive and happy 🙂

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Blogging Challenge – Day Two : Twenty Facts About Me

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I was going to skip this step in the blogging challenge, because I had already done several “Random Facts” posts about myself and I was running out of random… But then I thought “Who am I kidding?  I am completely random!” so I shouldn’t really have any issues with finding things about myself to write about.  Maybe.  Or I could be in for a really difficult and dull time.  And you’re along for the ride, poor things.  Nevertheless, here goes :

Twenty Facts About Me

  1. I don’t like stinky cheeses.  Except for Gorgonzola.  It is a different, refined kind of stinky.
  2. I have terrible balance.  I can’t walk in a straight line.  If I ever get pulled over by the police and asked to do that straight-line-walking thing, they will immediately arrest me for being inebriated.
  3. I am a librarian but I don’t want to be.
  4. I don’t get the whole Brad Pitt thing.  I’m sure he’s a very nice man but I don’t know what all the fuss is about.  I’m sure he wouldn’t think I was all that and a bag of chips either.  Which is fair enough.
  5. There are two TV shows I can watch over and over again and never get bored with – Seinfeld and MASH.
  6. I have a ridiculously large collection of scarves.  The only good thing about Winter is scarves.
  7. I can’t make decisions.
  8. People think I am very stoic, calm and sensible.  I am, in reality, the complete opposite.  Overly emotional, ridiculously anxiety-prone and pretty darn good at catastrophising.
  9. I am a sleep-walker.  Not as much these days but, when I was younger, I would wake up in weird places.
  10. I really don’t like mole rats.  They are the one creature I just can’t get behind.  I’m sure they’re great, and I wouldn’t want them to be extinct or anything, but I find them creepy and gross.  They’re like little hairless nightmares.
  11. I have Gilbert’s Syndrome.  This produces elevated levels of unconjugated bilirubin in my bloodstream.  It doesn’t have any serious affects.  It does, however, make me turn yellow if I am particularly stressed or unwell or fasting.  One of my doctors found out by accident that I had it – he was blood testing for all sorts of things and this turned up.
  12. I can’t stand it when people walk without lifting their feet.  That whole dragging your feet thing – ugh!  Pick your feet up, Schleppy!
  13. When I was six, I fell in the playground and sliced my face open on some wood.  I needed stitches and still have the scar.  I remember walking back to class with blood pouring down my face, and sitting in the car on the way to the hospital with my brother cuddling me but not looking at me because he can’t stand blood.
  14. I used to be in an Academic Extension Program in primary school.  They thought I was smart.  I wasn’t.  I did get awarded Dux of the school when I graduated, but I think there was some sort of error. But I’m not giving it back now.
  15. I didn’t learn to ride a bike until I was 12.  I learnt to fall off one (repeatedly) shortly after that.
  16. I can’t wear high heels.  Just can’t.  Don’t ask me to.
  17. I’m a little bit allergic to wool.
  18. I’m very allergic to the Kardashians.  They bring me out in hives.
  19. I am always cold.
  20. Tea is my favourite thing to drink.  There is no time that is not appropriate for tea, as far as I am concerned.  It is a salve to all that ails me.  Also, cookies generally accompany tea, and that’s never a bad thing.

So that’s it.  I struggled a bit there…there’s not really many things to tell about me.  I’d like to say I have been sky-diving or that I graduated from some prestigious University or that I am curing cancer but, mostly, I am pretty dull.  But that’s that challenge over and done with now!  Onwards and upwards!

Have a great day everyone 🙂

Home

Home

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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