Hello everyone and welcome to another week. 2018 is whizzing by…is that because I am getting old, or has time actually sped up?
I didn’t think I was going to be happy with this piece but, in the end, I was quite satisfied with it and glad that I didn’t give up on it (which, I confess, happens a lot with me…). The little bird-man was originally holding a letter in his right hand, but I cut that out and replaced it with a heart. Off to the right hand side of the photo, you can see a “dud” heart that didn’t work out, complete with the little notch cut out of it for the bird-man’s thumb. Sometimes it takes me a few goes to line things up exactly right 🙂 I think it’s worth the effort – the end result looks pretty good, like the heart was always part of the picture. I added an extra little one on the parcel too. So now he looks like he is going somewhere, with plenty of heart 🙂
Can you believe it is a New Year’s AGAIN??? Where did 2017 go? Actually, I don’t really care where it went – I just want it gone. It was a pretty dreadful year. Seems like everyone had it tough, in one way or another, and that the Universe was plotting against us by making kooky, crazy, scary and random things happen. To be fair, the Universe does that all the time, but this year it seemed to just say “Ah, to hell with it!’ and just chucked everything it could at us. Probably serves us right – maybe we needed some more wake up calls. Especially me, I always sleep in 🙂
This was, until five seconds ago when I deleted all the text I’d spent ages typing, a very long post about my resolutions for the new year. The usual stuff about losing weight, being more sociable, being a better housekeeper etc. But I am actually feeling that those things are all part of the bigger picture of me just trying to be better than I am now. And the majority of the things I want to change about myself all hinge on one thing, or my lack thereof : bravery.
I’m not very brave. I am basically scared of everything. In some ways, I guess that makes me braver than I think I am, because instead of curling up in my bed and staying there forever (which is what I really want to do pretty much every day lately), I get up and go out into the world. Which is scary for me. Always has been. I don’t understand the world and it doesn’t understand me.
This week was hard. I had to make decisions that were difficult and upsetting and made me feel horrible about myself and my judgements. I don’t like hurting people, but this week I had to do that to someone who was hurting me. And then it made me question whether or not they actually were hurting me, or if my fear and lack of courage was affecting my perception of the situation. But I had to stand up for myself and that was hard. I don’t do it often and it is not a comfortable feeling for me. I am generally more at ease backing down or tolerating things, even if the other person is in the wrong. So instead of feeling good about standing up for myself, I feel horribly sad and guilty and keep wondering if the other person is ok.
I had another situation where I had to be assertive (a man had left his dog in a hot car and he he did not take kindly to me suggesting that he move the car, or preferably the dog, into the shade) and it ended up with me in tears and, frankly, afraid that I was going to get punched in the face. I did not feel victorious or proud of myself. I felt scared and small and again questioned whether I was in the right.
I had to assert myself at work too – in front of a bunch of colleagues – and that was very difficult also. Again, I was in the right, but it felt very wrong to stand there and say “Excuse me, but that is my responsibility I have to ask you to let me handle that”. I ended up apologising to the person afterwards because I felt so rotten about it, even though I was only stating what was true and defending my own job.
So, if I am to pick one resolution for this year, it is to be brave. And to stop apologising for having feelings and opinions and ideas of my own. And to make the hard decisions when I have to, and stand by them. And not let my fear of losing people stop me from standing up for myself and my own needs and values. And, most importantly, to embrace change and not fear it. I feel like this year is going to be a year of change and I have to be ready for that, one way or the other.
So, here’s to bravery and self-belief. And to standing up for what you believe in. And to not letting someone else tell you how you should live your life.
Thank you for reading – Happy New Year to you all. May 2018 bless you with many wonderful experiences, and the courage to embrace them all. Be kind to one another and yourselves this year.
Dr Seuss has the best quotes. In all the silliness of his stories, there is endless wisdom and truth, much of which makes far more sense than anything else going on in our world right now. Sometimes we need reminding that we are all unique and different – and that that is a GOOD thing – not something to be hidden away or changed. Who wants to be like everyone else? Not me! Although a little bit of “normal” would be nice from time to time. Just so I can interact with people on a regular basis and not have them wondering what planet I’m from, ha ha.
I created this collage for a special family member who celebrated a birthday last week. I worked on it for a few weeks, in between doing other things, and got it finished just in time. I hope she liked it. And can ignore the dots I smudged after the last word 🙂
Hope you are all having a good day – thank you for stopping in x
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…..
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.
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 🙂
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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