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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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Moving on…

So I have moved.  Moved away from my little unit and into a bigger (though still small by most people’s standards) townhouse.  The move itself was not too stressful.  The removalists I hired were WONDERFUL.  I thoroughly recommend PMA Removals if you’re in the Perth area. They were two young guys – a bit on the cheeky side but super nice and polite – who turned up on time (in fact, early) and got the job done in record time.  We started just after 7am and were done by 10:30 in the morning!  Nothing was too much trouble for them and they didn’t slack off or whine about having to go up stairs.  They were very respectful and quite charming 🙂  Cute too, truth be told, ha ha (but I’m old enough to be their mother…sigh…).  I was so anxious beforehand because I had had dodgy movers in the past, but these guys made it almost enjoyable and completely stress-free.  Very affordable too.  All in all, a great service and I would definitely use them again.

My new neighbour caused a bit of an issue because she refused to trim her shrubbery and trees around the common driveway (which makes it hard for anyone to get in or out).  In the end she let us cut back part of the tree which was growing very low near my car port, but wouldn’t allow us to prune the conifer trees which are extending about a metre into the driveway.  I didn’t want to argue.  There’s probably some clause I could cite re common areas and whatnot, but I had no desire to get into a debate with my brand new neighbours.  I just “accidentally” brush into the trees when I am backing out.  It’s kinda hard not to.

I like the house.  It has its issues and it is not perfect by any means, but neither am I so it’s a good fit 🙂   Unfortunately, on my week off, I injured my back and so I have been unable to move all the boxes and finish unpacking everything.  There’s stuff everywhere and I so want it to be tidy (unlike my last place…) but at the moment there is not a lot I can do about it.  My craft room is ENORMOUS and I might actually use it as a craft room (how novel!) and not bring all my junk into the dining room.  I’ve taken one of the smaller rooms as my bedroom – how much room do I need? – and so the craft room is very spacious and also bright, which is excellent as my unit was so dark and trying to do anything on overcast days or after 3pm was very difficult if you actually wanted to see what you were doing.

I miss my garden.  Being Spring, everything was in bloom and looking green and luscious and lush.  At the moment I have no garden – just sand – and, other than my own plants in pots, it is devoid of anything living.  I miss my lovely azaleas (cuttings were strategically taken before I moved out though!) and the general green-ness of my unit garden, but I will work on my own plot now and make it nice, hopefully.  There are plenty of birds around my new neighbourhood so I am hoping to attract them in with natives and flowering plants. My Mum has been busy potting up lots of suitable cuttings from her own very successful (and beautiful) garden, so that I have lots of plants to work with and don’t have to buy too many, which can end up being very costly.

I miss being by the water but, if I’m honest and sensible, it’s not like I went and took advantage of the River every day.  My walking regime had fallen by the wayside months ago so I can’t really say I miss walking by the water on a daily basis.  My new neighbourhood is hardly a slum and, if I take the time to investigate a bit, I’m sure I will find nice places to walk and soak up some sun and fresh air.  At the moment it is too flipping cold to do either of those things. Plus I am very lazy and feeling the need to hibernate and nest and generally just hide.

I have made a new friend.  A lovely black and white cat I have named Bernard.  Bernard may well be a Bernadette – we’re not that intimately acquainted yet for me to have found out – but he is so smoochy and friendly and seems intent on coming into my house.  I’m not sure who he belongs to but he seems to like hanging out in my non-existent garden and sleeping under the front hedges.  I was so pleased to meet him – a cat makes everything better.  Will have to watch him around my visiting birds, but hopefully they can keep out of his way.

The drive to and from work isn’t too heinous and, once I figured out where I was going without getting lost, seems to be comparable with my former commute.  Which is good because I am always running late in the mornings.

I have lots of nice shops nearby – not quite on my doorstop like before – including a great fruit and veg grocer who has lovely produce at VERY low prices.  I have a supermarket within walking distance plus a vet clinic just up the road (for when I get my kitties!).  There is a bus stop just outside my place which is handy if I am without my car, and I am only minutes away from a major shopping centre (and a really nice bead shop – score!).

So, I am getting settled.  I am relieved that the whole moving process is over, even if the unpacking saga is not.  I still have to buy a few extra bits of furniture – mostly storage items – and there is still some figuring out to do, in terms of where everything is going to go.  I have grand plans for the place but my imagination may be bigger than my budget.  We’ll see.  At the moment I just want to get everything cleared and tidy and habitable.  I want to be able to have friends and family over and not have them stepping over boxes.

I want my home to be happy and comfortable and cosy and colourful and a place where I feel safe and content.  I want visitors to feel the same.  I want to decorate to my own tastes and not be dictated to be fashion or trends.  I want it to be slightly cluttered (I don’t think there is much chance of it being anything else!) but in a good way.  I’m not into the whole open plan kind of living.  I don’t like the spartan or minimalist look.  Basically, if I could transport Kelly Rae Roberts’ décor into my own house, I’d be pretty happy 🙂

I am so very grateful to have my own home.  I still wake up sometimes and think “Wow – this is mine!” and it is very hard to get out of the rental mindset, that I can actually do what I want now and no one has a say in it except for me.  I also sometimes wake up and think “Oh God! I have to look after this on my own now and pay for everything!” which is a little scary.  But I guess the “new-home-owner” panic will subside eventually.

Sorry for the sporadic and not-very-interesting posts lately.  Haven’t had time for crafting or much of anything and it’s going to take me a while to get sorted and back into the swing of things.  But when I do, watch out! 🙂

Take care, everyone x

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Adventures in Home Ownership

It’s fair to say buying a house is stressful and it’s one of the biggest decisions you will ever have to make in your life.  We all know this.  But, with all the stress, comes the pay-off.  You get to have your own place.  Everything in that place belongs to you (or, at least, the bank until you pay them back…sigh) and so each little thing because suddenly very important.  Hence me running around my new house on the weekend, being an idiot and pointing out all the bits and bobs that are now “mine”.

For instance….

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…this tap is mine (oooh, shiny!)….

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…this oven is mine (the previous owner left the tea towel behind…I am less excited about that…)……

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…the outdoor area is mine (the plants were already mine – I just lugged them over to the new place on the weekend…still another boot load to go!)…

 

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…I have a kitchen and it’s mine!  It’s a little bit seventies, but hey…so am I 🙂

 

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…I have an enclosed outdoor area where I can entertain my hundreds of visitors!  Translation : I rarely have visitors, I will probably fill this with plants and possibly cats 🙂

 

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…I have two toilets.  That’s pretty exciting, right? 🙂

I’m really trying to be positive about things.  The whole home-buying experience was very so stressful and frustrating and mental-breakdown-inducing that it has taken the shine off the house itself.  But, I am hoping, once all my stuff is in, it will feel like home and I will get used to the new surroundings and neighbourhood, and not miss my little unit in South Perth.  I will miss being near the water, but maybe I will find other aspects of the new suburb that I like just as much.  In all else fails, I can get in my car and drive.  And stop being such a bloody hermit!

Apologies again for not posting anything craft-related (or vaguely interesting) for a while.  I will be back on top of things soon I promise.

Hope you feel content and secure wherever you are right now. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

 

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Winter-Spring Beauty

Despite my ever-neglectful approach to gardening, I am lucky to have a garden full of colour at the  moment.  My succulents and other hardy plants are blooming and sprouting all over the place – I love the little buds and new growth.  It’s always amazing to me that such beautiful things can develop from my sad efforts at green-thumbery.

Everything needs re-potting and moving – you can see in some of the photos how the poor little buggers are reaching desperately for the sun and light – but, as I myself am moving very soon, they will have to wait a bit longer.  Hopefully everything will survive the move and the new surroundings.  I don’t know what kind of sun/light situation I will have at the new place, whether my garden will be in shadow or full sun for most of the day – this remains to be determined (ie I didn’t actually think about it at the time of purchase).

I’ve noticed a few early tulips coming up in my neighbour’s garden – every year they have a beautiful display of bulbs and annuals.  Maybe down the track I will try those too, when I am settled and feel I have properly put down roots of my own.  Not sure how long that will take and whether I will feel right at home straight away.  I really do hope so. I’m going to try.  I need a place to call my own and to be proud of and want to welcome people into.

I hope to grow some vegetables and herbs, as well as purely decorative plants.  It’s so nice to cook with produce you have grown yourself and makes everything taste that little bit better.  I have lots of plans – let’s see how many come to fruition!  You know I will document both my successes and failures 🙂

Enjoy today, wherever you are, and try and see some beauty in it, if you can x

Too Tired for a Title

Too Tired for a Title

So tired.  Too tired to type.  Work has gone from ridiculously busy and stressful to it’s-possible-I-might-have-an-aneurism-very-soon busy and stressful.  I’m not even going to go into details, just believe me when I say I have face-palmed more this week than in any other week before it and I predict much swearing and head-holding before the week is up.

I’ve made a couple of jewellery bits and pieces, for the lovely K who is, as I type, gallivanting around Tonga somewhere swimming with whales (as you do).  I envy her lifestyle so much.  I also envy her ability to wear bathers in public and not worry about what anyone else thinks (she doesn’t need to worry anyway).  My thighs and other flabby bits are stopping me from swimming with whales!  Well, that and the fact I am not a very good traveller, don’t like flying, can’t dive without holding my nose and spend too much money on craft supplies and op-shopping to actually go and buy myself some holidays in exotic locations.  With whales.

Back to the jewellery.  K wanted me to re-string a shell she loved onto some string or thonging.  We’d already done this a while back but she wore it in the water (as she does) and it started fraying and disintegrating.  So I decided to go with tiger tail (not really ideal for water either but stronger) and bead the whole length.  Hope she likes it.  I know she wanted a more natural look but hopefully she will approve of this different approach….

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…also did some matching earrings…(both pieces using some wooden beads I bought last week)…

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…and, finally, I repaired and re-strung a bracelet I had made K ages ago.  This had also suffered disintegration via sea water baths and was barely holding itself together.  But it is fixed again now, ready for another few months of ocean swimming (and probably the odd whale/shark/seal/krakken sighting).

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It’s nice having someone appreciate my funny little crafting endeavours and so, to K, I say thank you 🙂

PS Sorry – very short post but I am completely shattered after a very long day lifting furniture, dealing with clients, trouble-shooting problems and just being in a general unorganised frenzy.  Hope you’re having a zen-like, calm and non-stressful week – send some of that over to me! 🙂

You’re Moving Out Today

You’re Moving Out Today

Pack up your rubber duck, I’d like to wish you luck…

I hate moving.  Moving sucks.  The packing of boxes, the culling of drawers and cupboards, the cleaning of areas long hidden by fridges and shelves and televisions.  The complete disarray of stuff everywhere that seems to multiply every time you think you’re just about done.  I hate moving.  But what I hate even more, is when everyone else is moving and you’re being left behind.  That is way worse.  This is the situation I find myself in this week.

My workplace has lots of staff.  Lots of people in lots of offices, spread out across two sites.  So many people, in fact, we ran out of room for everybody.  So, a new building was needed where everyone could be together under one roof.  Everyone, that is, except little old moi. Well, moi and a few counsellors and a couple of extra people.  But, mostly, just me.  Í have had a year to worry about it but I wasn’t prepared for how upset I would actually be when it happened.  Everyone is leaving me.  It doesn’t help that it has now been a year since I separated from hubby and I am feeling a little bit abandoned and pathetic all over again as I fill out divorce papers and deal with stuff I don’t want to deal with.

I love my workmates.  They have been such a support to me over the last year or so and I will miss them terribly now that I won’t see them every day.  I know they’re still working for the same company and I will see them from time to time, but it isn’t the same and my job will feel much less…well, just less.  I don’t love my job – I love being at my job because of the people here. I know I get overly emotionally attached to people, I do.  It’s a bit of an issue with me.  I don’t know that it is necessarily a bad thing, but it does leave me prone to ridiculous heartbreak and melancholy over relationships that are, except to me, quite superficial.  People who probably don’t give me a second thought once they leave work for the day.  I just get attached to people and do not like it when I have to leave them, or them leave me.  I don’t do well at Goodbyes.  I get teary when staff have send-offs at work, whether I know them or not.

I am also having a slight panic attack about my new role, which is basically my usual role with a whole new bunch of stuff tacked on to it.  I am going to have to deal with clients more than before which is worrying to me (my self-confidence and social ability being what they are) and I am not sure I will be up for much of what is now expected of me.  I think people think I am far more competent than I actually am.  I am secretly quite useless.  Now I will be the main “face” of the workplace.  I don’t have the kind of face you need to be a “face”.  I need a different face.

Mostly, I am just going to miss everybody – the banter, the gossip, the laughs and the friendship. The guffaws from down the hallway and the “Hello! Morning! Hi!” as each day begins.  I won’t miss the mess in the kitchen or the politics, but I would gladly have those if it meant I got to keep the people.  I will miss the silliness and the little daily interactions that make the time fly by.  I will miss yelling stuff over the communal wall when I need to let reception know things.  I will miss the lunchroom chatter.  I will miss being part of something and feeling like I belong.  I don’t ever feel like I belong anywhere, so to have had that for the last year and then have it taken away is a bit disturbing for me.

 Obviously, I am over-reacting.  I will see these people again and I will talk to them on the phone and via email.  I will get to catch up with them at staff meetings and will probably visit the new offices when and if I need to.  And, in about three years, we are having a new building constructed that will see us all together again under one roof.  But that is years away.  Everyone will have left by then.  People are not like me, they don’t stay somewhere for a million years.  I myself already feel like quitting.  I am actually feeling quite bereft at the thought of not having everyone here (in case you hadn’t guessed already).  I’m going to have to make my work be about, well, work…  I’ve been coming to work to see my friends – work itself was just something I had to do while I was seeing my friends.  Don’t get me wrong, I think I do a reasonable job – I get things done on time, usually early and I am prompt and efficient and accommodating with requests.  I follow up on things and I help people.  I strive to always give 100%.  But it’s harder to do those things when there’s no one around to notice or make you feel otherwise happy and a part of something.  I don’t want to leave this place but, at the end of the day, it is just that – a place.  Without the people in it, it’s just a few walls and some daggy carpet.

Basically, I am being a big baby and whinging about nothing.  I have a job – that is something to be thankful for – and if things are changing a little, well, I will just have to get used to it.  But I am not good at change.  Change is scary.  Change makes things uncertain and different and just icky.  Until they turn into the things you’re used to.  And that, I suppose is what I have to wait for.  Or I could just hide under a desk somewhere and pretend it’s all not happening.  That sounds much more like me 🙂

 

 

Things I have learnt from moving

Things I have learnt from moving

We are all moved in to our new place.  It is a bigger house with more rooms and an extra bathroom.  It is not quaint nor does it have great character – it’s just one of those modern, soulless villa’s that are popping up all over the place in secure complexes around the country.  But I like it.  I loved our old, cute and quirky house but it was too small for us, freezing in the Winter and less than secure when burglars or other dodgy types came a-calling, and, anyway, we had to leave as the owners needed to move back in themselves. 

So, on the 27th of December we moved.  It was horribly hot – sun blazing down, humidity up and the new house is much warmer than the old one.  The removalists grumbled about the amount of boxes we had (“You’re both librarians!  You work in libraries! Why do you need your own books!?”) but they were friendly enough and chatted pleasantly throughout the SIX HOURS they were there.  Yes, that’s right.  It took six hours to move all our stuff.  I didn’t think it was ever going to end.  I was on my own (hubby was conveniently at work) and I thought I had entered some sort of Twilight Zone universe where a demonic moving van was forever full, never emptying and would continue to reveal more and more layers of stuff.  I actually helped the guys move and carry stuff (I’m not good at standing around doing nothing) and I think that helped to cut out some of the time I was paying for. 

Anyway, we finished cleaning and tidying up the old house yesterday, handing back the keys and bidding the place a final adieu.  I was going to take a small cutting of rosemary from the garden but forgot so will have to plant a new one at the new house.  We have no garden to speak of there – sand and dead bits of grass is all we look out on through the dining room window.  But I will try and make it look presentable – grow a few pots of herbs and flowers, maybe put up some trellis or something if we’re allowed and get some climbing, flowering plants to cheer things up a bit.

Moving is not fun.  I don’t know why people like doing it.  I never want to relocate ever again.  Ever.  But of course I will have to at some stage.  We don’t want to rent forever, after all.  I did learn some things whilst moving though, and I guess that’s the important thing (well, that and having a roof over our heads). 

Things I Learned from Moving

  1. Just because a box is labelled, doesn’t mean the contents match the label.
  2. Be careful when labelling boxes – think about what you are writing.  For instance “Bedroom Toys” will make people snigger and go “Ooooerr!” until they unpack said box and find it is full of teddy bears that you keep in your bedroom.
  3. You DO have too much stuff.
  4. There are not enough boxes in the country for you to move all your stuff.  You WILL have to beg, borrow and steal boxes from your friends, family, co-workers and random people on the street.  
  5.  For someone who has “nothing to wear”, you WILL mysteriously have more clothing than the entire population of Paris during Fashion Week.  And several hats (which you don’t remember buying).  You will have nowhere to put them and they will sit in sad little piles all over the house.
  6. You WILL regret leaving your portable wardrobes behind at the old house.
  7. In the process of packing, you WILL become so tired that you find yourself sleeping, standing upright, leaning against the fridge with a waterproof marker pen in your mouth.  You will have black lips.  The stain will not come out for three days.
  8. You will learn that friends with utes, trailers and any other large vehicles are extremely useful. 
  9. You will learn that moving during the Christmas/New Year period is a really crappy time to do anything.
  10. You will learn that your bed, at the end of a very long day, is the most valuable thing you own. 

We are still without phone or internet so I am blogging this quickly at work (it’s ok, it’s a Saturdayand I’m not actually working today).  I hope your Christmas and New Year’s were blissfully stress-free and lots of fun.  I wish you all a wonderful 2013 – hope your resolutions are easy to keep!  (Mine are going to include de-cluttering and culling my stuff…we’ll see how that pans out!).