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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.

x

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Op Shopping Wins

Op Shopping Wins

I’ve been a bit naughty with my spending these last couple of weeks.  I hadn’t been shopping much for the last few months, mainly because I was trying to restore some of my savings after having to pay for my surgery. Besides that, I just wasn’t in the mood somehow.  I’d walk into a shop and lose interest in it by the time I’d made it past the first rack of stuff.  Even in op shops, which are normally a haven for me, I was disheartened and bored.

But that has all changed now, whether for the better or not.  My bank balance would probably say “not”.  I went op shopping a few times in the last ten days or so and picked up loads of things.  Like, LOADS.  A ridiculous amount of clothes (when I already have a wardrobe that is groaning under its own weight) and knick knacks.  Let me give you an example of one shopping trip – in one store alone, I bought 6 skirts, three tops, a dress, a pair of shoes and a jumper.  Like I said, ridiculous.

But I kinda let myself off because it is op shopping and so the prices are low and the money goes to charity.  So, really, I am being very selfless and thrifty!  Maybe?

So without further ado, here are a few of the items I bought this month:

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A fabulous turquoise ring.  It’s enormous.  Who would wear this as a ring???  I just wanted it for its beads…it was only $1.00.

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This good-quality, stoneware plant pot.  With a hole in the bottom.  I
hate it when pots have no drainage holes.  It’s so annoying.  It was $1.25, so even if it didn’t have a drainage hole, I would have bought it.  It’s nice and solid and I think the green will go well with something that has some bright flowers, or variegated leaves that add contrast.

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Stacks of magazines (teapot not included – I forgot to remove him before taking the photo) for 75c each.  I love magazines but they are so expensive now.  Why pay $10.00 for one when you can buy them for less than a dollar?

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This pretty grey and white floral top was only $4.50.  It’s a Portmans piece so would have been a lot more expensive than that originally.  Portmans is a shop I don’t even walk in to – I can’t afford their normal prices.  Because I am a tightwad basically.

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Black and white sheer and lace skirt.  This was $5.00 I think.  The sheer layer over the top covers the shorter one underneath.  I liked the lace details and the pattern.

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Another skirt.  Because I need them apparently.  This one is just a basic pencil skirt, but I really like the small-print floral and it is very comfortable to wear, especially on fat days ha ha.

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Um, another skirt.  I am still trying to figure out if it is brown or purple.  In the shop, I thought it was purple, then I got it home and decided it was actually brown.  Now I am just confused.  The lighting in my room is DREADFUL, so it could be bright green and I wouldn’t be able to tell.  It was also $5.00.  I liked the lace detail on the hem of this one also.  It came with this horrible brooch/chain thingy that was made from lace and ribbons.  Hideous.  That came off straightaway.

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Brown leather shoes.  I don’t normally buy or wear leather, but I will make an exception if the item is second hand.  I figure the damage has already been done to the poor animal.  Me buying these shoes isn’t going to make a lick of difference in the long run.  They’re a little big for me but comfortable and soft.  I might end up giving them to my Mum, if my leather-guilt gets too bad.  She has bigger feet than me so they will probably fit her better anyway.

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Got this cute little brooch for $1.00.  I looked the creator up online and the brooches normally retail for $30.00 each so I think I got a bargain.  I don’t even know if I will wear her, but she might go on a bag or something.  I might even re-gift her.  I’m not opposed to re-gifting things, within reason.  Don’t tell anyone…

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I actually got this book from a 2nd-hand bookstore in Margaret River.  I just liked the illustrations.  It was $7.00, which is more than I would normally pay for anything, but I got sucked in by the pretty pictures inside.

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These gorgeous yellow beads (from a huge necklace that was so heavy it could possibly give you scoliosis of the spine) were like a ray of sunshine to my yellow-bead-deprived heart.  I am always looking for this kind of yellow.  Not plastic or glass, I needed ceramic or clay ones.  And here they are!  And so many too!  They’re hand made and so each bead is a little different to the next, which I kinda like.  Although, if I am trying to make earrings from them, I will probably go insane trying to find a pair that matches.  These were $5.75.

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Finally (for this post anyway), this delightful little Stilton cheese pot.  Love the shape and colours and overall design.  I have no idea what I will keep in it.  It will probably just be a display item on my bookshelves.  It was only $3.00.  I can even see me planting a succulent in it, although that would render the lid a bit redundant.  I just liked it.  It’s cute 🙂  So there.

So, just a few of things I bought this month.  I am not quite sure where this spending frenzy is coming from but it is best not to fight it.  That could get messy and lead to whining and possibly the over-consumption of cookies/cake/insert bad food of choice here.  I think I am also sub-consciously putting off starting the process of buying a house.  I have given myself a year to make a decision about it and the months are already dwindling away and I am no closer to even STARTING to think about it.  Sigh.  It’s too grown-up a decision for me to make without hyperventilating and coming out in hives.  Op-shopping is safer and cheaper and downright nicer.

That’s my story and I am sticking to it,.

🙂

Hoarding is an Art Form

Hoarding is an Art Form

As I have pointed out before, I am a hoarder.  Not in the “put me on tv and embarrass me in front of millions as I show you my house filled with three-story high piles of newspaper and boxes of cat poop (when I don’t even have a cat…well, I don’t think I do…I haven’t seen him for a while…)” kind of way but the normal “Man, this house is a pigsty, why do I have so much crap?!” kind of way.

I think I have always been this way.  I remember keeping stuff as a kid that most other kids would have thrown away.  I always loved stuff that was free.  Junk on someone’s verge?  I’ll take it!  Clothes someone else has outgrown?  Sure, thanks!  Books that are probably to young for me now but I used to love them and hey, in twenty years I might have kids?  Hand ’em over!  I was always planning for a future where I would need these things.  A future that pretty much never happened, in most cases.

Anyway, having a hoarding issue creates stress in other areas of your life.  My husband is starting to look at me in that “I knew I should’ve just gotten a pet fish or something instead of getting married…A fish would be neat and tidy and wouldn’t interrupt me while I’m watching Star Trek…” kind of way.  He sighs a lot.  That’s never a good thing.

Deciding to have a day of crafting becomes a huge drama as I have to first clear a space in all the junk on my crafting table before adding more mess to it by actually crafting.  I don’t work neatly – I spread out and there is stuff everywhere.  I don’t understand how people can be artistic and tidy.  I can’t see how the two go together.  I mean, I read those magazines that show you how other artists “create” and I despair.  I don’t believe they are real – they can’t be.  I reckon there is secretly a pile of junk just out of camera view that gets moved around for each shot.

My craft room is definitely the worse hoarding spot.  I keep every scrap of paper and fabric and ribbon and bits and pieces.  Usually they are so small as to be useless but I still keep them.  There’s also a bit of the eco-warrior in me so I keep the bits and pieces rather than adding them to landfill (so I think).  What I try not to think about is that I am actually creating my own little landfill spot, right in my very own home.  I could be buried under it all one day and no one would know.

So this weekend I am trying to get things straight.  I’m determined to de-clutter at least one corner of the room.  I want to see the floor again and discover what is hidden by those boxes behind the door.  I’d like to be able to open the door in the first place.  I’ve already chucked out the contents of one file…well, almost all of it…I re-filed some of it because, well, y’now, I might actually decide to practice Bach Flower Remedies again sometime soon.  I haven’t looked at that file for about 12 years but hey, I might soon.  I’ve cut up some magazines I don’t need any more and put the clippings I do want from them into a photo album so they’re easier to access and I don’t have to go searching through a million magazines to find them. I’m going to make labels for the countless drawers I have so I know what’s in them (ooh, there’s a new concept!) and what should go in them.  I figure if I just do a bit each day, maybe I will be finished by…Christmas?

So if you do see me on “Hoarders” in a few years (oh, who am I kidding?  I mean months…) time, please think of me kindly and know that I did try.  I really did.

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Renaissance Soul (or just a Hoarder?)

Renaissance Soul (or just a Hoarder?)

I am currently reading The Renassiance Soul: Life Design for People with Too Many Passions to Pick Just One by Margaret Lobenstine.  It is heartening to read that there are others like me who flit from hobby to hobby, interest to interest, never settling on one thing.  I’d be happy to settle on ten things.  Instead it sometimes feels like my house is filled with the “stuff” of a crazy, schizophrenic person.  My shelves are filled with books on every topic from graphology to animal nursing, witchcraft to herb gardens, embroidery to photography.  My craft room is no better.  Boxes and drawers, shelves and floor hold rubber stamps, card-making supplies, sewing items, paper clay, beads and jewellery findings, wool, paints, coloured markers and crayons, fabric, craft books & magazines, model-making items (my husband’s contribution) and twenty different kinds of glue and adhesive tape.

Over the last year I have dabbled in :

  • Card Making
  • Jewellery
  • Collage
  • Drawing
  • Photography
  • Sewing
  • Decoupage
  • Embroidery
  • Altered Books/journals
  • Rubber Stamping

And the list goes on.  I am a terrible hoarder so even if I no longer want to do a particular craft or activity, I hold onto the supplies that go with it.  There’s always a little voice in my head that says “But you might need it someday!”

I just know that if I throw something out, I will need it IMMEDIATELY.  I am also guilty of keeping “bits” i.e. tiny little scraps of paper or fabric, card or wood that might just come in handy.  Of course, they never do come in handy but I can’t see that at the time.  If I throw them away, I just know that months down the track I will need that broken doll arm / crumpled piece of cardboard / square of fraying velvet / insert-useless-piece-of junk-here etc.  You get the idea.

I just wish I could stick to one thing and be great at it instead of doing lots of things and being ok at them.  There’s a fine line between creativity and being fickle.

Anyway, I am going to finish that book.  Even if I read twenty other books on different subject in-between chapters.