Friday, 30 July 2010

Welcome to earth

There are a lot of blogs out there showing beautiful homes and interiors. Likewise in magazines you will often see wonderful rooms. I am sure these are not meant to make the reader feel inadequate but sometimes they do. When I forst started readingblogs I would look at these and feel inadequate - I have recently cleared up my blog list and just don't bother with "beautiful home" blogs. One thing I really like about the community of sewing blogs is that people will describe and show mistakes as well as successes.

I have a problem with the beautiful homes that have small children living in them - is it just my kids who make such huge messes? We have to hide away breakables and delicate items. Little I has an insatiable curiosity and I have recently begun to let her play with more delicate things like seashells. Yesterday she enjoyed playing with my dressmaking pins, sellotape and fabric scraps. Anyway I am digressing, this post was supposed to be an update on my progress over the last couple of weeks as I have been tidying and trying to instill someorder to the chaos.
Above I give you the before and after of the chair in our bedroom. This chair belonged to Mr Minnado's grandma. I think there may be a whole heap of microscopic life forms within this chair and plan one day to get it reupholstered. Mr Minnado however seems to think it should stay in its present incarnation due to childhood nostalgia. It folds out into a bed and he used to sleep on it when staying with Grandma. I can actually sit on it now. Can you see Little I peeping out behind it - she also likes sitting on it. I am trying to make sure I put clothes away more often to prevent the piles growing and growing.

This is something that I feel is a kind of realisation of what is blindingly obvious - look after your clothes and they will look better and last longer...duh....I am trying to hang them up or fold them into the drawer not just screw it up, shovel it in. Somehow when I have carefully laboured over making an item of clothing I find I am more inclined to iron it, hang it up or fold it carefully. If it is something cheaply made and bought for little cost I tend to have a much more careless attitude. Looking back at growing up my parents and grandparents were the type of people to hang clothes up, use shoe trees, polish and care for their shoes. Maybe I am getting old? I have always been a bit careless with my possessions - I would use a lovely handpainted cup to clean my paintbrushes, I would wear shoes till they fell apart, never thinking to mend them or polish them to prolong their life. I would put my art works away in a messy heap and then lose some or they would get all creased and spoilt. I am finding thatnow I am cutting back on buying new stuff and I have been getting rid of lots of things - I have a new respect for the things I am keeping.

Moving on, here is the jewellery storage - I was putting it in a pretty painted bowl that a friend had given me, but you couldn't actually see the bowl. Also having a bowl seems to be a magnet for dumping clutter. I found not just jewellery in here but also coins (almost £1 in coppers) , clips for sealing vacuum bags, the light cord that Little I broke about 6 months ago, receipts...
the list can go on and on.

Inspired by the amazing Hayley, I bought a mug holder in a cheap discount store and I sorted some jewellery to go the charity shop. I can now see what I have. The bowl is back in the kitchen cupboard to be used for salads etc. Without the bowl I have less clutter, as there is no easy place to put it. The little chest of drawers was made by one of my Dad's patients and I have had it since I can remember. It houses brooches and my collection of glass cocktail sticks. The odd cat thing is a letter rack that came from my parents' house. No one else wanted it when they moved but I love it.
I also took a card and a couple of pictures to the framing shop and got mounts cut for them - then I put them in some charity shop frames I have collected. I also got this green oil pastel framed properly - I bought it from a local artist four years ago and it has been waiting all that time to be framed.

I loved the blue framed birthday card my sister sent me. I also framed the picture at the very top which T brought home from school. We alreay had the wooden frame so I just asked the picture framer to make the orange mount. It is now hanging in our hallway. I had kept these picture for ages thinking I would cut the mounts myself and even frame them myself. Then last week, I decided to let go of that idea as I just do not have the time to do that. So as well as physically decluttering I am trying to let go of those ideas and plans that I know I cannot actually fulfill and concentrate of doing less but actually managing to finish some things. I am applying this to my list of future sewing projects which I am hoping to share in a future blog post soon.


  1. Love this post!

    Especially the part about letting go of the plans we won't/can't actually fulfill - I absolutely feel that.

    Especially as a 'creative' I see it as kind of my duty to try all creative endeavours because they all seem interesting and cool.

    This has led me to stockpile paper crafts (even though I've made like two paper things in the past two years), buy fabric for things I'm not that inspired to actually DO, hold onto jackets to resize myself (even though linings are beyond me and I can't be bothered learning them) and keep saying to myself 'Man I wish I knew how to draw'. Obviously I don't wish it enough because if I did, I'd do something about it.

    I've been trying to let go of these things, too. Realising that I don't need to do everything that's mildly interesting and do the things I love most instead.

    Also I'm totally guilty of not picturing my messes (which exist in full force). But I agree with you. Going to be more conscious of when my 'oh I can't show that it's not tidy' inner monologue comes up and take the damn picture anyway.

  2. I loved both this post and Hayley's comments: you both seem to articulate what I've been feeling. Yes, let go of the opportunity to do everything and prioritize time, our most precious commodity. And I agree on the home sites, and I feel that way a bit about fashion/style blogs as well, I totally feel inadequate. Blogs like yours remind me we're living authentic lives (rather than in the pages of a magazine). And the good news? It's abundant. :)

  3. Thank you forthe lovely comments - I think maybe we have a "superwoman" complex - just because we are capable of doing/making things doesn't mean we HAVE to do/make all of them. Ialso like to have a slightly chaotic house in which my kids are not always being told to tidy up and where they can play and create freely. There will be plenty of time for tidiness when they are grown up!

  4. Hi, great post! Hope you have had a great weekend.