Thursday, 17 April 2014

Thunderstorms

thunderstorm watercolour pretty paint nature sounds sound effect soothing rain storm
my one and only decent watercolour painting

So around this time of year—or earlier—I begin to crave thunder.  I love rain.  And storms, and thunder.  And by now it's been at least eight months since I last experienced any of that.  If you love storms too, scroll down to the very end of this page (or hit the "end" key on your keyboard), and press play for an hour of recorded (not fake!) rain and thunder.  I can't wait for a real storm.  I'm entirely aware that I live in the wrong province.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

On the Lookout For...

You know how I was selling things in my house, and stashing the money away to save for other household things?  Well, I kind of got derailed when moving my mom and dealing with some other things and catching up with work.  But I'm starting to feel like I can handle getting back on track with that again.  With all my mom's stuff in my house, it is even more important that I clear out my excess clutter.  Before, I was thisclose to having my basement laundry room decluttered and spacious and functional, with a lovely new free desk for my sewing machine.  Now the room is a big pile of junk again.  It's amazing how quickly that can happen!

Unfortunately for me, with my work deadlines, I'm not really able to spend time down there dealing with that mess right now.  But what I can do right now is declutter the main floor a little.  One item at a time.  If I don't love it, I will list it.  Even if it's only one thing per day, I may as well get a move on.  And the bonus of doing this so slowly, instead of listing huge batches of stuff, is that I don't have to have a place to store the piles of stuff for sale.  The one thing I listed today (Neighbourhood-based Facebook buy and sell groups are the best!), is already pending pick up.

I've already bought a few things with my household stash.  Like my caned velvet chair.  I love that chair.  So does my daughter.  She sits there to read or useher rainbow loom.  And I have a few other things in the back of my mind that I want to keep an eye out for.  But It's probably about time I make a formal list.  With one rule: If it isn't exactly what I need, and/or I don't love it, I won't buy it.  So here's what I'm looking for:

  1. 6x9 to 10x13 natural fiber rug.  Jute or wool, in neutral colours (maybe with some blues and greens, depending on the pattern and style).  I've found a few I like, but they're either too small (5'x8' won't work much better than the $20 4'x6' I'm currently using), or too expensive and/or I'm not 100% sure it's what I want.  I have a really hard time committing to fabric-type furnishings.  Rugs, curtains, lamps, upholstery...I'm clueless.
  2. White/Off-white dishes.  I can't wait 'til the day I can get rid of our ugly grey Ikea dishes and our ugly rainbow Walmart dishes.  I even asked my husband if I could get rid of them already.  We have enough pretty dishes to be able to serve a meal for our family of four.  But he vetoed that idea.
  3. Dining room light fixture for $25 or less.  I want a 5 or 6 arm wrought-iron candelabra, as simple as possible...no curly-ques or shades or dangly bits.
  4. Drum-style lampshades that will fit my lamps.  As in, not too wide or too short.  In a neutral colour.
  5. Antique wooden wall shelves, furniture, or boxes/crates.
  6. Curtains.  No idea what I want them to look like.  But I want them lighter and more farmhouse-worthy than the red, tan, and brown striped curtains I made several years ago.  Like maybe unbleached linen.  The problem with something lighter is that the south- and west-facing windows make the house ridiculously hot in the summer, so I need something lined.  Maybe I'll make some black-out roman shades for the living room like I did for our bedroom upstairs.
  7. King-size headboard and bed frame.
  8. King-size 100% linen bed sheets.
  9. Chalk paint and soft wax.  I have a few things that need painting, that I don't trust latex paint for, like my mom's cane-back chair.


For my inspiration, I've recently found a blog that perfectly embodies the style I'm aiming for.  Of course, her home is an 1867 farmhouse, while mine is a 2007 suburban duplex.  So I'll have to work a little harder for the farmhouse vibe.  If only I was allowed to paint the cabinets...

What's on your list?

Saturday, 5 April 2014

I love Instagram

Twitter is fun.  Facebook is great. And I love Pinterest. But really, where I feel most at home in this crazy social-media world, is Instagram (and I just don't have time for anything else).  Honestly, I should have some kind of visually-focussed job.  I should be a photographer or a designer rather than a word-crafter.  When I want to share, a picture is what I default to.

Even in this season of stress and deadlines that I've been going through, where I just crave some sort of normalcy but can't seem to grasp it, when I feel like blogging would just be sharing my depressing chaos, I can still manage to find a bit of beauty in life to share.  All it takes is one picture, even when I'm hiding from the rest of the world.

great-grandma's buttons

makeshift windowseat

addict?

family day skating

because sequins and leopard print just go

kinder-minion!

first ride of 2014. goal: no training wheels this year!

she pulled them out herself

because what else would you do when you meet a bear?

waiting for daddy to finish skiing

maligne canyon

can't wait to start reading 

Monday, 31 March 2014

New Sponsor: Katya Valera Jewelry


I'm pleased to announce a new sponsor. Kacie of Katya Valera makes gorgeous jewelry, and I'll let her tell you a bit about it:
"I began Katya Valera, my handmade jewelry business, while shopping online for bridesmaid jewelry just over two years ago. I saw so many pieces featuring the loveliest polymer clay roses, researched the style, realized I could make them myself, and jumped right in making and selling in my Etsy shop. "My jewelry quickly branched into more than just clay pieces, and I now offer an eclectic collection of jewelry, from minimalist pendant necklaces to statement bibs to dainty filigree bracelets. Yet all my pieces have a vintage-bohemian feel to them no matter their design, something I can never get away from regardless of how my taste changes or my skills evolve over time. I’m an old soul, and I can’t help reflecting that in my jewelry. "When I’m not making, planning, or thinking about my jewelry (not sure when that is), I’m busy working to improve my health naturally, as I live with chronic illnesses that keep me home most of the time. My jewelry not only helps keep my mind off those problems but gives me a way to add some happiness to the world even from my own little world of health issues."
Check out the etsy shop, and Kacie's blog.

A few of my favourites from the shop:

blush pink rose necklace
long red and silver bohemian necklace
dark purple bohemian bib necklace

Friday, 28 March 2014

S.T.R.E.S.S.E.D

Well, my camera is collecting dust, and my house is a disaster, and my basement is full of all my mom's stuff, and my exercise schedule is sporadic, and my work is way behind schedule, and my migraines are daily, and the ground is covered in fresh snow, and I just need a rest.

How's that for an explanation for not posting much lately?

On the flip side, my husband is sweet and understanding, my friends are there for me, my mom is now getting the medical care she needs in long term care, my kids are mostly well behaved, my daughter is suddenly a bookworm (yay!), and my son wrote his own name for the first time ever yesterday!  Yes, I know he's four-and-a-half, but he has never liked to sit and colour or draw or write.  I know he knows more than he's willing to show.

So that is life.  I absolutely hate being busy and I hate having so many things hanging over my head that need to be done.  But it is only a season.  Before this all started (when my mom went into the hospital), I was more together than I usually am.  I was cooking creatively, my house was clean-ish and being decluttered, and I was set to begin my next work contract.  Then life happened.  My mom went into the hospital for yet another fractured vertebrae, and was put on the waiting list to move into long term care, since her current residence wasn't able to provide the nursing and everyday care she needed.  So suddenly, I needed to clean out her old place within 72 hours...by myself, since all my siblings were out of town at that time.  Luckily my brother came back just in time to move the furniture with his truck.  I would not have been able to handle that!  The stuff was moved into my kitchen (and it was a lot of stuff for one very small studio suite), and the furniture moved into my sister's basement.  Since I hadn't yet quite completed my laundry room decluttering, I had nowhere to put the stuff!  So it sat in my kitchen for about two weeks, while I worked on getting Mom settled.  I finally moved the last of it to the basement (and now my laundry room is stuffed to the gills...so much for using my new desk any time soon).

But of course, as hard as this month has been, I do it gladly.  Mom has done so much for me over the years, which is probably a big part of her current health issues, so how can I begrudge doing this for her?  She has already lost so much.  Anyone would likely do the same for a beloved mother.  I had a dream the other night that she was suddenly able to walk and run and jump again (not that I've ever seen her jump in my life).  It was rather heartbreaking to wake up and realise it was only a dream.

Just a memo to the universe: Please, no more crises until I figure out how to get a handle on everyday life!  Or at least until I meet my May 30th deadline.