What I Found in October, November (and December!!)

Time for us, and then some to take a squiz at a few things I’ve found throughout October and November and given we are deep in the throws of this lovely Christmas season let’s throw December in for good measure.  I do this because I love a good find and it always gets me thinking and remembering and taking notice.

So a random bunch of finds this time round both home and heart shaped and in no particular order.

At my sisters garage sale

This picture  – yes another little find for my walls which when I first saw it, was hanging sideways in the dark right up the back of said garage. Looked at first like  the side  profile of a gorilla. Still got my attention but in better light the right way up I saw it was chalk drawing of the mountains behind my home that I look at everyday. Came home with me

What I like about it – apart from the fact that its of Wollongong is that it’s  been done in what I would call a naive  style –  simplistic almost like a child’s drawing and I always tend to gravitate towards these.  Close up though it has lots of lovely detail. Almost impossible to get a good photo of because of the reflection from the glass so please forgive the shine and the wonky angles. Better in real life.

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A pair of  terracotta pots – yes they’re a little worse for wear but that’s kind of what I like about them . They are standing sentinel in my carport now marking the walkway through the car port up to the front door.

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I’ll be the first to admit this area is not the most inspiring space – its an ordinary old carport in front of an ordinary old garage door that tends to be a handy dumping ground for all the garden paraphernalia and anything else coming out of the house that hasn’t found its way into the garage yet or the bin which I’ll tell you makes for a soul destroying view as I pull my car up of an evening. So last week unable to stand looking at it any longer I threw an hours time and attention at it. No paint involved, no repairs, no redesigning (although it could do with all three ) just some old fashioned elbow grease. I’m convinced that 9/10ths of decorating is a good clean and sometimes just a little bit of pretty can go a long way to redeeming a space. It’s still an ordinary old carport and an ordinary old garage door but I no longer want to weep when I arrive home of an evening.  I found the plants at Big W. They are Heucherella “Stoplight”. They like shade and I like the bright green foliage. Looking a little fragile at the moment but the tag on the plant assures me that I’ll have “cars come to a screeching stop if I plant a mass of these foliage plants by the road” and I can apparently expect “large screaming yellow and red centred spring leaves and summer leaf colour that is bright green and red” – – –  I’ll let you know.

At the Community Book Swap

www.waterintowineblog.comHow great is this idea. Just down at the my local shopping centre they have created a book swap . The idea is to donate a book/s and then take a  pick yourself. Operates on an honour system. Its a lovely few minutes of distraction between the grocery shopping and hauling it all into the car and heading home. My reads these last months have mostly come from here and were both hit and miss

Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult – this murder mystery was enough to keep me reading to the end but the characters were one dimensional and unengaging so I just couldn’t elicit the sympathy for them I’m sure I was meant to. An easy read though in between phone calls at work.

Falling Leaves by Adeline Yen Mah – gripping from the first page to the last. I’m officially never allowed to whinge about my life again. Why ? because I didn’t grow up during the Cultural Revolution in China or any where else in the world for that matter that is at the mercy of cruel and in humanitarian government . Truly astounding what people can endure and survive. A reminder of the human capacity for cruelty and malice – – – – but more importantly of the human capacity for love. Yes Hope is made of stronger stuff.

My third pick The Red Tent by Anita Diamant. I’ve only just started reading  this one but I can tell I’m going to like it. Its the story of Dinah, Jacobs daughter, from the book of Genesis. Told in the first person Dinah   “reveals the traditions and turmoils of ancient womanhood”.

Online – this website that might just save me from the constantly rising tide of stuff in my house

I found this very practical, breath of fresh air website A Slob Comes Clean Reality Based Cleaning and Organising  Written by a lady who enjoys not taking life too seriously and who has developed a whole bunch of helpful ideas for keeping your house clean (that don’t require a spreadsheet). She’s very straight to the point with some fun thrown in which is just the way I like my information.

Heres a couple of posts that caught my attention straight up with their simple ideas for keeping on top of the mess when time is limited and energy is low.

Why I Have to Run My Dishwasher Every Night

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This picture to remind me I need all the help I can get.

And because this time next month a little decluttering may be very high on all our to do lists.

How To Declutter Without Making a Bigger Mess

A few finds of the heart shaped variety

Weirdly in a season that has me juggling more that I will ever care to and completely out of my comfy cozy zone, Ive been finding out a thing or two about resting.

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Lets call it How To Stay All In and Not Die. Being a person who generally thrives on quiet and calm and the phone not ringing – staying All In with the people Gods given me and the job I have is a challenge. I’ve discovered the thing making the  biggest difference for me at the moment is REST. Rest as in physical rest, as in going to bed early, as in sitting with my feet up on a chair for a bit and reading kind of rest, and rest as in soul rest, as in not stressing about what I’m not able to do and what’s out of my control. I know its not popular, I know we see rest as a sign of weakness and a wasteful extravagance when theres so much to be done, but that I think is why we end up going down in a screaming heap physically and/or mentally now and then – from trying to keep everything done and all the corners tucked in all the time. Getting the rest we need is part of what keeps us sane and doing what we need to do well.

So I’ve been slowly, and I mean slowly because I’m slow to catch on to new ways of doing things – including in the rhythm of my day opportunities to rest and replenish and revive.

Heres what I’ve found

Rest is being OK with an imperfect present Sally Breedlove

Rest means leaving some things undone.

Rest means doing one thing and not thinking/stressing/obsessing over the ten things not being done.

Rest means being flexible with how things are done and  how my prayers are answered. Rest involves losing some control.

And rest for me means allowing time for the things that keep me centred and calm –  often sporadically but it pays off in spades in a calmer, happier, saner personage. I choose to do things that refuel and revive me on the inside and it seems even more important to do it now even though theres a trillion other “more productive” things I could be doing. Twenty minutes here and there – reading, making something look nice, writing, rearranging the pots out the back, taking a few photos, making a Christmas wreath I don’t really need but couldn’t help myself – (see below) a bit of creating, a bit of quiet and I feel like I can do anything, like I can take on the world again. That’s good rest.

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So I know its not a season we associate with rest right now – the Christmas season pushes and pulls us in all directions and asks an awful lot but who says we can’t make  small steps towards doing  things a little different this year? Lets try for a little more rest, a little less perfection, flexible expectations and a whole lot less frazzle.

If your needing a little more rest in your life heres some good reading along those lines:

The Practice of Ruminating to Save Your Sanity

On Idelness, Solitude and Daydreaming

Hospitality but Not the Kind You Are Thinking Of

And some finds just for fun

I found out how photogenic my chooks are.

How  sweet are these little ladies – restful in themselves – just doing their thing, not rushed, not worried and happy to see me each time I wander out there.

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And to finish a Christmassy find.

Of all Christmas decorations wreaths would have to be my very favourite.  They’re so self contained and simple – you can make them out of anything that can be fashioned into a circle – wire and vines and random thin bendy branches that you can find in the garden are a perfect example, theres no rules as to what you put on them and you can hang them anywhere. I have a little bit of a collection now, all of them have a story and although I officially don’t need anymore ever I can’t help but have a go at making a new one each year – it is my sole Christmassy craft. So I found two of these metal wreath frames  a few years ago and as I do took a photo of what I found. A bit on the blurry side but you get the idea.

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It took me two Christmases but finally the small frame turned into this.

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I only ever use bits and pieces of ribbon and fabric and decoration that I already have – part of the challenge. On this one I incorporated the remaining pieces  of a  sweet set of 6 Villeroy and Boch Christmas ornaments  that were special to us as they were given to us by Ken’s mother and sister who are no longer with us. Lovely as they are/were these ornaments  were not designed for little fingers grabbing at Christmas trees so they didn’t fare well over the years. We have one ornament from the set left intact and it hangs high and brave on the tree and I’d kept some remnants from two others that I tucked into this Christmas wreath. A little reminder of two beautiful people who LOVED Christmas time and who we especially miss this time of year.

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As for this years project – I had apparently put the larger wire frame under my bed at some stage because thats where I found it a week or so ago.  Hadn’t planned to make another wreath but then I found the frame and my fingers started to twitch. So I have used only stuff that I had. Some green, sparkly gauzy type fabric and these branches of berries that I bought maybe two years ago to use at this wedding. Have used them constantly at every event  and non event I’ve decorated since. Last year they turned up here.

www.waterintowineblog.comLove the red colour and so do the cockroaches who have eaten the colour right off some of the berries so this was a rescue mission in a way. Here’s how she turned out.

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Berries were  secured to the wreath with pieces of copper wire that I already had out. Looking at it I could probably play with it for another hour to get it just right, it could probably do with double the number of berries and some other pretty things but I don’t have an extra hour and I’m all out of unchewed upon berries – so this is where resting and leaving some things undone and not stressing about what I haven’t done comes into play – so I’m calling it done and I’ve hung it in the bathroom because every bathroom needs a Christmas wreath in my opinion.

So thats my finds for October, November and December .

Any good finds your way? Would love to hear

Friends thank you for reading along and being kind as I write my words. I’ll leave you with just a few more

Blessings on your eyes, Blessings on your children, Blessings on the ground beneath you. My heart is a ladle of sweet water, brimming over”  The Red Tent – Anita Diamant

God Bless and Happy Christmas

Lv Tracey xx

 

 

 

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9 thoughts on “What I Found in October, November (and December!!)

  1. Gidday Trace,
    How are you?
    Another set of great photos! There’s no bad shot of a chook is there? We have gone all out and acquired A pet. Drum roll,,,,,, a rabbit called Bullet rescued from RSPCA. We have discovered that he loves digging under the fence and visiting the neighbours! It could be his fatal attraction as one neighbour has a large dog…. Anastasia has told him in no uncertain terms that he is now GROUNDED as she is thoroughly enjoying the power trip over a smaller creature.
    I’m really loving those dark green tiles in your photo (in the bathroom, I assume). I’ve sworn to myself that anything new coming into the house for house purpose is now going to be green, You will be gratified to know that so far I have bought a ;little plague from the $2 shop for the spare room that says “Love life” or something that is green and the other day when I was buying bin liners – I chose lime green colour. Life changing – I know! I hope that doesn’t trigger a spiral of depression that your lovely blog is inspiring my bin liner choice? As stated previously we are going to be de cluttering this year in preperation for 2018. I’m really inspired by your blog. I’m saving up the ideas for our new home in Queensland. 2 things I will be definately putting in place there are: 1) When we acquire a lounge, it will be fabric not leather 2) as stated I will be fossicking for emerald green anything for the home.
    What are your holiday plans? Enjoy them with your family, yes, enjoy the REST.
    Love Jen

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    1. Hey Jen – lovely to hear from you my friend. Well now your asking for trouble naming a rabbit Bullet – he’s bound to be trying to go places fast. Yes I’m a fan of the green tiles too – somewhat dated and quirky but I love anything green like you so they suit me fine. Lets just go ahead and call green one of our love languages. We have a white Christmas tree this year just for a change which is so pretty but I’m missing our green one even though it was way too big for our tiny lounge room. Happy for my blog to inspire in any way – garbage bin liners and all. Family news is that mum has moved in two streets away to a retirement village (high care) so nice having her close but still ironing out the kinks ion how often she wants me to be there. A good move as the trek out to the country were getting too few and far between. Are you moving 2017 or 2018? Christmas plans are some family time with various visitors on Christmas and then some beach time following – not actually me on the beach in the sun with little on but me in the shade with book and ample covering with a view of the beach – I take a dip now and then. Heading down this way at all??? (more than welcome) or are you holidaying somewhere?? Big love to you all xx

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      1. Thanks Trace, Good to hear your news! Your blog is great. Thanks for putting in a big effort to get it out there this year. Yes, I’ve made large mental note that house furnishings going forward will be green! I might even see if I can get ourselves a green fabric lounge… I read about the fabric lounge in a Brisbane stylists book “Absolutely Beautiful Things” Anna Spiro. She totally recommends fabric over leather for a lounge.
        Nice to hear your Mum has moved closer. It’s probably a big ask for an elderly lady now, but can she help care for the kids while you are at work etc? Give our love to her, Ken and kids. We are heading off to Canberra tomorrow for Christmas. Anastasia relishes the opportunity to visit her cousins. We are staying in Rydges Hotel and making day trips with Matt, Penny and cousins. We are having Christmas lunch with them at their home, so should be enjoyable. Thanks, we would really like a visit at yours, maybe Anastasia and I can make a day trip in January on the train?
        Our plan is to spend 2017 prepping for re location in 2018. So, de clutter, apply for schools, me get a job in the area, hopefully we can appoint some one to work our business and we will be managing it from Queensland (that’s a big ask) and then move ourselves Dec 2017. That’s our plan, I hope. So many ways it can go pear shaped but going forward there aren’t too many options for us to continue living in the most expensive city in the world!
        Enjoy a read and relax in the shade! I’ve just been offered some Jodi Piccoult books and on the strength that one has appeared on your blog, I’m accepting them for my holiday reading!
        Love Jen

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      2. Jen Ive been dreaming of a vintage velvet lounge in green or torquoisy blue for ever now. Check out this link – I think you might just love the furnishings there. One of my favourite places to dream. http://www.thejungalow.com/inspogallery/living-room. No Mum is beyond the child care but its lovely we can go and visit and just hang out with her. Ken has been on Dad duty since the school holidays began and they have had lots of fun things on. It does get easier in terms of entertainment as they get older. Just did a big w/end of activities for Livvys birthday. Nice to hear you are having time with your brother and family over Christmas. Would love if you and A arrived on the train for a visit. That’s good plans you’ve got there Jen. I know QLD has been an dream for a while. Let me know what you think of the Piccoult novels. Love and God speed to Bullet !! xxx

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  2. Love all the green in your post- since it is all brown and bleak mid-winter here in VA! And rest– well, that is high on my list as well to work on in the New Year. I’m so glad you’re savoring and slowing down when you can! Your wreaths are darling as well– I’m pretty fond of the one with the little vintage snowman 🙂 Way to use what you have! Wishing you a very Merry Christmas Tracey!

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