#MySundayPhoto – The Reading Nook

 

 

The Reading Nook www.waterintowineblog.com

Because when things aren’t perfect, which is always, you have to choose what you are going to focus on. Myquillyn Smith

By happy accident, I now have a new favourite reading place. My husband started a project totally uninstigated by me, at the far end of our back room – this happens to be one long room that spans the entire back of the house. Being a bit of a muso and wanting to teach our boy guitar and do some recording Ken decided he would create a music “studio” down that a way. Its come together really well although he  did make  the most ungodly mess in the process which we are still sorting out but as  I often say “you gotta make a mess to clean up”  so all good.

Ken moved the piano that sat under this window for ever so long to said studio and the comfy old lounge chair largely unused from down that way got put under the window and so far they seem a perfect match. A lovely surprise when I came home form work and a welcome change for a number of reasons.

This area opposite my desk and just off the kitchen has long been a pain to get looking nice. For one it houses an enormous four drawer filing cabinet Why? because there is simply no where else for it to go . I did, for about 30 seconds consider getting rid of it after reading some Marie Kondo inspired posts but with almost zero storage in this house the idea didn’t take. The filing cabinet stays for now. How often are there things we just have to live with in our homes, they are not by choice or by design they just are and we have to work with them or around them.

This clever lady who has long inspired me in all things house and homey talks about “arrows” that point us away from a rooms short comings (or ugly storage units) and towards its strengths and beauties.

“Decorating is like placing arrows around. “Look here. And now here.” And anything you don’t want to see you either don’t put an arrow pointing to it, or you simply put an arrow in front of it. And anything you want to accentuate, you make sure it has a big arrow”. “

The piano as lovely as it is to have one, did nothing to draw the eye away from ugly filing cabinet – it was a bad arrow – in fact it became an eyesore it itself as well, just too many hard lines and pointy angles in one area for me. But ahh now with lovely comfy chair in situ I’ve figured it out – this area needed something soft and relaxing and inviting to detract from the all business and no fun great clodding filing cabinet. The chair is a good arrow. This spot is now a destination in itself , it has a purpose, it says sit down and put your feet up and we call it the reading nook. The filing cabinet, well it hardly gets a second glance.

Now my other favourite things next to faux fur rugs thrown over comfy chairs is greenery – lots and lots of greenery – they are my new favourite arrows. They fill in odd vacant corners that look lonely and they look lovely popping up from behind a chair and they are the only thing that doesn’t look odd sitting atop my now barely noticeable filing cabinet.

My final arrow is my favourite blue and green painting because in my opinion blue and green should always be seen especially against a white wall.

I knew all of this but somehow I got stuck in this area. All it took for me to see the light was  Ken doing  himself a little rearranging and God Bless him that he did. The mess is forgiven.

Wishing you a beautiful Sunday

Tracey xx

Linking up today with #MySundayPhoto

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What I Found In September

So time to take a little bit of a gander at what I’ve found in the month just past.

Wondering why I do that ??  Well this post will fill you in a bit but really its because like most of you I love a good find – whether its a good book, a good basket, a burst of colour in my garden, the gift of a few minutes to write or think straight or a post thats grabbed me.  Anything that helps me do home or life better –  well it might just get a mention here.

So lots of little finds for sweet September.

At The Shops

Bit of a storage and organisation theme happening when it came to op shop and store finds. Maybe its spring that’s got me tidying up and throwing out and getting things all put away and clutter free –  who knows but it was  a month all about throwing stuff in things and I must say the house looks all the better for it. These two pots and my kids dropping  the most amazing array of items on the kitchen bench every day got me started.

www.waterintowine.com

Pens & pencils, toys, hair ties, loose change, batteries, Nintendo’s, sunglasses, lollies, lip gloss – I could easy go on. My solution  was to throw “all the things” into these two pots sitting close by on the end of my desk. Bought them with every intention of putting plants in them but this was a more pressing need. Worked a treat.   Everything easy to find when they want it and a clean kitchen bench in a jiffy.

Lets call it “casual” storage at its finest (and on a budget). Heres a rundown:

  • Cute as a button yellow and white pot $1.00 from Target good for loose change
  • Gold planter from the Reject Shop  for $7 that as said I use as a hold all because it’s a really good handy size to throw odds and ends in.
  • Vintage yellow Tupperware in perfect condition at the kids school fete thrift stall for $2 each. Used for biscuits and Weetbix
  • Red basket tray /random paper file from the op shop for 50c .
  • White cane basket from Freedom Furniture that I’ve had for a while but only just found the right purpose and place for. Less sturdy than my usual basket finds but a whole lot pretty – its now corralling the towels in handy reach of the bathroom.
  • Wire basket from Kmart for $9 – a place for all the  lounge cushions to go apart from the floor when not propping up someones head or back. I don’t get why they can’t stay on the lounge but they  just never do.img_6505

Got any spring time/fall time organisation going on at your place?

So to other not so practical finds:

www.waterintowineblog.com

Found this little landscape at the school fete.  I always seem to be on the look out for a pretty landscape – beautifully executed ones yes  but I tend to like the ones that look a little bit “home done” too, a bit imperfect like someone was having a practice. Every now and then one will jump out and come home to live at my place for a bit. A way of me saying “I know your not a Rembrandt, not even close but your still lovely, your still inspiring, you  still have something to say so just go ahead and be you”. I don’t say it out loud or directly to the painting so I think we’re OK there. So this is one of those – I like her soft colours and lines  –  sitting on my desk at the moment, giving me something peaceful to stare at while the words percolate.

In My Inbox

Some AWESOME  posts

Why We Must Not Stop Grieving by Christie Purifoy

http://www.christiepurifoy.com/2016/08/30/why-we-must-not-stop-grieving/
christiepurifoy.com

Loved this post which explains why I want to cry buckets  when I look at my kids baby photos.

And this post  from a woman who writes like no other

When You Fell a Bit Busted and Old: The Traumatic Disorder of Everyday Life by Ann Voskamp

http://disorganized72.tumblr.com/post/148704937347/studio-finch
http://disorganized72.tumblr.com/archive

This one hit every nerve and more than once. A great read.

On My iPad

img_6475Roots and Sky ~ A Journey Home in Four Seasons by Christie Purifoy  – no words for how much I loved reading this book so I’ll use someone else’s.

” I have been terrified of hope. Because if hope disappoints, does that mean that God is also a disappointment? Christie reminds us that hope like dreams, is made of stronger stuff. She invites us into a year of her life lived in real time in an old Pennsylvanian farmhouse, choc full of hope and decay, promise and weeds, work and wonder” Lisa Jo Baker 

Not too far in I found a paragraph that was a relief to read. Not so much inspirational words but real words that summed up entirely the frustration I  felt for so long  living in what felt like like a broken down, busted up house especially in the early years and no end in sight. The  frustration too of feeling like everything –  EVERYTHING – was working against me trying to make something lovely of this pile of bricks and mortar.  A feeling that almost stopped me writing a blog about making home when my own home  felt and still does at times like its limping, with too many frayed edges, with too much  undone and worn out and a limited capacity to set it all to right.  – – –

This was the paragraph.

We live so much of our lives with our hands tied behind our backs. With everything to do – more than we can possibly accomplish in one day – we are yet further hampered by illness, tiredness, a lack of money or time. This seems true even on good days. With twenty four hours in a day, how many must we devote to unproductive necessities like sleeping? Eating? Not to mention shopping for food or washing sheets or changing endless diapers. Some days we have more freedom than others but we are always, to some degree hemmed in by weakness, by need, by lack or by loss. We are hungry and needy as new born babies. we fool ourselves if we imagine anything else to be true. Roots and Sky Page 36

And then this:

This house is deteriorating. My body is dying. We are subject to the same terrible decay. But worth is not measured in such terms. Once upon a time, God called his creation good. And no curse of sin unwound those words. Gnarled maple trees. Plaster walls. An ordinary women’s ordinary body. All good. To care for these is to say to death, “You are not the end” Roots and Sky Page 54

Magic words. That’s right hope is made of stronger stuff. It remains, it flows relentless and regardless.  It keeps me looking for the good and God breathed and lovely even on the grittiest most ordinary of days and even while the gutters hang rusty and with the back fence caving in.

On My Phone

Along similar lines – this Instagram feed  @shannanwrites

http://www.shannanmartinwrites.com

Oh my, I love how this lady views life.  Her photos are of such ordinary things – sidewalks and streetscapes and swing sets – the things she sees as she walks her kids to school. A fellow lover of derelict houses as well. If you feel like your life is a little left of centre too than you’ll find a kind companion in Shannan.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BK8JgbNjO3R/?taken-by=shannanwrites&hl=en

http://www.shannanmartinwrites.com

You can take a peek at her Instagram feed here and her blog here

Found out this too:

Screen Shots are my favourite

What I realised putting this post together is how much I love and use screen shots  to capture info that I want to remember – things to read, podcasts to listen to, quotes I want to refer back to, recipes I want to try, rooms  that I love.  The reason it works for me – it’s incredibly simple – requires only a press of two fingers and its all nicely saved and stored. Anything more  complicated and I’m a goner.

Heres a sample.

So thats my finds for September. Any finds your way? Would love to hear

Big love and blessings from my  home to yours

Tracey xx

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Linking up with Coffee and Conversation, Works For Me Wednesday, Inspire Me Monday Link Party

 

 

 

 

 

Sitting Pretty

This chair  – – – 

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We’ve been keeping company now for ever so long – possibly longer that any other item of furniture I own apart from this bookshelf my Dad made. Not all furniture is created equal and not all designed to last the distance but in my books this one, she’s a keeper.

www.waterintowineblog.com

Can’t remember where I found her. Most likely the op shop because that’s where I find most things. Maybe a road side throw out ? I do remember I was living in Sydney at the time in my ancient flat that hadn’t a whole lot going for it except a magnificent view of  Bondi Beach. I was doing an upholstery workshop just down the road and I needed a smallish item of furniture that was portable and could be made over in a couple of weekends. This chair was the perfect candidate with  good solid bones – I loved the curve of the arms and the little rounded turned out legs, still do – but her springs were all saggy and needed replacing. So during the course of the workshop I gave her new springs and webbing and fresh fabric and well she hasn’t looked back since. A little worse for wear in places now because its been quite a while but still going strong.

www.waterintowineblog.com

A random meeting that I can’t recall and here we are still together all these years later. Some pieces of furniture just seem to suit your house and life down to the ground and this chairs one. Versatile – she fits in anywhere with anyone, not precious – she doesn’t need a lot of attention or looking after which is a good thing around here, she’s light enough to be picked up and moved easily and her small proportions work perfectly for my tiny house. “Style wise” she dresses up easy – looks best with something soft and fluffy thrown over her and with a few  cushions thrown on.

So far she’s lived in every room of the house bar the bathroom and including the front and back veranda. She spent a long time in Olivia’s room. A perfect chair for story reading and for putting dressed up dolly’s on. In my room there was more clothes being thrown on than sitting on but out front of the house she gave us a lovely place to enjoy the winter sun. Then for a while she was in the entrance near the front door but again more throwing on than sitting in.

www.waterintowineblog.com

Right now though – – – 

She’s doing me a personal favour which is the reason she gets her very own post here today. I currently have her moved into the lounge room so I actually have a comfortable place to sit down.

See what I’ve noticed of late is that two children and one husband manage to take up all the available space on the two leather lounges we have, leaving me nowhere comfortable to sit. And forgive me but when I sit down to relax a little I don’t want to be squeezed in between and romped upon by an often less than fragrant  13 year old boy and the squirmiest 9 year old girl I have EVER come across.

So this seat has become MY seat and mine alone for now.

I read this earlier in the year on one of my favourite blogs and it’s somehow  stayed with me.

I felt a little lost in my own home. I can see my mama in my memory sitting on “her” end of the couch every single night with whatever book or cross stitch she was working on tucked into the end table beside her. I decided it wasn’t wrong in the least bit to stake my claim on my own spot complete with all my favorite books stuffed down beside me in a $2 yard sale ammo crate. Heather, Recollected Design 

Well I’m with Heather and her mama – we all need a sweet spot to call our own in our own homes , where our favourite book is in easy reach and theres a place to put our cup of tea or something stronger.  A place no one else is allowed to sit on or put their feet on or leave half of their sandwich or their school bag on.

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I’ve been missing that for a bit. Maybe I’ve just noticed it more since I have been working and don’t have time at home on my own during the day. Organising myself a comfy relaxing place to sit for a while in the evening, its such a basic thing that’s felt like such a luxury. I read more, I relax more, I enjoy Netflix more (which can definitely be a good thing at times)  and the real bonus I hang out with that odd smelling boy and that squirmy girl more. I think the squeezing in and having my cuppa tea bumped about put me off doing that for a good while. My two just love it when I stop all the rushing around and just be with them – – – – the rushing around a necessary part of life I know , but the sitting down just as much too. So while its been a small change, its made a big difference and they’re my favourite kind.  So if someone could just pass me my cup of tea please we’ll be all good.

Got a favourite piece of furniture ? Need to get  yourself a sweet spot. Would love to hear.

Tracey xx

 

Linking up with Home Matter Linky Party , Works For Me WednesdayBloggers Pit Stop

Simply Does It – Five Simple Refreshes For Your Home (and For Your Heart)

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The answer doesn’t always have to be long and complicated. Sometimes (not always but more often than we think) the answer is simple and sometimes its easy. In fact they’re my favourite kind. See I’m a great one for overcomplicating and overthinking things  – things like my faith, my writing, raising these two beautiful children  or even cleaning the bathroom sometimes – – – and it gets me stuck. Deer in the headlights stuck.  So what I’ve discovered is that simple does the job really well somedays and for me, seeing progress in even a small way can be all the boost I need to get me back on track and moving forward.

www.waterintowineblog.com

So enough with the overcomplicating and lets go with a quick and easy post today.  Quick because you will be able to read it in 15 minutes or less and easy for me because  I’m writing about one of my very favourite things. So before this birthday month of mine expires entirely  I’m sharing five simple refreshes (or we could call them tiny changes) that I use all the time when my house is feeling a bit flat and lifeless – or I am.

1. Clean something. A surface, a floor, a corner, a shelf, just one small area. Pick the thing that’s bugging you the most or is the most visible. For me its quite often my kitchen bench – it seems to attract the most amazing amount of items in the span of a day so cleaning that down fresh always gives everything a lift including me but it might be the bathroom vanity, the coffee table, the sink, a work area, the front entrance, or just giving the floor a sweep – give something  20 minutes of your love and care and you’ll be amazed how much better it looks and feels.

www.waterintowineblog.com

2. Bring in some green. In my opinion green makes everything feel better and somehow puts instant life and freshness into a space. A few indoor plants (or even just one will do) or a bunch of leafy branches from the garden arranged works wonders especially if its on your freshly cleaned down counter, coffee table or vanity. It won’t cost you anything and the stroll around the garden will do you good too.

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www.waterintowineblog.com

www.waterintowineblog.com

3. Have a rearrange. Maybe not the whole room in one go but a shelf, a mantle, the top of a dresser, a bookcase, a side table, a few chairs, anything really. A change – well it really can be as good as a holiday and who says everything has to stay in the same spot anyway. There’s a lot we don’t control, there’s a lot that is out of our power to directly change but a shelf or where I put a lamp shouldn’t be one of them.

www.waterintowineblog.com

“Nothing is sacred around here.  Just because I bought something with the bedroom in mind doesn’t mean it has to live there FOREVER.  This is not a prison for my things.  I want my things to bring me joy and sometimes if they sit in the same place for too long, I don’t even see them anymore”. Edie Wadsworth.

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My favourite quick rearranges are my kitchen shelves, the cushions on  the lounge, the laundry shelves, my work area and the verandah out front. So go ahead and give yourself permission to change things around as much as you like  – you’ll be surprised what a difference a change of scenery, even a small one can make. Remember there’s no punishment if you put something somewhere and you don’t like it. Just try it somewhere else. Isn’t all creativity just a process of trial and error anyway.

www.waterintowineblog.com

4. Set a surface free – this is a good one if your feeling a little or a lot overwhelmed by the amount of things you have sitting around and are just not sure where to start. It cuts out all the decision making and umming and ahhing about what to do with each thing. Just clear off one space – again a mantle, the top of a bookshelf, a buffet or a TV unit, a side table, a corner or a coffee table – anywhere thats annoying you because it simply has too much stuff on or in it – be it books or photo frames or vases or any number of cute things. Pack the items away and leave the space empty for a day or two. Just let it breath all on its own for a while and enjoy the uncluttered feel of it. The photos  below show the top of my TV unit that’s in our back sitting area all naked and my bedside table all cleared off because I can’t be trusted not to cram seventeen items on there at once.

www.waterintowineblog.com

www.waterintowineblog.com

 It takes no time at all and when your ready –  only put back items that you really love and enjoy looking at. I can almost guarantee you wont want to overfill that space again and you won’t be tempted to drop just any old thing on there. We enjoy and appreciate the things we have so much more when they are  not vying for attention  in amongst a whole lot of other things. The other thing with leaving a surface empty for a bit is that it gives you a chance to rethink how you have been using it. So with the TV unit above I worked out when I cleared it off that I really don’t need another surface to put pretty things on. Given that its  a bit more of a utilitarian area what I could use up there are some baskets up there for storage.

As for the  items that don’t make it back on the shelf, here’s a couple of thoughts: keep a donation box handy  If it’s no longer inspiring or seen better days or your keeping it simply because it was a gift – it might be time to let it go. Less stuff to contend with on a daily basis – now thats a refresh in itself. Or for the keeps, just leave some things put away – all our nice things don’t all have to be out at the same time. They can be rotated just like the sheets and towels. In fact I try and have more put away than I have out these days so that when I do get something out that I haven’t seen in a while, I enjoy it more,  it makes a nice change and is way less expensive than a trip to the shops.

www.waterintowineblog.com

5. Take a break. Now this ones about you. Sometimes when everything’s feeling a bit blah, it’s us not the house that need’s a freshen up.  When getting anything done feels like wading through mud its a sure sign we are just plan old tired and running low. Same goes if you find yourself going all day without sitting down or taking a break. I know it’s easier said than done but doing something to refresh yourself either body, soul or spirit  for at least 20 to 30 minutes a day will pay off on so very many levels.

http://disorganized72.tumblr.com/post/140820714112/miudafrenchie

What refreshes each of us is entirely personal but heres a few thoughts: get outside in the fresh air, take a walk, read a good book with your feet up, watch a movie, spend some time in quiet and prayer, take a nap, get out with a friend, take time by the water, in the garden or enjoying a view, do something creative – not work creative but refuelling, just for pleasure creative. While your at it – drink some water and take a few  deep breaths. It doesn’t have to be luxurious or idyllic to work. It doesn’t have to be Friday afternoon and it doesnt have to involve a glass of wine. This recent instagram post I read sums the idea up exactly:

So much of life — pulls and minuses and divides us. But these evening moments of solitary walking around our little city lake – walking with seniors and students, Syrian refugees and soldiering on mamas – add to me. I don’t walk fast, I pray sometimes but mostly I just pay attention and I keep going. I feel like I’m getting somewhere. Sarah Bessey.

Author and blogger Emily P Freeman describes it as pressing your ear against the heartbeat of your own life (I love how she says things). Some describe it as  margin or white space, I just call it room to breath. I’ve not always been so good at that and no doubt I’m not alone but taking regular pauses where I’m not doing or making or planning or thinking so darn hard puts me in the direction of it. I know  I feel better when I rest and do something I like to do and better when I take time to breath deep and stare for a bit into the distance. Yes that so called unproductive “wasted” time, has a way of building and blessing and keeping us sane.

http://disorganized72.tumblr.com/post/140392205492/joel-serrato

“White space is anything but nothing” Bonnie Gray

So take a moment – take 20 or 30 or an hour regular like and do something that adds and refuels and refreshes you on the inside.

 So there it is –  a few simple ideas for refreshing your home and yourself. I have tried to keep this one short, sweet and of course simple  but if you would like a little more, here’s a few places where I am constantly inspired in pursuit of home and heart refreshment or if you’ve any simple refreshes that work for you please share away in the comments below.

Nesting Place

Chatting at the Sky, Emily P Freeman

Finding Spiritual White Space, Bonnie Gay

Now I know the posts of late have been few and far between but I have still been writing my weekly Women Connect posts. If you have a moment you can read them by clicking on the titles below or just browse the Women Connect page here.

On Making a Difference

Stay Awake To Love

Whatever!

Like Children

On Being Kind (To Ourselves)

Much love from my home to yours

Tracey xx

Linking up today with Works For Me Wednesday

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Five Minute Friday – Find

Five Minute Friday  on a rainy Wednesday morning – I think that’s a record even for me but it still works the same way. Prompt word, five minutes, just write. (I’m also linking up with a few other lovely blogs – links are at the end of the post)

This weeks prompt word:

FIND

I’ll  find myself just staring at him, standing in the middle of my kitchen and gazing long and lovingly at his sleek lines and handsome features. I still can’t quite believe he’s here, all clean and new and shiny, so I keep going back to have another look. My knight in shining armour – I have two now.

The first my good and hardworking husband who travels  back and forward to Western Australia every month, who God bless him decided to trade in his hard earned frequent flyer points to buy me – and  it really deserves a drum roll – – – –  a dishwasher !!!  – – – –  and I’m in heaven.

IMG_3045You may have all been singing the praises of your faithful dishwasher for years but I have never in all my adult life lived in a home with a dishwasher so you might just find me giving this guy a little smooch. Ive been struggling for a long time now to keep up with what seemed like a daily mountain of dishes and a kitchen that more often than I care to admit, looked like a disaster zone.

On a good day she looked like this.

IMG_0372On a very bad day she looked like this (and yes I should be ashamed of myself)

IMG_1661But thanks to this handsome fella

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And this one

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Today she looks like this.

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IMG_3008What a  God send. This smooth sleek fellow has just handed me – on a freshly washed squeaky clean plate – at least two extra hours a day. Oh the things I can do.

So you might find me drinking coffee with my feet up or sitting playing UNO with the kids, you might find me in the garden, or knee deep in a project or just staring out  my window – the only thing about standing at my kitchen sink that I like, but – – – you won’t find me with a mighty great load of dishes to wash.

And with this shiny new addition this side of the kitchen doesn’t look quite so bad – not so neglected and unloved. See she’s been patiently waiting for a new bench top,  shiny white subway tile and a new sink for ever so long and – – – well this makes the waiting easier.

So here’s to dishwashers that leave my plates and dishes and cups and pans cleaner than I ever thought possible and to cleaner less neglected  kitchens – – – – and three cheers for my lovely husband who always does everything he can to make my life better.

Got a minute? – my kitchen sink gets another mention here.

And you can see my Kitchen Update ideas here

Anything new or fun happening in your kitchen?

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Celebrate It Sunday

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Sunday Down Under

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