Thursday, September 27, 2012

Self Discovery via my art


This past spring I had a future customer ask to create a custom jewellery box as a Christmas gift to her sister. I loved the concept of the item and quickly agreed to take on the project and gave an estimate of cost to the customer. After many months of delaying this project I have started it. It is weighing heavily on my mind because it is outside of what I am comfortable creating and I will have a steep learning curve with this jewellery box.

I rarely create customer requested items because it quashed my own creativity.The boxes and other items I often create come from a variety of inspirations and often just from between my own ears. Taking on a project from someone else’s vision is very difficult. How am I am going to meet their vision and expectation? Will they like it? and if not what do I do with the item?

The good news is that this project has some how inspired my muse and I have a new item I would like to make a series of.

floral hold em

top view hold em cup

It a 4 inch tall cylinder meant to hold pens, pencils, make up brushes or other trinkets. I have only made one so far and have a few more ideas brewing for other designs. After I have completed the jewellery box I will allow my muse to run free and create these.

I have learned this lesson before that taking on custom work quashes the muse and this is why I rarely do these special projects. I prefer to create for myself and hope others love it as well.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Pretty Wreath

For a couple of weeks now I have been wanting to hang a fall wreath on my front door. My mother happened to have an old grapevine wreath at home that she gave me. Today I cut hydrangea blooms and wove them into the wreath.

A friend of mine asked if I could make her a wreath so here is the second one.

This is the now very sad looking hydrangea that has given up its blooms for the season.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Looking after myself


I have never been too interested in fashionable clothing, make up or having the most current haircut. With all of the recent purging going on in my home over the last few months I realized that my wardrobe was seriously lacking. I finally took the time to have two pairs of jeans hemmed that I bought last February they were about two inches too long and any time I wore them I was treading on the hems and that really bothers me. Yesterday I met with my mom at a local mall and she watched my son while I shopped. I am out of touch with my physical size and was uncertain on what to try on. So I grabbed things that appealed to me and just tried things on. Many shops and tops later I purchased 3 tops and went over budget by $20. Now I have clothing to wear for work. I will be working on call with the local school district two days a week while my mom spends time with my son.

black and white top

blue striped shirt

blue patterned shirt

These 3 patterned tops are a break from the usual for me. I have previously been drawn to solid colours with out patterns. Maybe my art is influencing my clothing? I have great shoes I purchased a couple years ago and I just need a sweater of some sort which I can purchase in the future and I am set for work. With these new additions to my closet I am going to attempt to follow the one in one out rule and get rid of at least three clothing items.

As a treat for my husband I cooked dinner the other night and made one of his favourite desserts.


This is a ground beef casserole with corn bread on top. It was tasty and easy to put together and we had all the ingredients at home.

rice crispie cupcakes 

Rice crispy treats that I put into silicon muffin cups. Hubby spotted them and dove in right away. I even made some some mini ones for my son to munch on. He loves them too. I did add some Cheerio's to the mix as well and the excess went into a pan as normal.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Tote Temptation


When I am organized and my home is tidy I feel more comfortable and calm in my home. Lately my home has been decorated by my wonderful 2 year old son. I know he is learning and having a great time. Although the toys underfoot are sometime difficult to cope with.  I have spent plenty of time browsing blogs and websites that offer home organizing tips and most of them recommend having lots of lovely perfectly organized storage totes in the perfect, size, shape and colour to suit your home. You now the ones I mean.


storage tote

Today I almost succumbed to the temptation of buying more totes to achieve that perfect organized home. I resisted even though I desperately want to control a few items that are really bothering me. Later in the day my mom dropped by and we were chatting and she offered me a now unused bed box which will definitely  help tame some things that need to go out of sight.

For me the totes represent something that seems unachievable. A picture of perfection that I am fed by each website and blog I visit offering those endless tips of how to get that picture perfect organized home. For now I will resist the purchase of those tempting totes and continue to use what I have already.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A little happiness in the garden


I love my hen an chick plants and in spring I relocated many of them to different garden beds in my yard. They have really taken off this year. I have been wanting to move a couple more for months now and today finally took the time to do it.


hen and chicks in a tea pot

The cast iron kettle was intended to use on top of the wood stove and we did use it there for a season but it didn’t really add much moisture to the air so it went outside to rust. Here it is filled with soil and a few hen and chicks. I plunked the kettle down on our front step and it makes me happy looking at it. I suppose this connects to my recent posts about more is less and using what we already have. I did buy soil on the weekend that was on sale and I needed it for another pot but I had the kettle and the plants.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Is Less really more in the studio?


Months ago when I started decluttering one of my first stops in the house was my studio. I am lucky to have full use of the third bedroom in our home. I took the room over and have filled it with what feels like a lot of craft supplies. I know if I compare myself to others my collection is small. I have focused on only working in polymer clay and have slowly eliminated other items that I don’t feel I need or may not used in the future. Like other spots in my home I have sold some items and donated others. I have sold packages of blank cards and got rid of beads, jewellery findings tools , and polymer clay beads I made a few years ago. Letting those things go felt really good at the time. I still feel a little closed in by my studio part of that be is also the “dumping ground” in my home. If something doesn’t have a spot to go or its waiting to leave our home it lands on the studio floor.  I think it’s time to revisit my studio and look closely at what I have and see if I have other items that I  can get let go.I have been wanting to invest in better unified storage for my space so that it feels organized and clean. Another idea might be to have less so I don’t need improved storage.

current state of studio

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Continued Home Improvement

A couple years ago we had been given a small wooden sailboat and it sat on a window sill and a week ago were were given a much bigger wooden sailboat and it needed to find a new place to be displayed. I had told me husband I was going to sell or donate them so he put his thinking cap on and came up with this solution.

small boat

big boat

We bought two floating shelves today hubby installed them and now the sailboats can be displayed along with a couple other items.

Continuing with the decluttering theme I have two bags of clothing donations being picked up tomorrow and I have sold two other items.


This painting will be picked up on Thursday and the food mill will be picked up in the morning.

food mill

It feels good to continue the process.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Tonight I Struggled

It was bed time for my son he was worn out and so was I. We got ready for bed as usual jammies , brush teeth and nursing. My wee boy oh he struggled and fought, he resisted every step. He didn't to sleep he asked for Daddy and Opa who are both out of town tonight and he asked for Nana who was sleeping upstairs. He asked to play and for the favourite stuffy who was upstairs. My son asked to go to bed so we did and there he tossed and turned, nursed and kicked, he cuddled and nursed some more. I was loosing patience with my over tired and over stimulated boy. My toddler who I love more then I knew was possible wouldn't calm down and I was wearing thin. Often when he struggles to sleep I give him to Daddy for a bit so I can calm down myself and we try again. Tonight after struggling for over an hour I swaddled my poor tired boy and we rocked and danced and he started to calm down we nursed some more and finally fell asleep. After an evening like this I am physically and emotionally worn out and yet I crave some time on my own. So after my little boy is sound asleep I gently lay him in bed and return to the computer to browse and chat with friends. I watch bad TV and attempt to restore my personal batteries ready for another day with my son who is learning new words every day and amazing us with the words he is stringing together and the connections he is making.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Decluttering my social media

This is now my second attempt at this post it was almost done I was using spell cheque and then I deleted it some how very frustrating.

Several months ago I opened my Facebook page and noticed that I followed well over 1000 pages. I knew immediately that had to change. I followed so many pages on a variety of topics I couldn't see the things I was really interested in. Way to often I was seeing an item I wished I could purchase  and knew I couldn't due to finances and of course decreasing the clutter at home.

So I began the gradual process of un following all the pages that no longer interested me. Initially I had guilt about leaving those pages. I wondered if the pages owners were upset about loosing followers in some case that may be true but I needed to carry on deleting the pages I followed. I have also noticed that I have duplicate pages on my Google Reader. That led me to un following some blogs in Google Reader. Now when I open my reader I see about 40 pages instead of more then 100. This process continues for me . I am finding it tedious so there have been long breaks where I do nothing to change this then I find my motivation again and continue deleting and leaving pages.

It really does feel good to see more on topics I am interested in and experience less urges to buy items I don't need or have room for. I will also admit I spend a great deal of time on the computer some of that time does include chatting with friends especially in the evening when my son is sleeping its my way to connect with adults. I would like to spend less time on the computer and I haven't figured out how to let go of the need to connect. Something I will continue to work on.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

De cluttering the struggle

I have been working on de cluttering and de junking our home now for over 6 months. We have sold and donated bags and boxes of clothing, books, toys, and extra blankets. I have also sorted out my studio and gotten rid of items I don't need or use.

Yesterday I sorted through 6 large storage totes full of my son's out grown clothing filling a single garbage with clothes to donate.  This led to a short conversation with my husband about whether or not we are going to have a second child because of course saving my son's out grown clothing is pointless unless we make that decision. I can't make to that decision so I keep those clothes and toys for the unknown future. How do I know what to keep and what to let go of? I have also learned that it is very easy find used infants clothing and other items so that is little comforting knowing if I get rid of the wrong thing I can replace it with little cost and effort. Yet I can't get rid of any more of mt sweet boys out grown clothes.

I recently went through my son's toys culling the collection. A few things were tossed, donated and put away for a few months to play with later on when he tires of what he has right now. I did this in anticipation of some guests arriving and bringing a small toy store with them. The guests arrived and so did the overwhelming gifts. Some gifts were opened right away and others put away until Christmas. Before our guests arrived with the generous gifts we had just enough space to store wat we already had. Now how do I store the new toys and coome to terms with what I find overwhelming and I'm certain my son does as well. I have a few options one is too keep the unopened gifts and open them at Christmas, I could sell or donate the unopened items and hope when the guests retun they don't notice the missing items and that the scene isn't repeated. I'm sad to say that I know for certain this situation will be repeated and despite our protests and explanations that my son has enough this will happen again.

I feel that I have put a good effort into de cluttering and de junking and yet i feel overwhelmed by too many items and objects in our home. I'm not sure that vetting the kitchen and having less cutlery and plates would be the solution. We entertain often and need the 10 plates and multiple utensils. For the same reason we need the bath and hand towels.

I suppose this is a journey and I am still putting one foot in front of the other walking my way towards the destination which is less clutter in my home.

I have been inspired by The year of less and my friend Deb Groom has started a similar journey which she is documenting here Penny pinched