Rearranging the house, painting furniture, zealous decluttering happening around these parts. And a massive garage sale coming on Saturday morning. It is slow, room by room, drawer by drawer, but the house is getting a huge fresh breath of air. For too long I haven’t wanted to really invest in my home this way because (1) I didn’t *deserve* a big beautiful house and (2) we had (have) no money to do anything major. Ahhh but grace abounds and re-decorating with what I have is free. Besides, selling stuff makes money, and as it turns out my kids love to paint (praise the Lord because I don’t!).
My closet got a makeover as well. First I removed absolutely everything out of it. And then I painted the wall and my husband’s childhood dresser, and then I refused to put anything back in that didn’t fit or made me feel frumpy or was just plain old. Yes, that emptied my closet!! I am slowly filling it with a purchase here and there, and it is amazing how much better it feels to have a small wardrobe and to know everything there will be something nice that fits well. I have the perfect little new dress to wear for my 19th wedding anniversary coming up on Monday.
I love my letter friends and pen pals! It is so nice to get a letter (thank you!) and to carefully pry it loose it during a quiet moment (OR to rip it open in the car outside the post office!). I love just listening to the handwriting and contemplating the words of these other faithful women just making their way like I am. I think every woman needs a letter-writing friend. It fosters slowness. Observation. Exhaling.
I’ve also been journaling, re-creating my habit of writing every day. It’s been like meeting myself, all over again!
Slowly stitching my way across my linen and wool bed cover. I’m working on the border now. A couple of days ago I was threading through the pieces thinking how I need to make more time for this, not just for me but for my children as well. There’s far too much time in academics and chores and I think we need more balance in the visual arts, at least to allow them to express their creative sides more. I tend to worry more about finishing grammar work than if they got anything even remotely related to art begun or finished. I bet we could listen to audio books and whatnot while we worked on projects. I’ll be praying on this while we make out our new autumn schedule.
I did finish my basket! I made it the perfect size for carrying a casserole dish in, and deep enough also for two dishes. My husband said he would make me a little tabletop to separate the two layers. A friend of mine sewed up the liner for me in exchange for herbal tinctures, and we are both very happy with that trade!
The garden is blooming, and it is wonderful to look out the kitchen windows to see the crazy purples and oranges and blues and of course green everywhere. The nice thing is that most of it is just perennials coming back, and I let the surprises just be where they wanted for the most part: poppies in the path, borage throughout, calendula seeding elsewheres. I haven’t even minded the hens coming in. If I have salad greens (and I do!) it is a plus; if I don’t, I figure it’s an excuse to go to the farmer’s market. I have corn, squash, beans, and tomatoes out front this year, too, but I’m not too stressed about keeping the weeds down. Maybe I should be. But I’m not.
Between my road trip with my friend, and the vacation at the beach with my family we just had, I’ve got a little stash of artist playthings going. Wool felt, ribbon, fat quarter fabric, scrapbooking paper, stickers, a rubber stamp, paint. I don’t know what I’m going to do with it all. But right now I am enjoying them all on my desktop, just looking pretty. Maybe inspiration will come.
I’m learning that I don’t need to necessarily have my act together (according to me, my biggest critic) before embarking on creative pursuits. I just need to start them, and to cultivate habit and routine to see them through. The arts can become just another aspect of homelife, weaving in through homeschooling, homemaking, playing and dishes.
What did you like to do when you were young? What arts do you most enjoy? Try a little nibble if you’re feeling a little dry, and maybe that seedbed will stir into something beautiful.