I’m still drifting through life. Actually its a mad scramble but I dont know why, and I dont seem to be acheiving anything much at any point… I dont even have time to worry much about the point of it all, I just keep going & hope it will come clear to me sometime.
In the spare scraps of time, I’m finally getting around to making proper grown-up curtains for the living area. They’re a heavy oatmeal coloured cotton canvas. I’m very pleased with them. I’m getting towards the end of another peggy-square blanket. Just sewing the bits altogether. If my eyesight in the evening light was a bit better & I wasn’t so tired -it would be so much faster. I’ve finished Helen Macdonald’s ‘H is for Hawk’. A really good read. About birds & wild things & grief & finding your place in the world. And that’s lead me back to TH White, which I read 100 years ago but luckily kept the book. ‘The sword in the stone’ is very funny & very clever.
I’m a bit lost without my tv fix each week. Especially when there is SO little on to watch let alone inspire. Home renovation programs keep me going mostly -with gorgeous George or my good friend Kevin!
But lately I’ve become engrossed in an aussie series ‘Offspring’. About a mad, badly behaved, hopelessly unadjusted family. So – just like the rest of us really -but with better clothes & hair. It has me laughing at the tv often. Its a gentle portrayal of how we struggle through our everyday lives & find something in the midst of it to make it all worthwhile. And as a counterpoint to that I’ve discovered Mary Beard. She’s a Cambridge professor who has been presenting a tv series on ancient Rome. She pretty fab. In her 60′s & she absolutley doesn’t have better clothes & hair -but she’s not your Nana that’s for sure. She enjoys herself hugely -& fits into that classic role of the great british eccentic. So for my next ultimate dinner party -Nina Proudman & Mary Beard will be top of the guest list.
This is interesting for me -I’ve always thought the best thing about the shop is my interactions with people. I love those random conversations with random people. On a good day the conversation goes on all day with different people coming & going through it. I love that there is no ‘commitment’ to the conversation -we talk about anything & everything or nothing, we laugh & we cry -sometimes we even hug -with strangers.
Of course often the strangers become friends.
Its late winter -early spring really because the bulbs are all up & starting to flower, but there is no spring warmth out there yet. So I seem to be spending more time reading (apart from making curtains & updating stuff around the house). I found Natalie Chanin’s book at the library. So wonderful. She’s a very clever girl. And so generous in her attitude of sharing all of that. I love the idea of being able to make stuff without hauling the machine out. I have grand intentions of starting with a wee hat. My problem is -I use dark fabric & dark thread & at night cant see a damn thing…
I’ve always scapbooked. LOVE magazines -admit to being a magazine hoarder -just one of the things… Anyway I dont have the time or focus these days. But god bless phones. Like everyone in the modern world I suppose -I use my phone camera to snap pics of things to remind myself. Its a version of my old scrapbooks. Some things just take my eye -somethings should go into my ‘project in progress’ file. Really they all just sit in the phone. The top pic is an idea for me to merchandise & sell some bulbs & pots in the shop -very simple & effective. I think the middle pic just caught my eye -the styling is so nice & those lovely still life paintings. The bottom one is Sibella Court’s shop in Melbourne. I love the typography/signwriting on the old saw -its an idea in progress.
And this way I dont have to cut it out, sort it out, stick it in & file it. Yay.
Just one post this month. Work keeps piling up & somehow -although I’m crazy busy, I dont seem to make any progress. I’m beginning to think I just DO have too many jobs. But that’s small self-employed business people -right?!!
Its also the downside of winter. And although its not been very cold -its been very wet & dark. We are weather obsessed here. If its westerly blowing rain, the shop roof leaks -lets throw that into the mix too.
Friends & family coming & going. The garden has to look after itself. We’re supposed to be doing some forward planning for the shop for xmas. When is that ever going to happen…
I keep thinking that if I dropped most of my ‘design & craft’ projects for the shop -I would probably cope fine. BUT that’s what makes the shop interesting & different & adds to the soul of it. That’s a big BUT.
Running away for the day should help -a lovely day at ‘the Mount’. And a bit of mindfulness would be good -a lovely winters evening with winter trees as I wait in the parking-lot for Martin at the end of the day. The garden in winter is always special -the spent heads of the hydrangeas. Its enough.
As this blog is supposed to be all about the shop -I need to remember to include it. It is lovely space -a fantastic wide window flooding the area with light.
The constant battle is to keep it perfectly merchandised & not cluttered. Always tempting to just squeeze a few more bits in… The photos are a good way of looking at it from a critical perspective -at an emotional distance.
I have been thinking a lot lately about what makes a house -a home. And in terms of great space to spend time in. Obviously -rugs, throws, cushions. Ambient lighting -table lamps. Books! Artwork -and that can be very hand/home-made. Texture & colour. Window trims -curtains or blinds. Both Tammy & I have a passionate aversion to short curtains. They mostly ALWAYS need to be floor length people!
So the gap month is finally over -life hopefully goes back to normal. Just the usual drama’s like the washing machine packing up, emergency trips to the dentist… Life!
It was a kind of progressive holiday -:
So we had almost a week at the beach. Lovely warm weather, major tree pruning. For some reason every man & his dog has decided that this strip of coast is a main highway. Most days people driving up & down it, because they cant be arsed to walk -I suppose? And for some reason they think the rest of us want to spend our recreational time in an area that looks like a racetrack/carpark -staggering over the huge ruts they make in the sand. To say nothing of the damage to the native plants & birds. Go figure?! And for some reason no one with any authority seems to want to do anything about it… although it is illegal…
And then a few days with one of my besties -Janine, who has just moved to Mangawai. I love northland -the heady smell of the manuka & the sea air.
And then somewhere new -Kakahi. Gorgeous king-country. Alpine river bush. A spot of trout fishing, a spot of bush walking.