We've been in our home, our very first 'own' home, for almost eight months. When I mentioned this to my husband yesterday his immediate response was "No, it can't be...can it?"
Incredible isn't it? All that time spent saving for a deposit and then looking for a house which would suit our needs at this stage of life - it seemed endless and often frustrating when we were going through it - yet here we are, eight months along and still finding our home-owner feet.
We had rented all our adult lives and when you do that for more than three decades there's a particular mindset which has carved itself into the way you live, the way you plan or look at things in the home. There's a hesitancy to make changes, internal shudders when the vacuum cleaner hits the door and leaves a gouge, mental pressure to always keep things as perfect as possible...and you're always counting down the weeks until the next quarterly house inspection.
My mind has been very ..s..l..o..w..l..y.. removing those thought processes and replacing them with enthusiasm to change and confidence to express myself genuinely within our walls. My husband on the other hand accomplished those changes rather quickly in comparison to me.
Whilst our focus recently has been on the January monsoon repairs, now that the ceiling, laundry and roof have been completed I had a deep need to make changes in my sewing room - as it's my place of work.
Last year Rosie and I had discussed the notion that the best way to freshen up a room and keep only what you need/want/love was to remove everything and slowly bring back only that which truly meets this criteria.
So this past week that's exactly what I did, removing everything which wasn't nailed down or attached. My hallway, bedroom and living room were taken over with 'stuff' and little by little I cleaned, sorted and considered how to utilise this work space to best advantage whilst also making it a joy to be in.
Hubby asked if there was anything I needed to make the room more practical and in response to my need for better storage solutions (after I removed a set of totally impractical drawers) he bought and assembled a wonderful set of deep and wide drawers. Just one drawer alone was able to hold neatly everything I'd kept in all six drawers of my old chest.
There's a lovely ease to the room now and I feel refreshed of mind and spirit, ready to finish new designs which had been left uncompleted due to the frustration of my environment as well as health and family time constraints.
What to hang on the walls? That was not an easy choice to make as there are many projects which had been packed away when we moved and not seen the light of day since...but as I removed each one from their various storage containers I found it surprisingly easy to choose after all.
It was also lovely to display some special gifts along the shelving, like that beautiful cross stitched sheep (above) which Jan Skinner made me many years ago.
My basket of applique scraps is now right above the sewing table where I can take it down to sort for just the right fabric in new designs...
...and my beautiful shelving unit has been scrubbed and the fabrics refolded. I also removed and donated any materials I don't want or need.
The ELEFANTZ sign was a gift from Fee way back in 2010. Isn't it the prettiest thing? I love that it has a place to be displayed now.
The adjustable table Mr E bought me for Christmas is now facing the opposite direction so when I do my morning Bible study inside or plan the working week ahead I can look out at the wild birds which frequent the native Grevilleas planted along the fence line. Before this the table faced the house next door and I really don't want to watch other people on their balcony so this new layout is fabulous.
I'm considering looking for some pretty second hand sheets to use as decorative curtains because I do think they'd be prettier than the solid white drapes which hang in front of the sheers.
And I want to make a jelly roll rug for the floor as well, but all in good time. For now my sewing room is perfect as it is and brings me joy.
The blue and white chest of drawers you can see in one of the top photos will be spray painted in white semi-gloss next week as its not been touched since we bought it eight years ago at a garage sale. I use the top of it as my sewing room ironing board and the drawers hold things like craft rulers, quilt hangers, Blossom's vast beading supplies, and small gifts for giving. I'd considered donating it and buying something new but then those words God whispered in my ear late last year came back..."Use what you already have".
So this entire exercise of change and order in the room cost us one set of extremely useful drawers and a can of white spray paint yet to be purchased. I was also able to gift many fabrics, supplies and ornaments to the local Salvation Army op-shop.
Knowing that I can keep this room the way I want and even bang in a few nails here and there to hang new things I may make in years to come has helped me overcome that old 'renter' mentality and given me the confidence to approach each room in our home with the same care, thought and delight.
Small steps at the right time. No rush. But there are plans forming...
God bless you precious one and may your day be one of delights and joys which surprise you, moments which remind you that God loves you more than your mind can possibly comprehend, and ideas which spark fresh creativity.