Sunday, 5 February 2012

Changing perspectives.

Well, ahem! Yes, there have been a few changes around here. I have simplified, much like in life. Back to the essentials. Deciding what's important. Not to put too fine a point on it... clearing out!
It is fun to take car loads to the charity shops, to send precious bits and pieces to friends who will gain pleasure from a surprise parcel, to make decisions about displaying my absolute favourite things.
Stitching continues in the background, but here too I am making decisions, paring down my work, there's some way to go but I am enjoying the process. This piece was finished before Christmas..
 The beautiful boy also completed a gift for daddy...
 Badger lives with the boy at daddy's house but comes to hog our stove from time to time..
 In keeping with tradition we walked in the year on a crisp January day...
 and now all of a sudden here we are in February and all is turned to white! Which is a wonderfully helpful prompt!
 ..because long ago I promised a book giveaway thanks to the lovely people over at Ryland Peters and Small.
 I was sceptical. Any of you who have read my words in various magazines will know that I have never liked brilliant white in my homes and so I was likely to be a tough critic of this book. Pale, to me, was not the least interesting!
 In fact this book has been a revelation. I enjoyed the peacefulness within it's pages. The way that precious objects rest within the spaces and are able to be enjoyed unhindered by jazzy decor and heavy colours.  The boy and I were especially drawn to the pages showing displays of nature finds, a passion we share.
And the juxtaposition of white and salvaged and natural materials took the edge off of the clinical coldness I had always associated with white walls...
 All of which has helped us to settle more into our little white cottage! Once the builders had finished their dastardly deeds the entire cottage needed a lick of paint. Budget and time meant the simplest solution was gallons and gallons of trade white. Having read this book I took time to look more openly around our little home. In the guest room treasured quilts, a polished oak floor and some of Bertha's old utility furniture...
 Elsewhere colourful china, books and more warmth from polished wood
 Nature finds simply displayed...
 and of course there is always colour to be found in the workroom!
I am enjoying this process of rebuilding a simpler space. Within a canvas of white and wood there are colours and textures and nature treasures and finally our cottage is beginning to feel like our home. Which I think is as much about a change of perspective as it is to do with whatever colour there may be on the walls.
So. As with any lovely things I am sent I always like to pass them on to my readers. So if you would like to receive this copy of Pale and Interesting by Atlanta Bartlett and Dave Coote, which I have found a delicious read, then the question is... aside of family and friends, what is the special thing that makes your house feel like home? As usual we will read all the answers and choose our favourite. I am really looking forward to this one!
And in case any of you are worried by the weather reports and concerned for our well-being out here in the frozen East... please don't worry! We have panic-shopped for essential provisions!
All's well! Back in a week or two and looking forward to hearing all your wisdom as ever! t.xxx

30 comments:

Thefabricofmylife said...

Gorgeous photos T, really lovely to see you and the beautiful boy settling into your new(ish) home. I too need to streamline my belongings so that I can appreciate the very best of the things I have instead of living in the eternal clutter!!! However saying that it is the clutter that makes my home a home (I just need less of it!!) x

Lottie said...

What a fabulous and warm and loving home you have created. You have worked so hard in the past months and what a HUGE difference you have made.

Having downsized out of necessity over the years, I have discovered that it's not the possessions you have - if they have to go, they have to go - it's starting afresh - sorting out what really makes you feel happy in your home, and surprisingly it's often the small things with happy memories that, when you walk through the door after a hard day, your eyes alight on something special - like the sea shells, and memories of where you got them (I have some similar but not as many) little 'found' things, from field sales, charity shops, colourful knick-knacks, and oh that stunning quilt.

It's a cheerful home sunshine and joy - it must melt away all life's challenges once you walk through that door!

Have a wonderful 2012

Planet Penny said...

Love the new look! We went foe the 'Trade White effect (do you think Farrow and Ball' have a name for that? after a house fire when it was the only antidote to 'burnt rubber black', and now I find it's perfect for showing off all manner of OTT rainbow creations! The only things we really need to make our house a home is a warm fire, with tabby cat and a small dog toasting their tummies!
Penny x

xx Nicki (home bird)xx said...

I'm so pleased to hear that you're settling into your new life and you're blogging again. I am looking forward to seeing more of your creations and more of your lovely home.

My little cottage is freezing and so the stove makes it feel like home. If I'm warm, I'm happy! xx

vintagerockchick said...

Having had a brief dalliance with lime green walls and an orange front door (in my defence, I was newly re-single, and it was a knee jerk reaction!, I am now firmly in favour of white walls to act as a canvas for my unmatched cushions, collections of books, CD's, vintage diamante necklaces and other charity shop pretties. I live alone so it's 'stuff' that makes it home for me - especially old family photos, and a treasured heart cushion my sister made for me (even more precious now, as you can imagine. Hope the snow doesn't melt before you've eaten all the teacakes x

manu said...

Beautiful pics!
Have a nice week

Jo Milnes said...

I love the new look and think that the white background makes it easier to appreciate all the little treats dotted around. What makes a house a home for me are all the opportunities - I can do what I like there - sew until midnight, or bake myself crazy, or talk nonsense to the cat. Each time you open the door you choose!

Jx

Things Hand Made said...

how lovely to see you back. cant wiat to hear more

Frances said...

I do like the look of your white background...I'm always struck by how beautiful it can been outdoors after newly fallen snow. Nature gives good tips to our creative impulses.

Please do post again soon. It's grand to see your embroidery, and how that home becomes more and more cozy.

Best wishes!

Elyse said...

lovely post and lovely review! i am an admirer of atlanta's style and would like to be entered in your giveaway if it is open internationally (i'm in the u.s.).

thank you for the opportunity!

happy february

xo
elyse

MelMel said...

Hello, great to read an update, so pleased that things are going well for you!

I'm over in Suffolk at the end of February, so looking forward to the break, hope the snow won't linger!

Keep warm!

Melx

pinkgreen said...

I'm trying to declutter too - it is very therapeutic taking things to charity shops and clearing space. Your home looks lovely. I think the thing that makes a home special is a dog by the fire (although mine does soak up all the warmth by positioning his huge body between me and the fire!). XX

Anonymous said...

For about 6months we've been working on down sizing. Still have a ways to go but it feels great. I like my home for being able to be creative and the warmth I feel when I come home. It feels like a warm blanket has been wrapped around me and I'm safe from the sadness of the world and stress. Judy
Judyk2310@yahoo.cm

Lynne said...

I can empathise with everything you've said about white homes ...and yet.....and yet...we live in a very old cottage - low ceilings with beams, small windows, you know the kinda thing .. and I crave LIGHT!

Our home has gone thorugh many incarnations from chintz to Indian festival! But now I have decided to go WHITE and let the fabrics and books do the talking. We are slowly working out way through the place room by room, and it does really help with bringing the light in. Mr G will not hear of painting the beams white, so I'm not pushing that, but the rest of it looks good. And so does your place. Though I wonder how long it will take you to feel, like me, that a splash of colour..'just there' might be just the thing! Lovely post.

gill said...

I agree with Lynne - our home too tends to be dark so I have to use a lot of light colours - I'm not a fan of white so I tend to use 'magnolia' type colours!
The one thing that makes our house a home apart from family is my beloved old Aga - the house is always warm and welcoming thanks to the old beast!

dosierosie said...

We are going for lighter colours around the house now but I haven't gone for white as yet.
The things that makes our house home to me is our books. Nearly every room in the house has a book case but the one in the lounge is the largest and I love it.
Gillx

Pearly Queen said...

Actually, I think it's the clutter of my past life that makes my house feel like home to me...

Nostalgia at the Stone House said...

Hey T! Lovely to see you back on the blog scene! ;-))

Thank you again for the gorgeous gift from your de-cluttering frenzy! ;-))
A very welcome surprise parcel indeed. :)

Many of the walls in our home are painted white...not 'pure brilliant', but usually with a slight hint of something else...the rooms never feel clinical or cold. For me its the fabrics that bring personality and life to our home...vintage fabrics of course...they have already stood the test of time and a few holes patched up with pretty florals just adds to the character...Ryland Peters and Small produce some wonderful books...I am a fan, but don't actually have the one you've reviewed...Please add me to the competition.

Your home is looking wonderful - so glad you are settled and enjoying the fun faffing bit now! ;-))

Take care - Love to BB,
Niki xx

Criossa said...

We are also trying to simplify and de-clutter. Except for our books. I have 2 beautiful babies left in the house with me (the others are grown and on there own). And our home is always crazy but we take time everyday to have a story. The pillows and afghans get dragged to the bookcases and it gets all quiet. And Fluffy and Noodle do not fight or argue. And they listen as I read a story or a chapter. It has been a tradition for nearly 20 years. I can not imagine our home without our (not so little) collection of books. I will cry a bit when my youngest moves on (at least 18 years from now) But tonight we added a new member to our reading time. As I not only read to my babies but got to listen to my wonderful (Auntie) Fluffy as she read to her niece tonight. Funny even at 8 months my grand daughter sat as quiet as can be and listened with wide eyes as she sat in my lap with (Auntie) Noodle...it was a memory to treasure :)

Hesperus said...

The best thing about white is the way it shows everything else off to its best advantage...I especially love the bright bedspread. For me home is my books, I have accrued a ridiculous amount over the years and have to be ruthless with myself and only keep those that I love. It's my life on a shelf (shelves!)and I can time travel back to the first time I read each one every time I pick one up. The only problem is running out of space...a kindle is most definately not an option!

MarmaladeRose said...

The things that make my house a home are all the items I've made myself. Cushions I've sewn, crochet blankets and patchwork quilts, pot holders, embroidered pictures, they all hold memories of how and where they were made. I see them and remember who I was with when I found that special fabric or who gave me the buttons used on a cushion cover. I can either pick up, sit on or wrap myself in these memories. hmmm...home. x

Country Cottage Chic said...

I keep thinking that I need to clear out a lot of stuff too - luckily I have the fairs, jumbles & unit at the antique centre where I can sell them...if I ever actually get around to doing it that is....

I think pets make a home - there's always someone pleased to see you when you come home & they are more than happy to oblige with a cuddle too....and you don't feel quite as batty talking to them as you would if you were talking to yourself!

It seems your boy is taking after you - great work!

Lynne said...

Books, ah, books! They have been part of the de-cluttering problem; I can't let go. We have shelves of books in every room in the house bar the loos. When de-cluttering the porch - a tiny little space, walls lined with sagging shelves full of....you guessed it!

I decided to be bold, and cleared FOUR large boxes of books out to charity shops/ recycling centre. And there are still 5 newly-painted white shelves full of the left-overs! We love books, and ours span our lifetimes, but sometimes they can pin you down. I feel hugely better for letting them go, I can tell you!

Footpather said...

I love colour and have always hated the 'magnolia' look but a couple of years ago I wanted to bring more light into the room so chose two shades of grey. The darker one went under the dado rail and the lighter one is almost white and is the perfect backdrop for any brighter colours.

As for what makes this a home...hmmmm.... it has to be our two dogs who love to snuggle up on a quilt on the sofa with one of us. Talking of sofas they are our other great homely comfort. Two of them bought on Ebay for £127 some years ago they are sooooo comfy.

Anonymous said...

I like your new look, it's still you but more open in a way. You seem to have gone into a new phase of your life.

Glynis said...

The special things that I think make my house feel like home to me are the things that my (now grown up) children made and can be found dotted around & things that I kept from my grandparents home that have great sentimental value too.
Having moved home again just a couple of years ago meant a big decluttering but those things all came with me!
And I am a great lover of the pale and interesting look (I've done the terractotta walls - don't think I'll be doing that again!!!)

Karen, Surrey said...

It's so hard to say what makes my home so special. My Labrador? My cats? The dresser with my growing collection of Brixton Pottery? The special things also change don't they season by season. A jug of garden flowers in the summer, the indoor bulbs coming up just now. It's hard to pin it down. As long as it feels right it's home I guess.

It's great to hear you back on here, and to hear how things have evolved, and the changes you've made. Life does not stand still for any of us, we are evolving and changing all the time. (gosh that's all gone a bit deep!).

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