Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Travel Tuesdays. When homekeeping becomes it's own adventure . . .

It's been pretty quiet around here for the last few weeks.

It started with my computer troubles, continued with my bad cold and then became  a little more deliberate as I started my Top Secret project.

Wait, that's not actually true, it really started when my son Morgan got the unexpected opportunity to move in with a friend.

This left a room empty!

In a teeny, tiny house that's pretty exciting stuff, let me tell you! (Cue the wild dancing, whoo hooing and high fiving!!)

The possibilities were endless. I began to dream and scheme.

Turns out Henry was dreaming and scheming as well! He had big plans for that empty space, only his plans were not for Morgan's room but Holly's. Holly lived in an incredibly teeny, tiny room in the basement, but she had a south facing window that lets in light whereas Morgan's window opened out into the crawlspace under the deck. . .

Henry's plan required Holly to move.

After some thought Holly agreed. She would be losing the light but gaining quite a bit more space. The downside to the move though, were the two shades of purple the room had been painted in. Dark purple on the right side of the room (including the ceiling) and light purple on the left. Souvenirs of times gone by when the room had been separated by a divider, allowing two kids minuscule rooms of their own.

So, first things first. Painting, baseboards, sorting and purging, new bedding and decor. . .

It was chaos for a while.

And then Henry changed his mind . . . and that teeny, tiny space became all mine.

It's odd how much something can change in  a few weeks. I knew exactly what I was going to do with the extra space. As a matter of fact I had already begun moving things into Morgan's room before Henry spoke up.

Some how though, in those few weeks, the Top Secret project came into being. No one has been more surprised by it than me! As a matter of fact I still find myself  shaking my head at times and wondering  "Where  in the world did that come from???"

You may wonder what all of this has to do with homekeeping and adventure . . .

It has everything to do with it!

I have never been accused of an organized mind. Or an organized home. On the other hand, I function best in an organized space. And there is nothing more freeing to creativity than a smoothly run home. (At least, that what I've heard . . )

Remember this?

Or this??

How about this???

There has been more purging, painting and decorating going on, with an emphasis on using what I have and getting ruthless with clutter (although the Top Secret project has me very sorry I let some things go during the big summer purge with my friend Joyce, especially some of the fabrics . . .)

I am working on streamlining the basics like house cleaning and meals, with an eye to reducing the number of decisions I have to make in a day.

I don't know about you, but the age old question "What's for dinner?" strikes fear in my heart each and every day! I want to have meals planned ahead of time so the only thing I need to think about when I get out of bed is, "am I going to have oatmeal or toast for breakfast?"

 "Oatmeal." It's always oatmeal.

I want to do a little housework every day with the hope that I won't get overwhelmed and choose do do the fun stuff instead. My normal response to a sink piled with dishes??? " I wonder if there are any good crafts on Pinterest right now?

So. I'm trying to keep my online time limited for the next little while as I try to get into a comfortable, sustainable routine that will allow me plenty of time to work on the things I love guilt free, while still feeding my family and making sure there are always clean towels in the linen closet and clean underwear in the dresser drawers."

I'm only 48. You're never to old to change.


Travel, either at home or abroad is exciting, but sometimes, staying at home, organizing your space, cultivating good habits and making room for new things can be the most exciting adventure of all!

At least, that's what I'm telling myself  while on hands and knees, scrubbing months worth of crud off of floors that don't see a mop nearly often enough. . .

Click to go to Travel Tuesdays Facebook page.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Paperback Pumpkins . . . A Crafty Thursday.

I love Pinterest.

I haven't had much time or a reliable computer lately so I haven't been able to pin much, but I still have plenty of crafty ideas  already pinned and waiting to be made.

It was time to do something about it.

But what to do?

Craft mornings! Actually make some of the things I've pinned and visit with other crafty ladies at the same time. It was perfect!

Our first project? Paperback pumpkins.

I decided to keep things simple. I sent out a call on Facebook telling everyone about my craft morning. It was open to anyone and if the ladies wanted to stay for lunch they could each bring along a little something we could potluck for lunch.

Three lovely ladies showed up and we had a great time making our paperback pumpkins.

Audrey was  extra creative, deciding that a paperback pear would be the perfect accompaniment to her pumpkin.

I can't have company over without doing a little baking first though, so if you are coming to the next craft morning, consider yourself warned. . . I do love a good coffee cake.

Aren't these finished pumpkins sweet?

You've got to love guests who help you clean before they leave . . .

My plan had been to have a craft morning every two or three weeks through the fall and winter but I'm a bit behind on that. (Ahem.)

Once the garden's been put to bed though . . . watch out! I'm going to become a crafty maniac.

Any ideas for our next craft?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Travel Tuesdays. Top Secret

While my computer was down and out with some crazy virus I started a project.

A Top Secret project.

Then I got a cold and everything was put on hold. (That little rhyme was totally on purpose. Really.)

Now the weather man has suggested that we might see snow on Sunday . . .

Whaaaat?! I haven't even  finished putting the garden to bed!!!

So the secret project is on hold for a bit while I do the stuff I have to do rather than the stuff I want to do.

I'll give you a little hint though. . .

It was inspired by this little adventure I shared with my sister Tamara . . .

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Travel Tuesdays. Traveling with Bloggers

Travel with bloggers is somewhat different than traveling with your average companion.

Bloggers look at the world and adventure with a different eye.

Most people travel with the intent to wring as much enjoyment out of their trip as they possibly can.

A worthy goal.

Bloggers on the other hand, travel with the intent to share. They are constantly on the look out for the weird and the quirky. For the newest and best technology they can use to share their adventure with others.

 Their shenanigans can look pretty bizarre odd to outsiders . . .

While in B.C. this summer Tamara and I had an opportunity to hook up with the lovely and talented Donna of Funky Junk fame.

Source    Somehow mine got lost on my phone somewhere!  left to right:  Donna, Rosa Tamara. 

Tamara had done some work with her before and thought my idea of a small blogger adventure sounded like fun. Luckily Donna thought so too and we all agreed to meet up at Granny and Grumpa's Antiques in Abbostford, a place Donna had blogged about in the past.

Just getting there was an adventure, as we found ourselves out in the middle of dairy country convinced we'd gone badly wrong somehow. . .

Until we pulled up to a dairy farm turned antique emporium!

Oh my, oh my.

My heart began to beat faster and my palms started to sweat. There was definite twitching in my nose.

What treasures would we discover here???

Donna drove up and  the fun began in earnest.

First off. . . a quick lesson in technology.

 "All the bloggers are using Instagram these days. Let's all Instagram this little adventure and make sure we hashtag everything the same so people can find us."

"Say whaaat??? I'm working old school  here ladies.  No data plan . . . I'm pay as you go. Pay a lot as you go!! And how in the world do hashtags actually work???"

" You don't have a data plan?!! If you blog you need a  data plan. It's business!" Hmmmmm. . . I never thought of it that way. . .

Teach on Donna! I'm sure I'll remember this for the day I finally get my own data plan. In the mean time I suppose I'll have to shell out a few dollars to play with the big girls. ;D

Have you ever seen three (nearly) middle aged ladies peer at their tiny phone screens?? Or mutter, mumble and jab at one button after another, wrestling with all this newfangled technology???

Snicker. We're thankful you didn't see us.

Tamara, as usual, came dressed for the occasion. There's nothing better than a dress, white jacket and blue heels to pick through dusty 'junk' filled barns.

Of course, if your a blogger, you scorn the boring 'take a picture and describe what you saw' type of blog post. You want to make things happen! Add a little excitement!

A little drama!

We each found fabulous treasures to warm our hearts and empty our pocketbooks. . .

To bad I forgot to take pictures, I was too busy drooling over my amazing deals.

All this bargain hunting made us hungry, so we set of to find the perfect restaurant to refuel our empty tummies.


We proceeded to act like loud giggly teenage girls, moving things around to find the perfect picture, squealing if we got a comment on something posted to Instagram or Facebook and just generally providing free entertainment for the other patrons.

It was a day filled with laughter and one I will always treasure.

Bloggers make fabulous traveling companions. I hope this will be the first of many such adventures.

And because I'm a blogger who loves photography, I had waaay to many pictures for a regular blog post so I've also made a movie to allow you to feel as though you were right there with us.(Can you believe. . . I just backed up all my files and discovered I have 30,000 pictures on my computer! 30,000. That's got to be some kind of typo don't you think??)


Click to go to our Facebook page and tell us about your adventures!

Friday, October 11, 2013

My Computer's got a Bug!

My anti virus has been breached!

Going online at the moment is an exercise in frustration. As my computer guy is out of town at the moment I've decide to give myself a computer break until I can fix things.

I must confess I'm pretty happy about it though. I've got a garden to put to bed, a room to finish painting, what feels like an entire basement to reorganize as Holly moves into Morgan's old room and my stuff moves into Holly's old room. Then there's the cleaning, laundry, bill paying and baking to do.

And Thanksgiving. This weekend it's Thanksgiving and I've decided to treat my self to a reading marathon.

Which will only work if I can stay out of the garden. As I see the glorious day unfolding I'm thinking it might not happen . . .

Play in the garden. . . read a book . . .

Win win no matter what I choose! ;D

Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian readers.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Travel Tuesdays. Saying Goodbye to Minter Gardens.

I have always wanted to visit Minter Gardens.

I've visited my sisters and family in British Columbia many times over the years but never made the time to visit these amazing gardens.

Until this last visit.

Minter Gardens is closing at the end of this season. Somehow I had to find a way to get there. Thankfully my sister  and brother-in-law Sabrina and Rob, her mom Linda and their oh so sweet baby Damian were gracious enough to bring me and my camera for an exciting stroll through the gardens. (Poor souls. Little did they know how often I stopped to take pictures. . . They sent a lot of time sitting on benches. . .)

Grab your coffee or tea and, if you're feeling really decadent, a slice of coffee cake and settle in to enjoy a stroll through Minter Gardens.

I feel so blessed to have been able to see this garden before it closed. If you live in the area and still want to visit they will open until the 14th of October.

Monday, October 7, 2013

When Henry tells me I'm Perfect. . .

I've got the sneaky suspicion he might be stretching the truth.

The day after Ladies Night out. . .

This next one really makes me cringe. . . probably because this isn't a result of the Ladies Night Out. I'm just terrible at keeping up with the laundry . . .

Luckily for me I bought some of Melissa's fabulous cupcakes. Nothing makes the bad stuff disappear like a hot cup of tea and a delicious cupcake. . .

To bad the bad stuff comes right back once the cupcake is gone. . .

Friday, October 4, 2013

A Frosty Morning

I've got quite the to do list today as I get ready for Ladies Night Out tonight.

Planting, pricing and packaging.

Tagging, cleaning and styling.

Well. . . the list just goes on, but I decided to start the day by taking Jada for a walk.

I 'm so glad I did! How had I not noticed  the hoar frost on everything?! I walked Jada as quickly as I could watching the frost melt as we went.

Whew! Still some frosty bits left . . .

Here's a sneak peek. I think these pictures are going to get
a video of their own.

Maybe next week. . .

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

We do Nothing in our Own strength . . .

It's exciting, crazy times here as Holly and I get ready for this Friday's Ladies Night Out.

We are teaching two classes, Terrariums and Clay Tags, as well as having a table filled with concrete leaves, terrariums and an assortment of other items we've been working on for all the ladies to peruse.

I am blessed with a husband who just wants me to do what makes me happy. (with the occasional load of laundry!)

However, if I only did what makes me happy, which is to create beautiful things, our tiny house would be filled to bursting in no time. This gives me a reason to create beautiful things for others to enjoy and if I was able to just give these things away, it would make for a simple and rather laid back life.

Since we aren't independently wealthy, I have to find another way to do things.

That's how my gardening business Growing Wisdom and now Whimsey Design's vintage and garden inspired goods came into being. If I can earn money sharing my garden knowledge and pretty handmade things I can dream and create everyday without resorting to mac and cheese for supper every night. 

Running a business requires a pretty extensive set of skills, several of which do not come naturally! Organization and consistent bookkeeping being at the top of the list.

Stuff like that can keep me up at night as I wander around online or hit the library searching for the knowledge I lack. I have become acutely aware of my strengths and weaknesses.

 Every so often the enormity of what I'm trying to do causes me to break out in a cold sweat . . .

How thankful I am that I'm not doing this in my own strength . . .

Philippians 4:6-7 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (NIV)

And then there's my family . . .

They cheerfully pitch in and help out with whatever mad scheme I've got going. Most of the time.
Frequently Once in a blue moon they'll roll their eyes, sigh, turn off my computer and lead me to bed, reminding me that tomorrow's another day.

Every once in a while I'll listen to them.

© A Life of Whimsey