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It has been a busy month packing and moving and … not really unpacking yet. Our new house is still under partial renovation, and this has forced us to live off the “first couple of days” supplies for almost 3 weeks now. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for minimalism and living off what you have with humility and resourcefulness, but I am also ready to find the last kitchen box with the coffee in it…

This prolonged wait has had a number of challenges (beyond the coffee jar), and some not so unexpected benefits. Among them, the time to think, dream, plan before putting anything into action. Time to think and plan seems like such a luxury lately, in times of perpetual rushing and winging dinners while still exploring the best options for shopping and time management in a new environment. So, until I can line my bookshelves along the wall and start filling them with books, I sit, and wait, and think, and dream of ways to sort and make beautiful. And make lists, of course! I am very pleased with how productive and creative this waiting and dreaming has been. Hopefully soon you too will hear and see all about it!

Random photos above: Skid, daydreaming with me :: color and pattern inspiration :: pretty flowers on my way to work :: blocks lined up, or order in the midst of chaos

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One of my favorite spaces in the new house is a small nook off the kitchen. It is small enough to fit a table and 4 chairs, but it is by a big window, complete with prime squirrel viewing, has its own heating and thermostat (scary thought, considering the winters here), and it has quickly become a happy place of family togetherness.

Naturally, I made sure to fill it with color and fun things to keep everyone happy and interested during meal times. Toys and books have a permanent place on the window sill. Coasters are also a must, as the only table that would fit is actually a rather ugly plastic work table.

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The walls were closing in on me bare, so I enlisted the boys’ help and we made a large mural with a magical village (sorry about the odd lines in the photo, some kind of camera malfunction.)

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Aaaargh! I am turning into my aunt, who always put tea towels on the wall 🙂 In fact, I really like the reminder of her quirky habit. The birds are hers, the fish are from my mum’s collection. I remember the times, all through up to my college years, when a colorful tea towel was a must for the Christmas list for both my mum and my aunt. I don’t buy them any more, but I still enjoy being surrounded by the ones we gathered all these years. Oh, the excitement of shopping for and giving them away!

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Here is another shot of the table with two older projects, a set of table coasters and some cloth napkins I made several years ago.

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At 2 1/2, the boys have fully transitioned away from having a nap during the day, which is not as healthy for them (I fully believe in the power of siesta) but I have to admit it is great for me! By 7 pm they are sound asleep, and I get some time to myself. This is largely craft time or rest time, and it manifests in small details around the house. In the interest of keeping some kind of record for past projects, which is mainly what this blog is all about, here are a few, in no particular order:

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I tied a ping pong ball, after I painted a few flowers on it, at the end of a silly string that turns the kitchen light on and off. The loose string was driving me crazy every day!

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Clothesline basket (temporarily head cover). I really enjoyed making this project, and plan to make more baskets, perhaps after I paint the clothesline first.

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Cozy corner in the bedroom. In fact, it is actually behind Sunny, but cats always make things even cozier, don’t they?

IMG_8304Cheap yellow bucket for our toothbrushes, enhanced with some flower doodles.

Banner over the boys’ beds. Another cheerful project, intended to add some color to the horrid dark grey the boys’ room is painted in. I will show more on the boys’ space in a future post, lots of fun things happening there!

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My favorite colors are green and blue, preferably together. There are lots and lots of green and blue pairs of things around the house, and that was also the case of our main snuggle spot in the house: a large mattress covered with pillows, where many of our games and naps take place.

Yesterday I felt very much in a rut, ready for spring and some bright colors. The fastest way to fix that seemed to change the pillows. So I eliminated all greens and blues, and used some of my most favorite fabrics in my stash choosing from among pinks and oranges. Most of our pillows now are with fabrics directly from India, but there is also that shiny floral in the middle, made with a Chinese fabric my niece brought for me in one of her travels. The brightest of them all, bottom left, comes from a dress (size xxl, I believe) I found at Goodwill – I love buying fabric by the pound 🙂

Keeping things simple and quick, they are all made “envelope style”, where the fabrics overlap a bit at the back of the pillow. With yet another blizzard coming our way spring is a long way away on the outside world, but things are already blooming in our house!

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I went to Home Depot the other day, just wandering around for inspiration. I came home with plenty of both, materials and inspiration. My first project was some canvas storage bags for all the soft, bulky items we all have around the house. Soft toys, yarn, socks… they all found a home, in style.

The process was very simple: I lined a table or the floor with some paper to protect from spillage, spread canvas (I used the cheap one used to protect floors when painting the walls) and then L and I painted / splashed / dabbed with color. I was in a blue and white mood, so we kept the colors simple. The large piece of canvas we made was enough for 3 bags, so I divided it in equal pieces and just sewed around the edges. Then, to create a wide base, I folded the corners and sewed along the crease there as well. Done!

I also picked up some paint chips during my inspiration trip, with no specific project in mind. The first thing I made with them were small open boxes, which I then held together with some pretty duct tape (another Home Depot score I couldn’t resist!) I plan to use them for organizing the tiny scraps of fabric that come out of other projects: I have plans for all those little triangles and rectangles from trimming corners and seams!

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