Saturday, 30 April 2011

Step One: Re-branding my Life.

I've decided to embrace the fickle weather, forget the washing and sit in our sunny, new studio to write. What's this, you ask? A sunny new studio?
A couple of weeks ago, driven by my covetous feelings for Anna Maria Horner, (see last post) and a little girl who woke up every time we went to bed and thought that, judging by all the movement around her, it must be play time, I had a stroke of genius. Re-branding. Without so much as a hammer and nail, we turned our 2 bedroom home with a sunroom into a 3 bedroom home with a studio. Now, doesn't that sound BIG! And all it took was the sacrifice of a dining room. (I say 'all it took' but this involved a lot of discussion in my head weighing up the importance of the table in a home and whether my children would still grow into mature adults if we ate dinner in the lounge room - as debates in my head often go.)

So here it is! The dining room becomes a lounge room, the lounge - our new studio (Tim wanted to call it the factory, but I said Anna Maria would never have a factory.) Our dining table is on the left, sprawled with my creativity (but still able to be used as a dining table when the desire arises) and Tim's desk is on the right. Then through the door (the old office) is Eve's very own bedroom!
Isn't it so beautiful and light and open? Helped of course, by this perfect time of year when we can open the curtains in the afternoon to let the sun in, rather than trying to keep it out.
Re-branding only took 2 days of reshuffling and some peanut butter cookies as payment to some very helpful friends. Then, just add a throw over the chocolate-stained cream chair, a quick vacuum and some afternoon light and you have the home you always dreamed of!

Friday, 22 April 2011

Selling my life to myself.

A couple of weeks ago, I was reading a blog by Anna Maria Horner,  artist, fabric designer, seamstress and mother extraordinaire. I probably should have just sat and drunk my morning coffee on the back verandah instead. She has 6 kids, she makes beautiful things, she has a new studio, she takes photos of her lunch. Her life is perfect. I love her. But on this day she just made me feel small. My small house, my small kids, my small amount of kids (which the thought of increasing makes me feel completely overwhelmed). I decided I couldn't just mope. I needed to at least hang out the washing at the same time. And while hanging out the washing, with the lovely autumn sun on my back, I thought, 'Of course her life isn't perfect. Maybe she just has to make it look like that because she's selling her life. Her name is her brand.'

A few years ago we went on a trip around Eastern Europe. We stopped in Croatia for a few days in the beautiful town of Dubrovnik. It was awful. It rained the whole time. We were camping in this overpriced, rocky campsite. These Polish people camped so close to us that our ropes crossed over, and they stayed up talking till 3am. Because it was raining, we had to spend the whole time in doors, which usually meant caf├ęs, which usually meant spending money. Tim and I argued a lot about spending money. But this one day, it was fine enough for us to walk around the old city walls. The photos we got were amazing. Deep purple clouds, rich terracotta roofs, the Adriatic sea crashing into the strong walls. And now, whenever these photos show up on our screen saver, I look at them and sigh nostalgically, "Croatia was sooo beautiful..."

Anyway, hanging out the washing that day, thinking about Anna Maria and the Adriatic coast, it occurred to me that maybe I could sell my life to myself. I could take beautiful pictures of my washing hanging in the sun, and my chickens scratching in the garden and my baby girl giggling because I'm changing her nappy (Wow, my life sounds good already, don't you think?) and convince myself that this is the life I really want, right here where I am now.

So I'm going to write a blog about funny things my son says, about beautiful things I get to sew on daycare days, about everything that's good about getting the washing done, and maybe some reflections about life and motherhood, because hey, as soon as you start a blog, you have to be an expert on something, right?
And if you start to feel small when you read my blog, just remember, my life isn't always like this. I'm just trying to sell myself a brand. But forgive me if I don't tell myself that.