I am very pleased to unveil a new series, Enchanted Spaces, which is all about perceiving space in a more magical way. I’m in the middle of tidying and revamping my house, and will focus on a concept from a different fantasy novel for each room. Bear with me here: I’m not a designer or a photographer, just a girl with a passion for re-imagining space. First up: the living room.
I have also been changing up the rooms of my home to reflect different climates. The feel for my living room is desert. I had considered doing a before and after picture, but the problem with this was that I am a firm advocate in slow decorating and wabi sabi.
Slow Decorating is a concept I got from a lovely book called Simple Matters, although I am not sure that she uses the term by name. The idea is to buy simple, quality pieces that will stand the test of time and not to rush one’s decorating or to follow a trend. Think of a simple, quality, shaker-style wood dresser found at a thrift store that will never go out of style.
Wabi Sabi is a Japanese concept based on three principals:
- Nothing lasts.
- Nothing is finished.
- Nothing is perfect.
Think of a beautifully simple old cracked pot that has many stories to tell. That’s Wabi Sabi. Pinterest is full of examples.
So, needless to say, there was no “drastic makeover” to show. The room is tidier and cleaner, things are in slightly different places, and I swapped a few things from my bedroom and this room. Most of the belongings I have I accumulated slowly over a long period of time; some actually belonged to my mother and grandmother and even my great-grandmother (for more on my “stuff story” read this post). The only new items I acquired for this reveal were a tapestry of my mom’s that my sister gave me as it didn’t match her stuff and a beautiful tree branch that I found on a walk.
The concepts of slow decorating and wabi sabi reminded me a of the book (and film) Tuck Everlasting, which is precious if you haven’t read/seen it. It is about a family that doesn’t age, and about the importance of growth, change, and the juxtaposition of life and death. In particular, I thought of this quote:
“Everything’s a wheel, turning and turning, never stopping. The frogs is part of it, and the bugs, and the fish, and the wood thrush, too. And people. But never the same ones. Always coming in new, always growing and changing, and always moving on. That’s the way it’s supposed to be. That’s the way it is.” ― Natalie Babbitt,
My husband recently asked me why I read the same books over and over again. I explained to him that it wasn’t the books that changed; it was me. Therefore, I perceived the books differently and picked up different things about them. Similarly, I don’t look for drastic changes in my spaces, but as I change, I pick up different nuances, swap a coat of paint, add a new pitcher from a trip, take out that shelf that no longer speaks to me.
So you see, to me a space is something that is never remaining the same, but always evolving, moving, changing, and being re-imagined and perceived differently. It is a sense of growth that really makes a place interesting, but slow growth. I want my spaces to grow with me, neither faster nor slower than my own personal journey, because they are a part of me and a reflection of my own life story.
Any thoughts about your relationship to space? What does your space say about you, or what would you like it to say?
I’ve felt very inspired lately. I always keep a notepad on my bedside table just in case. It sure beats tripping over stuff in the middle of the night trying to find paper.
Well, I was trudging through a pretty dreadful Monday this week when my phone buzzed and I received a notification that Marigold Blooms of By the Wayside had nominated me for The Black Cat Blue Sea Award. What a lovely surprise!
The Black Cat Blue Sea Award is given to bloggers who have written something that appeals to a wide audience and has had the power to move a reader, inspire or just make them smile.
The Rules Are:
- Anybody nominated can nominate up to eight other bloggers.
- The nominee answers three questions posed by the nominator.
- The questions you ask while nominating can be any three questions.
- If any of the questions asked are offensive or the nominee simply does not want to answer, the nominee does not have to answer them to earn the award.
1. What in the last month has touched or inspired you the most?
Michelle Obama’s speech on women. I almost didn’t watch it because I knew it was part of a campaign speech, but I decided to give it a listen after a good friend promoted it and I was deeply moved. Sometimes great wisdom can be found in unexpected places.
2. Is there a book you read recently that you especially enjoyed? Share! Or what is your favorite book or author?
“Enjoyed” is an interesting word. I’ve recently pulled on some galoshes and sludged my way through Joseph Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces. And boy am I glad I did! It’s one of those books that I knew “in theory” but had never sat down and given a close read. It’s a dense but incredibly insightful look at the power of storytelling and the psychological impact it has had for thousands of years.
3. What advice would you give your younger self?
It is never wrong to stand up for you. You own your own boundaries. You are the author and main character of your own life story.
- What book in your life has influenced or shaped you the most?
- What is one silly thing that has the power to make you truly happy?
- If you could be doing anything anywhere in the world (or elsewhere!) right at this very moment, what would it be?
No pressure on responding to the questions; just know that I have really enjoyed your content and wanted to share your work:
Be sure to check out what these folks are up to and thanks again to Marigold Blooms; be sure to check out her blog as well. She writes about life’s journey, changes, and how important it is to get off the beaten path.
When I was in elementary school, several of my teachers hosted read-ins. We would bring our sleeping bags to school along with books and snacks and would veg-out all over the floor reading. I have always been a huge fan of read-ins and have had them on the brain now that the weather is cooling down. I wanted to go over a few ground rules in case you are wanting to have your own:
- Pick a stack of books- at least three. Varying genres or topics are best so you can alternate if you get tired of one. If you have trouble switching between books, consider adding some magazines or coloring books to the mix.
- Grab an assortment of snacks and a warm beverage. Tea and chocolate work nicely, also popcorn or ordering pizza, but watch you don’t stain your books!
- Pick a comfortable spot. Pillows and blankets are a must. Consider making a blanket fort.
- Disconnect. Soft music is a nice touch, but avoid other distractions, and particularly make sure to silence or turn off your cell phone and avoid the Internet. Postpone other obligations if possible.
- Enjoy! Your read-in can be as short or as long as you like. You can have a read-in by yourself or in the company of others.
Read-ins also make the perfect snuggly date for your bookworm significant other, a nice parent-child day, or a fun friends day. Consider a read-out as well if the weather is nice, in a pool chair, hammock or tent. Or, go all-out and get a hotel room for a read-in staycation and order room service. Read-ins are one of my favorite ways to slow down and enjoy life’s simple pleasures.
What book(s) are you reading now? Share in the comments below.