So one evening we sat down and talked about our plans for the future, our dreams. A dream, I should say, in the singular, as we share one. Oh, it's so much fun planning, talking, doing a bit of surfing on the web to look things up. But this time the discussion made me realize that we're still so far away from it we'll have to wait for quite some time. Rather than being sad about that thought, though, I was able to convince myself, in fact both of us, that we'd better start concentrating on the nowness of our being, and to be present in the present.
The next morning I woke up to the the smell of coffee, which made me get up and look into the kitchen. It was only six am, he had already left for work, so I went back to bed. But I couldn't sleep, that delicious smell of coffee -- really the best of smells to wake up to -- got me thinking about the beauty of the everyday, and the importance of reflecting that beauty in your home every single day. I realized that, instead of thinking of this lovely place we live in as our 'new' home, a temporary abode not worth doing much about, I'd have to start treating it as our 'now' home, and make it the best I can because, as lovely as it is (and it was what really made us buy into this place), a lake view doesn't really begin to make a home a beautiful home.And, predictably, tiny little plans started to take their form in my head. Oh, to fix, to fix, to fix this place up would most certainly brighten us up, too.
Later that morning we began with a little den improvement. The den has quickly become a place that she absolutely loves, and I guess it's no wonder, given it's the only space that is entirely her own in this apartment. (The room we originally intended to be her room became his study instead, as I wasn't keen on having his piles of paper in our bedroom or the living room, and, as you'll discover a bit later, it was a good decision.) As the den should clearly stay in place for a while, I thought we'd better pretty it up a bit, and add things more suitable for the rest of our living room decor, so we exchanged the horrible, stripey, torn duvet cover for some lovely see-through curtains and also made it a bit cozier and softer by adding some more blankets in it. She wished to have a floral pillow in there instead of the Moomin one I'd picked, which really made a difference. Here's how the den turned out:
Adding those curtains up there made me remember how much I love soft shades of blue, and, as it happens, we had one more of those stored away somewhere. The curtains in our bedroom were thick and a warm shade of beige, which is just fine for winter, but as you can tell from the sunshine and the dripping in the photos above, spring is coming. So I thought, wouldn't it be nice to have something that said spring in our bedroom, too?
As I was changing the curtains as well as our bed linen to reflect that spring mood, I kept thinking about the storage problem we have in our bedroom. No, I should say we had, because, having given it a little bit of thought, I recalled we had moved one of my favorite pieces of furniture to his study as we hadn't found any other suitable corner for it and he'd needed some storage space in there
The tiny chest of drawers was bought by my grandmother some time after the War, I guess in the 1940s or the 1950s, given an absolutely horrible coat of orange paint (yes, bright, but not pretty) by my mother sometime in (oh yes, you guessed it right) the 1970s, and fixed by me pretty much to its original state a few years before our baby was born. Now to store such a piece of history away in a messy study, where it was buried under a pile of boxes he never got around to unpacking is, to me, almost unforgivable. Even more so if, as I discovered, he really hadn't even used its storage abilities and it only contained things I'd put in there months ago. A bedroom storage problem solved! I finally have enough closet and drawer space to hide away our knits, mine and hers:
While she was napping, I started to prepare for our next crafting project, something she had requested. As I was going through our 'crafting cabinet' (really just a tiny square-shaped thing above our fridge) for some supplies, I also took down all of the artwork she's done since we moved here in August and sat at the kitchen table, sorting them out, filing those I wanted to keep.
Sitting there, it occurred to me it might be nice to have a table the size of an actual table, unlike the tiny one we bought in haste when we moved here as we'd discovered our old dining table, the beautiful old wooden table that his grandfather made in the 1950s, was way too large to fit our tiny little dining space here. Nevertheless, there was room for a table bigger than the one we had there.
So when he came back from work, I said: 'You know, I have an idea.' And he said: 'Oh, please not let it be something that requires physical effort.' And so I said: 'No honey, you don't have to do anything, I'll do it myself, but I was just wondering if you really need such a big table to work on in your study,' and so I launched into my plan. Having heard it all, he merely said 'yes, go ahead honey, I'll just take a nap then,' and gave a laugh that suggested he thought he'd have a lot of work to do when he woke up.
And yes, soon enough I was stuck in a door with a table much bigger than the door, cursing in my head. I almost left it there, but then I remembered his face, the way it looked when I was trying to convince him that I could do it myself, and I fetched a screwdriver, and took the legs off the table, one by one, each leg having been secured with six (six!) screws. Luckily, the table fit in its designated space perfectly...
... and the smaller table got through the office door with no trouble at all -- although, before I took it there, I really gave the room a good clean up. I don't know when was the last time he actually cleaned in there, or put things in the places they belong, but that room was a mess! I have never seen such an amount of dust anywhere! I organized his files, hid away the unpacked boxes, set up the computer again, and even added a framed picture of our daughter as well as a rack for hanging his bags to the decor -- all before he woke up. Boy was he stunned and pleased! (No photos of the study, there's no natural light in there and I know the photos would turn out even more horrible that the ones from our dining space.)
And after that, I sat down, feeling satisfied with myself and our home (it's so much better now! I feel so much better now!) and finished knitting the dolphin my daughter had been begging for for a couple of days already. She really wanted a piece of plastic from a shop, but I think it's fun to do things yourself, to see if you really can do them, so when the requests for a dolphin first began, I thought I'd see if I was able to knit one, and it turns out I was. Oh, and she loves it, she's been carrying it around ever since, and can't even sleep without it. Here's WikiWaka now:
Wishing you a lovely week full of DIY adventures!
PS. The photos were taken yesterday, when it was beautifully sunny, not on the day I actually set to fix everything up. So that's why you see WikiWaka in almost every picture if you look close enough!
PPS. I've really got to do something about our dining room chairs. Not the pretty, old ones his grandfather made (and I fixed up, having found them in a garage, being used as handy tables to put paint and oil cans on), but the ugly, brown, worn-down Ikea ones we exchanged for some coffee when we moved here. I'm thinking paint, and I'm thinking pink... What do you think?