I’m Back!

So much has happened since my last post! If you have been following me on Dream Big/Pack Lite, you will know that my husband (yes, we got married!) and I spent 5 months travelling around South America last year. I spent nearly 2 months travelling around Argentina and didn’t even dance one Tango! It is interesting how priorities change.

Ever since we came back from our travels, I have been working as a temp. I am currently working for the county council, which doesn’t give me a lot of free time. I am still trying to find time to write blog posts about our journey! I have been also trying to get back into painting and am finding it a big struggle. It is a challenge finding a balance between work, hobbies and family. I might need to get up earlier in morning!

While I have been struggling with balancing the above, my husband has been decorating the house. Last year he decorated two bedrooms and our WC. Since April, he has managed to complete the study and the hallway (up and down). It didn’t help that he ended up with a bad back for awhile, but he finally managed to get to a point where we can now install new carpet for the upstairs. Although I live in a relatively small house (two bedrooms) the paintwork was really bad; the doors needed stripping and re-finishing and the whole area required a huge amount of preparation. Preparation is always the worst part of decorating. The goal is to finish off the whole house before we take off on another adventure (and is why I am working all the hours I can!). We are getting our carpet installed this week and I don’t know if you can find anyone more excited about anything! It has been 4 years since I moved into my house, and considering I had been organising the work on it mostly myself, I feel it is about time I am finally getting the house to look the way I want it, with help now, of course! Some things are better with a friend! I will keep you updated on the progress.

I have painted every piece of furniture in my house that I possibly can. Unfortunately, my furniture painting didn’t turn into a financially viable concern, so I knocked it on the head. I still have a few pieces in the loft for sale! Unless I am going to use it or give it as a present, I am finished with painting furniture. The only things I paint now are picture frames and art.

Another reason I have come back to the blog is because in the process of Googling for inspiration and looking for art classes in my area, I came across my artwork on this blog. I forgot it was still on here! It seems that the less information I had about drawing and painting, the more enthusiastic and spontaneous I was about doing it. I have been trying to find some evening classes, but it turns out that the classes I am interested in tend to be in the daytime, when I am working. So I have been trying new things all by myself which can be a lonely journey. The upside to that is I have been trawling the internet and have found some inspiration by others and have bought a few more art books to get the creative juices flowing.

I have been trying to get my abstract on and working from Abstracts: 50 Inspirational Projects, by Rolina Van Vliet .  I am trying to be more free/loose with my painting as my tendency is to try and get every little detail. I think trying to get a lot of detail is great for drawing, but not always great for painting. I am finding the exercises in the book a bit of a challenge and will be posting how I am getting on with them.

So, here we are again, another new beginning, revisited!

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Another New Beginning

After nearly two years of conducting a long distance romance with my sweetheart, things are finally coming to an end.  He’s moved in.  My love has taken early retirement which has made it possible to for him to move down to the south coast.

So, what happens next?

Find out by following our new blog: Dream Big, Pack Lite .

All future posts will be on our new WordPress blog.  We have big plans and are working to making our dreams come true.

Thank you all for your support thus far.  All the best!

Arlene

 

Clearing the clutter, again!

I have been a big fan of space clearing for many years.  Karen Kingston is the queen of space clearing.  I might not do things exactly the way she does things, but I give it a good go.  Even though I have downsized to a two-bedroom house, I still find myself decluttering on a regular basis.  Getting rid of unwanted or unused items makes room for things you might actually need, provided you have the space.

Sometimes, you don’t want to replace items.  You just want to get rid of stuff to create space and flow or to just get better organised.  While getting down the Christmas decorations from the loft, I realised that I could have better storage boxes (i.e. smaller) to lug up and down the loft ladder without killing myself.  I made a mental note to re-organise everything and buy some new storage boxes (see through) when it came time to put everything away.   While emptying the boxes, I also did a decoration purge, and I still didn’t use them all!

Today was the day that I was going to put all of the decorations away, so I hauled down all of the boxes I had been using to store them away.  They were all cardboard and all different sizes.  It was a bit awkward taking down the boxes as I really couldn’t get a good grip on them.  I am glad no-one saw me do it!  Before putting everything away, I realised that I had things in clear storage boxes that needed to be looked at first.  It was interesting going through items I had put away for the kids.  It can be very dangerous opening up a box with items from the past, especially if you are trying to get rid of stuff.  Your heart wants to keep things while your mind is telling you that it is essentially clutter as it is no longer being used by anyone.  I really did enjoy looking at all of the cards my children had given me over the years and won’t be throwing them out.  However, I did get rid of a lot of other stuff and ideas came to me on how to utilize these sentimental items in the future.

I had to draw a line about the box with photos. I swear that I will go through them and make a collage or put them in albums.  Some I will frame, I swear, truly.  I found things I had forgotten I had put away and other things that I couldn’t believe I put away.  I found documents and photos that can be shredded and re-cycled.  After going through all this stuff in my loft, I ended up with two empty boxes that I can use to store the Christmas decorations!  I call that a result!

It took me all day to go through everything.  It probably would have taken less time if I had help, but then I wouldn’t have enjoyed myself so much by indulging in a bit of nostalgia.  (I also did laundry, made a panettone pudding, and did some cleaning!)  Tomorrow I will be going to B&Q or Homebase to buy some storage boxes for my decorations and then I can start looking for other things to clear out!  I think I saw some shoes and clothes I no longer need…:)

January seems to be a good month to have a good clear out with it being the start of a new year.  Out with the old and all that.  You never know what wonderful thing will come into your life when you make some space for it.  Here is to another New Year and a new beginning!