Monday, November 7, 2016

Finished Office

It has been a long haul but I'm finally done.
Organizing an office has got to be one of the most challenging spaces...so many items end up in there and it can be difficult to decide what should stay and what should go.  By the end, when you get down to the last piles like this,


and this, 


it's just not as much fun as it was in the beginning.
But the finished result is so worth it.

Before

After

I am loving my new look. 
I like the colour and the feel of more space.  
I love that there's less stuff but it's still cozy.
I love that pretty rug!  Bless you sweet Ikea!!
I am enjoying the new floor plan which took some time to achieve, but is working well.

I really wanted to have my chair by the window so I could sit in the sun.


I also wanted some empty spots for those piles that inevitably end up in here.


I wanted to have more wood in my space and I hoped to use that black metal shelf that I got at the Red Barn last year.


After my time in Italy and Ireland, I wanted more ivy in my life.


I wanted to keep my little keepsake notes but I switched them from a bulletin board to this cute window frame and I edited them down to a more manageable amount.


I also wanted to have the things I love around my work space but again I had to do some careful editing to keep it to an amount that feels homey but not overwhelming.  This won't be the same amount for everyone so you have to decide what feels right for you.


I so wish I could not have this gigantor printer in here but the thing is, 
we do need to print stuff! 


I got an unexpected addition to the room just before I'd finished.  
My friend Jen brought me this fabulous guy! 
I love him and he is so perfect for the space.


My experiment with keeping most items the same colour does make the space feel less busy and more spacious.  I like that feeling of being enveloped.


It is a fantastic feeling to have a room organized and decorated in a way that makes you feel at home. I hope you'll be inspired to try something new in one of your spaces! It can be a lot of work but you just have to take it one small task at a time.
In the end it is so worth it!

Monday, October 31, 2016

Office Progress


So I picked the paint and then...what?


Where do you start when a project feels completely overwhelming?  

I always like to choose a task I know I can complete easily, and quickly.  If I'm staging a house, I start in a kid's room or a bathroom...small spaces where I know I can have speedy success.  That way when you've accomplished the first task, you feel more motivated to complete something a little larger.

In my office I decided to tackle the shelves, and the first thing I sorted was fabric.


I have lots of piles of fabric but I rarely use it so I grabbed it all off the shelves, 


got my coffee and turned on the t.v..


When you are starting a task that is overwhelming, like emptying an entire office so you can paint it, you want it to be fun!  So if there's something you can do while you listen to a radio program or watch a show on t.v., go for it! 

My fabric got purged and sorted into two metal baskets I had kicking around.


Next I emptied all my books off the shelves.  I plan to keep them in my bedroom from now on so it was another easy, quick job to just carry them in.  I'll do the book sorting after the office is done.


It's hard to be patient when you want to start painting and the room isn't empty yet, so I satisfied my need for colour by beginning the furniture painting.


He looks so cute!


I hired my son to build my new shelf.
Anytime you can enlist a little assistance, do it!  It cost me $10.  
He was happy for a little bit of cash and I was very thrilled not to have to build!


Of course eventually you run out of quick, easy jobs and you have to tackle the hard ones, but having those early successes in your pocket 
helps you feel more capable of moving to the bigger stuff.
Like painting.
Yuck.  I hate it so much.  
And right around this point I was wondering WHAT DID I DO???


But soon after I LOVED it and now the room is painted. 

(Did I mention this office is one big experiment?  
I had this vision of painting out a whole room in one colour...trim and all...along with some of the furniture so that the accessories would pop more.  So I'm experimenting.  Thus the dark trim.)

Currently we are living like this in the bedroom.

  
But soon enough I'll have it all back into the office.  
I'll show you the end result next time!


Monday, October 24, 2016

New Office Plan

Awhile back I talked about my office and how it was, like, 
the opposite of minimal and how I was okay with that.




Yah, so it's still pretty maximal and it's not so much that I want a minimal look, it's just that I'm running out of space.  I have piles of stuff...sample books or mission collection stuff or gifts or projects or whatever and I need some space for the temporary piles.

ALSO.
I want a new colour.
I am quite badly dying to have some green.


So - step one - I'm choosing a colour.  One of the 3 dark greens up there.  
The metal vintage filing cabinet is my inspiration.
I really hope I'll have some progress to share next week!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Back To Reality - Eli's Room

Well, we've been home from our summer adventure for nearly two months, 
and everyone's been quite happy to get back into the swing of things. 
Except, me. 
I have found the return to reality to be quite difficult. 
Like, they expect me to cook again here people. 
Bleck. 
What has been hardest is mourning the loss of time together with no distraction. Everyone says wow, that was a once in a life time trip...which is true. It's very unlikely I'll ever have 8 weeks of uninterrupted time with my family again. Which is lovely during the planning and executions stages, but frankly a bit depressing when the "once in a lifetime" trip is over.  Cause I've got quite a bit of lifetime left, you know?

So, obviously to get over my sadness I went to work on Eli's room. 
He had been hoarding all kinds of junk by keeping it well hidden for quite some time. 
And then it overflowed. 



Look what was under his dresser.


Yup.  Time for a clean out, purge and sort.  
He was not really on board at first but once he got into it he enjoyed having everything organized and having less to worry about tidying.  
The trick of organization is that it makes cleaning that much quicker.  

So we moved things around a bit and got rid of the lego table.


I gave him a bigger shelf for his books.


And a smaller dresser for his clothes.  Cause what we learned carrying around a backpack for 8 weeks is you really don't need many clothes!


I used these drawers on wheels that Cate no longer needs due to her loft bed to give
 Eli some easily accessible storage.


I took away his desk with four drawers because every one of those four drawers was FULL of junk.  Sometimes having the space to hoard, just allows you to hoard.

Now he has a table, no drawers and two boxes to keep paper and writing stuff.





















 His closet is much better after purging many toys he wasn't using and if the remaining bins get a bit out of hand, we can just close the curtain.  


It feels so great to get a space that was in chaos back under control!!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Ireland, the Grand Finale - Week 8

We could not have ended our dream vacation in a more lovely place.  
Ireland is just...I can't even think of one good word.  It's stunningly beautiful and serene and peaceful and shockingly green and friendly and quaint and fun.  Everything I ever imagined it to be.
This crossing sign sums it up...adorable!


We began our 10 days in the north.  This was our view.


The apartment was spacious and beautiful, right across from the beach.
(And it had Orla Kiely wall paper!)





We visited the Giant's Causeway,



and had some beach days.





We hiked, 




and hung out,




and ate,


and enjoyed a trip to Dublin.



Then we drove across the country to stay in the west for 5 days.  The drive was so beautiful but not without some nail biting (insanely narrow roads) and nausea (super windy roads).  


The miles and miles of rock walls criss crossing the country were worth it though.





Our house is right on the sea and has been cozy and comfortable for our last sleeps here.




Oh - and it is right beside an old castle!


And some cows!


We had some fun at an aviary and cavern.




And we've enjoyed driving around and checking out the farmer's markets and craft fairs.





Sadly we hit traditional Irish weather, so beach days here are not as cheery.



And it took us 3 tries to get to the Cliffs of Moher.
But it was so worth it!!






We had some fun eating in pubs,



and seeing some bits of my heritage (Shannon was my maternal grandmother's maiden name).


And now, our 8 weeks have come to an end.  We will fly out of Dublin tomorrow.  The saddest part of our return for me will be losing time with this amazing family.  They will head off to school and work and I will be back to my routine.  I will miss them so much.


We have been so truly blessed to have had this time together and to have seen and experienced such spectacular things!