Imaginative play: 2 years 6 months

This afternoon Roo took me to the ‘shops’ – I brought the shopping trolley (wagon), he brought the matchbox car and the pram – and we went down to the back of the garden, where we discovered a flower shop. Whence we picked flowers, took them home, and arranged them in a shot glass vase.

We are both sick today, so the very serious picture is appropriate. (All the smiling ones were of him approaching the camera lens while I told him to go back! go back or I can’t take a picture!)

Christmas spirit

I mostly love Christmas. I love the smell of a real Christmas tree, I love making space in the house for special decorations, I love the little bit of crafting I get to do, I enjoy giving presents and seeing other people receive things they want or need, I love getting things I want or need, and I love the excuse to get together with friends and/or extended family. I also love summer and the long light evenings, the warm nights, the sunny days, eating dinner outside, taking trips to parks after dinner. I loathe the shops and the excessive consumption and the canned secular music, but thankfully those can be mostly avoided with a little planning.

This year our family has a Christmas Spirit list! I’m thinking about ways in which we can make our family Christmas a bit more about giving to others in need rather than feathering our own nests, but that takes thought and stepping outside of my comfort zone, so this year it hasn’t quite happened.

One of the things I don’t love about Christmas is that we’re one week away from Christmas Day and I still don’t feel like I’ve had a chance to stop, get off the rollercoaster, and enjoy the season. This has been a constant frustration for me for years. Last year I decided I needed to declare myself on holidays from three weeks before Christmas. I forgot about it until now! I am writing this resolution into my calendar for next year so that I can make it a reality. My last day of work this year is Wednesday and I’m hopeful that I can really get into the Christmas spirit of family and celebration after that is out of the way.

House hunting

Our current rental house is going to be demolished in order to build townhouses, so we are looking for a new home. Yesterday we saw a house that ticked nearly all of our boxes. The only real problem is that we saw water lying on the ground at both the front and back of the block, and it was at least twelve hours and probably longer since the last rain, so there are clearly drainage issues. If it hadn’t been raining the night before, we wouldn’t have seen it, and we’re not sure how much of a problem it is and whether it affects the house. Soggy gardens we can live with, soggy house we can not.

When we look at places that we like, my brain immediately starts to do things like this:

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I start planning garden beds, and plants. This house is complicated! Its orientation on the block creates many small, mostly shaded areas. I also start planning furniture layouts and DIY projects and imagine worst case scenarios if we lease this house and it’s a lemon:

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I didn’t sleep very much last night!

Red lamp

I got to do something for me yesterday. I spray painted an op shop lamp for no other reason than that I finally saw one worth painting and I’d like to be the sort of person who spray paints lamps. I didn’t *need* one in my office, but it does fit very nicely. Pictures:

Peach lamp without lampshade

The lamp as it came from the op shop – no shade and a peachy/coral colour.

Peach lamp with a new white lampshade

This is how it looked once I found a new lampshade from Bunnings. They have a good selection of very basic, cheap lamp shades. This shade was $17 and is quite large.

Peach lamp base with masking tape, ready to paint.

Ready to paint. My materials were Easy Surface Prep, red spray paint, and a lint fee cloth. The ESP was to get the spray paint to stick to the ceramic. I have no idea if I needed it, but the Bunnings staff member recommended it and my paint certainly stuck with no issues.

Lamp base spray painted red

After five to seven light coats. I lost track, and did quite a bit of carefully adding paint in areas that were patchy, like at the base. I got a can of spray paint that could be sprayed at any angle, and I highly recommend it. I’m sure it made the job *much* easier.

Red lamp on dresser

The finished lamp in place.

Red lamp

The finished lamp close up.

This was not a cheap project, but also not very expensive. The lamp base was $12, the ESP was $15, the lampshade was $17, and the spray paint was $10, so $54 all up. However that’s a pretty cheap lamp for this size. Also, the ESP and spray paint can both be used again, although I can see myself using the ESP more than the paint. If I had the ESP on hand the total would have been $39.

It *was* a quick project. I bought the supplies in the morning and took the ‘after’ pictures in the evening. I was pleased by how quickly the work went. There was a bit of waiting between applying the ESP and starting painting, and waiting an hour for the paint to become touch dry, but only about 40 minutes of hands on work.

Someday you will see a post about refinishing that chest of drawers the lamp sits on. I’m really looking forward to the day I get to start that project.

You may have noticed that I tried the lamp on both the left (first picture) and right (second last picture). I have no particular design sense, but I think the left was more balanced. Do you have an opinion?

Making photographs: 20 months

I am getting better at making photographs that look good straight from the camera. An unedited look at Roo’s room on an average day – no tidying up the room, no post-processing the photos:

In that last picture he is shutting the door on me. He is growing up fast.

On hold

Amongst the busy-ness of paid work, caring for Roo and the older three, and other family dramas, I realised recently that I am attempting to divide my limited creative energy between too many pursuits. Early learning & childhood development, watercolours, photography, cooking, nesting, gardening, blogging, and reading. Plus I feel the pull to refinish furniture every now and then. Oh, and if I had a sewing machine there would definitely have been some (practical) sewing happening over the last few weeks. No wonder that I have to put certain pursuits on hold from time to time. Right now, I am spending time on the early learning & childhood development by necessity, the cooking for creative outlet, and the photography when I can fit it in. Nesting happens all the time if you count organising and tidying and de-cluttering and making sure everyone has warm winter bedding as nesting (I do, even though those are the functional parts, not the pretty parts). Blogging has fallen to the wayside, and that’s ok for now. Instagram is getting some good use however:

If you are an Instagram user, come find me. My name username is louiseallana.

Roo at the park: 17 months

Some pictures of our new toddler, toddling at our closest playground.

I climb UP the slide!

I climb UP the stairs!

I slide DOWN the slide!