the 100 day challenge: half way point...

on Sunday, July 31, 2011

Just over half way actually...53 days to be exact. So what's it all about? You can read the original post here but essentially I challenged myself to go 100 days without buying anything I didn't really need, in order to think a bit more deeply about what I needed as opposed to what I just wanted.
I had a long's how I'm travelling.

  • Magazines: Remember that I am a self confessed magazine tragic. I have bought one magazine. One. This month's Country Style at the airport  last week.
  • Appliances: the kettle gave up the ghost about two days after I started the challenge (of course!) and it was dangerous to continue using it, so I had to buy a new one. I suppose I could have boiled water on the stove, but nah, that wasn't going to happen.
  • Clothing, shoes and accessories: Clothes ~ nil. Shoes ~ one pair of beaded thongs when I was in Bali for the princely sum of $8.33. Accessories ~ two beaded rings in Bali at about $2.50 each. I didn't buy a beautiful necklace there that cost $300. It was a close call!
  • Craft materials: some fabric to finish Ruby's quilt and some wool for the first born's crochet blanket. Alas neither of them are quite finished yet!
  • Anything decorative for my house: nope, not even a Buddha in Bali!
  • Linen and towels: that's another no. But I did buy a new ironing board cover the other day. Does that count?
  • Cosmetics: a bottle of duty free perfume on the way to Bali. Femme by Boss - 'tis very nice and one of my perfumes had run out so it was a replacement, sort of. Don't you think?
  • iPad applications: Blogpress. Well that's an essential for a blogging girl on the go isn't it??
  • Op shop purchases: haven't set foot in one for 53 days!
Pretty impressive don't you think?
What's that you say? What about books Kerry? Weren't they on your list too?
Ah, yes, well...I may have bought a few of those.
But I'm certainly not going to beat myself up about that. They are, and of course I knew this already, my one necessity. I have always answered "a book of course" whenever asked the question "what would you buy with your last $20?" 
Not that anyone's ever actually asked me that question, but that's hardly the point :) And I have been doing an awful lot of reading lately.
I feel really good about this challenge. I am most surprised by the fact that I'm not missing the magazines very much at all. I still have a subscription to Real Living and that's doing me nicely, and I'm not all that interested in going shopping. It's a bit of a revelation actually.
So I will continue until September 18th when my hundred days are up and then I'll see how I feel. I'm not even all that inclined to reward myself at this point, but I probably shouldn't speak too soon!
Has anyone else been on this challenge with me? How are you going with it?

my creative space...ripplicious

on Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I'm having a lot of fun making this for the first born...
It keeps my knees warm at night while I'm hooking and watching countless reality tv shows:) 
...and this is proof positive that the sun doesn't always shine in Sydney!
Off to Townsville this afternoon...bloody long way to go for a meeting :)
Creative spaces this-a-way.
all images a tranquil townhouse

top ten pictures from the week ~ 26 July 11

on Monday, July 25, 2011

Oh my, what a roller coaster these past few weeks have been...
Lots of ups and downs
...and a few in betweens. All good now though thank you.
seen on 10 rooms
I went to Sydney last Thursday for the 20th anniversary dinner of the Australian Republican Movement...(no emails from monarchists, I can't be swayed)
finding myself in the same room as the famous Australian author Thomas Keneally 
seen on from the right bank
the famous Australian designer Jenny Kee (oh my she looked glorious, just like in this next her to bits)
seen on miss speculiar
the famous Australian journalist Geraldine Doogue
I have to tell you I was more than a little bit star struck...
lonny, seen on design manifest
and then walking back to the hotel in the worst rain that Sydney has seen for decades...
I got drenched to the skin while waiting at the traffic lights, by a taxi driving through a huge puddle...
seen on design sponge 
luckily I'd had a few red wines by then and thought it was hilarious!
You probably had to have been there :)


on Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I've been doing a lot of writing lately.  After my wonderful Bali experience, there seem to be an awful lot of first sentences for novels or short stories floating around on bits of paper, banged out in a random word document when the computer's up and running or typed haphazardly on the iPad if that's the closest thing to hand.
One thing I have been trying to do is my morning pages...three pages of handwritten stream of consciousness. Oh the drivel that sometimes comes out of the end of a pen onto lined paper in the early hours of the morning is something to behold. Or perhaps not :)
I use one of these lovely Christina Re journals that I won on Louise's blog
But it makes me think about handwriting. I like to write, provided I have the right pen. A fine nibbed ballpoint is the weapon of choice for me. Cheap pens from hotels I've stayed in seem to be the best for some bizarre reason. And my handwriting is not too shabby. Not fancy or anything. No clever embellishments, no swirls and twirls. But when I'm 'in the flow or the zone' or whatever it is, my writing looks pretty good. It too is fluid, languid, easy to do, and easy on the eye. I can also do a reasonable imitation of a type font when I put my mind to it. But that requires a different pen...and a whole lot more time!
But when I'm in a hurry or my thoughts are jagged, my writing takes that form on as well. Do you find that? Or is the art of handwriting just dead and buried, used only for shopping lists or by very well mannered people who write thank you notes? I hope not. There's such pleasure in reading something that's been lovingly written don't you think. 
I will leave you with the words of Norbet Platt...I don't know who he is or was.. not even google helped me with that..but I stumbled upon this quote yesterday and I like what he says. I think my morning pages are doing this for me.

"The act of putting pen to paper encourages pause for thought, this in turn makes us think more deeply about life, which helps us regain our equilibrium."

And speaking of equilibrium, thank you to everyone who left a comment, emailed or facebooked after my last're very kind you lot. And while the zen may not be completely back it's certainly getting there. Some balance has been regained. And that's a very good thing. The top ten might even make it back next week at this rate :)
images 1 and 3 found on pinterest


on Wednesday, July 13, 2011

That's the sound of my zen disappearing in a puff of smoke. I'm going through a bit of a rough time at the moment, but I'll be back as soon as I feel I can. Hopefully that won't be long :)
Until then, enjoy this painting I did a long time ago, but more importantly please pop over and say bon voyage to Charlotta. She's given me the honour of writing her last blog post from Australia....I'm not sure if she's brave or just momentarily muddled! She and her lovely family are heading back to Sweden. Sob and sigh.

my creative space::epic crochet fail...

on Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Once upon a time, in a parallel universe, I thought that I could make the first born a granny square blanket...exhibit A:
I told you she was putting on the pressure for me to actually finish it here. I know how this mothering gig works; I do as I'm told, most of the time, and so I started to put the squares together...there were lots of granny square skimpiness in the tranquil townhouse. Exhibit B:
But alas, my skills, such as they are, did not stretch to putting the squares together in a way that pleased the eye, or quite possibly any other part of one's anatomy...exhibit C. Plain ugly. Puckered. Nasty.
So, what does any slightly competitive, I'm not going to let anything beat me kind of person do? They give up, that's what they do...and start another one. Exhibit D:
Early days but I'm much happier with this one. The firstborn however will quite likely have to wait until next winter to wrap up in this ripply goodness. Blanket recipe found over at Lucy's. Should have gone there in the first place. Clearly. 
Creative spaces over here...
all photos by me; sorry for the slightly disturbing one.

top ten pictures from the week ~ 5 July 11

on Monday, July 4, 2011

I hope you didn't think I'd given up these top ten posts. I haven't.
I know you like them. I do too.
by janis, pinecone camp
But life's funny. It has a way of sneaking up, surprising you, and taking you in a different direction.
Case in point: I took three unread interiors magazines with me to the Writers' retreat in Bali (please note previously self confessed magazine addiction)
seen on belle maison
And I only discovered when I got home and unpacked, that they were right where I'd packed them in the bottom of the carry-on. Untouched.
seen on mfamb
I hadn't given them a thought. 
seen on savvy home 
And they're still unread. They've been dumped for Janette Turner Hospital (this week at least), my every day morning pages writing exercise a la Julia Cameron, and plotting and planning...
I feel like I don't know myself any more...
seen on belclaire house
But I'm quite liking this new, focused, contented person.
The  zen is still with me ;)
Who'd have thought!