Saturday, July 20, 2013

Before and After...

...Portrait of a DIY-blocked writer.

These school holidays, I had big ambitions to turn into a Tiger-Mummy. I spent a small fortune stocking up on early readers and math books, got my little girl a library card, borrowed her some books and loaded up an ABC Reading Eggs subscription on the laptop.

What actually happened these holidays is that mother and daughter turned into a busy little home-maker team and found our happy holiday sweet-spot.

I am no stranger to writers’ block and my usual response to this is to resort to manual labour until I can tease my brain back online.  I loose my mental internet connection with scary regularly. In fact I suspect I'm on dial-up rather than wireless broadband..

So I do little sewing or DIY renovation projects where I need only think mechanically rather than solely creatively.

So what do I do when I get DIY block?  I end up with unpainted doors, trellis, bags of fabric and old bits of furniture lying about the house making me feel worse. And that's where the clutter we were tripping over in our daily lives had come from.

But with the enthusiastic encouragement of She-Who-Worships-Pink, we spent our time together, crafting, getting jobs done and a little spontaneous Play-doh making. Potting plants and making our Balcony habitable for alfresco drawing and colouring.

I have a very co-operative and autonomous child and I am grateful every day for that aspect of her personality. She plays while I paint and takes her little watering can to the pot plants while I hang trellis. OK so the wet watering can put down on the fresh coat of stain was a wee set-back, but she was “very, very sorry” and after re-sanding and another coat of stain you can hardly see the ring. :0) Shabby chic perhaps? Or a little sentimental reminder of a good days work.

Far from being Tiger mum, I was on another mission; a 'clean-out-a-cupboard-or-drawer-a-day' mission. I fear that some other drawers may be fuller with stuff from the cleaned out drawers, but the big clear out was She-Who-Worships-Pink’s artistic prolificacy.  The culling took some time, then photographing the finer pieces, that made the cut, took more time. Performing CPR on this death-row Laptop to download the photos took waaaaaaaay too long. But the result was worth it.

So our household clear up began by turning a wall of falling down dog-eared murals into a more stylish and discrete photo montage. Everyone is happy with the result and I have one more larger multi-frame to fill.

These small improvements motivated me to finish my chair project and it sure is nice to be able to sit on it instead of scraping skin off stepping over the pieces of it. (See the project here.)
Although the before and after shots are strangely, and humorously show no difference at all. But WE know it looks better..

I pulled apart some folding woven boxes to make into swinging doors to tidy up the look of our messy lounge-room shelves. They also help stop the cascade of games and puzzle boxes to the floor following the slightest vibration (as in someone walking through the room - sigh - old houses)

I even put a new number on our front fence. (you don't need a photo of that, it's just not that exciting)

We bought new mini- garbage bin style tubs for our new home made play-doh. Throwing out the old stuff was disgusting - I had no idea it could grow so much fur or even tentacles! 
As a bonus, we now have space in the cupboard to store them.

Our next project is to make a new light pink daisy light fitting out of our inherited hideously ugly original. My new renovation co-pilot came up with that idea, when, after changing the globe in her room, I forgot to put back the shade - and my Lord did we have more light to see by!

all it needs are petals?....hmmm

So this break has been a nice one. Mother and daughter have found a sweet-spot in coordinating projects together that. "..make our home more lovelier.."

It has been two weeks of 'Before and After's' and I must say it's very liberating to tackle a bunch of projects that have been put off for ages.


  1. Lovely pics and lovely post. So glad you had a good break from routine and littl'un enjoyed it! xxxxx

    1. Thanks M, I love your work too!

      check it out people: