Tuesday, 25 November 2008

A question of balance

It's always a question of balance isn't it? When I'm busy sewing or ragging our home crumbles. When I'm busy cleaning and tidying and am unable to make anything then I'm not a happy bunny. Sitting in front of the sewing machine and catching sight of the pile of ironing, dusty shelves and dirty windows is as frustrating as running around with the hoover, dettox in one hand and duster in the other, and walking past a pile of fabric and sewing and having to ignore it. I know I'm not alone and yet from reading other blogs you always seem so much better organised than I am!

After weeks of crafting and watching the hour hand speed round on the kitchen clock I decided to tackle the mess that is our kitchen. I decided the only way to do it would be to do it properly, not half heartedly and to devote enough time to it to feel happy with the results. We're not just talking washing up, sweeping the floor, the stuff that gets done about three times a day here, I mean the taking down of things from the shelves, the sorting through of junk that was threatening to stage a coup in one corner of the room and the pile of ironing that was, at one point, taller than me!

Well I did it, I did it and it felt good. I did it happily knowing that i'd achieved all I wanted to do at the sewing machine. Things have been washed and dusted and rearranged, jugs and pots that haven't seen the light of day for a while have found new homes on the shelves and it feels good once again to be sitting at the kitchen table.

We finally managed, well I say we, I mean M, to frame and put up a couple of prints that had been hanging around for far too long. Far, far too long. I love these prints, they're very special - one was a gift from a dear friend and the other a happy find at a car boot.

They came into our home months apart and yet I knew they belonged together. I won't tell you how long they have been waiting to go up on the walls, but it's been a long time - we wanted two similar frames and just haven't had the money for new ones recently.

Fortunately a game of musical chairs with some other prints meant that we could use these two frames that were in the loft and they now sit perfectly under the long kitchen shelf. I haven't stopped standing in front of them since Sunday afternoon, just smiling at them and the way their colours go so well with the all the bits and bobs on the shelf. I guess sometimes it's good to wait.

A bit of rearranging in the bedroom too - I am now in hibernation mode and this cold weather makes me want to snuggle up in bed with a good book as early as possible. But I really, really feel the cold and can't get into proper dormouse mode unless I'm nice and toasty which means that more and more eiderdowns are joining me in bed, only to be thrown off in the middle of the night when of course I'm feeling impossible hot and then frantically searched and groped for in the morning whilst I lie in bed and bury my head in them and psyche myself up to trundle downstairs ... now if any of you clever ladies could come up with a remote control for the eiderdowns please let me know!


MelMel said...

Hi there!
On my break now...wee one napping....having a small break b4 i do the last of the OFsted work!
Trying to get it done today, cos then she may trn up tomorrow!
I just love the brackets and the shelves...super!
The bed looks cosy and snug, not surprised you want to remain there....i never want to get up to got to work...but if its the weekend, i'm skipping out with glee!

MaryPoppins said...

Well done you, your shelves look super,

I am going to look on your blog to see if I can find a bigger photograph of the one with your lovely clock, that looks like it might be above your cooker, we are building a chimney breast around our little range and it looks very similar to your first photograph and I need some inpiration :)

I love your eiderdowns, I am gathering some here like a hen with her chicks, lovely when you can get them for a few pounds too :)

Mary X

Sal said...

I love your framed prints...just 'up my street'!! ;-)

MelMel said...

So cold today....just did the dressing up box and then put the rubbish out.....blimey it be cold!

Lisa said...

You have so many pretty things on your shelves. The cornishware is one of my faves.
Nice to have things to look at that make you smile.
Lisa x

Tracy said...

HI, Kim! Lots of fine balancing acts here...Your kitchen shelf is arranged so pretty, and so is the bed! With it being busys times for us all just now, this time of year, it feels like playing balancing act all the time...not nearly enough hours in the day--LOL! ((HUGS))

Willow said...

Thanks for your comment on my post, Kim .. I've really enjoyed reading yours - it seems you have my 'dream' kitchen - love the shelves with all the different goodies on them, and the two prints are just adorable.

Your post was very timely indeed! I too struggle with trying to catch up with everything at the moment. Yes, it's great to spend a day in the garden, or catching up on blogs, but then nothing else gets done and no evening meal gets cooked (the kids will be saying "not baked potatoes again, Mum!!").

At some point you just have to give in and look at what you *have* achieved in a day ... and not what you *haven't* !!!

Willow xx

thriftymrs said...

It all looks terrific. I do know what you mean about bloggers seeming to be so organised. I am like you, if I concentrate on knitting scarves or sitting down to write some more of the script then the house goes to the dogs and the other way round.

You house looks really great, love those shelves and the prints look great framed, I really need to get the husband to do some for me too.

ShabbyInTheCity said...

Remember you sent me the duplicate of that print? I looked at it just this morning saying "I have GOT to frame that!" I guess I've been waiting for a vintage frame.

The Whispering Poppies said...

I LOVE your prints, Kim! And do I ever know what you mean about cleaning... I recently bought something from Niki's online shop, and when they arrived, I decided to put them on shelves in our livingroom. Naturally I had to rearrange and remove some other things, and in the process I realized EVERYTHING on the shelves (china) needed a good cleaning, and the shelves needed a serious dusting... one thing lead to another... and my entire house is like this! One step at a time I suppose! =)

julia said...

Eiderdown heaven!!
You've just said exactly how I feel when I'm sewing and the house is a mess. Last week was a nightmare, trying to finish everything off and then tidy the house, but at least it forced me to get my arse in gear and sort it all. I'm now having a lazy week, reaping the rewards for which I'll curse myself next week. Ahh well, nothing ever changes!
Julia xx

Cowboys and Custard said...

I think these perfect housewives and crafters only exist in the Stepford Wives...I am sure that many of us live behind a facade.. as you discovered on your recent stay in Bath!!
Now I would like to know as would many others.. when will the RR home open to the public...
Can I buy my ticket now please?
The prints looks wonderful in their new frames.. well worth the wait.

Simone said...

It is hard to balance what you WANT to do with what you HAVE to do. I am going through a particularly creative phase at the moment and the house is suffering for it. The place looks like complete chaos. I need to tidy up before the guilt sets in! I think your pictures look lovely side by side.


Hello! You have such a wonderful way of putting things in words, it touches my heart when I read all you have to say. Probably because I can share each an every phase you speak of. If I were to blog about a day here you would notice similarities. Things have to reach a state before they get done. Things take time. Bed HAVE to be toasty!
All the best!

Tracy x said...

if you need to look at someone who has no idea of how to balance everyday life then look no further!!!
i am hopeless - before i know it the darkness has arrived and i am still "just about" to take photographs of stock.

your home looks lovely as always

t x

carolyn said...

I think it's one of the downsides of working from home this guilt thing about the housework but of course one can't do both.
Love the prints, we have soo many waiting to be framed I do wonder if I should take an evening class.
As for chucking off the quilts, I don't I stick my feet out of the bed clothes until I cool down, I know it sounds crazy but it really does work for me.

Josie said...

you have just described my house! which is even worse this week because of the cat, so I'm going to buy loads of laundry/rattan/storage baskets and 20 watt light bulbs, so it's instantly tidy and too dark to see the dust! btw your kitchen looks great!
Josie x

This Vintage Life... said...

I'm exactly the same, but you can't be in two places at once and the housework won't go anywhere will it?

Your prints are very sweet..they could be a pair.
Deb x

Redwoodhouse said...

What a great blog, I love all the lovely things on your kitchen shelves, I know just what you mean abour juggling jobs with sewing, sewing usually wins with me I'm afraid untill we have nothing ironed to wear at all!!!
The prints are such beautiful colours how nice to get them up where you can admire them daily.

Garden Girl said...

Wow- how cosy does your bed look? I am quite looking forward to going to sleep tonight having seen that..must go and dig some more eiderdowns out tonight!
No perfect housewives in this part of the world either, unfortunately!x

Elizabethd said...

Did you make those gorgeous eiderdowns? They are so pretty.
Now you have finished your ironing mountain and got into the swing..there is another one here, if you'd like to ocme and do it!

Margaret Cloud said...

You did a great job arranging the kitchen and I like your prints, also your bed looks so comfy.

Kathryn said...

the bed covers are sweet, how cosy.
The shelves look pretty clean to me. Can you come to my house when you are finished.
With Smiles

Linda said...

Hi Kim,
A remote control for eiderdowns, now that's a great ideaa. LOL
Cheers Linda

Attic24 said...

Hello Kim
Your kitchen shelves look just beautiful, and oh I love the prints so much! they are wonderful and i can see absolutely why you would want to stand and admire them!
Balancing lifes's needs is a constant challenge, my house frequently slides into a very disrespectful state, but the secret is to develop immunity to it lol!

Primrose Corner said...

You're more disciplined than I am. What a feast of lovliness your photo's are. I absolutely love that pink, flowery quilt on the bed. It looks so warm and inviitng. (I'm hopeless at getting up in the winter - Ithink I'm really meant to be hibernating.) Your kitchen shelf looks good too with the pictures underneath I've been wondering what to do in my own kitchen and that might just be the solution.

French Knots said...

I'm getting pretty good at ignoring the mess and housework that hasn't been done!
Love your shelves with all your lovely treasures.

Kitschen Pink said...

Well done with the picture frame shuffle! They look fantastic! I'm with you on the hibernating. Years ago we treated ourselves to a goose down quilt - but it only comes out once in a while or it's just tooooo hot! t.x

lou said...

I love all of your pretty things!!!

If only we had a button that we could press so we could stop time.

love Lou xxxx

Carol said...

Oh Kim, if you only knew!
I may look organised, but it is only in patches of the home...I live with a pile of washing which never seems to get any smaller, ironing basket piles - 2 of - taller than me! letters to sort out, bills to pay, it goes on and on and on.....I do try, but I get to the end of one task only to find another waiting for me.
I have a head full of idea's since returning from the fair, I want ot make so much, but where will I find the extra spare time? and that pile of books I bought on ebay 14 in total, I have only read one and are halfway through the other.......
Gosh gone on a bit there.
See what I mean, I really should be starting that crochet flower not blogging.
Take care and big hugs,
Carol xxx

aromatic said...

Your kitchen looks wonderful!! A job well done..
Time goes by so fast its hard to keep up and with Christmas loaming its becoming quite hectic.....
Just to add to your list of chores I have now tagged you.. its a nice tag its the Tree of Happiness Award.
If you don't want to do it though, don't worry!!
Love Jane xxx

OhSoVintage said...

My grandmother always used to call a really good clean 'bottoming' which I think is a great word! Some people just seem to have more hours in their day, don't they, and manage to do everything? I agree about eiderdowns and a good book (don't forget the hot water bottle too). My bedtime seems to get earlier and earlier.

louise said...

I haven't ever been able to strike a happy median between drudgery and having fun. I cannot function in a pickle and most of my time, when I am not at work, is spent catching up with household chores. Like today for instance, although I am setting aside a few moments to catch up on some blogs, while the kitchen floor is drying! I don't get near enough time to spend in my garden or to try my hand at some crafting, which I would very much like to do. I can't wait to retire! x

dottycookie said...

It's all looking lovely, Kim. I know precisely what you mean about balance (so why am I sitting here writing instead of getting on with stuff? You've inspired me to go and rootle through the clutter in our bedroom, though I think what it really needs is a complete redecoration - maybe in the new year!

A Bun Can Dance said...

Hello Kim. I was relieved to read this post, as like you, finding the balance is always tricky and yes, my windows need cleaning too! And your freshly cleaned and re-arranged kitchen is looking great. Have a happy Thanksgiving Day and enjoy the weekend. Best wishes. Denise

jessica daisy said...

Put just right. As I type this I am looking at my very dusty china on the dresser and I'm feeling exactly the same way, the trouble with being a hoarder, and collector of all things pretty is cleaning it all!
I hate cleaning, and have to be cross to do it, don't ask me why, I leave it till I can't bear it any longer then have a massive blitz, which leaves me with a rosy glowy feeling for.... oh, about a day, then it all gets messed up again!
Thank you so much for the super cute cushion, and the little extra, Ella loved it just as much as I do. She says the big one is for her, and little one for her teddy.
Cosyness is an issue with me too, I have new slippers, a new hottie, and new pj's, plenty of bedspreads and eiderdowns, and I can't wait to get into bed to read with a cup of tea or glass of wine!

Irene ~ RE~VINTAGED said...

Love your blog - I recently found two swet prints similar to yours and dont have the hearty to sell them on, mind you where will they go? Getting warmer here in Ozland If any snow comes I'll send it on......
Cheers, Irene :)

meggie said...

I love this post with the cosy glimpse of your quilts. Love those two pictures too.

Thimbleanna said...

Your new kitchen prints are just adorable. I sure wish you were my neighbor -- maybe then you could come and clean my kitchen too ;-). I SO know how you feel about the internal struggle between sewing and cleaning. If only we came in sets so our other self could be doing the other task!