Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Time to move.

With a new babe on the way, it's time for chez clutterpunk  to relocate. In less than two months, we will be packing up our lovely little two-bedroom flat and re-entering the Big Bad World of the Rental Property.

In truth, we've actually got it very easy. Friends have offered us a house two blocks away; an old, unrenovated house with a lots of quirks but lots of space. We know their intentions for the property and therefore know that it will be a secure space for us for 5-10 years if we want, in the local community we're already entrenched in. We're essentially 'staying put', except for our actual living space.

And unlike most rental options, we will have lots of freedom. Freedom to bang pictures into the walls, to make 'improvements', to negotiate directly with the owners, to plant vegies - freedom to put down roots. 

I'm feeling a great sense of possibility, mostly to do with space. There will be:

space to sleep - perhaps with more bedroom options we will iron out some sleeping issues? (ha!)
space to eat - room for a real kitchen table, now time to teach the boys how to sit at one
space to host - a guest room for interstate-dwelling parents, families and friends
space to play - the large backyard is concreted, in true inner-city Mediterranean style, but that's perfect for boys, bikes, chalk and people who hate mowing lawn!
space to hang - with plenty of room for stringing out clothes indoors I can avoid the dryer
space to grow - I'm already planning my above-ground vegie plots, compost and worm farm...
space to create - a room in which the sewing machine and iron can be left out, works-in-progress left undisturbed, and threads, pins and scissors left in reach without ramification.

But I'm a bit apprehensive too. Our family has learned so much from living in a small space together. We've learned to say no to stuff, both by buying less and by letting things go when they are no longer necessary to us. We've learned to be unpretentious hosts, sharing meals with friends sitting on the floor around the coffee table. We've learned to coexist in and negotiate the use of shared space in the dining-living-sewing-guest-TV-playroom. We've learned greater material contentment, and just how rich we are in this world.

But I know my inner aspirational, consumerist self is still lurking under the surface. And I suspect that with the move, and the potential for more accumulation, and the desire to make a new space homely, and the pregnancy nesting syndrome starting to kick in, I've got some big challenges and temptations ahead of me. Can I hold onto sustainable ideals? Will I keep my clutter and consumerism under control? I'd better stay tuned...

Thursday, October 21, 2010

My creative space... from frog to prince?

I feel like a bit of a fraud joining in with kootoyoo's creative spaces today, as I've made a big, fat nothing in the last month.

Nonetheless, I can now reveal to you the finished Green Monstrosity, which I finished binding and then delivered to my sister during a visit to QLD last month.

And frankly, after all my concern, I think it's looking pretty darn good, in its home environment.

Once again, check out the glorious quilting work of Karen from Quilts on Bastings:

And here's the backdrop, the rather verdant feature wall that my sister wanted the quilt to blend with.

Still not 100% my cup of slime tea, but for the recipient it seems to work just fine.

And now, I'm going to cruise the webs and see what inspiration for a new project I can find. How about you?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Something in the oven.

Almost 3 months ago, the double glazed door of our two-year-old, just-out-of-warranty Whirlpool oven decided to explode. 

From what I could see, the oven just needed some new front glass, or at most a new door, which I figured would not be an impossible ask of the manufacturer. Our oven was two years old, only just out of warranty, and in perfect working order, apart from the old lack-of-door issue. 


Apparently, ovens are a disposable item these days. I get it, I really do. I mean, it's been two years, and that oven technology, whoah, it's moved on people - who wants to be caught dead with a slow-moving two year old oven? Plus, it looked so 2008. Of course there would be no replacement glass or door for our (clearly defunct) model available in Australia. Of course we would most likely prefer to just 'upgrade' to the next model, the newer, sexier, shinier version. Almost the same cost really, because if we did want to take the distasteful approach of repairing our oven, then we'd have to wait ten years for the parts to arrive by goat from Uzbekistan, and then scalp a kidney to pay for installation.  

Anyway, {insert rant about the state of the world today and why I think free-market economies are stupid here}. As of last week, we have a functioning oven again. Unfortunately, it is a new one, but it comes with a five-year warranty, accessible parts and servicing, and is definitely NOT Whirlpool.

Which means I can BAKE!

Did I mention pizza?

Going almost three months without our Sunday night neighbourly pizza-fest has been a killer. Last night, with much celebration, we resumed. Multiple delicious homemade pizzas followed by a lemon and rhubarb cake (thanks Lauren for the recipe!).

But now I have a confession.

If our oven DID have to explode and be out of action for a few months, then these few have been the time to do it. Because until just about yesterday, I had absolutely no stomach, energy or enthusiasm for baking anything. 

Because, well... I have *something in the oven*. 

I may have mentioned on this post back in July being in two minds about having more children. Dating suggests that I pretty much made up my mind as I pressed 'publish post'. Anyway, we are happy and grateful to be carrying a little one, and look forward to meeting him or her in early autumn next year. 

Meanwhile, I'm just thrilled to have a baking stomach back. And a baby to hide all that pizza behind.