November 28, 2011 § Leave a comment
Living in a country that doesn’t celebrate Christmas can have its drawbacks. You don’t get invitations to Christmas parties, you don’t get to drive at night to go see the lights, you don’t get to sing in a Christmas cantata. Perhaps the one (and let’s face it most important) positive side of celebrating Christmas over here is the fact that I don’t get lost in all the hoopla of Black Fridays, excessive shopping and extra calories. When you are probably the only family in your neighborhood celebrating the season, all the sleigh bells and mistletoes are stripped down and you get to focus on Immanuel, God with us.
In keeping with the simple yet meaningful way we celebrate, my friend Sheila sent me a link to a Jesse Tree devotional. A Jesse Tree is something like an advent calendar, each night of the month of December you read a story leading up to the birth of Christ. Each story has a symbol (ornament) that you put on a tree every night.
I spent the better part of the last few weeks working on my ornaments. I didn’t use a pattern, I just cut and sewed whichever way my little heart pleased. Hopefully as O gets a little older he will get to enjoy and cherish his mama’s handmade work. The husband is gone and so is his fancy camera, so pardon the iPad photos. I just wanted to include a few images of my handiwork. Once he gets back I’ll be sure to take some quality pictures for you guys. I found the tree at Ikea. It was either this little one or a scrawny little Charlie Brown thing.
November 20, 2011 § 6 Comments
A while back I came across two posts (read it here and here) that spoke directly into my borderline hoarders heart.
I grew up with a mom that cleaned out her closets every season, getting rid of anything she hadn’t worn in over a year. Although she had plenty of storage space, she lived by the rules that having less makes life uncomplicated.
In my adult life, I’ve carried her rules imprinted on my mind, but my heart has always been that of a pack-rat instead. As a kid I always kept a box with my treasures, my toy chest was always cluttered and I had a hard time getting rid of my favorite clothes that I had outgrown.
Because of my mom’s solid life advice, I’ve always been able to keep my pack-rat habits aflutter, but after our recent move, I knew I had to change.
You see, two years ago when we moved to Turkey, we came bringing five suitcases. Only five suitcases. Our move from Eskisehir to Bursa filled up an entire moving truck. And then some. That’s right, in two years that’s how much we accumulated.
Right before our move I did a lot of purging, but still kept a lot of unnecessary things around. Those “maybe someday” I’ll need things, that when the day actually comes for you to need it, you forget you had it, because it got lost underneath the clutter.
Our move forced us to downsize quite a bit. Eskisehir rental prices are a lot cheaper than Bursa so we lived in a rather spacious flat. Our new home is considerably smaller and is equipped with way less storage space. At first I’d thought my purge before the move had been enough, and all I needed was to think of smart ideas to deal with our storage issues. But after reading those two blog posts, it finally hit me. My mama was right all along. I need to consistently get rid of that of which I don’t use or need. Make it a habit. Moreover, I need to stop accumulating more stuff until I get rid of more stuff.
So to work I went. My biggest challenge is finding places here that will take donations. I finally found a charity that you can call and they will pick up your donations right at your doorstep. I have my pile ready to call them this week.
I realize however, that this is not just a one time thing. That it is a constant process of saying no to things I don’t need, getting of rid of the notion of “someday I might need it”, ripping off the band-aid. It is just stuff after all.
November 19, 2011 § 1 Comment
I would start this post apologizing for not posting pictures of our new city and new apartment, but I won’t. Let’s face it, I’ve been busy. One of these days I’ll gather the husband’s best Bursa pictures and talk about all my favorite things to see and do here.
So let’s get right to it. Today I want to share with you my latest re-making furniture obssession: recovering stuff. A few weeks ago I went with a friend of mine to a big Home Depo-like store here and we found a reupholstering staple gun. It was like the whole world stop and I could see was that staple gun and all the new projects this little mind could conjure up.I came home immediately, put O down for a nap, grabbed my cute Ikea fabric and started recovering everything in sight. Here’s a look at my fun new chairs:
The office chair was the trickiest one, as you have to take the whole thing apart. It took me about 4 hours from start to finish. I had never recovered an office chair before so I had to google a few tutorials before I knew I was going in the right direction. To some, this may sound like too much work. As for me, it was a delightful afternoon spent with my favorite Fall tv shows on in the background and my staple gun.