2007 Artful Living

I'm a big fan of comfort. I love tactile fabrics, delicious smells, soft and comfortable things to sink into, and goodies that make you smile every time you look at them. There's a part of me that is artist, creator, home-maker, enjoyer of the world around me. I come with a hint of nostalgia, a love of handmade and old, solid wood and gemstone.

And I've realized my surroundings are way to sparse on the comfort & art factor.

* I've hidden a lot of my photos away. These days they're digital, but I have a few boxes of some lovely stuff that could easily be displayed and remind me of times, places, people and things I loved. I'm not really good at painting and drawing (any more - completely out of practice!), but I can take photos, and it's about time they got put out on show.

* For years I've looked at my home and thought "there must be a way to make it more comfortable, welcoming, easy to live in". Hence a huge bookshelf full of randomly-acquired magazines (mostly from the discount store) with inspiration for at least an entire city. A lot of it I can do without spending a cent. Some I did last night - a mere re-organization of things in the lounge that gave a bit more clean clear space. This year I'm going to get a few of my projects completed - the one wall left to paint in the lounge (already have the paint), the passage parquet flooring that needs a final strip and seal (Zimbabwean teak - have the stripper and sealant), the bedroom that needs to become a self-zone, a place to unwind at the end of the day.

* I'm paring down clothing items (not that I have many to pare down, but anyway) - along with my green living choices, I'm sticking to natural fabrics as far as possible. I love the way they feel and look, so wearing them is going to be as much for pleasure as for covering up the bits that society dictates should be covered. I'm considering doing any clothes replacing at second-hand stores, and going for the nostalgic stuff that never goes out of fashion, but that's only if I really run out of things to wear (or lose any more weight - today's outfit has somehow become a hip-hugger within 2 weeks...).

* Along with my food-related goals, I'm planning to indulge in an enjoyment of cooking and baking as often as possible - not just on weekends. There's something soul-filling about kneading a loaf of good bread or crafting a meal that smells, tastes and looks incredible - and is really good for you too. I'll be spending more time in the kitchen making stuff to sell (finances again), but plan to make it more than a must-do. I'll turn it into an enjoyment of the process wherever I can, and relish the aromas created.

* I already take great joy in my garden - a total stress-relief space with a view to kill for. I plan to spend a lot more time there this year, adding plants I love (grown from slips or seeds collected myself), appreciating the sounds of birds, the smell of flowers and herbs, the colours and textures, the ever-changing view.

* I'm hoping to expand my enjoyment of music into aspects I haven't given much attention to. I've already contacted our local music teacher to supply me with some sheet music - the piano skills are getting rusty. I want to try out a few new artists for listening purposes, and add to my growing collection of files that play as a background to work.

* For the past year I've had a small collection of crystals and objects right here under my computer screen, things that I enjoy looking at that aren't work related. But there are others that are packed away - a vein of opal in rock, a picture made of peacock feathers etc - those need to come out of hiding and be seen again.

* I'm reconsidering journalling. Years ago I kept a diary - now blogging has taken over. But there's something to be said for opening up a notebook to a clean sheet, taking up an actual pen and letting thoughts, words and experiences flow out of its tip. There's more to do with a journal than one can ever do on a computer screen.

I'm trying to add a little bit of creativity and comfort to every day, to surround myself with things that feed my soul and make me happy. So far so good! :-)