Category Archives: Home

Goal #49: Our housewarming party

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Ah, now I know we are well and truly HOME! 🙂

Ninja and I finally managed to arrange our housewarming party, two months after we’d moved into our new place. It took the format of a tea party in the garden, because there was no way to squeeze 20-odd visitors inside our little cottage! In answer to prayer it was a gorgeous day out – clear blue Joburg winter skies; windstill and sunny – and so wonderful to have our dear friends gathering at our new address.

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Faith like… tomatoes?

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Look at this bowl of perfect, ripe cherry tomatoes. There’s a story behind these tomatoes – a story that’s symbolic of my journey of faith.

Tomatoes 1

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Home at last

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Decor

Hello there friends!

I’m back at last, finding a new normal with my Ninja and the fuzzies in our brand new home. Thanks for your patience while I was away; I’ve missed reading your blogs and sending out some cyber scribbles of my own 😉

Wow, what an adventure the past few weeks have been! Moving house sure is messy, whether you do it all in one go or bit-by-bit over many weekends like we did. Towards the end we were sleeping on just a couch cushion on the floor, with no furniture or appliances left except a tiny bar fridge that held only a few meals’ worth of groceries, and clocking hundreds of kilometres driving back and forth between the two homes on weekends. Exhausting.

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World Rat Day 2014

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From me and my four furries, Happy World Rat Day everyone! 😀

Happy World Rat Day!

Happy World Rat Day!

To celebrate the joy of owning rats, I’ll be treating Moon, Knight, Mishka and Vodka to some salmon today. That’s always fun 🙂

I also want to take a moment to say that you’ll probably be hearing less from me for a while, or at least between now and the end of May. Ninja and I are in the process of moving house, and as everyone who’s done it knows – it’s chaos!

If I do get a chance to shoot off some quick posts I will, but otherwise please bear with me as I make this transition. I’m sure once it’s all behind us and we’ve settled in, I’ll have plenty new stories and pictures to share. Besides, many of the goals I’ve set for myself can only really come alive once we’re in our new home, so that should kick off an exciting new season for us!

Until then, keep well and keep smiling 🙂

Zest

Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine.

~ Anthony J. D’Angelo ~

Wonderfully wonky

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Hello friends! How’ve you been? 🙂

A bit of sun lit up my day today: I couldn’t resist buying my first two pieces of new home decor! I spied these two wonderfully wonky ceramic bowls on sale at Woolies and had to snap them up. They fit right in with my planned colour themes, in this case for the lounge/living room area:

Wonky crockery

Wonky crockery

I like that they’re misshapen, especially for the lounge, because I want it to be a fun, informal area where guests feel at home. And what are the odds that the only colours available would be a perfect robin’s-egg blue and rusty orange?! Plus they were really cheap on sale so I don’t feel bad for squeezing them into my budget.

The ideal marriage of form with function: eye-catching decorations that double as snack bowls for a party or hold-alls for odds and ends.

It’s a silly thing, but this little find made my day! 😀

Goal #25: Design decor themes

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The exciting thing about moving into a place we’re not renting is that I can finally put some effort into decorating my home 🙂

Realising my dream of a fully decorated house, however, will be a slow process… For example, when we move into the cottage we’ll be stuck with the paint scheme (pretty though plain) that my parents have chosen. This is to save us the effort and expense of repainting when they eventually move into the cottage themselves. But at least (Lord willing) when we take over the main house, I’ll finally be let loose with a paintbrush!

In the meatime, my decor ideas will be limited to all the finishing touches rather than the walls, carpets or tiles. I don’t mind, though. I can’t wait to start collecting stuff 😀

To help me plan properly, I’ve laid out my ideas in what could loosely be called ‘mood boards’. They don’t have actual swatches of fabric or splashes of paint like proper mood boards would, but they do group colours and elements that will inspire my eventual purchases. (In creating these boards, I’ve also accomplished Goal #25 on my list of 101 things to do in 1001 days.)

I’ve put together the ideas on black cardboard because it brings out the colours, but the actual palette I have to work with is: white ceilings, pink-white walls, purply grey carpets, peachy-white tiles and purply grey doorframes. I’m hoping that that base won’t clash monstrously with the colourful themes I have in mind 😛

First off, the bathroom:

Bathroom: Lavender and lemon

Bathroom: Lavender and lemon

Our cottage bathroom is beautifully light and airy, with large windows that face both east and north out over the garden. That inspired my lavender and lemon colour scheme, to reflect the sunshine and the garden views.

To me, a bathroom also has two main functions: to relax and rejuvenate. The varied purples I’m grouping under ‘lavender’ will bring a sense of calm into the room, while the cheerful zesty lemon yellows should inspire and revitalise us. And of course purple and yellow are complementary colours, which means that when placed together they really make each other ‘pop’!

Although my husband has generously said I can freely decorate the entire house except for his computer/hobby corner, I still don’t want to go overly feminine or floral. It’s important to me that the decor makes him feel relaxed and at home in the space too. So far he seems to like my ideas 🙂

Next, we have the lounge (or living room as you may call it):

Lounge: Robin-egg and rust

Lounge: Robin-egg and rust

This is going to be a fun one to decorate! In the cottage our lounge area is very small, but I’m thinking of the long term too – these themes can also be carried over into the main house one day. So, for this family-oriented space I’ve picked a soft robin-egg blue and a striking rusty orange. Of course, my idea is not to get every item bang on the exact same shade… so the blue includes a range of soft sea-blue and mint-green shades, while the orange items will go from coral to rust to tangerine.

I’m hoping that even though the cottage lounge is small, it will be a welcoming and relaxing space for us and our family and friends. I also trust that the colour scheme I’ve chosen here will make it an area that feels both warm in winter and cool in summer.

In case you’re wondering, in the cottage our open-plan dining area is part of both the kitchen and the lounge. While I don’t expect the kitchen or dining area to have much of a colour scheme (I’m still waiting to see what my folks decide on), I do think I’ll introduce some of my wonderful ratty-themed items into those areas. That will make for an interesting welcome to the house, especially since the entrance door is in the kitchen and the ratties’ cage will be in the dining area 🙂

And finally, the bedroom:

Bedroom: Charcoal and cherry

Bedroom: Charcoal and cherry

I’ve waited a long time to make a beautiful bedroom, so I look forward to this decorating job! Here I’ve chosen a base of charcoal grey to bring a manly and restful tone to the room. Then the feminine side will come in with light cherry-blossom pink, accentuated with splashes of sumptuous winey-cherry-red here and there. The feel of the room should be elegant, private, peaceful and sexy all at once. Hmm! 😀

In this room I can get away with a bit more emphasis on the floral cherry-blossom motif, thanks to my Ninja’s interest in the Orient and especially Japan. It’s going to take some careful selecting to balance the minimalistic Japanese touches with the rich luxury of the boudoir accents, but it’ll be worth the effort, don’t you think?

Well, those are my ideas. It will probably be years before it all comes together like that (if ever!), but at least it gives me a shopping guide and something to work towards 🙂

Do you have cool colour schemes and decor themes in your home?

2014 storm predictions

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Roses

Shewwee! We’re only two weeks in and already 2014 promises to be a hectic and interesting year for Ninja and I.

For starters, we’ve just heard that retrenchments are planned at Ninja’s company for the first quarter of the year 😦 So we’re now pre-emptively on the search for new work for him. (We’re very grateful that my own contract has been extended for the year.)

Surprisingly though, it’s not nearly as stressful as you’d expect. I feel as though I’ve landed softly in a spiritual and an emotional safety net of faith. Of course retrenchment is disappointing and disruptive. Changing jobs is a stressful adjustment at the best of times. But we truly believe that it’s our Heavenly Father, and not our employers, who is our ultimate Provider… and He is eternally trustworthy, having promised not to put us through more than He enables us to handle.

Still, a retrenchment would have a knock-on effect on our other major plans for 2014: moving into our new home (a cottage we’re building at my folks’ place). We were originally planning to move somewhere in early spring (that’s September for us down here in the southern hemisphere), but now we’ve all agreed to aim for early May instead.

And that in itself is scary and exciting, stressful and rewarding. If we were very eager before to finish building and move in, now we’ll all be doubling our prayers and our efforts 🙂

All of this may also have an effect on the Sunshine Scrapbook, because as we get closer to the time of relocation I’ll probably have to take a break from blogging in order to tidy up our old home and sort out the new one. Will keep you posted on that.

But in the meantime I can say that I stand facing this new year with a deeper faith than I would have a few years back. Not so long ago I was completely disillusioned about what God was doing in my life, and I regarded each new challenge with suspicion, fearing that my precious little plans would be thwarted!

Praise God for growing me past that point, so that now I can stand firm. Where do I get this firm foundation? From childish airy-fairy hope that there’s a Good Guy Up There who’s going to make all my troubles go away? No.

Jesus said, ‘Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.’ (Matthew 7:24–25)

Storms will come – that’s a given. I’m definitely expecting a few in the year ahead. But God’s Word and my practical application of it are the two things that ground me during trials. May He give me grace to build my life on that firm foundation through 2014 and beyond 🙂