Saturday, 7 August 2010

Thank You Ikea!

Let's start with another flamingo - I wanted to paint one in watercolour, very simply and cleanly, and this is the result. Sometimes I prefer a non-fussy painting. I think this may be the last flamingo for a while.....or maybe not, I still have a few ideas in my head for those lovely reference photos.

Now prepare yourselves for a pretty awful sight - it's not something I'm proud of and I know I am not the tidiest person but this really is dreadful!

This is how the dining half of my kitchen has looked for a while now....we haven't been able to sit down to a meal at the table for....oh, I don't know how long - at Christmas I had to move all my craft boxes into the hall and bedroom in order for us to have a semblance of a civilised meal together. I knew what I wanted to do with it but never had the time what with the day job and those darned potato paintings. However, after a day of building my set of Billy bookcases, another day of moving everything out including that (very heavy) dresser and putting everything back again into the new shelves, and a couple of hours this morning for the final touches, it now looks like this -

It's not totally finished yet - there are still a few things to the left that need to have homes found for them, and under the table are a couple of boxes of photos and paperwork that need sorting out, but I think you'll agree it is 100% better. There is even a whole shelf and a half that need to be utilised properly - either that or it's an excuse to get some more books!

While sorting through the dresser drawers I came across a couple of little treasures I had lost - nothing valuable but they mean a lot to me.

My maternal grandfather was a sea-captain in World War I and I was always told the tale by my mother that he had travelled to the South Sea Islands and brought back this bag of cowrie shells that were the currency of the island he had visited. I don't know any more than that, but I used to run my fingers through this bag of shells when I was a child imagining where they had come from, who had touched them and how far they had travelled. I still do!

In 2000 I took my children to St. Lucia for a week's holiday - we were even poorer then than we are now, and I used some small savings to take them somewhere special as my son had just left school and it would probably be the last family holiday we would take. I found an amazing deal on Teletext (never to be repeated!) and off we went and had an amazing time on very little money indeed - we ate at KFC or made sandwiches from stuff we bought at the supermarket, and used what spare money we had to take a trip to the rainforest and see as much of the island as we could on a budget. When we boarded the return flight, the above is the exact amount of money we had left....64 Caribbean cents, which I think is about half that amount in US$. If there had been the Icelandic volcano back then, we would have starved to death!

Don't forget the giveaway - it will run until the end of August.


soggibottom said...

100% Better.
Treasure is always better when it's found 2nd time around. :-) x x x

WoolenSails said...

Very nice change and great way to store items in a room you use. I buy furniture with doors and drawers and hide my things that way;) Family memories are wonderful to have. I come from a long line of seafarers too.


PG said...

I love a good nosey at other people's spaces (had a twinge of nostaligia when I saw the Painter's Progress, used to have it when I was 16 but gave it away). It was a rather nice jumble before, but it does look splendid now.

Magpie Magic said...

Wow, looks fab all tidy and in order. :-) It's such a pleasing feeling when it's all done, and lovely to find some treasures at the same time. :-) xo

Jo Sacker said...

Professional lurker checking in!
Eldritch looks very cute indeed although with those eyes you just know he has a naughty side, one that would wreak havoc in a knitting bag and one that would provide a constant stream of cauldron ingredients like bats and frogs!
He'd fit right in at my house with our bat catching cat Gizmo (luckily we've only ever had one but it was fresh mouse this morning!).

natural attrill said...

Oh those shells, what wonderful family treasure!
I like the coins too, interesting shapes.