Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Feeling Boxed in by our Blog...

I'm sorry to interrupt the flow of our Handmade Holiday Week!  I have a few things though I need to get off my chest, and need to get done, (see image above of one very messy homeschool room that needs organizing)!!!

When Shanti and I started this blog, we weren't sure where it was going to go...that's the beauty of blogs I think, they just ever evolve and change as need be.  We liked doing our "theme" weeks...they worked well for us to give us a focus, and at times it was fun!  Other times though the themes acted like a noose around our necks...forcing us to do crafts that our heart wasn't always into!

I was thinking that this week would be fun...however, then the heat wave came, and the zucchinis won't stop, the crops need canning, the homeschool room needs my attention, oh yeah, and I have a couple of kids who occasionally need me to focus solely on them!  I realized that I just don't want to be boxed in by our blog anymore...I want to write about the things that I'm doing every day...sure we do loads of neat crafts in between it all, but today...this is what I was trying to do...

This is the other side of my homeschool room...I'm starting here and working my way over to the other was much much worse when I started.  I want to make this a space where Ruby will want to work!
Last year I bought her a "school" table, (it's a fold up card table). The table allowed me to go over and get Ruby started on whatever we'd be working on, and then I'd go back to the breakfast table and deal with the mess.   This worked really well for our family, and Ruby LOVED having her own little space to do her work.   My plan is to start our "school" year on Sept 7th, so the clock is ticking!

I find that September for me is like Spring. It's a chance to re-evaluate what's important.  Also a great time to declutter, purge, and create the space in your home where you will want to spend the colder months that are going to be coming soon!

This is our "living room" space...our downstairs is all open concept, so with the 2 pictures plus this one, you've pretty much seen my entire downstairs!  Yes, we live in a small house, it's how we are able to afford a home at all...but I love it!  This picture is dark, but one of the things I am constantly dealing with in a small house is storage.  I tend to be a bit of a busy body, and I'm constantly pulling out things...felt, thread, cds, papers, and I'm not so good at putting them back!  By the time I'm done with this clean up, I'm hoping that I can have every surface clutter free!  I promise that I will post after pictures of all of these spaces!

And in between it all, I preserve stuff for winter!  This is a pot of "fruit ketchup to be".  Every day there is something new on the stove getting canned.  I don't talk about it much, but I'm big into preserving...I take great pride in pulling out jars from the pantry all winter long.  This is actually one of the first years where almost nothing in the garden has gone to waste...I've canned or frozen nearly everything...and we're seed saving too!  woohoo!'s to the start of September, to breaking out of the box! 
We hope you'll stick around with us.
xo maureen


  1. Yay for freeing yourslef! I can't wait to see what you guys will be up to next!

    Stephanie xx

  2. You're feeling blogged down! Boxes can be stifling. I welcome seeing the many ways, beyond crafting, that I *know* you can inspire others. You have inspired me, as a "real life" friend, in countless ways.

    And I *love* your home. But what you consider a mess just puts me to shame! Your books are actually *on* the bookshelf. How *do* you do that with a toddler in the home?! Funny, I was thinking of posting a "corner of my home" sometime soon too, whenever my connection speeds up a bit!


  3. I know EXACTLY how you feel! Sometimes my blog totally stresses me out. It shouldn't be that way! I am doing some soul searching right now on all my "stresses" to do some inner decluttering.

    On another note...I LOVE your living room. It looks so welcoming and cozy. That's the look I hope to achieve when I redecorate mine. I'm trying to sell some stuff on Craigslist to get some $$$! :)

  4. I agree about Fall being a fresh starting point. Happy you are deciding to be loosey goosey, we will read your adventures no matter what, you are both such creative creatures!

  5. I think it is a good idea, only to post on your blog the things that you want too, do not feel you need to be beholden to any of us in blog land. Keep the joy in it, otherwise it is no fun. cheers Marie

  6. I have loved following the journey here and am looking forward to many more posts, crafty or just plain honest ;)

  7. That's how I blog...just what's going on day to day. If you are doing more canning this week. Please blog about it!!! I want to learn more. So far I have made Strawberry and Blueberry Jam. I want to try Pickles as we have tons of cucumbers coming in the garden. Right now I am dehydrating Zucchini chip and baking and freezing zucchini bread tomorrow. I love this time of year!

  8. You should blog when you want, about what you want and with no pressure! (works for me!)
    It supposed to be fun! we have too much stress in our lives as it is!!!

  9. phew! i thought you were going to shut down! I'm more than happy with you out of the box :)

  10. I thought your living room pic was showing it done and tidy! We need to have a visit at the homestead soon so you can get some perspective, love! ha! I always say women have the right to change their mind...and their blogs are no exception; let it evolve and morph as often as you do! Everyone will love it as they love you.

  11. good for you girls:) of course, I will still be following your fantastic matter what the "theme" :) I am really looking forward to what lies ahead for both of you:)
    I have seen a lot of blogs "stepping back" a bit lately-- and I think it is a good sign!!! I love that the fantastic women who write such beautiful and creative blogs know the value of spending time with family, keeping the house peaceful, etc. <3 <3
    Much love to you, both:)

  12. Good for you Girls! Blogging about what you are experiencing will be fantastic! With my own homeschoolers that are 10 and 12 years old, and 5 toddlers in my dayhome, i have found that blogging can be a great way to share ideas, thoughts, and experiences, too ! It is not always about the "crafty" sometimes it is about the day itself. Whatever direction you choose to go I will look forward to reading your inspiring blog !
    Blessings to you

  13. I love reading all your blogs no matter what they are about. I can completely understand the theme weeks being a burden at times, especially when Ruby is just not into the craft as much as she would be if you had done something she had more choice in. I love your homeschooling room. It looks huge. I find your gardening, preserving, and canning to be very inspiring. I have an organic garden, but had horrible pest problems. I am hoping to can next year, and who knows, I a may even have to try preserving too. :)I just can't imagine how you have enough time in the day to do what you do, and that in itself is such an inspiration to me. I'd love to see more of your life then just the "crafting". I think it will be very helpful for me in sorting out my own priorities in every day life now that we are homeschooling our daughter for the first time. Thanks for having an awesome and everchanging blog that I can't get enough of!

  14. I did a theme week once and it stunk-even though I felt deeply for the 'subject' I still felt forced to write about it and not what was really happening. I'd rather read about canning, cooking, flow and rhythm in your life than a theme.
    declutter AWAY!

  15. Your fruit ketchup looks just like the fruit relish I've got simmering on the stove :)

    I agree, please post more about your canning. I'm always looking for more ideas.


  16. Hi Maureen -- I think you first popped over to my blog many months ago to offer encouragement when I posted a photo of my disastrous garage. I never did post any "after" photos of my clean garage... but I do have to tell you... I finished organizing that garage 2 days before the baby arrived! I still have 3 (or so) more boxes to pack but otherwise, my garage is tidy & beautiful and it felt SO GOOD to get it done. Oh! It will feel amazing when your school-space is organized, too! There is the popular quote, "A clean house is the sign of a sick mind." Well then, imagine what a clean garage might indicate... please count me in among the thoroughly deranged! Best wishes as you plough through your tidy-ing project!


    P.S. I'm touched & honored to noticed my blog is listed on your blog-list!

  17. I've just stumbled upon your blog and really enjoy your creativity. Thanks for sharing, in whatever way! I'm hoping to make your wee stick gnomes soon; they are so adorable!

  18. Good insight.
    You can't go wrong by following your heart.

  19. i, for one, love to see what people have been up to all day. so post away. i would love to see your de cluttering, a job i have planned for tommorow when both my boys are at school :-( (Boooo... i will miss them)
    i also want to hear about you preserves..... go for it!

  20. I hadn't read your post today, when I emailed you earlier. Must have picked up a vibe. Somethings have to be adhered to, the rest can go with the flow. Saying that, I'd love to hear about your canning. I'm building up courage to can apple sauce. Storage is at a premium in our house too. I guess if I had more room, I'd probably have more things. This way, I'm less cluttered. Well, most of the time.

  21. be as free as you need to be, mama! no expectations here. ;) happy organizing! i know that i feel so refreshed and inspired when it all has a home and is tucked away.

  22. Good for you for being honest and setting healthy limits. It is great to hear of other mamas who face the same challenges and also great to see mamas prioritising what really matters!

  23. I like the themes, but I like randomness too. You are truly some artful inspiring women, so glad you are stepping out of the box. :-) Can't wait to see some after pics of your lovely clean home. (I love after pics). I actually did a big clean & organize the office/sewing room myself this week. I had so much stuff I hadn't gone through it took me several hours (which can be hard with little kiddos). I feels good to have it done though.

  24. Amen to that! :)
    I'm just getting caught up and I loved these last few posts. You have been one crazy busy mama. Seriously? A 15 year old built that kitchen?!?! just lovely.
    You've made a very welcoming space for your little learner(s). We have a small home too, so our space is more of a closet than a room, but at least it's well organized.
    Looking forward to seeing where your blog goes. Mine is all over the place. :)


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