DIY

Being thankful 

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One way to feel better, is to practice thankfulness. I’ve either hear or read about collecting memories of what you are thankful for, and looking back at them at the end of the year. I don’t just want to practice what I preach when I tell clients what might be useful, so I have started my own thankful collection in January. Instead of using a jar or a box, I am working on a decoupaged book where is will put scraps of paper with that days events written on them. 


I can already feel how meaningful this is. By using just one minute every day to reflect on what’s good in my life, I feel grateful. It also boosts my mood, and I like to believe it also inspires me to do even more of what I love. I’ve also discovered a trend: What I write down and remember is when I’m with other people. I’ve written down things they have said and what we have done together. So for me, that’s what I’m most thankful for. 

There are myriads of ways to do this little excersise. Use your imagination and keep trying to record what is good in your life. There will always be something: For someone with depression it might be that they managed to take a walk. For traumatized individuals it might be a kind word, or the absence of flashbacks. For the anxious, it can be going into a supermarket with a thumping heart.

Mixed media canvas project 

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here is a canvas I have made. I’ve used a lot of details like metal figures, flowers, napkins, the Tim holz clock die and lots of painting and mist. Hope you like my project!

Feet of Baggage

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Reblog from Magic Behind the Morning

Let’s talk about baggage. No, not emotional baggage. Physical baggage. When my grandmother died, all of her belongings and her mother’s belongings, including several rooms’ worth of large pieces of furniture and boxes and boxes of glass and china, went to my mother. When my mother died and my father moved, all of that stuff, along with many of my mother’s belongings, were divvied out between my sister and me, which meant that I ended up with half of four generations of belongings.

What I’ve discovered about myself is that I am the master of manipulating myself into keeping things that I don’t want or need, much of which have no emotional or monetary value for me (insert dramatic Hoarders soundtrack here). Here is my logic: “Oh, but there is a label on this handkerchief that says it came from my grandmother’s friend’s mother; I can’t get rid of that!” Or “Well, I don’t actually like this sweater, but my mom wore it at some point in time so I should keep it,” or “This doesn’t hold any fond memories for me, but I feel like I need to keep it anyway.”

have gotten rid of things here and there, so it never felt like this was a serious emotional problem deeply affecting my quality of life, but at some point I looked around my home and realized that almost none of my belongings were actually things that I picked out. Truthfully, I have accumulated the type of belongings that many people don’t have until their late fifties, and even then have had much more time and emotional space to cull through them. Most of my furniture was willed to me. Most of my clothes to this day are hand-me-downs from someone.

On the one hand, my gratefulness for having been given these items far overpowers any frustration that I have with it, and truly, there are many things that I have that I absolutely love. Still, the strange thing is that at it has taken me until my late twenties to stop and ask what my personal style truly is, and what I want my belongings to look like, or even what kinds of belongings I want and need in my life. I used to believe that having these items was saving me money as well, and I’m sure the smaller items were, but the thing is, items that take up physical space mean more cost in moving and storing those items, especially for someone who has moved several times like I have.

I recently read a book called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo. I won’t go into everything the book says (you can read it if you want to) but there were four pieces that I took away that were the most helpful for this type of baggage:

1. Only keep things in your life if they “spark joy” in you.

2. When you get rid of belongings, thank them for the place they have had in your life and the things they have taught you. Sometimes an item’s purpose is to teach you what you don’t like.

3. A gift’s purpose is to show the gratitude and love of the giver. Once the gift has been given, it’s purpose has been filled. 

4. If you are keeping something purely for sentimental reasons, consider taking a picture of the item instead. 

I am now immersed in a deep process of tidying up. And here is where I have created a method that Marie Kondo may possibly hate: the guilt box. It’s label literally says “Stuff I Feel Guilty Getting Rid Of.” Everything in that box are things I am keeping not because I love them, or because I find them to be useful, or because they have great sentimental value, but simply because I feel guilty getting rid of them.

What’s the point, you say? Well, the point is that everything outside of that 2x3x1 box in my life brings me joy. I’m allowing myself that much baggage, that much guilt, that much “but what if I need thing X?” or “but so-and-so really loved thing Y.”  In allowing just a little bit, I can quell any anxiety, guilt, or fear I have about getting rid of other belongings; if I can fit it in the guilt box, I can keep it. And, I’m hoping that by being brutally honest about the reason I’m keeping things, I can become more discerning about what I keep and what I discard.

What I have found through this is that I have a true love for many of the things I have in my life that were given to me, like my grandma’s beautiful quilts, much of my mom’s jewelry, and some absolutely beautiful dresses and cardigans that I was given by my in-laws. I hadn’t noticed how much I appreciated those things before because I hadn’t had the physical and emotional space to savor their beautiful history and fine craftsmanship. Now that I am starting to identify the types of things that bring me joy in life, I am hoping to truly savor my home, and to discerningly bring only things into my space that truly enchant me.

DIY disaster

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Some people just have to flick their fingers and a new cupboard is ready. Not just ready, but beautifully crafted with swirls and delicate patterns. Some can put designer things together in a way that makes others gasp when they visit their stylish homes. Some make artful cupcakes that provokes guilt when you take a sugary bite. You have the handyman with his hammer, ready to hit a nail anywhere and anytime. Or the carpenter who avoids a heart like I would get if I tried to figure out how that carpet will fit nicely into the corner. The perfect fathers, mothers or brothers who can create something beautiful in no time.

If you wonder, I am no DIY superwoman. When I touch something, no amazing patterns manifest themselves on the surface I try to transform. If anything, what happens is that some color blotches suddenly appear on the smooth, newly painted surface. I have no patience, too shaky hands and a picture in my head of how I want it to be, with terrible aptitude for getting it out there. It`s lost in translation, so to say.

Today I tried to paint the wall in my bedroom. Why?

FullSizeRender 2 Because some months ago, I hung a blue cupboard  up. First I thought looked quite good when I painted it and put on laces and wall stickers. When it came up, I realized once again that my genial ideas should stay in my head unless I want to bring suffering to the world. I actually had to throw it away. I hope the garbage employees forgive me when their senses are insulted by the glaring colors and the too-sweet “always kiss me goodnight” pasted on it.

Back to the painting. When I took down the cupboard that just didn`t fit in the corner I had devoted to it, I didn`t take the time to hold it properly. Before I knew it some nail (that I should have removed) had scratched my purple wall and left visible wounds. For weeks I have felt irritated and lethargic because I am thinking about selling the apartment and know I can`t do that when my wall looks like a war-zone. But yesterday a friend invited himself over even if I said it was no use, as I didn`t think I would have the time, energy or DIY-abilities to succeed. He told me to stop whining, and arrived with a roll for the paint and paper to cover the floor (as I probably wouldn`t made the effort myself and probably would have peppered my new floor with purple splotches). 

I was optimistic when we first started , but then came some glitches, like that the paint I had bought was far from enough. I had to drive to a new store where I managed to buy the wrong color. It wasn’t the tiny color, but I was too frustrated to do anything about it, and we started painting with the new color instead. Or, to be honest, he started, while I happily took care of the corners and brought coffee. I think he realized that I had to keep away from most of the painting to not risking ruining the wall one more time.IMG_5754IMG_5752

We managed to paint the wall in an hour. And here I had tried to avoid painting it for weeks because I simply didn`t have the fantasy to imagine that it might actually work out fine.

The next day he came back, and we started to paint again. But he soon discovered what I tried to ignore: We did not have enough paint. So he sent me out again with an exasperated sigh, and I had to speed-drive to the store to get more paint. When I finally arrived at the store, I went straight to the painting apartment and found a young employee willing to help. But that wasn`t easy, as I had no idea how he could produce the right color. I had to call my friend so he could send a picture of the label with details I needed and supplement it with the other piece of paper that I got the day before when I bought the first can of paint. The young paint-expert had to try to piece together the confusing bits of information. His solution was to stir some paint first and not blend it properly before I had looked at it. In that way we could be sure that I had the right color. 

He started the blending process, while I was tripping because it felt like it took forever. 30 seconds IS a short time if you are inpatient like me. When he finished and showed me the result, I thought it was too dark, but wasn`t completely sure. I thought it probably would make it worse to start adding other colors into it, and said it had to do. I bought two big cans of it, which wasn`t cheap. Ten minutes later I was back in my apartment, where my friend almost had finished the whole wall. There was really just a small part of the wall left, and that annoyed me as I had bought two huge cans of paint. But what annoyed me more was when I opened the can of paint and saw that the new color was miles away from the other color. I wanted to throw the can out the window together with my head, but that wasn`t possible, especially since my overly positive friend said it would be no problem: We could simply paint the wall one more time! He also pointed out  that the new color actually fitted the rest of the room better. He was right, off course. He isn`t only a handyman, but wise too.

One hour later, my wall looked much better, and I finally felt that the world was a good place to live. 

Funny how things can change and become better, even when you think they won`t.

The sound of pride

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Pride is one of the sins In the bible, and in that case I'm a sinner. After four hectic weeks, that have gone pretty good considering I've travelled every week, I'm looking back and feel proud. The literal flying I've done is accompanied with mental flying, and it feels good. This week I'm going to Edinburg for the last course in the marathon, and I can't wait! The emdr conference is actually the cherry on the cake, and I also look forward to it because I'll have some time to look at the city as well! I'm also meeting E., and am so excited, since we never have met in real life.

There is so much more I could write, but this must do for now. I've included some pictures that show what I'm proud of. Next time I'll jump into my plane with a good conscience.

Animal lovers

New curtains
Part of a canvas project

 

 

Different projects

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Page in art journal book

 

DIY offers endless opportunities. Here are some images from different things I do, most of the pictures are products that weren’t entirely done when I took them. But you can see the process and maybe get some ideas yourself?

 

Bursdagskort
Decoupage
Blue bench
Blue and yellow dylusion inks