A Little Backstory

Here is a little bit of my story. It’s just a quick snapshot, but gives an idea of my perspective, and how I approach updates to our living spaces. Just because we rent our space, doesn’t mean it can’t have some character added.

Open Fields

I grew up in Michigan, in the rural part of a county where farms and dirt roads were just a way of life. There is something about seeing the horizon and the vaulted sky above that opens your eyes to the wonder of creation. Seeing storms move in, and watching the lightning flash across the sky makes you feel small, but not insignificant.

I now live in Massachusetts, which is where my husband grew up. I have moved back and forth from Michigan to Massachusetts a couple of times, but we have been here for a while now. Our girls are young adults, and settling in somewhere really hasn’t been something I’ve done.

We have lived in a lot of rented spaces, so changing those spaces has had limitations. Paint, flooring, kitchen design, are things I really enjoy thinking about, but aren’t options for the places we have lived. This however, allows me to get creative with the options I do have! I have to think about things a little differently, and sometimes take a more creative approach to how I organize or change a space.

That makes it fun. With a limited budget, limited space, and limited access to changing things, creativity becomes a priority! While I might not have things exactly how I would dream, it is a journey to make spaces reflect the things I would like. It is a compromise, but in a good sense! It isn’t focusing on what I can’t have, it’s focusing on what I do have, and what I can do with it!

I have some projects in other spaces that I have done, and while we have been in our current apartment about a year and a half, I’m really starting to work on things to make it ours while we are here.

The mess before starting

One thing I did, is applied removable wallpaper to part of the kitchen. I work full time, and as of March 2020, started working from home full time. The space we are in is very nice, and I do appreciate it, but wanted to make it a little more personal.

Progress

I was able to get it done over the weekend, and added a few strings of Edison-style patio lights around the top of the wall, to add some cozy and soft light for those dark mornings, and now evenings. Simple, quick, but adds character and is not permanent if we should move again.

So that’s a quick snapshot, but I’ll continue to share other projects as they come up.

Home is one of those spaces that changes as families change, but with this year where we have spent so much more time here, it’s an opportunity to think about simple changes or updates that make it reflect who we are.

Morning Coffee

Almost every morning, I make myself a cup of coffee. A mug, really. With a daughter who was a maestro for a local coffee shop, I learned some things about really tasting different types of coffee, and have put into practice, different methods for enjoying it fully.

I buy whole bean coffee, and while I am not a snob about using pre-ground coffee, there is a definite difference in the flavor that makes it into the cup (or mug).

My morning coffee goes like this:

I select the mug I will use. This is an important step! I have a few favorites, so I have some options. 

I get the white ceramic pour over coffee funnel that my other daughter got me for Christmas a few years ago, a coffee filter, and the coffee beans. The coffee beans are stored in the buffet, and each time I open the door where they are kept, the best scent greets my nose. 

I place the filter into the funnel, and with a gentle clink, I place the funnel on top of my coffee mug. I pour some coffee beans into my small manual grinder, listening to the plinking of roasted goodness, hitting the sides and nestling into place. 

I pour filtered water into my electric kettle, and push down the lever to begin the heating process. As the light on the kettle glows, I get to work grinding the beans. 

The grinder is a small metal cylinder, with ceramic burrs, that fits on top of another metal cylinder which captures the aromatic grounds as the handle on top is turned. It is a process that I have been following for some time now, but it is routine, and familiar. 

As the water begins to stir in the kettle, I continue to grind the beans until they gather at the imaginary mark on the small clear window of the bottom cylinder. I pour them into the waiting filter, and the water boils.

I pour a bit of water over the grounds, the steam carrying the aroma upward. As the water sinks in, I watch some flavorful flecks cling to the sides of the filter, and others move toward the bottom, taking the shape of the funnel. 

I continue to pour water, watching it soak through the grounds, making its way into my mug. I add some agave and half and half when the level is right, and stir to combine. 

I take my mug over to the kitchen table, which has been my work space for the last few months, to begin my day.

This is my morning coffee.

Keeping a Creative Perspective

I love the idea of creativity, and believe that everyone has some…creativity, that is. Sometimes it gets buried deep, due to fear, and I get that! It happens to me too! But I want this to be a safe space to come, find ideas, share some ideas, and grow your creativity. 

I will share projects, processes, and ponderings along the way, and would love to answer any questions you might have related to creativity. If you have an idea for a project, but are unsure where to start, I’d be happy to help!

Creativity needs to be nurtured. This includes exercising it, stretching and trying new things, as well as practicing some fundamentals. For those familiar with sports, some of these terms may sound familiar. There are some similarities. While there are people with raw talent, they still have to work to fine tune skills. For some this comes easily, and the skills develop quickly. For others, it takes more time, more energy, and more commitment. Neither of these ways are wrong, just different.

So if you find yourself saying you’re not creative, I invite you to visit, ask questions, and be willing to stretch and learn through the process. We may not be running any marathons here, but the exercises and outcomes can be very rewarding!