Wednesday 30 April 2014

Sweet things ...

... come in little packages. Not talking about chocolates , but skincare products. I don't use a lot , but being the age I am ( no clues ) I feel entitled to a decent moisturiser and because most eye-make up removers cause my eyes to weep, I like to buy a good hypoallergenic product. ... oh and because it's summer and I'm not supposed to get a tan I like to indulge in a good quality bronzer around this time of year.

So, my brand of choice is Clarins , always has been - love their stuff and it takes the guesswork out of having to choose from the myriad options out there. On Monday I ordered those 3 products. Today , a whole bundle of loveliness arrived on my doorstep.

These 3 for starters .... the items I ordered 

... plus 7 samples to try

... plus one very glam bag ... to hold .....

5 more ( very decent sized ) as a bonus !

Way to go Clarins , not 3 but 17 fabulous little beauty packages and no delivery charges and all landing on my doorstep within 48 hours. Now that's what I call service. The samples are perfect for travelling . Now all I have to do is book a holiday to take them with me ... if only Clarins had some exotic little spa tucked away in the Seychelles ... maybe they do ?

Tuesday 22 April 2014

Books For Sale

The 'simplifying' as I'm now calling it continues.

I have the following books for sale if anyone is interested:

RAK'd !



If there are any here you fancy leave a comment or drop me an email and I'll let you know what postage will cost - if anyone fancies the lot , I'm happy to courier which will probably be cheaper than Royal Mail.

Thursday 17 April 2014


Velvet, voile, canvas, calico, felt, silk, organza, denim, cotton, wool, silk ... you name it I have it ... in various sizes, widths and colours. Quite what I ever thought I might make with all this stuff, heaven only knows. I've now whittled it down to one medium sized basket.

I may never use any of it but it's comforting to know it's there , just in case. That's the problem - this 'Just in Case' scenario. When the end of the world is nigh and the apocalyptic whatever finally happens, is it really comforting to know that I will have nothing to eat or clean water to drink but I will have enough quilting squares to make myself a curtain which will stretch from one end of the country to the other ? I doubt it . I will also be able to embellish it with every conceivable size of pompom thanks to my collection of ( unused) pompom makers . Mind you , just the very mention of the word pompom cheers me up so aren't they worth keeping for that reason alone ?

I will leave you with the cheery sound of the word POMPOM ringing in your ears.

Wednesday 16 April 2014

There is another way ...

... to simplify your life which takes seconds. It's called Unsubscribe.

Every morning I"m bombarded by a dozen or so tempting emails from sites I may or may not have ordered from before. by 6am this morning I could have ordered a cordless screwdriver , a 2 foot high Morroccan lantern reduced by 20% , a holiday to Aruba( 2 weeks for the price of three), a half price fish tank foot de-tox and an Indian silk printed cushion - none of which I need or want. However the temptation was there to nab me during a weak moment. One click later and I was free from temptation. I'd still like the holiday but at least now I won't feel as if I'm missing out.

Oh -  I did order the cordless screw driver though , but then it is for a very good reason , as my visit to Ikea last night will testify.

Out with the old ...

... and in with the new. I felt vaguely embarrassed by the pile of make-up gathering dust in my bedroom. All the more so as I only ever really wear mascara. Some of it went back years, other items were bought in a mad rush of blood to the head and I'll admit to some purchases as being nothing more than desperate attempts to re-capture my youth ( Mac - where all the make-up assistants look lie extras from the set of Twilight ).

There were enough eye-brow pencil to draw a line twice round the earth and back again, every shade of brown imaginable ( looked more like the shade card from a Farrow and Ball paint chart ) and a multitude of dodgy past the sell by date mascara.

So , what to do ? Throw it all out ( apart from the Mac which went to some of my very grateful students ) .

I'm now the proud owner of a minimalist set of essentials - mascara , brow liner, eye shadow, lip gloss , face powder something or other and a decent set of brushes. They fit nicely inside a squishy metallic gold make-up bag and I LOVE it. I have Hayley-Jo to thank at the Laura Mercier counter of John Lewis for making me look half decent .

I cannot describe the joy of getting up in the morning and knowing that the whole shebang only takes 2 minutes to locate, choose ( no choice involved ) and apply. Just think - that must have saved me at least 5 minus a day , 35 minutes a week , 1825 minutes per year or just over 31 hours of saved time ... in which to find something to wear that actually fits. That's a whole other story.

P.S  The only non Laura Mercier item in the photo is Gimme Brow by Benefit - cannot recommend it highly enough . For an old nobby no-brows like me , it actually fills in the gaps, from years of over-plucking, with fibres but doesn't make you look like Groucho Marx.

Thursday 10 April 2014

I think I may have turned into a de-cluttering bore ...

... in fact I know I have . It's my last thought at night as the lights go out and my first waking thought . I'm heartily bored of it all myself and I keep asking myself HOW on earth did I let all my clutter build up like this  as if I didn't know the answer.

There's a timeline to de-cluttering . It starts with the desire to make space in your life , followed by a surge of energy at having broached the subject . This is quickly followed by a trip to a DIY store to get  the latest Dulux brochure. You start lusting after shelving systems, cupboards and storage boxes online into the wee small hours of the night .

There's then a bit of a delay whilst you summon up the energy ., a spot of procrastination perhaps about how it's not quite the right time. The first day is promising , the second is singularly unpromising and sometimes you don't get past the third day . There then comes a plateau followed by renewed vigour and then an all time slump into miserable depression by the end of the first week , assuming yo get that far.

If you manage to choose a paint colour , some new carpet and a curtain or blind this is called progress. At some stage of the proceedings you will become excessively grumpy and then whoa .... a flash of ruthlessness. The bin bags start piling up and you realise you could keep Oxfam in used goods for at least a decade. At some point you'll realise you need more extra strong bin bags - you're on a roll, literally.

When the furniture gets moved out into every available nook and cranny in the house in the days leading up to the painting you can pat yourself on the back at getting this far. The fact that you have to catapult yourself into bed from the other side of the room because there's a wall a boxes by your bedside , is a small price to pay ( although the novelty wears off quickly when you get up in the middle of the night to pee and can't get to the door before your pelvic floor goes. )

So we're 2 days and counting before the lid gets prised off the tin of Farrow and Ball Off White . The carpet is ordered ( acid test - if you can crush a handful of Digestives and watch the crumbs disappear into the pile it's a goer ) ,  I've splurged on those American shutters and may even stretch to a couple of new lamps.

Now the only problem is this. Lovely neutral shades of decorative gorgeousness on the walls, luscious slate grey on the floor , calming decorative accessories , natural baskets etc but then all the stash will go back in and it'll look as if the Dulux paint mixing machine has exploded in there. It's going to look like a technicolour acid trip on every shelf unless I discretely hide it behind closed doors in which case I'll never use the half of it as I'll never know what's there.

When you browse on Pinterest for Craft-room inspiration , they seem to fall into two camps :

Camp One - Boudoir style, over-frilly, pink nonsense where no crafting whatsoever goes on but the walls are awash with jokey quotes like " If in doubt just add glitter "

Camp Two - A mad assortment of every Rubber-Maid plastic storage option ever manufactured in various shades of purple and lime green.

I'm not sure I fall into either camp , so I'll have to make it up as I go along... but I won't be adding glitter.

Sunday 6 April 2014

Well ....

... the 3 shelves are out of my scrap room and squiggled into my bedroom but the Expedits are still there although not for long as the painting is being done next weekend. I've ordered the carpet and,  rather rashly, some of those American shutters for the window - a mad moment of impulse but I'm pleased I did it . Now I just have to wait 12 weeks for them to arrive.

All of my stash is now piled up on the shelves in my bedroom which means that every morning when I wake up, I find myself staring at it . This is good because I'm able to remind myself that there is simply too much of it . In scrapping , trends come and go so it's unsurprising that the brads and eyelets I used a decade ago will have gone out of fashion now. Lord only knows what we'll be thinking of washi tape in ten years time = probably marvelling that we all bought so much of it .

So would I wear some of the hideous clothes I bought a decade ago -? No. So why would I need a brad in every colour, size and shape ?

I've also realised that you really have to be in the right mind set to de-clutter . Last weekend I sat on the sofa and sobbed at how overwhelming the task had become. Needless to say , as is so typical of me , I could't just de-clutter my scrap room . It had to be the whole shebang - clothes, jewellery, make-up , toiletries the lot . So no wonder it all felt a bit hopeless.

All the make up went last week and all my jewellery has been de-tangled and is hanging from pretty hooks. My nail varnishes are down to a couple of nice bottles and I've given away any perfume I haven't worn for a year. Today I'm in the right mood to tackle my clothes. They're piling up in charity bags and it feels good.

I've also listed some items on ebay and there are actually a few bids on them . As the listings end today , I'll see how much they've made which is exciting . Encouraged , I've listed a few more. Little and often.

... which just leaves my stash - still the hardest part but it must be done. So what did I do yesterday ? Bought a whole lot more . Mad .