In three months I will have lived in this house for forty years. Forty years of neutral. Forty years of Bridal White. Or Navajo White, depending on the room.
This was supposed to be a starter house and was painted for resell in three to five years. Forty years of living in a house that never felt permanent because it was always to be resold.
But never was.
It seems significant to me, now. Forty years of feeling temporary. Of feeling like I didn't belong here. In spite of it all. Two children born - literally - in this house and raised to adulthood. My temporary job now in it's twenty-second year. I still feel like the newbie there, too.
Where does a feeling of permanence come from? Or does it ever? Are we just forever in touch with our temporary existence on this planet?
March 23 is the anniversary of my moving into this house. It is also my mother's 82nd birthday. This was the first Christmas where her age was showing. She'd had a party dumped on her (the original hostess cancelled out) two weeks before Christmas and so I helped out. Spent a couple of days during the weekends ahead of the party at her house catching up on some projects. She hadn't had her living room back the way she liked it since my dad died three years ago, and it was lovely to see how excited she was to have her "beautiful" living room back together. I took the party day off to help her with the party prep and to help serve and clean up. She just doesn't have the stamina for that kind of prep any more.
I also moved in with her the Monday before Christmas to help with that event. It was a lovely Christmas, but she and I agreed that our favorite memory will be spending the Monday before with my youngest son as he put up her Christmas tree. She had a little game she had bought with reflection questions about Christmas. I had always tried to make Christmas magical for my little boys, and it was nice to learn that he remembers our Christmas celebrations with fondness. After dinner that day my older son and his wife and his son Skyped us from Japan and gave us two precious hours with them all. The baby turned two over the summer and talks in two languages. Some of it I can even understand.
None of which is why I came here today.
I came to celebrate the sunrise.
I have claimed a space. I don't know if it will be permanent or temporary, but for now I am treating it as MINE. And I've just about finished the moving in. More appropriately, as of today, I've just about finished the PAINTING!
I love painting. Walls, not art. Walls and trim and baseboards. Today it was me and Sara. Singing away while I turned my new studio into a sunrise. I call it "DS." Started as "Debi's Space" and progressed to "Dream Suite." That was too much a ripoff from Disney (even for a geek like me) so I have opted for the ostentatious but somehow appropriate title of "Divine Studio."
The first thing I did in there was set up my sewing space. Now that Christmas is over, I can post pictures of the projects I completed for gifts:
My son had included on his Christmas list "a nice, elf-made apron." I assume I was the intended elf, and with my new space was happy to produce. It is reversible and he immediately put it on with the dog bone pattern on the front.
If you've been visiting awhile you might remember that three years ago I made some little passport purses as gifts for my older son's Japan family. I made five of them for my loved ones this year. One was sent to New York before I took pictures, but here are a couple of my favorites from the rest:
My sister-in -law is a book fan and also a fan of the work of Mary Engelbreit, so I used Engelbreit's book fabric for my SIL's. It was my favorite to do since I could fussy cut the designs throughout the bag. She got a Kindle Paperwhite for Christmas and thought the device might just fit in the bag. I hope so, but if it's too small I'll make her another one.
My sister had requested one in animal prints, and I was happy to oblige:
And, of course, Mom had to have one for Disneyland. It only took her about five minutes to decide just how she would fill it for our trips.
I still have a few in progress. With all the trips to my Mom's before Christmas, I just ran out of time for all I wanted to do. But I think they will make nice Valentine's Day gifts.
I will post pictures of my new space when I finish the project. Refer to a previous post for the colors I chose. I finished the tangerine wall and part of the sunset . I'm expecting delivery of a "fireplace" (actually a space heater that looks like a fireplace) in a few days and it's going in a corner, so I wanted the two adjoining walls that will back it painted before it arrives. I'm so excited! I get to assemble the thing. Yeah, I'm weird like that. I had a blast in 2009 when I redid my bedroom and had to assemble a whole bunch of furniture. I'm looking forward to putting this thing together, too.
I'm planning on moving my recliner out of the family room (where I never go) and into this new retreat. Think of it! My own space, away from awkward conversations with my housemate (aka future ex-husband; still waiting for property to sell on that one) and away from the incessant television crap. Just me, music and something to stitch. Or write. Or scrapbook.
It's going to be a lovely retreat.
I'm over the moon happy with the colors.
I am no longer a neutral kinda girl. And my space is starting to reflect it.
"Live like we're still alive."
You got it, Sara. Like I'm still alive. And not neutral.