Decor ideas for my bedroom.

Happy palette!

I have always been in love with my little cottage: it’s not really mine, I’m on rent, but it always felt like mine. It’s the place where I have felt most at home after the house where I grew up in Milan. This cottage is also the house where I have lived for the longest. It’s been 16 years since I moved here, I can’t believe it… Time really flies!

So much has happened, especially in the last eight years, and I have to confess that I have neglected my house extensively. When I first moved here this place looked sad and unloved, but it had so much potential! I couldn’t believe how no one saw what this house could have become with just a touch of color here and there. It took me more than a year to repaint everything and turn it around because I did it all by myself, but in the end, it became a house that everyone liked and tried to copy. Without succeeding, haha. I’ve seen such disasters and horrifying color combinations in the houses that friends were trying to make look like mine, you have no idea.

But I look around now and I don’t recognize my once happy, colorful and so full of personality little home. To put it simply, it looks like shit. Like a dump. The level of discomfort that this causes me is deep, and I am quite sure that one of the reasons why it’s often hard for me to sit down and create, is because of how my house looks and feels. It brings my energy level down.

In my defense, there are reasons why this happened. I’ve had a shop for four years which drained all my energy and my money, leaving me with no time or funds to keep my home up. And then my mother came to live with me. We had to squeeze her apartment, which was a larger place than this, into this house, furniture and all. The problem is that my mom doesn’t really like living in the country and hoped to be able to move to another place. And she has some issues about letting go of things. She’s not a compulsive hoarder, but she owns more stuff than anybody I know, and it’s mostly stuff that she does never use, and that has no purpose. She’s that kind of person that stores things that ‘could be useful someday’. Only that that day never comes! I am not a minimalist by any means, but I don’t like clutter and I don’t hold on to things I don’t use. Seeing my place so stuffed has been highly demotivating and uninspiring.

horrible studio corner

My cottage is about 63sq mt: it has a large kitchen/living room on the first floor, and two bedrooms and a bathroom on the second. The smallest bedroom used to be my studio, and now it’s my mom’s room. My studio has been a tiny corner in my bedroom for the last five years.

I was hoping that the situation could change, that my mom could have had her own place again, but it hasn’t been possible until now, and it looks like it won’t be possible in the nearest future. And while I waited for the situation to improve, therefore not working on the house as it looked like wasting time and energy, everything kept on deteriorating more and more.

But Jesus, Buddha, Allah, Visnù, Shiva… I’m a designer!! I made people’s house looking pretty for half of my life, I designed shops, clothes, bags…

Time is up. I want to be happy, and you can’t be happy while living in a dump. I need to redecorate, I need to feel at home again. And since I am spending most of the time in my little studio corner in my bedroom, I will start from here. Gee, this will take a long time.

As always, when I start designing, I begin from a color. Colors are super important in a home, especially to me. And when you are on a strict budget there is nothing like color to decorate a room cheaply.

My favorite color is turquoise and all shades of blues, but I also love pink. Pink is a highly underestimated color. Not as girly girly as in almost everyone’s mind is, it can be very elegant and adult. Not to mention that if you get a good shade it’s also incredibly easy and fun to match with so many other colors.

Pantone has decided that Coral is the color of the year, and I agree. To me, it’s actually the color of my life, along with turquoise. My mom used to knit me sweaters, and when she asked me to choose colors…it was always turquoise or coral. So nice job, Pantone, you have my vote.

My house faces north. At an incredible ZERO DEGREES. This means a lot of things: positive energy flowing right through the door (if you believe these things, I do), having an indoor temperature as if the AC is on when outside there is 35C°, but also freezing to death if the heating is off during the winter and living half of the days with a north wind so strong that could cut me in two. Oh, and also, very little light. I always hated dark houses, but here it’s different. It makes the place relaxing and cozy.

horrible studio corner.

A dark house needs lots of white, you’ll say. I could agree on basic standards, if not that when I came here everything was white. And the result was really sad. This house screams for colors.

There’s light on early mornings if it’s sunny. Also, note the pink wall. And yes, I was trying to change the sheets, which is every cat most favorite thing after boxes.

Apart from cans of colors, there is only one thing that I am going to buy: a new closet. Years ago the house got flooded and the closet I currently have was damaged. It kept up for a while, but its time has come, now it’s really falling apart. And I don’t want a large, long and tall closet that I can’t move anymore once assembled, I want something I can move if my necessity changes. I am not a big Ikea fan, but when you are on a budget it’s the only place to go.

This is the HEMNES closet and I like it. Also pretty in yellow, but I think I’ll stick with white. I like that it got legs and it’s not directly on the floor. I like that it isn’t too tall and too heavy and I can move it around if I want to rearrange the space. Or, most likely, to clean. Hi Virgos of the world, I know you can understand me.

These are the color codes. I’m going to start repainting little things, like my drawer: this way I’ll have the time to change a bit the shades if needed and I’ll be able to follow my feelings. Color is about feelings, most of all. So I’m currently thinking about painting my drawer turquoise, but maybe as I’ll go I’ll discover I have the need for a touch of yellow somewhere. Or light green. Color to me is like eating food, I decided which one to use based on my desire and need.

It’s going to be a lot of work, but I know I ‘ll have fun. Also, I won’t rush it. I want to do things with love and care…but I can’t wait to dip the brushes into those colors!! Turquoise!! Coral!! Squeee!

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Oh, Charles.

Your life is your life
don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission.
be on the watch.
there are ways out.
there is a light somewhere.
it may not be much light but
it beats the darkness.
be on the watch.
the gods will offer you chances.
know them.
take them.
you can’t beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.
your life is your life.
know it while you have it.
you are marvelous
the gods wait to delight
in you.

Charles Bukowski, The Laughing Heart

source

This.

Let yourself fall.
Learn to observe snakes.
Plant impossible gardens
Let someone dangerous in for tea.
Make small Signs that say “yes”
and spread them all over your house.
Become a friend of freedom and uncertainty.
Look forward to dreaming. Cry at the movies.
Swing as high as you can on a swing at moonlight.
Maintain different moods.
Refuse to be “responsible”. DO IT OUT OF LOVE.
Take a lot of naps.
Pass on money. Do it now.
The money will follow.
Laugh a lot. Bathe in the moonlight.
Dream wild, imaginative dreams.
Draw on the walls. Read every day.
Imagine you are enchanted.
Giggle with children. Listen to old people.
Open yourself. Dive in. Be free.
Praise Yourself. Let go of fear.
Play with everything. Preserve the child in you.
You are innocent.
Build a castle of covers
Get wet. Hug trees.
Write love letters.

Joseph Beuys.

source

I got hit in the head by a wooden box full of colored pencils.

I’ve made a little test video on Youtube that I filmed with my very cheap phone.

Wow. Three months have gone since the last post.

I’ve been feeling disconnected and uninspired. I did draw, even if not as much as I wanted. It’s hard to face the blank page in front of you when you feel exactly like a blank page inside. You feel like you have nothing to tell, so creating is hard. I wasn’t depressed or sad, I was just…kind of lost. But I would punch myself in the face because I know exactly why this happens, but I still make this mistake over and over again!

It’s just that I have this stupid habit of asking myself too many questions and I dig holes that are too deep. When I do this, it always comes a time when I look around and what I see it’s just a million unanswered questions and the darkness of a deep hole.

Again, not depression this time, but some kind of cold rational thought that made me look at things in a flat, shapeless way. With very little emotion.

I’m the least rational person in this world. Rationality sometimes it’s necessary but I am not a big fan. I usually do things following my gut, and it’s been very rarely wrong. But somehow I thought that since nothing is really working out in my life, it was time for me to be rational and face reality. The reality of what, I don’t know. I told myself that it was time for me to accept that things were probably meant to be like this and that there was very little I could do.

What a cold drama queen I can be sometimes.

Looking back now, I can see how I was trying to protect myself from suffering and delusion. As if it was possible! Like, remove all emotional attachment from your dreams and passions and move on. This is your life and it sucks, accept it. Spare yourself from other future sufferings. Let yourself be. Wake up in the morning, clean, work, do all the things you need to do, go to sleep, repeat. Until the day you’ll day. Alone, probably eaten by your dogs. This is the only way to save yourself.

But I have a friend, the best friend anyone could have, my sister from another mother and father, from another country and from, most probably, another life, and she knows exactly when I need to be encouraged. So one day I got this package from Amazon and it was funny because I hadn’t ordered anything. The content of this package spoke a message that was loud and clear: three Beatrix Potter books, two about mindfulness, and a box of colored pencils. Not just any colored pencils, but Derwent Inktense, and in a wooden box. Now, I have no idea how she knew I had wanted these pencils for ages as I am pretty sure we never talked about it, so imagine my shock. Also, I have been working professionally for years and I never had a fancy wooden box with pencils or any other art supply in a wooden box.

Do what you love.

It was like that wooden box had hit me in the head.

I woke up.

I fucking hate rationality. A life without dreams is a life lost. Who cares about the outcome.

But I looked around and I was lost in the hole. And I became kind of fat during the last year! Jumping back up from the bottom of the hole requires an athleticism I don’t have anymore. But somehow I made it.

The only question that I am asking myself now, the only question that matters, the only one that you should ask yourself is: what makes me happy?

In my case is creating, be in nature, art and animals.

So instead of jumping back up from the bottom of the hole with a double flip, I dragged my heavy body out of it with the power of music, movies, books and all that it’s pretty in the world. I turned the news down, turned the music up and little by little, I came back.

Hello, world. It’s almost spring.

What makes me happy? Art, creating, nature, pets, music, books, movies, swimming, yoga. That’s all that matters. And I’d rather fail at things that matter to me while doing them than live without.

2019. Now I’m really ready.

2019, let’s do this!

It’s only January 15th and I am already late with a few things on my schedule. I’ve fallen into the trap of saying too many yesses one more time and this is the result.

One of the too many yesses was said to someone who I thought was a friend, who asked me to help with his job and his website: I wasn’t exactly full of enthusiasm at the idea, but It was a moment in which I had very little to do, and so…I said yes. Who am I to turn down a job offer, right?

But my gut is always right because it turns out it’s a total waste of my time, and it’s slowing me on the only thing I want to do: draw. It’s slowing me down on the only thing that it’s making me earn money, on the only job I have! But since it doesn’t feel like a job, since I love it so much, since I can’t wait to get up in the morning to sit at my desk and play with my watercolors…

…this is the right word! PLAY. It feels like playing and it makes me feel guilty. Who am I to make money while playing? Who am I to be this happy about something? And so I sabotaged myself. Unconsciously. Again.

In my defense, I need to say that I have become a lot better at saying no, but I just found out there is a little bit more of work to do. It’s totally fine.

So the beginning of this year has been a bit rough. There no lotus flower without a bit of mud, I keep on telling myself.

I wanted to open up my new shop two weeks ago, but this so-called job slowed me down a lot and then, just as I had a couple of days off to work on it, my iMac decided to leave me. What a nightmare. I bought a cheap second-hand PC that will work for now as I have no funds for a new iMac, and I am working on my shop as I type. I don’t want to have any other distractions and launch it as soon as I get all the files ready. Hopefully by the end of this week.

Because of all this tension, my back got stuck. What. Pain. It happens to me quite often and especially when I am very tense or feel trapped in something. I get too tense, and my back gets too rigid until it can’t move anymore. I’m on the mend, but I should know better…

…DON’T SAY YES. Not to people who don’t help themselves. If they don’t move a finger to learn how to solve their problems, why should I do all their work? My experience has taught me that these are the people who are going to point their fingers at you and blame you for all that didn’t work out in their lives while they did absolutely nothing to make things better.

Bottom line, I still need to learn how to love myself 24/7. I got a lot better at that, but there is still a bit of work to do. Feeling guilty because I love what I am doing is SO STUPID. I worked for this. I’ve spit blood, I’ve starved, I’ve sacrificed everything for my freedom. I went against everyone and I’ve been alone.

I deserve this. It didn’t come for free.

And no matter how strange it started I can predict that 2019 will be a fun year.

Let’s do this.

Happy Winter Solstice!

I used to go crazy for Christmas as a child: the lights in the streets, the Christmas Tree, and all the gifts! My family wasn’t Catholic, so I never went to church and our Christmas wasn’t religious at all. Growing up I became a Buddhist but became also interested in all the pagan traditions, and so I kept decorating the tree every year. Only now I don’t celebrate Christmas AS Christmas but as Yule, or Winter Solstice.

Yesterday it was Winter Solstice and the first day of Yule, which celebrations go from December 21st to the 26th. It’s the celebration of the light, which will come back little by little every day until Spring Solstice.

I was wishing for a bit of snow, but nothing. It’s been really warm until mid – December and then.all of a sudden, the air froze. I woke up one day and all was covered with ice. But no snow.

I took these pictures a few years ago. In the first one, you can see my house, on the left. It’s so beautiful when it snows here, I feel like I’m on the moon. I don’t like winter at all, but I am in love with snow and with the dreamy feeling that it adds to everything.

Thinking about it it’s a good thing there is no snow yet as I have one less distraction form working on my new shop! It’s taking me a lot longer than planned, but I like the way it is coming along and I can’t wait to show you! It’s going to be live on January 3…just another way to kick off the new year with a bang!

The 55 things list.

The last four years have been highly transformative. And very painful, as deep transformations are. 

In 2015 I closed my brick and mortar shop. I was broke and broken. Totally confused. Took up every kind of job just to get by, as I had no idea of which way to go. 

In 2016 all was pretty much the same as in 2015. But I began taking things more lightly. I realized that at the core of my problems there was a lack of self-love, something I already understood years before… only I had no idea of how deep this lack was. So I began digging and healing.

Excuse me? I’m writing! 

2017 was better. I began to draw again, this time for myself, and something inside of me shifted. I thought I knew what I wanted to do, but I wasn’t sure. Lack of self-love comes with habits that are hard to kick…and so I took one step forward and two steps back. 

2018 has been the year in which I have made my mind up once and for all and kicked all fears away. I am happier, excited. I feel like I can face everything just because I know exactly who I am and what I want to do. And I knew what I wanted to be since I was eight years old, then forgot all because of other people’s expectations and frustrations, but here I am again: an eight year old in the body of a 47 years old woman. A deadly combo.

Just a little side note: FEARS ARE A TOTAL WASTE OF TIME! Unless you learn how to use them. More on this some other time.

Anyway, for most of this year, my brain was like scrambled eggs, something that ALWAYS happens to me when I get excited. I want to do everything, all at once, go everywhere, etc. Being not exactly organized, you can imagine the results. I made very little of all I had in mind. 

But 2019 is going to be different. First of all, for a very stupid reason: 19 has been the number that took me through serious change, even if not always good right away. Nine is my lucky number. The year 1999 was really good, for example. Don’t tell me you don’t have a lucky number.

Superstitions aside, trying hard to use what little rationality I have, I can see how nothing can’t go bad if not because I went through so much shit and managed to shovel it away…really, what more can happen? Smallpox and cholera epidemic could be the only thing, but I’m vaccinated, so I say I’m done with shit for a while.

But I have to solve the focus problem. Stay concentrated and organized. 

I have had a habit of writing down a list of things to do, see, buy etc., at the and of every year. It’s usually a 100 things list because I really love to go wild, but do I stick by it? Never. I always cheat. The thing is, nobody reads my list. It’s mine. Cheating is easy.

Susanna the writing assistant.

Since everything is still evolving, I decided to keep it simple and lighten up my list by writing down ‘only’ 55 things. Mind you, I could have easily wrote down the missing 45 things, but there is no reason to do it right now. The 55 in this year’s list are doable and it’s what I need. 

So, to hold myself accountable, I have decided to make my list public with a dedicated page on this blog. And to log in every month, to update my progress.

I know it’s not the end of the year yet, but I am impatient. Bring it on, 2019!

Here’s the list