Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Simple Pleasures and Found Treasure

Simple Pleasures...

Ivan was surprised to come home today to find me ironing our everyday napkins. I have to say that it's not a normally a chore I have on my to-do list, but our days have been so incredibly chaotic that I felt the need to put some semblance of order somewhere, anywhere in our lives. There was something so comforting about spraying the water, listening to the hiss of steam and the rhythmic back and forth motion of a hot iron... and then finally, the immediate gratification of running my hand along the smooth fabric... it brought me an easy and simple bliss.

Lately I've found myself focusing on finding beauty and pleasure in the smallest of our daily movements and items. I took some time this week to clean out the refrigerator of the myriad of condiments, jams and whatnot that had been sitting in there forever and was happy to find some pretty glass jars (after cleaning) to use for vases, storage, etc.

I took more than a little pride in finally going through the stack of little boy jeans that needed mending and finally patching them up. I realize that many would argue that it probably is more cost efficient to just go buy new pairs than to spend the time sewing them, but the frugal side of me could not bear the thought of spending money when I could just fix them myself and get a little bit more life out of them.

"Before" picture

Perhaps I am looking for joy in the small things that are more readily under my control rather than the larger, bigger issues in life that aren't. Nevertheless, I hope that all of you find small bits of happiness in your daily routine and as I always find inspiration from you, my friends, I hope you'll share what kind of joy you find in your daily life :)

... Found Treasure

I have to admit a not-so-dark secret of mine... I am a bit of a scavenger. Luckily, there are vast riches to be found in being a scavenger in my neighborhood. Now, please don't get me wrong, it's not like I dig through peoples trash bins (um, big yuck) but I do avail myself of the boxes of free things (like books, household items, etc) the neighbors leave out on the curb in front of their homes. The other day I was wistfully thinking about making the green shack a place to get away if I needed some breathing space. I was thinking that a wicker chair may be a nice addition... and then last weekend THIS appeared on the sidewalk a few blocks from my home!

I couldn't believe it, a (relatively) clean rocker in pretty good shape! There are a few spots that could use reinforcement, but oh.my.goodness, it was even better than the one I had pictured in my mind! I am showing it here with some pieces of an old quilt (that again, I had found in a free box) I am going to make cushions with. (The ottoman was a find at a local salvage paradise called Urban Ore- only $5!).

It's surreal how I can think about needing/wanting something and within a few days, the universe will provide it curbside. An umbrella double stroller, baskets from Ikea (the exact same ones I was planning on going out to buy the next day), racks for the boys trains, a baby name book while I was pregnant... are just a few things that seem to arrive just when I need them. I tend to walk everywhere -usually with the boys and a stroller- so it is a bit of a job explaining to them why they need to walk so Mommy can carry furniture home in their seats, but I think they're used to it by now : ).

I thought I'd share some of the flowers that we have in our dining room. Whenever I walk by them or see them from another room, they lift my spirits up a bit... a simple pleasure I wanted to share with you all :)

(By the way, my apologies for my lack of WIP updates.. I just haven't had much progress on any of my crafty works, but with Matteo's birthday coming next week, I'll be hunkering down this weekend to finish things up and hopefully will have an eyeful for you all next week!)


nicola said...

marina, i LOVE curbside shopping! the city does pre arranged, individual bulky pick ups now, but it used to be a scheduled in each neighborhood. we'd wander around and collect things!

that wicker chair and ottoman (love UO...haven't been in ages)! those are gorgeous together!

and marina, if you love ironing, want to come do the pile of shirts i have procrastinated on the last 2 nights? dusting, ironing, window washing...not my favorites.

thank you for the bouquet of flowers. are they from your dad's garden?

lovely post, marina. i love (most of) the simple tasks as well! they make such a chunk of the day, it seems right to take pleasure in them!


cat said...

you are so like me! except my neighborhood doesn't have any good curbside shopping, have to go into town for that but a bargain is a bargain! i totally believe in the power of putting it out to the universe what you need and it being provided. i've seen it happen so many times, sometimes not exactly like i imagined but usually better..:)

have fun with your new finds! xoxo

Neptune said...


I just stumbled on your blog. This last post is very inspiring to me, this morning. Simplicity and the little things really *do* make the difference at the end of the day. That is what life is all about.
THanks for that refreshing post!

Stephanie said...

A lovely post!
'Cept I don't iron. :) My version is to spray it with water and hang it outside to let the wrinkles fall out.

But the rest I can totally relate to! :)

renee ~ heirloom seasons said...

Dear Marina, I love this post! So many wonderful things. I swear I was looking at my glass jars the other and thinking of taking pictures of them, wondering if I was crazy for it. (And not just my antique blue canning jars, all of my random jars.)
I too get extreme pleasure out of mending my children's clothes. Not always in the actual process, really dislike mending torn knees on pants, but just that fact that I am making them last, that they will not go to waste, that we do not have to buy new.
My husband is particularly good at having a thought and having it manifest shortly after!
And what beautiful flowers. I'm so glad you have them to make you feel good!

Anonymous said...

i'll look forward to the after of the patched jeans...so fun!

Polar Bear Creations said...

Great post! :0)
I found treasures like like you before. I was thinking about a second sewing machine as a back-up. The next day I went to Goodwill and couldn't believe it... I found a Singer sewing machine! For 14.99$ !!!!
What are the chances! I have had things like that happening before.