More Illo Goodness:
I’m so happy to tell you that I just re-opened my shop and am now offering this new print – “a liberal allowance of time” for sale. Read about the story behind this print here.
And purchase a print of your own here.
I hope that as you hang this on your wall you might remember to allow yourself time and space to just BE…
Thanks for your support!
Two weeks ago my daughter started kindergarten, marking the first time in five years that she’s been away all day. And the first time in five years that I’ve been away from her for that amount of time. To say it was a shock is an understatement. We both dreaded it – and looked forward to it – in the long summer days leading up to it, and we both cried the day of, realizing that it was a whole new chapter for both of us. More independence. More definition between mother and daughter. It wasn’t really as dramatic as it sounds… I mean, it’s just kindergarten. But it also was.
Since her birth I’ve gotten really efficient at doing my work in short time frames (as you must when you’re a stay at home mom who illustrates). So that first day I wrapped up all my work, sent it off to my clients, and then sat there wondering what to do next. I picked up the house. I prepped for our dinner meal. And then I found myself on the floor — literally lying on the floor just waiting until she came home.
Not a bad place to be, really… the floor. It’s very solid. And the floor graciously gives you time to think and breathe. And I thought about my life pre-Veda… how I worked almost non-stop, always in the studio, always pushing hard to create. And I realized that that was great and necessary then, but I didn’t want to just assume that lifestyle again right away. I’ve diversified my interests in the last five years – Thai bodywork, gardening, cooking, being, etc – and I’m happier for it. But still, what to do now with all this time on my hands?
And then it occurred to me that I didn’t have to decide right now. I don’t need to prove myself to anyone or be seen as ambitious or be praised as a go-getter. I can ease into this time gently and navigate patiently. I’m in the fortunate position of being able to just wait and see what happens. Watch what surfaces naturally.
And as these things go, I stumbled across a quote that basically said the right thing at the right time:
“The finest workers in stone are not copper or steel tools, but the gentle touches of air and water working at their leisure with a liberal allowance of time.” ~ Henry David Thoreau
And something surfaced. An idea for a personal piece of art. Now, I haven’t done any art for myself since I was pregnant with Veda. I did lots of art with her and lots of client art, but nothing just because, for myself. So I really didn’t believe it when I read that quote and felt compelled to make it visual. But I proceeded.
And below is that piece. The woman lying as a stone in a riverbed. Allowing the water and air to shape her at their leisure… No pushing. No tools. No added effort. I’ve titled it “a liberal allowance of time”.
And I like it because it marks where I am right now.
Last project in this home renovation “before” series is the addition of a kitchen pantry. Because my kitchen doesn’t currently have a pantry, I’ve been storing all my bulk goods in the laundry room, which was less than ideal. Especially because there’s a very easy fix: on the other side of our kitchen wall is a bedroom that had two closets: a large one with double doors and a smaller closet with one door. So our idea was to wall off the smaller of the two and open it up on the kitchen side to make a pantry. Smart, yes?
Here’s a picture of the plaster wall being cut out to expose the closet in the other room:
And here’s what it looks like today - the studs were moved to the back wall, where the old door used to be, and it’s being dry-walled off.
The reason the door opening looks so big is because I chose a five-panel shaker style pocket door for this space. That way the door won’t swing open into the kitchen, blocking off traffic or seating. I love the shaker door style a whole lot because it’s semi-vintage-looking and kind of matches the style of our house: boxy and linear.
Now I don’t get to do a whole kitchen overhaul like I want to (funds!). It currently has dark cabinetry, and I’d like white, but it’s brand new, so we can’t justify removing it. And I know I can make it work with some simple tweaks. See the inspiration board for what I’m thinking:
That’s the shaker door in the upper left. And I already have a bunch of vintage mason jars with zinc lids and an old two-toned crock (thrift store scores!). So I’m just going to get a bigger kitchen island that seats two (IKEA, most likely) and some new white shelving and call it a day.
Next up to share with you in our home renovation adventures is the entryway. Formerly, there sat a simple, sad knee wall separating the entryway from the living room. No storage or functionality, really. I’m glad *something* was there to define the spaces, but why not make it beautiful and useful? It’s the first thing people see when they come into our home, so let’s make it good.
Here is a “before” picture of the late knee wall:
It got torn down in a blink and a bigger one was framed out that is chunkier and will house bookshelf storage and a substantial column. Here is a picture of me looking like I know what I’m talking about:
And to add some symmetry, we’re adding mouldings to the opposite wall that will have hooks for coats and backpacks. Here’s a shot of that in the works:
While we’re at it, we’re replacing that yicky decorative iron screen door that makes you feel like you’re in jail (see pics above). And on the tiny front porch that greets you, we’re taking out a similar scroll-y iron post situation and replacing it with a column that mimics the entryway column. The idea is that when you walk up to the house, you’ll see a white two-tiered column, easily open a non-jail-like, non-screeching screen door and walk into an entryway with similar aesthetics to give you a warm, coherent welcome. I hope it works!
Below was the inspiration board I put together to show what I was dreaming about with this project. You can see the idea of bookshelves and columns, the wall with mouldings and some pretty things I’ll add to make it homey and human. I think it’s gonna look great!
Next post will most likely be about the kitchen pantry. Stay tuned. I know you’re on the edge of your seats. hee! :)