What a week it’s been- lots of work, lots of play. Lots of deadlines to meet, lots of firsts, lots of places to be. I’m currently at the apartment in Parramatta as there is no renovation work to be done on my new room until later this week, perhaps Wednesday or Thursday. The painting is nearly completed and all that’s left to do is a second coat on the wardrobe doors and to cover the inside. I’ve cleared out my old room and will take a near final lot of bags up to the Blue Mountains later this week. It’s become very apparent to me that despite being a minimalist, I have my own secret hoard and it’s somewhat out of control. I can’t tell you how many interior design, home styling and arts and crafts magazines I have. The redeeming factor however is that I’ve been putting them to good use lately. They certainly aren’t going to waste.
Now, all that’s left to move is bulky furniture like my mirror, desk, chair and bed. We’ll have my uncle up soon to dismantle the furniture, move it out of the apartment block, provide transport and put everything back together. On that note, I have a vivid memory of the last time I got new furniture. It makes me laugh as, looking back, I was too impatient and set on the idea that waiting for somebody else to help me assemble made me less of a feminist. I was successful in my pursuit but I definitely screwed bolts on too tightly and put some pieces on backwards. Oh well, as one does. I won’t be replacing all my furniture as what I’m keeping is in perfect condition and fits the style I’m going for.
As of now, we’re waiting on a quote for plantation shutters for the window and french door in the room. On Friday we had someone from the local homemaker centre come out and take measurements. He seemed to think that blockout curtains could be another option for the space but I prefer a more modern and fresh look. Although, they could be a lot sleeker. If I didn’t opt for shutters, I’d probably go back to looking at curtains.
I’m also waiting for parcels I’ve recently ordered to arrive. I picked a beaded chandelier for the main light and got some new linen bedding from my go to store I love Linen in the shades of Clay, Sandalwood and Neutral Gingham. I also have a few white pillowcases that I’ll use for my setup. I picked out a quilt cover, flat sheet, fitted sheet and two pillowcases. I was happy to see that I Love Linen offer discounted bundles and a rewards program. I noticed that the beds they styled had valances too. It definitely adds flow, visual interest and that hint of luxury!
Throughout this renovation process I’ve made a mental note to shop smaller and more consciously and lift up individual creators where I can. Etsy has made all the difference and led me to some really unique finds. The Chandelier is an everlasting handmade piece from a beautiful lady called Mira who is located in Bali. This week I’m spending time with family and hopefully going plant shopping. An Ikea trip is in the works because their aisles are brilliant to walk through and I really enjoy the maze like set up. It may be a money sucking ploy but I get lost in my passion for pretty and affordable decor. I’m hoping their plant section will be extensive and give me lots to choose from. The bohemian style I’m going for is allowing me to shift from a dried flower/pampas grass/palm frond aesthetic to a plant mom vibe. Here’s to cleaner air and the experience of watching something small grow big and strong! I’ll be keeping my eye out for a fiddle leaf fig and some hanging plants. What I’m yet to work out however is my set up. I’ll have new carpet down so don’t want a mess of soil and water. A trolley or stand may be the way to go.
On the topic of other news, Billy Blue College of Design had their open day in Ultimo yesterday. It was a big relief to finally explore the campus, meet teachers and get a feel for who I could make friends with in the coming weeks. It had a lovely atmosphere and I felt welcome, inspired and ready to commit my all. I found out that my first year will have less of a heavy focus on computer aided design and that we’ll do more tactile work. I was glad to hear this because majority of what I do is online- blogging, photography. While this has my heart, I miss engaging my senses and seeing something come together before my eyes. That being said, I know that growth doesn’t come from staying within the bounds of what you know and refusing change. By the time I’m a second or third year student, should I choose to go on, I’ll be a lot more comfortable with drawing and the software they use in the industry.
The event was fully catered and we had coffee, brownie, caramel slice, rice paper rolls and a fruit salad. I don’t know how they pulled it all together but the experience was made so much more pleasant just through that. Funnily enough I’d been worried about feeling tired through the day and had made an extra effort to have a sandwich and a latte. I’m not much of a breakfast person. As it turns out, our morning need not have been so early. We arrived at Billy Blue half an hour before the event was scheduled to start- I was incredibly surprised. The words “you’re very early!” had never reached my ears before- certainly not like “you’re very late!” had. This allowed my brother and I a good chunk of time to explore the area and find out where the best coffee shops were. Not much looking was required on our part as we stumbled upon Inspiration Coffee. It was cute, quaint and all good things. Between the two of us, we left ten dollars poorer.. if only we hadn’t been encouraged to stop for a drink!
Afterwards, my grandma, brother and I headed to a dance event that my mum was participating in. We watched her for a while and then headed home. In the world of professional dance, they refer to this event as a showcase and the dances as heats, of which there were more than two hundred. They had a full day of dancing and then headed to the ballroom next door for dinner and social time. It’s very glitzy, glamorous and a far cry from the creative hobbies I pursue that revolve around oneself and are so rooted in solitude. This particular showcase was meant to have been held in Adelaide but alas, covid. A livestream would have to suffice.
In general, people are not drawn to perfection in others. People are drawn to shared interests, shared problems, an individual’s life energy. Humans connect with humans. Hiding one’s own humanity and trying to project an image of perfection makes a person vague, slippery, lifeless and uninteresting.
I took Sunday as a reset and had a much needed lie in, making plans only for later on in the day. I feel so recharged just going through the motions and acting out my rituals. Ironic considered I’m full of yearning for adventure and have a constant desire to live to the full in every moment. So, I brewed a cup of coffee, poured it into my favourite polkadot mug and watched a curated selections of moments from this youtuber and that youtuber. Lately I’ve fallen head over heels for the New York, big city girl lifestyle. It’s taken a lot out of me and removed my focus from the many ways in which I am in control of my path, my future, my decisions. I start romanticising the days of people whose realities I have no clue about. Payton Sartain, texas girl, is one of the youtubers I saw a vlog from. She filmed herself taking off her makeup and working barefaced and it was an ordinary moment like this that brought me some peace and reminded me that the good life is highly subjective. She may have an insane skyline view from her apartment but she also has work and skin problems, as does just about everybody! The human experience is such a rollercoaster.
To remedy this, I do a mental reset and make one decision that will serve to remind me of my power. My dad, brother and I will often spend a day together on the weekend. Most of the time our outings aren’t planned but this time I had a special place in mind. If you’ve seen my photo diary from my trip to The Grounds Of Alexandria, you’ve seen the bliss that is a nature reserve, eatery and Instagram photo playground all in one. It’s a hidden gem tucked away in an Industrial suburb- unless you know of it, chances are you won’t stumble upon the location or ever venture inside. They have four venues within- the Potting Shed, The Cafe, The Courtyard and The Grounds of The City. What’s most magical is the themed experience they have on right now. To celebrate the seventieth anniversary of Disney’s Cinderella, they’ve set up floral archways, a pumpkin carriage, crystal chandeliers, classic artwork for the film and even snagged two original dresses to put up on display. They are designed by Paola Sebastian for the Royal Wardrobe. Not to mention, there’s even a lavish drink and cake menu!
We stopped in at the Pottery Shed and ordered our mains- The Maffalda Pasta with herb pesto, goats cheese, baby vegetables and roasted cherry tomatoes + The Seared Yellowfin Tuna with tarragon vinegar aioli, cherry tomatoes and olive and caper salsa. For drinks we opted for mocktails. The Pina Backyarder, served in a pot with a sunflower. It had coconut, pineapple and flora de cana in it. I chose The Casual Encounter, a thirst quenching kiss of elderflower, tanqueray, peach and rose syrup. It was a to die for spread and I was simply in heaven. As if we hadn’t eaten enough already, we later stopped for dessert at Kurtosh, a turkish bakery in the Surry Hills area and had a coffee, chai latte, hot chocolate and selection of cakes. The strawberry and pistachio sponge was moist and subtle but really packed a punch. That incredible fluffiness in sponge cakes is the result of olive oil sometimes! Another favourite of mine was the mini chocolate croissant- so rich, so decadent. Chef’s kiss!