No Paintings – Just Life!

I haven’t posted for some three weeks – some of you have even messaged me   🙂   Those of you who follow along on the Contented Crafter Facebook page are kind of in the loop…… briefly put it’s been a little bit crazy with not much going on in the Create Joy room that can be shared.

First off I decided – completely out of the blue – to give my tiny house a wee bit of a makeover, a do-up, a preparation for winter if you like …… in my usual inimitable fashion and with not much spare cash I began a one woman crusade to find how best to gain space, colour, comfort and energy into a room measuring roughly 3.20 x 5 metres [or for you non-metric types: 10’6″ x 15′]  It’s a challenge!

Then other activities began to intrude – there is my ED’s birthday gift to finish.  I’ve been working at it on and off [mostly off] for a year now and you can follow it’s earlier progress here and here and, if you are really interested, here.

I dislike leaving things unfinished and so it must be completed even if I wish I could have a complete re-do.  I’ve discovered [again!] that you learn so much from an activity and get better at it the more you do – hence the wish to start again!  But I can’t as the original idea was to recycle a box in an unusual and worthwhile way and the box is now no more and we have what we have.  So on I went with my project, all the time backtracking to add in, embellish up and do over.  Like Topsy it has grown and grown and developed and evolved and is ending looking nothing like the original idea.  Isn’t this the way of life?

Intruding into this work came several more activities.  YD is on a five week long vacation from her job.  She spent most of the first three weeks taking me out shopping with her – just for fun she said, and I am always up for some fun!  I never ‘go shopping’ any more and found it fun, but quite exhausting.  Several items have found their way into my room makeover stash.

With all this time on her hands and nothing but good ideas in her head, YD turned to me as we drove home from one of our shopping trips and said “Let’s have a garage sale on Saturday!”  It was Thursday afternoon.

We have been talking about having a garage sale for months.  We have stuff to get rid of.  I have a tiny house and can’t keep stuff like I used to.  I have too much stuff.   I have stuff in boxes and cupboards and in the way.  I would like to get it gone.  And it would supply me with some much needed cash for my beloved redo…….. But, like, in 36 hours time?

“But we haven’t advertised it”  I said.  That was no concern to YD, we would put up some big notices on lamp posts and attract all the Saturday morning strollers who would be heading to the Esplanade for their Saturday morning Latte’s……

“But, we haven’t sorted” I said.  No problem!  We would do that this very evening and transport all my stuff to her place, where said Garage Sale was to be held, tomorrow.

I don’t seem to have the word ‘no’ available for use with either of my girls and so we were off and running!  Cupboards were emptied of boxes, sifted through and piled into cars.  Cupboards got a quick once over, drawers were emptied out and resorted.  The bookshelves were relieved of some of their burden.  The boxes of stuff that had already been set aside for our garage sale day were loaded up and disappeared.  My house felt lighter immediately.

Over at YD’s house on Friday we did the same activity for her and the piles of stuff accumulated in her carport.  I discovered my inner hoarder and pulled a couple of items back, strictly with the living room makeover in mind….

Friday night, and again at 6 o’clock on Saturday morning, we drove around the area and stapled notices to lamp posts exhorting any one who could read to come to YD’s house and spend their money on our unwanted stuff.  What we were both blissfully unaware of was that my neatly handwritten invitations – black Sharpie on brown cardboard – were far too dull and small to be readily seen by all the latte seeking hordes……….

Our Garage Sale was a fizzer.  The fact that we made $60 was a small miracle according to YD’s best friend tLK who had driven around looking for the signs on her way to help fend off the hordes of bargain hunters.

What I was really pleased about is that all my junk is now at YD’s place living in her guest bedroom and YD and tLK decided they would have a second go at a Garage Sale – and do it properly this time with advertising in the media and readable lamp post signs and everything else required for a successful day on ED’s birthday – when I will be in Wellington celebrating said event with the ever-so-lovely and aging ED!

It all worked out rather well I thought.

While all the above activities were going on I had discovered that my vacuum cleaner wasn’t actually doing any more than picking up the minimal amount of dust and debris it could get away with.  I had cleaned the floors vigorously with it and when that activity was over got down on my hands and knees with a lint brush and brushed up a rather remarkable amount of dust and debris – and hair from one Orlando King.  The cleaner, despite its roaring and puffing and vigorous movements, had done minimal work and was due for a sideways promotion.

I spent several days perusing my options online and armed with my new found knowledge and requirements set off to visit three stores and see what they had on offer.  Imagine my joy when, at the very first store I was approached by a tiny young woman with a friendly demeanour and an extensive knowledge of vacuum cleaners!  Imagine – there she was, working in the appliance section of a store and knowing her subject!  Fantastic!

vc sales girl

I spent a happy ninety minutes with her, discussing so many different aspects about cleaners in general and three in particular that I am now a walking encyclopedia regarding the pros and cons of the things!  Having educated me enough we began to play with the possibilities.  I happily cleaned large areas of floor for the department store, scuttling customers and servers out of the way with my vigorous brushstrokes.  My friendly and capable retail person scuttled about too, finding more dirt and debris to scatter in front of my searching motorised broom while I oohed and aahed at the sight of all that muck disappearing up the pipes despite her valiant attempts to rub it into the carpet and scatter it about in inaccessible places.


With two cleaners tried out and my back beginning to get a bit stiff from the bending it was on to number three.  Now to be honest here, I was a reluctant trialler of this model.  It was an upright – the ones that look like they used in the UK pre-war days and I have always been a girl who uses a lowdown cleaner – you know, the ones modelled on the electrolux in days of yore – there are still people in the world who refer to ‘luxing’ when they talk about vacuum cleaning their floors.

My friendly, but determined sales girl really wanted me to try it and honestly, I was just doing it to make her happy as she had been such fun to play with.

She plugged it in, showed me where all the switches were and I dutifully turned it on and ………..Wheeeeeee!  It dragged me around the store at a rate of knots.  If I was cartooning it for you you would see me hanging onto the handle, airborne like a para glider, grinning like an idiot!

I couldn’t find one of those but this may give you an idea:

cleaning frenzy

Of course it came home with me!  The absolute bonus on a fun afternoon was that that particular model was marked down, for that weekend only, by $100.  How much better does it get?

Here is a picture of the box, newly emptied of it’s goodies, proudly posing beside Orlando’s metre high wardrobe cat:


And here it is a moment or two later – look carefully:


Do you see that hovering bird of light in the photo?  It’s a complete mystery to me how that got there!

As we are on Orlando, lets finish this post with a bit more about his latest obsession.

Due to my imminent room make-over the refrigerator has been moved to a fairly unlikely place, [but there is a good reason for it of which more later.]  This allows his little kingship full access to the back of said fridge, where the motorised bit lives and which gurgles in a most enticing way apparently.  He spends hours watching closely:





and night:


Sometimes he falls asleep watching it.  Then it makes a big gurgle, or the motor switches on and he jumps.  He does that four feet off the ground, backwards leap that cats do when they get a scare.  Sadly for him, this makes his mumma laugh!

Thanks for coming by today, I love that you did  🙂

49 thoughts on “No Paintings – Just Life!

  1. Pingback: Still NO ART – Just More Life | The Contented Crafter

  2. POWERBRUSH! What a cool name for a vacume cleaner, only if Dyson did the same (and stopped being an Apple about pricing, by charging too much for too little). And if the name is wrong it’s because that was the closest match to the Vacume cleaner in the pic to the Bissel website.

    Wouldn’t it be great if you could just put items into your computer! But how much would it cost? How much space would you get? I don’t know, all I know is that it will be great!


  3. Hurrah! Pauline is back! Or, should I say, Pauline, the Power Glider is back 🙂 It’s good read your post, my friend. You’ve been busy as evidenced by your posts. I can see that you had loads of fun too. I’ve never had a garage sale. Maybe I should. I need a super duper vacuum cleaner to just whisk all the dust away from my floor effortlessly. Maybe, just maybe I’ll be Power Glider 2 🙂
    Best wishes for the 2nd garage sale and a very Happy Birthday to ED.


    • ED says thank you for the birthday wishes Elaine. We are just getting ready to go out to a Belgian Beer Restaurant called The Leuven for her birthday dinner……. I am looking forward to it as I haven’t been before 🙂

      The power cleaner comes highly recommended by me – it does my tiny house in five minutes and the floors have never been cleaner!

      Apparently the second sale went better than the first and YD successfully found happy new homes for our unwanted belongings…. life is good! 🙂


  4. I must say, I do believe this is my favorite post of yours even though it’s just an explanation of your posting hiatus. I’m laughing too hard to properly convey why I love it so much. I will be back later for a better comment. LOL!


  5. I would laugh, too! Just the imagined vision of the four foot off the ground, backwards jump made ME smile!
    Good luck on the renovation!
    I’m getting ready to write some cards to some very dear friends who deserve the lovely ones that I bought from you 🙂
    Looking forward to the Skype Tea!


    • It makes me happy to hear news of my cards 🙂 I am glad you are enjoying and using them!

      It’s not really a renovation – though I wish it could be – just a change of furniture placement, cunning repurposing and more of my favourite colour combos coming in…..

      I’m very excited about our tea!! 🙂


  6. As I start to appear from the blanket of boxes, tape, bubble wrap, packing paper, and stuff … just wanted to stop by to say hello and thank you for stopping by during my time away. Hope all is well.


  7. Good for you to plan another garage sale. Honestly, I organized two before we moved and said never again. It was fun to sit around with neighbours drinking wine though, hehe. I was practically giving stuff away and I still managed a car full to the 2nd hand store. One really nice gal came twice. She, like you, loved shabby style. I had lots of it and thought I’d redecorate any new home with a new style. She said she got half way down the hi-way and decide she couldn’t leave the crystal lighting. I ended up giving her 40 magazines of Romantic Homes some glass door knobs (never installed) and one lace curtain, part of a gorgeous antique set. My old kitty ripped the other one 😦 probably chasing a fly. So she left a happy camper.

    It’s so funny that Orlando has taken to your refrigerator compressor, LOL Maybe there’s a wee mouse in there? I see you got him all set up with a cozy rug 😀 That’s so darn cute. I still have the canister Electrolux. It actually works way better than the built in one in the condo. Jim actually sold them door to door the summer before his first year of University. Who the heck would open their door to anyone now?

    Have fun with your make over, will be fun to see what you’ve done in the ‘Grande Reveal’ (words in quotes are read with a grande voice).


    • This made me smile 🙂 Thank you for going back and reading all those posts – I did not realise you weren’t around back then – I think you’ve been here forever! I enjoyed answering all your questions too.

      Alys also mentioned the mouse idea – I said “no” sternly back to her – I don’t want a mouse living in my refrigerator! I don’t think it’s that – I think its the gurgles [he gurgles too you know] and the odd drips of water that come off the condenser – I may have to have the fridge forever sitting half way between the lounge and the kitchen just to keep the cat entertained!

      I wish I had lived close by when you had your garage sale! I would have been a happy customer too! Luckily for me I won’t be around for the next one and anything that is left over is going straight to a charity shop – so my problems are all solved!

      I must remember to take photos in order for there to be a ‘Grande Reveal’ so far I haven’t….

      This reminds me do you watch Mr Selfridge? I was thinking of you when I was given a copy of the.second series the other day. Its the story of the American founder of Selfridges in London.


      • Oh I love that you call the living room, the ‘The Lounge’. It’s so much more civilized. I’m going to copy that and see if Mr B notices. Sometimes I get the feeling he’s not listening, HA

        It does seem like forever…….funny have birds of a feather find each other here :D, to loosely quote a sexy friend of mine, “I’m glad that I did”.

        We only watched the first season of Mr Selfridge. I really couldn’t get past Jeremy Piven’s acting. I’m glad you’re enjoying it though. I did really love all the gorgeous props at the store though. I actually shopped at Selfridges in London. They had a fantastic paper department full of unique Calendars, diaries, note cards, gift cards, Journals, gift wrap. I was in there for a lonnnnnnng time. Then Mr B announced he was starving…..clearly he wasn’t…HA But he had been very patient, so off we went. How can food be more important than paper treasure I ask you? Madness.


        • Selfridges was my favourite shop over there – I’d ‘go up to London’ just for Selfridges, liked it much better than the other one whose name is temporarily escaping me …. 🙂 I actually thought JP did a good job with this one – he is meant to be a bit of a ladies man. I love the costumes and the manners!


  8. It looks like you are doing for winter what I’m doing for spring. Sometime we must make a mess to clean it. I pray no one comes by this week as that’s how long it will take to put everything right again. I tried doing yard sales several times. A lot of sitting in the sun for very little money. Now I just give it to the local charity and am grateful to pass it on. There is a lot of heat coming off the back of the fridge and I think your Orlando may be enjoying that too. Cats are fascinating. Give them or a child a box and they will be occupied for hours. I didn’t write for the last 4 weeks. Hopefully, I’ll get back in the swing of it but have so many projects that need finishing too. Do you keep adding to the list more than you cross off like I do? My son hates my vacuum too. It was my mothers and is quite loud. He suggested ear plugs if I wouldn’t get a new one. I’ll be checking back in to see how you are progressing. Glad you took some time off to have fun.


    • I tend to get my house ready for summer days and winter days I think – not so much for festivals and celebrations, more in terms of colour changes and open to the outside or closed to the outside kind of a way. I always make a big huge mess and try to get it done in a couple or three days – but this time it has been going on for over a month and will probably go on for another month before I get everything sorted – but I am having a massive clean out too! I’d be feeling quite virtuous if it wasn’t for these shopping forays and coming home with more stuff….

      My list of projects gets longer and longer – that is going to be the next thing I turn my attention to. 🙂 Thanks for coming by!


  9. This made me smile and smile. Congratulations on the big de-clutter. What a great feeling. Out with the old, in with the new. I can’t wait to see what you create with your room. Meanwhile, aren’t you clever leaving all your discards at your daughter’s house for a future sale. Well done, well done.

    I had fun clicking back to the previous blogs for the box to book project. That looks like an enormous endeavor. It will be beautiful once complete. A good winter’s day project??? Soak up your sun for as long as you can, then you can jump back in.

    The vacuum looks like a winner. I had an ancient canister vacuum, inherited from a former boyfriend long ago, and it pinched my skin if I didn’t hold it properly. The first time Mike saw me lose my temporary was at that vacuum. From that day forward he started calling it “the Larry vac.’ Oh, the memories!

    Orlando’s watch makes me ponder: is there a small rodent living in the warm, inner workings of your fridge? It’s happened to us, so I’m just wondering aloud. He’s adorable through and through, that kitty.

    Thanks for sharing your slice of life, Pauline.


    • I know – I am so very clever aren’t I – there is some advantage to not being able to say ‘no’ to your kids – the junk ends up at their house 🙂

      The book is finished!! This morning! Now it must be wrapped and ready to go to Wellington for the birthday gift…. I have never been so relieved to get to the end of a project!! The only problem is that after wrestling with it for so long, I now dislike it – it is not what I would do now – it is not what I envisioned when I started, but YD assures me it is lovely and will be appreciated, so we are carrying on…..

      Now regarding Orlando’s watch – I do hope you are not right! There is no visual evidence of a small rodent anywhere in the house making forays out – nor is there a smell – which there would surely be [I’ve had a rat once take up residence in a dish-washer, did I ever tell that story? and he smelt real bad] So no, I am convinced it is just the gentle hum of the engine [maybe he thinks it is talking to him] or the occasional drip into the drip tray [he loves water] But I shall be aware now you have suggested it!

      I was out shopping [again] this afternoon and managed to find some planter boxes similar to your earth boxes – but I’ll expound more on that on your post.


  10. Funny story about your decluttering and Orlando made me smile testing out the box and keeping an eye on the fridge. 🙂


  11. Lol, gorgeous puss 🙂 I had quite forgotten what a delight cats can be, interesting wee minds.

    Love your box of course, very beautiful.

    Good luck with the next garage sale. We only ever check the paper for them so best way to go. You sound like you have been very busy and having lots of fun, that’s a good thing 🙂

    My son bought me an upright vacuum cleaner. It sucked so well it put holes in our old carpet – but only for a month or so, then it lost it’s power. I also realised I couldn’t reach cobwebs with it, so I am back to the old one. Didn’t tell my son though, he was so pleased to give it to me.


  12. I am leaving to go out of town for a few days + I decided to check today before Tuesday to make sure I did not miss your post. I did check a week ago, and thought about asking how you were, but I did not want to appear as a stalker-lol. I just thought, how odd she has not posted in so long??? I have never used facebook due to the fact I never wanted to know what my kids were up to in the early days! I did look a few times and thought at the time, I might not want to introduce that “stress inducer” into my life!
    Having a garage sale and clearing out all your clutter is a job I do not find fun:-) I need to do it often because I am married to a pack rat + I have become one with all my projects! I had to chuckle to myself when you said all that shopping made you tired. My mother in her 70’s can tire me out shopping + shopping with my daughters would require a few days rest before the adventure-lol


    • Thank you for taking the time to stop by before you go off Robbie! I’m heading off for a week myself on Friday and wanted to post before I disappear again 🙂 I find it so heartening that we all notice when someone disappears for a bit – it’s not stalking, it’s community awareness 🙂

      I used to be able to shop all day for three straight days before becoming tired – now its three hours and I’m done! I think it’s the amount of stuff that we see when our lives are less materialistic, it just stresses our systems out – or at least I like to think that! 🙂

      I hope your trip away is for a good reason and you have a great time – fingers crossed 🙂


  13. LOL on the inner hoarder ;). I was just about to send you an email as I was a little bit worried about you and how quiet you have been. I follow you on Facebook and figured that you might just be busy so had it pencilled into my diary (along with “email Pinky” my sister…) in the coming week. Glad to see you are just run off your feet and are having a ball with your gorgeous daughter and redecorating your “pad”. That “hovering bird of light” just gained a miraculous eye! When I investigated a little bit further I realised that it was a fly speck (note to self-CLEAN THE MONITOR!). I can’t, for the life of me, imagine why Orlando is watching that drip tray! Maybe little drops of water accumulate there? Does he want a bath?! Maybe because the back of the fridge is the warm bit? Who could possibly know the machinations of a cats mind? I have the sneaking suspicion that if we should ever become privy to their thoughts we would instantly have our minds contents erased like on The Men in Black 😉


    • Lol! Clean the monitor! My ‘monitor’ which is really a 32″ TV screen, is white with dust! Along with everything else my housewifely duties have gone by the board too!

      I was also having internet access problems for the past week – Google Chrome became quite manic, opening more windows than required and increasing the amount on each opening until it became like a treasure hunt to find the page I had opened amongst the pages it thought should be opened. After a week or so of this behaviour it did what all manics do eventually and crashed. I couldn’t open anything! I couldn’t get rid of it because the uninstaller told me it was open and running somewhere so a whole reset was required – which meant days tracking down and reloading all my internet necessities again! I tried IE but that goes SO-O-O-O-O S-L-O-W-L-Y that I gave up and went back to Google Chrome……….. fingers crossed!

      Orlando is a boy with a water fixation – so I think you are correct that he can hear – or has caught sight of – some water dripping. When I rinse the tiered sprouter he sprints onto the bench and hunkers down to watch the water dribble down from tier to tier……And 🙂 for the Men in Black theory – could be spot on!!


  14. Wow, Pauline, you’ve been a busy gal! I’m exhausted reading everything you’ve been up to lately. Nice…a five week vacation from work! How nice for YD, I’ve never been able to manage to take off that much time at once…sounds heavenly. 🙂 It’s good to hear from you!


    • Thank you Jill – the time flew past and I didn’t realise how long it had been until the enquiries came through!

      It has been a change from my usual quiet, meditative life-style – and I left quite a bit out too! 🙂

      YD – Isn’t she the fortunate one! That’s what working for the University does for you – she accumulates ‘rest hours’ at a rate of knots and has never taken them in a mass lump before. Now she has decided that a nice long holiday should be an annual event.

      Thanks for coming by 🙂


  15. Hi Pauline, Whew – you HAVE been busy!!! I’ve been so busy I haven ‘t asked where you’ve been!! But I did have a niggling question in the back of my mind as to how long it had been since we’d heard from you. Amongst crazy amounts of school related stuff, outrageous volumes of sporting activities (two boys…), planning phase of a reasonable sized house renovation, getting ready for the annual family trip home to Ireland and a vast amount of fund-raising and other volunteering (!!!), I seem to be accumulating new job titles by the day!! Ergo, please forgive me for not inquiring as to your absence. I am so glad all is well with you. And I absolutely love that little anecdote and pics of Orlando’s new obsession!! : ))xoxox


    • Your life makes mine sound like I’ve been on a Caribbean jaunt on a luxury liner for three weeks! You are busy – I am just a tad outside my normal meditative life style 🙂

      You are doing a whole ‘reasonable sized’ house reno! Oh, those were the days! [Now I dwell in my tiny ‘tired’ flat and am more content then I was back then …. 🙂 } You will be even more busy when that gets under way – and have many more job titles by the end! What fun! All topped off with a trip to beautiful green Ireland [we share the ancestry, only I am a generation removed]
      Now if we only lived closer, Orlando and I could care for Monty while you were gone 🙂


      • Aw sweetheart, I only wish we could meet up Pauline, but I fear Orlando would give Monty a run for his money!!! I’m now grounded from all my running around – home looking after my two boys (age 7 & 8) who are down with fevers! I think someone up there is trying to tell me something! : )))


  16. So glad to see a post, Pauline! It’s been a bit hectic here, too, and I kept thinking “have I missed the latest Contented Crafter posts?” Yay! I haven’t! You sound as though you been very busy – with great stuff that I love – renovating and organising garage sales, buying appliances and watching cats! I thoroughly enjoyed your “lately” journey. Can’t wait to hear how your reno turns out and lucky you clearing some clutter – that’s a big job on my list. That picture of Orlando in the box with the “bird” sunshine is amazing! Take care. xoxoxoxoxoxoxox


    • I’ve just finished on your latest post, writing a long diatribe which I apologise for! Battery hens are a big one for me!

      Anyhow, something far more trivial and lighthearted – the sunshine bird is a beauty isn’t it – pure magic! It wasn’t in the lens when I tried to get the shot of Orlando in the far end of the box and only saw it when I was downloading the photos. I love it!


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