Monday, June 11, 2012

Living simply and finding beauty in every little thing.


 Living simply is not easy in our consumer society... and yet, I intimately think that consuming is a never-ending tunnel without any light at the end of it....

I had been thinking about it for  a long time... until I discovered on Ann's blog the book Down To Earth by Rhonda Hetzel.




This book is what started me on really taking a step towards a different way of life or at least trying to.

I first thought about what  was really important to me. My family and my home came first followed by, in no special order, my job, my hobbies, sport, eating organic as much as possible.

My home, my home sweet home, is really important for several reasons. This is the place where I feel safe and secure, where I do not play a role, where I am truly myself. This is the place where my children grow and learn and feel safe too. This is the place where my couple has planted its roots to face whatever might come in the future. This is a place where love can bloom.

My home is not the fanciest home you can find but it is mine. Most objects are meaninful to us as they are landmarks of our lives.

Our love of England can be found in several objects.



 

This pendulum came from a trip to Belle Ile en Mer.



This fabric was found on Ile de Ré and we turned it into a  framed display in the kitchen.




This cushion reminds me how important working in Portland has been for me, it reminds me that I will always have a special connection to this place...



I also love antique maps and try to find one related to places where I have worked or lived. One is of Cambridge, England and one from the Gers where I live now. I am still trying to find one from Oxford, London and Portland area or the Pacific Northwest. So next trip I'll be on the lookout ;-)






 

This crosstitch is in my corridor because I have always been intrigued by the Amish way of life.




This painting is a watercolor of my street painted by my neighbor who is quite famous in the area. It was a present and I bought another one from him of the Gers countryside for my friends in Lake Oswego, so it is there now.




Because my home is so important for me, I have patiently remodelled it step by step and have made it my home.

Another step is under way right now. I have finished the three coats of paint on the terrasse windows so I can show you the color I have chosen for all the outdoor windows and shutters and ironwork.



Inside I have put hardfloors upstairs and downstairs and will use all the palette of creams and whites for a very traditional, modern country style. Photos will be posted when everything is finished.


My garden is also, for me , part of the house so I try to keep it as nice as possible as we spend a lot of time outside.






I try to see beauty in everything in my daily life and that makes it so different.

I now follow the 80/20 rule (live on 80% of my income and save 20%). I track my spending to  spend more on my needs and less on my wants.  I now write a budget and have also started an emergency fund. I also make organic home cleaners, have planted a row of tomatoes and bake my bread.

The result is that I feel in control... I feel responsible and I have already managed to save a reasonable amount of money. This feeling is really new for me and it makes me really happy.
I do know though that the challenge is now to keep on track on the long run.

To add beauty to it all, I keep working on my stitching and quilting projects and that's the icing on the cake.

I have added hexagons to my stack and have chosen fabrics for a quilted cushion for my little niece, using only what I had in my stash ;-)

 



Thank you all for your comments and welcome to all my new followers.


Until later,

28 comments:

  1. What a nice post! It made me think about how I live on my life. While living in Germany years ago, I felt the same way and enjoyed not being material, but now evil side of me has been taking over the place - I'm nearly out of control. I need to be reminded about this every so often so that I can straighten up myself and review how I am... BTW, your terrace is looking super pretty with all the greens around. You muse be a pro for painting by now!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I've enjoyed so much this post David! Sometimes it's hard to stay "down to hearth"!!! But we should keep trying, shouldn't we?? Family, home, friends, hobbies...what else?
    Have a great day:-)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I really loved your post today, David. How it speaks to the heart of many of us. For the past few years we too, have been living simply and simplifying as we go. What a great feeling it is, yet you are right that in this consumer society it is often times hard to do....but very doable! The best thing to keep on track is to keep telling yourself how much more you enjoy the simple things in life than those that may seem greater, but in essence are more complicated.
    I've lived personally on both sides of the fence...having much and having hardly anything. And any day of the week I will take less.
    I love your attitude of seeing beauty all around. It sure is there, isn't it :)
    Thanks so much for speaking your heart. It blessed me much.

    ReplyDelete
  4. What a moving blog, and certainly rings true to me in these current times. Things have been very difficult for us, yet as long as we have our health and the love of a caring family and true friends little else really matters. It is amazing what I have learned to live without - and now do not miss. My 3 children, my home and garden and my wonderful hobbies keep me on an even keel. Thank you David so much for sharing your thoughts.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Das Kreuzstichbild finde ich super schön.
    Liebe Grüße Grit

    ReplyDelete
  6. A lovely and poetic post David!! You have the right idea, a very relaxed way of living and enjoyable too. We only need as much as we can consume and recycling is high in our lives here in the UK.
    Your house looks wonderful and light!
    Have a relaxed week:))

    ReplyDelete
  7. I loved reading your post this morning, your heartfelt words make me realise that so many of us are finding our way back to what is really important, that is our home (where ever and what ever it is), our relationships and our enjoyment of every day. Being in control of finances, health, well being is I believe the secret. You are a very sweet man David, I am so glad you wrote this beautiful post, you made me feel quite emotional. All the very best to you and your dear family, Ann

    ReplyDelete
  8. I LOVED reading this post, thank you for writing from your heart
    I am doing some soul searching now about needs vs wants as well....
    I like a simple way of life too and try every day to enjoy the simple things in life
    I will look for that book here in the USA
    Thanks
    Kathie

    ReplyDelete
  9. Oh David what a beautiful heartfelt post...I am all emotional now!
    I have those same scales...that very same 'Auction' cross stitch and the fabrics on the bottom there! A lovely, lovely post as we here too are trying to find our way back...

    ReplyDelete
  10. Que vais-je ajouter ?
    J'ai pris plaisir à lire tout ce que vous ressentez et je vous remercie.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I've just discovered your blog with this post, and I need to send you some words. It's needed to read it slowly and understand well the meanning of all words, because is plenty of truth.
    Thanks to make me think a little bite more..
    sorry for my English...

    ReplyDelete
  12. Your inspiring post has moved me deeply. You reminded me again the strength we gain from simplifying our lives and refocussing on the important things. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Oui, le bonheur est dans notre foyer. Je ne dirai pas que nous avons de la chance car conscients, nous y travaillons depuis des années. Un bel exemple pour nos enfants !
    Bravo pour tes travaux de peinture ! De notre côté, la maison est toujours dans les gros oeuvres mais le porch est réalisé et j'ai hâte de pouvoir m'y installer pour patcher ou broder !
    à bientôt !

    ReplyDelete
  14. Un réel plaisir que de te lire, David !
    Je ne trouve rien à ajouter à tes propos : tu m'as cloué le bec, là !
    Une vie simple, l'essentiel, les vraies belles choses... What else ? ;-)
    Si, une chose à dire : c'est un chemin merveilleux... mais qu'il n'est pas toujours facile de suivre tant on peut s'y sentir incompris. C'est presque un combat quotidien ; il faut toujours se justifier. Dans le meilleur des cas, on est envié, on nous dit qu'on a de la chance. Une chance qui est en vérité un choix... qu'il faut savoir faire !
    Merci pour ce moment délicieux, David. Et à bientôt !
    Sylvie

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thank you for today post.It was so interesting for me!

    Your post took me back into my personal history about how long journey I had in between the countries for 23 years for finding the answers of the questions .

    While reading your post a mew question came up to my mind.

    Did I loose time to realize myself by having such long journey? or Do you miss the chance for getting different experience into real life instead!

    I know there is no one single answer of the question because there is no only one truth in the world.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Ah, dear, dear David, thank-you for this lovely post. You have touched me deeply. Some soul searching is needed. Thank-you for this inspiring and most encouraging post; it seems a guidepost toward a well crafted, soberly joyful life. Blessings, b

    ReplyDelete
  17. En accord complet avec ce qui tu as écrit....
    Amicalement.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I have been following Rhonda's blog for 2-3 years now and it is wonderful to see her book being so well received. I find her postings to be informative and often they make me stop and think about how I and the wider community can make adjustments to make our lives 'richer'. Thank you for sharing what is meaningful to you & your family. Jenny (Australia)

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hello, while I'm taking a cup of tea in one of my favourite mugs( this is one of those little things that makes me feel happy) I read this lovely post. And I think that the most of the people who read this, are thinking the same about those little things.

    ReplyDelete
  20. bonjour,
    je retrouve un peu ma philosophie de vie en tes propos ! Trouver le bonheur dans les choses simples ... s'épanouir avec ce qui est faisable sans perdre la notion du rêve ... à petite dose juste pour egayer ponctuellement une année !
    Se faire plaisir , se donner et partager en état heureux de le faire .. c'est une belle recette de vie !
    C'est un choix .. qui est facile pour certain , moins pour d'autres ... mais "oui" j'adhère à ta pensée du jour !
    j'aime beaucoup ta broderie amish un "jeremiah junction "peut être ... tes hexagones me séduisent .. depuis que je dis que je vais me lancer dans cette technique .... hummm tout est beau des travaux fait à ceux à faire .. du salon au jardin ... merci pour cette bouffée d'oxygène !
    Bonne fin de semaine ...

    ReplyDelete
  21. Mais oui, après avoir été les enfants gâtés du consumérisme, nous avons envie de plus d'authenticité, de frugalité... Merci David pour cet article écrit avec tant de sensibilité et de talent, les commentaires montrent que nous ne sommes pas seuls dans cette voie.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bonjour David,
      Merci pour ce bel article, c'est pour moi une bouffée d'oxygène et un grand plaisir de lire vos phrases : je travaille dans un environnement superficiel, fondé sur l'ambition et le pouvoir, le toujours plus, dans un grand état de stress et je me sens souvent seule lorsque j'essaye d'exprimer ma philosophie de vie ( proche de la vôtre). J'aime beaucoup votre aménagement et bien sûr toutes ces petites choses qui font notre cocon unique. Merci !

      Delete
  22. What a lovely post, David... there should be more Davids in this world, things would go much better :-)

    ReplyDelete
  23. Dear David,
    there's truth in every word and it is kind and
    even courageaous to be so personal in an open
    blog. Reading the comments I see that it makes so many people think and feel happy.
    Somewhere I read that the only things which are
    rare in our times are: time, care and space.
    Besides your home ís very beautiful and
    tasteful
    Maria from Germany

    ReplyDelete
  24. What a beautiful post. I agree, it's so important to find beauty in the small things and to focus on those things that are most important to us. You have a lovely home and your garden is amazing! Thanks so much for bringing a little bit of beauty into my day every time you post!

    ReplyDelete
  25. I often read your blog, David. How true your words are! I think I would also add a wish for 'good health' to the things that are important in our lives ... I hope that living life simply will promote good health, and aid recovery in times of illness.

    ReplyDelete
  26. What a nice post, David. that is why this is without doubt one of my favourite blogs.
    I have the same feelings as you about my home and about being surrounded by nice things, that most of the times are simple but beautiful and meaningful
    Belen

    ReplyDelete
  27. Enjoyed the peek into your lovely home and reading your insights.

    ReplyDelete