the doors in England

I love doors. I took some pictures while we were in India few years ago, but I wasn’t as diligent in taking specifically the doors.  Last year when we visited England and France, I did a little better job, and look what I found.

church in Oxford copyChurch in Oxford.

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DSC_0519 copyIn Shrewsbury.

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DSC_0554 copyIn Shrewsbury.

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DSC_0555 copyIn Shrewsbury.

Whittington Castle copyWhittington Castle, Shropshire.

DSC_0831 copyIn London.

Oxford 1 copyIn Oxford.

Stokesay castle door copyStokesay Castle, Shropshire.

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Oxford 2 copyIn Oxford.

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in the Tower of London copy

Elsemere copyIn Ellesmere, Shropshire.

I wish I remember where I took the pictures of each door, but at least I have some of them.  I do love doors and how different they can be in different countries and even in the same city.

I was looking through my old posts and have realized that I am not finished posting about our trip last year (nor from when we lived in India, 4 years ago) and so much has happened this year… I’ll see what I can do that would be fun to remember later on.

His new room

Then one day, when Lucas was gone all day in a fun day of his own, Siena and I decided to re-arrange and clean up his room, since we had just finished the painting and re-do of her room.  Who doesn’t like a little loving, right?

We turned his bed around and added a table that had been put away for a while.  We put new photos of his favorite basketball players in frames (now all gone to another team… oh well.)

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Displayed his Legos on the shelf Siena didn’t want anymore.  Hung Lucas’s baseball hats that he’s using with his metal name he made himself when we lived in India, 4 years ago.

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Put an old box as a side table with space for his favorite magazines and books. DSC_0261 copy DSC_0260 copyNow, they both have a new-looking room.  New paint does so much.  We painted and remodeled Lucas’s room two years ago, but these changes made it look like new again.

Now, I need to find the energy to work in the one room that needs painting the most, but it’s not as much fun. Our small bathroom.  It’s been 13 years since we fixed it up last, it’s time, and it would look so much better.  It shouldn’t take very long either, because it’s very small… but oh… it just doesn’t sound as much fun as a room.  I think we might even have enough paint to do it.  You know how easy it would be?  (Yes, I am trying to convince myself.)  We do need a light fixture and maybe a new light switch cover would be exciting!  Yes! I might be ready to tackle it soon.


Her new room

Now to the final look of their rooms.  They looks so pretty, I think.  And most importantly, the two younger people in this house are very happy with their new (looking) space.

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Siena’s room looks so pretty, I think.  (This picture above is her room complete, with (some) picture on the walls and the bookshelf painted blue, to match. The one here below is from few months ago, when not everything was put together just yet.)

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We worked hard in turning it bright and clean and organized as she likes her own days to be.  She picked a blue that is just beautiful (can’t remember the name right now) and we decided not only to add it to some trims, as she first wanted, but a whole wall, which I think makes her room more fun.

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A beautiful calming blue, that reminds this swimmer,  of water.  Her favorite place to be, anytime.  A poster of Missy Franklin (of her new documentary movie we had a chance to watch last winter) and other important things on the walls.  (But still not finished decorating even today, few months after we are done with the painting. She’s still deciding what goes where.)

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Siena’s ribbons she’s earned in her two and half years of swimming.  She set them up with masking tape first, and they are still like that, and I kinda’ like it.  But I am not so sure about the paint… it might come off when she peels the tape.  Oh dear… we’ll see when we get there.

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DSC_0006 copyAnd Siena’s trophies as well… hard working and well earned.  Such an amazing, and dedicated this girl of ours.  (Proud mama here, sorry for bragging.)

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Siena wanted a chair in her room to sit and hang out.

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We got this one at Target (can’t really see it) and she didn’t really like the fuzzy, warm cushion for the summer, so she put the swimming quilt I made for her last year.

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Maybe we need to make something that fits to the round chair a little better.  I’ll have to do some research.

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I made this puff with the same fabric from the curtains we bought for her windows.  She had “little person” curtains, that I asked my mom to make when I was pregnant with Siena.  I kept them because I think we should make something with them… but these curtains now…. look so nice in her room.

I had to trim the curtains because the windows are on top of her bed, so I had plenty of fabric to make her a little cushion. (Because I made it back in March… now I don’t remember which pattern I used, but I’ll look and see if I made any notes.)

DSC_0014 copy DSC_0016 copy DSC_0015 copyAnd this is it.  For now.  We are all enjoying the change and she keeps her room so organized all the time, I love it.

Redo of a room

Last spring break (few months ago now) we decided to paint Siena’s room.   It had been 13 years since we had last painted that room.  We did it when I was pregnant with her, and so we went ahead and helped her change her room.   DSC_0489 copy

That room had so many colors.  It had dark red, hello and orange trims.  Green, blue and purple doors.  It was very bright and cheerful, including her curtains my mom made her before Siena was born.DSC_0491 copy

Now, she wanted to paint it white and maybe blue trims.  At the paint store seeing all the options, makes your head hurt, if you are not sure yet what colors you want.  DSC_0496 copy DSC_0507 copy

We had lizards painted all throughout her room, that we had different friends paint when I was pregnant. DSC_0492 copy

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DSC_0494 copySome were not finished… even in these 13 years.DSC_0495 copy DSC_0533 copy DSC_0532 copyPeaking everywhere.  We all liked them.

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So that week, we set out to sand, clean, patch, tape, and paint.

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In the closet door, we were keeping Siena and Lucas’s growth lines.  I was trying to decide how to keep these records, so we can transfer them into something more permanent, when as a surprise one afternoon, Siena had sanded it off, to help us go faster.  Wow… it was so nice of her to help us but then I was left without these lines, all these measurements and memories…

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After 5 days of working hard (not sure why it took us so long this time!) we painted.  The new, bright and clean white on the walls and ceiling looks so pretty. We covered these lizards, some never finished, but ready for something new.  I’ll show you how pretty it all turned out.

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summer flowers

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The Sun

Have you ever seen
in your life
more wonderful

than the way the sun,
every evening,
relaxed and easy,
floats toward the horizon

and into the clouds or the hills,
or the rumpled sea,
and is gone—
and how it slides again

out of the blackness,
every morning,
on the other side of the world,
like a red flower

streaming upward on its heavenly oils,
say, on a morning in early summer,
at its perfect imperial distance—
and have you ever felt for anything

such wild love—
do you think there is anywhere, in any language,
a word billowing enough
for the pleasure

that fills you,
as the sun
reaches out,
as it warms you

as you stand there,
or have you too
turned from this world—

or have you too
gone crazy
for power,
for things?

Mary Oliver.

roping around

So, have you’ve seen everyone making beautifully wonderful rope’s baskets? I love the ones Maya has made. And Amanda‘s baskets?  I searched online for a tutorial video a while back and I created my first basket.

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Do you see how it got narrow on top?  Well, that was not my intention.  I had no idea what I was doing, so it’s not like a design to go for, but when I saw that it was getting smaller on top, I figured, it was not going to work for my yarn.  Besides, I need something much bigger anyways.  So I left it in the living room for few days, and then I knew exactly what I wanted it for.

DSC_0223 copyI thought I’d saw a door stopper this summer, but I haven’t.  So this vessel was perfect.  I put some beautiful river rocks we’ve had laying around, and it’s heavy enough to work perfect for our front door.

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So then I got more rope.

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I don’t know if we need more baskets in our home, but I think we actually do need them.  One always needs more baskets, right?

DSC_0212 copy DSC_0213 copy DSC_0214 copySo I made three.  I used colored thread this time, and I like it.  I’ve used only the ones I’ve found thrifting, so it’s a way to clean up my thread world… that it’s a little crowded these days.

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You can see the uneven-ness of my sewing, and where I had issues with using the old threads, but I kinda’ like it, I think.

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I think I need to practice some more.

DSC_0217 copyI’ll get more rope then.  It is so addictive and so much fun to make.   Watch out rope makers!


The Summer Day

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

Mary Oliver

I could listen that poem read by her, many times.   I have a little piece of Mary Oliver in my house, and the most beautiful words that touched me in a way that I wanted to make sure I, and my family, can think as we live our days.