When you were a child, did you have dreams about what sort of life you'd have when you 'grew up'?
Beyond the usual 'I want to be a Princess or a Fairy and live in the Woods' sorts of dreams we have when we're really young, we all have an idea of how we'd like our life to look when we become adults.
Funnily enough, growing up in a rambunctious household of seven children meant that I mostly wished for peace and quiet...lol!
And to this day, I crave and value my peace and quiet and have toiled long and hard to achieve and preserve it.
Apart from that though, I wished for a home with a bookshelf, art deco furniture and artifacts, and a rambling garden. I was hugely influenced by my European grandmother and mother here, as they too shunned the bright, shiny and new. They instilled in me, a love of books both for reading and for gazing. They loved their gardens and knew how to make a garden both productive and pretty.
To start with, I didn't even know what Art Deco was, but I knew I loved it. All those gentle curves in the furniture, the beautiful wood with burls and knots that craftsmen brought to life with such loving care, the leadlight touches, be they clear panels, segregated to accommodate a curved door on a display cabinet, or a cacophony of jewelled colours on a feature window.
Back when I was first furnishing my home, Art Deco wasn't really appreciated, and I was able to source some beautiful pieces at bargain prices. Alas over the years, they were sold, as one thing about Art Deco furniture is that it's bulky, and my smaller homes at that time, couldn't always house such large pieces. I did however keep my curved dressing table with it's huge circular mirror, which still has pride of place in my bedroom.
These days, I indulge my love of Art Deco in the form of jewellery, posters, and smaller pieces like jewel boxes and ornaments. Now that's a lesson I wish I'd learned earlier!
I always loved anything representing Greyhounds, which were featured often in the form of silhouettes on lamps, statues, and works of art. Now of course, I have my own real living miniature greyhound, our little whippet, who we adore. I still recall the first time I saw a dog of the 'Hound' breed. I was 5 years old, and a lady walked by with an Afghan hound which is sort of a long haired greyhound. I took one look at that long slender curved tail and declared it a Monkey Dog. For the rest of my life, I wanted a Monkey Dog, and now I have one! See, you can even have a dream pet :)
As the offspring of Europeans, seeing 'the old country' was always going to feature big in my dreams.
Travelling to Turkey, Italy, Greece, and Spain last year saw a long held dream fulfilled. See, you don't have to fulfill every dream between 20 and 30. Some dreams are worth savouring and enjoying later in life when you can travel in style.
Seeing my childhood visions of the Arabian Nights spring to life before my eyes, will stay with me forever.
Even having a garden eluded me for many long years. Decades even.
But just in the last twelve months, I've managed to grow roses, plant fruit trees, and grow enough herbs for myself and friends. That one came much later in life, and is treasured all the more for it.
My Grandmother and Mother could knit, crochet and sew anything and everything, and did so. They were masters of fashioning fondant into any flower you care to imagine. If someone needed a wedding dress, three bridesmaids dresses and two for the little flowergirls, they'd manage that too.
I toy with all of those, but cannot hope to match their level of skill. I've had a different sort of life.
But I think I inherited their creativity gene, in other ways. I adore papercraft, designing and sewing dance costumes, cooking, and gift creation. The advent of the internet has had just as much influence on me in that respect, as Mum and Nanna.
So let's have more than a few moments of Dreaming and Scheming in our Homespun Year.
What can you do this year, that will have you looking back with a feeling of pride and accomplishment next January?
Will it be mastering a skill to a level where someone will pay you for your skill?
Will it be planting a herb garden or some fruit trees?
Will it be simply finding away to cut your grocery budget by $50 a week to save for that longed for overseas trip?
Maybe it's reading the complete works of Shakespeare or the King James Bible, the version I grew up on, which for me is always the 'real' Bible. Even if you're not particularly religious, it can be a fascinating read as an adult.
Here's my list....
Learn to knit Cable Stitch so I can recreate those lush rugs in all the Homewares stores
Master my embroidery sewing machine
Travel to Vietnam
Gift only homemade, home grown, or home created, targeting the gift to the recipient (this bit is so important), and within that, meet the following four mini goals....
Perfect my candle making skills, so I can turn my collection of thrifted cut glass sugar bowls, into lush pastel candles for gifting
Grow something I can gift lavishly...roses, herbs, bunches of kaffir lime leaves, succulents, ivy
Promise myself that in DIY-ing my gifts, I will only use the best components. If I'm DIY-ing, I can afford to use beautiful yarns, luxurious fabrics, and heavenly materials of all kinds. They don't have to be expensive. Remnant bins often produce the most gorgeous beaded tulle, lace, satins and silks for next to nothing.
Pass a skill on to my daughter and daughters-in-law that will encourage them to DIY their own gifts.
Read the original Lewis Carrol Alice books.
Finish reading Crime and Punishment by Dostoyevsky (I'm finding this tough going, but I'm persevering....good brain food!).
See my granddaughters more before they start school and the moment is lost.
Value the time I have with my sons and daughter, as each visit is a blessing in itself.
Repaint my home and purge anything that is not beautiful. I almost don't care about the 'useful' in that quote. It can be beautiful and useful. If it's just useful, I'm going to eye it with great suspicion!
Love life. You never know when you're not getting any more of it.
What's on your Dreaming and Scheming list? Let's work on them together.