Freitag, 30. Januar 2015

Little things

Same old, same old. Way too busy to craft/blog/do whatever makes me happy.
The presence of motivational posters/hipstery chalkboard saying 'Do more of what makes you happy' changes little when heaps and heaps of work surround you.

Gretchen Rubin, an awesome expert on happiness, once noticed that it's not just time that plays a super-important role in how well we manage our tasks but also energy. Sometimes, even if I have a couple of hours on my hands, I'd spend them in bed, mindlessly shifting jewels on my phone and looking at Facebook, not able to get my thoughts straight.

This, obviously, has to stop - and it definitely will. However, as freedom is getting closer, I still need to make an effort and keep my spirits up while dealing with the heaps mentioned above.

It helps when you have something beautiful around you. Do pay attention to little things. Put beautiful knick knacks on shelves. Frame love notes. Buy gorgeous candles that smell like strawberry cheesecake.

In a way, these little things are slowly falling into a certain pattern, finally making me start projects I've been thinking about for ages. There'll be an update really soon.

P.S. Medium sized things, such as cats, help, too!
P.P.S. Picture by a great, Hanover-based photographer Jan Deckner.

Donnerstag, 1. Januar 2015

Here's to good old New Year's resolutions!

I've heard that some people are really good at posting in January and forgetting all about their blogs for the rest of the year. Let's hope 2015 will be really different, with lots of great changes on board.

Speaking of changes, here are the most recent ones from the heart of Fantastic Flat:

Finally invested some time to set up another art wall - a more chaotic, funky, vintag-y version this time. It's all about dreams coming true...

I don't think I've ever shown this room before - it's all very basic, minimum knick-knack, always-working mix of Ikea + vintage (found that chair in a garbage container).

 Fake fireplace goes grey - someone finally got to painting it!

This good old idea worked out just fine in the living room - super simple, awesome storage.
Me happy. Stay tuned for more Frau Mayer news - there's definitely some on the way!

Freitag, 31. Januar 2014

Another Fresh Start

It's 2014! I haven't updated this blog for AGES.

I'll keep the news short: lots of really good things happened.
After having recently noticed how much I actually missed blogging, I promised Yvonne I'd start again and write a post before January's over, so here it is. A shiny new post. Another fresh start.

I'm currently reading The Happiness Project which is enormously inspiring. A dangerous thing about a book like that is that it can get you all excited, run to a stationery shop to get a new fancy notebook, jot down resoultions and forget it all altogether three days later because you have way too much on your plate already.

So my primary goal/resolution/whateveryoumightcallit for 2014 is to stick with the resolutions.
Right after it comes another one: Declutter. My flat, my possessions, my head. I'm going to use this blog as a helpful tool and document the changes, mostly about the flat (my passion for interior decoraion didn't go anywhere, it's staying for good).

I traveled excessively in 2012/2013, so much that I actually got tired of planes and not being at home. This year, I wanna spend more time in my amazing, cozy flat and do a whole lot of decluttering and reorganizing. I do believe it'll open up some space to even more positive changes.

Here's my work in progress: the right side where I keep my work materials is all done (turned out all I had to do is order some new folders, get rid of the worn out ones plus a mountain or random handouts) and the left one is waiting for me to get started. How come I never really get to making stuff? Does it have anything to do with the overstuffed and messy drawers? 

Well, to be honest I did manage to finish a couple of tiny projects, like this mini-art wall above my desk. 
Nothing fancy, just some frames, souvenirs and happy pictures to lift my mood. Sorry for the nasty iPhone snapshots, I'll tackle this issue at some point during the year. 

Coming soon: Decluttering Stage 1 - Getting started. 
See, Yvonne? Es geht doch! 

Sonntag, 26. Februar 2012

Sticking with the plans

and trying new things!

Quite honestly, I have to admit that sometimes I'm overwhelmed by the amount of stuff that needs to be taken care of. However, regular small actions do make a difference.
I'm currently testing a new approach to time management (more action, less Internet, yes, been there before) with a list of
*30 minutes projects (organizing paper/crafting supplies, drawers in my work cabinet, listing things for sale online etc.)
* 1 hour projects (basement, tax report, work)
So far, I've organized/backed up my computers, sold a bunch of clothes/furniture I no longer wanted/needed and gotten started on the tax report. I also ordered some beautiful things for the flat and managed to stay on top of the things at work. And yes, there've been regular updates on this blog. What an achievement!
The picture is supposed to illustrate the wine/cheese seminar we visited yesterday, following the 'trying new things' plan.  It wasn't easy!
Three hours, 10 wines, 9 cheeses. The whole action took place in a gorgeous old school building around the  corner, so we could ride our bikes there. Definitely a fun experience, although the rest of the day was, of course, completely wasted.
I'll be back!

Sonntag, 19. Februar 2012

I heart Mondays. What!?

Monday is my new favorite day of the week.
I get to stay at home and do whatever I please (like my tax report. Oh yes. Delight!)

Besides working a lot (again!), I actually took some steps in the right direction and signed up for a real photography course. Too bad it's already full and the waiting list was as far as I got. We'll see how it goes.

There'll be another one, of course. For sure. Good news is that the wine and cheese seminar we're looking forward to SO much had a couple of free spots. Oh yes. Bring in the wine. I mean, the cheese, of course.

Also, to celebrate my new Monday love, I've just registered at Solebich
Heard lots of good stuff about this site. Who knows what it'll bring? Fame? Cake? Whatever.

The picture below should 1) remind me of Lisbon beauties and 2) illustrate me wanting to get on the course list and absorb all the photography knowledge available (too bad I don't have any decent camera any more).

The organizing madness

As it doesn't seem an easy task to actually post something sensible every other week, I'm still going to try and use the opportunity for rambling a bit instead of just placing a couple of nice pictures here.
There won't be any nice pictures this time as I left my camera in Berlin (a wonderful weekend with two girlfriends, lots of apple pie and lengthy conversations). Intead, an iPhone shot of Vivian the Cat feeling a special connection to nature will have to do as an opening illustration.
Vivi and the tree
Organzing has become madly popular these days. Everybody's trying to organize everything around them that's not nailed. Oh yes, and there's time management out there, too!
So while I've been gathering inspiration online at places like Simplify101 (a great resource, by the way, even if you're not willing to sign up for a 70 bucks workshop), a lot happened offline.
Here's the list:
*My day job requires super-advanced organizing skills. I can't call myself a professional in that area just yet but these are my helpers:
My ever changing work and play shelf
This shelf hosts almost all the books and materials I need at any given moment. There's a little secret closet right behind it that used to be a hand-pulled lift (the house is really old).
Crazy about Schrank
And this is the ever-flickry-popular cabinet I spotted while riding my bike in the neighborhood. An old pharmacy was closing down and all the furniture was just standing right there on the pavement, looking at me, screaming: "Take me home". I entered the place, saw the cabinet and didn't leave until my boyfriend came to pick us both up. I was too anxious someone else might take it! The multitalent cabinet holds all my materials (neatly labeled) on the right and crafty supplies (paper, stamps, punches etc.) on the left. It's definitely a 'never-let-me-go' piece!

*I also tried organizing my living room a bit.
A glimpse of the living room
Making plain Ikea kitchen cabinets work as a sideboard idea had been in my head long enough, ever since I spotted it in the Apartment Therapy book. The total cost was around 100 Euros. Now talk about being savvy! This sideboard holds anything that shouldn't be seen (CDs, mags, frames yet to be hung etc.)
I also hoped I'd swap the art on the picture ledge above the sofa every once in while. Ha ha. Keep dreaming.

My next project is an organized closet. I've started selling things (and furniture) I no longer need and can report back - go for it!


I've bought a little helper and I do hope that before I pack my suitcase to travel again to my beloved Land of the Best Shopping Ever, I'll have a very detailed list of things I really need that, together with my long-time favorites, are going to make my wardrobe work. Maybe it'll be the end of my jeans/skirt/jeans/skirt dressing ritual (boring!).
I'm going to end this post with some flowers my significant other gave me right before SVD. He should know that they made me really happy.
Pre-Valentine flowers

Sonntag, 5. Februar 2012

Being present...

I've recently suscribed to Ali Edwards' brilliant newsletter and I'm thrilled by the fact that it actually works.
Being present is something that Ali talked about in one of the last emails and this phrase just seemed so right.
I haven't been present for quite a while. I've traveled a lot, learnt and tried quite a bunch of new things and generally grew a bit but I haven't written a single line about all that since July.
Now it's time to change it. I'm not going to wait until I'm able to take perfect pictures with my new camera (the DSLR got stolen this fall) because this is most probably never going to happen.
I'm just going to post what I have and keep writing my little online diary, perfectly meaningless to the world.
Fantastic flat's been coming along nicely. There's progress everywhere, quite a lot to show, actually.
Like this funky corner.
Or maybe this one? It's all become a bit more colorful as I'd brought heaps of beautiful things from my trips to Japan and India last year. One day there'll be photo albums with real pictures and journaling and all this but right now all I can manage is a bit of handmade here and there. Oh yes, and a clean desk. From time to time.
I should've written more about those trips. They were so very different from everything I'd known. Loved Japan and our new Japanese friends. Loved all the zakka stores. The book stores. Loved the sushi galore (of course!)
We actually even managed a flea market visit in Tokyo. Can you find the loot in the shelf?
I'm going to end my very first post of the year with a simple resolution.
2012 I'm going to blog regularly. Say, on a weekly basis. Already put that into my iPhone planner.
See you soon, dear non-existant readers! And thanks, Ali.