Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Vicar's Craft Corner - Second Hand Home

Ooh I love a new house! A chance to re-jig, rejuvenate and rearrange. It is a crafter's paradise and the new house has certainly not disappointed. Once again after this move I am thoroughly convinced of the merits of second hand not just for your bank balance but also for having a home that is all about you because if it can't be all about you in your own house then, well, where can it be!!

The new living room

As always I have been all over the second hand shops when it comes to new furniture. One of my favourite pieces in this move has been this brilliant solid wood table for our dining room for the amazing price of £37 in a charity shop. I painted the legs with some left over cream satinwood paint that I had handy. Beaut!

I also got the chairs at a charity shop for a tenner each and painted them up. Another favourite find was the drinks cabinet for the dining room which I picked up for £30 in a charity shop in Oxford. It has a great 60s vibe and had already been painted white and had the handles changed. I remember my Grandpa having something like this in his house and countless of these beauties have probably ended up in skips and yet they can come up so nice and look so fresh and contemporary.
In this picture you can also see one of my other favourite ways of using what is often bound for this skip, repainting old wooden frames. Why have some boring canvas that anyone could have in their home when you can have your own pictures on the wall that remind you of all the brilliant things you have experienced in life? These are all snaps of our great European adventure from a couple of years back and in our spare room I put together a couple of snaps from our trip to Africa.
When it comes to money saving another way to make a huge difference to a room is to put up some new curtains. I made these light blue ones for the bedroom which has two tall windows that flood the room with light, and even more so without great big dark curtains hanging there!
The bedroom is also host to one of my other favourite new items, this old wardrobe was a horrible dark brown colour but was rejuvenated with a couple of coats of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. This stuff is frankly amazing and sticks to pretty much anything you can image with no primer needed.
Of course I have been going mad for china with some new additions and old favourites to put out on display. I spent the whole move worrying about their safety and then feeling like a terrible person for being so materialistic! That is probably the one downside of second hand shopping, the items you gather really are irreplaceable.
So that's us, settling in slowly but surely and loving our latest second hand home!

Monday, 15 June 2015

The Big Leap

There are many wonderful things about setting out on adventures in life. There is the excitement of the new, the sense of purpose and possibility, the joy of following your heart and good things resulting. But there is also no road map. No handy 'How-to' Guide. No guarantee that you are taking the right path except for those little encouragements you receive along the way.

At some point on the journey you reach what feels like the edge of a cliff. These are what my husband describes as Indiana Jones moments. At these moments there is nothing you can do but jump. You have to step out, take a leap of faith and trust that what has been leading you so far has been true. That in stepping out, you will land somewhere and that place will be good.
I am most certainly in the midst of my own Indiana Jones moment. I have no idea, really, what it means to be ordained or to be a leader in the Church. Looking out over the road that is appearing before me is terrifying in the extreme. I have more fears about it that I can number from putting on a clerical collar to standing up in front of a congregation, to every little expectation people will have of me in this new role that I feel hopelessly unable to meet. Right now it really does feel like stepping out off the edge of a cliff and just trusting that my foot is going to find solid ground.

What is helping me a little is to look back at the journey I have taken. To think about the road I have taken to get here which has been by no means straight forwards but altogether wonderful all the same. I'm remembering all the leaps I made before and all the good places I have landed. I'm remembering my first tentative steps along the journey when I felt to ridiculous to even say what was brewing inside of me out loud.

I'm remembering some of the hard times I've come through in the last few years, knowing that I am still standing. I've been remembering how wonderful it feels to jump, that sense of joy when you are doing the thing you never thought you could, when you have arrived in places you never imagined nor thought you would see. And best of all the feeling of reaching a new phase of the journey and realising just how far you have come. When I think of that I feel that faith bubble up again, I know that on the other side something good is waiting for me.

And at the end of the day I suppose the nature of the journey is just to keep on it and none of us really know where things are heading, do we? So it's one foot in front of the other and in a couple of weeks one big giant leap into the unknown with all the courage, faith and trust I can muster that I will, once again, find a safe and solid landing.