Monday, 19 November 2018

Is anybody out there?

So that'll be five years and a couple of weeks since the last time I blogged, then?  I have been meaning to get back to it for a while, but the right time never came... until now!

I kind of lost the blogging bug after I went back to my day job full time - the darker winter nights made it impossible to get even half good photos, and I had a massive tech issue - my phone and my blog and my social media were all on different systems and platforms, and I think my brain broke a bit from trying to manage all of them.  

So what's changed?  Well, I have a project, and putting it on here is a way of motivating myself but also keeping a record of how it's going, the challenges I face (and hopefully overcome) and if anyone's still reading (or picking back up with the reading), get some feedback and input from you all.  After five years of working pretty much flat out, I'm trying to take a bit of a breather, and get various parts of my home and working life in order, but also to continue to share resources and thinking on some of the things I'm passionate about, namely sustainability, creative reuse and supporting small, ethical businesses.  

I was asked by IKEA Glasgow to join their #livelagom project this year.  Lagom roughly translates to "just right", and it really appealed to me because nothing has been "just right" with my home for a while.  Well, except the people and pets in it, of course.  But in terms of having a home that is welcoming, for its inhabitants and the occasional day time or overnight guest, we're just not there at the moment.  We have four bedrooms at home, two of which are used for actual sleeping in, and two of which are meant for working in.  Unfortunately my study is the larger of the two, and is the closest to the front door, which means it has become a dumping ground for 'things that need sorting out' - which is great, if you actually have time to sort anything out.  Then multiply that by five years of 60 hour working weeks... and the contents of two lots of parents' houses, and you can see how things might get a little out of hand. 

So after a pretty terrible year, I am ready to shift gears, prioritise myself and the way I want to live, and this seems like a perfect time to get started, with the support and encouragement of IKEA and my fellow #livelagom-ers too.  We had our induction at IKEA Glasgow a couple of weeks ago, and last Friday I had my personal shopping session with the lovely Joanna, who helped me select products which have been produced with sustainability in mind.

Let me talk you through them...



So I spent a grand total of £99, and I focused mainly on lighting... which I'm saving for another post another day, just out of shot is a floor lamp for what will become a functional guest room/office/workshop for me.  The lighting is important because a) I have terrible eyesight, b) the room has to work in a number of ways, so movable task-oriented lighting is as important as fixed lighting, and c) the main point of this exercise is to be more sustainable, so I wanted to make sure I could use low-energy, high-performance bulbs, too.

But more about that next time.  For now, I want to talk to you about the glassware in the photo.  I bought a set of 8 of the tumblers on the right, from the Vinter 2018 range.  These were a gift for my friend Wendy, who runs PQ Soy Wax Candles based in York.  She was here at the Country Living Christmas Fair in Glasgow at the weekend, and I dropped off a selection of vintage and surplus glasses and jars for her to use in her candle-making.  I spied these tumblers and I thought they would make the perfect container for a special range and added them into the boxes of glassware I was passing on, as an extra surprise.  They were very well-received, and Wendy kindly gifted us a couple of candles in exchange.  We've already tried out her It's Christmas candle - the fair put us right in the mood - and the soy wax burns cleanly away from the jar, so I know we'll be able to use the glassware again when it's finished.  So far, so sustainable.  Thank you Wendy, and thank you IKEA for bringing us together in real life - we've only ever chatted online before!

Image by PQ Soy Wax Candles


I'll update you again soon to let you know how I've been using my glass storage jars...



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