Saturday, January 7, 2012

"Swallowed up in the Land of Getting my House in Order"

This post is for a lovely blogger friend  Mary. She lives 1,000's of miles from me and we've never met ... but we talk... well... email really. We assure each other to respond whenever... knowing full well life can get in the way... but somehow the exchange continues! It was she who pointed out to me I'd created a title in my email to her today where I started with the comment that I was swallowed up in the land of getting-my-house-in-order ...which I decided was the perfect title for this post! So thank Mary for picking up on the threads that matter frequently in our exchanges! 

So much grace and friendship can be found across the often surprises me. I heard all those awful tales about internet connections for years so was very slow to get round to blogging! We all know things can and do go awry online... but I treasure the exchanges that have grown... the conviviality, the  soulful depth, the playfulness, the poignant thoughts. Coming across wonderful people  ... people I wish were round the corner or at least in the same country... is a tonic. 

So about this getting my house in order... I mentioned painting a room the other day ... for my mother as a surprise. I was asked what colour I chose. Well ... its an old favourite of mine called 'donkey grey' from Porters Paints!

This is NOT my reno job below . I shall have to take photos this weekend... and dont expect anything like this photo shoot for Design Sponge featuring clever Melbournian Lyn Gardiner's cottage in the country. I googled donkey grey and her interior came up!

Lyn gardiner's cottage
You might like to pop over to the website of this creative woman to see just what she gets up to!

the store at Albert Park in Melbourne
Now... about Porter's Paints... their paints and wallpapers come in some fabulous colours ... have a look at these neutrals.... browns, greys all found here on this page of their website:

Marjorie Duck in NaturalMarjorie Duck in Natural
Mavis Monkey in NaturalMavis Monkey in Natural
Silk RoadSilk Road
Fredrick Elephant in NaturalFredrick Elephant in Natural
Boardwalk in Coral StoneBoardwalk in Coral Stone
Turtle DoveTurtle Dove
Donkey GreyDonkey Grey
Stoney in StoneStoney in Stone
Taj MahalTaj Mahal
Icelandic StoneIcelandic Stone
Abstract in ConcreteAbstract in Concrete
Pebble CreamPebble Cream
Spotcheck in Tangerine GreySpotcheck in Tangerine Grey
Doe's SkinDoe's Skin
Abstract in StrawAbstract in Straw
Looking for Water in ShadowLooking for Water in Shadow
Scratchy in BuffScratchy in Buff
Bowral StoneBowral Stone
Country RoadCountry Road
Marigold in NeutralMarigold in Neutral
Scratchy in FogScratchy in Fog
Banksia in GoldBanksia in Gold
Stoney in ClayStoney in Clay
Dusty MuleDusty Mule
Dandelion in Eclipse GreyDandelion in Eclipse Grey
Passionflower in Chintz GreyPassionflower in Chintz Grey
Grey PepperGrey Pepper
Lyre Bird in Grey GreenLyre Bird in Grey Green
Pale ClayPale Clay
Potter's ClayPotter's Clay
Fired EarthFired Earth
Milk ChocolateMilk Chocolate
Ziddi in SmokeZiddi in Smoke
Ziddi in Stainless SteelZiddi in Stainless Steel
Banksia in SilverBanksia in Silver
Winter in Silver and BlackWinter in Silver and Black
Old Stone WallOld Stone Wall
Shell GreyShell Grey
Blue ConcreteBlue Concrete
Swiss BrownSwiss Brown
Banksia in PewterBanksia in Pewter
Camouflage in Soft GreyCamouflage in Soft Grey
Brazil NutBrazil Nut
Nut BrownNut Brown
Wet CementWet Cement
Dragonfly in Grey GreenDragonfly in Grey Green
White RhinoWhite Rhino
Dandelion in CocoaDandelion in Cocoa
Hot SpringsHot Springs
Banksia in CharcoalBanksia in Charcoal
Marigold in Ash GreyMarigold in Ash Grey
Passionflower in French GreyPassionflower in French Grey
Toy SoldierToy Soldier
Brown AshBrown Ash
Stripes in PuttyStripes in Putty
Turkish CoffeeTurkish Coffee
Pheasant in Deep ChocolatePheasant in Deep Chocolate

Well... Donkey grey is going to look very different from that example because 20 years ago I painted a blue on the walls and even though I did 2 coats of paint this time round I didn't undercoat in white first... I guess I trusted that I would like the colour I ended up with. Luckily I do.

I used to have donkey grey in my living room at my previous home ... so donkey grey and me go way back! Can I find a photo of that... let's see.

Oh yes... here's an early one below... about 2003. I was forever changing this room and the furniture. I wish I'd documented all that... when I think of it now I was quite bold and experimental. Being a proud home owner for the first time then I was very keen on playing with the spaces.

How times change!

This next one is after I had completely changed everything in the room except the paint... donkey grey never faded from popularity ... I was a big fan and loved how the colour shifted throughout the day!  The door is into the studio so everything that was going on in the studio would get to live in the lounge room at some point. I loved that chance to live with the paintings over time. There were a few spots that made for great viewing from the sofa... and the chance to get into quiet reveries and gaze absent-mindedly on a work  was most helpful to determine if it felt resolved ... how it worked etc.

I got to love this colour as opposed to white as a background.

looking into the studio

well... its late... time to go. I shall get the camera out and try and capture a decent shot  ...interiors are not my forte though. I've pulled my studio and bedroom apart in the last 24 hours... decided I was far too cramped so made some radical changes. My desire to paint has since rapidly increased. I suspected the room was not helping... I am astonished how much energy I've unleashed by getting serious about change as opposed to moaning about lack of space. My desk top computer is now in my bedroom at the bay window overlooking the back lawn and trees. There are 4 windows to gaze out of ...and tonight I've put together three blog posts. Its a lovely place to sit and ponder and write.

I fitted in a swim twice today and at 5pm made a quick trip to Ikea and picked up come specials. Its a place I tend to avoid except when I get in these radical moods of creating order. I don't purchase much but I sure like the brain exercise of imagining if I would like to go Swedish in my living spaces. Walking around that big store I start thinking how I can use what I have at home better... and for a small desk light with LED lighting ... yes! I found a goodie!

Well ... I do hope all your projects are going well... I'll back soon!
Sophie x


blue china studio said...

Donkey Grey looks to be a great color! It makes all the white trim really pop. Love seeing the shots of your home with it in use.

Good luck with your organizing!

Sally Tharpe Rowles said...

Wow, Sophie, you are busy! Two swims in one day! Wow! Change is good & it is so much fun to work with color... color can change everything. All these ideas are an inspiration. Thanks, I need to make some changes & make some more space myself.

Blue Sky Dreaming said...

Love your color choice and especially love reading the color 'names'...wet cement, Bullrush...great! The photos of your living room are fun...I do the same thing with viewing new work! I noticed the it the photo or are the ceilings painted a darker color?
Enjoy your swimming!

ronnie said...

I also appreciate the connectivity of the net and the wonderful, beautiful friendships it (and blogging) has afforded me.... and in antoher moment of synchronicity - I'm about to be painting.... and have been looking and thinking about porter paints.... and looking and thinking about a nice neutral, like donkey grey....... ahhhh its a small universe!

Velma said...

i hate painting, the mess, etc, UNTIL i am in it and suddenly it's SO worth it. sigh. i am, i think, too lazy for these changes, so when i get "encouraged" it's great. donkey grey is a very good color.

KatrinaRecycled said...

I've been procrastinating about tidying up my studio and getting on with creating, you've just inspired me! I am now off to the studio to sort, shuffle, declutter and hopefully organise a more productive work space.
I would love to see photos of your new spaces when you have time!
Happy creating!

Sophie Munns said...

you're so right...
this colour does make the white pop...and best of all its a warm grey. cool greys feel icy to me...not a mood I would go for in a room ...thanks for your message!

having enough time to completely rethink everything has been a godsend! At first I thought it was going to be simply a tidy up...but two weeks later I am completely reconstructing the space...and now I feel like 2012 can happen!
Hope you get similarly inspired!

the names are great ha! Good to hear you do the same with viewing work... its amazing the subtleties that are noticed from that relaxed musing from the sofa...what to change!
the darker colour is above the picture rail... I wrote about it at another post which I will link to. There's a Pablo Neruda stanza written around the wall on that darker bit.

it certainly lessens the distance... I was pretty new to this city when I started blogging so I loved being able to connect to a community whilst I was on the ground slowly doing that here.
Funny about the syncronicity...i guess its that time of year!
I used to think Porters paints were on the pricy side...however when I went to the local hardware to pick up 1 litre of white and it was half the cost of the 4 litre Porters Paint i thought again.
Check out their milk paints too ... I used that in the past to good effect on furniture.
Tell me what you end up doing!

Have a fun weekend all... great to hear from you!
S xo

Sophie Munns said...

I'm completely with you on that!
I made promises to paint this room for my mother months ago... maybe a year ago. I felt sick everytime I thought about it. The mess of moving everything, the dust, the chaos ... yep ... I know!
In fact how it turned out was my brother got so inspired when he saw me pull the room apart and create a work space that he came on board and brought his fantastic music collection. He started telling stories of the kind I'd not hear him mention in yonks!
Its summer here,,, but unseasonably cool... so what better time for all this creative chaos!

Great to hear you've got the bug now... i used to regularly do this overhaul thing... but i got out of the habit when I moved here three years ago. There wasn't much room and so I kind of gave away the idea that I could do anything with the space.
I'm very glad to prove myself wrong and I look forward to hearing what you got up to soon!

S xo

Anonymous said...


It is two years since I have been on my blogging journey....and you have with me every step of the way. Holding my hand, encouraging, and being the cornerstone of my community. Thank you so much for allllll that you do! You are a treasure.

Color: Cesar and Bullrush are particular favorites of mine. They are almost like that gorgeous color straw gets!!!

P.S. I too have a room that is Donkey grey-ish in color. Usually, we live with A LOT more color on our walls, such as Oxblood, Fired Earth, and Bullrush but...the donkey grey was such a lovely soothing color for the bath!

nathalie et cetera said...

mmmm! i wish i had donkey grey up here! very nice! can't wait to see how it turns out in your place.

about blogging, I am also pleased to see that the usual internet drama doesn't reach the blogs I follow and mine. I like how everyone is respectful of the others. I guess we just go where "we feel at home".

Good luck with your interior design!

Sophie Munns said...

Its been a very happy back and forth thing Mary!

Sharing things that are a strong suit for one and vice versa. Any initial imput from me was fresh from my tentative experiences with blogging. Three years ago I had no online presence despite having been very active as a creative person since way back.
So I can tell you ...I had so much to learn about even using a computer ... + I seriously had no idea how to position myself in the online scenario.
As for colours... yes... it makes such a difference the climate and style of home. Here in the heat, in an old timber home, white is very cool!
Interesting your colour for the bathroom is similarly chosen for its soothing nature.

have a lovely weekend over there... its sunday morning here!

Sophie Munns said...

Hi Nat,
Interesting comments! Approving comments is for me a big plus. Cuts out spam too! There's been plenty of that at times!

In the first year or so I got some very unpleasant stuff ... the word 'negging' would best describe it. Do you use that word over there? Passive aggression... its unpleasant ...doesn't come from a good place.
Once I had clarity about what tone felt acceptable, and used the delete button when something didn't sit right, I found I could relax and since then all has been good.
You're spot on about "going where we feel at home". I favour warmth and authenticity and go wherever thats in evidence.
Hope to have some photos soon!

ArtPropelled said...

Seeing this post I now LOVE Donkey Grey. Your paintings look really good against it. I thought about grey for my lounge but my African art collection and kuba cloths look wonderful against terracotta walls. When we moved i thought we would have a change and I painted it some other colour but we missed the terracotta so much I had to repaint.