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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

At the Moment I am...


Our stuff from Italy has finally arrived, after more than 2 years and a half in storage. And despite we've downsized considerably here, it all fitted the house and single garage.

This is a moment I have awaited for quite a while... not with anxiety or stressful thoughts- but the very opposite, as I long for simplicity and felt I was ready to deal with the stuff that we had left behind. 

It's a time of tremendous growth, healing, and joy. Dust on my hands, surrounded by mountains of  cardboard and bubble wrap to be thrown away, I dive in the boxes, finding all kind of forgotten treasures, which evoke strong feelings, memories, joys and tears. It's the very first time in my life that I don't feel attachment to stuff anymore, and can part with it with a joyous attitude.

In case you're wondering how am I finding my way through 400+ boxes and stuff, I am analyzing everything against very simple questions:

Do I feel joy seeing/having this in my home? 
Will this add to my life?
Does it reflect how I want to live? 
Is this beautiful or useful?(this last one sticking to W. Morris' philosophy).


This chest of drawers, lovingly made by my Grandfather, will be soon painted in a plain, neutral shade. I had painted it aqua with irises more than 12 years ago.

Simplicity. This is something I've been craving for quite a few years now, and what I am after in all I do. Simple design, simple decor, simple and easy living, simple food, simple everything. 

Simplicity is not at all a synonym for frugality.

Frugality, is the quality of being frugal, sparing, thrifty, prudent or economical in the use of food, time and money.

Simplicity, is the state or quality of being simple, not elaborated, easy. Simplicity can be used to imply beauty, purity and clarity, and I disagree with the dictionary definitions that suggest simple= ordinary or not elegant, as I do believe the very opposite. 


Autumn and its gifts, the glorious countryside, the changing colors, the many dry days and the sunshine, still very warm over the past week or so. It's lovely to take a break outside, in the company of birds and squirrels and a good tea or coffee in a favorite mug.


Doing some nature studies in watercolor.

Studio- in- progress.

It feels so, so good to have a studio once again, where I can play! I'm also playing "interior designer" at the moment, organizing my stuff and making this room comfortable and cozy to work in.

Being a "creative" requires stuff and space. Even more if that's also your own profession.
The majority of people out there who are not in the creative field, do not realize at all how much stuff you need for your job (surprisingly, even family members until they see with their own eyes!).

I have finally let go of the opinions of the others regarding my life and how I lead it, and you bet things have considerably improved and I feel joyous as never before. I don't seek approval anymore, and I embrace what I am and how I have deliberately chosen to live with love and compassion. Even the piles of stuff don't annoy me anymore- actually I am not annoyed by anything lately. Such a good sign.


Picking blackberries! I have learnt it's a very British thing :) I grab my basket and garden gloves, and off I go into the wilderness! It's common that I also come back with a posy of herbs or berries, and quite a few feathers! Now will have to do something with them.

And with those juicy blackberries, I love to bake muffins!
The recipe I shared here, but instead of chocolate or cinnamon, I add two handfuls of blackberries and a small peeled and chopped apple.


Meeting Jillayne, of "A Fine Seam" blog! She is adorable, and even trusted me driving on the left! :)
...my heart to in- person connections, as I wrote about here and here.

Recently, I had the tremendous pleasure of meeting Jillayne, a long- time blog friend, who was here in the Cotswolds area for a few days while vacationing in the UK.

We had the day free all for ourselves, and it was sooo beautiful! And the sun shone for us, too!! 
I had tears in my eyes when I was in the car driving back home, because it was really painful to part with a kindred spirit after such a glorious day, filled with flowers and gardens, smiles, inspiring chats about being a "creative", dreams, sense of belonging, introversion, synchronicity, copyright and creativity, very good food, fun at the art, antique and charity shops and found treasures. 


My latest find in a charity shop! I can't stop staring at it (and other pieces of the same set I have bought).
They'll always remind me of the beautiful day I spent with Jillayne.

I am so loving pheasants since I'm here, they stroll happily and funnily outside our windows!
Being a former city dweller, I think I had never seen a pheasant this close before! 

Since I'm living here in England, I've learnt to recognize their song in the distance, their feathers, their babies, and just get to know these guys and their behaviour more. They're funny chaps for sure!


My first artist samples have arrived! I think these gift bags will be on the shelves in the US (and Canada maybe? Will investigate and let you know) in time for this Christmas (together with other paper products with designs belonging to the same collection). I am enamoured with the red ribbon and the clear glitter! ♡

And I'm so doing the happy dance on the carpet (with Kim in spirit as we used to do in flesh and fur) because I'm going to have a large, wonderful Christmas line launched in January! It's completely "me" and wonderfully made (I've already seen all of the samples, but of course, you know how it works- I cannot spill the beans now! ;)). I'm sure it'll rock your socks off! I want to buy everything, because it's sooo gorgeous!

Hope all is well with you in your corner of the world!
Monica x


  1. All those boxes look fun--after 2.5 years it must almost seem like Christmas! Have fun being an interior designer--love those suitcases! I like simple too--and have to constantly pull myself back when I overdo. Clutter makes me stressed and simple relaxes me. Have fun!

    1. I totally agree about clutter! It blocks the creative energy flowing, don't you think?
      And yes! It's definitely like Christmas! I am finding so many forgotten treasures... LOVE this moment, savoring it!

  2. Life is good! Enjoy every blessed moment..
    You have come full circle..I am happy for you and congrats on the line!

    1. Definitely a full circle! Thanks for always being so kind and lovely xo

  3. Monica, I look at your Snowmen and I hug Autumn simple things in my corner of the world...and your words are with me!
    Buona serata

    1. Much love to you, dear Franca! Enjoy the simple pleasures!

  4. Finally you have your furniture in England !!!..love your post ...like your winter stuff !!...love from me ...x !

    1. Yes! Yeah! Thanks for liking my snowpeople :)

  5. I'm so glad to know you are in a good place dear friend. I love ALL of your pictures and especially love your great find. The colors and images are stunning and I can understand why you can't stop staring at it. I'm looking forward to finding your product line and buying a few pieces to treasure.

    big hugs,

    1. Thank you so very very much, dear friend! I bet you'll have a BIG surprise seeing my new Christmas line!! But cannot say more as for now! :)

  6. I was very pleased to read your posts, and to see that you are in England.. You take always wonderful photos!

    1. Oh SO nice to hear from you! Be back again!! xo

  7. Your new Christmas line is beautiful Monica! I can hardly wait to see it in the US. What a wonderful accomplishment! Opening your boxes must be like Christmas Morning sometimes. Finding items that you even forgot you have must be quite an adventure. We downsized from a family home to a condo three years ago and had quite a purge. We kept our favorite things and let the rest go. It felt very uplifting even though a daunting task. By studio went from half of a large basement to the smallest bedroom in the condo. What an eye opener that was! But I'm happy in my little studio on "Golden Pond" and have everything I could possibly want or need. I can hardly wait to see what your studio will transform into. I hope you will share that with us, but you are so kind to share your sweet life in England. Your countryside is so wonderful and beautiful! Thank you Monica!

    Many blessings, Edie Marie

    1. You are so sweet and kind, Edie Marie! Thank youuu!
      I know about purging, I'm doing it with a serene heart now, which I think is a blessing. Letting your things go may be painful (it was for me in the past!) and yes, a daunting task for sure, especially when you're downsizing.
      Hope you'll be delighted as much as I am with my Christmas products!

  8. My apologies... I was signed in on my former blog Edie Marie's Attic when I sent my comment and I should have been signed in on my new blog Creations by Marie Antoinette and Edie Marie. Marie kindly asked me to share her blob with her since she could no longer deal with the technical part of blogging. She is a dear friend of mine in Mississippi and although I am in Ohio we are like spirits and have so much fun together it's unbelievable! So the correct blog place will appear. (it's a duh moment) Hugs, Edie Marie

  9. Hi Monica,

    So happy to read your post dear friend and to hear that you have all your treasured belongings there with you. How lovely that you got to meet up with Jillayne - great to see the photo of you both.
    Wishing you all the best with getting everything sorted and know how comfortable you will be.
    Love the look of the studio in progress, your lovely new Christmas line and all your photos.

    Sending hugs


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