A note to any visitors:
I’m just getting this blog set up. There isn’t much to see yet, and it’s probably too early to be inviting anyone over, but I couldn’t resist the theme of this weekly photo challenge.
Over time, I hope to make Seasonalists into a cozy corner / hideaway / favorite place … for myself and for anyone else who wants to create a life they love. If you want to learn a little more about my plans, pop over to “About Verity Mews“. There may be some other pieces in place by the time you get here via this post. Feel free to take a peek at anything you see, and forgive me my mess.
I realized, just recently, that — even though I’m a grown woman (and then some) — I still indulge myself with a habit I developed when I was a very young girl.
In most every important respect, I was an only child. (My siblings were adults when I was born.) I was also sheltered. For me there was no running the neighborhood, or inviting school friends to our place, or going on sleepovers.
I suppose I should have felt lonely, but the truth is, I was a happy little girl. I had good companions in my animals, my books, and a transistor radio. And — as long as I didn’t cause any trouble, and stayed within shouting distance — I had a lot of freedom to entertain myself however I liked.
What I liked was to make myself hideaways filled with my companions and other things I found beautiful.
My beautiful things were potions I made, trinkets I collected, and little projects I could do. They still are.
In the warm months, these secret spaces were usually outside — behind a curtain of willow whips; under the arching branches of an ancient hedge of bridal veil; in the back corner of a farm yard, where an aspen had fallen to make a bench.
In the never-ending winters, though, I was confined to indoors. Luckily, we lived in a series of old houses, with lots of odd cubbies and nooks for me to explore and to decorate with my little comforts.
As an adult, I’ve had homes where a spare basement room, or a backyard shed, could be all mine. (I had a “she-shed” back in the 90s, long before they became a thing.) Even when we were young and just starting out, I had a big closet into which I could retreat.
When we moved to Carolina, though, space got tight. Really tight.
You see, we are resettling as a family — which sounds like no big deal — but our family consists of my husband and me, our adult daughter, our adult son, and his intended bride. (Plus two big dogs.)
None of us know yet where we will settle within the state. (A city? A smaller town? Coast? Mountains? Piedmont?) The “kids” still need to finish college degrees. All of us need some time to familiarize ourselves with an entirely new culture and habitat.
For all these reasons, we are currently renting and sharing an apartment in a central but temporary location near Raleigh. It’s a big apartment, but space is at a premium … particularly because my husband telecommutes from home. His “home office” is also our bedroom.
Until about a month ago, my only cozy corner was the lowest shelf of the bookcase we built into a shallow nook of the living room. I did what I could with a couple of cushions, a votive candle, some flowers and, and a few pretty baubles that didn’t stand out as too feminine for the aesthetic of the rest of the room.
It was okay, but the space is too open to the communal living area to be considered a hideaway.
I took another look at what was available in the apartment. The only real option was to carve a small corner out of our already overstuffed bedroom. (There’s already a king-size bed, and a massive, L-shaped, work desk, bearing multiple monitors.)
There wasn’t much space to work with. Its availability to me would be limited to non-work hours. Late at night, I knew, I’d have to be quiet, and keep the lights dim.
It wasn’t ideal, but I was desperate for a place to just be. I decided having a part-time retreat space was better than not having one at all.
After about a month’s worth or puttering, and trying out various arrangements, I came up with this:
It looks more like a vanity area than anything else, but you’d be surprised by how many different things I have packed into those decorative boxes. You can’t see it in this photo, but one key to the usefulness of this space is a lap pad (with its own LCD light) which slides down between the wall and the chair when not needed.
In this corner, sitting near the window, in a low-slung, arm-less chair at the foot of our bed, I can knit; draw zen tangles, dangles, or other doodles; read; compose letters and cards; write sections of my novel longhand; and keep my book of days. I can preen. I can drink coffee or wine, and eat from a secret stash of fine chocolates. I can do my nails. I can watch one of my programs on the small TV we have in the room. I can cuddle a dog. I can meditate. I can daydream. And, at night, when I’m full up with all these other good things, I can just unwind quietly, while listening to my husband breathe.
It’s one of my favorite cozy corners ever.
Here are some responses to the WPC prompt “favorite place” that I particularly like:
I may add more, as I browse more responses.