I mentioned blogging the other day, and how I don't view Mitenska as a 'lifestyle' blog. And then I read this post by Annie and her words resonated with me: the sentiment about life being lived, and not simply 'styled', really got me thinking.
Of course, there's a difference between me trying to create pretty photos for the blog and suggesting I live a perfect, straight-from-the-pages-of The Simple Things magazine kind of life. I love details and making little vignettes around the house but that's for my benefit as much as anyone else's. My outdoor photography reflects this: almost all the pictures I take are close-ups of things I've spotted and want to capture in detail. Colours, textures, signs of the seasons.
But Mitenska's about my life. It's not about suggesting we spend our time foraging for mushrooms and shopping for artisan bread, hanging out in hipster coffee shops or glamping with our cool friends. Because we don't.
Joe eats waffles and beans and watches TV. No, not all the time (or even most of it). But I don't intimate for one moment that our days are filled with meaningful activities. We spend hours outdoors and we have fun and read books, but I wouldn't try to pass myself off as a perfect parent who makes organic meals and creates her own Play Doh.
We're, well, normal.
So I decided to share something 'normal' with you. My workspace. Neither stylish nor particularly inspiring but I don't work from a beautiful garden office warmed by a woodburning stove. I sit in the front room (the coldest in the house) and yesterday dragged my whole desk and computer and all the rest of it across the room to be next to the radiator.
No styling here, or pretty photographic filters to counter-effect the lack of light on a November afternoon. Yes, it's a tidy space but that's because I'm tidy. You can see the magnolia walls (I really don't like magnolia) and the marks on them, the old curtains and the frankly quite dreadful job that's been made of a once lovely Victorian fireplace.
But we only rent the house. It's spacious and I'm lucky to have a whole room to myself where I can write in peace and close the door afterwards without having to clear everything away.
This corner has been 'styled' with a camera tripod doubling up as a coat stand. And no, that isn't a pile of horse manure on the floor. It's a string of bells. Naturally. The lampshade is awaiting some kind of 'treatment', as yet undecided.
The spray carnations are faded and on their last legs, as is the table holding my drawing board. It's worryingly wobbly and - typically - we've lost the key for tightening the legs.
This isn't 'styled' either. It's just a collection of things which are neat and tidy - for now.
And here's my ugly but comfortable chair from which I blog and edit photos and make notes. Right next to the radiator. The (slightly askew) board behind doesn't have beautiful moodboard-type things pinned to it. Just a planner for blog posts, collaborations etc. It keeps me organised and I'm so glad I found it online (the source escapes me, sorry).
So, there you have it. An important part of my life: the place where I get creative and spend my free moments. A bit (OK, a lot) cold, a little gloomy at times and it doesn't have the most inspiring view from the window. But it's a real working space filled with the stuff I use, not props and objets.
Of course I love aesthetics and beautiful things. Always have. My dream job would actually be doing shop window displays or photographic styling. I sigh over Pinterest and occasionally buy a magazine or two. I find ideas and I display objects (and dream of our next house having a mantelpiece for my treasures). But Mitenska is written about the life we live, not one I want to portray. I don't want people to aspire to anything here. To try and suggest we have some kind of cool 'lifestyle' would be disingenuous, and anyway - who can be bothered trying to keep up a charade?
Not to mention that some of my nearest and dearest read the blog and know the real truth...
Anyway, normal service - complete with pretty photos - will be resumed next week. Hope you've had a good weekend and enjoyed a look behind the scenes at my little corner of the house.
Oh, and by the way - if anyone can tell me how to make my photos bigger here on Blogger I'd be most grateful as the Extra Large option really isn't very large at all. I'm thinking it may involve custom sizing (but where?) or - gulp - I may have to look into moving to my own site...