Katie

About Katie

Katie is a coffee-drinking, granny square-making, op-shopping daydreamer. Katie likes vintage dresses, Pictionary, doilies and colourful tights. Katie's raspberry baked cheesecake will rock your socks off.
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The Time Will Pass Anyway

the time will pass anyway

Image Credit

Last week something quite remarkable happened. I made my 500th sale in my little Etsy store, just shy of a year from the day I opened it. Before I launched Dear Delilah I never would have dared to imagine I’d achieve that many sales in my first year so, as you can imagine, I’m thrilled! It might sound contrived but I rarely feel particularly proud of the things I do (because I tend to see what is yet to be done moreso than what I’ve already achieved) but I am quite proud of this. My only regret is that I didn’t start my business earlier.

I am a crazy perfectionist and (as I’ve spoken about before) I have a terrible fear of failure, so I procrastinated beginning my creative business adventure for years before I finally took the plunge. That’s right, years! For a long time I made excuses for why I couldn’t start and created reasons for why I would surely fail, until I eventually realised (as the beautiful print above says) you can either spend your time creating the life you want or spend it living the life you don’t want. The time will pass anyway.

ask yourself

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I know now that the scariest part of making any major change or decision is the moment just before you start. Once you’re doing it, whatever it is, you just get on with things and make it work. It’s the anticipation and fear of the unknown that make making changes and taking risks so frightening. In order for anything to happen, at some point you just have to take the leap. There’s no point in prolonging that scary moment before you take action. A year from now you’ll wish you started today.

There are a few bits and pieces in my life right now that I have been procrastinating and hesitating on. Some small things, and some biggers ones, all of which are difficult to some degree. I am reminded now that the time will pass, whether I take action or not. Each step I take today gets me a foot closer to my dreams for tomorrow.

Today could be the beginning of anything you or I hope for. We just have to start.

Katie x

Comments { 22 }

Simple Living Our Own Way

Chooks

When Reubs and I were living in Sydney and began daydreaming of a “simpler life” we had hazy ideas of a veggie patch and keeping chickens and escaping the daily grind. In my fantasies I saw myself self-employed with a little creative business, growing and preparing all our own food, sewing our clothes and op-shopping for everything else we needed. Our cute little house in the country would be decorated with crochet blankets and vintage trinkets. We’d have a wood stove that I’d bake all of our bread in, and a pantry full of home grown and preserved food and homemade soap… It was a lovely, albeit romanticised and idealised, dream.

Homegrown and Homemade

A few years on we have achieved some of the things I dreamt of, but other things are a long way off and some will likely never come to fruition. Sometimes I feel disheartened by the fact we haven’t made all the changes we’d like, and often I feel like we aren’t doing enough. I’ve been reading blogs and books about simple living since the topic first piqued my interest in Sydney, and as much as they inspire me, sometimes they leave me feeling inadequate and overwhelmed. I think a lot of people entertaining the idea of simplifying probably feel that way at times. Like you have to embrace “the good life” completely and make all your own clothes, grow all of your own food, make all of your own cleaning products, knit all of your own dishcloths, make all of your own soap, raise chickens for eggs and a cow for milk and sheep for yarn for all the knitting you must do… Or else you aren’t doing it right. But I have come to realise simplifying is not all or nothing. You can embrace a simple life in a million different ways and it’s ok to take it slow. There is no magic formula for doing this right. There is just doing what is right for you right now, and making an effort to continue making things better for the future.

Homemade Laundry Detergent

At this point in time we are working on growing our own veggies. We have two chooks and plans for more. We have the house in the country and it is full of crochet blankets (though at this point it’s not particularly cute!) We have completely changed our spending habits, paid off our debts (aside from our mortgage) and started saving. We do buy lots of stuff from op-shops. I have started that small home business. We do prepare most of our meals from scratch. We have dabbled with cheese making, home brewing beer and making cleaning products, and though we still buy cheese, beer and cleaning products at this time, we plan to continue practicing those things and over time using less and less of the store bought stuff.

Reuben and Veggie Patch

I’m nowhere near mastering dressmaking, though I hope that one day that will change. I’m still a hopeless knitter and have come to accept that maybe knitting just isn’t for me, so I might have to relinquish that little part of the simple living dream. We haven’t yet had a go at preserving but I know eventually we will, maybe when our fruit trees are bigger and have started producing. Though I’d love to bake all our own bread, 99% of the time we still buy it from the bakery and I’d like that to change. I still buy all of my toiletries and cosmetics and probably always will. I doubt I will ever make soap because, truth be told, I’m just not all that keen on hard soap (it makes my skin dry and leaves soapy bits all over the shower!) I have been meaning to crochet dishcloths for about 2 years and still haven’t.

Butterfly Cakes

And all of that is ok! It doesn’t mean we aren’t doing simple living “right”, it means we are doing what we can and what works for us right now. I tend to be a very “all or nothing” kind of person and either give something 110% or give it up, but I have to remember choosing this lifestyle wasn’t about becoming a shining example of simple living. It was about escaping the cycle of accumulating material stuff for sake of keeping up with the Joneses. It was about living within our means and without debt. It was about having more time. It was about growing and cooking and creating things with our own hands. It was about living a more sustainable, slower, happier life and doing things that brought us joy. And we’re doing that! While our life is a million miles from my fantasy version, it’s also a million times closer to it than my more pessimistic side ever would have allowed me to imagine. Our life is so much simpler, more balanced and happier than it once was. It’s not perfect, but it’s a work in progress.

We’re just simple living our own way.

Katie x

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Summer Abundance

Garden Haul

Zucchinis

Semi Dried Tomatoes

Tomatoes and Basil

Pumpkin

Over the last few weeks our tiny garden has been going crazy! We’ve been eating cherry tomatoes around the clock and have had enough larger tomatoes to semi dry and make a big batch of pasta sauce (both of which we devoured in record time!) I’ve made lots of pesto and have managed to put a few bottles aside in the freezer for the approaching cold months. We’ve eaten a bunch of zucchinis and there are plenty more to come, including a couple that have grown to gigantic proportions. The rainbow chard is still doing well and we’ve had a few lovely cucumbers. Tonight we made veggie enchiladas using our first homegrown capsicums, and we’ve just picked the first of our little pumpkins. Silly Clover pup actually helped with that. This morning I discovered a small half chewed pumpkin in her bed! It was too cute and funny to be cranky with her about it.

All in all, our first summer season has been quite successful! Especially considering we’ve only had two little beds and we’ve taken a rather lazy approach to the whole thing.

I’ve never been much of a summer girl (I don’t like the heat and I’m very partial to cardigans, fireplaces and bowls of soup) but this season, perhaps for the first time, I have been able to really appreciate the garden goodness the warmer months hold. The 40°C days are awful but the homegrown produce is so wonderful!

Over the last week we’ve felt a gentle shift in the weather. It’s still very warm but the early mornings are crisp and some nights there is a real chill in the air. Soon autumn will be here, and though I will embrace the cold weather with open arms, I really will miss the abundance of summer.

Wishing you all a lovely, lovely week ahead!

Katie x

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On Taking the Leap

Ford Territory

Lovebirds

Two very exciting things happened at our house in the last week. First of all, we picked up the lovely brand new Ford Territory that we won for a year in Voices of 2013! We still can’t quite believe we have been awarded such amazing things, just for doing what we love and sharing it here. It is such an incredible honour. We are so very, very privileged.

The second exciting thing was the love birds diorama I blogged about back in 2012 was featured in a magazine. Reubs and I have been lucky enough to pop up in a few publications since we began blogging, but this time feels particularly special. You see, my first job out of uni was working as an editorial assistant on three craft magazines and the main magazine I worked on was Homespun. The editor has changed since then and a couple of months ago the lovely people at Homespun got in touch with me about featuring my love birds, completely unaware that I used to work there! When I was working in publishing I never would have imagined that one day something I made would be featured in one of the magazines I worked on.

All of this got me thinking about the journey Reubs and I have taken over the last few years and the choices and events that have lead us to the happy position we are in today…

I used to think that I was incredibly unlucky. When I was younger, whenever things went wrong for me, I would throw my arms up into the air and swear I was cursed. And I honestly believed that I was. I now realise that I wasn’t particularly unlucky, I was just young and silly and making the wrong decisions. I was doing what others told me I should do instead of trusting my instincts, and I was making choices based on others’ expectations or what I imagined others would think of me, rather than listening to my own heart.

It was only when we began taking risks and doing the things we dreamt of, rather than things we thought we “should” do, that things started to change for Reubs and I. When we started this blog I was sure people would wonder what it was all about and why we would bother. When we packed in our stable jobs in Sydney with no idea what lay ahead of us in Victoria I knew people would think we were crazy. When I launched my little shop instead of looking for a “real job” I was certain people would think I needed to get my head out of the clouds and be realistic. When we decided to buy a rundown old house in a tiny, sleepy rural village I was convinced people would think we were mad. And some people probably did! But goodness, am I glad we did all those things anyway! Had we not started blogging, had we stayed in Sydney, had I not launched Dear Delilah and had we not bought our old house, we’d have missed out on so much happiness. I’m naturally a fairly cautious person so in the moment making all those decisions and changes was very scary, but in hindsight I can see that each time we listened to our hearts, great things followed. It is only since we began taking risks that we have started creeping closer and closer to living our dreams.

Of course, not every moment of the last couple of years has been sunshiney and happy. There have been times when I have questioned every decision we’ve ever made. There have been hard weeks, sad days, struggles and temper tantrums, and there will be more of those to come yet, but I know in my heart of hearts we have done the right thing in taking each and every risk. Even if all the chances we had taken had ended in disaster, I would rather know I’d given my dreams a go and failed, than spend the rest of my life wondering “what if?”

I always think it is interesting to hear what advice people would give their former selves if they could go back in time. If I could give Katie five years ago just one piece of advice, it would be to listen to her instincts, face her fears and chase her bliss. To stop worrying what everyone else thinks, let go of expectations and do what makes her happy.

You only live once. Take the leap!

If you could go back in time and give your former self just one piece of advice, what would it be? I’d so love it if you’d share!

Katie x

PS The winner of the mushroom kit giveaway, chosen by the random number generator, is Leanne. Leanne, we’ll be in touch shortly. Thanks so much to everyone who participated!!
PPS Sorry I didn’t get this up on Sunday! We were enjoying our Australia Day with friends.

Comments { 23 }

A Proud Moment

Homegrown and Homemade

I’m interrupting our new once a week posting schedule, just to share a little something that meant a great deal to Reuben and I. Last night we ate our most home produced meal to date. It consisted of homemade pesto made from homegrown basil, homemade feta and homegrown tomatoes on sourdough toast and homemade lemon cordial, made with lemons from my mum’s lemon tree, followed by homemade chocolate slice for dessert. It wasn’t fancy or elaborate but it made us very proud. And I do believe it was the one of the absolute best meals I have ever eaten! In moments like this I feel so grateful for the path we have chosen and so excited for all that lies ahead of us as we continue on this journey.

Today I am making semi dried tomatoes and feeling very content. Life is good.

Katie x

Comments { 21 }