Clearing the clutter…maybe!

Casual LivingI’ve always dreamed of my house looking as beautiful as the houses in those magazines. Although I love the way we’ve done up our old bungalow, the place just never looks “magazine worthy”! I think this is probably because A: I’m too lazy, and B: well – I’m just too lazy!

I like the idea of A place for everything and everything in it’s place but I never seem to be able to get it all under control. There’s just always so much stuff to deal with: half finished projects, tools, the kids toys, laundry in various stages of the washdryfoldputaway process, and all the general detritus of daily life. And I guess it doesn’t help that I’m a bit of a hoarder.  Not like those pathological hoarders, but…well, ’nuff said.

Christmas, much as I love it, brings with it an avalanche of stuff. All the new toys for the kids, packaging, wrapping paper, Christmas cards, pine needles… It’s February already, but I’ve only just recovered! My Young Lad’s birthday was in November, so when we added the Christmas stuff to the birthday stuff, his room was so chocker we could barely move in there. So the other day, I gave his room a darn good sort out — I even re-arranged the furniture. It looks amazing and seems three times bigger. This has spurred me on to de-clutter and organise the house in general (and my sewing room in particular).

Organized Simplicity

Since I’ve been attempting to get the place sorted for about the last 12 years, with no success, I decided I needed some outside intervention.

Luckily the library has plenty of books to turn to for guidance and inspiration, and I’m really looking forward to reading them. I’m rather curious to find out what the toothbrush principle is, and I wonder if it really will change my life? Is it REALLY possible to conquer clutter in 3 simple steps or to organise my entire house in just seven days??

If none of it works, I can always console myself that a perfectly kept house is the sign of a misspent life.

Now, if I could just find somewhere to put this stack of library books till I find the time to I read them….

Sounds intriguing: Audacious – Festival of Sonic Arts

Throughout the first weekend of March, central Christchurch will resonate with an exciting programme of sonic art installations, workshops, sound walks and performances at Audacious, Canterbury’s first ever Festival of Sonic Art.

As both a festival artist and organiser I am very excited about this event and the fantastic range of artworks, activities and experiences Audacious will bring to the city. My own work, Sunburners will be installed on the bank of the Avon River on Oxford Terrace between Hereford and Cashel Streets. It utilizes simple solarbots to tap out minimal but constantly shifting rhythmic patterns as the solarbots speed up and slow down relative to the amount of sunlight shining on them.

This gives the work both an uncanny life of its own and some fun interactive potential as the audience can slow down the solarbots individually by casting shadows on them. The sonic characteristics of the work are very different depending on the levels of sunlight so that in dim weather it is quite subdued and delicate while in full, bright sunshine it becomes rather loud and very fast and furious. I’m crossing my fingers for mostly good weather with a bit of variety in cloud cover for best results.

Sunburners Study by Adam Willetts
Sunburners Study by Adam Willetts

Information from Audacious:

Highlights include A Folded Path the pedestrian symphony created specifically for the streets of Christchurch by UK artists, Circumstance; a water sound sculpture created by Chris Reddington and Tom Phillpotts (Christchurch); solar powered sonic sculptures on the banks of the River Avon by Adam Willetts (Christchurch); sonic glass rods made by Alastair Galbraith (Dunedin) that can be played by passersby and the lost sounds of the city returned, such as the Cathedral Bells, by Stanier Black-Five (Christchurch).

There’s also a chance to get hand/ears-on at the series of sonic workshops over the weekend: from building and playing Taonga Puoro/Traditional Maori instruments, with local experts Tony Smith (Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāi Tahu – Kāti Irakehu) and Geoff Low (Christchurch) to building your own synthesizer with Nicolas Woollaston (Christchurch). There are also a number of sessions specifically designed for children, such as those led by sound artist and science educator, Dr Claire Pannell (Australia) who will be exploring how we hear and helping children build sound making instruments to take home, and sound based story sessions with experimental guitarist and former Christchurch City Libraries Storytimes star, Greg Malcolm (Christchurch).

For full festival details and booking information visit


Lantern Festival

dragonIn the weekend, we took the kids along to the Lantern Festival in Hagley Park. This was a first for me, even though the festival has been going for several years now.

I’m not sure exactly what I was expecting…something a bit more than a few lanterns strung between the trees I guess, but not the beautiful, elaborate lanterns in the shape of animals, dragons and Ming vases. They were (in the words of the Young Lad) “very awesome!” even in the early evening light.

The lion and dragon dancers were wonderful, it was great to see them dancing through the crowd. The kids especially enjoyed the fireworks and their helium balloons. Although my family of gastronomic neophobes didn’t try the Asian cuisine, if the queues were anything to go by the food was great too. I’d say it was definitely worth the fight for a carpark!