Faffing, the art of and another favourite pass-time in my world

Faffing: to spend your time doing a lot of things that are not important instead of the things that you should be doing. Mmm… not usual for me to contradict the formidable Cambridge Dictionary however on this occasion I must. Faffing: time well spent moving ones precious pretties around to create pleasing focal points of interest. Happy with that?  Me too. Rather like last weeks post Decorating Belle – a thoroughly enjoyable pass-time, faffing is a very happy way for me to spend time. Occasionally I get to spend a few uninterrupted hours faffing. Mostly faffing fits in around cleaning and household jobs and even more occasionally I get up very early and spend an entire morning faffing, just like I did on Saturday whilst the rest of the house was still fast asleep…

When I grew up, my family home much like others was dressed one way and that was the way it stayed. I recall we had ornaments which almost always stayed where they were initially placed. Furniture was shifted very occasionally and usually only to accommodate a Christmas tree or perhaps make space for a birthday party. Blown glass was a favourite for ornaments in our house and in particular I recall a large fish of varying blues which sat on a window sill, level with little hands and eyes. There was another fashionable ornament of its time that we and many others had. A big tinted oversized brandy glass with a tiny ceramic mouse sitting at the bottom. The mouse stared up in an impish manner as the larger ceramic cat hung over the side of the bowl sizing up its prey. And like most children we were encouraged not to touch and be happy to look. Many of the ornaments scattered around the home were precious and with little money around I’m sure damaged items would have been difficult to replace. And I’m pretty sure too, the Cambridge Dictionary chose its definition for faffing around that time, since faffing as I understand it now, would certainly have been viewed upon as frivolous and time-wasting.

You will recall from this story it was a similar at my Nan’s too. Ornaments were precious there and included brass plates and plaques brought home from visiting aunts and uncles who had emigrated to far off exotic countries in the late sixties and early seventies. Nan would dedicate a given time frame to ‘polishing the brass’ making it shine like no other. I am not sure if it was way back then I decided chipped, old and flaky seemed a whole lot easier to maintain and with a lot less chance of noticeable damage.

These days I find a faffing session therapeutic, enjoyable and thoroughly satisfying. Here’s my mantlepiece before and after its most recent faffing has taken place…

undressed mantlepiece e1510583145716 225x300 - Faffing, the art of and another favourite pass-time in my worldrose garland on brass mirror e1510583229219 225x300 - Faffing, the art of and another favourite pass-time in my world

glass bowl fairy lights and dried roses on books e1510643179214 225x300 - Faffing, the art of and another favourite pass-time in my worldcandlelit mantlepiece e1510583347146 225x300 - Faffing, the art of and another favourite pass-time in my world

And after a thoroughly good clean (where do the endless cobwebs come from?) my sideboard took on this pre-Christmas look in the faffing session…

empty sideboard e1510583825820 225x300 - Faffing, the art of and another favourite pass-time in my worldzinc container and hydrangea e1510583937436 225x300 - Faffing, the art of and another favourite pass-time in my world

sideboard with hydrangea books and lights 2 e1510584452821 225x300 - Faffing, the art of and another favourite pass-time in my worldsideboard with hydrangea books and lights 4 e1510584745138 225x300 - Faffing, the art of and another favourite pass-time in my world

I even had an attempt at a stark hydrangea wreath… with its imperfect circle it is certainly unique.

hydrangea wreath on mirror e1510584043316 225x300 - Faffing, the art of and another favourite pass-time in my worldsideboard with hydrangea books and lights e1510584136880 225x300 - Faffing, the art of and another favourite pass-time in my world

Layering is a useful skill to learn for home decor. Even better if you can layer different tones and hues of the same colour. I thought I’d show you next how I decorate a particularly difficult spot in my already dark sitting room. Although this spot is directly opposite a huge window, it is behind (and very close to) one high back sofa obscuring a lot of light. The two sofas in this room are placed facing each other with a coffee table in-between and the flow through behind each sofa is tight. There are no plug sockets for the luxury of artificial light. Placing floor or table lamps here would leave many a trailing wire which is a particular no no for Mr M. And of course would be an accident waiting to happen. So to maximise the space and minimise the drawbacks, I chose to decorate like this in my most recent faffing session. A lone painted mirror had an oversized resin frame placed in front of and flat onto it, in similar tonal cream colours.

painted cream mirror e1510585321354 225x300 - Faffing, the art of and another favourite pass-time in my worldcream mirror with resin frame e1510585396457 225x300 - Faffing, the art of and another favourite pass-time in my world

The frame is standing on top of a narrow console table placed directly against the wall meaning the flow through is not compromised. The lighter colour of the decoration I’ve chosen helps to brighten up the space. I’ve gone for a star theme for this faffing session and both the home-made garland and wooden star are again shades of cream in different textures…

console table with star theme 1 e1510585788794 225x300 - Faffing, the art of and another favourite pass-time in my worldpaper star garland e1510586306391 225x300 - Faffing, the art of and another favourite pass-time in my world

Finally I added my biggest, tallest painted candlesticks with cream candles for the next best thing to natural light. I’ve then added my favourite skip find books to the tables unusual dark marble surface, to break the whole look up.

console table with star theme 2 e1510585861397 225x300 - Faffing, the art of and another favourite pass-time in my worldconsole table with star theme 4 e1510586439190 225x300 - Faffing, the art of and another favourite pass-time in my world

And our antique music cupboard got a fresh new look too. In case you’re wondering, none of us plays an instrument so this beautiful piece houses drinking glasses, since all the M’s are partial to a tipple now and then. The aim of this particular faffing exercise was to put away Autumn and begin creating a canvas for Winter. Saying goodbye to all the pumpkins proved a little difficult though when deciding what would sit under the beautiful glass dome I treated myself to a short while ago…

music cupboard with glass dome and pumpkins e1510732329353 225x300 - Faffing, the art of and another favourite pass-time in my worldglass dome with linen pumpkins 1 225x300 - Faffing, the art of and another favourite pass-time in my world

I know one or two of you are rather partial to a little faff here and there yourselves. To me it is the perfect way to reinvent a space or show case a previously unnoticed pretty. Adding a candle or two or perhaps a string of tiny lights can transform a spot totally and even better if the pretty you are showcasing happens to be your favourite charity shop bowl…

charity shop bowl with fairy lights e1510649016227 225x300 - Faffing, the art of and another favourite pass-time in my world

And as the weather turns colder and daylight fades, doesn’t it feel comfortable to retreat to these cosy spots we create around our home with our pretties. Somewhere inviting to read a good book maybe or perhaps a well-worn seat near the roaring fire to watch an old film with the family. Personally I believe when we are creating these spots in our homes, that’s faffing. And so it would seem faffing is not at all time spent doing unimportant things, rather it is time well spent for us all x

log fire at Christmas 225x300 - Faffing, the art of and another favourite pass-time in my world

Whitewood and Linen

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