Thursday, February 20, 2014
It was warm. It was warm for few days and I was not fool enough to think that it would last, but secretly I hoped that it would. I envy you for whom it is always 75 and sunny, but it's not my fate. Not my place. So I adapt. And wrap. Lately, this travel wrap from Mer Sea is my constant companion. She's chic and dramatic looking while being incredibly low maintenance. A perfect friend. Not only is she keeping me cozy now, I do think she'll be happy to tag along and keep me company on cool Spring evenings and airplanes headed East.
I purchased mine directly from Mer Sea, but you can find them in Kansas City at O'Home and a few other spots around town. They are incredibly reasonable ($100 on line) and you can toss them in both washing machine and dryer. I worried that this convenience would mean they'd have that unfortunate non-natural-fiber shine. They do not. Loads of colors. Here.
I received nothing from Mer Sea for this post, other than a little good will, I assume.
Friday, February 14, 2014
Who could resist quite so handsome a character as this, on bended knee or no? While I'm long past fair maidenhood and there's not a balcony in sight, this new wallpaper by Martyn Lawrence Bullard for Schumacher makes me weak in the knees. You can find Romeo, above, and the rest of the collection here.
Monday, February 10, 2014
A friend brought flowers a week ago with a note that said, "You can't kill these." I'm paraphrasing. She says she is not good with plants and I say I am not good with plants, but she assures me that the cyclamen will survive. It was a particularly endearing gift as she loves color, but knows I like white flowers so she gave me what I would want instead of what she would want. That's a good friend.
A few days after their arrival I came into the kitchen and they had collapsed over the edge of their bowl in a melodramatic heap. Like my youngest child they quickly learned that to get any attention around here you have to have a very big reaction. It was either their location by the breezy subzero window or a lack of water, but they made their point.
(As an aside, it was during this discovery that I realized that there is no good connotation of the adjective "limp." While one can have a "wicked" back swing and that sort of thing, I could not think of one situation in which limp is good. I'll go as far as to say that limp is something I never want to be.)
I gave them a good drink - not too little, not too much - and waited. I sat at the table and talked to them a little, pointing out interesting things in the Times. Nothing. Back and forth to feed the dogs and let the dogs out and let the dogs in, all the while looking at the patients out of the corner of my eye. No. I was sure I'd killed them.
But after my shower I came downstairs to refill my coffee cup and they were as jaunty and jovial as ever. They called "Hello!" as I passed by and, thankfully, did not hold a grudge. I can only say that I am disappointed that they were too shy to let me see their rejuvenation as I would have surely enjoyed the ballet of each bloom on its slender stem rising from its bow.
Friday, February 7, 2014
I am continually in awe of people's generosity as I go poking about in shops and homes and minds for the bits of stuff that make up this space and the others that I fill with my words. "Come by." "Look at this." "Did you know…" all offered up so easily and it delights me every time. No more so than when someone offers to loan me a book. Books mean something to me and I'm happy to loan mine, though I don't forget if one is not returned. But this one, offered so off-handedly, then delivered with these slips of what I believe to be an envelope marking favorite pages of the owner's, has charmed me so completely that I truly want to "forget" to return it. I will return it, of course, but snapped this image instead to remind myself of the people who find passion in design every single day and are so happy to share it with me.
Tuesday, February 4, 2014
Old houses that are new to us offer mysteries. When I was readying to move in I wondered at the number of high hooks on the doors. Closet doors, bedroom doors, the door to the attic, all secured from the outside. I don't think the previous owner had children, so after my initial alarm I dismissed the idea that she was locking someone in. I unscrewed them carefully, placed them in a box in case I need them though I can't imagine why I would, and began to fill the holes.
Later, when I wanted to close doors that wouldn't quite shut, I wondered if she had latched them to keep her cat from pulling them open with his inky paw. Wondered further if his nocturnal roaming, the soft creak of a door, might have been unsettling to someone living alone. And if that were the case, wouldn't it have been better to fix the door rather than take this sloppy short cut?
I puzzled, too, over the hook in the bathroom cabinet. What in the world had she hung there? Was I missing an opportunity? Did I need something that should be hanging there that I didn't have?
And then there is her obvious replacement of the original single hook inside my bedroom closet for two newer hooks. I hang my robe there. Did she? Did she make room for someone else in her closet, in her house, in her bed?
I've been here over a month and now I realize that these things are not my concern. Knowing them would not help me know the house better. Knowing them would certainly not help me know myself better. Originally intrigued by her life, her hooks, her robe, I realized this speculation and my accompanying judgements only keep me from getting my own house in order, which is the task at hand.
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
After the boys left for school yesterday I sat at my desk pinning. My computer is in front of a broad window with a southern exposure and despite the cold I lift the shade to let in the light in the morning.
As I sat still in my pajamas, clicking images and reading inspiring and pithy quotes, there was a ticker tape running through my head that said, "I should be doing something. I should be editing. I should do my homework. I should take Rosie to the vet. I should go get paint."
But I couldn't quite let go even to heat up my coffee and I realized that it is a sort of meditation. Further, isn't it fantastic that I can begin my day surrounded, in a way, with a community of people that I have curated? People who live creatively and shamelessly seek beauty? Isn't it fantastic that for twenty minutes I can enjoy the insights of people who share my interest in personal and pleasing spaces, who find joy in art, who want to take risks?
I wonder at people who spend their days with numbers and deals and screens filled with figures, though I know we need them, too. But in an instant, yesterday, I was able to see that I was doing something. I was wearing the track that I wanted my mind to follow that day, a day filled with gilt and color and light.
Image, a screenshot of my living room board, which contains a shocking number of rooms with white walls.
Monday, January 27, 2014
Sunday, January 26, 2014
Every room in the house needed to be painted. I started with the boys' rooms, but eventually had to address the green in the kitchen. It's a very small room and was a very bright color. I love white kitchens, and have always had white kitchens, but these cabinets are stained and the countertops are grey and the backsplash is slate. All relatively new. They stay. So I thought charcoal was the answer. I hoped it would make everything sort of blend together and allow me to ignore it all. Ignoring kitchens, after all, is one area where I excel.
Really dreamy charcoal grey paint wet can turn into seriously black paint dry. It took a few tries.
But after a fistful of paint chips and a few pots and swatches, I hit on Benjamin Moore Deep Space. Back at the paint store I confidently (and thankfully) requested a gallon. The woman who was helping me chatted about using a color so dark in the kitchen while the computer directed steams and shots of color into the can.
"Do you want to see?" she asked.
"Do I want to see?"
"You'll probably think I'm crazy, but I love to see the paint before I mix it. I think it's amazing," she said smiling broadly.
I did not think she was crazy.
"Yes. I'd love to see."
As we both peered down into the swirl she said, "I bet you would have never guessed there'd be so much red."
It is moments like this when I think the universe is giving me just the kind of thing that I need.
Friday, January 10, 2014
2013 was a year of transition. I've made some changes and I'm not sure how much I will share about them here, but I have bought a new house. Moved, in fact. And this new space, my new space, has made me think about home in a different way yet again.
After several years of blogging, going through magazines and hunting on-line had become something that seemed like homework. Homework has a negative connotation, I think. Not something you do from a joy of learning, but as assignment. Work to please someone else. Often with little sense of personal passion.
But now those activities are, again, a joy. I linger over favorite books seeing familiar rooms in a different way. I flip through magazines and, as I used to, tear wildly, unconcerned with sharp edges and the keeping of attribution. (Though giving credit where credit is due is still important to me.) And the magazines, which I had begun to keep as library, I recycle when they've given me what they have to offer. If there was something I missed, I trust that it will come back to me eventually on a different page.
My last house was shot for Spaces and as soon as I am a little more settled I will post those images. In the meantime, I'm taking pictures of the painting and arranging I'm doing here. I think I'll post them, in all their unprofessional, fuzzy, iPhone glory. Probably irregularly. And you can weigh in, if you like. But I will tell you that I care less for others' opinions than I used to, so don't be offended if I smile politely and nod and do what I was thinking anyway. This is how I choose to begin.
Monday, November 4, 2013
The air here is as crisp as green apples and the chill brings a burst of activity. Those with creative minds have a wealth of inspiration available to them this week.
Textile designer and artist Lori Weitzner will be at Black Bamboo Tuesday evening from 5 - 7. As of this writing there was still space available. You can make your reservation here.
Elizabeth Diller, founding principal at Diller, Scofidio + Renfro is speaking at the Nelson Thursday at 6 o'clock; tickets available here.
Friday Haw/Contemporary (formerly Dolphin Gallery) opens its second show with a reception from 5 - 9. More information about this and future exhibits is available on their site.
I am going with my oldest son to see Diller. After checking the site he agreed, saying, "Her firm does some pretty legit stuff." It's not easy to impress a seventeen-year-old or get him to hang out with his mother. I need to take advantage of it.