Thursday, February 26, 2009

Oh! I forgot!

Forgot to mention that lovely Staci won the tea journal, which will be going out to her tomorrow. Thanks so much for stopping by, Staci! (And everybody else.)

Thanks for the virtual pats on the back, too, seems like recently I have become so much more insecure about so many things--my looks, my wardrobe, my blog, my house, my life. I never used to be like this. I always stepped to a different drummer and reveled in it, but now I feel a little uncertain. I thought you were supposed to get more confident as you got older, but I feel like I need more affirmation now than I ever, ever did before. Weird.

I wonder if somehow I expected that at a certain point I would have things figured out, and now that Forty's hot, stinky breath is on my neck (ow) and nothing's figured out at all, maybe I'm looking around and wondering if I got anything right.

Or maybe I just need a snack and a cup of tea. See ya!


My local thrift store mostly carries new-ish dull stuff. I usually just stop in to check out the books (they have TONS of books!) and then take a stroll around the edges and find nothing. Once or twice I've found some cute old saucers...that's about it.

But yesterday I found this for 95¢:

The frame is dinged up, so last night I taped off the middle gold bit and the outer gold bit and tried to just paint the wood part. But I ended up having to paint the inner gold edge, too. Here's what it looks like--I also rubbed it with some walnut ink on paper towel.

I honestly can't tell if I improved it or not. Paint frightens me. It's so...irrevocable.

I was thinking about sanding it a tiny bit, applying some antique gold leaf pen over that gold edge, and then hitting the whole thing with a coat of sealer. What do you think?

It looks really nice on my teal walls here in the study!
I love the little cottage. There was a matching one with a barn in a snow scene, but the colors weren't quite right for my house. I may go back this morning and give it another look, though.

I'm going to ponder may want to step back and put on your safety glasses....

I was talking with my friend Cheryl several weeks ago, about decluttering and getting rid of stuff, and she was saying that she could get rid of an item and still keep the memory attached to it. She didn't need to hang onto things to still have the memory.

I wish I was a little more like that! My whole house is full of things that spark a memory and that makes it harder and harder to purge or to get rid of things (esp. furniture) that don't work in this house.

That thought led me to this thought...I recently bought a couple of small vintage items from an Etsy seller, and it was a dissatisfying experience. I clicked on the screen, and they came in a box in the mail--I didn't have to go out and look for them. There was no memory attached. I still like the items and will use them, but there's something missing.

And those thoughts both came to mind in the past week or so, as I've been very heavily surfing around looking for home decorating blogs for remodeling ideas. I was honestly starting to get a complex because so many of the homes looked so grown-up. So well-coordinated and professional. Lots of bits and bobs from T.J. Maxx and Home Goods and Target, and expensive-looking Pottery Barn-ish decor. Tablescapes and little vignettes on foyer hutches. My home started to feel like a kid's house to me, like it's full of random things I've grabbed and squirreled away with no plan.

Actually, that's exactly what my home is--my DH and I are basically large kids, and our home IS full of random things we've squirreled away. That's what makes it cluttered sometimes and kind of goofy and full of memories from all our treasures.

So I decided to try not to feel bad about other people's grown-up houses. I like old stuff. I collect old stuff and books and yard sale things. I put it together the best way I know how, but it's definitely never going to look like a Pottery Barn ad.

I always like reading about the houses in The Shell Seekers by Rosamund Pilcher--there's a London house and a Cornwall cottage and a house in Majorca, I think, and she describes them all in much the same way--full of comfortable furniture and beautiful old things and good food and flowers. Sounds good to me.

This is not to say that there can't be a memory attached to a Target tchotchke. I'm sure there can. But since I like old stuff and have to make trips off the beaten path to find it, there's more of a treasure hunt aspect to the memory, and there's more likely to be a person along with me on the hunt, who then becomes all wrapped up in the memory and the warm feeling I get when I look at the item.

I really do own stuff from Target and even a duvet cover from the Pottery Barn outlet. Which isn't enough to make me hang with the cool kids, but I'm not completely averse to big-store stuff! I've started to feel uncomfortable with the "Made in China" label that's on so many of those things, though. That more than anything is what's driven me more and more to look at different sources for home items. We've gotten rid of all the unique and beautiful things that we used to make here in the U.S. But that's a pondering for another time...

Sometime soon when I have more time, I'll show off some of my favorite home decorations that have a memory. I think that might be fun!