Category: house and home

House Tour: Some of my things


Two Kitchen Tables

“Tabletops are the daily canvases upon which we sketch,” writer/illustrator Leanne Shapton mused recently in her T Magazine blog column, We Three Things. She says: “A glance at someone’s coffee table, kitchen island or even computer desktop offers a revealing self-portrait: bookworm, neat freak, train wreck, mom.”
It made me stop and look at my own tables. We now have two kitchen tables in our oversized dining room. (One table didn’t seem to fill the disproportionate middle space.) I have no idea what all this clutter says about me, other than I’m, well, a clutterer.

So here are some iPhone snapshots of this little hub of our flat:

dining room
Decor books, magazines, a Farrow & Ball paint brochure…
dining room
A collection of my daughter’s scissors (a new one bought every year for school); an old Chinese bakelite box for holding rubber bands and paperclips…
Dining Room
And painted bug pins in a bowl…
dining room
After I read Shapton’s post, it reminded me that I had saved an old Elle magazine profile of her in one of my inspiration files. The story prompted me to buy her book, Was She Pretty?
Dining Room
Shapton blogs that her own tabletops “tell short stories of collection and compulsion.” She adds: “What gets randomly, or precisely, set down can be read like tea leaves; our surfaces are anything but shallow.”

So, what’s on your tabletop? If you’ll email me a photo (send to englishmuse at yahoo dot com), I’ll post it here next week!


Sinatra and Strauss

Hello my dears, my mom on Friday gave me a box of my dad’s old records, a mix of classical music, big band and jazz. We spent the holiday weekend listening to them, drinking wine and reminiscing. The music reminded me again of how capacious my dad’s mind was. There were so many aspects of beauty he enjoyed — music, art, literature. Some of the best conversations I had with him concerned all three. It gave me a deep appreciation of the different cultures of the world, especially those of Europe. Before I even set foot in Italy or Austria or France,
I was already in love.

Listening this weekend to Strauss’ waltz, Vienna Woods, and Respighi’s Fountains of Rome, I was taken back to my New Mexico childhood, when I first realized how big and beautiful the world really was. Music carries us places that words can’t quite describe. It also evokes deep memories. I remember my father playing these records over and over on his old stereo.

As they pop and crackle now on my Crosley turntable, I’ve learned something about my father: With his overtures and waltzes, he had a flair for the dramatic and the romantic. There were no requiems in his collection, just grand happiness. Thinking of that now makes me happy.

I hope you’re having a lovely week. I’m excited to get back to posting here more often!

Little dog love

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The cats are out…


Our two cats emerged this week from under the couch…
They immediately took up residence on the windowsills. They seem to be recovering from our move. I am too.

There’s only one way to fight these house blues: Decorate. I’m putting most of my rustic pine furniture from the old house on consignment. Tomorrow I’m starting my quest for new things for our new abode!

It isn’t really home…

…until the books are on the shelves:

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This is my favorite part of unpacking: arranging the shelves. I always start out with the intent to keep things minimal, even monotoned. But I am a magpie at heart. So there’s more color to come!

PS: A few of you asked about the screensaver on my computer in my last post. It’s a Japanese noren called “The Great Wave,” by Hokusai. It came with my Mac, but I’ve now uploaded it onto flickr, if you want to use it as a screensaver too. Just click the picture below:

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Hope you’re having a lovely Sunday…

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