Thursday, September 06, 2007

A Long Post With Pictures Of My Living Room

Blair's Rules to Live By gave me something to think about. Rule #4 especially. I decided to take inventory of my living room, just out of curiosity, to see how many decorative items actually have some sort of meaning to Andy and me, other than just the fact that we like it. In other words, how much of our stuff has a story? Here is a brief description of our living room.

This is the top of our entertainment center. The entertainment center used to be in Andy's parents' family room. On top we have a "Daddy" picture that hung in Andy's dad's office for years. He gave it to Andy when Elise was born. Next to that is a tealight candleholder made from a tree that was in Andy's backyard during his childhood. When his parents added on to the house, the tree had to come down. That was a very sad day for Andy. A friend of the family kindly made this candleholder and one like it for Andy and his sister, and I believe he made a bowl for Andy's parents, all from the beloved tree. Behind the candleholder is a clock that we recieved as a wedding gift. Next to that are two figurines. The smaller is named Elisabeth. I have had her since I was a very young child. She used to dance and be musical, but one fateful day she was dropped, and the stand from whence she twirled and played her music was broken. I am grateful that she herself did not break. The other figurine was given to me by Andy on the day that Elise was born. It is, in case you can't tell from the picture, a mother holding a baby. (And, because I have a toddler, there is also a third figurine behind the entertainment center. We got her in Mexico on our honeymoon. She is beautiful, but a bit wobbly; thus, her new home behind the cabinet.)

Next we have the mantle. It changes frequently. Right now it holds a "God Bless Our Home" plaque that was given to us when we moved into our current house. Next to that is a bluebird tray that I bought from an online auction just because I liked it. No story there. Behind that is a wooden serving tray, a wedding gift made by the same wonderful woodworking friend who made the candleholder. Next to that is a beautiful plate - bronze, perhaps? - that was also a wedding gift. It was made by a friend who is a master blacksmith. Those two items - the tray and the plate - were among my very favorite wedding gifts. Next to the plate is a vase made from a glass block. Not really a story there, at least not one that gives the vase sentimental value. We purchased it at a craft fair, so at least its purchase supported a local artist. Please ignore the rather dead flowers in it. Next to the vase are some old books. I am not counting books in my inventory. They are a story unto themselves, yes? I do have a penchant for old books, though, and frequently use them in decorating. I used to buy old books just because I liked how they looked. Now I only buy old books that I would actually read. Next to the books, although you cannot see it in this picture, is a piece of petrified wood. It was in my parents' home for as long as I can remember. I believe they got it at the Petrified Forest National Park on our road trip to California when I was three. I'm actually not sure how I acquired it. I think it must have been living in my room when I went away to college, and thus got packed with my stuff. Huh. I wonder if they want it back? And last but not least, at the end of the mantle you can see a plant. I am so proud of this plant. I got it seven years ago and it is still alive. If you know me, you know how amazing that is. (I got a cactus right around the same time that I got this plant. I killed the cactus. Do you know how hard it is to kill a cactus? Hard.)

This little cupboard is technically a DVD/CD cabinet, and we do use part of it for that purpose, as you can tell. We got it at IKEA. No story. The contents are a bit more interesting. The teapot on the top left was a lovely gift from my friend Janene. The blue teapot in the middle was a wedding gift. The teapot on the right was a thrift store find, just something I liked. No sentimental value. On the bottom shelf there is a green honey jar given to us by a friend. It was a birthday gift from her husband, and she loved it, but they downsized and couldn't keep everything. In front of that is an old tea strainer and dish (I don't know what the dish is called...I guess it's just part of the strainer). It was also a gift from a friend. Behind that is a lone teacup with a dogwood flower on it. An antique store purchase. I think it was $1. I was drawn to the dogwood flower. No story. And next to that is a "tea for one" set, given to me by a very dear friend and one-time roommate. And next to that are DVDs. :)

This bookshelf was purchased at a department or discount store, I can't remember which. Sometimes you just have to purchase what you need, you know? It isn't a decorative item; it is a practical item. Anyhow...the only decorative thing on the bookshelf is a "Praying Hands" bookend. This belonged to Andy's grandparents, and it was given to Andy when they passed away.

The sofa was given to us by Andy's parents. The throw pillows were made by Andy's mother. The patchwork throw was made by me.

This cabinet is not actually ours. It is on loan to us by our downsizing friends. We really like it. You can't really see everything in it in this picture. There is more "just because" stuff in this shelf than anywhere else in the living room. The top (which you cannot see at all) is covered in family photos. The large open shelf houses an old desktop seismograph that Andy found at an antique store. We both like old things, as you will see. Next to the seismograph is a musical snow globe that Andy gave to me as a Christmas gift when we were engaged. I love it. It shows animals (lion, lamb, rabbit, mouse, cardinals, etc.) on the inside and it plays Amazing Grace. Also on that shelf is a vintage sewing machine. I think it would work, but the cord is frayed. It was an antique store find. Behind all of those things is a yardstick (Elise calls it "Daddy's stick") from Andy's grandfather's realty business.
In the lefthand cupboard is a concertina that belonged to Andy's grandfather, a very old magazine (I do not recall whether Andy purchased it or it belonged to his grandparents), and some Franciscan dishes given to us by friends. The center shelves house a unique vase that we purchased at a craft fair. I really like it. I almost said that it does not have a story or sentimental value, but that's not true. It does not commemorate a particularly special occasion like the wedding gifts or the honeymoon figurine, but it does remind me of a pleasant, quiet day spent with my husband. It's something that we picked out together, something we both like. That is its story. Below the vase is a silver tray given to us for our fifth anniversary by Andy's grandmother, from her own collection. The righthand cupboards house part of Andy's coin and camera collection, and my Louisa May Alcott books. There is also another mother/daughter figurine, given to me by Andy on Mother's Day.

And this...this is what I found this morning. Andy left it for me when he went to work. Those are checker pieces. Isn't he charming?

1 comment:

Bob said...

Supposedly cacti are vulnerable to overwatering. Just something I read somewhere.