Wednesday, May 24, 2006

On Nesting


I am an artist, a window-shopper, and a daydreamer.

I hoard home decorating magazines.

In stores I touch the beautiful things, lingeringly.

I fantasize about my dreamhouse.

I love to plan parties, to pore over cookbooks, light many candles, place a freshly iced cake on a new cake stand, slice peaches into a pitcher of frosty white wine.

I’m not rich, and I’m also not handy. My house is a fixer-upper, and I don’t love the fixing. I aspire to never hang dry wall again, and I spend much more time drawing than spackling.

I don’t like garage sales. I can’t sew and I pretend my garden is under an enchantment - the kind where an evil faerie put everyone to sleep and tools rust while the jasmine and ivy thrive.

My imperfect canary-yellow cottage won’t appear in any magazines but I’m surrounded by color and things I love. Fresh flowers, marionettes, bowls of tangerines, the occasional great piece of furniture, and all the art I’ve made while not fixing-upping.

I love to nest.

I love to decorate a table and am subject to sudden violent cravings for a new tablecloth.

If you’re ever in doubt of a gift for me, go for a French tablecloth, a vintage cake stand, or a book in which some decadent romance unfolds in beautiful prose.

I decorate with winter squash, bouquets of herbs in little vases, and dishes of cranberries or kumquats. I get peevish when people eat the kumquats and have learned that a bowl of key limes is less likely to become a husband’s snack.

I have a little ceramic pedestal just the right size for a pomegranate.

Dahlias are so perfect they make me dizzy.

Cooking for friends is fun, though I’m no gourmet chef and am afraid of many recipes.

I like pancakes for dinner. I think a lot of people would love to be invited to a pancake dinner party.

There are ways to make things seem more special than they really are, like serving ice cream in crystal dishes or draping sari fabric over a hand-me-down couch.

I have a hereditary addiction to Italian pottery. It’s not my fault, and there is no treatment.

If I was a ghost, I would live in an Anthropologie store and wear a different dress every night. I would invite my ghost friends over and serve them air in lovely teacups and I would sleep like a cat, curled on a stack of lambs wool sweaters.

I think people should make things. It’s easy to buy a giant canvas at the art store and paint a great big golden pear on it, or an orchid spike, or a tea cup.

I buy art from street fairs to put bread in artists’ bellies.

Color is spice and music and love - you can live without it, but why? When I see a house being painted brown or grey, my heart hurts.

Painting old furniture cherry red turns it into new furniture.

I would love to mosaic an entire city block.

34 comments:

Alexandra S said...

That was the neatest list I have ever read!!! (with the possible exception of my dad's that he wrote when recovering from cancer (more than 1/2 of his 500 favorite lifetime memories were meals he had eaten all over Los Angeles and the whole world!) Pancake dinners, dahlias, splashy colors, tablecloths, art spilling out everywhere, yes, thats your house indeed, one of the coziest and warmest places I have ever known. And don't forget, I want to be stuffed after I die and kept in Anthropologie so I can see all their new stuff as it comes in so please have your ghostly self visit me often and put cool aprons around my svelte, deceased waist, will you?!

megg said...

What POST! I'm swirling with the vision and the colours and the feelings and by how much I want to come over for Pancakes. (When I do come there, that's what I want - a pancake dinner! I'll bring some Canadian maple syrup!!)

I loved this list. I am going to read it again and agin because you have flipped a tiny swtich in my brain that I had made sure was off - the need to nest. My flat is too small and too impermanent and was once just Mark's so I can't nest in that way. But now I want to... dangerous!

P.S. My email is not working at all. I can't send or get. I'm not sure what's going on, but I loved your idea for this week ;) I'll keep you posted on the email...

Deb R said...

I loveLoveLOVE this list!

I love color and making old things new again.

I think most breakfast food tastes way better at suppertime than it does at breakfast time. Or I like breakfast food at like 2 AM, when I've been dancing or talking or watching movies for so long that supper has left my belly and I'm hungry all over again.

Hanging and finishing drywall sucks rocks.

If you are ever a ghost, may I pleeeease be one of your ghost friends? Because I love your plans for a ghostlife.

Kristy said...

While I agree that a house with an exterior of brown or grey is painful, I will suggest that a room of chocolate brown is nothing short of magical. Warm, cozy, decadent and -- believe me -- fun! Nesting is such great comfort.

Jim Di Bartolo said...

Well, I'll show you! I'll start eating the key limes! Yeah! That'll show you! (at least until I wretch from bitterness overdose :)

Love ya,
Husbles

paris parfait said...

Laini, love your post! So bright and cheery. I'm a big fan of French tablecloths and antique cakestands too. And I have an idea - email me for the scoop.

la vie en rose said...

i wish i could come over for a visit. so much about this post reminds me of my grandmother. she always but that extra special touch on everything and luckily i've inherited a bit of that from her. and i think a pancake party is an excellent idea.

Shari said...

Another great idea is a Pancake Picnic! Just pack the cakes and various toppings and spread out one of those lovely tablecloths and enjoy! Kids love this, too. It's funny how the magic is revealed when you do things just a little differently!

andrea said...

Lani: I can relate to so much of this. But I want to come to your house for the cake and parties! :) And good for you buying art at art fairs. I just had someone who can afford it tell me today that they couldn't afford $100 for a well-priced piece of original art. When I'm rich I'm going to become the hugest patron of the arts there ever was!!!

tinker said...

I can't think of a better fruit to go on a pedestal than a pomegranate! This post was like a breath of fresh air blowing through my computer screen stirring up the dust bunnies hiding in the corners...housekeeping is not one of my skills. But I do buy new tablecloths now & again, put dahlias and sunflowers in cobalt bottles around, which makes me feel as though I have a tidy nest! Then the cats try to eat the flowers, knocking over the bottles, and the illusion is gone!
Pancakes sound wonderful for anytime of day - they taste even better when they're made in fun shapes - my current favorite pancake shape is butterfly (with berry dots at the end of the wings). Mmm, now I'm hungry...Can I crash your pancake party?

Anonymous said...

oh oh oh OH

Am totally swept up in the magic of this post-- PURE MAGIC--oh oh oh god I am printing it out and reading it over and over (hope that's okay--) it is pure inspiration. It is living breathing inspiration-- god

~bluepoppy

deirdre said...

Perfect, perfect. Nesting is life. I do love garage sales, but work Saturdays, so it saves me lots of money, although I did finish work early last week and stumbled across an old maple (I think)library card catalogue for $8.00. It was a big woohoo! And color, oh my goodness. I'm trying so hard to convince Cute Guy, who is wonderful in so many other ways, that we need color on our walls. He's coming along slowly. ;)

madness rivera said...

My addiction is not hereditary and has no reasoning whatsoever, but I have secretly always been in love with Italian Pottery. When I was 19, I swore that I would buy a whole set and more if I were to ever get rich. That never happened, but I spent an insane amount on a utensil vase last Christmas. My heart swoons every time I see at it on my counter.

I love how you put everything on a pedestal; cakes and fruit and ice cream.

Amber said...

Wow. This has given me so much to think about, Laini. I have a little problem with digging in and nesting... But I want to! I'm working on it. I even have an old dinning set that I was thinking of painting RED! HA! And recovering the seats in some great fabric. Why do I hesitate?

:)

Maggie said...

GREAT post. I adore lists, and this is definitely in my all-time greatest of them.

HoBess said...

Garage sales are the worst ... and we have breakfast for dinner at least once a month! This is a terrific list!

chest of drawers said...

Laini, publish your list in book form, call the book "nesting", put some pictures to the words and you will have an absolute best seller.

Jamie said...

Oh, Laini, I've missed reading your posts. Thank you for putting a name to the addiction. My name is Jamie and I too am a nester.

Your post makes me want to go home right now and get to it! You are, as always, an inspiration.

Roz Foster said...

What a beautiful, amber-lit world you live in, Laini. A pancake dinner party sounds divine . . . with ice cream in crystal dishes as appetizers?

M said...

This is magical! I love eating pancakes for dinner too...I didn't think anyone else did that! I've just started nesting, but am totally addicted. Home decoration books and magazines are my new addiction! And colour is such a necessity, I totally agree.

vicci said...

Laini...Love this! It says so much about who you are...it's wonderful!

susan said...

laini i love this post and the photo is so full of color.
and i agree with the pancakes and dahlias and color bits.

Bohemian Girl said...

you're such a cool chick.

i laughed out loud about you being a ghost in Anthropologie. i so would be there with you!!

everything about you here is yummy.

xoxo,
boho

Marilyn said...

A truly delicious post...describing what sounds like an utterly delicious life. Reading it made me realize that I probably care much more about what I look OUT on rather than what's inside...and that I never grow truly attached to a living environment because ultimately I'm unwilling to give up my gypsy ways. But I love to hunt thrift stores and paint things bright colors and make use of small things that bring me joy even if they have little financial value. I know people who dream of big manses...I'd much rather have a tiny cottage any day. :)

samantha said...

Decorating is not my talent, so far, but I think I could do it if I looked at it like you do! I simply need to gather the beautiful things I love and throw some paint on the walls. I want my goddaughter (she's 2) to dribble paint on a canvas and I'll hang it on the wall. (I'm really bad about having blank walls!) Thanks for the shot of inspiration, and yes, I would love to come for a pancake supper!

Jennifer said...

I love every single cozy, friendly, warm, hospitable word you wrote here.

Esp, being a goast in a dress taking tea with girlfriends in a store after hours... I love that.

Anonymous said...

Hi Laini, test post from Susie in Montana. Love it all! peace

kelly rae said...

you and i share such loves for decorating, color, art, and anthropologie. i love it!

Tongue in Cheek Antiques said...

all the bits of twigs, feathers, mud, and happy thoughts that make your nest, this is delightfully written! What a nest you have to crown your head!

Anonymous said...

After reading this I could live in your world very easily. I too love cake stands and love to see cakes on them, one of my favorite things. It was really great visiting your blog!

Teresa said...

Oops that was me above with the last comment, I accidently pushed enter before I was finished signing out. I am really not anonymous...
Teresa

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Anonymous said...

Hi! I'm a regular reader of your blog, and I got here by following the link from the patio furniture post, and noticed that you would like to put a mosaic on an entire city block. This is a little side note, but that's exactly what a group of elementary school kids in Downtown Sioux Falls, SD. There's a middle school portion up now, and the high school mosaic is pending. Here are some pictures of the elementary school mosaic: http://www.siouxfalls.org/Mayor/boards_commissions/visual_arts_commission/youth_mosaic/Gallery