It is so nice to nest. Deirdre said in the comments to my last post that when life is chaotic and stressful, having a clean house is something we actually have power over, and I think she's very right. To be able to set something in order, it does feel so good. Have you ever, after giving the house a more-thorough-than-usual cleaning, just wanted to sit in the midst of the new-claimed order and just relish it? Just look around, feeling peaceful, loving your home, looking at all the little trappings and things that you have gathered over the years to feather your nest? (Like that little jumping jack man that above that Jim and I bought a few years ago from an artist on the Charles Bridge in Prague. I love him. Jim and the jumping jack man.) Anyway, I am feeling that way right now, though truly it is only the living room and kitchen that can be said to be "in order." My writing room is currently cluttered with the detritus of decluttering the living room. There is work yet to be done!
We did go to Ikea on Saturday (I know, I know, you should never go to Ikea on a Saturday, but it kind of felt like going to an amusement park, and the crowds only added to that!), and we did have an "experience." We got lost a lot, lost all perception of north, south, east, and west, in the furniture labyrinth -- it's kind of like a game board track in there, like Candyland Bingo! We did run into a friendly face, in the Portland way of things -- it's one of the things I love about this city. It's small enough that you see people you know everywhere you go. (thank you again to Mel and Frida for your sweet special delivery the other day!) And, we did buy things. Gosh, it's cheap there. Astonishing!
We bought a glass-fronted red bookcase, which you see here. The red blends into our red walls, which seems to make the room look bigger, and the glass adds a little touch of sophistication and makes me feel a tiny bit grown up. We're going to get another one to replace my art-school era bookcase with. After adding in the bookcase, we removed a chair and a table from the room, shifted things around, and tidied up.
Here's the full view:
And the other side of the room:
We still need a new rug (desperately) and a new sofa slip cover. But all in all, this is a drastic improvement. Oh yeah, and we need to rescue that poor ficus tree from its slow death. I think we might need a grow light for the ceiling. Poor baby.
This console table is named "Leonard Nimoy." It is named Leonard Nimoy because we got tired of calling it "the Cost Plus table" and decided it needed a real name. Jim suggested Leonard, and I added Nimoy, and it actually stuck. It's fun being able to say, "I put the keys on Leonard Nimoy." On Leonard Nimoy, currently: a mask we bought in Venice on the trip when Jim proposed to me, in 2000. The festival poster is one I found in Spoleto, Italy, back in 1994 when I was a student-travel-book-writer. Isn't it happy?
Oh, so anyway, after the major nesting had been done, we realized we were very tired of the stuff on the mantle. So we took a little trip to ZGallerie yesterday and got a few new candlesticks and a vase. (I need to say here, feeling all greedy, that we never do this. We so rarely just go. . . buy stuff. Sometimes you just need something new for the mantle, right? But you see, my resolution to just clean rather than shop did not really work out!)
And, uh, we got an antelope skull too. Of course.
The marionette is Snoshti; Alexandra bought her for me in Prague and she is one of my very, very favorite things. The pictures are by the Bulgarian painter Peter Mitchev; not being able to afford original art, we talked a gallery owner in Veliko Turnovo into parting with the oversize art calendar he had hanging on his wall, and then we had every single month framed. I love Peter Mitchev; have never seen his originals, but his website is here.
(This is a close up of the cool devil girl on the mantle; she's by a local artist. We treated ourselves to her for Christmas.)
Various things, shifted around, including a vase from the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, a jar from an indoor market in Saigon, and an old picture of Alexandra and me back in college:
Lastly, here is a new resident of our home, the blue guy, a friend for robot:
His name is "Guilty" and he was made by local artist and new friend Jenny Tiffany. Check out her etsy shop, and her Robot Candy site, which she runs with her partner, the equally creative and talented Jenn Hill (her etsy shop here -- where I just might have purchased some Easter presents!).
Next phase, nesting: bedroom. Got a new super-simple pine armoire from Ikea for much-needed extra closet space, assembled it last night, and today, I'm tackling the piles of clothes that seem to drape everywhere. Bag for Goodwill, bag for trash, pile for laundry, etc. Boy, what fun. Okay, not so much, but it will be so nice when it's done. Alright, off I go! Cheers!