eclectic

 Since most of the furniture in our living room
was acquired over a period of years from
unrelated sources (read "thrift stores, garage sales, curbside"),
 it's no surprise that the pulls are an eclectic sort.
 Their cumulative effect
 is an interesting one--
don't you think?

corners and angles

The high winds drove the cold right through the walls of our old house yesterday!
I moved my recliner to  a place where the draft was not so pronounced.
Sitting in a new position, I saw our room with fresh eyes!
One thing led to another.....and before long, I had moved two of these chairs
into position on either side of a small desk in front of our stairs....
Yes.  That's a stack of books you see on the steps in the background.
It's not their permanent home.
...and here is another corner to be dusted and rearranged.
Kind of makes me happy to sit and look at things from the first angle!
By the way, if you SEE it in these photos, you can be pretty sure
it came from a thrift store or garage sale....

how do you GET inspired?

 
My Moleskine book - purchased to carry in my purse to record musical compositions

How do you keep yourself inspired?
"I travel as much as I can to keep my mind open. I go a lot to the beach for the fresh air. I love watching movies and I especially like French cinema aesthetic. I also read a lot; I swap between learning books that teach me something and novels that make me dream. Besides, I also try to be surrounded by creative people to both inspire and be inspired."

As much as I enjoy the photos at Freunde von Freunden,
I enjoy the interviews.  I find them stimulating, intelligent, and inspiring.
Sadly, I have found my creative side languishing recently. 
 Lola's response to the question "How do you KEEP yourself inspired?" 
contains several concrete activities that just may help me GET inspired!

By the way, how do YOU get/keep yourself inspired?

how well she knows me

She's a blogger friend I've never met in person,
but - OH! - how she knows me!
After reading of my pleasure in reading THESE two library books....
she kindly sent me Face Toward the Spring.
(How about that beautiful dust cover?!?)
I want to savor EVERY word of it!
I want to PRESERVE every word of it.  
Though written in the late 40's, it is as current as yesterday.
Surprisingly (to me at least), our yearnings and essential challenges
haven't changed all that much at all.
Thank you, Claudia!
 A recent (and rare - since I've called a sort of moratorium on thrift store shopping)
purchase at my favorite thrift store.
1/2 of $.25 made it impossible to pass up.
The color matches the house color on the dust cover of my book.
They're probably from the same era, too...

plenty in my stash


With Valentine's Day just around the corner,
I'm gathering a few vintage items I have tucked away.
I'll find places for them later.

I'm sure there's more...

I'll not be buying anything new - but don't feel sorry for me...
I have plenty in my stash.

more reading

 Monday afternoon we drove into the "city" to Barnes and Noble.
It's been a l-o-n-g time since we've done this
(used to be a once-a-week habit)!
I gathered a few magazines and leisurely paged through them.
It felt like the ultimate luxury.
I used to subscribe to a couple of the magazines above,
but they seemed to fill up with more and more advertisements 
at the same time the subscription rates increased,
so I dropped them.
I still have stacks of the old Victoria magazines.
It used to be my favorite along with Country Living which I couldn't find at B&N  yesterday...
Hmmmmmm.  I wonder where it was...
..one particularly intriguing photo...

reading

 I get many of my "read leads" from visiting other blogs.
Usually, the thriftiest way to read books for me is to request them
from our wonderful library system.
After picking up these two, I started with the top one.
Before finishing the January chapter, I decided I will keep my eyes open
for a used copy at a thrift store or garage sale!
I'd LOVE to mark it up a bit--write in the margins and underline a bit.
Maybe a "happy face" here and there.
It is delightful AND worth an annual read.  Here are a few examples of why I like it--all from January!
***
  • We will do more of less, rather than more and more...engage ourselves more deeply in fewer activities...limit mere contacts and explore relationships more deeply.
  • In winter we have no love affair with Nature, just a passing friendship, respect, appreciation.
  • What fuzzy edges grow in our thinking when we live with a background of clutter.
  • No more hoarding for a rainy day or special occasion--but use something new and exciting right away.
  • To live properly you must have roots.  Roots take different forms and shapes.
  • How delightful to learn also that the  balanced individual is often inaccurate, untidy, vague and unconventional, and does things on the spur of the moment.
I sure wish I could remember who mentioned THIS book!
There aren't too many books I reread, but this is definitely ONE that I would!
What books do YOU read more than once?

true confession

It's no secret.
I have "stuff".
"Minimal" isn't my style.
For me, less is NOT more.
Still, there is a limit, and I think I've reached it.
Passed it, actually.
He sat at my kitchen table after a trip to our cellar
to take a look at some repairs that are needed and to give us an estimate.
He took in the view of the room and said something to the effect of,
"Rebecca, you have a lot of antiques and other junk around here!"  
I don't think he actually said "other junk",
but the meaning was clear.
Actually, he didn't have to tell me. 
I already knew.
2015 is my year to do something about it.
I just haven't figured out WHAT yet...
What I HAVE figured out is that I'm good at coming up with a goal--
just not so good at figuring out how to achieve it,
getting started,
and making myself put forth the necessary effort.
There.  I've said it.


the packaging

 Like small children who find as much pleasure in the gift box as the gift itself,
 so I delighted in the packaging of several gifts I received this past Christmas!
 This beautiful footed bowl was filled with fruit.  What a treasure!
And this plaid box is stunning.
I can't bear to put it away!
Whether beautiful, unique, utilitarian or a combination of the three...
I really enjoyed the packaging of Christmas 2014.

a few of my favorite things....

 $4 was the price of admittance
 to beautiful Brookside
 on the campus of St. Francis University (Fort Wayne, IN).
Its rooms were decorated by various local decorators...
one prettier than the other!
My own house is minimally decorated this season
 However, I have deliberately scheduled a few special outings like these
 in lieu of efforts at home.
 It's actually turning out to be quite wonderful!
 These are a few of my favorite things
 from the outing I shared with a friend--
 a most wonderful way to spend an afternoon
 enjoying the sights of Christmas.
 Merry Christmas!

nothing like homemade

 Nothings says "love" like homemade!
 We received these ornaments and goodies
in plenty of time for enjoyment this season.

he did it (again)

 Above - as found curbside...
(It was actually worse than it looks here.)
 Above - stripped down & ready for finish...
Ta-Dah!