Around these parts

The breeze is broom-y as I type and, for aught I know, everything will be suspiciously still in a moment as if it never did stir. It is only slowly registering that this is home. It amazes me to recall, several times a day, “this is home.”

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I have been feverish , with all my muscles aching. It takes long to get familiar and what was I thinking? It will be laid back, piled pillows and rugs and flowers in vases. I have somehow missed that honeymoon period of affections and have been obsessively worrying over cleanly swept entry halls and a fully stocked kitchen.Only (thankfully) without a print gown and an apron.

The artist’s eye, as I know it, is a condition. It renders you slow. You sit staring into the depths of your new mahogany polished table , start to follow the valleys and rifts of the grain and position your cup of tea, just so you can see the flaming yellow flowers on it as if rising out of one of those crooked dales. Your kid tumbles at this moment ,with his cup of milk of course, and you have got reality to pay attention to, but a part of your mind is plagued if the contours of the cup are diffusing into the nature of wood just right. A few minutes later though , you’ll sweep the cup off the table, tea grown cold and dump it into the sink.

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A house of one’s own is a difficult possession, even if it has a linen closet and flowers to match the curtains. For it to be home, it needs a lot of coaxing. For it to be laid back, it needs a  lot of sweating and wearing out.  Its contours diffusing into the nature of our spaces just right. Morning light flushing sleep  out and waking up to jarring superhero stickers on a favorite cupboard and crayon and sticky hands on the mirror glass. It must start somewhere. It is starting to.

For me, it begins with the kitchen and the bathrooms. I need the assurance of sturdy plumbing and smooth flowing drains. With that out-of-the-way, my kitchen painted all white, cabinets and tile, is a striking contrast to my rustic wooden spoons and wicker baskets. I thought I was mature enough to be minimalist but the bohemian in me rises as I dump my cold tea into the sink for the third time. I need a colorful back splash. A Turkish blue and red or plum and indigo to wake me up!I need crystals and pompoms on my window!! I have got to cope with a thousand spills a day after all. I am adding a link in here to Plumb Tile , I was asked if I would do a sponsored post for them. I took it up only because I am in the thick of making the very romantic decisions of what color, what texture , what kind right now. I found that they have a number of designs and brands , even handcrafted tiles ,which are particularly delicious to me , in one place here : Glass tile and stone.

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OH! and I did land up on the fantastic idea of just changing the pulls and knobs of old furniture,  little silver baubles as pull-outs for the drawers of a distressed Manor blue painted baby cot would be precious , wouldn’t they? Knobs and pulls

And gold faucets contrasting with stone washed bathroom walls! Bathroom sinks .  A witty Norwegian touch for the times when I want to stay hidden forever.

I love it when I can recreate an expensive look that I have spent precious minutes admiring on Pinterest for much less. Making lifts me from merely eking out an existence. It is an affliction , indeed it is and I want to never be cured.

As I pursue the wistful dreams of an old brass knocker on my front door and a table beautifully laid out for luncheon, I move around with a duster in hand, which by the way stays in the right bottom cabinet of my kitchen, with toddler in tow and the eight year old aiming with my spray bottle at the vivid sunshine. I am grateful. This is home.

Of rusty time and old grannies.

 

We stayed two days at Big Bear’s grandmother’s rustic village home while we were visiting family.  A big house in a small place, where time has grown old, spry only in the wings of a firefly or the acoustics of a cricket. Either of which may fall with a final flutter into your glass of warm cow milk, in case you were a little boy indulging in creamy sips under the yellow light of an electric luminary. That would make you squirm and old Time laugh.

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Where everyone knows everyone, where old grannies come one by one to look at the visitors. Where the skies seem to bend at the windows, curious, as if to hear what can be said in the absence of a shared language. I can comprehend just enough and not speak at all. Unmindful of it, old grannies peck my cheeks , run their hands down my shoulders, stand back, look,  dotingly smile, sit down, sip tea. I feel too young, too shy. Old grannies, little girls somewhere,soft and fragile, worn and nurturing.  Patchwork grannies , lovingly made with printed cottons, faded reds, inked blues, bleached whites, neatly hemmed. Thoughtfully grown old ,with old man Time.

Where Big Bear’s grandmother sits on a low wooden seat , as she gently gauges the generic roundness of each potato with her brown nimble fingers. With her indestructible iron knife she scores each eye that is threatening to sprout and removes it with jaunty coolness. Unhurriedly she takes off the peel in thin strips as the spud dances in her hand and with a final keen scrutiny plop goes the chipper into a bowl of water. Unwittingly she has brought on a serendipitous collision in my mind. Brought me as close to spirituality as I can get. Made me still, bent my thought like the sky at the window. Patchwork potatoes, fondly grown with pretty patterns of sunlight and red soil.

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Old man Time lets me be.  A dressmaker in a daydream. Dreaming away of chevron skies and rainbow quilts.