Friday, October 30, 2015

Analyzing Work

I spend a lot of time thinking about home.  About how to make the spaces I live in comfortable and interesting.  About how to make living interesting.

I told a friend just before we moved from St. Louis that I'm somewhat retarded at decorating.  I realize that word is fraught with baggage from bullies and social insensitivity, but when I used it, I meant it in the literal sense.  I have a slowed, almost incapacitated, sense of how to make things beautiful.  My father had a great sense of style, but by the time I was conscious of learning how to live, his visual creativity had been largely stifled by outside forces.

I'm trying to learn, belatedly, from studying a styling expert...and I'm getting paid to do it.  Just once a week, I get to spend the day in a lovely antiques shop.  One of the co-owners has made a random collection of things that catch her fancy into a cave of treasures.  So, here are a few photos that I'm taking home to study.  And you can see the glitzy place where I work.

I'm working to figure out the "height" and "depth" of this little seating area across from the sales area.  You can't see it so much in this photo, but there's a lot of crystal in addition to the decanters in the right foreground.  The chandelier hangs slightly to the left of center and there's a small decanter on the side table.  Almost completely hidden by the mannequin is another gold-and-crystal chandelier, a Murano glass chandelier, and a set of six sherry glasses.

A bust of Shakespeare -- yes.  The Murano chandelier is the one I mentioned with the earlier photo. The crystal on the right is paired with the smaller crystal pendant in a birdcage.

This corner in the second room has always grabbed me.  The 1920s spotlight has been here since the first time I came in the shop.  It's just cool.  But what I like about this corner is how the plane propeller sets the "limit" of the image, framing the vignette.  Even though the propeller dates from WWI, it's exactly right to have the WWII army coat below it.  With the coat collar turned up, everything feels "Old Hollywood" with the spotlight and the champagne.

Monday, October 19, 2015

The Bunny Thief

"Mom!  He's stolen my bunny!" Rosie yelled passionately as I was going outside.

Graham ran passed with a small stuffed creature, evading her clutches, and she ended up on the floor.

"You know what?  I don't care."  (I'm a heartless mother sometimes.)

"But he said he's going to make a rabbit stew!" (Rosie often speak with exclamation marks. Periods/full stops are not her natural punctuation.)

"Do you believe him?"

She looked up with a brightly hopeful, and utterly unconvincing smile, "Yes."

(To further support my skepticism, she's sitting next to me, editing this post...and provided the title.)

Sunday, October 11, 2015

A Quiet Sunday Morning

The little girls are makers.  Cutting out paper hearts and writing love notes are Rosie's favorite.  Gracie likes to cook, create with Lego, and do whatever it is that Rosie's doing.  Sometimes making valentines is a little tame, though, and empty moving boxes become rocket ships.

This morning they took their engineering prowess a step further and made a transmogrifier, a la "Calvin and Hobbes."

Unlike Calvin's original, Rosie's and Gracie's transmogrifier offers gender-reassignment; Graham thought that he'd like to use that function. The girls were agreeable, but before the transformation could take place Jason noticed our bouncy boy was especially bouncy and suggested Graham go jump on the trampoline for a few minutes.  As he went out the door, Graham announced, "I'll go take my gender outside."

Best moment all morning.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

For the Whelanator...and the munchkins

My friend Sarah messaged me on FaceBook today, asking me to get back to blogging.  Coincidentally, two days ago I pulled up the blog to help Rosie with a school project and all of the kids spent at least half an hour laughing at the funny things they'd said.  Or telling me (arguing with me) how a photo of Gracie couldn't possibly be Gracie, because Gracie had never been blond....

That experience with the kids showed me how valuable the blog was in keeping our memories of life in England alive.  That's how I felt there.  Alive.  Coming back to the States, especially to the city where I was born and had a lifetime of bad memories of...that wasn't living.  So, the blog when into hibernation.

And now, fourteen months to the day that we left home, I'm writing a post.  For Sarah and Julie and Becca, and everybody else who wants to see what this post-St. Louis stage is like.   But mostly, for the munchkins.  So that when they are older they'll remember to laugh.  And that their mom loves them.