You know, I literally have five more days of Poetry and Decorating Month, so don’t rush me.

I have seen segments of the British Antiques Roadshow with a host, three similar objects, and an expert in those particular objects. The host and surrounding onlookers try to figure out which object has the highest monetary value. All the objects are aesthetic delights.

I told my friend Sandy (link to her blog post about my blog) that I would post during Decorating Month about the bone we pick with the Boston Globe Sunday magazine “home” features. The theme of our rants is simple: How to Decorate Big Space with Big Money is of little use to a lot of us.

Frankly, I love looking at “real estate porn”, and most simple/edgy/boho/unusual home design fascinates me. I am also a fan of Marni Elyse Katz, who writes these features now. She’s good!

My own object/decor jam is more thrift, gift, and foraging. People write about that, too. I have six books on the topic and counting, and they’re mostly second-hand. And I practice. My glass square that came from an old job when they closed contains a highly curated collection of park tree branches, pond driftwood, and a stick I grabbed out of a community garden compost area. I mean, this thing is curated. It’s an arrrrrrangement.

I have framed book covers, book pages, and postcards on the wall. The pleasing display above my desk contains a thrift-store glass cylinder of stones and shells in colorful layers, a birch log, two ocean stones, a framed collage I made from a beat-up book, and the fired clay figure I made in Sunday School crafts class, who vaguely resembles Buddha in a beret. This is how I roll, and a lot of interesting authors have encouraged my roll.

So let’s play the Roadshow game and decide what is my most valuable work of art in the photo. If the Ansel Adams were the real deal, then yeah. But it’s posterboard in a frame, and someone left it in the building when they moved out. So it cost me nothing, but it is full of value. First thing I hung in this apartment, it connects me to the tree outside, and my gaze often wanders into its deepness when my gaze needs to wander.

The one on the right is a print of King’s Chapel, the wonderful 18th-century historic site where I used to work and hope to work again. It’s likely from a re-issue the artist’s son did in the 1970s. I know this because artist Jas Murray did a lot of local scenes and still seems to be very popular. I found it in a charity shop, hanging there waiting for me, which I’m sure is what it was doing. It fills my heart up every day, like a lover’s portrait.

The piece on the left is by artist and parfumier John Biebel. The pensive woman carries a long-stemmed flower and has a lovely old home growing out of her head. It was gift to me from my friend John. I find it exquisite and inspiring, and it represents the generous kindness of a friend I love.

Cost winner? King’s Chapel at $6. Value winner? Nope. Each one is beautiful to me, makes me happy when I look at it, surrounds me with Creativity. The Creative finding of Creative things is decor my way.

4 thoughts on “Decorrrrrrrr

  1. I wandered through my house looking at the things I use to decorate it and trying to pick out my favorite things and remember their cost and where they came from. Almost all of them were flea market, tag sale or country auction finds, none were expensive.
    A headless wooden carving of Saint Francis, riddled with powder post beetle holes and faded to a silver gray from exposure to the salt air of the Cape is in the top 10. To me- it’s my own piece of classical sculpture, ravaged by time and tide, and connects me to the great treasure houses of England filled with grand tour souvenirs from the classical world or the great sculpture halls of famous museums. It also tends to freak out some people which is another endearing quality that it has. It stands 2 feet tall, weighs almost nothing thanks to the beetles, and cost ten bucks at the Truro flea market on a drizzly October Sunday morning. To me he’s priceless.

    A little bronze object that I bought when I was in college, or just after, is another favorite. It stands about 1 1/2” tall and about 3” wide and represents an oblong cluster of bamboo stems of varying diameter, cut in a cross section, and displaying a few bamboo leaves. You can look down through each of the stems of bamboo to see the table below. It’s not marked, nor can I discern if it was meant to do a job. It is some odd pen or brush holder- it’s rather awkward if it is. Is it a flower frog? – one doesn’t usually submerge patinated bronze. Is it from Asia? It looks Japanese to my unschooled eye, but it just as easily could be from Toledo, Altoona, or Berlin. I don’t care, I had to beg an auctioneer to pull it from a box lot and let me bid on it separately, I had to bid 10.00 minimum and I did- no one bid against me. Another treasure that secretly makes me feel cultured, eclectic and worldly.

    As I look around, most of my favorite things are all 10.00 treasures or family hand-me-downs, or found objects.
    My small collection of bird’s nests- all found on the ground after storms or on fallen branches cost nothing but makes me so happy.

    They value in the objects around me seems to be derived from how they make me feel, or how I felt when I discovered/rescued/adopted them and not from what I paid. I guess that makes us very similar, and that makes me happy too.


    1. What beautiful, engaging descriptions. I hope to see St. Francis for myself some day. Also, I had not thought about powder post beetles since my training with Historic New England, so that was a nice “Oh, yeah” moment. He sounds so evocative. The story of your smartly handled “Imma have that” bidding is fun. I’ve never done an auction. Thanks for the great reading.


      1. I look forward to the day when we shall share the same physical space and the stream of consciousness conversations that will ensue will swirl and eddy around and through this old house.


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