The cliché goes that on her first Christmas, the baby ignores the wonderful toy because she’s busy playing with the box it came in. Some of us did the same thing on Facebook to our friend Jen, who is a jewelry artist and Creative Full-Timer. Recently her passion for period detail flowed beyond her Work-Art, as she’s been decorating the woodsy place she and her husband bought. And Jen can work a period look better than anyone since William Morris. Posting an album of photos one day, she explained that she had wanted to “Tudor up” her favorite reading nook. It was the first successful use of “Tudor” as a verb that I know. (People who spell “tutor” that way, please, as the priest in Moonstruck begs Cher, “reflect on your life.”) We admired her Wolf-y Hall-y efforts, but we seemed more excited about her phrase. Tudor up! We loved it. We posted about it. And Jen, having offered us the wonderful gift of her decorating, had to watch us play with the language box it came in.
Part of my own Creative output lately has been my space, especially now that it serves as a Tiny Artists’ Colony. I’ve been experimenting with bohemian and junk styles, more color, a little vintage flavor, and some nature. Objects carry other times, places, bodies, and stories into your Environment, letting you form a Creative Habitat. But Jen’s phrase is not mine, dear ones, because I am an 18th-Century Dame all the way. If I “up,” I [John Singleton] “Copley up.” He painted the American 18th, at least the empowered, powdered, privileged part of it. (Yeah, yeah, I’ve seen the “scary shark bites the nude guy” painting many times, too). I wander in my mind, fanning myself intriguingly, through the rooms of Otis House, the 1797 Bullfinch building where I used to docent, looking for inspiration. To properly “Copley up,” I will need some Wedgewood blue walls with white trim, a color scheme of oranges and golds inspired by Pompeii, lots of silk, a Serious tea service, paintings of idyllic ruins, and purposeless pairs of small urns. They’re probably not going to lend me any of the Otis furnishings.
So instead I Boho up and Vintage up and Beach up and Boston Public Library up, and try to remember to do a yoga mat roll up so I don’t trip up and send dust up. And for now I Copley up with the images on book covers, postcards of paintings, and music. I hope the well-dressed period folks on my walls and shelves will excuse the dust.
See Jen’s gorgeous decor above.
See Jen’s gorgeous jewelry at http://www.parrishrelics.com!