Monday, November 15, 2010

Retreating to the Frivolous

A new/old rug I ordered, made in the Caucasus in the 1920s arrived this morning. The guest room is getting so nice, I may have to move in there myself.

With so much of import happening in the world--the brave Nobel Prize winner in Burma, finally released from house arrest, the 90-day freeze on settlements in the West Bank, our elected bozos--I mean representatives--gathering in Washington to face tax and spend issues--I feel a bit overwhelmed by how little impact I am having on the large issues of today.

So, I retreat into decorating my house: the one space in this world over which I temporarily have totalitarian control.

After my first very positive experience with, the company in Europe that is exporting rugs from the former Soviet Republics in the Silk Road region, I gathered up my courage to make a second purchase. Their prices are so reasonable and this rug took less than a week to arrive. Fedex from Luxembourg goes faster than a letter does across the US.

I have to confess: with all the terrorism shipping issues of recent days, I was glad this rug came to me via Luxembourg. But it still didn't escape the relentless gaze of U.S. Security.

The only hitch is that since the rugs come from Moslem regions of the world, originally--I had to fill out a special customs form for them, which probably will put me on a terrorism watch list for the rest of my life. Oh well.

While I was waiting for the rug to arrive, I took an old friend of mine--a needlepoint I had completed back in the 1980s, that I had retired for the past decade--and stripped it of its old fabric and took it to the needlepoint store for a re-do with some white damask I had lying around. It arrived on Saturday and it really does seem like an auld acquaintance come home again.

I forget the name of the painting this is from. If you know--shoot me an email.

The cat is a tiny piece of a famous American primitive painting that is in the National Gallery of Art in Washington. She used to be a feature of my home in Bethesda, Maryland and has now found a new place on the four-poster-I-found-in-the-rafters. I still have to add a piece of cranberry piping to the edge of the pillow to give it a little zing. But it is nice to see her again.

And, one more treat: after looking at several thousand toile patterns I found one I really liked that is like a joke within a joke. It is a toile fabric that shows peasants on it making toile fabric! Funnier still: this French pattern comes from an American company, Fabriccut. I think it is a wonderful fabric, and if I can afford it, I've just about decided to use it on the drapes in the guest room. The color is more cranberry than red, and there is lots of white space, which I think helps to makes a toile more durable, in terms of living with it over time. Fabric that is too busy can grow tiresome.

The toile-de-toile-de-toile. I like this because it shows people working. So many toiles are full of cherubs and silly bucolic scenes.

I think I'm probably doing a little fighting off of the holiday blues this year with my decorating. Last year at this time, Mom was still at home--in this home I'm living in now--and Dad was his delightfully goofy self up the hill in nursing care. Mom died on December 11th of last year, just between Thanksgiving and Christmas and just after that my niece got married. We're now expecting a new family member for the New Year. So life goes on. Not easily, nor without sorrow: but spiced with little bits of joy here and there that help to keep us all holding out hope for the future. Objects can fill a home with beauty. But it is the memories we hold of those we love that truly bring us joy.

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