Sunday, January 31, 2010

This Week Around the House

Okay, so I promised some photos of home improvement projects around the house, and these are not those.  I'm realizing that most of our home improvement projects, while thrilling to us, will be literally like watching paint dry to everyone else.  Here, though, are some random shots I took around the house this week.  Above are my vintage clay marbles.  Many of my New England friends will know the flea market where I bought these: the Montsweag Flea in Maine.  It's one of my favorite flea markets, ever, and these little guys came stored in this sweet milk bottle.  They live next to my desk.   

If you've been reading my blog for a few months, you are probably beginning to realize by now that I have just a bit of a collecting habit.  At the same time, and in direct conflict with my collecting tendencies, I hate clutter, so over the years I have developed a solution: many of my collections include items that can be used to store other items.  Brilliant.  Thus my memere's lovely Roseville vase is the home of my knitting needles.  And, as you might have seen in my post from Wednesday, I collect old suitcases and paintboxes.  They house CDs and, well, paints.

The desk above was my father's.  For years his parents rented out a small apartment in their home, and one of their lodgers left this desk behind.  It became my dad's, and when I was a kid I would sit at it writing and drawing and playing with the little drawers and compartments inside.  Now it is mine, and I treasure it.  Some of my favorite books rest on the shelves underneath.  On the top left side next to the lamp is a vintage radio tube that I bought for my husband because he researches and writes about, among other things, early radio at the BBC.  The chair in this photo is an old Haywood Wakefield that I bought for him, too, at one of my mother's antiques shows.  Oh, and I have to mention the pretty leaf lantern made by pachadesign.  

Above is a close-up of the desktop with the beautiful Buddha my mother gave me and and one of a pair of Art Deco lamps she gave us for our wedding anniversary.  We had admired (drooled over) them in her shop, and my thoughtful mum took notice.
Last but not least, it's those paperwhites again!  But I included this photo because it has the only piece of the renovation stuff that wasn't too boring to show.  We took down a godawful light fixture in our master bath and replaced it with something much nicer (I hope), but I was left with all these globe-shaped light bulbs.  I suddenly had the bright idea (forgive the pun) to put them under this cloche.  I actually love them when the sunlight streams through them in the morning.

So now I'm curious . . . What are you collecting these days?  Any favorites or wish list items?


  1. Gigi! Your photography skills are growing faster than a baby changes. Your images are stunning. WOW!! I do love, love, love those bulbs under the cloche. As to what I collect - mostly books. Books and books and books. I have a small collection of glass and antique linens. Every time I have extra money I find myself buying more books or magazines. Oh, and Christmas stuff. I have 12 huge storage tubs of Christmas stuff. Oh my. What I would love is to go shopping with you.

  2. Your home is beautiful, Gigi. Just as I had imagined it. Just like dear you. Thanks for the glimpses into your blissful space.

  3. Yep. You and me and a street of used bookstores and antiques shops. Now that would be joy.

    Thank you for your sweet words, Relyn. They mean so much. x

  4. Oh, Angie, I was responding to Relyn just as you were commenting! How cool. You are a doll! x

  5. I continue to collect ginger jars and my husband doesnt understand! x

  6. The story of your fathers desk, is breathtaking. I know why you treasure it so much, and it´s not only for it´s beauty...
    And what a brilliant idea to put the light bulbs under the cloche =).

    Well, I´m a can collector, I collect many other things too, but old cans, all sorts , are my passion.

    I wish you a great day, Gigi♥!

  7. Oh I adore your fathers desk, the lamps and the chair. I just love the last picture too, so beautiful and serene.

    Mmmm books are my real passion but I also collect vintage teacups and saucers (all different), vintage glasses .. I love the little sets... and I just got an old silver cutlery set to use for everyday that I love.

  8. So much admired your photography, Gigi...these little glimpses and corners of your home are just delicious...Your place is so cozy. I would love to be a cat and sit in the window sill with the paperwhites. :o) LOVE the new banner! Apart of books, most of my collecting has to do with gathering pretty things to create with--yarn, beads, fabric...*swoon*... I like anything shiny and lovely! Happy Weekend, my friend ((HUGS))

  9. The lighting and colours of your home is so soothing. Amost like a meditation retreat. Beautiful.
    I especially love the picture with the paperwhites! And what an inventive idea to place those globe-shaped bulbs under glass. So cool.
    I most intersted in collecting old books with author signatures and hand-written dedications inside. I am also trying to find old pieces of love for Ikea is slowly waning, and I long more and more for unique pieces with history.
    Enjoy your Sunday!

  10. p.s. sorry for all the typos, i am typing with one hand, the other is stuck under my sleeping dog! :)

  11. Your home is lovely...very peaceful and calm. I am a collector of so many things and for so many years that it would be hard to list it all. Let's just say that I collect everyday things that I connect to on some level! :)

  12. i just love the perspectives of the first two photos!

  13. I collect dust. Yup. It's everywhere! Actually, I'm not much of a collector, although I'd like to be. Last week I was looking around my house and realized that it is completely NOT me. There isn't anything out that I love, or that spells refinement in any way, and things have gotten kind of cluttery. I'm not sure what happened there, but after we moved into this place it never has really become home. Time for a purge and some decorating, methinks. But first we need window and door trim, and baseboards... Argh.

    I love love the lightbulbs under the cloche. Fabulous. The story of the desk is lovely. And the photos? Marvelous!

  14. Your photos are beautiful Gigi...and don't you love how photography makes you notice the beauty of the small, not obvious objects in life...

    Your father's desk is beautiful...

    I have slowed down some point I realized that I don't need anymore stuff...but that doesn't mean I want to give away any of my McCoy vases, or Welcome cross-stiches, or brown transferware platters and dishes, or dishes with pine cone designs, or Bakelite, and Jadite, and on and on...I still enjoy looking too...

  15. Beautiful photos and the stories behind your collections, Gigi....just how I had imagined your place also.

    As I look around my home, I truly am not a big collector - photos and books are my main loves. I do have a collection of old trunks - to store things in, some vintage glass in my kitchen window along with some silver creamers that i bought at a antique shop in San Juan Bautista many years ago.

    Have an awesome weekend, my lovely friend! xxoo

  16. Dearest Gigi,
    Feels so good to be back and savor all your incredible photos and read your beautiful words! I missed you and your posts!

    I'm drooling over the Buddha (is this okay?)! Absolutely magnificent!

    Started collecting old vintage books for Gaia. Her grandmother dusted off several (Peter Pan, Pinochio, Little Women, and more). I'm so excited to add them to her book shelves!

    Have a lovely week!

  17. What beautiful photos, Gigi. Your home looks so warm and inviting. And I love the story of your father's desk. My Dad always wanted a rolltop desk, and a number of years back my Mum made him one. (!)

    I wouldn't know where to start with my collecting, but I guess you could say books, although that is more acquirement than actively collecting. With one exception, though, I do actively collect vintage children's books, in particular old Ladybird books. And vintage biscuit tins.

    Great post! I think I might be inspired! :-)

  18. I love hearing what everyone's collecting and/or simply acquiring, From DJA's teacups (swoon) to Cathi's silver creamers (sigh).

    I, too, collect vintage children's books, Ciara and Mel. In fact, I started collecting them myself when I was a child. Actually, I collect vintage grown-up books, too, but the children's books make my heart sing.

    Like Tracy, I also gravitate toward collections of things I can create with--yarns and beads and other baubles.

    Laura, your collections are an inspiration to everyone who reads your blog! You have such an eye.

    Oh, and Allegria, I am an expert collector of dust! ; )

  19. I collect dishes. In fact, I just bought a bunch on sale this weekend. I love to cook for people and when I find the perfect dish on which to serve the food, the meal truly seems like I'm presenting a gift to those I love.

    Something else I love? The exposed brick on your windows. Wow!

  20. Lovely photographs! I always love the tours in Gigi's world. And what beautiful photos taken on your snowy walk. I just love the stories that go along with. Hope you had a wonderful weekend. :)

  21. oh...i love the knitting needles shot - so beautiful. i'm collecting old bottles (and sometimes new) and old suitcases. i still have my teacups (bone china) and am looking for new things. beautiful shots all

  22. gigi,
    i love marbles too. i have the cats eye ones stored in old milk bottles and fish bowls.
    coloured glass is my weakness and also dried flowers....oh ya, rocks. lots of them !!!
    your home is beautiful

  23. Great pics! The second one is my favourite. :)

  24. How wonderful to be surrounded by so many beautiful things that all mean so much to you and your husband. Leigh

  25. I know that Flea Market...
    Been there done that!!
    I have never seen CLAY marbles..


  26. Oh Gigi, I would be like you and collect light bulbs to put under a cloche. Must admit to a penchant for old doors, shoe lasts and 'incomplete' objects. We share a distaste for clutter though. I shall take a hint and use objects to house others. Most partial to watching paint dry ;-) so do go on about your renovations!

  27. Who knew that light bulbs would look cool in a cloche...what did I do before blogging? I would never have known such a thing:) As for collecting...I try hard not to. I have things I love, but not collections. I seem to be a bit obsessed with dishes these days...but they are all different, so that isn't really a collection-right?


  28. Thank you for the tour of your lovely home. I love your knitting needle collection. My favourite thing to collect? Vinatge prints, kitchy paintings, retro toys.

  29. beautiful Gigi, lovely & warm.
    i love to collect lots of treasures, but mainly bottles, teacups & saucers & old suitcases.
    hugs to you for a wonderful month

  30. Your photography is stunning. I never would have thought to put light bulbs under a cloche but WOW. They look so pretty!

  31. What a beautiful space you have, filled with such meaningful things. You have surrounded yourself with treasures that only a true collector could find. How creative you are!

  32. Beautiful photos. Your desk is perfect - I have my grandfather's dropfront desk, which has drawers, not shelves beneath. I love the shelves for favorite books. I too collect many things that hold things, such as cans, boxes and such. I love the idea of treasures hiding inside my treasures!
    Lovely post, your home is charming.

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