Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sunday Morning at Home: Birds, Books, and Blossoms

We are in cleaning mode this week around here, and as I rummaged through the house, shifting stacks of books and rearranging the dust, I suddenly felt like taking photos, something I haven't done very much lately.  So here are a few peeks into our little world.  The roses above are well past their prime, and I finally plucked the blooms from the stems to dry in a saucer, but before I did, I couldn't resist capturing their faded sweetness.

A few of our books.  Up on the top left corner next to A Gentle Madness--which is a wonderful book about bibliophiles--is one of my very favorite books: a first American edition of J.M. Barrie's Peter and Wendy.  He first wrote the play Peter Pan, and then later wrote the novel Peter and Wendy.  Both are pure magic.  Now that I type this, I'm realizing that A Gentle Madness and Peter and Wendy were both gifts from my mother to Todd.  The woman knows how to shop for books!

Above is the front color plate in an early edition of Frances Hodgson Burnett's sweet volume, My Robin.  She is one of my favorite children's authors, so I was over the moon when Todd found this for me at a book market in London.

The rose petals after I plucked them.

A copy of Bright Wings, a new anthology of poems about birds, edited by Billy Collins.  I just picked this up at the Harvard Bookstore last week for a friend, but it's been sitting on my kitchen table for days.  This morning when I passed by the table, I noticed that Todd had placed my broken necklace on it for safekeeping.  I loved the way the necklace and the bird look side by side.

My first paperwhite bloom of the season!  It's leaning against a bowl of cacti for support, and it seems perfectly happy to be there.

Okay, these are probably angel wings, not bird wings, but they seemed to fit the theme.  I've collected antique keys for many years, and I like to leave bunches of them around the house, as if they could unlock whatever I need: doors, riddles, mysteries.  I often attach other trinkets and baubles to them, like these little vintage wings.  I have them hooked over the knob of my china hutch.

Remember the star of Bethlehem blossoms?  They're still going strong.  Today they found a home under the skylight, along with this sweet bluebird jam jar my friend Paula gave us for Christmas.  I think she found it at Anthropologie.  Does she know me or what?

Okay, so the house isn't looking much neater, but I find that the best part of cleaning days for me is revisiting some of my favorite things, seeing them fresh, and thinking about the people who gave them to me or the cool places where I found them.  I will never win any cleaning awards, or if I do, it will be something like World's Slowest Swiffer-er or Most Nostalgic Duster.  I can get lost in a pile of old cards or a shelf of books for hours.  It wasn't a productive day, but it was one of the best ones I've had in a long time.

Hope your weekend was sweet.  xo


  1. You are surrounded by beauty! Thanks for giving us a peek!

  2. Very beautiful glimpses into your world...I also love roses even when they are past their prime...yours are especially beautiful. I think your photo of your necklace with the bird in the Billy Collins poetry book is so wonderful! Oh, the bluebird reminds me that we just saw a gathering of bluebirds on Friday on the coast of Maine! There were also many flies that could have come from the nearby seaweed and it appeared that the bluebirds were dining on them! It was a mild day for it had reached the mid 40's but it seemed so strange to be seeing bluebirds and flies here in the winter. It felt so magical that we happened to be there at that moment. Have you ever heard of that? I was so thrilled to be able to photograph some of the bluebirds and now I'm in the midst of working on a painting of them with the help of my artist's helper cat, Ellie May! (you can see them over at my blogs: Shells and Roses and Furry and Feathered Friends).
    Enjoyed your post very much!
    Take good care!

  3. So fun coming to visit you. I always come away like I've had a nice chat with a friend. I have those cleaning days too where I make more of a mess then clean. I get lost in all the wonderful memories.....time just slips by.
    ps....I so enjoy your photography

  4. Oh Gigi, what a delightful glimpse into your world. There is such beauty around you, such exquisite and fragile loveliness. Thank you for sharing with us. Thinking of you, and hoping all the sadness is forever gone.

  5. Oops, I signed in with my Google account, which I rarely use. So sorry.

  6. Wow....such beautiful bits and pieces of your world..thank you for sharing....sounds like a peaceful day! xxoo

  7. love all the bits and bobs that make a life. i will never be the best cleaner either so we have that in common.

    love the antique books - i have quite the soft spot for them myself.

  8. Such a delicious peek into your world. I have been tempted to purchase A Gentle Madness, both for myself and for a couple of book-loving friends. I'm happy to know that you liked it so.

    It looks like it was a lovely Sunday.

  9. Oh I love your beautiful things and your fabulous photos - you've proved yet again that the simplest of things can be the most beautiful. Thank you for sharing these wonderful glimpses of your world. Leigh

    P.S. Who cares about the cleaning!

  10. Oh I got terribly excited at the book pictures. The first I had to enlarge and inspect the titles. I love the color plate from My Robin and admired the colors of the necklace and bird together. Thanks my sweet, xoxox
    ps I relate to the dusting or tidying thing, I just end up sitting on the floor pouring over books.

  11. So much beauty...
    I am the same way....organizing means getting lost in pretty objects, letters, things I forgot I does take longer but the process is sweeter.
    Am so glad you posted today, was missing you...
    xo country girl

  12. I would adore more of those gorgeous books in our home. So pretty. xx

  13. Oh I love all those images... So gorgeous, thanks for sharing. It's so easy to forget to capture the little things. Thank you for the sweet comment on my blog x

  14. These sweet little home glimpses make the heart sing, Gigi... love your scrumptious collections of books, jewelry and flowers...*swoon*... Happy Week, my friend :o) ((HUGS))

  15. Nostalgic Dusting: I like the concept and it's my downfall as well. The glimpse of your book collection looks well-loved, which atones for all the dusting you never did.

  16. I loved my glimpse. I feel a bit honored that you let me peek into your beautiful world.
    I am also loving that you're a slow organizer, taking time to get lost...I do that too and feel kinda bad about it. But seeing it through your eyes ... well, it looks like a perfectly legitimate option to power-cleaning.
    All Things Heart and Home

  17. Oh Gigi,
    That photograph of your faded roses is beautiful. I would frame that, it looks so lovely.
    .... and your necklace on the book makes a beautiful photograph as well.
    What interesting old books too. I love old books., and not just the text. Many of the covers are artwork in their own right, aren't they ?... and the illustrations can be glorious.
    I so enjoyed this post and I'm so pleased to hear that you had a good day.
    By the way, cleaning sucks !! I'd much rather sit and read the books rather than dusting them ! XXXX

  18. Stunning images, thank you for sharing with us!


  19. great selection, those pink roses are so luxu

  20. Dearest Gigi,
    Your home is magnificent! So you and so Todd - the perfect combo of beauty, coziness, and things that make you so happy.
    Thank you for sharing with us, and I'm thrilled to see you have the camera out again!

  21. Oh, what beautiful photos, Gigi! Thanks so much for sharing.

    I think I love roses most of all, and faded roses even more. I've never come across The Robin before, and FH Burnett is a big favourite in this house too. And as for Peter Pan and Wendy...sigh...

  22. gigi,
    im not good at cleaning either. i am so easily distracted by old things. everyday cleaning bores me.
    you have really neat stuff

  23. I'm glad to see your camera was back in your hand. You always have such a great eye for the "special".


  24. Thanks for the peek dear Gigi!
    The illustration is so charming, that book is such a treasure~ especially coming from your mother!
    Lovely evening guys~

  25. Oh!!! Rearranging the dust always leads to an excavation of the soul. Stirring up lost treasures & new ones.
    What an inspiration, I'm going off now to dig up some of whatever I can find!!

  26. This is the third time I've been here. To this post. How can I not have told you how much I love these peeks into your home's corners?? How could I not have told you how delighted I am at how much we share? How could I not have said, "Hello, my friend. Hello, my kindred spirit. I love you."??

  27. are you and todd looking for a roommate? i can cook and i am not much bother. lol
    oh if this isn't a lovely soul touching post.

  28. Dear Gigi...
    I love this look at the nooks and crannys in your home...I'm sure I would feel right at home there too:) The photos are beautiful as are the words you use to describe these bits of everyday life...

    My daughter gave me a copy of "Bright Eyes" for Christmas and I keep it out on a table just to look at it often:)

    Hope all is well...

  29. Mmnnn....swooning over the roses, keys, and bookplate. I love The Secret Garden, and have read it to my 6 year old twice. I had never heard of My Robin. The book itself is beautiful, and everything is so nicely photographed.

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