Saturday, April 3, 2010

Rethinking Tsotchkes

It's official. I'm moving next week. I am really excited about moving into a house, and I am so grateful my brother is taking me in (if interested in the boring details of why I'm moving, click here). I know I've said it a zillion times, but I can't believe how much stuff humans accumulate! I've always been a ruthless editor, yet there's too much stuff. I've been sorting, trashing, donating, selling and still there's so much. I remember reading Patricia Ashwell's first book years ago. She said something about not being interested in collections. It struck a nerve with me even then, when I was in denial about being a collector. I think the reason it struck a nerve is that she is correct. Collections can be such a burden.
My favorite collection is, of course, my vases. It was difficult deciding which were my favorites. I pulled them all out of the closet, lined them up in the living room, decided which were my favorites and got rid of the rest. Tricky. I didn't get rid of as many as I'd like. I had to make several passes at it. But once a vase went into the out pile, I didn't look back. I may hem and haw over the decision, but once it's made, I don't look back.
After editing and wrapping my collection, I decided I needed a latte and some good old procrastination. It's important during the moving process to spoil yourself I reasoned. Moving can be traumatic. I'm excited to be starting a new chapter in my life, but I feel a little sad about leaving my humble, dusty, noisy, beloved apartment. So while sipping my latte, I went into my favorite vintage store and looked at STUFF. Ha! Looking at stuff while getting rid of stuff. It's an illness. Still, it is fascinating that humans make so many beautiful things.
I found myself considering tsotchkes (that's a hard word to spell). Thank goodness I don't have many, because of course you know that vases are not tsotchkes (sarcasm). I had a rule in my collecting. Everything had to have a function. It was not enough that it be beautiful, it had to serve a purpose as well. That's why I collected vases, candle holders and pillows. Over the last several years I've been downsizing more and more. One day I hope to get back to the minimalism of my youth. It seems to me there is something pure about those days. But, it's still fun to look. And while looking, I found myself being drawn to mostly yellow figurines.

Darling vintage Italian sculpture. This sculpture is so light weight and epitomizes innocence. I found her tempting, but she was horribly expensive, and I vowed not to buy anything.

Cute salt and pepper shakers.

Vintage Hindu couple planters. The owner of the store is so patient. He allows me to rearrange and photograph to my heart's content.

I believe this is a Haeger planter. I think she's kinda cool in a spooky sorta way. I wouldn't put plants in her head, though. I've always hated planters where it looks like shit is growing out of their head. Much better to just let her be. Oh, and notice that fab lighter to the left. I love groovy lighters even though I don't smoke. I guess I could use it to light incense. All above images by Peggy.

Generally, I don't like vignettes in my home. I'm not that good at them, they always look cluttered to me. I do love seeing a skillful vignette in other people's homes, though and adore this vignette by flickr users CYC & Ted. There is something sweet and innocent about it and those two little figures are lovingly naive looking. I adore a vignette that looks carelessly put together. Not as easy as it looks.

I always adore images of Rosy the Riveter. I'm generally not a lover of war memorabilia, but you can't deny that she's an icon of feminine strength. Don't you think it's cool that she's such a powerful icon that someone produced an Asian version of her? Flickr user Luke from Z.

Sweet and contemplative. I adore her. Image The Ten Cent Designer.

Yellow wooden shoes hanging on the wall. Looks like Spring to me. Image Dottie Angel.

A nice balanced composition. Flickr user haegernerd. I tend to prefer assymetric groupings in my home, but I'm always fascinated by symmetry.

I love yellow toys! This cute little Tinpo is from the fan series. I'm sorry I didn't buy her when she was available. Definitely looks sunny among the daffodils. Image by Belle.

Toys as art around the house are so fun and unexpected. Image Jeana Sohn.

I adore this yellow vase! I bought a bottle like this as a gift for a bachelorette party I attended last year. It was filled with Reisling. Looks so cute here, maybe I should've kept it. Image flickr user shopursula.
I am fascinated by the notion that we are all curators. Now I have a whole virtual collection of tsotchkes. They take up no room, didn't cost anything, don't have to be dusted, and the best part - they don't have to be packed!


Jessie said...

I know exactly how you feel right now. I am having a hard time knowing that different people are going to be living in MY HOME. It won't be my house anymore. :( That really is sad. I do look forward to decorating an apartment...... I just hope I am happy. By the way, I went to Crate & Barrel the other day and bought a bright yellow vase!!!!! I thought of you when I was there. Lots of things to drool over!!! lol I plan to put lots of yellow in the apartment. I hope that will brighten my mood. :)

Peggy said...

Ooh, can't wait to see your new vase. I know you will fix your apartment up really cute.


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