Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Stuff that Dreams Are Made On

I recently had a "Citizen Kane" moment.  (No, I didn't force my spouse to sing opera despite his reluctance and inability to do so!)  We've been doing a great deal of home remodeling and building for the past several years and much of my "stuff" has been wrapped up and stored in extra rooms, attic, basement, etc.    We are now at the point where I can begin to bring out some of that "stuff" and make our house a home once more.  And so, my Charles Foster Kane experience.
While I found no iconic "Rosebud" in my collection of oddly-wrapped packages, and my treasures are hardly of the scope of Kane's vast archives, I so enjoyed reconnecting with these items from my past and the memories they held.  Here are a few of my memory-joggers.  Perhaps you have some of your own.

This collection of "Roosters and Roses" began with the cream and sugar on the left middle shelf.  I purchased them in Xenia, OH in 1974, at a relief auction held after a tornado ripped through Xenia and other towns and cities along the Ohio River as far south as Louisville. I've since bought pieces in this pattern in nearly every state I've lived or visited.  The rest of the collection is still in storage.

These Weller candlesticks belonged to my beloved godmother.  They always reminded me of the aggressive apple trees in The Wizard of Oz;  the ones that throw apples at Dorothy and her friends.  Soon after receiving these candlesticks I took my newborn son on his first flea market outing.  I tucked the candle sticks into the diaper bag, hoping to get an informal appraisal and additional information.
I came away with the matching flower vase, below.  PS. Newborn son just turned 19!

The rather musical looking art tile on the left  is a modern offering from Motawi Tile.  It is based on an architectural carving of Louis Sullivan, Frank Lloyd Wright's mentor and designer of the delightfully ornate grillwork on the facade of the now defunct CarsonPirieScott department store in the Chicago Loop.

The pitcher and bowl are vintage Aesthetic.  I love the points and gothic tracery both inside and out.  Our house was built in 1852 so this piece really belongs.  

How can you not smile when you look at this pot?  The dainty brush strokes on the face are delicate and whimsical.  Then there's the almost capodimonte-like fruit,vines, and leaves that ring the top of the pot.  I think the 2 purple things in the front are supposed to be plums but they look to me like clams.  Regardless, the piece just shouted at me when I saw it in a local antique shop, and I had to own it!  All I know of it is that it is Italian pottery and I like it.


These items are my treasures because they all remind me of special times or places or people in my life.  In that respect I am rich.  You are probably rich, too.  

What items make you smile when you see them in your house?  Maybe they've been in the same place for so long that you don't even notice them.  It's not necessary to put everything in storage or embark on a major renovation to re-appreciate these items.  Pick a time to clean out closets, cabinets, etc and put all your "stuff" on the dining table.  Collect the items that are already sitting out in your various rooms and add them to the items on the table.  Cull through the collection, putting aside any item that you do not find meaningful or beautiful. Send them off to Goodwill or eBay to make memories for someone else. For those items that made the cut, clean or wash them gently.  Then place them in your home where they will most delight you.  You may not live in Zanadu, but you will be richer by far than Citizen Kane ever was!

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