Sunday, October 27, 2013

House Hunting ...

I have a lot of stuff.

"A lot" is relative, of course, and there are surely people in the world with far more stuff than me. But by my own estimation, I have a lot of stuff. More than one person needs, stashed in more space that I feel I can justify most of the time.

So while I still acquire things from time to time – hello, lovely little brass table, I'm very glad you're here – I'm most often set to "sorting" mode with eventual plans to have a garage sale and/or donate items to a local charity. (Goodwill is no longer on my good side.)

And so yesterday, just about the time I had decided that I should read a book, my brain reminded me that I might have a glass vase in the cabinet above my fridge, so I decided to look. Which, of course, meant removing the items from the top of my fridge (there aren't many) and peering behind the doors that I almost never open.

I found a couple of Grey Poupon jars that I've used as outdoor votive holders in the past, in metal luminarias that I sometimes set outside around the holidays. (Handy tip: The cheap votive candles from Walgreens that are often on sale last all night and sometimes into the morning. They're kind of amazing that way. And I have several boxes of them in my front-hall closet as I haven't used them in recent years. So this year, I'm gonna light those suckers up!) I also found a small Ziploc bag containing some small stones. I must have bought a bag of decorative little rocks at the dollar store to use as the base for something and these were leftovers. I found the vase I had remembered plus another I'd forgotten. And the bowls that match the dishes that I put away a few years ago. And three votive holders. And a flower frog. All righty, then.

The glass vase I'd remembered came down and got a bit of a cleaning and looks quite at home on the new little brass table. On top of a glass and metal trivet-like thing that I bought years ago because I liked it but was never quite sure what his purpose would be. And they're joined by a ceramic-porcelain-I'm-not-sure-what-it-is votive holder that used to be part of a pair before I broke the other one and who now lends a nice bit of not-shiny-or-metallic grounding to the group.

The Grey Poupon jars went into the recycle bin. I have plenty of little glass jars and glasses that I can use as votive holders outside.

The bowls are still in the cabinet. Ditto the second vase. The votive holders came down and got washed and will either be offered to my mom (who has some, too; she may like a fuller set) or will go into the garage-sale closet (aka the closet in the guest room). The little stones were sorted to remove the ones that were misshapen, as they reminded me too much of teeth.

The flower frog is still in there, too. I've never used a flower frog before. It belonged to one of my great aunts. It seemed like a thing I should keep when I was going through her effects. I guess it's not really necessary, given that I haven't found occasion to use it in 16 years.

I vacuumed the inside of the cabinet, as long as I had it open, and then closed the doors and rearranged the few things on the top of the fridge.

But my hunt for the right votive holder for the little brass table had taken me into my office closet where I keep a stash of candles and accoutrement, and while stooped over a bit peering beyond the items right in front, I spied a pillar candle I'd bought years ago. I liked the smell, which is weird because it has "clove" in the name and I hate cloves, but it doesn't smell clove-y. And it's a lovely tawny color, the candle, so I pulled it out and put it with my little fall vignette in the dining area on the sideboard. Of course, he needed a coaster of some kind, so I nabbed a little metal dish I'd used in a recent cookie photo shoot. And I decided that the little sorted stones would make a nice addition, so into the dish they went.

And I returned to my closet to see what else was lurking in the back of that shelf that I'd forgotten. Oh, yes, that's right, my pinecone candleholders, a gift from a few years back.

Those are fall-y enough. Into the vignette they went.

And I have candles that I bought at a Tag outlet a million years ago. I'm not sure why I convinced myself that I needed so many lavender candles at the time. So I have a lot of lavender candles. I also have red. I also have an interesting green. So I nabbed the green ones and they fit into the pinecones perfectly.

But I didn't like that they were the same height. So I snapped the bottom off of one candle – a la a spear of asparagus – and cut through the wick and voila! The looks much more appropriate in the vignette now.

And while I was in the dining area, I decided that I was tired of the "for now" art I'd hung above my little bar cart and that the piece I had nearby that has been waiting for a home for a couple of years now would be just the thing, so I got out the toolbox and the tape measure and marked the center point on that stretch of wall and hammered in a hanger and yup, sure enough, he's fetching right there.

Of course, that left me with the "for now" pieces that need to find a home, and they will. Or they'll go into the garage-sale closet.

But last night, walking into my kitchen, I had a nice sensation of completeness for that elevation. It looks homey and "done" for the moment, with the exception of flowers for the vase on the little brass table. But those will come. And then go. And then come again.

It was nice to shop my home and create something new out of things I'd forgotten I had. Because I have too much stuff.

But I'm paring down. I'm far from just the essentials. I still have far more than I really need. But I have a cozy home to show for it all.

And perhaps I'll get around to that garage sale before the snow flies.


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