To Mark It

My mother doodled when she talked on the phone.  When she talked on the phone, she sat either at the dining room table, the long curly cord swagged to the kitchen wall or on her bed, cross-legged with her Princess Streamline like a teenager.

Provided with an endless supply of scrap paper in the form of unopened bills, she would mark the backs of envelopes with pointy stars embellished with dots, pyramids of spirals that ended up looking like rose bouquets and an odd collection of dots and dashes, seemingly random, that always resulted in different, pleasing patterns.

Rather than covering the paper she would often trace her initial designs again and again until they were as dense and distinct as fresh tattoos.

I was reminded of all this when I spied Temo Callahan’s kraft paper lamp shade in House Beautiful.  Decorated for Callahan by a friend with marker, it is infinitely charming, exponentially personal.  Seeing the shade makes me want to know both the owner and the artist.  Every life, every home should have just such a thing.

Image, House Beautiful, March 2012, photography Francesco Lagnese.  This particular issue had to be rescued from Dexter, who chews my books and magazines if I have neglected him too long.  We are both learning.

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9 thoughts on “To Mark It

  1. And how apropos that he has an "old-fashioned" telephone on the bed with him as he sits cross-legged (even though he admitted he hated talking on the phone). I was also intrigued by that shade and the whole room really – very unique. Also loved the fact that his bedside table is a chair that he's never thought to or gotten around to replacing.

  2. Dear Mrs. Blandings,

    What a hoot to see my gaping face in your beautiful site. I'm glad you like the lampshade and I want to tell you who did it(20 years ago). The artist is James Shearron and he has more style than anyone I know. He is a partner in the Architectural firm Bories & Shearron. They do gorgeous work!!!
    Totally chic high-style traditional architectural design. Check them out!

    Best regards,

    Temo Callahan

  3. sensational blog post again!!

    Love that lampshade……..I'm admitting right here I am going to try to copy it!!!
    What a great idea!!

    Did you see the collection of Tony Duquette jewelry by Coach?

    Good grief! It flew right out the door!

    ps blogger doesn't cover up the comments any more, thank God!

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