Home Work

2013 was a year of transition.  I’ve made some changes and I’m not sure how much I will share about them here, but I have bought a new house.  Moved, in fact.  And this new space, my new space, has made me think about home in a different way yet again.  
After several years of blogging, going through magazines and hunting on-line had become something that seemed like homework.  Homework has a negative connotation, I think.  Not something you do from a joy of learning, but as assignment.  Work to please someone else.  Often with little sense of personal passion.   
But now those activities are, again, a joy.  I linger over favorite books seeing familiar rooms in a different way.  I flip through magazines and, as I used to, tear wildly, unconcerned with sharp edges and the keeping of attribution.  (Though giving credit where credit is due is still important to me.)  And the magazines, which I had begun to keep as library, I recycle when they’ve given me what they have to offer.  If there was something I missed, I trust that it will come back to me eventually on a different page.
My last house was shot for Spaces and as soon as I am a little more settled I will post those images.  In the meantime, I’m taking pictures of the painting and arranging I’m doing here.  I think I’ll post them, in all their unprofessional, fuzzy, iPhone glory.  Probably irregularly.  And you can weigh in, if you like. But I will tell you that I care less for others’ opinions than I used to, so don’t be offended if I smile politely and nod and do what I was thinking anyway.  This is how I choose to begin.

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64 thoughts on “Home Work

  1. Congratulations on your new house! I can't wait to see what you do. This year, I hope to see more people embracing what they love in their own home. I'm learning designing for blogging and designing for yourself can sometimes take you in wildly different directions.

  2. Your house is beautiful. The heart of your home will feel even more beautiful every day. As Mr. Minimus [and all the rest of us who've been exactly where you are] would say: Onward. [We might also say: get on with that book.]

    Faithful reader,
    Amelia Island FL

  3. Flo – thank you especially for this. The book is, I promise, well underway. Editing now. From there we will see if anyone wants to sell or buy it. Best, Patricia

  4. I'm confused! Did you move twice last year? If so, how did you leave that fabulous greek key powder room??? Either way, I'm always excited to read what you post and I'm glad you're finding your joy again in old "assignments".

  5. I extrapolate that this is a time where you will need to take very good care of yourself. And if your skills with houses do that, we benefit as well and we are grateful.

    I hope your boys settle in well too. These things are tough.

  6. Patricia, I would love to buy your book! And your new house is very handsome. Can't wait to see what you do with the space. I know I will love it because I have loved everything you've done previously.

    You have been missed.



  7. Change can be good. Transitions can be a bitch. I wish you more of the former and little of the later. Glad to hear that you are birthing' a book. Long over due.

    ps when your post loaded on my screen, and I saw this house, I thought what a lovely place to come home to. All the best your way.

  8. Susan – I was in the last house three years, actually. Time flies. HBD – your thoughts on change and transitions are spot on; thanks for the nice words.

    And, Amy – happy to be back.

  9. Best of luck with everything. The house is a charmer and look forward to seeing more in its perfectly acceptable iPhone glory. So glad to hear joy has reentered the picture!

  10. Spend any time in KC and you come to know this house. Yours looks like an especially good example. I look forward to watching what you do with it.

  11. 2011 was a year that changed our lives. Reading this, I only could think to say: Mrs B, I love you.

    You have always shown such immeasurable kindness. In years that change lives, kindness like that becomes sometimes more important than air. Please know great and powerful kindness is being sent to you from all of us who love you so.

  12. What a lovely house- so charming. You're a wonderful writer so happy to hear you are writing a book. Hope all is otherwise okay. Strange how I think I know people fromm reading their blogs…but I do! All the best.

  13. "ps when your post loaded on my screen, and I saw this house, I thought what a lovely place to come home to."

    Oh my gosh, I thought THE SAME THING on sight! What hit me second [first, I was hit with blind lust], was the simple verticality of the structure, the possibility of 4 floors stacked firmly one on top of the other, probably for years it has stood, possibly even 100 years, fully upright against taunting and testing, sturdy in all kinds of weather. And then, as extreme "weather" always does to me [we were in the teens yesterday and the 70s today], I go inexorably to Adrienne Rich.


    All best…

  14. Anon – she is over 100 years old. I had a contractor to look at the third floor this week and he gaped and marveled at her construction. Let's hope we are equally well built.

    Thank you, too, for the link to the poem -it's lovely.

  15. I have missed your blog posts so much. Your posts never fail to educate and enlighten. Sometimes they provide visual stimulation. Sometimes they move me to tears.

    All the best in your new home. I can't wait to see how you transform it.

    Anonymous in OZ

  16. I am really happy that you are back! Love your new house, it reminds me of the house we grew up in,which was a stately beauty too. They don't make them like that anymore.
    BIG question? Where are the Le Lac curtains..

  17. I was just so happy to have a post from you today. Your adventures, new and old, provide inspiration and comfort to a fellow creative and I look forward to hearing more from you. I wish you well on this new journey!

  18. So nice to have you in my inbox, I have missed your kind words, charming soul, and exquisite taste. I hope that you do find working on this house to be joyful and not "homework-like." I look forward to the book, and to whatever you can share here–fuzzy photos of how the sausage is made will be eagerly embraced!

  19. So glad to see your post today. You have been missed more than you know. I consider you a friend and I care about your well being.

    It seems you made a change in your life that undoubtably took immeasurable courage and soul searching. It may sound strange, but I am envious of that. Given the challenge of needing to make a change in my own life, I chose the safer path of enduring the status quo. My soul rebelled, and finally my body, with a incurable diagnosis. You have a good future ahead with endless possibilities. I wish you all the best.


  20. I, too, had the same reaction as others mentioned when opening your post and seeing this house. It's truly lovely and beautifully proportioned. The exterior features my favorite colors, and I could see living on the porch all spring and summer long. One can just feel the great vibes emanating from this house — best wishes to you, and can't wait to see the inside.

  21. Oh my. Now the inexplicable abruptness of three years ago makes perfect sense. It is wonderful to see that you are at HOME again. And this place looks and feels (even if through a picture!) like where you BELONG. Godspeed to you and your boys on the new journey. It is wonderful to have you back.

  22. Hi Patricia, I want to echo "Home Before Dark"–and paraphrase The Tao: All movement (change) is towards perfection." Having been where I think you are, I'm sending love and prayers and joy.

  23. You are a woman after my own heart. I have never given a fig for what anyone thinks about what I do.

    I really like your new house, and I have missed your blog. It seems we are both working on a book, so we have that in common as well.

    I am happy to see you back.

  24. So glad you are back. So happy you are finally writing a book we all await! This house will be a sweet and calm retreat…I can feel it. 🙂

  25. Dear Patricia,
    I know your will embrace this new chapter with joy and passion. You are always a tower of strength; your encouragement from the beginnings of blogging has meant the world to me, my Kansas City friend.

    The Arts by Karena

    PS I cannot wait for the release of your book!

  26. Congratulations on your homey Midwestern Shirtwaist. May you find much comfort there. You have been missed greatly and you have many readers lending their support – obvious by the responses you have received. No looking back, only forward with renewed resolve. Best of luck! Deborah Clements

  27. "immeasurable courage and soul searching"

    Katherine, you make me weep.

    Yes, soul searching is dangerous, mine cost me 35 pounds, much medication, much illness, yearrrrs of therapy, terror of unpredictable panic attacks, more terror of unpredictable physical + verbal abuse by the spouse I DARED to confront, and so on. This is why I admire the poetics of the Vertical as I do, so physically present in this handsome new house. Vertical was what I was NOT, Vertical is a huge 5 star accomplishment during transitions as in, Dear Diary I stayed upright all day today.

    Mrs. B: I'll take 15 copies. Maybe you'll come this way for a signing event. I noticed you endorsed Phoebe Howard's first book, she runs 3 shops in the next town over from me, surely she'll host at least one event per location in your honor. I wonder what I'll wear…

  28. Patricia

    I only know you through your writing, but I have been where you are and it is not easy Sometimes just telling people is a relief and I hope this is the case for you.

  29. Congrats Patricia
    your new house looks incredible!
    I was just thinking of you the other day when i showed a friend the article you wrote when my house was in Spaces. You are such a talented writer and looking forward to seeing your book!

  30. Thank you for your frank, creative, and kind blogging! As you continue to feed your soul, feather your "new" nest, and follow your bliss, you are inspiring us to do the same.

  31. Whatever the new year brings, I hope you are through the worst of it. You have been missed in blogland and I look forward to your musings. I hope you can feel the support that comes from your readers.

  32. Fantastic! I speak for all when I say we area all happy for you and wish you only good things. We look forward to your new year postings and relish in them whatever form they take.
    All the best,
    Jane & the Blogoshere.

  33. Thank you to the anonymous writer for touching base with me again this morning. I've removed both your original post and my response. No hard feelings.

    Thanks, too, to those who jumped in after. Let's just leave this tar baby on the side of the road.

  34. It was so nice to see your blog in my inbox! Your new home is darling and has a warm, welcoming look. I'll look forward to seeing more of it. Best of luck with your new project.

  35. BRAVO! BEAUTIFULLY DONE! YOU HAVE transitioned beautifully……I am sure your boys are happy…….and you are in a house that "suits' you!

    I left another comment…..I hope I have not repeated myself…..but that is what I usually do! "Pete and repeate!!"
    Your boys and you know they grew up with "A LOT OF LOVE IN THAT HOUSE!"


    I can only hope that those boys…..(and I am sure they will) know that despite the "break-up); they have a wonderful family of two devoted parents! (of course I am making this up! I just think so!)

    Much love from me……one of your greatest admirers!!!


  36. Glad to have you back. I missed your more personal blog posts and look forward to more. And I'm definitely buying your book:)

  37. You should always do exactly what brings you joy visually and comfort-wise in your home. It is YOU who live there, after all.
    Our opinions just reflect our own taste, and yours is what will bring you joy when you see it everywhere – go for it!

  38. This Anon is late to the Welcome Back party due to our temperamental internet service but just wanted to tell you how delighted I was to see you posting again and how exciting to learn that you are writing a book. If it's anything like your blog, it will be soul candy indeed. All the best to you!

  39. Patricia –

    Looking forward to the upcoming posts. Congratulations on your new season of life – in that it took making a decision – congratulations on all it took to make that decision and each one moving forward.


  40. It's good to see you, your words, your new place, your new photo. Sending you strength, patience, courage, energy, creativity… best wishes.
    Cherill W
    Adelaide, South Australia

  41. We send you our support and heartfelt caring during your time of transition. I hope you can feel all the love coming to you from your readers. You have given us much joy over the years.

  42. I forgot to tell you……if you would like to have a book-signing in Montecito…….YOU ARE INVITED!




  43. Oh Mrs B- love your new house, congratulations! Cannot wait to see how you decorate it….Best of everything in 2014- health, happiness and success!!!Waiting for your book with baited breath.
    -Linda, NY

  44. I have read three posts….

    You have more support than I could imagine! And imagine I did!

    Just promise me a book-signing in Montecito!

    For heaven's sake!!



  45. Please know my invitation comes from my heart! My wild garden in Montecito is "off the beaten path." "kinda crazy"!!!
    …..but darling Brooke….and Steve Giannetti built their magnificent…….(I rarely use that word) house in Ojai inspired by it!!!)

    Please come see us again! Design whatchacallit on La Cienega!!!!

    I wish you the best…….and : Go for it! YOU WILL FIND IT!!!


  46. MY FAVORITE EXPRESSION IS "feather your nest"!

    It involves a bird taking a feather from her body; and putting that feather into the nest she is building with sticks; and other things (I put my cats' fur (left from our brushing her) all over the place! on the bushes; and the plants. What a joy last Spring……to see "Bianca"'s fur in all of those nests! (123!!!) Hummingbird nests, warbler nests….lots of nests! Bianca lived on!

    Do that , People! Birds need our help!!!

  47. I saw your post about Pinterest (which I have thought about often, as I find it a place of meditative relaxation too), but did not see this one. I sense there are some changes underway, even in the pronouns that you use for this post. I wish you the best, and will subscribe by email (I thought I had already) to keep up with the new chapter in the life of Mrs. Blandings.

  48. I am so thrilled to see you back to blogging. A lot of your posts have really stuck in my mind. You are a very talented writer and decorator. I admire your work a lot. I hope you enjoy your new house and things go well. My family (mostly me) spent almost 4 years doing our current house. The end is in sight but what a ride. We have to hire professionals and for some reason we get stuck with people that are 1) slow and 2) seem to overcharge us. People would blanch, as I do, at the amount of our retirement savings we have spent and still have to spend on this house! We are down to a new fence and electronic gate for backyard and painting the entire exterior along with one room which houses a pool table and is what we call a bonus room. It needs better doors to access the storage under the eaves in the room. Anyway, I am thrilled to be able to read your words again. I love the pink you have chosen for your dining room. I can remember being amazed at your green dining room with your hand painted "Gracie" type of drawings. You are awesome!

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