Tag Archives: blogs

Less is Never More, Less is Obviously Less

Several weeks ago a couple of readers emailed to ask, “Why would a blogger pull his blog?!” It seemed Maxminimus was gone. I had some thoughts on why one would give up blogging, but had to sheepishly admit that I had not hit this gentleman’s site.

Just when I was just starting to miss him, odd as we had never met, he returned. He weighs in on clothes and books and hotel rooms far and wide and tells charming tales of his daughter. Pretty often there are wonderful rugs. Carpets, not hair pieces. Actually, I think I’m supposed to be looking at the socks and shoes. Anyway, this weekend, he posted this wonderful staircase chocked full of old Vanity Fair caricatures from Birkhall, the former home of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother.
It looks like there is a piece of molding that runs between the rows of prints. And I’m gobsmacked by the way some of the pieces are framed to accommodate the slant of the stairs.
Queen me.
Images via Maxminimus. The post title is a quote from Michelle Nussbaumer in Elle Decor, November 2009.
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Julie & Julia – and blogging

It’s difficult not be intrigued about a movie about a blogger. Blog. Book contract. Movie. It piques your interest. Especially if you are a blogger. Doubly intriguing if the movie is written by your (imaginary) best friend, Nora Ephron.

In the last couple of weeks I’ve re-read Ms. Ephron’s Heartburn and read Julie Powell’s Julie & Julia and Julia Child’s My Year in France. Maybe all books, when you come right down to it, are about transitions. If your story arcs, after all, something must happen. Something changes. And you work from there. Your husband cheats while you’re pregnant. Or you can’t get pregnant. Or you move to France. Or Queens.

And you stand in front of the mirror, real or figurative, and you try to sort out how to be yourself now. And how to be yourself next. In these books, and in this movie, we get to watch stories of women creating themselves. Successfully. In Julie Powell’s case, with a blog. In her book Ms. Powell says of the word blog, “Well, it is sort of a silly word, I guess.” I wholeheartedly agree.

A silly word, but not a silly concept especially as it can be the way from there to here. It’s a very good movie. There are many very memorable Ephron moments that I will not spell out here. It is not a romantic comedy. It is a movie that has as its backdrop two stories about marriage. Ephron said in Heartburn something like, “once you’re married nothing really happens.” (I can’t find the exact quote because I have a library book and I can’t turn down the pages of a library book.) Which in a lot of ways is true. And the main character, Rachel, is a cook book author who has her own show, but says something like, “people say I write cook books, but they are not really about cooking.” The same sentiment can be applied to My Life in France and Julie & Julia. They are about cooks, but not really about cooking. They are about finding the thing that makes your soul sing.

Julie & Julia opens tomorrow.

All images courtesy of Sony Pictures; photography by Jonathan Wenk except for final image which is by David Giesbrecht.
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Me and Mrs. Jones

With the recent demise of the esteemed blog House of Beauty and Culture I had to pause and consider why its author would cease to find joy in something that was offering so much of that elusive stuff to me.  

And like all kinds of loss it made me stop and wonder when the day would come when I would pull the plug.  Honestly, it’s hard to imagine blogging indefinitely.  Hmmm…”Well, I’ve been blogging for twenty-eight years and…”  No.  Unlikely.

And as a great over-thinker I had to wander the path of, “Why in the heck am I doing this anyway?”

For me the answer remains the same as the day I started almost two years ago.  The exchange.  The conversation.  The connection.

Often the connection takes place with another blogger, but it happens, too, to sometimes flourish with a reader.  You exchange a few emails, you get to know each other a little better.  You might even fill in some of the more personal details.

And then one day her house appears in a local magazine and you marvel at her mix and unbelievable color sense.  And you just want to email her the password and say, “Your turn.”
You can read the article from the May/June 2009 issue of Kansas City Home Design here.  Photography by Landon Collis.
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Stepping Out

We are all still adjusting to my new found freedom.  It’s a bit of a good natured joke of Mr. Blandings’s to inquire, “What did you do today?”  Not because he cares, but because he knows it’s bothering me that I can’t come up with much.

A couple of weeks ago I had coffee right before carpool with a guy who does some work for Spaces.  So happy to have something of interest on my list, I was surprised at Mr. Blandings’s reaction.  “Who is he?”  “He works for Spaces.”  “Is he gay?”  “It didn’t come up.  Are you kidding me?  You have meetings with women I don’t know all the time.”  “That’s different.”  “In what way, exactly?”  “Boys, time for dinner!”
If he only knew that I am stepping out with handsome men every day.
Just yesterday I popped on over to 1st dibs for a rendezvous with Joe Nye.  Do make a visit yourself as his eye and advice are spot on.

And I am besotted, as is all of blogland, with Eddie Ross.  Thank heavens I don’t have to wait for a new episode of Top Design as he is posting nearly every day.  If you haven’t already, go see what the fuss is all about.  Oh, and he’s nice, too.

Still, I am making some time for my girlfriends.   The Tablescapes luncheon last week for the American Royal was such a treat.  (That is where I originally spied the cloches for our dinner party.)  One of my favorite vendors, La Plates hosted a spirited holiday table but I thought these new designs very clever.  You can choose your candidate, or get one for your bothersome friend so you can serve her a big helping of crow in November.


And just so you know, I’m not a bit annoyed with Mr. Blandings.  It’s hard to get your ire up when your husband still sees the girl he married seventeen years ago and not the middle-aged mother of three who looks every bit her age in a well-lit coffee shop on an autumn afternoon.
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Happy Something


A milestone of sorts.  My first post is dated August 6th, but that must have been the day I started working on it.  At the time, I was unaware that one could modify dates and time.  The plan, if you could call it that, was to publish on my birthday.  I don’t know why.  And I didn’t, I actually published the day before my birthday for no known reason.  A year ago today.

I sent an email to Courtney, Jennifer and Megan entitled, “I’m up.”  Courtney and Jennifer posted comments within two minutes of one another on the blog and Megan emailed immediately and said, “Let me know when you are ready for me to let people know.”  She posted about Mrs. Blandings a couple of days later.  They were my top three bookmarks then and they are my top three bookmarks now, but, oh, how my list has grown.

Sometimes people ask me how it’s done or how I find the time.  The how it’s done is easy, a monkey could do it (if a monkey could read.)  If you are curious, log onto blogger.com and the system walks you through the entire process.  (I’m sure typepad is the same.)  You don’t even have to make it available to other folks, you can keep it all to yourself if you like.  
The funny thing about finding the time is, I have always done the stuff that you would call the “work.”  Tear sheets and resourcing and researching and reading.  I’ve been doing that for years.  The fun of blog reading was finding other design crazies who do it, too.  The other part, the writing, as it turns out is pure joy; I simply cannot imagine life without it now.
I can’t believe it’s only been a year.  You have no idea how grateful I am that you stop by and visit.  It’s such a gift.  And for that, I say, “thank you.”
I do not have an inspiration board, only because I don’t really have a spot to put it.  If I did, and I could only choose one image to place upon it, it would be this.  A Kate Spade ad from several years ago.  This image sums up all the good stuff for me.  Note the chinoiserie headboard, the Osborne and Little paper, Asuka, has long been on my hit parade, the lush blooms and a touch of modern in the table.  The contrast on the pillowcases is actually navy, but if I squint my eyes just a touch it looks like black grosgrain ribbon.  The vintage watch, the inspiration for my fifteenth anniversary gift from Mr. Blandings because I adored the clean whiteness of the face and the slashes instead of numbers and the way the face itself spanned the width of her wrist; I realized when I pulled it out again that I had, unwittingly, procured a similar band.  And she writes.  If only there were a touch of that smudgy turquoise it would be perfection.
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