homes

OF INTEREST

I’ve come back to Pinterest lately. Seems, as ever, like such an odd way to spend time but I am finding it so calming and satisfying. I am nesting, so it probably isn’t a surprise, FINALLY looking at houses and talking to banks and hopefully, in the next month or so, ready to call something my own. And lordy am I ready for it.

Not just the joy of owning something, and being able to plan a garden or paint a wall or save for the clay tiles I love, but just my own space and my things again. Like I said, working out new ways of living and being in a space, catching new pockets of light and building my life around me in a new way.

Some of the images I’ve loved and am longing for here, just a moment away from real-life and lists and emails, bills and books and work to think about things of interest. Beauty and use, comfort and calm. 

And tables, something about tables I am drawn to right now (as the pictures here well show). Maybe all these chairs I love finding their way to a table - the idea of work and coffee and newspapers and friends and baked goods, all crowded onto one surface and life happening in and around the edges.

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ON MY MIND / 1

EWA few things on my mind this week...

* The Sydney Festival program was released today and as always I'm finding it hard to settle on just what to see. So much happening, Kurt Vile and Dido and Aeneas are both musts, and Dom sounds pretty amazing. And there's a French-thing happening with food and wine and DJs at Sydney Uni that could be tres wonderful. I need to look properly, and weigh up finances and Christmas present ideas. I mean, what better gift, really, than seeing a brilliant show with the likes of me, eh?

*  I heard Tim Winton speak this evening, to launch his new book, Eyrie. He  did a reading and answered some questions with my friend Cath for a couple of hundred people in the Great Hall at the University of Sydney. He spoke with such ease, so intelligent, so down to earth and natural. He spoke about class and education and how Australia is losing sight of what matters. He talked about writing and the importance of voice. I've always thought him so striking for writing the language and characters that he does, so deeply Australian and still so very much a part of our literary canon. He said he owed a large part to the American authors of the South, to Carson McCullers and William Faulkner, who never pretended to write for the elite East Coast publishing houses or the papers of New York, but who wrote their stories of their South unapologetically and brilliantly. He talked about writing what you know and he talked about a sense of place and belonging. Afterwards my friend Clare and I had cheap Japanese and some white wine and talked about him.

* The Design Files Open House comes to Sydney in December and I couldn't be more excited. I love the work Lucy does, such a good eye and a real spotlight on all the amazing things being designed and made in Australia. The Open House seems like a culmination of lots of hard work and passion, which bodes well in my book...

{birthstones by Elisa Werbler}

SO DREAMY

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A few things I came across out at Koskela that got me dreaming. I'm moving house soon enough, and busy thinking about all the wares and parts that make a home, and I tell you, a few of these dreamy finds in the mix would be awfully nice. I'm in love with fine ceramics, and these muted colours and old fashioned shapes are wonderful. As is the Grandiflora book I've always wanted. But it's the textiles I covet especially - linen bedsheets in softest folds, worn rugs with bold shots of colour and rough-hewn cushions and throws.

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FOLK FIBERS

COLORADOI've long had a thing for quilting, always putting aside bits of old fabric with an idea to one day bind them together. I'd love to stitch  something beautiful from all the scraps and memories of old dresses and faded pillowslips. Something to keep me warm, or pass on to another generation. I like the idea of the story behind each bit of cotton, and the hard work and holding stitching it all together. I sew a little, have a how-to book by some local Sydney quilters and hope that one day I'll get around to it. In the meantime, I am enamoured and so very inspired by Maura Grace Ambrose of Folk Fibers. She works out of Austin, Texas (the town I missed but am pretty certain I'd love) with a background in textile design and fiber arts from Savannah College of Fine Arts. She grows and harvests her own dyes within Texas (organically, no less) and everything is hand-quilted. Such an accomplishment, and so beautiful at that. I love that she has managed to make this fine art, this tradition, something of her own...

QUILT* The California and Colorado quilts have both sold, but check out the Folk Fibers shop for plenty more of Maura's pieces.

AT MY TABLE

TABLE BAll I can think about at the moment is a table. Obviously I think about other things - what to make for dinner, whether I have enough change for a latte in the morning, is my library book overdue, should I cut my hair off, I can't believe I haven't been to yoga in a week - but mostly I'm thinking about a table. A dining table, to be exact.

TABLE EI am a person who loves cooking, and especially loves cooking for others. I am a person who likes to lay the table with placemats and small pots of sea salt, with flowers and wide salad bowls and on the weekend I like to spread the newspaper out and read it two days running, with my large French press and vintage sugar jar. For all this I need a table, and I'd like it to be a proper one.

I'm at an age, at a stage, where I want to nest and spend large sums of money on things. I want to invest in nice stuff, not settle for my in-between stuff, the stuff I inherited from past housemates or late-night hard rubbish finds. Less unstained pine and mdf, more hardwood and fittings, please.

TABLE CSeeing as I'm saving, however, hoping to move to the States and settle there for a bit, a new dining table seems far fetched. Plain ridiculous, actually. So instead of buying one, of putting money aside for the breakfasts and dinners of my life, I'll just be here, pining over these Pinterest finds instead. Don't mind me, eh?

PS For the record, this Freedom one is a damn good find at $700.TABLE A

ON LIGHT AND DETAIL

BF2My love for Brian Ferry is no secret. I've mentioned him here before, and I'm always checking in with the Blue Hour for his pictures. I love the way he sees the world, how he frames it and captures it with his camera and just the right light and detail.BF1I was very pleased to find some pictures of his own life over on Sight Unseen (another wonderful corner of the web). As you might imagine, his home is lovely. It feels lived in, but refined. There are wonderful details, but it isn't overwhelming. It feels simple and personal at the same time. I like a house where books dominate, where plants are part of the furniture and where the windows are wide and full and throw light and day across walls and floors. BF4

BF3I've always liked this print by Mike Mills for Commune. Such a sharp and fun way of capturing the past, of holding some things above others - he manages to make a statement without saying a thing. It made me think of a quote I found last year when I was studying historiography for my Masters: 'in the culture I live in, history is the name of the space where we define what matters' - Meaghan Morris (Grassberg et al).

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I think our homes and belongings speak of who we are and what we value, so it's nice to catch a glimpse of one as lovely as this.