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Friday, February 1, 2013

Photo Heart January

January's Photo Heart Connection over ta Kat's.  Checking in.  You can too if you wanna.  New button, might make it even more enticing.






I thought it would be nice if my PHC image was one that I hadn't previously shared, but that's just not the way it's going this morning.  If your heart is saying "pick that one"...well, you pick that one.  If you can't listen to yourself I suppose you're in big trouble.


 
Rocking Chair 140/365
Rocking Chair 140/365


About a year ago I suddenly became aware that almost none of the furnishings in my home are things I selected or purchased.  I'm living in the land of hand me downs, road side finds, left over college crap, etc.  I picked that busy rug you see because it was so damn cheap (note to self: never get those fringey things again-pain in the butt), my comfy couch and a couple paint-it-yourself bookshelves, but that's about it.

I was thinking about this because I realized I don't know what I like.  I know what's functional and fits my budget, but what if I got to choose myself?  Would I even know where to start?  I doubt it.  Call in Martha Stewart.  Shit I don't even know if I like what Martha would choose.

When I write the PHC, I let my mind and words wander wherever they'd like to go.  I thought I might tell you about the hand me down rocking chair being one my parents no longer needed.  When I lived in someone elses house with all their "stuff", this was the one piece of furniture that was added to the living room.  Apparently that means I like it.   It has worn handles and seat and plenty of scratches and dents.  No need to be careful, just sit and rock....that is if Princess P hasn't commandeered it.

I also thought I might tell you about that ceramic dog tucked against the wall.  It is the one item I have that belonged to my father in his childhood.  I remember being 4 or so and going to his family's old farmhouse when it was being sold and asking to have this ugly bull dog.  I slapped the red bandanna on for color.  This bull dog has lived in Maine, New Hampshire, Florida, Pennsylvania, and has returned to Maine again.  Chipped and such, but all good.  Doesn't bark either.  No name, just steadfast.  I guess I like it.

And finally I thought I might mention that tennis ball.  Tula will occasionally play with one. I've not taught her to pick up and put away her toys and Tula's mother (that would be me) hasn't done that either.  She needs to get going.  The ball also reminds me of my last dog Abbie, long passed now.  She loved to play-she never stopped playing-and would chase a ball for as long as I would throw it.  I miss that dog.  She was super fun.

But instead of telling you all that nostalgia, I told you that I don't know what I like.  As if you needed to know that or I needed to alert myself to this conundrum again.  But as I said before, if you can't listen to yourself you're in big trouble.

22 comments:

gina said...

Before I read your narrative, I knew there had to be a heartfelt story there -- your image communicates so much feeling. There is something special about old rockers -- I love your POV. I think you will find that you do know what you like after all.

Wayne (Woody), whatever said...

You don't need Martha, I prefer the 'real' styling. Nice POV.

Kathryn said...

There was a rocking chair past down from my grandmother to my mother that I remember from childhood. There's something comforting about the rocking motion and I often think about it and wish we'd kept it. As for Martha Stewart, I don't like her style. I say don't worry about whether furniture is new or old, hand me downs of impulse buys . . . its all about when you walk through your front door whether it feels like home. I love your low POV shots, I find myself really drawn to them.

Sandra said...

I love the rocking chair and all your musings and how that ceramic dog has meaning for you. I'm in hand-me-downs and second-hand furniture too. I did buy a couple of nice elements a few years back when I was still working full time.
I had to laugh about Martha Stewart! She'd whip you up something that looks like it came out of a furnishing's magazine, but would it be you?!

Kim Stevens said...

Love the perspective of this image, and I happen to love things with a story, it all has that. I love what you said - "If you can't listen to yourself I suppose you're in big trouble." Thanks for sharing...

Laloofah said...

Nice to know the backstory of the dog figure and the tennis ball! I was curious about both the during this photo's last appearance.

Maybe what you like best is simply that which is functional and frugal, and aesthetic considerations take such a backseat that you're not even aware of them. But I think if you practiced developing an awareness (maybe by poking around web sites like Pinterest or Houzz), you'd know what does or doesn't ring your bells. Just looking at your photography, I'm guessing your choices might be based on texture first, then maybe color. But there's also that je ne seis pas thing that is often behind why we like what we like.

My tastes are very eclectic, and sometimes I can tell you why I like something and sometimes I'm at a loss to explain. But I do know I like the soft, vintage look of that rug, the plucky splash of red in the dog's bandana and how it goes with that pretty red bookcase, and how the sunlight is hitting that rocking chair. :-)

Carol Blackburn said...

I knew that little dog had a story, I just knew it. He's your version of the gnome I have that was my Grandmother's. And I've loved it since I was old enough to walk. I have it now and "no body better touch my Gnome." I get it, Susan, and send you good vibes for a beautiful weekend. :)

Leanne Barnett said...

I love a good rocking chair & rally like the light & pov.
I agree with Kathryn's comment about style- it's about feeling like home. I think that you can say that you have an eclectic style!

Kay L. Davies said...

If you take it with you every time you move, you like it, maybe even love it. Who else would put a red bandana on a ceramic bulldog? And let him play with Tula's tennis ball?
I agree with you about carpets with fringes. Horrible to vacuum, and they're always flopping over the wrong way, and needing to be straightened. But I like the colors in the rug.
Every now and then, watching Home & Garden TV, I will wish I could build a house and decorate it with new furniture. Then I remember the antique desk I've had since I was 14, and remember I have lots of things I can't live without.
K

Deborah Tisch said...

But, you know, maybe "Stuff" is not as important to you as other parts of life, like spending time taking photos.

I like how you treasure this little rocker, that dog, and a tennis ball, and that this image of those simple things touches your heart.

Brenda said...

Well, as far as I'm concerned you can tell me anything you want - I always love your stories. And it seems to me that you do know what you like - as evidenced by this image. Another trademark "down low" shot.

Sarah Huizenga said...

I love how that dog has traveled around so much. Don't worry my dogs never put their toys away either. I finally do it when I vacuum.

Rosemary Reflectionsofmyworld said...

oh you revealed at least to me that you treasure your family memories and what possions that they owned as well.. not only can you listen to your own thoughts you listen to your heart too.

Maria Ontiveros said...

Beautiful writing and a beautiful photograph.
Rinda

http://vivhalliwell.com said...

I love the family history it means something when you can touch an object that holds so many memories....
And, I don't pick up after myself .....

http://vivhalliwell.com

Michele at Sweet Leaf said...

You are in good company! I had to chuckle when I read your post. My favorite place to shop is the local thrift stores -- or curbside. You never know what you'll find there, and the price can't be beat! When I was pregnant, people asked what our theme was for the nursery. My response was Fox Valley Thrift. Truthfully--I thought it was a crazy question. I've never ever decorated to a theme. It's always a hodge-podge--but full of meaning!

Paula said...

I very much enjoyed reading this...awesome dog, and a beautiful shot.

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

I love this post. Nothing wrong with living with a bunch of different stuff. We have a nice house and all that but if somebody broke in to steal stuff I don't know what they would take.

TheChieftess said...

Lovely! Photo and narrative! I so agree with so much of what you said...I have an eclectic mix of old and new...unique and not...nostalgic and contemporary...I love to mix and match!

Kat Sloma said...

I love the way you led us through the photo, explaining the importance of each piece in the image, but also led us back to the place where it's not important to your Photo-Heart Connection. It sounds like finding out what you like is a quest that you will someday need to take on. Maybe not today or tomorrow, but someday. I'm not sure that I knew what I liked until we moved to Italy, and I got to decorate the apartment from scratch. Before that, our house had evolved slowly from hand-me-downs to pieces we added, but we never chose a whole lot at the same time. I found myself decorating in bright colors and modern design, rather than the neutral tones I had always used previously.

Anyway... back to you. Maybe this signals an opening to start finding out what you like. Not all at once, but piece by piece. Thanks for sharing in the Photo-Heart Connection.

Cheryl Flatt said...

I think that your statement, "If your heart is saying "pick that one"...well, you pick that one." applies not just to a PHC choice but to every thing in our lives...even a rocking chair and an old bulldog (love the red scarf).

Pausing to listen to oneself is when we hear what our heart is saying. I'm glad you paused, shot this photo and write this piece.

seabluelee said...

Susan, I always love listening to your thoughts about what you "could" tell us. I like all the objects in your photo, and it's obvious that you do, too. I've always known what I liked, but never had much money to do anything about it. I'm pretty good at creating a home out of not-much-of-anything...found stuff, secondhand stuff, hand-me-down stuff, cheap or free stuff. I'll bet you are too! Hugs to you, my friend.