Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Secret

"Master," the young monk asked his teacher, "what is the rule for a life well-lived?"

"Brew the tea properly," the venerable Buddhist monk replied. "Make the room warm in winter and cool in summer. This is the rule for a well-lived life."
I've been working on part three of the rule. The pinks and lavenders and greens and purples of spring have been mostly replaced by blue and white. (Still need to move those orchids into different pots.) Blue and white quilts hang in the living room and I scrounge in my mathom closet for blue and white objects.

It's not really a big deal -- the pillow covers are all homemade (in years past) as are most of the paintings. The odds and ends in the corner cupboard represent years of gifts and some flea market or junk shop bargains. It's pleasant to see the room begin to feel lighter and more open as I toss out the piles of magazines and reduce clutter. A few vases filled with ferns cut from outside and the room is definitely feeling cooler.

Now for that tea!
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Kathryn Stripling Byer said...

Vicki, your house looks lovely. I've been trying to junk all the clutter in mine, but it seems like a losing battle. Where did all those magazines come from? And all those books? Looks like a century's worth of them, and they are everywhere. I'm getting ready to replace my rust/brown curtains with acquamarine ones. Maybe that will inspire me. Make me feel a bit cooler

Vicki Lane said...

Ha! I was just over on your blog, commenting about dogs.

The secret for us, is the mathom closet. Most of the objets d'art ( a kind term for clutter)we love are put away for most of the year. I do a kind of seasonal rotation starting with red and green and wintry/Christmas stuff in December, followed by blue and yellow and shiny things for January and February,segueing into more and more pinks and greens and purples and flowery things as Spring arrives and progresses. A bunch of Easter stuff comes and goes and by June I'm ready for the coolness of blue and white. Come mid or late September, I'll be sick of blue and white and the fall colored pillow covers and various painted gourds (again homemade), baskets, and carved animals will be on stage till December and the red and green again.

I found years ago that I stop seeing things that stay in the same place all the time and, as I can't afford to redecorate whenever the mood strikes, the simple change of a few accessories refreshes the place and helps inspire me to clean things up a bit.

Just call me Martha.

Tammy said...

What a 'cool' (sorry;-) idea! In the past I have done the fall and then Christmas routine, but I hadn't really thought about changing and/or adding different splashes of color for a season. Hmmmm.. I love your house too. It looks lovely.

Vicki Lane said...

Thanks, Tammy. It's really kinda fun -- deciding which trinkets are 'Fall' or 'Summer' etc. Plus if I were to put out all the stuff we've accumulated/inherited in our almost 45 years (can this be correct? yikes!)of marriage, there wouldn't be room to sit down.

Susan M. Bell said...

Beautiful home. Is that the loft room mentioned in "Old Wounds?"
I've been thinking about making a quilt of sorts out of old T-shirts, and seeing your quilts hanging, and reading about them in your books, I believe I just may finally do it. Wish me luck. Way I figure it, if it doesn't turn out quite how I planned, the cats can always use a new blanket. :-)

Vicki Lane said...

The same. Originally it was my husband's and mine, then it became my sewing room when we built a two bedroom addition. When the boys left home, I moved my sewing room to their old room (better view.) So now the loft room is a guest room -- and Rosemary's old room.