Browsing Archives for January 2011

The Postcard Wall

January 6th, 2011

During our recent visit to see Mike and Liz in Kansas City, I noticed that they had started a postcard wall in their kitchen.  You might remember that Liz’s folks back in England also had a postcard wall in their kitchen.  With five daughters who all love to travel, you can see that Liz’s mum’s kitchen wall is very full.

I think that a postcard wall is a fabulous decorating idea!  It’s not only an interesting, colorful, conversation piece, it is also very cheap!  Heck!  The people sending you the cards are paying for it!

Of course there are a few problems with getting a postcard wall started…

1.  You have to know people who travel.

2.  Those traveling people must like you well enough to go to the considerable trouble to send you a postcard in the midst of their trip.

3.  I guess you could send postcards to yourself when you travel which in some ways is even more interesting.

4.  You could also pay people to send you a card or at least send the postage stamp along with them alleviating some of the trouble involved.  This also gives you the advantage of hurt feelings when they fail to send you the card followed by a subsequent guilt trip from which no postcard will ever be sent – but it does improve the odds of receiving a postcard from their next trip. 

5.  You could also rely on your considerable charm to manipulate people into sending you a postcard from their trip. 

Whichever!  As long as you get a postcard wall, who cares how it is done?

I think I am going to have to start one myself.

Speaking of great movies…

Remember the scene in On Golden Pond, when Ethel Thayer is making strawberry shortcake in the kitchen and behind her is a wall full of postcards… or were they photos?… for the sake of this story I am going to go with postcards. I couldn’t find the strawberry scene, but I did find the scene where Norman tests the phone in the cabin.  There is a wall of small photos behind him similar to what I remember in Ethel’s kitchen.  It’s very casual and random and careless which is exactly my favorite kind of decorating.  Besides!  If it’s good enough for Ethel and Norman, it’s good enough for me.

I finally watched the Grey Gardens re-make starring Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange and thoroughly enjoyed it. ‘Twas no small task to channel such immense characters. I thought Lange especially disappeared into the role of Big Edie.  I wrote about the documentary version of Grey Gardens here, and my sister and I had our own Grey Gardens fashion show here.

The new film (released in 2009) takes the audience back into the history of what both Edith Bouviers (relatives of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onasis) were prior to their dissent (I mean descent!) into mad ruin. There are love affairs gone wrong and an inability and or refusal to function in reality for both women. I have no idea how much of the back story is accurate, but I can positively attest that every outfit is superb, the soft shoe is stellar and the movie is extremely entertaining. If you haven’t seen it yet, it is definitely worth a watch.

Here’s a scene from the original documentary – the famous ‘skirt scene’ with Little Edie.

And here is Barrymore’s version.

For New Year’s Eve, we packed up and drove to Kansas City for a weekend with Mike and Liz and their three boys. We went to our first ever hockey game (The Missouri Mavericks) and were happy to see a bloody fight break out between two players. By the end of the fight, blood was squirting from one player’s head onto the ice and though the clean-up crew scooped up some of it in icy bits, there was plenty left on the ice for the rest of the game. Them hockey players…. they are none too fussy.

After that we tagged along with Mike and Liz to a New Year’s Eve party. It was a very nice party and even though we were total strangers to almost everyone there, we felt welcome and right at home. The party took place in a very modern house. So modern, that when the plans for the home became public to the well heeled neighborhood full of craftsman and Victorian styled homes from the 30′s and 40′s, there were protests and angry signs and a few vile exchanges between the owners/builders/architects and some of the neighbors.

The house went up anyway.

I surreptitiously snapped a few photos because that is what I do whenever I am in very modern houses.

It’s instinctual.

I have no power to control it.

The piano/book/photo nook.

Other side of piano/book/photo nook.

The staircase dividing the kitchen/dining area from the piano/book/photo nook.  I am taking the photo from the living area.  The floor plan was great and beautifully compact.  Rooms flowed effortlessly into one another, but each space had it’s own function and character.  Every inch of the home was clearly well used. The home reminded me very much of Sarah Susanka’s designs.

This was the main-floor loo.

It was the only place that I felt comfortable taking photos with abandon.

Because I was alone while I was in here.

Please note their Oracle.    I don’t know this Oracle’s name, but she reminds me of my Oracle.

The Oracle Known as Steve.

Disturbing factoid…
The people that built this very modern house are both architects.
The Oracle Known as Steve – also an architect.
I’ll leave you alone to contemplate the mysticism of it all now.