Tuesday, March 30, 2010

like a magpie

lately it seems like spring fever has taken over every part of my life, most noticeably, spring cleaning. in trying to simplify my life and our home i've tried to give away the things not needed. these photos show just a few of the collections i have in my home. i've noticed i might have a problem. i can't seem to stop bringing things home. and what's worse is i can't seem to let anything go. i have collections of photos, everybit of art work my children have ever done, letters, books (everyone on africa ever written i think), sewing and knitting supplies, seaglass, things in this certain color blue, seashells, feathers, rocks, travel journals, giraffes, buttons, i have a collection of paint brushes and aprons, i even collect cookbooks when i don't really have that much time to cook. i'm pretty sure i've left something (or two) off this list. oh dear.

spring cleaning has turned into more of spring sighing than organising. this stuff, these treasures (to me) are not going anywhere anytime soon. is it a curse to like so many things? i am definitely two people in one body, since i love zen spaces, peaceful and uncluttered, yet i love all these things around me too. are you a magpie too? and if you are, i'd love to know what you collect and how you handle so many things?

♥ lori

p.s. i hope you are all well, i'll be by for a visit soon!


  1. Oh, I know what you mean. We have a lot of eclectic "stuff" around our house, but everything means something, everything is special. Sometimes I think it's too cluttered, but then we have visitors who comment on how cozy our house is and how warm with all our decorations. Somehow that seems more important than being completely decluttered...

    Your collections look just beautiful!! And if you don't want these pretty things, just send them on over... ; ) Love, Silke

  2. Hello there!
    This was a timely post ... I just had this conversation with a friend last evening. By the time you reach my age, you will want to declutter a bit. And you will instinctively know what needs to go and what you should keep. I have moved many times in my life and that has helped me keep clutter to a minimun. THOUGH, there have been the days when I wonder where I put something ~ and then remember I 'decluttered' it!!

  3. Hi Lori, how much fun to look at all the things you collected. Oh, I know how it is! The minute Í throw something out, I am sorry!
    And everywhere I have heaps of things which I still want to get finished ...one day. Like my cookbook! My five-year old pupil Adeline always sighs over my untidyness, tehee. I tell her these are all creative ideas lying around!
    Can`t write mails Lori, but thinking of you!

  4. Your home looks charming and warm, just exactly as I see you. Don't change a thing!

    I'm into rocks right now. Rocks with great vibration, especially.

  5. I think that you are doing very well not to have dust and cob webs climbing over everything. I don't intentionally collect anything, but I don't throw things out either.

  6. Lori, I know just what you mean. I too apppreciate the calm and breeziness of "no clutter" however I am forever conflicted as I love to be surrounded by things that mean something to me. Trinkets from my travels (a marble piece of the Parthenon, coal from Cape Breton, seashells from the ocean visits), photos of my loved ones, my beloved books, my photograghy paraphenalia, CDs I have collected, my mother's notebooks ... even mismatched furniture that has sentimental value. It makes "things" meaningful to me to have "things" that have a place in my heart.

    Keep collecting! Love the photos. They give me spring fever as well.

  7. We treasure those things that connect us to our past and our future. Without things, we feel as though as we are floating away, adrift on a sea that never ends. Things are our anchors.

    I've begun to give my things away, to my children, grandchild. They will connect those things with memories of us together. All is good.

  8. every windowsill in my house has 'stuff' on it plants seashells glass bottles silver cigarrette cases crystals driftwood stones seaglass chinese lacquer boxes. So much stuff such a small house.
    Love the brown seaglass heart what a find

  9. i used to collect journals and write in them but this whole blog business is wonderful! here's an organizing tip i read in redbook once: clean your space as if your moving away.

  10. Lori I love your treasures.

    Yes I too have collections.
    Some feel like they have been with me forever and others are transient.

    Living like a gypsy doesn't allow for large collections and instigates clever storage.

    I used to have an enormous record collection and I mean enormous, that I said goodbye to some years ago and I sometimes have brief moments of regret.

    I try to photograph Ruben's artworks with the intention of making a book so that I can keep them in our lives.
    I got this idea indirectly from you :)

    love to you and lovely to read that you are enjoying all the joys of spring xxx

    PS... i have a bit of a rule for myself in regards to stuff.... each time something new enters the domain something has to leave.
    It doesn't always apply, but mostly it does ;)

  11. oh my gosh, you should meet my husband. he keeps every thing. e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. :) we are in the midst of cleaning out! what do i collect? jewelery mostly i think. and shoes. and arts and crafts products. can't throw any of those out because you never know when you might need it, right? riiiiight. :)

  12. It seems as though spring fever has hit everywhere!.... I collect rocks... I have one from every trip I have ever been on and from every place I have been which means I have rocks from each state from Ohio to Washington along the Canadian Border as well as almost every Canadian Province... and England, Ireland, Scotland and Northern Ireland...and giraffes...and photos... and children's books... I am always looking for "different" children's books....I did enjoy your collections! Thanks for sharing!

  13. It seems as though spring fever has hit everywhere!.... I collect rocks... I have one from every trip I have ever been on and from every place I have been which means I have rocks from each state from Ohio to Washington along the Canadian Border as well as almost every Canadian Province... and England, Ireland, Scotland and Northern Ireland...and giraffes...and photos... and children's books... I am always looking for "different" children's books....I did enjoy your collections! Thanks for sharing!

  14. Hi Lori

    when we moved recently I boxed up all my books and bits....and left them in boxes in the new garage....

    and do you know what...

    I haven't missed any of it... in fact I feel free...so clean of clutter and collections...and am even thinking of minimizing what I actually brought into the house...you know all those bowls and platters that you don't use...

    In my study I have my few journals and poetry books that I am currently using, a dictionary and thesaurus...and little else...

    should I want something I know where to find it and so until then it can all stay out of sight

    AND out of dust....

    Happy days

  15. Oh, I love all my little collections.
    I collect old crockery plates, crystals, angels and sea items. I could not part with any of them. However, where possible, I do follow Ribbon's rule of one in = one out. This is usually not anything out of my collections.
    I also have all the kid's little artworks,cards, hospital tags etc. etc
    Obviously, I am a Magpie too. ♥

  16. Yep, that's me too Lori. I have tried to be more zen like, but the stuff slowly crept back, and it all brings me so much pleasure. I can't fit another vintage plate or teapot, or jug on my kitchen dresser shelves however, so every now and then I give away some of the treasure (mainly to family who want it) and then I still can see it when I visit them !

  17. I have this battle constantly... do I purge or do I hoard? I like to think of it more as collecting, as if that has some sort of taste or reason involved. Of course my collections are many and varied... books, wooden boxes, acorns (wooden, porcelain, felt), birds (see acorn), pears, and letters and numbers. Oh and clocks. I do like clocks.
    I do try and keep my space reasonably ordered and love to make things look beautiful, so it's never an easy thing to let anything go.
    I looked at many of you collections and breathed deeply as I wanted to pick things up and hold them, introduce myself!
    They really do come a part of who you are.
    Lovely post Lori.

  18. Are those travel journals or photos? Up there in that picture, do you know the one I mean (sorry i am half asleep and posting comments, never a good combination)!

  19. I love the first pic!!
    Stunning colours.
    Must admit, I'm the opposite.
    I've stopped collecting things as I get attached to them and get miserable when they're damaged or stolen. Now I avoid collecting - easy-way-out I know!


  20. Hi Lori...i know what you mean...sometimes i look around here and think it looks so cluttered...books and magazines everywhere...collections of yelloware bowls, recipe collections, rocks, seashells, and more books...but then i go into a house without "stuff" and it feels so lifeless...gotta have the stuff...

    thanks for leaving the kind words about Buddy and Teddy. This has been so horrible...at times I wondered if I would make it...

    just hanging on for Teddy...

    more soon, my friend

    sending love,
    p.s. looking at owen made me smile

  21. Hi Lori ann, spring is beautiful. Would love to join you for a long summer. Would learn to surf (try????) and explore every nook and cranny.

    I love your magpie collection!

  22. Oh, I know, I know! I hate clutter. But I also love that Bohemian shop look. Really, though, is it a crime to surround yourself with things that make you happy?

    Those tags on your photobooks is THE MOST AWESOME IDEA! I'm going to steal it, do you mind? :)

    Aw, Lori, thanks for the condolences. He passed away suddenly last June, but we are all coping well. Thank you.


  23. lori, there's so much going on here i had to take notes!

    --that is a real parakeet, yes? (i hope so, otherwise, maybe you could let this little stuffed one go...)

    --the labels for your photo journals: OMG! did you make that up? that is the best idea of the century. i love how they look but how easy peasy to find what you're looking for. see, i knew you were kind of brilliant!

    --shells on a vintage tablecloth. no contest, you have to keep.

    --maybe that little owl on the end could go (jeez, what's up that i'm tossing the birds today?)

    --books and needles, how could you?

    --ah, and the glass stones. i think they need to stay close to your heart. and speaking of hearts, how is it you have that special little red one?

    i am smiling at this post and you, lori!


  24. Of course I'm a magpie. But I love my clutter, my dust, my excess of tangible memories scattered around the house.

    Your home looks perfect just the way it is. Why on earth would you wnat to do away with treasures?! Those travel journals with the little round tag are genius!

    I collect whatever moves me, makes me feel alive. I collect beauty, mostly. Just like you do.

    Lola xx

  25. I am exactly as you are Lori, I love zen spaces but at the same time I do love all my collections that fills my entire home and brings so many good memories... Old vynil ( LP) that I used to listen when I was a teenager, CDs, postcards, pens, letters, rocks and lots of photographs!I´m so glad that I am not the only one, thank you Lori!

  26. dear silke,

    you are right, being surrounded by all these things that have so much meaning is more important than open space. MOST of the time, it's just sometimes i feel a need to clear out. so don't be surprised to find things in your post box! :)


    dear helen,
    i'm glad to hear, and since i think we are close in age maybe that is why i am feeling this way. moving is the best way to purge, i can't think of anything i've ever regretted getting rid of in a move.

    dear geli,
    it is the same here, piles of things to get to, i sometimes wish i could just push it all in a box and give it a new home! there is a saying about tidyness and creativeness, they don't go together that much!

    dear nancy,
    thank you, you are so sweet. i love rocks. wondering how old they are, what they've seen. i have a collection of them too. :)

  27. dear butternut,

    i only don't have cobwebs because i am afraid of spiders, i do however have plenty of messes!

    dear lyn,

    thank you, i agree, the things i have are almost all full of meaning, things from our travels, gifts from the kids...i could do a bit of organizing though, that might help my cluttered feeling!

    dear rosaria,
    thank you for the wise words. my girls already say they want things of mine, i usually give them away already. mostly they are just things, it is the memory they hold that we want to keep.

    dear mandy,

    it sounds charming. i am glad to know i'm not alone. enjoy all your treasures. the heart was one of my best finds, it's now half way around the world to a dear friend who loves hearts too.

  28. dear marjnhomer,

    that is an excellent tip, thank you for that!

    dear robyn,
    i love that you are living like a beautiful gypsy. and i love your rule, i've tried to live by that too, but as you can see i've failed miserably. :)
    photographing anything is a good way to keep the memory without taking up much space. what do you collect?
    dear kavita,

    haha! art supplies stay! jewelery is another weakness of mine. luckily it is not a space problem. i hope you and your hubby find a happy medium!

    dear northern teacher,
    you reminded me of childrens books. i LOVE childrens books and have a good collection of those too. and rocks. yours sounds like a great collection!

  29. dear delwyn,

    Yes! that's a great idea. you are so right. i've heard that if you put things in a box and don't go for them in a year then you can give the box away. your place sounds very serene.
    dear natsy,
    :) that doesn't surprise me. you have a magpie personality for sure. i will try the rule that you and robyn live by.

    dear sally,
    yes, vintage teapots and plates, i have those too. at least they are useful no? but how many can one person really use? oh, i have a problem.
    dear cinta,
    you made me not want to give up anything. i do love everything and enjoy it all too. i just need to organize i think. thank you for your sweet words.

  30. dear sammi,

    those are my travel journals. i comment in my sleep too :) hoping i'm making sense!
    dear janet,
    the color you see is my favorite, i collect things of that color, only tiny things though. still, a problem. hahaha!

    dear kary,

    keep hanging sweetie, i'm so sorry you are having such a hard time. teddy is so adorable, he'll be to you in no time. thank you for coming to visit.

    dear aden,
    come over! and i hope to see ireland too someday!
    thank you :)

  31. dearest bella,

    ah, i love and hate it all. i am a true gemini. there is no hope for me. :)
    i am flattered that you like my tags on my travel journals. Thank you! and of course! use them, they can be found at stationary stores (another obsession i have).
    gosh, i didn't know. love love love and more to you and your children.


    ~ no not a real one, i wish, he could go, but he is that color blue i love.
    ~ thank you! i do like those little dangly tags, they make me really happy!
    ~ shells, yes. otherwise i would have to return them from where they came, a deserted island 100 miles off the coast of sumatra. not going to happen. soon anyway.
    ~ the little owl, yes a possibilty. did i say i collect those too. see the painting i attempted to do? in the background?
    ~ books and needles. staying.
    ~ glass stones, beach glass, defintely stays, stay tuned for the next post :)

    dear lola,
    now i really want to see your apartment. i am imagining nothing but charm (and delicious smells)

    dear mina,
    i completly forgot about pens,postcards and c.d.s! well, i am glad to to know that i am not alone. our lives are very full, of life and stuff!

  32. I think we all have the two people in us...yearning for a zen space and loving our collections. Please don't get rid of them, your pictures are gorgeous! Colors awesome...
    and I think you'll see tons of people now using tags for books. I can't believe what a terrific idea that is!!! love it.

  33. oh thats so like me - the collecting part. Its something i am always struggling with. I also love recipe books altho i am a useless cook :-) - how come though your house looks so tidy and neat compared to mine???

  34. Oh, I am surrounded by so many saved things, it's difficult to move at times...you have inspired me to try to organize my studio and my house! Takes time but I'm going to work on it! Very difficult for me to throw things out but I think if I make sense of it perhaps it won't look so crowded! Also, the next few days may actually be warming up so it will really feel like spring cleaning!

  35. dear mim,
    thank you for that, and i am so glad you liked the tag idea!

    dear val,
    i think you have a lot more dust to contend with than i do! but i do live near the beach so if you were to look at my floors you would see sand, haha! a useless cook? i can't imagine, is it hard to get ingredients?

    dear nan,
    i think it's the artist in you, i also need lots of loved things around me to create. organization is the key i think. i hope it warms up for you soon!

  36. Oh yes, I can identify with your thoughts. I love the clean space, but I love my things. I have little odds & ends that I tuck away in little niches. Some things I have loved to death over the years and have had to say a loving good-bye.
    I may think about writing a blog about "things". Just this week I have been clearing out, organizing, re-evaluating.

  37. Oh my...I hope these are photos of the things you are keeping...all precious. Right now I am getting rid of clothes, coffee mugs, leftover containers, shoes...but collections? Not yet!


xoxo lori