Friday, May 15, 2009

tchotcke day

There is a Livejournal community called "Saucy Dwellings"; every Friday they host a 'saucy salon' and invite you to post pictures of a certain area / item(s) in your home. Since, as you've all seen, I'm in the process of heavy decluttering and erasing years of packrat behavior, I've never been able to participate because my home has always been less-than-saucy. But today! Today is "show us your tchotchke" day, and oh, the tchotchkes I can show. So I shared some favorites over there, and thought I'd also share them here, along with some stories. (Please feel free to share YOUR favorite tchotckes with me in the comments!)

This little mirror came along with my husband when I married him. I *think* he found it in a garage sale somewhere. I didn't love it at first simply because, stylistically, it does not appeal to me; I think it's kind of cheap looking and I don't love the way it's framed. However, I'm totally won over by the 'ideal boy' content, and its kitsch value has earned it a place in my heart. I still don't love the place we've chosen to display it, but I'm sure I'll figure out a better place for it once the decluttering is over and I can focus more on the decorating.

My in-laws, Ben and Gerri, got this kitschy rooster cookie jar for us a few years back, and I just adore it! When I first heard 'rooster cookie jar', I have to admit I was frightened; as much as I might want to run away to the country and live on a farm, I definitely don't employ a very 'country' style of decorating. Roosters in MY house? I figured it was going to be one of those in-law gifts that would be packed away somewhere and only come out when they visited, or maybe it would have an unfortunate 'accident'. So you can imagine how pleased I was when we received it and it was a delightful, colorful piece of kitschy goodness! It's cute as can be, and is a wonderful addition to our kitchen.

When OJ and I were on our honeymoon in Vegas, we bought a lot of stuff at the Coca-Cola store. I have always loved Coke, and Coke stuff, and have built up a small collection over the years. He was totally in line with that collection, and we agreed we'd have a Coke room in our house one day. We thought it would be the kitchen, until we found the Coke shower curtain (more on that later). So it's the bathroom. Except we hung this sign in the kitchen because, again, stylistically it fits perfectly, and also, it didn't fit in the bathroom.

This came with the house when we bought it and it just fits, stylistically, so perfectly in the kitchen that we've had to leave it. Not to mention, of course, that I'm really a 12 year old boy and I love potty humor, so I get a kick out of it every time I see it.

I love New Orleans. When I'm a famous writer with lots of money, I am SO buying a big southern mansion for my winter home. This is a souvenir I picked up back in 2003, and it hangs in my kitchen. Totally out of place with everything else in my kitchen, stylistically, but I don't really have a 'new orleans / mardi gras' room yet. YET. Perhaps when I have my Not House On The Rock house.

This is my cast-iron nun. I don't know where I picked her up, but she's been with me for many years...I don't have much kitschy religious art but I think it's FABULOUS. This particular piece needed to come home with me simply because she's not just art; she's USEFUL.

Yes, that's right; she's a bottle opener. And what makes it even better now is that we have a bar in our home, so she has the perfect place to live. She hangs out on the shelf behind the bar, and she's probably my favorite piece back there, BAR NUN. (Get it? BAR? NUN? HAHA!)

This lovely lady is Diamond. Diamond is another trash-find from my brother, and I love her! I think she may have been some kid's school project because there's a name, in childish writing, on the bottom. She hangs out with us in the family room when we watch movies.

This is the display that greets visitors when they come in our side door. The painting was a wedding present from my very talented friend Jon; it fits perfectly with my love of horror. I've had more than one person ask me "doesn't that give your kids NIGHTMARES?" Honestly? Not at all. It doesn't seem to bother them in the slightest.
On the shelf below, you've got a collection of family/friend photos and some more dragons. A dragon figurine I picked up at the Ren Faire years ago, and a woeful little Pocket Dragon gazing sadly at the scale. I think the Pocket Dragons are adorable anyway, but this little guy has special meaning for me since I've struggled with my weight for so many years.

These are my husband's wedding shoes; he's a huge Converse fan. Me? I'm a huge dragon fan. So when he saw these satin high-top Cons with the embroidered dragon design, he knew he'd found the perfect shoes for our wedding. And he wore them cheerfully along with his tux, much to his mother's dismay. But it was perfect. And now they hang on our wall.

Yes, there it is, the aforementioned Coke shower curtain. Purchased in Las Vegas on our honeymoon before we even had a home to hang it! I love it to death; it's five years old now and it's certainly seen better days but I can't bear to part with it.

And, yes, we even have Coke shower curtain HANGERS.

This one's actually a two-fer; you can see a bit more of our Coke decor in the bathroom, along with this simple but gorgeous soap bowl. I picked it up at, of all places, a SCRAPBOOKING convention last year. I saw it and fell in love. It probably helps that I also have a love of collecting pretty handmade soaps too. And it helps that our bathroom has this lovely display / storage shelf built in. It was a natural fit.

Coca-Cola drawer pulls; have you ever SEEN anything so cute?!

These gorgeous Japanese items were wedding presents from my cousins. The sake set came from my cousin Julie and her husband Scott; the plate and cups came from my cousin Mike and his wife (to be, at the time) Karen. I don't know what the intended purpose of the plate and cups are because I don't know much about Japanese culture, but I do know they're beautiful. And they're all actually FROM Japan, as in they were all in Japan when they bought them for us. And yes, I know the Japanese soda bottles are a little tacky, and the fairy mirror totally doesn't belong. My china cabinet is a little overcrowded right now!

This is the bookshelf in my bedroom, and there are a number of things on here I love. The black case is actually a jewelry box; it belonged to my mother, and she passed it on to me. The catch is broken but I love the old gothic-look of the case; inside, it is lined in red velveteen, and it's just FANTASTIC. Moving on, you can see my Nightmare Before Christmas tealight-holder, a bit of my black-and-white flower glasses case, and the goth-vinyl coffin case that really has no purpose than to just be fantastic. (I keep my watches inside.) And also, a bit of my asian-inspired Partylites tealight holder. There's a total mashup of styles here, I know; Mark Brunetz would be horrified. But I love it.

This a collection of old books, largely composed of old Nancy Drews and Hardy Boys, that sit up on my kids' shelf and wait until they're old enough to read them. These books were actually OJ's, but I grew up reading these as well, and had many of the old hardcovers too. (Which I believe still live at my mom's house.) I also grew up reading Trixie Belden and the Bobbsey Twins. I definitely have a book addiction, and I love these gorgeous old books.

Music boxes from my mom. My mom had a curio cabinet full of music boxes when I was growing up; these two were the pieces in the collection that I loved the most. The piano guy plays The Entertainer (also one of my favorite songs), the airport one plays the Air Force theme song. The airport one ALSO, when you open the hangar door, has a little plane that flies round and round. You have no idea how much I love this little music box. Unfortunately, it seems to have broken recently; sometimes the music plays incredibly fast and the plane flies round in a tizzy. If anyone knows of resources I can use to fix a broken music box, PLEASE share them with me - I'd love to get this repaired!
Also featured behind the beloved music boxes are a few of my Marshall Field's collector plates, which I bought shortly before they changed the name to Macy's. (For those that may not know, I'm a Chicagoan, and this was a Big Deal.) It will always be Field's in my mind, and I love the plates too.

This lovely piece of wall art is actually a SPEAKER. I love the design and the clean lines, and it sounds pretty good too. We have two of them in the living room; I featured this one since you can see part of the stereo with it. My husband could tell you all about the mechanics and the maker and sound quality, but I am not an audiophile so I can't. I can, however, tell you I'd never before seen such beautiful speakers, and I've never seen any since, and I think they're just the bee's knees.

That's all for now! Thanks for coming along on this kitschy little tour of some of my favorite things. Please do share some of yours with me!

Also, this has highlighted to me that I REALLY need to get back into photography. My skills are a bit lacking. Especially when it comes to taking good digital shots. I NEED HELP! So, if you know of any good photography resources on the web, please share those with me. :) It's a hobby I really enjoy, and I'd like to improve my skills!

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