Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Herbs and Collections

The truth is that I have a thing for herbs. I already wrote about them in my kitchen, but here I am again, filling our store with herbs in little pots. It's quite a task to keep up with watering them everyday since the pots are so small. I just love them. This time I bought sage, dill, basil, and some tomato plants. Perhaps in another life I will learn to cook one day so I can justify growing these. My father thought I was really insane when I bought all these little pots out of a dusty warehouse in Lyon. He saw them and asked what in the world I wanted them for. "Charm, Dad, Charm". They weren't too much money or he probably would have objected. I love how they look all stacked up on shelves, right there, next to my other crazy "charming" purchase of 28 wooden decoy ducks. In fact, now that we are on the subject of all the hard-to-sell but Olga loves-to-buy items I have in the shop, I'll add this other picture of a very French vignette I put together:

Let's begin on the top shelf. We have two small cages which were used to buy live foul at the market. In the middle of the shelf we have two glass globes covering sea shell topiaries, circa 1870. Then more cages. Lastly, a doll that happen to come in a wicker doll carriage that I brought home for Cecilia. I had the interior relined and then Santa delivered it. Did I mention my daughter's room is entirely decorated with antiques? And yes, she does play with them. In fact, she especially loves old books.
Shelf two: a wax doll made by the Carmelite nuns in Avignon, this was under a glass dome that my father broke. They were religious mementos usually taking for instance part of a bride's dress to make the dress for the baby and then given to her as a gift upon the birth or baptism of her child. The baby rests on grape vines which symbolize the blood of Christ at the altar. So it is in essence a dedication of the child to Jesus Christ. A prayer for God to protect this child. Next up a hand forged iron candlestick, a carved sea shell, old locks, and a nice worn bell (something really useful for your home.) Then I have a real bird cage, meaning this one is for a pet bird, as opposed to the others which were for birds anxiously awaiting their fate. A marble mortar (another practical thing for someone like me who doesn't cook), with an iron pig coming out of it which has a scraper for your shoes on his back.
Shelf three: the second of two blackforest planters, an iron cigale or cicada which is the official "bird" of southern France, a wooden basket filled with collected pieces of Italian giltwood ornaments, a pair of apothecary jars, a mercury candlestick, and last but not least a terracotta gnome that came from a rooftop. Don't you just love his furly beard and pointy hat?

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