Friday, January 25, 2019

Debriding Inventory

A few years ago, I realized that life would be simpler if all the tablecloths were the same. The ones on hand still had some life left in them, though, so I was in no hurry to make a change that seemed a little extravagant. The itch to shop manifested itself over the recent winter holidays, and I took a chance on a collection of four identical traditional thickly woven reversible cotton squares from an old yankee mail order outfit.


The cloths have been a breath of fresh air ever since I opened the package. The color and pattern are gentle, neutral and calming. The set displaced several differing and moderately weary cloths. I have eight fresh covers at my disposal should I want to set up a meal for a crowd. I fussed and waffled about donating the old cloths for more hours than they were worth, considering whether they could be made up into pillow cases for the sofa in a casual sitting area. Fortunately, the colors are just off, so I have an excuse to avoid committing to an unwelcome craft project -30-
More after the jump.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Browsing Tearsheets

Forty-five years ago I began to save pages from glossy shelter magazines. The collection expanded and shrank over the years. I never spent a dollar on a publication that didn't come back ten times over, at least. I treasure the images that remain and copied them with the iDevice that often lives in my side bag. Now and then I open the file and stare dully at one page while I'm organizing myself to do something else. I did so recently when editing inventory and found useful insights in unexpected places. It's an odd and productive meditation to study long-familiar images with eyes challenged by new demands -30-
More after the jump.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Simple Maintenance

A bus jaunt past the contrasting masonry panels of a local apartment building reminded me of janitorial guru Don Aslett's critique of a work of modern archtecture. Aslett counted off the number of different materials that enrich the plain surfaces and observed that each demanded different inventory and procedures for maintenance, not to mention different know-how.


I read a professional inn-keeping maintenance guide and concluded that the more I can standardize furniture and textiles, the easier it will be to live a productive life at home. Digital culture offers a banquet of visual information every time I open up a device. I no longer need high-maintenance physical eye candy -30-
More after the jump.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Simple Sheets

I find the best economy in bed linens is to choose white cotton percale with a reasonably high thread count. If a flat sheet one size larger than the bed to be furnished is used, wear will be distributed over a generous area, especially if one ignores the orientation of hem and selvedge. It's worth the trouble to fit a flat sheet by quickly tying a simple knot into one or more corners. Anything is less hassle than trying to fold and store a fitted one.


Worn sheets can become pillow cases or backs for small tufted quilts. I line dry everything to save energy and extend the life of fabrics. It's good economy to finger press wrinkles out of the edges of a piece of flat work. Doing so will ensure that it ages gracefully -30-

More after the jump.