Beauty is everywhere: Wildflowers in the Parking Lot at North Salmon Creek Beach last weekend.
Beauty Matters. It’s a favorite thought these days with Spring riotously awake. I’ve been happily saying these words on posts and to friends lately because that’s what happens: Seeing something lovely makes you feel Happy. It just does. You can’t argue with Beauty. You’d never win. Beauty is visceral. Intrinsic. Adding wonderful Value to our Lives. I get this from my Mom and grandparents. A Philosophy I hope to give to my children. How “Living Beautifully” is NOT what you’re born with, but what you do with yourself. And I don’t mean some tiny dress size. Beauty is so much more delicious than that. Taking effort, like cooking.
I keep a lipstick or two in the pantry…!
Going to serve beans last night for dinner, I reached for one bowl but chose another. I realized I was picking serving ware like I do my shoes or lipstick to work with my outfit. Matching the Food to the Bowl.
Yummy cheese and fruits from nearby Petaluma look so pretty on a platter from the Pasadena Flea Market purchased at least 10 years ago with my grandmother. San Marzano Apron by Hedley & Bennett.
Like jewelry, the colors and shape of the platter or bowl enhances the prettiness of the meal I just spent time cooking. I guess I’ve been unconsciously collecting colorful serving ware for some time. “Curating” an assortment of beautiful servers — new and vintage, budget conscious and splurge.
Gorgeous little bowls and salad plates purchased individually from Cost Plus World Market (Corsica Collection)will double for me as serving ware. $24 for all four!
Like Art. And Wine. You love what you love. Everyone’s tastes are different. I love happy things. A guest to my home once sniffed “your home has so much COLOR.” Uh…Yeah.
The best cookie jar ever. Vintage find at an Antique Fair. I love color!
It started with Art. Slowly buying original Art. Shopping local. Developing my tastes as I matured. I mostly collect living California artists. Some now dear friends. Like Dennis Ziemienski and Robert Townsend. Meredith Abbott and her daughter Whitney Abbott. Michelle Hoting or Ashley Morgan Designs. It’s not like I’m some zillionaire either. I often pay on “Lay Away” — there is no shame in that. Collecting Art takes time to save and also time to wait until you experience that “lightning bolt” of Beauty. Joy! Curating one, maybe two, beautiful pieces each year that mean something special. Adding color to our walls or my person with feelings of joy.
Living beautifully does not have to be expensive. A peak at my bedside table: a $110 Pier One table, Pottery Barn bed linens (bought on sale) and two worthy splurges: “Apricots” by Meredith Abbott and a $150 lamp from the last Pacific Asa Museum Festival of the Autumn Moon
All 1960s: Costume broach from Sweet and Spark and Mexican blouse. Standing in front of friend Robert Townsend painting of old ladies visiting the Grand Canyon in 1960s.
Now as a Cook, I just love finding beautiful serving ware. Bringing the same feelings of Beauty from our Walls to our Table. Even if I may be the only one who notices some nights with two toddlers! Just like picked wild flowers, prettiness on the table makes me so HAPPY.
Twinkle lights glow over our 1930s kitchen sink + clean kitchen = Happiness.
My new favorite is a 1976 Majolica Bowl from the original WILLIAM SONOMA. Makes even the most old school side dishes — Bush’s Baked Beans? — looked too elegant. And worth the splurge last month.
Did you know our Sonoma store is the ONLY WILLIAM SONOMA in the Country now to sell vintage piece? Some are from founder Chuck William’s personal collection and others are cherry picked by a Buyer traveling for the chain. Isn’t that fantastic? Definitely worth the visit next time you’re in Sonoma.
This may be a First World topic. But I like to think the idea of Beauty — and that it matters — transcends culture and money. To wild flowers and enjoying a sunset. Or the smile of a little kid. How lucky are we to live and love where Beauty can mean pretty platters? Fine Wine? Fresh vegetables? And Art. Finding out and more importantly, trusting what you love. And Cultivating it as much as you can. For me, it is Food, Wine, and Art. What is it for you?
Happy eating! And Beautiful Living.