Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Serenity of Orderliness

Daily domestic tasks like making the bed each morning I really enjoy. Even if it is a rumpled mess, a mere five minutes and order is restored. And a nicely made bed is calming as you come into the bedroom throughout the day, or when you get home from work.

A little story about the front-most cushion on our bed (above). When on my first (so far) trip to Paris in 2001, my travel companion and I walked up the steep streets of Montmatre to visit the Sacre Coeur cathedral. A little fabric shop on the way had small tapestries, less than a foot square. I think I bought six different ones, and carried them back with me.

When my Nana visited Paris (years before me), what she loved most about her trip was the Sacre Coeur. So I made her this cushion with the church featuring in the top right hand corner. She died in April and my mum gave the cushion back to me. It now sits on our bed (which is also made up with her bedspread - it is really quite Francais in a white woven thick-cotton floral texture).

When I first brought the cushion home, I removed the cover to wash, and out fluttered a little newspaper clipping. It was a travel column recommending good places to stay in Montmatre. In her last few years she was getting a bit mixed up and must have thought this was as good a place as any to store the clipping.

It's an obvious choice really.


  1. I love the story of the pillow and your Nana. Maybe the newspaper clipping was a sign for you for your next trip to Paris?

    I totally agree about making the bed. It's just a few minutes and it looks great all day.

  2. Fiona,

    I love that pillow. When I was in Montmartre in '07, I found a beautiful tapestry pillow with a royal blue fleur de lis design on an autumn gold background in a little gift shop. I can't remember why, but I didn't buy it and I regret that decision.
    I like the simplicity of your bed. Your Sacre Coeur pillow is the only decorative piece and that shows how special it is to you. I have about 6 or 7 decorative pillows and only one is a tiny bit special. Maybe I'll try just displaying that one.

  3. Eight years ago we had the opportunity of spending two weeks in France. We rented a car and set out to see the countryside. In Paris we had the odd experience of driving on sidewalks and down one way streets...the wrong way! We visited Sacre Coeur on a rainy evening and were thoroughly lost on the narrow streets on Montmarte. Not to be deterred we finally parked and walked up the steep incline to the church. Seeing the city at twilight was amazing. So glad we persevered. I know you will treasure that Tapestry pillow.
    My mom also collects newspaper clippings. They are all over the house. She is 87. I can imagine the amazing things we will someday find.

  4. Stephanie, I never thought about the article being a sign (and I think everthing's a sign). I will go back to Paris some day and now I will have to stay in Montmatre!

    Adrienne, and of course that pillow will become more beautiful in your mind every time you think of it!

    Dot, my Nana was 87. Funny about your mum hiding newspaper clippings. If it runs in the family I think it has already started for me - I can't read a newspaper without cutting out an article or a recipe.

  5. Okay, I am with Stephanie, my first thought was perhaps it's a sign? But then again, I see so much as signs, little hints from God.

    What a beautiful pillow, and I imagine it is a great reminder of your Nana.

  6. Kalee, I agree, signs are hints from above. Just nudging you in the right direction. I met my husband because of a sign so I'm a big fan.

    Nice to see you.

  7. hi fiona,

    i love the look of your blog! and i love this story. it is so sweet.


    ps ~ thank you for the compliment you paid my son and meg. and i added you to my blog list!

  8. How wonderful to find you on this new blog! I couldn't agree more regarding the made bed. It is difficult for me because my husband gets out of bed much later than I do and does not make it... so sometimes I come home at 1 or 2 in the afternoon, walk into our bedroom and make the bed! It doesn't matter what time it is made... it has to be made :) Hope you're well darling! xx

  9. Hi Jennifer! Lovely to see you. Men are never as successful at making the bed. My husband says he cannot get it to look the way I do. They just aren't genetically programmed to be 'house potterers'.

    I wish you all the best for the upcoming birth and am thinking of you!


Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

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