Tuesday, November 13, 2012

My inspiration

My Grammy was one of a kind. I know every girl can probably say that about their Grandmother but I have stories to prove it. I don't think there ever was another gal like my Gram.
Growing up, in my 9 year old eyes, she was my small town's own Shirley McLain.  I was convinced that if she had ever met Frank Sinatra she would have been a member of the Rat Pack and a frenemy of Elizabeth Taylor.
She trailed a cloud of Elizabeth Arden "RED DOOR"perfume along with her on her adventures and misadventures alike. Pink Chanel Lipstick on her long brown Moore cigarettes, and her Louis Vuitton bag are flashbacks to my childhood with her. She had an opinion and MOST of the time it made me laugh...it made her laugh, too and she had one of those contagious laugh-so-hard-it-makes- you-cry laughs.  So many things that she said are un-fit to print or even say out loud.  But I remember.
She gave great advice, even if she didn't always take it herself.

"Honey, if you have to ask how much something is, you can't afford it"....said to me while on my first excursion to Saks Fifth Avenue. And we had no business shopping there and went home empty handed except for a few tiny perfume samples.

"Sweety, the sooner you learn that it hurts to be beautiful, the better off you'll end up".  She used this line whenever I complained about plucking eyebrows, big hair containment issues, finding the perfect shoes in a too small for me size, etc. (I get my big feet from her, too, btw).  This beauty advice taken from a lady who throughout her life, until her last years, used Preparation H to rid under-eye bags. (Please don't consider this an endorsement).

 "Hey kid, don't drop that vase". I remember her shouting, whilst I was washing a $2000 Rose
Medallion Vase at the Auction Gallery she and my father owned.  At that time, I didn't know what
Rose Medallion was (if you don't, just wait, I'll teach you) but over the course of two decades, she
would teach me quite a bit about antiques, style, design, decor, and why a woman should always
stand up straight; you know...the important things. Audrey Hepburn sort of things, like knowing
which type of little black dress looks best on a pear shape and yes, why UNICEF is important, too. These things I learned at a young age.
 She had a lead foot and I was scared when I was a kid to sit in the way way back of her wood
panelled station wagon that would CAREEN down the hills and tree lined curves of our tiny CT town. After the first few minutes I realized it was fun to get tossed around.
She loved her 4 grand kids, called us her "sweet baboos", her "dears", her "honeys" and sometimes, often actually, called us "stupid"...as in "hey stupid". 
She loved us in her "trying to make a better life for us" way and made Christmas a big deal. I sort of don't know how in the world she did it.  My Gram had it tough though, and that's what made her so determined. She was scrappy. 
She had a real sense of fashion and style and somehow managed to pull it off...she had what she called, "champagne taste on a beer pocketbook".   She wasn't afraid to jump right in, with both feet, sometimes without looking. 
She and my father and my collective, eclectic life experiences have taught me, as I've said, quite a
bit about antiques, style, design, decor, travel, home and why a woman should always stand up
straight and hold your head high; you know...the basics.
So with my Gram as part of my inspiration, here I go.  Jump in the back of my station wagon, I'd like to think that we're in for a fun ride. My goal is to be your tutor to find your own inspiration to enrich your home and the lives of those who occupy it...a home is more than just a place to live. We've moved 13 times in 15 years of marriage, due to my husbands profession.  And I have made each house a HOME. I have found joy in the creative process and I wish the same for you!
Commona-my house and stay for a while.


  1. This is really beautifully written, Amy. Well done! I look forward to reading future posts!

  2. Thank you so much, Jennifer! I appreciate your kind words and encouragement. I'm not expecting very many people to read it, but I'm going to have this little corner to express my creativity. Love to you and your family, XXXOOO!

  3. Amy, I admire you so much for doing this!! What a great idea. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your first post. Your sweet, inviting personality was shining through your writing. It was like you were sitting right next to me telling me a story. I can't wait to see what you have in store for us next!! :)

  4. I love this blog. The writing is excellent. Wish I'd met your Gram. So, may I give you a problem to solve? I have an entertainment center. It has two side pieces and a center console. It's cherry wood. The side pieces each have three shelves (I could have more) and they are filled with vases, books, and the usual stuff you don't really love but can't quite part with. The ceiling is vaulted--very high. Do I need something on top? If so--what kinds of things? I would send you photo but I'm not sure how to insert a photo into this comment space. (digital immigrant here). Hope you have some suggestions. Oh, the budget is fairly conservative.

    1. Dianne, thank you! I am excited to have this happy place to come to share ideas with friends. I will be having a monthly post called "House Calls", offering my advice about readers conundrums. I would love to start with yours, if I may? I'll be in touch. XXXOOO!

  5. You look just like your Grandma!!! beautiful