Prop Collection

It was a Saturday morning and I was rushing around the house attempting to check off my to-do list: Laundry. Give the kitten his medicine. Return the library books.

Rounding the corner to head downstairs I was stopped in my tracks by this scene:


I had recently played Tetris with some of my beloved objects and moved them around the house to give them new life and it worked! I actually stood and smiled for a few seconds, admiring each individual object and remembering the stories behind each of them.

None of the objects are new, the most recent acquisition is the ceramic coffee mug that I bought as a Christmas gift to myself 3 years ago. The rest of the treasures vary in age and importance.

The framed and painted Paul Klee print was a $1 thrift shop score from my college days in Green Bay, WI and the little beaded rhino was a gift from our South African neighbor. The purple monkey head (that opens and holds a lighter for our sage bundle) was found at my favorite local thrift shop while the flower pot was dug out of the trash in my college ceramics studio.

I have a habit of sticking photos into the inside edges of frames because I’m running out of wall space and I refuse to not be surrounded by family images. The photo of Piper is special to me, she is wearing the tutu my dear friend, Beate, sent her from Denmark for Christmas and Teagan stands proudly in front of her room as a family friend takes her photo at our early-morning in-home photo shoot. I regret the time candle wax dripped down the handsome bookcase my grandpa made when he attended Milwaukee Tech high school and it appears that I need to dust the leaves of my (thriving!!!) orchid.

At one point I had kept Marie Kondo’s book The Magical Art of Tidying Up on top of this bookcase along with The Perfectly Imperfect Home. I thought seeing the book that encourages us to minimize would be inspirational to me but I found that it stressed me out when I saw it. Marie’s book, while very motivating to me at times, didn’t make sense up there with my collection of misfit objects.

As a stylist and an artist, I sometimes feel like a hoarder. It is a fine line between collecting and consuming and it is a constant practice for me. I love the idea of a minimal home, I imagine the calmness that comes with a sparse space is tangible. But as hard as I try, I can’t seem to pass up the purple monkey-head boxes. Maybe in another life…but for now, my collection makes me happy.