Friday, May 30, 2008

Decorating with Books and Thoughts of Homelife

My blog-friend and kindred spirit, Marietta of Sweet Old Vintage did a post awhile back on decorating with books. She has some wonderful ideas and inspired me to share some of mine as well...
In the picture above, I have a couple of books bound together by a leather belt I picked up at a thrift store (got this idea from my friend, Toni) stuck an old cabinet photo in it and further embellished it with a pocket watch hanging from a vintage rhinestone bracelet--gotta have bling!
This is half of a built in bookshelf in our family you can see, I used books sparingly and to accent all the goodies and collectibles I like to display. Originally it seemed so dark, so to break up all the wood, I glued pages from old books to poster board and tacked it on the back of the cabinet. It helped make the displays stand out better. You could really use anything...change out the back by using different colors of fabric, depending on the season...or use (my favorite) old sheet music. By using poster board it isn't permanent and can easily be changed.
I DO judge a book by it's cover!! I love the old Victorian books with the pretty graphics--I think it adds a romantic touch. I purchased these two books at an antique store when visiting friends in Michigan last year.
And in my kitchen I collect old cook books and housekeeping books--my favorite is titled A Thousand Ways to Please a Husband--copyright, 1917!! It has cute stories in it of a newlywed housewife and her recipes and cleaning ideas...and they called the oven a "fireless cooker"!!

I think I'm so attracted to these books because I harbor a secret fantasy of being June Cleaver!
I record Leave it To Beaver episodes and enjoy stepping back in time. In some ways thing's haven't changed--some of the antics of Wally and The Beav I can relate to my own children...and the relationship between Ward and June is so similar to Steve and me. I always admire June's immaculate house, cookies always ready for the kids after school and dinner being served 5 minutes after Ward walks in the door. June's always perky--with her pearls and shirt-waist dress and perfectly coiffed hair. Sigh. A nice fantasy. Every once in a while I can do all that. It's fun to try. It's fun, because no one puts that expectation on me. My family is wonderful at accepting me and my various experiments at home keeping techniques. At this stage of my life I feel more like I'm "playing house" like I did when I was a little girl. When I played with Barbies, I'd make her furniture and decorate her house!
Now I have few commitments and that frees me up to "play" more--play in my studio, play in my kitchen, play at housekeeping. And when you look at is as play, it never seems like work!
Gotta go now--I'm playing Laundress!! ;-)


  1. ooohhh, I like your blog! adding you to my favorites... Thank you for stopping by mine the other day. I love those 2 books with the lovely ladies on the special they are.

    Kindredly, Lynne Laura

  2. Myrna!! I love the books with the belt!! And the cabinet card with watch...what a cool idea girl! I love old books with beautiful covers too ~ can't get enough of them. You home is so pretty, thanks for the beautiful photos and ideas ~ xxoo, Dawn

  3. Hi Myrna,
    Love all your books! I have a few cooking books from my Nana. I had to laugh when I read your comment you left me on the fireplace, after I posted it I thought, guess I should have put fake fireplace. Although I move everything else in the house, you never know, I could probably move a real fireplace too! I've been known to knock walls down after my husband left the house. So funny. Kelly

  4. Hi Myrna.. Love your post... The leather belt and bling is great. I just arrived home from 3 days away to attend our lovely ... fabulous .. wedding of the Hornish family. It was WOW.... I have to slap myself back into reality now and realize I really don't have maids and butlers like the last 3 days... Will post a blog sometime tomorrow.. I am in la la land trying to put everything away and start wash... .. Have a great day....

  5. Oooooo Lovely pics Myrn!!!! I esp, love the books with the belt, they are all sooo Pretty!!!!

  6. I got a real kick out of this post, Myrna! I love old books, too, and have quite a collection myself--thanks for sharing all that you share! I enjoy reading your posts . . . Fondly, Jann

  7. I love these types of books too! I need to post about mine. Your old 1917 "husband" book is a hoot. I have many about women and the birds and the bees, they're a riot! Nice collection!