coussin + before & after photos of my home office!
Monday, January 28, 2013
... and you were expecting a picture of a cushion, were you? See a stylish one in today's story.... Meantime, have a look at the new blooms in our winter potager! One of the joys of being a perennial newbie gardener is to be amazed to learn that broccoli flowers! (Ditto, on witnessing this artichoke bloom--in electric purple!). Now back to our story-column.
le coussin (koo-sehn)
: pillow, cushion (seat, bed...)
le coussin péteur = whoopie cushion
le coussin de sécurité = air bag
le coussin de siège = seat cushion
coussins de feutre (just bought a pack of these "felt pads" to place beneath the side tables so they don't screech each time we move them)
(Photo of golden barrel cactus by André Karwath)
Audio File (I couldn't find any colorful "coussin" expressions (apart from the French translation for whoopie cushion), in French, but I did come across an amusing "coussin" term :-). Hear Jean-Marc pronounce it, in the following sentence, from Wikipedia: Download MP3 or Wav file
Ce cactus ...est parfois appelée "coussin de belle-mère" en raison de ses fortes épines. This cactus is sometimes called mother-in-law's cushion, because of its strong needles.
A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE... by Kristin Espinasse
"Is it a bed sheet or a tablecloth?" (Or why I would fail Etiquette school... but could possibly stand a chance at Late Bloomer's Design Academy)
Despite a recent home-decor victory (an eclectic conversation piece, made for our stylish convives), it's taken several more weeks to follow another nudge of inspiration.
Then yesterday I happened upon "The January Cure" (going on over at Apartment Therapy), in which readers are following a month-long series of home-improvement prompts. This late in the game (how many days till January's over?) I chose the easiest item on the list:
"Get A Fresh Perspective in Just 10 Minutes".
The exercise involved little effort and won points for its noncommittal nature. To sit, stare, and dream a little... now that I could do!
This particular prompt required focusing on one "problematic" area in the house. In a lickety-quick decision, I chose the dreary corner of our bedroom, which, these days, doubles as my office.
I wanted to see change in this industrious area of our home, and here was the chance to do something!, yet, no matter how easy the home-improvement exercise was supposed to be, I resisted.
Sitting in my bed, staring at that corner kind of depressed me. How could anybody create a story in that lackluster space? And yet, for the past 5 months this has been my busy writing nook.
My mood quickly lifted as I thought about all the stories I had, in fact, managed to compose, however uncomposed my environment looked! I'd written a story about ant invaders, a nouvelle about the little Provençal Christmas tree, I'd drawn, via words, a portrait of a homeless man... and, recently, a punk rock shepherd...I typed essays about hopes, fears, and elephant tears...
In all, nearly 50 stories were created in this little corner on this creaky card table. Maybe it was time to honor it?
After perusing all the impossibly cool interior decorating sites, I realized it didn't have to take a lot of time or money or brains to improve a space....
Start by clearing it off! my inner-voice prompted.
Good! Now what are the colors that you love? (I love green and red... spirited, like Christmas!)
Super! Now hurry through the house and find the materials! But first, take a snapshot of the "before"...
This last tip, issued from the gut, was most helpful. It was by taking a picture of the area that I was able to truly "see" the extent of the dreariness--and to face it! Staring at that snapshot, I knew that any improvement, no matter how small, would make a big difference!
Not 10 minutes later, and my desk was transformed! To cover the old card table, which belonged to Jean-Marc's father, I'd fished an old tablecloth (or was it a sheet?) out of a drawer (Ever since we were given the engraved linen, as a cadeau de mariage, I have never been able to determine whether it was a drap or a nappe. One day, out of sheets, I dared use it. (...The day came when we were out of clean table cloths; I felt a little smug, then, using the "sheet"!).
In the entryway, I grabbed the new cushion with red stripes (the one bought half-price--4.99!... only, once at the cash register the saleswoman informed me that the pillow inside the case was not included, but cost the same price as the discounted coussin! The price switch didn't bother me so much anymore: for now the coussin would enliven my mother-in-law's rush chair!
In the kitchen I unhooked the bread basket (there were two) from the wall--it would make a cozy in-box....
On the way back to the bedroom, I carefully collected the prickly holly (a gift from Jean-Marc, who collected it as a surprise for me, while out on a bike ride).
I snatched up the little teddy nounours, a sentimental gift from Kate, from its place on the buffet.
And, last but not least, I lugged back the large Italian Valpolicella affiche. The poster was a gift from Jean-Marc's dear cousin, Audrey, and her boyfriend, Julien. There's a whole 'nother story behind the art work--or the framing of it (will save it for another time!...)
The various items, each with a history and all with a sentimental value, would make this little writing nook a warm and inviting place. And the upside was, I no longer had to look at the dismal corner, when lounging in bed, staring off into the distance, dreaming....
I might even find further inspiration, what with a pretty corner to gaze at! Admiring my work, I thought about how it didn't take much to fix up a place, especially when you focused on a little "snapshot" of a space.
And though I could not compare my design project with those of the professionals, it did seem to have one thing in common with the pretty "vignettes" laid out in glossy magazines: such spaces are often more fantasy than functional. Just like a beautiful party-dress, pinned together and hastily retouched at the last minute, the wearer will have to walk stiffly to pull it off.... 'else risk coming undone!
Eyeing the nifty new working space, with its newly pinned "skirt", the question, now, is where to put my legs?!
Update: I wrote the first story (today's) at my new desk. My legs are as cramped as a charm school girl... but the strict structure keeps me in line, I like to think...
To comment, click here. Did you enjoy the before and after photo? Did you ever wonder what my office looked like? Did this before picture fit that image? Could you work at a desk like the "after" desk? Share your response to this story, here.
Check back to the blog, where I continue to update and edit this post.
le convive = guest
une nouvelle = short story
le cadeau de mariage = wedding present
le drap (du lit) = bed sheet
la nappe = tablecloth
le coussin = pillow, cushion
le nounours = teddy bear, teddy
une affiche = poster
Ever rented a car in France? Share your tips on car rental companies here, in our handy reader travel guide.
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Exciting update: after the more boring improvements to our property (did I tell you we put in a new septic tank? and had insulation blown in-between the ceiling and the roof?...), we are grateful to the sensitive lumber jack, who took out just enough treetops to create a view of the Mediterranean Sea below. The water is silver in this photo, you may have to squint... but I tell you, the surface sparkles like the night sky, bursting with étoiles!
A Message from Kristi: Ongoing support from readers like you keeps me writing and publishing this free language journal week after week. If you find value in this website and would like to keep it going strong, I kindly ask for your support by making a donation today. Thank you very much for being a part of this community and helping me to maintain this site and its newsletter.
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For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety
Just lovely!! xoxo
Posted by: michele | Monday, January 28, 2013 at 01:19 PM
Lovely transformation - thanks for the inspiration, I need it! Transformation via imagination, woohoo! Have never seen broccoli blossoms before-sweet little flowers.
Posted by: Pat Cargill | Monday, January 28, 2013 at 01:33 PM
A creative living space, greenery, the poster...the table covering looks great. I feel inspired to start on my laundry makeover. Thank you so much!
Posted by: Michelle | Monday, January 28, 2013 at 01:43 PM
Nice job! I'd just suggest re-folding the cloth so that it drapes down the two sides and leaves the front clear for your knees! I think it may look more elegant, and would be more functional!
Posted by: Molly | Monday, January 28, 2013 at 01:45 PM
You gave me a good laugh today! It looks great but then... is it functional? lol As you so aptly stated sometimes you have to be a little " stiff" to pull off the " look"! Such is life.
Posted by: Patricia | Monday, January 28, 2013 at 01:46 PM
Loved what your did with your 'coin'! A tiny grammatical note - twice you used it's (it is) instead of the possessive adjective its.
Posted by: Susan Williams | Monday, January 28, 2013 at 01:52 PM
Michele, missing our cancelled IKEA meet up today,but,as you can see,I am plugging along and can almost hear you cheering beside me!
Pat, glad you mentioned the broccoli buds--arent they sweet?!
Michelle, best wishes with your project!
Molly, good idea... But I am looking for a way to hide all the cords from view.
Susan, thanks for the helpful corrections -- much appreciated.
Posted by: Kristin Espinasse | Monday, January 28, 2013 at 02:01 PM
Thanks for the inspiration Kristin! I have a few of those ugly duckling corners and need to attack them, toute suite!
An idea for you: try pinning that extra triangle fabric on the inside of the legs rather than the outside, that way you can leave a bit of extra fabric loose so you have some leg room.
Posted by: Claire | Monday, January 28, 2013 at 02:09 PM
Try putting the cloth on diagonally (ie with the corner points sitting in the middle of each of the tabletop's perimeter edges). It will be draped into folds at the corners so does not need tucking to 'tidy' it. You can then bunch the ends more loosely, so that hopefully your knees can squeeze into the fabric without dislodging it or being hemmed in. Also, if ends to long and drapey, take a chunk of fabric at each corner-top and swirl it into a sort of knot and secure with elastic band - push fabric over band so it can't be seen - like making a topknot or bun with hair). Sorry this description is so longwinded and incomprehensible - I could show you how to do it in a few seconds!
Your new writing corner looks good anyway, well done!
Posted by: Lorraine | Monday, January 28, 2013 at 02:13 PM
Claire and Lorraine, thanks for these ideas. I will give them a try. I forgot to mention, in my story, the fire hazard concern! So much fabric next to all those cords might not be a good idea?
Posted by: Kristin Espinasse | Monday, January 28, 2013 at 02:18 PM
Brava! The colors and textures are so attractive to me. I think you've created a relaxing and inviting Creative Space. Whenever I decorate on pennies, two of my best friends are rubber bands and a staple gun. As Lorraine suggested, I can gather up fabric into faux flowers with just a twist and rubber band - it's a lovely way to gather up excess fabric. I've also created a false 'window' by tacking up a landscape poster and then using a firring (spelling?) strip to thumbtack a fabric swag 'drape'. It relaxes me to have a 'view' when I'm snugged into a corner.
I think you have a great eye, so experiment with what pleases you!
Posted by: L. M. Davies | Monday, January 28, 2013 at 02:29 PM
Lovely! Having recently redone a similar area in my home, I enjoyed reading about your inspiration and process. Thanks for taking the before and after photos. The transformation is amazing, and I'm sure you will find "visiting" your creative nook a much more inviting experience in the days to come. Love you, my friend.
Posted by: JeanneRobin | Monday, January 28, 2013 at 02:48 PM
The corner now glows. Perhaps you will find even more inspiration in your new space.
Posted by: dkoehn | Monday, January 28, 2013 at 02:58 PM
It's amazing what a difference a few items make!! Great job,Kristi.!
My very simple idea for leg space is to unfasten the cloth and just let it hang loosely so you can just push your chair and legs under the table...then when you have company or are taking a writing break ( do you ever??) you can refasten it...
Another suggestion is keep your eyes open at a Marche aux Puces and you might spot a little treasure of a real desk with a drawer even!!!Don't go searching or you'll never find the "write one" , pun intended,( ugh) it will just appear one day and your lovely chair and you will have the writing surface you really deserve!
Posted by: Suzanne Codi | Monday, January 28, 2013 at 03:13 PM
If the cords are in any way frayed or nicked, get new ones! Just not worth any risk, and cords are cheap.
Then no worries at all about fabric covering cords. All plugged in to a surge suppressor? I use one to protect my computer, and organize the cords, enough places for all the plugs that computers seem to propagate.
The engineer in me talking!
So insulation in the roof is not boring either -- a project I have done once or twice.
I still had in my mind a photo of the office in your last house -- never thought to do a mental update. This make over is much better looking.
The view of the sea is amazing! I did not realize you were so very close. Which chair lets you stare at that view?
Posted by: Sarah LaBelle near Chicago | Monday, January 28, 2013 at 03:21 PM
I will never complain about my desk chair nor ever again use it as an excuse for writers block, etc. if you can produce such beautiful delights while seated on that pretty and pillowed piece of non-ergonomic wood. :=)Sl
Posted by: Karen Whitcome - from sleet infused Towson, Md USA | Monday, January 28, 2013 at 03:25 PM
You did a marvelous job, Kristen- I love your new writing corner! Do you look outside from the glass door I think I see on the left?
Posted by: Alyssa Ross Eppich | Monday, January 28, 2013 at 03:30 PM
Suzanne, enjoyed your artist eye take on this arrangement, and the low key suggestion to just let fabric hang). Re desks, I do have a neat little one in another room (the cozy entry), but It should stay there... So maybe I will look for another, now that you mention it :-)
Sarah, thanks for your thoughts about those cords. Good idea about checking for worn cords, too! (re which chair... Thanks for the photo prompt!)
Karen, LOL! It bugs my mom to no end, the type of chair I use for writing. She thinks I am a martyr. Me thinks I do not want to be too cozy... Or slack off!
Alyssa, thanks! The windows in the photo are Jackies room and the TV room.
Posted by: Kristin Espinasse | Monday, January 28, 2013 at 03:52 PM
Clever girl ! A great improvement & all your own work !! Well done
Posted by: Audrey Wilson | Monday, January 28, 2013 at 04:01 PM
Sorry to be negative, Kristen - but I like the look of the old table. I find the giant block of white (my favourite colour) too jarring.
On the contrary - I love the look of the card table with its cords connecting you to all of us.
Mostly though, I think its the time worn wood, reminding me of fun times - the ones you so freely share with us each day.
And finally... I love the space under and around the table. Space (for me) is the essence of good design - particularly in my garden. It's what's not there, far more than what is included, that gives the area its mystery.
Posted by: Heather Donaldson | Monday, January 28, 2013 at 04:05 PM
Your office transformation is beautiful! Aren't you just amazed with all the creative people there are out there and how lucky we are to be able too click away and find inspiration in a matter of seconds? I have several sites I check in on daily to get amazing and affordable ideas. ps. I love to picture and the pillow!
Posted by: Lark | Monday, January 28, 2013 at 04:07 PM
Hey Kristin - I have one suggestion that would completely change that "dreary" corner, albeit no longer dreary, save your pennies and find an old bistro table, you know, the ones you still see once in a while in cafés or small bistros: rectangular with wrought iron legs and a marble or wood top. That would look sensational!
Posted by: Young Paciello | Monday, January 28, 2013 at 04:08 PM
Tres bien! I think you have to brighten the corner where you work every now and then. I share a studio space with my husband. He paints at his easel on one side of the room and I work on my photos on my computer and design project which involved my sewing machine and collage materials on the other. It's a big room in a 100 year old Victorian, but somehow there's never enough space. I do have a Bronzino print of a portrait of an elegant lady watching over me while I work.
I'm due for a decluttering myself!
Edie from Savannah
Posted by: Edie Schmidt | Monday, January 28, 2013 at 04:20 PM
Edie, good idea about now and then... why not change this space again soon?
Heather, thanks for your honest opinion. I am touched by your words about our connection here. I will think differently about those cords, in the next metamorphis of my dear desk (the desks change, the dearness remains--to be able to write is dear to me!). The table that you like, is Jean-Marcs fathers. His name was Gerard, and he passed about when JM was only 19. There must have been a felt top, as part of the table (?) but its long gone and the thin surface is warped. Any ideas on what could make a nice new covering (more felt? A mosaic? wood planks? Glass? Fun to imagine, even if the DIY drive is not in me!)
Lark, which sites do you like? Would love to know!
Young, will keep my eye out for a café or bistro table. Good looking idea!
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Posted by: Kristin Espinasse | Monday, January 28, 2013 at 04:31 PM
J'adore le affiche, Kristin. Does that old table have any of its original felt remaining? If so, preserve it by having a glass top cut for it. If you think the table is sturdy enough to be used for writing for awhile, it would be worth the expense to preserve the sentimental piece.
I, too, got caught by that coussin malarkey when I got to the register and was told the pillow was separate from the cover. Since I actually needed a pillow I gave in and bought the pair. I steamed a little over that.
Good on you for choosing that corner to improve. My writing space is horrendous because I lost an office and had to cram everything into a spare sunroom that lacked bookcases or any room for them (duh, a sunroom is all windows). For too long I've let that be an excuse for writer's block. However, we're going to do home renovations -- including creating real office space for me -- so what excuse will I use then?
Posted by: Julie Farrar | Monday, January 28, 2013 at 05:00 PM
You did a great job collecting items within your home. My goodness, what a striking difference. I have always loved looking at before and after photos and appreciating creativity. How about a short, rustic shelf on the wall above the computer screen so you can have more table top space? Teddy and the prickly holly would fit nicely up there. Thanks Kristin for opening up your space for us to see.
Posted by: Caryl Witt | Monday, January 28, 2013 at 05:18 PM
Hello all, I love reading all of the ideas people are sending. Julie's lack of bookcases in a sun room reminded me that I once used glass shelves as bookcases and mixed in lovely pieces of glassware for color and got that "happy" feeling I crave. Kristin, your improvements are wonderful. You made the best decision when you chose to use colors you loved. Congrats!
Posted by: Sharon | Monday, January 28, 2013 at 05:20 PM
I am amazed by how much the white in the tablecloth lightens up that corner. Like some other readers, I think it needs pulling back so that you can freely move your legs underneath. It has to work physically.
Once, I bought a beautiful oak table, but when I got it home it looked really dreary because my apt. is dark. I ended up giving it to friends who have a sunny nook and it looks great. If I'd had your design sense, I might have just bought a tablecloth!
It's inspiring what you were able to do with just giving that area your attention.
Posted by: Leslie NYC | Monday, January 28, 2013 at 05:48 PM
Lovely before and after photos.
New days, new ways.
Try loosening the coverlet...let it flow.
Margy, Pittsburgh, PA
Posted by: margy | Monday, January 28, 2013 at 06:35 PM
Fifty stories...50...I'd say that space is absolutely beautiful, no matter how you "dress" it. Aloha, Bill
Posted by: Bill Facker | Monday, January 28, 2013 at 07:02 PM
Kristen, Understand the daydreaming from bed and designing a cozier or more "finished" look. Suggestion for your legs to slip easily under the table, else you may grow tired of the posture. Unpin the nappe, find the center of the edge of the side of the table on which you sit; gather the cloth from about 7/8ths of the way down toward the floor edge of the cloth; gather in soft, small pinchfuls until you reach the table top, then from underneath the cloth(so not to be seen from the outside) near the table top, use a large safety pin or if so inclined, stitch one or three long vertical stitches. Voila! pretty and practical for your legs. AND if need be, extra storage for Office Only "stuff". Since you started 7/8ths of the way down the cloth, une petit ruffle should be produced when you have stitched or pinned the pinchfuls sans the 1/8th edge.
Posted by: Loretta | Monday, January 28, 2013 at 07:04 PM
I love "before and afters." You did a very creative job of designing on a dime. I like the idea that you picked up things around the house that you like and mean something to you. Keep up the good work. I don't know how you do it. It wasn't long ago that you moved in. You're busy with children, renovations, flora and fauna, and (oh, yes) there's your creative genious with French Word-A-Day. Cut yourself some slack. You're doing better than most! Pat yourself on the back.
Posted by: Diane Heinecke | Monday, January 28, 2013 at 07:08 PM
Julie, no, not a piece of felt left. Someone must have ripped it off. Once I get another desk, it would be good to fix this one for JM, who loves to play cards with the kids. That would be a lovely next metamorphosis for the little card table. And Julie, I hope youll be in your office soon, enjoying writing from there.
Caryl, I love before after photos too! Good idea about the shelf... I have just the one. Now to dig it out!
Sharon, glass is so beautiful, reflecting in the light, reminding us about transparency, how it can be a good thing!
Leslie, sorry about your oak table, but what a lovely gift for your friends, who surely think of you when enjoying the sunny corner!
Bill, always touched by your writing support!
Margy, wonderful thought: new days, new ways!
Loretta, sewing terms, or anything resembling sewing terms, make me nervous... but I will reread your note and warm up to the idea...
Diane, Thank you! I will cut me some slack now... off to enjoy dinner with my daughter, then some English practice. She was away over the weekend and the first thing she said, on returning, was: I missed our nightly lesson!
Posted by: Kristin Espinasse | Monday, January 28, 2013 at 07:21 PM
Kristin - you caught me absolutely. You are the only person I know who could get away with such a story. When I saw the headline, I assumed you had let techno-freaks loose to give you a high-tech "coin". But I like what you actually did better, I confess.
Posted by: Mike | Monday, January 28, 2013 at 07:33 PM
Our dear Kristi,
Today's post was a special gift for us; now we can both see and imagine you in your beautiful office,at your desk,writing all the wonderful stories that have been and are yet to be! You not only have a talent for that (and for photography!),but as it now comes to light, for decorating as well.
Some much needed inspiration for me because as I look around at my own surroundings,wow,
it looks more like a bunch of hysterical gremlins left a huge mess--and left(!!)
As soon as I finish this reply, I will get going ASAP!
THANK YOU for such a super boost!!!!!!!
Love, Natalia XO
Posted by: Natalia | Monday, January 28, 2013 at 09:02 PM
Nice compromise until you can have Virginia Woolf's "room of your own."
Posted by: Vera Marie Badertscher | Monday, January 28, 2013 at 09:06 PM
I think the newly decorated area will bring you many inspired writings. Just let the table cloth hang into natural folds. Since it is on the table it is a table cloth, if you should need it for the bed, voila, a sheet. Nice to have dual purpose items! Love the poster. How about hanging it on the wall to give you a little more room on the table. Now I need to go around my little house and take about 50 before photos and get to work one at a time.
Posted by: joie in carmel | Monday, January 28, 2013 at 09:17 PM
Hi Kristi: I actually like the corner before and after. You might enjoy reading about Wabi-Sabi, the Japanese aesthetic which accepts and finds beauty in imperfection and impermanence. Your writing is so honest--- I'm sure a reflection of you and how you live your life --- that i think you would find it "sympatico."
Thank you for giving so much pleasure (and/in learning!)
Posted by: Holly | Monday, January 28, 2013 at 09:26 PM
I like your new corner very much. It gives me inspiration to move the stuffed bald eagle (toy from my husband) onto my desk. Covering up the wires from the computer is half the battle and maybe being too comfortable sitting there is a mistake because it is so easy to spend hours at my computer before I realize it. Keep up the inspiration.
Posted by: Dalhia | Monday, January 28, 2013 at 09:29 PM
I am so proud of you !!! And I am most excited to see where this new path leads...
I laugh when I think of your old house at the vineyard...in the living-room you placed some kind of old barrell in the corner, you were so excited to show me - and then that was the end of your decorating in the living room. Once in a while you would bring in the green metal chairs from the yard if you had guests.
You have come a long way baby!
With a mind as pure and colorful as yours you will make a wonderful decorator.
P.S. I loved this story and all the others last week. Your writing is so fun and enlightening -
Posted by: JULES GREER - PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO | Monday, January 28, 2013 at 10:09 PM
Transformation unique; you are a gal of many talents. Vivian
Posted by: Vivian Langley | Monday, January 28, 2013 at 10:10 PM
Love the idea of playng with "sheets" and "tablecloths" interchangingly :-) I do it too on occasion.. Even throwing a nice lacy "curtain" into equation, to create a romantic filligree look. ..anywhere it asks for it. Oh! :-) and sometimes even a huge scarf or palantine could "provide" handsomely! Just the color has to be right. Or, at least, to tune up with a mood.. or occasion.
Posted by: Francesca | Monday, January 28, 2013 at 10:25 PM
I agree about putting the poster up on the wall to reduce the cluttered look, and pull up the sheet on the side where your legs are. It's fun to try different looks and see what inspires you the most. The photos were gorgeous. Love those big trees and, naturellement, the view towards la mer. Happy writing.
Posted by: Diane Young | Monday, January 28, 2013 at 10:46 PM
Wow! You two are among the most realistic and unassuming creators I have the pleasure of being in touch with one way or another. I lost a beautiful tree today due to disease but your creativeness helped boost my spirits.
P.S.Amazing as you are, Kristi, you do need more light in that corner.
Posted by: Shirley | Monday, January 28, 2013 at 11:09 PM
Nice job Kristin! My first thought looking at the before photo, was that the chair needed a cushion to feel cozy and comfortable while writing. Love the poster!
Posted by: Eileen - Charlottesville, VA | Monday, January 28, 2013 at 11:25 PM
I also was surprised to see the blooms that look like daffodils on your broccoli! I remember seeing my own artichoke blooming for the first time this year and wondering what it was! Nice job with the redecoration. Enjoy your new space.
Posted by: Janet Bailey | Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 12:04 AM
Kristin, How lovely of you to take the time to comment on some of the comments!
I know it is greatly appreciated..!
Posted by: Jeanne | Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 12:12 AM
We have a cactus in Texas we call a Devil's pin cushion . The French version is so much more subtle. I have a friend who started a business going into homes and rearranging and repurposing items that are already there. I made up the name for it-Deja-new-because if you look again at old things they can have new life. That's exactly what you did with your office. I am amazed at your creativity and now especially in light of the space in which it happens. I'm going to check out the site you mentioned for your inspiration to redo your space. Thanks!
Posted by: Janet smajstrla | Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 12:39 AM
Small Space Solutions
.. love the picture of "Craft Room Ideas for Small Spaces" pinkish creation at the bottom of the page in the link.
Walls talk, I believe, and sometimes a strategically placed item on the wall could help with concentration aka creation process too. At the same time, some people are quite prolific in austere, or done in minimalistic style, space.
Posted by: Francesca | Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 12:47 AM
Itis minimalistic! Why do I imagine you with a bit more space to create such poetry with your words and photos.? Perhaps you ought to have more space for the huge audience you have!
Snowing on Cape Cod!
Posted by: jan greene | Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 01:59 AM
I don't know whether you read comments like mine which arrive in the middle of the night (your time), but I enjoyed the creation of your "new" writing station. It occurred to me that you might add a smaller square cloth over top of the white cloth (one with your favorite colors of green and red) placed so that the corners hang down in points from each side of the table. You can easily find these cloths at auction sales or flea markets here in the States and probably in France. Most of the time they were used by ladies playing cards. You could make your own by cutting up an old sheet and applying fabric paint . I imagine that Jackie would enjoy such a project. My thanks and best regards, Cynthia
Posted by: Cynthia Lewis (Eastern Shore of Maryland) | Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 03:09 AM
Cut the sheet in two places close to the table legs & you will have room for YOUR legs. Or cut it once in the middle on your sitting side to have leg room. The sheet will drop down when you leave your work station
Jimm Hughey, CA
Posted by: Jimm Hughey | Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 03:45 AM
.. a VERY wild idea for a tablecloth!:-)..and I am sure -- an absolute JOY for children! http://www.centsationalgirl.com/2013/01/diy-tablecloth-play-tent/ DIY: Tablecloth Play Tent
However, if the tablecloth/sheet/curtain is large enough (or two could be used) -- creating folds on the sides (no need to sew, casual safety pins would do) would give you more leg room, and perhaps even add some structure to the space, especially if the table is viewed from the side. Something like this: http://www.houzz.com/photos/411719/Pleated-Terrific-Tablecloth-traditional-table-linens-
Posted by: Francesca | Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 04:03 AM
I do need to get the poster up, on the wall--out of the way. Keep the ideas coming.
Mom, how come I did not get your decorating gene ... or Dads garden gene? But the interest is now growing!
Shirley, Im so sorry for the loss of your beautiful tree. What will you plant now?
Janet, loved learning the synonym devils pin cushion. One thing to love about gardening is all the colorful names of the plants.
Jan, It is pretty sparse. The previous office was almost as big as my bedroom... The problem there was that my paperwork and stuff trailed the diameter of all that space. Somehow, here, the corner stays tidy. This is, as far as plans go, a temporary office... But I am becoming attached to it.
Cynthia, thanks, and that smaller cloth would be easy to change--like they do in restaurants, while leaving the larger cloth in place.
Jim, great solution! Could mix it with Cynthias idea, two sheets and a two tone look!
Francesca, scarves... lace... Will dig into my closet ... to dress my desk! Thanks also for the links!
Posted by: Kristin Espinasse | Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 07:25 AM
My pleasure, Kristi. Here's another pretty good one; since you've got some flare for decorating
Posted by: Francesca | Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 08:22 AM
Dear Natalia, you have me laughing about those gremlins! Maybe it is Pear and Lis, those darling dogs of yours, in disguise?
Posted by: Kristin Espinasse | Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 10:00 AM
Common sense. Kristin, maybe this could be one of your future discussions? Some day? If, the subject is enticing enough for you, of course. I am reading something now, and have come across this phrase below, thinking that it is, basically, applicable to anything! :-) ..to writing, decorating, or conversation. Or to.. any other thoughts or ideas got flowing? Or maybe another interesting fact or even, eccentric story from life in France (with lots of words and expressions for us to learn) comes up to your mind now? Just a thought.
"Why level downward to our dullest perception always, and praise that as common sense? The commonest sense is the sense of men asleep, which they express by snoring." Henry David Thoreau (philosopher, author, naturalist)
Posted by: Francesca | Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 01:59 PM
As usual, laughing my fanny off here. Charm school indeed .. I could just picture you straddled on that straight backed chair like a drunken cowboy perched in front of your new sheet covered fold out desk picking away at the keys sharing a new story with us delighted fans ... hahahahahaha ... I will admit though, it sure looks pretty now. Good job Miss Kristin.
Posted by: Linda Casey | Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 02:28 PM
Kristin, you may not have inherited all of your father's gardening prowess or your mother's penchant for design, but you certainly have an eye for photography and can churn out a story to beat the band.
Posted by: Linda Casey | Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 02:31 PM
i made your yogurt cake this weekend the only problem was i was not sure of pan size . the one i used was a bit small but delicious non the less . My husband loved it as did I -
Posted by: Susan Souza | Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 03:57 AM
Like you, I wouldn't want to cut the lovely cloth, otherwise you would destroy its usefulness for 'other' things. My solution, as always, is an easy one (and quick)..... Drawing pins!
Rather than have the fold where it is, bring the tucked-in corner back (from each side?), find the middle of the long side and pin it up as far along as you need under the table out of the way with a couple (or more) of drawing pins.
Then, a pretty small cloth/scarf/whatever-you-will cornerways on can drape a little way down towards your chair.
I LOVE drawing pins - I think my house is held together with 'em!.
Posted by: Gill in Finistere | Friday, February 01, 2013 at 05:06 PM
Gill, LOL, I could not picture what *drawing pins* were, so I googled... and found *thumbtacks * Growing my British English vocab... :-)
Posted by: Kristin Espinasse | Friday, February 01, 2013 at 06:19 PM
Try hanging the framed poster and could you not purchase an additional card table? An extension would allow you more space for papers etc.
I do love the wooden door....how grand it is!
Posted by: Maureenann Hilton | Sunday, February 03, 2013 at 02:58 AM