Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Appreciating Beauty

One of the bloggers I follow has a category called "Beauty" on her "Something Ivory" blogsite, and if you click on that title you can read all the posts she's written that focus on that particular subject: posts about beautiful fashions, beautiful stationery, beautiful home decorating ideas, etc.  Things just seem to stop her in her tracks, simply because they are beautiful.  Today she wrote a post describing a tree in front of her house, and it made me want to go outside and look at our trees!

Seeing the beauty in everyday life--and appreciating the beauty of God's glorious creation--is something we all need to do more often.  We need to "stop and smell the roses," as they say.  There is so much beauty around us, everywhere we look; but sometimes we're too busy and preoccupied to even notice it.

My dear late mother-in-law was the queen of appreciating beauty.  She had impeccable taste and her desire to surround herself with things of grace and loveliness, items expertly crafted with an artist's hand--like Colonial reproduction furnishings in cherry and mahogany, sumptuous linens adorned with cut-work and lace, delicately painted china, sparkling crystal goblets, gleaming brass candlesticks, colorful needlepoint pillows, hand-thrown pottery pieces, lush green plants and colorful blooms, the list goes on and on--was unmatched by anyone I've ever known.  And don't even get me started on her desire to surround herself with the most fabulous Christmas greens and ornaments, Santa and angel figurines, and you-name-it-she-had-it during the holiday season!  That house in which my husband grew up was always a true Christmas wonderland when she was alive.

We all find beauty in different things.  Some of you out there might think that a rustic, farmhouse-type decorating style is more beautiful than the traditional and elegant Colonial-inspired decor favored by my mother-in-law.  I think I fall somewhere in the middle, but the main thing with me is that I'm usually the most taken with beautiful things that are very old. For instance, I think this transferware pitcher (the surviving half of an antique bowl and pitcher set that I bought at an antiques/gift shop downtown) is so beautiful.
The vintage handmade lace place mat underneath it, a family heirloom passed down to me by my mother as a wedding shower gift, is also something that I find very beautiful.  And the antique oak dining table on which these items sit--another cherished hand-me-down from my mom--is one of the most beautiful things in my house.  As for the fall-themed bouquet in the pitcher, which is totally fake--I think that's beautiful, too.  (Hey, I've got a brown thumb--so give me a break!)

I also like to use antique dolls as a decorating element in my home--make that antique-looking dolls.  (The real thing would be prohibitively expensive, I'm afraid.)  Years ago, I took a weekly porcelain doll-making class, and I created some beauties that inhabit the built-in shelves in my living room--like this reproduction of a 19thth century French "Bru."
I find such beauty in this sweet-faced doll, an antique wannabe, and her little trunk filled with doll-sized hats and accessories.  (Some people I know think dolls are rather creepy, with their staring eyes.  What about you?  Love them, or hate them?)

And speaking of beauty...and staring eyes...
Now this is beautiful, isn't it?  These two living dolls, my darling twin granddaughters, are proof of the existence of God, that's all there is to it.  They are two of His most glorious creations, as far as their very objective grammy is concerned.

Sometimes all the ugliness, hate, and suffering in the world can really bring you down.  But when it does, look around you at the things--and people!--in your life that are beautiful, and take heart.  And don't ever take that beauty for granted!

(P.S. My blogging friend, I hope you don't mind that I used your post today as inspiration for this one.)


  1. I don't mind a bit. Beauty is the best when it's shared with others, and I love the things you picked to write about. Especially those two little girls--so, so beautiful.