Sunday, April 13, 2008


After all these (3 whole) years of being in this apartment, I have finally had a bit of spare time, enough to personalize and organize and frame pictures, etc. Finally! I am not big on picture-perfect homes. I think a house should be comfortable and welcoming. Stuff should be out and available for use and play. Couches and other furniture should be comfy (and washable!) There should be places to plop down and read, or play games. Kids toys and art should be as big a part of the decor as mom and dad's. etc.

BUT.. I still like to have my pretty things. I like to have my stuff and clutter organized. I want my tools, homework material, or whatever else I want to work with, available, not buried. Working full-time did not allow me the free time to make that happen. It takes awhile, after moving, to figure out where things go anyway, but having a housekeeper who put things where she wanted - and she stacked things randomly! - meant I had to undo alot before I could ever do new things. Finally though, I think I am getting somewhere with this place... even BEFORE we have to move! Amazing!!

One thing I did was to move some furniture about. Not much I could really do. Windows, wall-mounted lights, electrical outlets (plus the required bulky transformers) limits a lot of what we can do with this space, but I managed to open it up a bit. I like an open, bright, inviting floor-plan. I want people to walk in and make themselves at home; help themselves to the bookshelf; kids wander right over to the toys, etc. Brad's first reaction upon returning home was "Hey! We have a plant." (pointing to the one on the floor, lower right) I pointed out that we'd had that plant for awhile, but could now actually see it. Then he looked around and asked, "But where's our couch?" heh heh... I think I earn domestic goddess points for rearranging a room well enough to hide a whole couch!
The couch is not in the sitting area, where we now have plenty of TV, game, coloring and computer room. (oh, and plenty of space for sleepy cats)
It's not in the play area.
ah-ha! Not too hard to find after all. Still usable for movie watching, but a much more inviting place now, for lounging and reading.
I also managed to get out and find a framer for our whirling dervish tapestries. These are a couple of the items we picked up at Khan al-Mukhayimah. The tent-maker's section of the historic Khan al-Khalili market in downtown Cairo.
I had a couple of our Papyrus pieces framed finally too. Unfortunately, I do not know how to photograph glass items very well and the glare mutes the colors.
A couple of dancing Bedouin dolls - I picked these up at a little craft fair somewhere.
The sun...
and the moon.
A few brass lanterns. We use these for decoration. Some people wire them and use them for light fixtures. I think I'd like to get a few more for that purpose. I think a selection of different styles would be nice on a deck or porch.
Some of our pretties.. found here and there at Khan al-Khalili and elsewhere. The dragon is Mushoo. We got him at the Crazy Brothers shop. I think he's one of the funkiest, yet most awesome dragons I've ever come across! (No comments about the dust, btw, I clean all the time but cannot keep up! It just proves we live in a desert! Well, that, and the weather has been so nice I've been leaving the windows open alot.. nice fresh air, with nice fresh dirt.. arrgh...)
Lotus flower carvings from Upper Egypt.
A papyrus that Brian picked out for his room. (Again, wish I could photograph it better, the colors are sadly lacking in this photo.)
The papyrus that Honor picked out for her room.

Ok.. enough posting about our nicely rearranged house. Time for me to go clean it! (yea.. the windows are still open. I'm trying to enjoy the cool breezes while I can).


Cairo Mama said...

Awesome! The place looks great! You must feel a big sense of accomplishment.

We had 16 things framed at once by Henry in Maadi when we were there and it made such a difference to get them on the walls. Of course, the sizes aren't exact and they don't use acid-free materials, but they still looked good. I had two big pictures reframed to archival standards when I was in the States, but some of the other things I will just leave in the Egyptian frame jobs.

The movers are supposed to come tomorrow. It is only part of our stuff, but I think we might get the other part this week as well. Knock on wood. Most of the framed pictures will be here tomorrow. I didn't want them sitting in storage in Egypt so I shipped them to the States. It is the Erie shipment that is coming tomorrow.

Connie said...

It does feel good!

Yay! You are getting your stuff! Well, part of it - but isn't that always the case? Nothing like getting your stuff to help you start feeling at home. Good luck with the moving and un-packing... then trying to figure out where things go in the new place. :-)

srsr said...

Looks great AND comfy. I love your dervishes. They made me smile.

Cairo Mama said...

Have you seen this blog, Crockpot 365?

Looks interesting. I got a crock pot as a wedding gift and I finally broke it out to use it before I left Egypt. It was great. It is coming in the Egypt shipment, so whenever that arrives, I will be using it again. I think that throwing a bunch of things in a pot and forgetting about it all day is a great way to ensure healthy meals without being a slave to the kitchen. is the Fly Lady site where you can sign up for the e-mails and find her techniques. Her philosophy"You are not behind. I don't want you to catch up, just jump in where you are" is perfect for me and I think you would like it too. She has you build daily routines gradually. If you try to do everything all at once it gets overwhelming, but you make one new habit everyday until you've built routines and then you customize them for yourself. I have only incorporated shining my sink and getting dressed to the shoes first thing in the morning and throw a load of laundry in first thing in the morning and "do anything for 15 minutes" and already, we have gotten so much more done than usually.

This post of yours has inspired me to take before and after photos. I really need to this now that I need to put things away that we got in the shipment!

Christine said...

FInally, I get to see where you guys live. Thanks for the tour.