Half of the book shelves are neat and tidy, dusted even. Another bag for the op shop is filling rapidly and I have been ruthless. I mean, for me I've been ruthless. My granddaughters will be here for Easter so the sofa bed will have to stay down for the moment which puts off the culling from the lace cupboard and the moving of another bookcase in the other bedroom.
Nothing from that bookcase is leaving the house. I have 25 years of wedding magazines, a treasury of wedding fashions. I'm not fussed about the naked shoulder look of weddings these days, low slung dresses always make me nervous especially in the presence of booze and groomsmen. This gown is gorgeous but look at the disaster in waiting, the tulle, the train and the straplessness.
The Italian books have the most outrageous and the most beautiful beaded gowns, the American books have the best bridesmaid dresses, the British mags have the most traditional but I have favourites marked in all of them.
It's not just that they're wedding dresses, you all know how I LOVE weddings (upchuck) but the fabrics, the laces, the designs. It's my comfort food for the eyes. They're staying, even if it takes me two weeks to move the lot to their new home, after I make a diagram of how they all fit into the shelves. I'm not taking them out without doing that, I remember the last magazine avalanche.
I did find treasures lurking on the shelves in the study, a history of Paisley shawls, 18th Century fashions in underwear, what there was of it, and how to take care of vintage clothes in case the colours came from potions like arsenic. A 5th Doll Fashion Anthology featuring that much maligned creature "Barbie". The book goes into great detail about how Mattel mirrored real life and television shows with each edition doll.
I never had much time for her but I don't know why she's always held up as a bad role model for girls. I never wanted a figure like hers nor did I want to play with Barbie. It was too much like hard work, all that role playing, undressing and dressing up, keeping her amused with pianos and ponies, talk about 'high maintainence'. But I loved the fashions, I really loved the fashions. I didn't want them on a doll, I wanted them on me. I made a dress for Barbie, once, and once was enough. Fiddly doesn't describe the torture of making that pissy little outfit so I'm always astonished at the high fashion gowns that are designed and made for the plastic princess.
I'm not into collecting ratty old dolls either. I only have four, um six, damn, seven, I forgot the porcelain baby doll which is still in the drawer away from the cats who used to take it in turns to sleep on it. I do have teddies, tiny teddies. One is sitting on the printer holding my glasses. See, I collect useful things.