For the second installment of my living room tour I focused on the bookshelf. There's a lot going on here, as you can see:
(Don't mind the lighter fluid in the foreground--we're not pyromanics, Dave just uses it to clean the price tag adhesive off his record covers. If I ever get to the computer room, you will see that he has a pretty massive collection!)
I acquired quite a few of the items in the middle shelf while on vacation in San Francisco, probably because after returning I immediately moved in here, so all of the treasures I'd brought back were still on the brain. I saw an amazing Joseph Cornell exhibit at SF MoMA, which I'm pretty sure was the indirect inspiration for what I did with this shelf.
For Christmas my boss gave me three Japanese dishes, which I used to arrange some smaller items: typewriter keys, bottle caps, tiny plastic dinosaurs (you know, the usual). Here you see a sand dollar and piece of sea glass that I found at Ocean Beach in San Francisco. I picked up the piece of driftwood at Point Lobos State Reserve, a small but gorgeous stop on the drive through Big Sur. The vintage matchbook was found in my grandfather's garage about 13 years ago and I held onto it all that time until finding the perfect place for it. It came from a Chinese restaurant in Jersey City called The Jade, and advertises what I assume to be some kind of alcoholic beverage called the Jade Zombie.
I purchased the glass egg, amber, and gypsum rosette at Paxton Gate, a taxidermy and gardening supply store that features all kind of great natural curiosities (and it's right next door to the Pirate Supply Store!). Behind it is a Dia de los Muertos diorama that our friends gave to us a few Christmases ago.
The ceramic basket was a thrift store find in Salinas, CA. I picked up the small wooden Joseph Cornell puzzle at the SF MoMA bookstore (here's a picture of the actual assemblage, though flat images of his work really don't do them justice compared to seeing them in person). The Juliet of the Spirits flexidisc was also a thrift store find, but in New Paltz, NY, and the sock monkey dressed up for Halloween--well, I just couldn't resist him. I think he was on sale too (post-October 31st).
The mini-hi-fi was purchased at Polk-a-Dot Variety in SF (which, sadly, I think is no longer in business--it was such a great store!).
This is my favorite window in the bookshelf. The wooden letters were purchased at Re-Pop in Brooklyn, and the wooden bird came from Hable Construction in Manhattan. If I can correctly remember the story, I think the bird is carved from burnt roots collected in the New Mexican desert. A few more typewriter tins are on display here (see last week's tour for my favorite one), not to mention the typewriter that my great-aunt gave to me after she saw me eyeing it in her apartment one day (she's nice).
This shelf is also a great one. From left to right, we have my Bob's Big Boy coin bank, in homage to one of my favorite bands to come out of my one-time home of Austin, then there's Dave's growing collection of Edward Gorey books, housed in the adorable metal bookends (from Room Service in Austin), and finally, the handknit telephone I surprised Dave with one Christmas. Awhile back, after seeing The Science of Sleep, he mentioned to me how much he liked the stuffed telephone featured in one of the scenes, and hinted, jokingly perhaps, that I should make one for him. So I did--just when he was least expecting it!