Horns Aplenty

I fell asleep reading the September 2009 issue of Living (Special Decorating Issue!) last night, which is not to say that I was bored by it. How could I be when every time I glimpsed the cover I was shocked anew that Martha isn’t wearing pants? (In reality, she is, but check out that cover. Does it not, for one second, look like Martha is robotically watering her plants whilst commando?) Sometime after the Collecting feature (“Horn Revival”), I sank into slumber and proceeded to have the most pathetic dream ever about visiting Martha’s house, meeting Francesca and Sharkey (I’m disgusted that my subconscious knows the names of the Stewart pugs), and realizing that she may be rich and extremely organized but is in fact a little sad. It was like a hastily-written episode of Will & Grace, only without any jokes, and I woke up feeling weird.

I do like that watering can.

I do like that watering can.

Weird, yet inspired to go buy some stuff made out of horn! I have this vision of a silver-topped horn tumbler filled with something icy perched atop an agate coaster (acquired) on a phenomenal side table (not yet acquired) as my handsome husband (acquired, yet skeptical) reads the paper. So I tried to search eBay. A few years ago, I was silkily persuaded by a Collecting article about antique fountain pens to look up one of two specific kinds on eBay and purchase for not a penny over the Martha-recommended price. It’s now in a box somewhere in my house, looking beautiful. This issue’s article explained why horn’s popularity ebbed and flowed, but didn’t really guide me in any specific directions. Instead, I looked through pages and pages of powderhorns, musical instruments, and horn-shaped drinking glasses, and only found a couple of household objects actually made of horn.

Image from Making the Modern World (click for link)

Image from Making the Modern World (click for link)

In despair, I emailed my future brother-in-law, the antiquing enthusiast, to ask if he’d ever seen one while out and about. He assured me that he’d seen them before, but look, the longer this takes me (and I tried for at least six or seven minutes), the less interested I am. Maybe I’ll just go find that fountain pen and stick it on the kitchen counter and call it a day.

Noteworthy in this issue so far:

Fashion or Style or whatever they’d decided to call it appears to be gone. This is certainly an improvement. After all, not sure I want to take fashion advice from someone who can’t be bothered to wear pants. Just KIDDING, Martha, just KIDDING.

Faux-bois is still hanging in there as the Martha trend that won’t die.

If I had a dining nook, I would loop pillows to pegs in a second (Good Things).

Apothecary explains patiently to me what a paddle brush is. “I’m OK with you not having boar bristles,” I whispered tenderly to my own brush, purchased for $4.99 at CVS.

It is comforting to know that on September 1, Martha took Francesca and Sharkey (dammit! I did it again!) for a walk and took her camera (Martha’s calendar).

Now that I have a house, the decorating issue is more interesting to me, so we’ll see what we see when I peruse the rest of the issue. What are the odds that “doing things on a budget” is a high priority? [by Susan]

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