storage: jewelry favorites

On February 5, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

IMG_1345I like to keep my frequently worn jewelry on little plates or salvers on my dresser, readily accessible and just as easily deposited at the end of the day. I mean daily or weekly favored pieces, which I cannot be bothered (and often do not wish) to put in a box or drawer.

I may have a few little trays going, one by the bed, one on the dresser – anyplace I find I would otherwise leave a pile. The selection of featured jewelry varies with my mood, what I aspire to wear, what I habitually wear*, and any number of mysterious factors. The plates, too, get switched out according to my whims, as any little tray or plate-like thing (saucers and more elaborate coasters can work well) will do. I find I like them to have a balance of plainness, such that the jewelry can be quickly discerned and picked out, and luxury, such that they are in themselves objects of beauty, but they may be any material,** and a range of sizes can serve.

*and other little items sneak in; safety pins, perfume vials, rogue buttons

**I’ve been absently browsing for a rectangular stainless steel tray to serve the purpose, as I like that look. Nothing strikes my fancy yet, though.

IMG_1344Here’s the plate of the hour, a beautifully glazed ceramic appetizer plate. In my eyes it was destined from the start to be a jewelry repository. I’m always wondering what other strategies people employ for such tasks. How are you solving the question of what to do with frequently used jewelry? Are you dutifully putting them away in their rightful places? For me that is so unrealistic as to be inconceivable.

the dressing table

On December 30, 2013 by theseventhsphinx


I like the routines of grooming and preparation surrounding the dressing table, a key player in the (not the literal but certainly the ceremonial) beginning and ending of each day. This for me is almost always some elaborate series of attentions paid to the skin but the full setup* is stocked with all manner of tools and medicaments, cosmetics and paraphernalia. A great deal can be accomplished in this space, particularly in the realm of transformation, and it’s often a meditative process. It strikes me as a private space, too, where I am with myself (with the reflection of myself, too, causing that multiplication/division of identity a mirror always does for me).

*No coincidence that I show you only a fragment, though this is partly a matter of obscuring what the mirror would betray, which is a true, true—as I define it—mess (this, too, is private).


This, I realize, sort of in conjunction with my bathroom and all its tools and potions and particulars, is the main reason I don’t like to be away from home. My current favorite products within familiar reach. This general arrangement, at once stylized and utilitarian, and the set of routines it facilitates, is one I don’t like mucked with.

Showing you a bit of it as I enjoy seeing how people store things; how their lives, their daily environments, really look. In this no detail is too small to interest me (sometimes it is only the small details that will interest me). I keep this space quite organized (there are cardboard dividers in the mugs to sort pencils and brushes into subcategories, I’d just used the lipstick when I took this), though I change it around often, too, rotating products in and out according to my rapidly shifting whims and preferences.

IMG_0247You’ll spot a number of favorites I’ve mentioned, and more.


earring storage ideas

On November 23, 2013 by theseventhsphinx

I usually like to display my favorite objects, or have them on some system of rotation such that I can see and appreciate them even when they are not strictly in use, even if they are not strictly useful. I am much more likely to remember to use them and generally incorporate them into my life, if I can see them.

[At this point it leads to more clutter than I would like, or not exactly clutter…a sense of being cramped. But there are larger storage issues at work, which so overshadow and influence this that it is a concern to save for the future.]


It must have been my mom who suggested stretching a loosely woven fabric over an embroidery hoop to store earrings, as I’ve stored my favorite earrings this way since I was a teenager. It’s great for dangling earrings. I like that they can be easily plucked off the wall to wear, and just as easily returned. Some less popular pieces that I like to look at (but rarely wear) are good candidates for this, too.

Several months ago now I had a sudden inspiration for storing studs, which I wear all the time lately. [The embroidery hoop method is only suitable for rarely worn studs, as it’s tedious to remove and re-secure them all the time.] I was looking for a ring display, actually, and realized that it would work just as well for studs (this one is black velvet). So pleased with it. I felt a bit brilliant really, when I hit upon the idea. Making small organizational discoveries like this can give me a sense of accomplishment all out of scale with the reality.


pearls, pearls, pearls, pearls

I have a jewelry box for the less favored pieces, or those that are perhaps lacking versatility or kept mainly for nostalgic reasons, but I like to have the things I wear regularly accessible and displayed in such a way as to offer choice as well as the motivation to vary that choice. Once in a while I’ll substitute in alternates from deep storage or rearrange to give different pieces pride of place. The effect of even small revisions can be surprising, causing whole new patterns of wear and preference. This is invariably satisfying and good.

lipstick: keeping things organized

On March 5, 2013 by theseventhsphinx
top row: Maybelline, NYCbottom row: NARS, Lancôme, Shu Uemura, MAC, Lancôme

top row: Maybelline, NYC
bottom row: NARS, Lancôme, Shu Uemura, MAC, Lancôme

Rimmel, Revlon, Origins, Korres, Clarins, Victoria's Secret...

Rimmel, Revlon, Origins, Korres, Clarins, Victoria’s Secret…

I’d been sticking all of my lipstick in this drawer from a stackable set I got at Target (in a manner not quite but something close to higgledy-piggledy) but at a certain point it was more than a drawer is inherently designed to handle.

One night I got out the scissors and came up with this setup. It’s not the sleekest thing, using chopped up cardboard, but it was free (I am totally cheap about certain things), and it is effective.

Can you tell that I really like the Kate Moss Rimmel collections and the Revlon matte lipsticks? Ditto the Wet 'n Wild semi-mattes.

Can you tell that I really like the Kate Moss Rimmel collections and the Revlon matte lipsticks? Ditto the Wet ‘n Wild semi-mattes.

I’m pretty pleased.

I’ve seen instances of people standing everything up and being able to get at the individual bullets that way, but the drawers would have to be just the right height to avoid wasted space, and it sounds kind of troublesome to keep everything in a grid, not everything is the same height/size, etc. You can get those quite nice looking acrylic grids, but those cost the money.

I briefly considered organizing by color but that’s not how it works in my mind, so I went roughly by brand/price point and consistency. Is this quite dull? I can never tell with this kind of thing. I never tire of seeing how people organize stuff.

weekend distraction:

On March 2, 2013 by theseventhsphinx**

If you are into women’s fashion, this site is so interesting to browse.

Different women† showcasing their favorite clothes and accessories, posing in various outfits and attitudes (usually in their homes).

I am fascinated by tiny details of the lives of others, and so am often curious to see how people arrange their living spaces, how they organize their belongings, how they display their treasures. A combination of images come together to narrate a style, and of course the items you choose to own can be telling. I like the idea of doing this myself. It would be a good exercise, just choosing the items I would want to share, and deciding for myself what some of my favorite options are.

†Mostly the kind of women who have a lot of clothes and quite nice houses, I guess not surprisingly. I like the idea of seeing a more normal subset represented, though (i.e. people who don’t own houses or designer clothes, but nonetheless have a purposeful and personal style), and don’t think I would find that any less interesting at all. I’d like to see the closets of men¥, too.

____¥ _The Closets of Men_ would be a great title, no?

*Unfortunately it is not possible to link to individual posts, they all come up as the same url.