faffing, foraging and frippery
Faffing, foraging and frippery. Try rolling that sentence off the tongue several times!
I’ve decided that these are three of my favourite words, despite the fact that they all have connotations that could be deemed negative. My old dictionary mentions the words needless, tawdry, empty and trifles all in the same sentence for frippery, and faffing talks about time-wasting. Foraging, as my husband continually likes to remind me, is akin to stealing.
However, I am quite obviously not the only sad soul who counts faffing as a valid activity. In fact, as a visually creative person, I love nothing more than faffing about with a little frippery. It’s a time to let your imagination and inspirations take the lead, to play with your collections and treasures, and be guided by your intuition.
Faffing time is always creative and inspiring, and a chance to see where those ideas may take me. I’m learning not to see it as wasted time, but as a chance to have a little time all to myself where I can explore and pursue my creative endeavours. Truthfully, I look forward to any faffing time available – the danger is that I use it as a way of creative procrastination – something that I am also very good at!
As for frippery – my trifles may be trifling to some, but not to me.
I find that a little frippery is good for the soul – those little details and collected objets trouves that make me smile. The all important, sometimes slightly over the top finishing touches, that in the words of Abigail Ahern, ‘turn a space from ordinaire to extraordinaire’.
The pompom on your cushion or the trim on your lampshade. The umbrella in your drink and borage flower in your ice cube. The truck tassel that you brought home from India and the feathers on the wall. Your collection of old bottles and jars and cardboard milk bottle tops. I think we all need a little frippery in our lives. To remind us not to take things too seriously.
And of course, the foraging goes hand in hand with faffing. Surely a little foraged roadside gathering of fennel and clover and wild carrot and blackberry is frippery and faffery in the guise of a beautiful weedy bouquet. Not that there is anything trifling about foraged blackberry. That stuff does not give up easily, and the thorns are so cruel. There is absolutely no way that you can casually pick a little while out on your morning walk. The blackberry forager is a determined forager with gloves and secateurs.
So for me, faffing and frippery go hand in hand, as I usually need one to explore the other. Vignettes, styling, playing with my foraged flowers, arranging my home and my collections. All are valid faffing activities.
Needless adornments and time-wasting? Never.
Cherry on top kind of delicious details and creative play that lifts your spirits? Absolutely!
(styling and photography by Amanda Holland for perfectly imperfect living)