Someone asked the question recently here or on flickr about whether I had managed to obtain any new smooth stones to work with so I thought I would start the first installment in the stone diary.
The first stones to arrive were from the very wonderful Pat. She sent two stones that her daughter collected from Girl Scout camp (Comstock) at
Cayuga Lake by her lovely daughter.
Very soon after that I received a lovely parcel that was kind of beaten up by the journey from Elizabeth in Denmark.
According to Elizabeth :"The stones came from Als and the stones with a hole came from Langeland."
The two stones in the left upper corner are from Pat and the others from Elizabeth.
Next the postman with the very strong back brought us a large parcel from Lisa with treasures from the British Isles. LIsa and her son Ishi go out rock hunting almost every day. I am so very jealous. This parcel was wrapped so beautifully and included some really lovely surprises for me and the 3 kitties.
I just adore Marcel the very special poisson and each of the kittens has a new lou,lou & Oscar ribbon. And as if that wasn't enough she sent me a wedding bird ( she is now wed just over one month to the handsome Adam who has yet to be unveiled on flickr). The bird was made by the ever talented Nicole in case you didn't recognize it.
Last delivery was a box that again was a little damaged by travel and for which the postman handed it to my daughter saying " This is much heavier than it looks".
She just smiled. It is from the sweet Maiz and her two adorable sons who worked really hard to make sure the stones were very clean. They did a remarkable job. Another amazing fact is that she just had to step out into her LA backyard rock heap to find these treasures. Again I find myself feeling just a little jealous.
Maiz sent a lovely letter including pictures of her sons having a great time cleaning the stones in the sink.
I have already covered a few of these stones but I haven't had a chance to photograph them yet.
There you have it the first installment of the stone diaries. Thanks so much to Pat, Elizabeth, Lisa and Maiz for supplying my very serious stone habit. I can't wait to share what I make with these treasures.
I didn't really intend this but it seams there is a common theme to my posts so far this week. Meaningful nostalgia with a small voice inside me calling out for a return to basics, quality rather than quantity and longevity rather than brevity. We really need to value the " maker's of things" as President Obama has said.
If I go to the shop and buy a wool coat for between 100 and 200 dollars. There is a good chance this article was made in a factory in China where the workers are not valued or compensated well for their labor. How long do you think this coat will last before it will need to be replaced, maybe 5 to 10 years max? If we are very lucky it will at least be recycled at a clothing donation box but more likely will end up in a landfill site. I want to show you an absolutely perfect wool coat that I found at Value Village a little while back. It was priced at 24.99 but it was 50% off day. It was made in 1933 ( yep that is 76 years ago) and other than the lining being a little faded near the bottom and the sham lining being a little stiff in places it is in perfect wearable condition. The craftsmanship, skill and attention to the smallest details in this garment are unbelievable and I found myself studying it and documenting it with photographs. The lining is completely detachable with one very long zipper and the patchwork sham is a work of art in itself. I am tempted to wear it without the coat. Please take a few moments to study these detailed pictures so we can admire the seamstress or tailor together.
Amazing isn't it. I have a hard time deciding upon my favorite detail but the underarm ventilation in the lining, the patchwork sham material, the buttons ( including the extras sewn inside the coat just above the extra little closure detail and the wonderful color of the harris tweed definitely have me smitten. The best thing about it is that it fits me perfectly and it is definitely something I am going to get a great deal of wear out of. I might just need to order a new kjoo pin to match.
I think a very important part of the consumer revolution that is happening is the placing of great value in the quality of craftsmanship and making things that will last. This will be so much better for the environment and our quality of life.
Or maybe I should be asking do you have a button box? In the 19th century every home kept a button box which held buttons removed from discarded worn out clothing and also odd buttons suitable for completing repairs. Over the years I have collected a number of these boxes from garage sales, thrift stores and rummage sales.
Last night my youngest daughter and I watched one of our very favorite musicals , The Newsies and sorted buttons from a variety of sources ( boxes, jars, tins and fabric sacs). We filled some glass jars up to sell at the Love and Rummage Sale on Feb. 8th.
Buttons used to be highly valued and great care was taken in their design and craftsmanship and also in their repurposing.
The buttons are amazing and I plan on taking some pictures of some of my favorites I am not going to be selling. Even more interesting than the buttons were all the other little bits and pieces that were thrown in with them in the boxes. Deborah and I placed these little historical treasures aside and then today she arranged them before dinner for some photographs.
I have left the final large picture in its original size so I would highly recommend you try to view it large. It is like one of those eye spy picture games. I would love to hear what your favorite items are and why. I would also love some opinions on how much to charge for a small jar of sorted vintage buttons.
I just love all these little things , some of which I don't have a clue what they are or what their purpose was but I am sure they definitely had one.
An entire month has already passed since Christmas and I still have some things that I have been wanting to share that I received. One of them is an ornament from a very talented woman named Sandra Field. I think it has to be one of the most exquisite ornaments I have ever seen or held in my hands. It is made from recycled and repurposed materials each chosen specifically to tell a tale.
The story being told is The Steadfast Tin Soldier by Hans Christian Anderson. It came with a little note encouraging the reading of the story to enjoy the ornament fully and also just because one is never too old to read fairy tales. I couldn't agree more and I was very quick to comply with the request. I encourage you all to do the same. You can find the story here.
The craftsmanship in this is spectacular. This one is not being put away in storage. Thanks so much Sandra. You are one very talented woman.
The Inuit have over 30 words in their language for snow. I was thinking about how I would try to describe snow to someone who had never seen or felt it before if I was only allowed to use a few words. The adjectives that first came to mind were pure, white, sparkly, chilling and ephemeral. Some of you have left comments about the icicles like "I haven't seen ice like that in a long time" or " we used to see those when we were kids" and this left me wondering if my children will one day say to their little ones , "I remember those days when winter was synonymous with snow." I really hope that doesn't happen but just in case it dose I am taking lots of pictures of snow to share one day with my future grandchildren and great grandchildren. Pictures like these ones because snow is such a fantastic thing to photograph.
Someone on flickr asked how this was made. I thought it would be so much easier to post the explanation here. It is really quite simple and very similar to the frozen doilies. Take a metal serving tray. I have so many of these since I collect them and interesting vintage tins from the thrift stores. Lay some sea stones or anything else you like ( nuts, seeds, flowers, leaves.....) in the shape of a heart. Çover with water and freeze. I use that big giant freezer called my porch. When frozen , which I think was about one hour during our deep freeze last week , loosen from the tin by bringing it indoors briefly or bending the metal tray ever so slightly. Voila!! It really is that easy. Today the temperature rose and the icicles started falling off the roof so we decided to collect some and make a little snow and icicle creature. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.
In Canada icicles are almost synonymous with the deep freeze of January. I love observing them and I am also mindful of them not wanting to have one of them end up piercing the top of my head. This year for some reason I really noticed the ripples and started to wonder about what I could learn from them.
I came to realize that those ripples have been puzzling scientists for a while now. It used to be thought that the ripples moved downward as the icicle grew longer but now a group of scientists has proven that the ripples move upward very slightly as the ice grows. That means that they move against gravity even though the flow of fluids and forces of nature are in the opposite direction. So you see the icicle is trying to teach us a very important little lesson that it is possible to move in your own direction even though it may seem that everyone and everything is moving the opposite way.
I love icicle ripples :)