every summer the beach we walk and comb offers something a little different. if you are observant and come back to the same place once a year, you may notice this, too. washed up along the cold wet sandy border of our big lake we have found among the stones and pebbles an abundance of birch bark one season, tiny broken shells the next, and oddly, last year, tiparillo tips everywhere we looked. but 2011 happened to be a very good year for face rocks.
happy weekend everyone!
this year i rearranged my beach combing finds into multiple collections. last year i arranged them by day and by common objects. i like to switch it up a little :)
it's been a long time since i looked thru the boxes where my button collection is stored. to really examine and admire them, to hold each one in my hand. so i devoted some time this week to sit beside the window every morning and arrange them on a piece of grey velvet. layer by layer, i worked my way down to the bottom of the pink paper box, taking photos. celluloid, leather, mother of pearl. plastic, metal, glass and bakelite. it became a quiet little ritual i looked forward to almost as much as my big cups of coffee. since so many people mentioned how much they love buttons, too, i thought i would post them here.
have a happy saturday :)
in our apartment, just ten steps from the front door, is a little 10' x 11' room with blue green walls we call my clubhouse. inside there are seven pine bookcases trimmed in carved leafy vines, two wooden desks, a chair, two windows, a closet, the mac mini, the printer, more than half of our books and all of my art supplies. and me. as i work away here i often stop to sort and stack and reorganize things. i find books i have read, books i bought for the cover or the title, or the illustration that i couldn't resist. some are now collector's items and some are still collectible. some i save and some i want to share.
this is how i came to stock the shelves and open the doors of clubhouse books. it's a quiet little spot for book-lovers. if you haven't been there yet, i invite you to drop by. the door is always open :)
am i making room for more books or opening up space for a new chapter to begin? i'm not sure yet... now i must get back to work. so many new old titles are waiting to be dusted off, researched and photographed before stocking the shelves. have a happy sunday!
remember these? i'm certain i have told their story before, but maybe you haven't already read it. how there was a time when my son was young that i had a collaborator and dear friend who happened to live in a rickety old three flat right next door to a giant scrap metal yard beside the chicago river. during our weekly visits, over the course of the few years she lived there, we came and went with our little boys and stooped in all weathers to pick up the odd bits and shapes of copper, tin and brass metal scraps that the wind blew out of the yard and the backs of the big dump trucks onto the street and sidewalk. if we walked in the other direction from her front door, turning down the wide alley, we would happen upon the scattered debris from the salvation army loading dock. here small plastic buttons, beads, clock parts, crushed charms and safety pins would collect in the potholes and settle among the loose gravel on the ground. we were suckers for free treasure and gathered all that we wanted. most of the fragments we found we transformed into jewelry and embellishments for the garments we made. what remained was a couple of formidable found object collections (that continue to expand). a portion of mine has been sorted, photographed and tucked into a cubby in my workroom. while i was busy with a multitude of other projects and ideas, a year passed. now i am finally getting around to listing them in the bricolagelife shop.
if there is a mini chandelier, shadow box, jewelry idea or altered art project in your future, you might want to pick up one or two of these instant collections for supplies!
in september we returned to the antique mall by the lake where i had fallen in love a year ago with a small stack of old photos of bud and amelia. this time as i stood in a cramped booth digging thru another bowl of black and white images i was amazed to find a few more. it was startling, like running into an old friend unexpectedly. the icing on my treasure hunting cake was when i leaned over the counter to pay for my finds and met the woman who had attended the estate sale and helped empty the house where amelia had lived. stories were handed over along with my brown bag of snapshots. this is what i learned:
after confirming my assumption that amelia and bud were living together, unmarried, in an era when the arrangement would have been considered unseemly, she added that bud was also "dating" one of amelia's four sisters. (the news broke my heart a little, as i had developed my own happy romantic image of the couple.) and apparently these sisters, sharing careers in their local public school system, had very sticky fingers. as the house was cleared after their demise, cases and cases of purloined school supplies were discovered stockpiled in the basement. glue, scissors, paper, tape... (my eyes widened here) most had never been opened. when they all retired from teaching and principling, the women took jobs in the town's department store where they continued to bring home the merchandise they just couldn't resist. oddly, the antique shop proprietress commented, they had identical taste in shoplifting (as they'd apparently had in men). duplicates of every item pilfered from the store where uncovered in drawers and closets throughout the house, tags intact.
if every picture tells a story... the story i imagined, the story revealed, and all the secrets still withheld, in this case they could tell a whole book.