reverse threading

the path back is the path forward


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shabby chic. [two artists tuesday]

i was grateful when they attached a name to it – shabby chic. my inclination to love things with the texture of peeling paint and a bit rough-hewn was vindicated…wait!…not only vindicated, but reinforced by the decorating fashion industry. phew! that meant that the old screen doors on the wall, the glass-less window frames tucked here and there, the chopped-off-side-of-the-vintage-desk end table, the vintage black suitcases, the metal radiator grate catty-corner in the foyer, the old door laid horizontal on horses, the tin ceiling panels…these were all fashion statements and not statements of making-do-decor. such a relief.

i must say, however, that i wouldn’t have changed anything anyway. these all make me happy. they are cozy and warm and, mostly, they have history. and it’s the history-that-remains-a-mystery and the history-that-i-know-a-smidge-about that i love. i had no idea whose screen door screens these were when i got them at a wholesale trade show years ago but i could imagine the sound they made when they slammed shut. nor did i know where the old black window with one colored glass square in my studio was from. the old four-foot tall window frames were being thrown out of the historic lakefront building where i had my offices, making room for new windows. i couldn’t bear to see them in the trashpile and the way i adored those offices made it easy to take them home. someone literally chopped off the side of the old desk leaving three drawers and a rough edge and selling it in the estate sale for $5. you can’t see the rough edge unless you really look and this piece has been in the living room for years and years now, serving a purpose and feeling loved. the tin, well, who knows? what i do know is that they make marvelous places to magnet photographs and cards and tiny little signs with sayings that help each day. so, yeah, i guess my point is that whether i know the back-story or not, i really appreciate the warmth of long living they bring. they sit alongside many rocks and sticks that have made short and long journeys home with me, in the back of little baby scion or in backpacks with corks that come home from times spent with my children and moments i want to remember.

i haven’t purchased a lot of brand new furniture. there was the first herculon-fabric overstuffed couch with two matching overstuffed chairs, a tweed in lovely shades of very-early 1980s brown.

well over a decade later that was donated to a youth group and a new couch in mid 1990s floral barn red and forest green with a reclining wingchair of red and white checks made its way into the living room. both of those pieces still have a place in the house – though no longer in the living room. the couch, still very comfortable, is covered with a black slipcover and has a place in the sitting room with a hand-me-down lazyboy, an old farm table and an antique copper boiler tub that stores our roadtrip writings.

there’s a black leather couch in the living room now that has been there over a decade. it shares the space with the old secretary that was my brother’s, the bistro table that was in the second story porch of my old offices, a vintage typewriter 20 bought me for my birthday a couple years ago, a few paintings i spattered, the desk-turned-end-table you now know too much about and the driftwood we brought back from a trip to long island. the two big branches we painted white and potted to hold happy lights still stand steadfastly happying up the room and each day i pass them i wonder if they are too holiday-ish. i quickly reject this as too big a decision and plug them in.

it is in recent days i have had the good fortune of hearing from a dear old friend i taught with in my first two years of teaching way-back-when. we soon will have a phone chat and catch up on everything from a-z. what lois doesn’t realize is that i have thought of her simply every day…as it is her dresser that stands in our bedroom of vintage size that couldn’t really accommodate one of those bedroom suites you see in magazines. instead, this old sturdy five-drawer sits opposite the windows of the sunrise and hold my dad’s peanut can, one of the precious items i have of my sweet poppo’s, the planters peanut blue metal can he tucked in his drawer that always held a few dollars and was the place he sent you if you were going to go pick up the pizza.

as i look at the top of that dresser right this second, pictures of d and me and of my beloved children are on top. there is a small piece of the carpet padding from the irresponsible-gasket-flood waiting to go in the special box next to the yago-sangria-wine-bottle-turned-lamp i made when i was 19 and there is a card in a glass frame that reads: “someday, the light will shine like a sun through my skin and they will say, what have you done with your life? and though there are many moments i think i will remember, in the end, i will be proud to say, i was one of us.”

all of this – the stuff with history i know, the stuff with history i don’t know, the peeling paint, the rough-hewn, the used and the it-took-me-a-long-time-to-decide new…all of it – around me reminds me of that and is the connecting thread. of the concentric circles of me, of us. probably that’s why “shabby chic” speaks to me. it is most definitely why it works for me.

*****

read DAVID’S thoughts this TWO ARTISTS TUESDAY


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not the fancy stuff. [two artists tuesday]

coffee pot copy

maybe we’ll go back.  this sassy coffee pot sits at one of our favorite antique shops and drew my eye.  we’ll be sure to know where to put it and, perhaps, how to use it before we maybe go get it.

we were on our way to cape cod and the sign salvage chic antiques stopped us.  four old aluminum coffee pots later, we left the store.  they are now part of a five-aluminum-coffee-pot collection on a shelf in our kitchen; instead of a canister set, these coffee pots keep all our different teas easily accessible.

anyone who knows us knows that we love our coffee.  anyone who knows us knows that we also love re-purposing old stuff.  but not the fancy stuff.  old aluminum coffee pots, old black vintage suitcases, old wooden boxes.  they are the treasures around us.  they hold special mementos, nespresso coffee pods, clothespins for the ukulele band, art supplies, rocks we have collected on beaches, in woods, from high sandstone precipices or red rock canyons deep.  they are history and they are new.  both true.

when we need a break, a few moments to lose ourselves, we will either hike or go to one of our local favorite antique shops.  things of worry will gently fall off as we walk through woods or aisles of things-that-remind-us of other times, memories, or maybe inspire us with a beckon to be brought home.

we choose carefully and deliberately.  for ourselves and for the gifts we get others.  it’s never the fancy stuff, but it’s the stuff that stops us, draws our eye, beckons to be purchased and re-treasured.

read DAVID’S thoughts this TWO ARTISTS TUESDAY

coffeepots website box

photo by 20

 


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memories you can touch. [two artists tuesday]

TV Trays This One copy

he stopped.  walking in the top floor room of a nearby antique mall we love to visit, david was struck suddenly by – of all things – tv trays.  “we had these!” he exclaimed. “growing up, we had these exact trays!” i immediately took pictures.  i knew i would send them to his sister later.  for a few moments, he was back in colorado, clipping the tv tray into place, surrounded by his sister, his brothers, his mom and dad.

when we have free time, we peruse antique stores.  sometimes we are lucky to amble with our dearest friends.  it takes time to walk through antiques – old stuff that connects us to a galore of stories.  we stop and tell tales, sharing, laughing, amazed at how long ago are the moments we are speaking of.  pole lamps that reach floor-to-ceiling, games, figurines, wooden crates, orange and turquoise vinyl furniture, dolls and toys, china, record albums, ancient suitcases with no wheels, teapots and patterns of corelle-ware, mixing bowls and corningware…everything is part of some moment we have passed through, maybe forgotten, but now surfacing with the touch of some item.

i am really thready, without physical reminders.  but with them i can literally touch yesterdays…full of emotion, sometimes pining for times-gone-by.  i relish the stories, the re-visiting.  i can almost, just almost remember our tv trays.  but not quite.  i can’t quite put my mind’s-eye-finger on them.   maybe we will stumble across them one of these days.  and i will stop short.

in the meanwhile, just wondering…what did your tv trays look like?

tvtraywebsitebox

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click here to share pictures of YOUR old tv trays

 


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find YOUR treasures [chicken marsala monday]

find your treasures WITH EYES jpeg copy 3what’s that saying?…’one man’s trash is another man’s treasure’?  a walk through our house shows we drew this chicken nugget from our own lives.  i’ve written before, ok many times before, about the stones in our home, the sticks and feathers, the old doors and windows, re-purposed old aluminum coffee pots as canisters, old stoves still working, my dad’s workbench wooden boxes, pieces of old desks or old wooden crates as end tables.  everyone has their own definition of “treasure”; for us it’s just not always the shiny new stuff.  find your treasures METAL WALL ART copy

this weekend marks another earth day, a celebration of support for our beloved home planet.  more than 193 countries now mark this day as a day of awareness and honoring.  as we move about our days, we make seemingly miniscule decisions about how to handle our little piece of the globe.  but each one of these has an impact and the ever-widening ripples will either be adding to the protection of mother earth or contributing to the harm that will adversely effect our earth in the long-term.  yes, those blue recycling bags cost a bundle, but it helps.  yes, those kitchen cabinets might look old for you, but they’d look better in someone else’s home (who maybe doesn’t have cabinets) than in the dump.

find your treasures CANVAS copymaybe a few sticks or rocks placed here or there in our home reminds us of all that.  they are treasures for me.  they always have been.  find your treasures BEACH TOWEL copywe can’t fit all our treasures into our literal ‘special box’ of memories so they sit out.  i can’t tell you specifically where each of them came from anymore, but i can tell that each one is meaningful and each one comes from our good planet earth.

find your treasures LEGGINGS copy

find your treasures CHICKEN mug copy

find your treasures TOTE BAG

find your treasures CHICKEN SQ PILLLOW copy

find your treasures IPHONE CASE copy

CHICKEN MARSALA MONDAY – ON OUR SITE

PRODUCTS LIKE THESE – ON SOCIETY6.COM/CHICKENMARSALA

read DAVID’S thoughts on this CHICKEN NUGGET

FIND YOUR TREASURES ©️ 2016 david robinson & kerri sherwood

melange button jpeg

kerrianddavid.com

 

 


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two artists tuesday

typewriter copy 2anyone walking in our home knows this is true:  i’m a vintage type.  our home is not populated with new things fresh from the pottery barn catalog.  instead, it is filled with things that are re-purposed, things that are old, things that have some history, things we haven’t replaced with new things.  even our manner of work is kinda vintage, although this blog and our online product lines aren’t evidence of that.  but as an acoustic-analog-type musician and a brush-to-the-canvas painter, we pretty much scream
“vintage”.

one of my most treasured physical memories of my poppo are a few old small wooden boxes we found next to his workbench.   they would likely have been thrown away, but i knew he had “saved them” for some future purpose – perhaps holding random fasteners or nuts and bolts.  we carefully wrapped them and brought them home and they now sit in our sunroom (next to our not-so-vintage-and-really-awesome nespresso machine) and they hold nespresso capsules (which are recycled) and a collection of old clothespins my sweet momma used to use on the old clothesline in our backyard growing up.  it’s not the fancy stuff.  it’s the vintage stuff.

i lusted over this typewriter in the antique store.  i’m still thinking about it.  if it’s still there one day when we are visiting that shop and i have a little bit of extra spending money, i will buy it.  i’m not sure what i will do with it, but it speeeeeaks to me.  my sweet momma loved typewriters too.  what is it about those??  i think correctotype and purple carbon paper, the workout your fingers got, how it feels when you take the return handle to move to the next line down of type, and that really great sound -think of it…hear it- when you pull the paper out of the roll.  it’s visceral.

the stove/oven in our kitchen is, ummm, old, and, although i prefer to think of it as ‘vintage’, it doesn’t necessarily count as  romantic ‘vintage’.  it was here when we bought the house in 1989 and had likely been here at least ten years at that point; the people who owned the house before us were not the buy-new or even fix-it-up type.  matter of fact, they took it to a new level, putting contact paper on the countertops and backsplash and offering to teach us how to replace it.  (eww.  the sheer bacteria-breeding-ground-ness of that makes me shiver.  one of the first things i did was remove that stuff.)  but, back to the stove/oven.  it continues to work and i can’t tell you how many meals i have cooked on it and how many people have eaten those meals.  (if you merely consider almost 29 years and maybe just one meal a day, that is 10,585 times that this appliance has served me and my family and it is likely about 40 years old.)  my sister has had multiple stoves/ovens in the time i have had this one.  granted, she has enjoyed lots of updated features i haven’t had, but i haven’t (knock wood) spent anything to date on a stove/oven since 1989.  amazing.  it’s a testament to kenmore’s older appliances.  someday i know we will have a new one, but in the meanwhile this workhorse is not taking up room in a dump somewhere, with a half-life of a billion years (ok, slight exaggeration) and i feel good about that.  it’s not pretty, it’s not high-tech; i feel it has earned the label ‘vintage’ and no one seems to run – aghast- out of our kitchen because it graces the spot for ‘stove/oven’.  there is something to be said for that.

we just had breakfast; d made it as he does each morning these days.  he cooked it on that stove and it was deeeeelicous.  and me?  i’m going to get out our coin jar and count what’s in there.  maybe there will be enough to go back to that antique shop so i can bring home this typewriter.

I’M A VINTAGE TYPE – this link will take you to wall art, cards, leggings, throw pillows, bags, fun stuff

 

society 6 info jpeg copy

 

vintage type FRAMED ART PRINT copy

framed art prints, metal wall art, cards

 

vintage type SQUARE PILLOW copy

throw pillows all shapes & sizes, floor pillows, clocks, rugs

 

Vintage tyoe LEGGINGS copy

leggings/yoga pants

 

vintage type COFFEE MUG copy          Screen Shot 2018-03-19 at 10.49.14 AM

 

vintage type TOTE BAG copy

tote bags, phone cases, laptop sleeves

 

TWO ARTISTS TUESDAY – ON OUR SITE

 

 

read DAVID’S thoughts on A VINTAGE TYPE

i’m a vintage type ©️ 2018 kerri sherwood & david robinson