Friday, November 20, 2009

Treasure

I often think about the objects I treasure.  Most of them are not intrinsically valuable.  No one would race into a bidding war for them at an auction, and yet I find myself drawn to them, sometimes because of the memories I associate with them, other times because of a certain beauty I find in them.


Old bottles, like the ones above that I photographed at Portland Architectural Salvage, often speak to me, especially those that have been unearthed after years in the ground and to which the dirt still clings.  Silent mysteries, they speak of another time, of places and people and uses that I love to try to imagine.  Maybe that's what I value in certain objects: they seem to tell a story.  I especially tend to love old keys, ironstone pitchers, wooden bowls, old tools and anything crafted from metal.  I also adore vintage photographs and paper goods, bits of string, lace, or other textiles, and mismatched pieces of silver, especially spoons.  Of course, those objects are most wonderful when I've received them as a gift from someone I love or when I've discovered them completely by accident, as if by fate.

What do you treasure?  What two or three things in your home do you find most beautiful or most beloved?  What about them speaks to you most?

17 comments:

  1. Lovely post, Gigi! I definitely treasure old pictures, love them. I also adore antique bottles, I used to have quite a collection, when I moved this last time - I let go of alot of things, but the memory of them lingers. I have a gold antique watch chain that was my dad's and his dad's. My mom, who had been divorced from dad for many years, but still great friends - had kept it for me all of these years. She remembers me telling her how much I loved it...Imagine my surprise when she gave it to me after my dad died. I had it made into a necklace and I adore it! Have a wonderful weekend, Gigi xxoo

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  2. The stores those bottles could tell! :o) Photos of my family back home in the US mean so much to me--since I can see them every day or very often, must having the photos in pretty frames scattered here & there make living far away easier--so does email, instant messaging, etc--LOL! I look at my loved ones in the photos and am lifted, especially if I get to feeling homesick. I also love a deep luscious purple orchid my husband gave me some years ago at our anniversary. I adore orchids, and this one keeps blooming, just like our love. Happy Weekend, Gigi ((HUGS))

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  3. How could I pick just one? I have so many tiny treasures that bring me such expansive joy. One of my recent favourites is a small half-moon shaped rock that I picked up in St. James Park in London. I keep it on a stack of cookbooks in my kitchen. So often, when I'm cooking, I pick up and turn it over in my hand - remembering how the afternoon light fell over my favourite city the moment I put it in my pocket.

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  4. i'm definitely an old bottles girl along with old cameras, and old tea cups. and old linens.

    and and and

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  5. I love the stories you tell with these photos. Have a fabulous weekend !

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  6. I have recently pulled my grandmother's round oak table out of the basement and brought into my dining area, replacing a much more contemporary Crate and Barrel glass topped table. I have kept the table because of the history...and used it in my older homes for years. I never dreamed I'd be using it again with my expresso leather and Tommy Bahama beachy look newer home. But...my grandmother bought this table with her first paycheck as a gift to her mother. So it actually belonged to my great-grandmother, my grandmother, my mother and I have had it for the last 25 years or so. I've been doing tablescapes using some of my mom's and grandmother's vintage linens...and I'm really enjoying the memories.

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  7. Old cups and mugs, which were often very personal to their former owners. I still remember the shelf of special cups in my grandmother's house which were used only when the priest visited.

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  8. I love my great-grandfather's old scale. It still measures/weighs perfectly, and I use it to weigh all my packages before shipping. Each time I use it, I have a wonderful memory of him and his sweet hands placing a few strawberries or tomatoes on top before selling them to the passerbys from his little fruit/veggie stand. And I also cherish a few several old wooden boxes we found in the Paris flea markets. As you mentioned, it's the stories that are within them that make them so special. If only they could talk....

    Thinking of you and sending BIG good luck wishes your way because I KNOW you will get the position. No one else deserves it more (yes, I'm bias, but that's okay!).
    Bises,
    Melissa

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  9. We seem to like the same things. I have so many favorites but I have an old spoon from my grandparents that has an end that's made for crushing your sugar cube. I've never seen one anywhere else.
    Love your new header!
    xxx........Carole

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  10. A little carved wooden box designed to hold two decks of playing cards. The box sat perennially on my grandparent's coffee table, always volunteering its contents to an afternoon of solitaire or, better, a sudden poker game. It was one of three things I took from the house when my grandfather died.

    Another little box that my father made for me when I was about 6, and upon which my mother decoupaged a picture of Linus. It had travelled with me every single place I've ever been since.

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  11. I know what you mean about objects that tell stories. Before my Tante Marie died she left me the embroidered linen and hand woven rugs that had been part of her dowry. They are so fragile that I fear handling them, and so beautiful they make my heart ache. Yet, I display some because to see them hanging on my walls gives me pure joy.

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  12. I love knowing what other people treasure Gigi and how often those things coincide with what I like too. I love old bottles too. I have one that has that oily rainbow look that old glass gets when left in the sun. It is only small and has the cork still in it. It is cloudy looking at the bottom but you can see a little of the residue of the contents. I love that one. What I would like though is more space to dsiplay treasures without feeling as if I live in a bric-a-brac shop! I would have a house which was a bit like my favourite types of museums-with curiosities in unusual places! Maybe one day!

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  13. Love{3x! The bamboo flatware in your last post Gigi!
    We have lots in common with old bottles...for me it's 'pharmacy glass'...I use them in my bath room for cotton balls & sea salt. Hope you have a wonderful Sunday with your dear hubby~
    xo*
    ps: great new header photograph! that skeleton leaf bowl is so dreamy...

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  14. Well I just had dad ship my ornaments from my childhood so they could be a part of my own tree finally. For many years it has been on the to-do list, and when it arrived this week I had such a wonderful time showing them to my sweetheart and explaining how my step-mom at the time had written the year and kept them in each box. They are wonderful treasures and memories to become part of a newer family now. :)

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  15. Your living space must be filled with so many beautiful things. Things that are meaningful to you. The things I treasure most, I think, are the pieces of art on my walls...most of them were created by people I love.

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  16. Oh, you so covered my list. I love sea glass. Of course, I've never discovered any one my own. Missouri is pretty landlocked, dontcha know? I love spheres and shiny things. I have some beautiful mercury glass. I love enormous glass containers and dream of vintage wavy glassed apothecary jars. I love watercolors and have several nice (tiny) originals. But most of all, I love books. Books, books, books.

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  17. I love vintage prom dresses, shoes, typewriters, overnight cases, ornaments, etc. Recently, I was ecstatic to find a vintage, distressed armoire! When I'm stressed, these things take me into another world....

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