My apologies to California, but the Pacific Northwest is being blessed with another gully washer. Bedazzled with raindrops that quickly channel off the panes, my windows are artful reminders that it’s nice to be on their good side. High and dry at my desk (the kitchen table), I’m enjoying the company of two snoring, farting bulldogs along with a more welcoming (albeit misplaced) campfire fragrance — the result, a perfumed pairing you will never find in the scented-candle aisle.
Thanks to a couple rambunctious log rounds that could not be contained by poor placement and worthy andirons, my house smells like the smoldering embers from a beachside salmon bake. Fortunately, the firescreen and fender stopped the logs fiery escape, but not their spewing fumes.
Being a willful shut-in on a rainy day is not so bad. I tried dusting. And while that lasted all of six minutes, I did find the tedious cleaning attempt inspired me to write about a few objects of my affection — objects that still could use some dusting.
And if I may qualify, the following items that caught my eye and still move me by their simple beauty and presence. They rarely cost much, many were just found, and others I ferreted from a thrift store or garage sale sweep. And while, I have been blessed to receive many beloved gifts from friends and family, and I will save the show-and-tell for those keepsakes for another post.
Beauty Is Where You Find It
This little porcelain pod is no bigger than a goose egg and moonlights as flower vase for my garden’s most diminutive stems. The vessel smiles or frowns depending how it’s positioned, and the low-sheen glaze drenches the surface like chocolate. Freed from the thrift shop, this $3 floral canteen has found its forever home.
Called a wishing rock by some, this small stone was plucked from a crescent beach in Southeast Alaska. Sea, wind and glacial grinding sculpted a gem so visually pure and simple that it caught my eye and subsequently my heart — a keepsake a million years in the making.
Colorful and very much a statement from the artist who carved and decorated it, this tray reflects a bravado not often seen in Japanese lacquerware. And when tilted in the light, the painstakingly-applied lacquer reveals a few secrets in the grain of its wood.
The bluebird of happiness landed on this platter and in my hands many years ago in an antique store in Seattle’s Pioneer Square. While I’ve humiliated it with chips and dip, piled it high with brownies, and loaded it up with Easter’s deviled eggs, the plate is most at home propped up in my cupboard for me (and all) to see.
When I broke into the aging walls of my breakfast nook (on yet another home improvement project), I found a cache of treasures in the wall. Correction: The treasures were more on the trashy side, and the collector likely a discerning four-legged creature. In any case, one artifact stood out, a crow skull. While I dispatched the other less-appealing bits to the shop-vac, I kept the skull as a fond reminder of the stories this house could tell.
If pies are art, pie plates are their pedestals, and this next little object joyfully exalts the art of baking with a salt-glazed, ceramic nod to pie love. Yet another thrift-shop find, this pie plate simply makes me smile. And while I may not always wear my heart on my sleeve, it can always be found in my pie.
True confession: I’ve always looked down my nose at ballpoint pens. For me, fountain pens are the magic wands of the written word. Merely holding one makes me want to write a hundred letters and a few big checks (with lots and lots of zeros). The last time I held this vintage Parker pen to paper, I believe I heard it purr.
What are some of your favorite “objects of my affection?”