Thursday, March 17, 2011

My hundred-year-old friend

This is my hundred-year-old friend. I found her on a Sunday at a favourite car-boot sale. She came with a story and a dubious pricetag.. but I love her to bits (forgive the particularly bad and unintended pun) .. Apparently hardened papier-mache and straw appendaged dolls like this one here were produced in a factory in Malta a while back but the factory closed down.. and as it usually and unfortunately happens.. once a plastic substitute appears the artisanal option gradually dies out; ... and the only crafts village on the island turns into a ghost town.. but this is a topic to dwell on some othertime when the cat isn't warming my belly and (in turn) pushing my laptop off my knees.
I came to blog with a half hearted intent to lay out an argument about 'acquisitions', not knowing where I stand vis a vis the same topic. But who am I to set a standard.. plus.. I had promised myself (at some point.. I must have for sure) never to argue with myself expecting a reply.. especially via the web.. blogging is sad in this way, sometimes.
I turned 23 this week.. I acquired things for myself.. I don't know why I did it .. I guess you could say 'they looked nice'.. small things I don't really need.. but the more I look at and touch these items which I pick up and carry off unquestioningly, the more I understand the 'why(s)' behind it all. During the course of my aesthetic education, the life-long, un-organized kind; I was always far removed from the objects I loved.. objects of such value that I would be lucky if only I ever got to catch a glimpse of them from behind glass cases.. and in a bid to satiate this curiosity I set out to find alternatives at only the fraction of the price. I only got to love kitsch because I had no other option but to..

Here's 16 euro worth of religious pendants I bought for a commission that may or may not happen.. It is the kind of risky acquisition I am willing to make. It is, in itself, quite a special outcome to end up with a paperbag-full of these.. it is special because realistically very few people appreciate such a disappointment.

A silk shirt I bought from a vintage store.. bought only because I liked it and knew exactly what had to be done to the sleeves to make it perfect.. bought because in a fit of self indulgence I erroneously thought no ne else could carry it off as well.. bought because my parents still insist on not getting me something they pick up themselves for what is supposedly a very special day in my year. After years upon years of watching your daughter bring in boxes upon boxes of junk from the street, would one still assume she wouldn't like anything one chose?
In any case the shirt is a wonderful apple green and will keep my shoulders cool in summer.

And a bracelet to accompany it.

What is wonderful however, is what your friends deem worthy of purchase in your honour.. it's a wonderful thing to think about.. people get to know each other in particular detail.. they often start falling in love with the same things. The little effort one puts into giving away something they loved in the first place is often an underrated gesture. Being one who loves almost everything save for cheese and pink ski-pants, I'm often the glad reciever of really diverse and lovely stuff. This year I even got handpicked dried porcini muchrooms in the post. Above are two postcards and below is a cute woolly creature I refuse to give to the cat to have its way with it.

An old cameo that came with a precious lot of hand made lace and crocheted items for the home.. a kind of 'dota' I acquired in honour of my moving out.. and my working really hard lately. I invent all kinds of excuses to justify what's already a bargain and most importantly.. what's ultimately an eye's soul soother.
A black and white beaded collar. It's so cool it sends shivers down your spine.

Enough doilies to cover a wall and a black embroidered tulle affair for which I've already made handsome plans.

And a hand and machine embroidered bird piece to turn into one super special cushion; as well as a particularly useless yet beautifully embroidered nightdress pocket. It is nice to know that someone somewhere had/still has the time to put on a nightdress and not only take it off in the morning, but also fold it and have their initial embroidered onto it's pocket. I bet they even have time to make their bed.


  1. Ahh happy birthday:)

    I'm always quite fascinating by the gifts some of my friends choose for me.. sometimes with the phrase "I thought this was so... YOU" (and especially when the object in question is very far removed from their own tastes) Love it!


  2. Happy belated birthday. Love your matter of factstyle of writing and also the gifts... especially the lace items.

    First time I've encountered your blog. Definitely looking forward for more!

  3. many thanks for the feedback!
    the lace items were quite a treat it's true!! :)