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Friday, April 14, 2017

The Beauty In Everyday Things

Several years ago I decided I was going to upgrade the items I use everyday. The things where if you don't pay attention, get taken for granted. I'm referring to items such as bath towels, brooms, dish towels, rugs, silverware, dishes, cookware, sheets, et cetera.

My plan wasn't to just go out and buy a bunch of new stuff; that would be expensive and honestly, I didn't want to replace stuff bought at a big box store with more stuff bought at a big box store. No, I wanted to upgrade with nice stuff I either found used or handmade locally.

This endeavor started out small. I picked up a vintage linen dishtowel at a sale in someone's home or at an antique store.

Over the years, I started missing several pieces of silverware, so I'd pick up a pretty spoon or a couple silver forks at a garage sale. Matching wasn't and isn't a high priority. An item doesn't need to match to be beautiful.

I upgraded my hand towels to pretty handwoven ones I found in a studio and then promptly signed up for a weaving class at the same studio to make a new rug.

I've always been drawn to handmade rugs. I love the feel of them beneath your feet and appreciate the time and skill needed to make one. I'm always on the lookout for new or used handmade rugs.

Even items like my plastic measuring spoons I upgraded to pretty pottery ones.

And my metal measuring cups I've had for 30 years will be sold at my sale as I replaced them with some colorful stoneware ones.

A while back, I found some pretty vintage restaurant ware plates at an antique store and bought eight then moved my old ones to the basement to sell in my sale.

While I was at it, I took my bowls to the basement as well. We're still a little light on bowls as I've been replacing them with handmade pottery ones I find at craft fairs.

I bought a couple bowls at a craft fair at work one day and it was then that I discovered one of my co-workers was a potter! I commissioned him to make me a few dessert plates as they were an item I wanted to replace.

Little did I know he did BEAUTIFUL work! He made me 8 plates and I'm going to swap soap and help him set up a website for payment. He's in the process of purchasing his own wheel and setting up a home studio. I'll be sure to let you know when his site is up and running!

A couple years ago we went to a little independent store in SE Portland and I picked up a handmade broom made in Eugene, Oregon. I love it and when we saw one at an estate sale this past winter, I talked Jeff into getting it for his place. Check out their website to see the beauty that is a broom!

I still have plenty of everyday items I wanted to replace (10 year old bath towels as an example) but I'm in no hurry. I've found that I enjoy the search of hunting down something beautiful, useful and made with love.

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