Fabric: scraps, sample pages, vintage. Antique lace. Baskets, books, buttons, boxes. Ribbon and cord. Cards and the kids’ drawings. These are just some of the things that I collect, accumulate, can’t part with. Some stuff is stored neatly away, some of it is on shelves, some in messy piles for all to see, or step around. What is clutter for my husband is comforting to me. So, feeling guilty, (“Am I taking up more than my fair share of space in our apartment?”) I try nonetheless to defend my stuff, telling the family that I need fabric and supplies for my business, and well, I can’t throw this or that away, because you never know when we might need it…
Naturally I was happy to discover Megan Auman’s new site StuffDoesMatter.com and her interview with Grace Bonney on Design Sponge. Megan defends the value of material things that are important to us, saying that the things we love are part of how we experience the world. My collections are a way of sorting out and understanding my world, getting a “hold on it” so to speak. Of course, my husband just sees chaos, but it all depends on your point of view.
Some other objects remind me of my connection to my family. Like the pair of small brass vases that my grandfather made. They spent years on the shelf over the sink at my grandparents’ house, then my mom had them in her home for a few years, and finally gave them to me. My grandfather had wanted to be a cartoonist, but certain circumstances in his life made it a dream that just didn’t come true. He always encouraged me to keep drawing, and when I was in high school, I intended to become a cartoonist or an illustrator. I don’t know if I got my love of art from pop, or what else he created in his workshop besides those vases, but whenever I see them today, on my shelf over the sink, I remember him bringing “artist” into the realm of possible paths early in my life.
What about you? What stuff in your life has the most meaning?