snip 03

A little snapshot of a corner of my apartment. My thread is there on the left in a strange thrift store thing probably homemade for some other purpose. Both sides are plexiglass, but only one side slips out to allow access. The shelves are that kind of thinnish composite wood stuff that’s barely more substantial than bookboard and they do bend under the heavy burden of silk and cotton threads. The handle is similar to what you might find on sashes in older houses around here. You’ll notice (or you won’t at all) that I have a terrible habit of choosing my threads based not on what I might be sewing, but what fills out my rainbow. I just got lucky that the first navy thread I grabbed yesterday happened to match the fancy wool sweater I was mending for a friend. But never make me choose between practicality and a cheerful array of threads! Most (all) threads seen are from various thrift stores, usually picked up in assorted bags for one particular color that caught my eyes, thankfully often with the more mundane and frequently used colors thrown in (blues for jeans in particular).

The footed bowl is signed “Italy” on the bottom and holds some of my favorite buttons, the kind that I mean to use on the next project but the next project is never quite perfect enough for the kind of buttons that are displayed in bowls from Italy. But I get the enjoyment of almost using them each time, and that’s pretty great. More quotidian buttons are in the jar to its left (and in other hidden locations around my apartment; buttons are important!). The Mary is stamped “Germany” and “45/0” with an old Hummel mark. Apparently she had a halo at one point (who amongst us didn’t!) and was glued to green felt, some crusty remnants still on her base.

The radio is a beauty, though it needs a tune-up after a few months’ heavy use. It’s a vintage Sony TFM-C450 (I think), with AM/FM and weather channels. There’s something that’s charming to me in the monotone of weather broadcasters (robots?) listing out the ceiling of the clouds, the direction of the winds. It’s never frenetic, but it’s also never really calm enough to sleep to. Something is happening in the world, something as amazing and mundane as you could ever desire. It’s the kind of thing that calls for punctuation between “.” and “!” Plus flip-clock numerals, the ever-classy cube shape, and various alarms!

All of it, thrifted, resides on top of my closet bookcase, courtesy of Craigslist. I found it a few years ago during the kind of mindless late-night clicking that one does on particularly hard days (not long after the death of my uncle, I believe). I wasn’t really in the best mental state for successful Craigslist transactions, but it was the right size to replace a too-big cabinet. I arrived late, after having trouble making a timely exit visiting another ill relative and getting lost en route, only to find the piece was was about an inch too big to fit into the car I was borrowing, which meant I (and the party I’d coerced into helping) had to come back the next day, with a truck instead. But the seller was the exact kind of stranger everyone should run into in hard times–understanding and sympathetic in just the right amounts, where I felt neither ashamed nor pitied for being so scatterbrained, but just a fellow human hitting the kind of bumps that we all know at some point. And that, my friends, is the beauty and the restorative power of consumerism.


6 thoughts on “Snippet No. 3

  1. OMG! One of my aunties gave me a BVM statue just like yours, and, in a cleaning-fit, one day I put it in the alley, with a free sign!
    [Free Mary? Like Free Dorothy?]
    It was gone within half an hour.

    I’ve sometimes regretted giving it away, so I like to imagine someone took it and later gave it to the thrift store where it found its way you… Except mine never had a green felt bottom. 🙂

    I’m enjoying these “snippets”.

    • The felt green bottom is clearly just the fingerprints of the intermediary and whatever use they put it to. Which aunt gave it to you? And do you want it back? I have a few other BVMs so if you’ve got a corner that needs it, let me know!

      • The dry white snow today (Tuesday 2/3) reminds me of this statue.
        Hm. Let me think… Do I want it back?
        You are very kind to offer, but no, thank you very much, upon reflection I really don’t —I have three other BVMs taking up all available corners!

        The auntie who gave it to me was Carmella, one of my father’s four sisters—I have two other Mary statues from two other sisters of his (Marianna and Violetta).
        The fourth sister (Adelina) gave me a crystal milk pitched instead… I use it often.

        I also have a Mary from my mother–an old, little, wooden Virgin of Guadalupe.

  2. I had to laugh when I read your words about the weather robots. My wife and I have adopted one of their pronunciations as our own: “thunderSTORMS.”

    I’m really enjoying your posts, which I found by reading Francesca, above.

    • Thanks, Michael! I feel like there’s got to be a silent cadre of secret weather radio fans, especially in Minnesota, and glad to hear that the robots are making inroads through pronunciation!

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