Sunday, January 1, 2017

My Favorite Things 1

Happy New Year!

Faithful readers who are as obsessive as I (probably not many of you out there) might be expecting a photo suite today.  From 2012 to 2015 I posted a photo suite -- a collection of several related pictures -- every Sunday, and then last year cut back to the first Sunday of the month.  I do love the idea of grouping related photos, because so often they say more than one could say on its own.  But I think it's time for a vacation.

So this year, every Sunday will showcase one of My Favorite Things.  I do love my things.  I refuse to read books about tidying up or downsizing or parting with your possessions.  That may have to come later, but it doesn't have to come now.  My precious things provide inspiration (and sometimes raw material) for my art and repositories for my memories.  This year I plan to revisit 53 of them and share their stories.

Today is the eighth day of Christmas so I'm focusing on 8 maids a' milking, one of a set of ceramic Christmas cups that were given to me probably 25 years ago by Dennis Watkins, the best printer in the world, with whom I worked to produce hundreds of publications in my previous career.

Dennis and I always joked that he was the perfect printer and I was the perfect client.  We never wasted time with competitive bidding or price negotiations; he charged me a fair price and I paid promptly.  When I needed a publication in a hurry, it went to the head of the line and Dennis might work all night to move things along; in return, I never said "hurry" unless I really meant it.

The cups were made by Louisville Stoneware, a local institution that has been in business for 201 years.  Its folksy designs and blue-on-gray color palette are a fixture in Kentucky homes; even if you aren't into primitive art you make room for this stuff when somebody gives it to you.  

We try to bring out the cups right after Thanksgiving, and use them in the morning for orange juice, at cocktail time for scotch or eggnog, maybe even at dinner for wine.  They're quite handy; drinks stay colder in heavy stoneware than in glass, and you never get your drink confused with anybody else's.  Sometimes I request a certain cup and sometimes I take pot luck.

My husband makes me put them away on the twelfth day of Christmas, so I'll have to drink fast for the next couple of days.


  1. I have lots I can't part with.
    The best tip I picked up from Kondo was to only have one place to put like things.
    i.e. put all the sticky tape in one draw, instead of having x number of rolls all around the house.
    Then when you want tape you can go to the one place instead of looking in several places. We have moved to a smaller house and this works for me.
    I find I am using up supplies of what I have instead of going out to buy more.
    Love the mugs, and memories they prompt.
    Twenty years ago when we renovated our old house my husband wanted to bulldoze the whole house and build new. I wouldn't let him, saying that all my memories are in the old house. It had a soul.
    Cheers from your faithful reader Jan

    1. Hi Jan! I take the opposite approach -- I have a roll of tape in every room of the house where I might conceivably need to wrap something up. Saves steps and time (very big house) and I feel so organized when I can just put my hand on it immediately. Same with scissors.

      different strokes

    2. I have a studio over the unattached garage, and two desks in my very small house. Having tried the all-over approach, I am heading toward the one place in each approach. I can't find anything in either place - so time to try a new strategy.

  2. Happy New Year! Looking forward to a year of your favorite things, as well as insights, ponderings, inspiration, and information related to life, the universe, and quilting.

    1. I will do my best to deliver!! thanks for reading

  3. The cups are lovely. A devastating house fire seven years ago meant every single thing we needed had to be replaced. The up side (if there could be one) was the opportunity I had to organize as we went along. How wonderful to have favorite things along with the good memories they bring. I'm sure you treaure each one and I look forward to seeing them!

  4. Love the cups. I would be looking forward to Thanksgiving anticipating bringing the out!! I am "tidying" but not getting rid of much. Rather it now is carefully folded and sorted.

  5. I read some of that Kondo book. I hear that now that she has children, her thoughts on many things have changed. LOL I love my things too, and there is MUCH that brings me joy. Were I to "Kondo" I suspect that most of the cleaning supplies would be first to go. :)

    while I shall miss your 'like' pictures, stories of things will be fun too. And maybe 'like' pictures can be *MY* artistic project...