Our homes and collections tell a story about us. If you walked into my home you would know after the first step across my threshold that I adore owls. And dala horses. And Curtis Jere sculptures. And many other collectibles from the Danish Modern era of the 1960's. Not only do my vintage items reflect my vintage adoration but each one individually has a story behind it.
When you buy and collect, the stories around these items go much further than when you buy something at a big box store like Target. There is soul to these stories that get shared and told and handed down from generation to generation. My dad still tells me tales of thrift store shopping in the 1960's when Arts & Crafts items from the 1920's could be found for a mere $25. You know, the "good old days."
Sharing these stories to friends, family and if you blog; to your readers, is how we preserve and honor these items. When we find a dusty old paint by number in a basement and later after cleaning it, we hang it up on our kitchen wall, we are saving a piece of the past and continuing their sometimes unspoken story. For example, why are some of the PBN's signed? Were they so proud of their talent and art that signing it made them feel like an artist? Or were they being silly? As we move from writing letters and developing photos much of our culture is lost in the ether of the internet. Word of mouth is really what we have to share these stories of the past. One day we may wake up and find facebook and the internet gone, like those bitcoins a month or so ago that disappeared.
Some of my favorite things that I sell are old stationary supplies; typewriters, pen nibs, bottles of pen ink, antique notebooks, ex libris stickers that adhere to books rather than Kindles and old pencils. I'm not a curmudgeon for the present as I adore my smartphone as much as the next person. I worry though about losing touch with old school ways of preserving the past. Thankfully we are into this amazing trend of Makers and hopefully that will keep these alive.
We may not be writing as many letters as generations before us, but we continue to share our history in different ways that give life to these old dusty things. Together we can write letters, take pictures with film cameras, share our stories of vintage finds and really care and preserve the past.