After having asked my friend, Holly Scheve, to write some thoughts on “Design and Mirrors” for my December blog … I have invited her to be our guest writer for Bishop and Company. She and I have been close friends for many years and we are truly soul mates in our creative interests. I am passionate about the artistic side of design; having an idea and seeing it come to fruition in a physical sense. Holly has an eye for beauty and details. She is a gifted writer that loves describing one’s response to design … so we will be working in a collaborative way throughout the year. I feel so blessed to call Holly my friend and now our wordsmith for Bishop and Company.
“I find nothing better than curling up in my favorite chair with a good book. Whether early in the morning as I’m having that first cup of coffee, or later that evening, when I’m winding down with a glass of wine … the contentment of these moments is palpable. I can be totally engrossed in a book and inadvertently glance up and find myself savoring the moment … liking where I am, sometimes finding my eye resting on a favorite treasure that may trigger a memory. And these memories are in themselves, stories. They are the stories of our lives; our family, our home and how it all came together … from the lowliest childhood creation to a valued piece of art that was a big splurge at a certain point in time. The “treasure” itself is not so much in its “being” as in the people, place and time that were a part of its acquisition … and I find that this all works together for a sense of harmony.
The moment passes, I return to my book, but with a sense of appreciation that I am nestled in my favorite chair surrounded by the people and things that I love.”
Like this blog post? We think you’ll enjoy these pieces:
One of my favorite movies is based off the novel by Jane Austen titled, Pride and Prejudice. With our current technology and forms of communications on my mind, I began to ponder how Elizabeth from Pride and Prejudice would handle the slow fading art of handwriting? Would we find her only using such things as keyboards to communicate? I certainly think not! Instead, I believe she would be making every effort to keep this art style alive and flourishing. Although it isn’t from Pride and Prejudice, in the book, The wisdom of Jane Austen you can find this quote.
“The post-office is a wonderful establishment! The regularity and despatch of it! If one thinks of all that it has to do, and all that it does so well, it is really astonishing! So seldom that any negligence or blunder appears! So seldom that a letter, among the thousands that are constantly passing about the kingdom, is even carried wrong — and not one in a million, I suppose, actually lost! And when one considers the variety of hands, and of bad hands too, that are to be deciphered, it increases the wonder.” — Jane Fairfax (Mullen, 2003)
Jane Fairfax and I are kindred spirits when it comes to writing. Her statement at the end, is so true, handwriting is truly full of wonder. I personally feel, I have notorious handwriting. However, if we focus on how elegant our handwriting is, we may miss the point of correspondence all together.
You know how I love stories, so I can’t resist to share with you how my mother was able to demonstrate her intimacy with her grandchildren. ( you must remember this was a long before FaceTime or Skype was introduced to the world) Upon our move, my mother decided to bridge the gap between us by writing our children often. At different times, she would write them a page or two of a personalized fairy tale. She had a knack for using the grandchildren as some of her characters, as well as, giving them little drawings along the way. Truly our children were always ecstatic to receive these little precious treasures. But if that wasn’t enough, she also would find something that was light weight and flat to send with it. Oh, what joy our children experienced when they would receive something as simple as a stick of gum. To this day, we have many of these letters stored in unique vintage silver boxes that I have painted and personalized for each child. In the above picture, I have my own personal keepsakes stored in a box which belonged to my mother. It’s amazing how painting a vignette scene that you love can turn items “classified as junk” into a stylish treasure. I absolutely love these boxes! I love even more how my mother accomplished showing her love by taking the time to send letters to those she loved. Now that my mom is no longer here with us, her handwriting remains. And that brings me enormous joy. This is just one of the many examples of what writing can accomplish. That alone should be all we need to motivate us to write someone a thoughtful note to encourage and to share our gratitude of just how important they are to others.
If that wasn’t enough, studies are now showing the importance handwriting plays in our cognitive skills. The New York Times in 2014 posted this article about the effects of not writing.
It’s disheartening for me to know that the importance of cursive handwriting and the beautiful techniques, are not being taught in most schools or homes today. I truly believe, we are losing something very valuable. So, let’s pull out the pretty papers and make a conscience effort to keep the lost art of handwriting alive today.
I was so flattered when my dear friend, Susan asked if she could take pictures of my home to share with her friends at Bishop and Company. I have always loved the magic of Christmas as seen through a mirror, and this particular mirror reflects some of my favorite things, most especially the cherished treasures given to me by my Uncle, Jim Brewer. They include the antique brass urn, the carved marble sculpture, gilded brackets, and my most favorite, his welded steel sculpture of “Phoenix”, the legendary bird of mythology.
In my earlier years, I would tuck away many of my “treasures” to make way for the clichéd Christmas “sit-arounds”; Santa’s, nutcrackers, gingerbread houses, etc. I still decorate with some of these items, but for the most part, I use what I have, regaling them with the holiday spirit. It’s easy to do … add a sprig of greenery, a red ornament, or a Christmas plaid ribbon to an existing bowl, candlestick, box or any decorative item. It is lovely, and certainly adds a personal touch to your holiday decorating.
But for me my inherited pieces bring me great joy all year long, but they seem to shine a little more brightly decked out in their Christmas finery!
I am so thrilled to have Holly Scheve as a friend. She is a lover of fine goods, a hunter and gatherer, and one who takes delight in expressing her passions throughout her home. Each time I visit, I look forward to seeing whatever is new… be it fine, humble, or whimsical, it all works together to create a lasting impression.
Thanks, Holly, for being a part of my Christmas blog!