Tuesday, May 29, 2012

reverse finds revisited

Nearly two years ago, I made a deal with myself (and my blog) to find a new home for some of my things every week during Spring. I called it "reverse finds."

In doing this, I realised that, while I am by nature a hoarding type, it can feel pretty great to give things away...

I look around our cluttered place today, and know I need to get on the reverse finds bandwagon again... but I need some inspiration - so I thought I'd tell the story of something big (for me) that I gave away last year - a story that still makes me smile.

This old printer's box was one of those things that became "mine" because no-one else wanted it. I can still remember the strain of carrying it to my car with all the drawers sliding out (until I worked out I should carry it the other way around).

I remember finding a few odd tiny letter type pieces in one drawer (they are now safely stored away somewhere I can't remember...).

I remember trying and trying to come up with some way I could use the tiny compartments - but they were just too small for anything I needed to store... even too small for buttons, or a little person's stone collection...

In the absence of any "practical" use for it, I used it as a little side table.
Then, I visited a work friend at her new home, and was lucky enough to be given a tour of her husband's studio. He designs and makes beautiful stationery using a beautiful old letterpress machine - a really old, carefully restored working piece of history... and I knew where "my" little box should live.

It took a week to convince my friend that the printer's box should become a printer's box again.

The day before I gave it away, I took a mountain of photos, to help me remember all the little details I'd loved but never used.

I love that I gave this box a home for so many years, and "saved" it from being scrapped.
I love knowing that one of the marks on the top is from when I left a drink on top and fell asleep after a long solo drive from my Adelaide "home" to my Melbourne "home".

I love imagining it being used back in the 1940's and wondering what was printed - newsletters? cards?

I love love LOVE that it has a new, more fitting home...

and I love that the week after I said goodbye, I found myself able to rearrange furniture and see new possibilities for our room - that one less thing really made a difference...

Do you have any favourite stories about things you've given away?


Alison said...

How brave and thoughtful of you to part with such an amazing item.

I can understand how wonderful it has made you feel to see it being used how it should be.

What a beautiful gift.

My gift was to an older lady friend of mine who came for afternoon tea and was delighted to see my teapot collection. She had never seen a teapot for one before where the pot sits on the cup.

So when next I saw her I gave her an extra set that I had in storage. It's a lovely feeling giving for no particular reason than to make someone smile.

teddybearswednesday said...

Catherine this story is such a YOU story such a story typical of someone truly generous and thoughtful as you.
a beautiful story about a beautiful box and a beautiful person doing a beautiful thing.
i do understand the joy of seeing something you love being used for what it needs/wants to be used for.
Last year or maybe the year before, when kate starting getting into knitting, I sent her my set of knitting needles because well I no longer knitted and hadn't for 8 years or so. i think she said she cried, and I love the thought of my needles being of use again and not just sitting in a cupboard xo

CurlyPops said...

It must have been soooooo difficult to give that away. I struggle every single time I have to let something go, but I'm trying really hard to improve.

Bungalowgirl said...

Well done finding the perfect home for that gorgeous box. I just love handing over bags of much loved baby clothes to friends with smaller children. Have a whole bag of girls clothes ready to give her school mum if her fourth is finally the girl she has been waiting for- fingers crossed. melx

Cath @ chunkychooky said...

love this. I am constantly giving things away as I am not a hoarder and it drives the Mr mental I am not allowed to give anything away unless I ask him first. I agree with you no point having something that is awesome if its not going to be used, t was lovely that you gave it away. good on you Catherine.

becclebee said...

what a lovely gift! I'm so glad you saved it from the scrapheap!

I too am a bit of a hoarder - as is my lovely husband. So I love being able to give stuff away, especially to someone who will appreciate it!

Christina Lowry said...

What a beautiful and thoughtful gift! It's is a beautiful object indeed, but we can only have so many things in our houses can't we? I've been thinking about my possessions too after looking at the work of an artist I blogged about today.

My sister says you shouldn't have anything in your house that isn't practical, beautiful or sentimental. Everything else should be donated or binned. I swing between hoarding and chucking! :)