Monday, August 24, 2009

The Object of My Desire: Maybe Two

We all know deep-down that "things" don't make us happy. I realize, like most people, that my attachment to certain objects is based on the warm memories they evoke or the sentiments they stir -- not their designer labels, their lofty pedigrees or their rich price tags. Here are two things that make me happy -- not so much that they are a couple of objects among the many that fill my Manhattan apartment, but because these two pieces offer a slice of my own history and a nudge of inspiration each time I gaze upon them.

Obviously, there's the image of me with Dolly Parton, taken several years ago when she was on her "Halos and Horns" tour. I'm painfully reminded of the amount of hair I once had on my head and the wrinkles that have appeared on my brow and around my eyes, especially next to Dolly whose skin is smooth as a baby's behind! But that's a story for another day.

I always get a kick out of this photo because I was so nervous at the time that I didn't realize that Dolly was touching my arm. She had probably just responded to my silly remark," I feel like a five-year old meeting Santa Claus for the first time," to which Dolly responded, "Why, I'm just Granny Claus!" I'm always encouraged by Dolly's rags-to-riches story, think of all the good she's done for others and applaud her moxie for taking what she truly loves and turning it into a gazillion-dollar business.

I place my treasured photo atop this silver fork easel made by the fabulous Sharleen Reeder of Luticia Clementine's in my hometown of Independence, Mo. Every time I look at this fork, I'm reminded of my childhood shopping for back-to-school clothes on the historic Independence Square with my mom and sister. In those days, it was the hub of the Kansas City suburb, with major department stores and specialty shops encircling an old white court house where Harry Truman once worked.

Sharleen has a shop just steps away from the court house, and is known for taking odd pieces of silver, sugar bowls missing their lids, and even the lone lid itself and refashioning them all into decorative items packed with with and whimsy. Sharleen's creativity and skill alone makes you want to get out the hot glue gun and the sewing kit and jump head-first into a project!

Here's hoping your week is filled with people who inspire and memories that warm your heart.

For more vintage memories, pick up The Find: The Housing Works Book of Decorating with Thrift Shop Treasures, Flea Market Objects, and Vintage Details at Borders, Barnes & Noble, Amazon or Powell's.

The Elegant Thrifter

Always Frugal, Always Fabulous!


  1. I agree that it is often about the memories associated with a piece that make it special. It must have been very exciting to meet Dolly! And that fork easel...clever!!


  2. Hey Stan, congrats on the book. I was actually a big contributor to the Housing Works Design on a Dime event this year. It was a lot of fun, I actually did a post on it. Your Dolly post got me laughing, really good. thanks for stopping by and will be reading your posts!

  3. I love your blog and will be back regularly to check it out. I live in Sevierville, TN (Dolly Parton's hometown), even graduated from the same high school she did. And my daughter has worked at Dollywood the last 2 summers. We have met her on several different occasions and she is always super sweet!

  4. I love that you likened Dolly to Santa and that she took it in the spirit it was intended. Sharon Stone would have slapped you, but she's no Dolly. Fantastic picture and story. You really are a terrific writer. I like the huge picture of Dolly in the seductive pose hovering above you. Thanks for your comments and deciding to follow my humble blog. I'm just a new potato. What a boost! Yes, I'm still drooling over The Find. I flashed it in front of my sister as she was driving down the highway and I had to stop her from flipping through it.

  5. I can just hear her voice and wonderful laugh! What a lady. And you know how I adore Sharleen! I can hardly wait to return to see her again. And look at you! Always Fabulous!



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