Restoration Heartware

I haven’t quite figured out what it is that drives humans toward wanting new things. Never have I come across a dog who found disfavor with its bowl because it was slightly chipped or stained. Nor have I seen a bird up and vacate its nest because the view was better from that tree. Taking it one step further, babies don’t wail louder if the blanket you swaddle them in isn’t made of cashmere or Egyptian silk. So long as the provision meets the need, all the above are content and happy. This leads me to believe that wanting new things is a learned behavior, stemming perhaps from boredom, envy, and the desire to belong. Pinterest has become a form of masochistic rehabilitation. Takes no more than a few seconds of browsing before the urge is instigated.

These two pictures best sum up how I feel about the matter:

Truly, I don’t think there is anything wrong with buying and owning nice things. In the post I wrote — “Mrs. Frugal Parsimonious” — a few months back, I mentioned that there remains to be a few areas where cinching is not an option; this includes organic meats and any sort of skin/haircare product. There is such a thing as a quality product, and I have no problem shelling out the big bucks for that which falls under caliber. What I dislike, however, is that insatiable hunger that abounds in the face of ennui. Things — lovely, useful, or enjoyable as they are — do not make me happy. If they do, it’s but for a fleeting, transitory moment. And then the feeling disappears and I’m left needing something new again.

Ignoring this problem is not an option either. While I firmly believe in the value of self-discipline and mastering the philosophy of appreciating something without owning it, there is a caveat. It is my opinion perpetual and implacable self-denial breeds a resentful, covetous, malcontent person. At least that’s what happens to Cara. Subsequently, This Little Light takes a spill toward aphotic gloom.

All my life, I’ve been lauded for my prodigious wealth of common-sense. Growing up I was not a beauty, nor was I particularly revered for my athleticism or intelligence. What I did have, in surplus, was a good head on my shoulders. Luckily that head filled up with some edjamacation and doesn’t look half bad after attended to with a little blush and lip-gloss. But truth be told, it’s my common-sense I value more than anything else. It’s like wearing armor; a problem ensues and, if not requiring prayer, I seek to go about solving the issue with logic and reason — usually. A sensitive girl, no doubt, occasionally my emotions trump rational, but that’s something else altogether.

What I do to satiate this “need” for something new is capitulate to it.

Thursday is normally my day off from writing. Today, however, my car is in the shop and I’m stranded at home. A quotidian Thursday consists of a few imperative activities: a leisurely morning spent over coffee, lighting a fragrant candle while carefully applying make-up (there is something to be said for taking pride in the small things.), followed by several stops in the nearby vicinity; one of which is nearly almost always a thrift-store. Some may argue that the items lining the shelves and queue’d along the racks are not “new”, but I would beg to disagree. They are, most certainly, new to me.

I might have mentioned once or twice my affinity for blue glass? I collect jars, bottles, vases, etc… any knick-knack, really, lustrous in patina, and azure, cerulean, turquoise, viridian (for you, dear Meredith) or beryl in color. Take a look at this sweet little jar I found. She had seen better days when I placed her gingerly in my cart, her bulbous body covered in muck and filth, sealed up shut, reticent and refusing to say a word about anything. We became fast friends, however, and I introduced to an entire neighborhood of amiable baubles and trinkets. Still a bit shy about her appearance, I understood what must be done. And after some coaxing and solemn oaths not to go overboard, she allowed me to perform my most favorite girlhood pastime: a makeover.

First, though, “the before” pictures.

I finally got her to open up a little . . . a little levity for you.

Drum roll please . . .

Well just look at her shimmer and sparkle!

Blucinda (I named her, of course) and I decided to try out a few potential partnerships.

Barrett holder, perhaps?

Or how about a candy corral?

Q-tip queen?

No matter Blucinda’s fate, she will have a place in my home. And for $1.25, I think we are both rather happy about it.

Have a blessed day, my friends!


60 thoughts on “Restoration Heartware

  1. I chuckled when you and Blucinda began to explore all the possibilities in her new world. What a fun way to make magic from an otherwise ordinary day.

    You are magic-waiting-to-happen, aren’t you?

    • Gloria!! I’ve missed you . . . I really have. I feel as if I have no idea what’s been going on in your neck of the woods. Are you doing well? Writing much? How is Little Red?

      Oh, “magic-waiting-to-happen”.I love this reference, and I’ll take it, scoop it up, and hold it close to my heart.


      • Hey, Cara! Missed you, too. I have no idea what’s going on in my neck of the world either, if that makes you feel any better. I was MIA on my blog for a bit.

        I HAD to focus on writing forward on my manuscripts.

        I’m back now and happy to have time to visit you, Magic Waiting to Happen. I think Magic-in-a-Jar should get cotton balls for night-night time, btw.

      • I completely understand the need to be MIA. I hope you were able to focus and put in some concerted hours into the manuscript.

        I will speak to Blucinda and see how she feels about housing soft, white cotton-balls. Sounds like a good deal to me. 🙂

  2. Who would have thought an investment of $1.25 could go such a long way! The jar is so simple yet you photographed it so beautifully. I love the shot on the mantel…


  3. Cara I feel exactly the same. I can’t even begin to browse pinterest or I’m glued to the computer screen for an obscene amount of time. I’ve always felt life was about the experience. And the little things. Like finding adorable blucinda! So funny, today I picked up a similar jar (no lid) with a cute silver handle. It’ll be the perfect candle holder for summer dining. $2.99 at Ross! Whoo Hoo!

    • Hee-hee . . . I don’t know if cookies would fit; Blucinda is only about four inches tall and six inches wide. But I bet you, a culinary wizard, would be able to make mini-cookies to fit inside. 🙂

  4. lust for new things can be turned on its head and put to good creative use sometimes.

    i satisfy it by picking up my camera and going out to capture new images. working in digital makes it a virtually free activity, albeit an extremely rewarding one.

    lovely jar, btw 🙂

    • Alessandro,

      That is a wonderful way to turn something negative into something positive. I believe that, in His likeness, God gave us those talents and abilities to satisfy our hunger for wanting/creating. Your pictures are always stunning; you are a talented photographer and I appreciate you sharing your gift with us.

      Thank you. I am quite fond of her, too. 😉

  5. My best friends are those who will, along with me, make a common experience into something magical. Most name their objects, too. (I can’t remember if I told you that my vintage camper is named Cousin Eddy- reference: National Lampoon Christmas Vacation)
    I think we are meant to be friends!
    Say “howdy” to Blucinda!
    Fun reading this morning!

    • I agree, Beth! We certainly were meant to be friends. 🙂

      You had NOT told me about Vintage Camper Eddy, but he sounds wonderful! LOL.

      I will most definitely say hello to Blucinda, and you please do the same to Mr. Eddy.

      Have a lovely (magical!) weekend, and I hope those babies are doing well!

  6. First, I’m still not up on Pinterest. There’s so much to keep up with, I optioned to not bother. Lastly, I think humans are less content with ‘things’ because we’re just complex that way. In addition to all of what you mentioned about why we constantly desire new things.

    • Totsy, if you have managed to avoid Pinterest thus far, just keep on keeping on, my friend; while there are certainly some pretty sights to see, there’s a strong probability that you will lose hours of your life.

      Yes. I agree 100%. We were not created to be filled and contented by “things”. Our hearts have a distinct shape and there is only one piece that shall satisfy fully.

  7. I agree with misty maples… useful and faithful friend. Thank you for always sharing these little tidbits with us!

  8. I should have known we both love thrift stores! I first started thrift store shopping in the early 80’s when I was into punk and new wave (yes I was, don’t laugh too hard!) and the more outlandish the outfit, the better 🙂 Some of my favorite vintage 50’s and 60’s artwork I picked up at thrift stores over the years. And I have some awesome 40’s and 50’s ladies hats that hang on an old brass hat tree in my “parlor”. I love Blucinda! Looks like she found loving home!

  9. First, I must say that I deeply enjoy your writing. I love how you seamlesly shifted from pinterest, to your value of common sense, to your beautiful thrifted find. I can really hear your personality and appreciate your thoughtful reflections! You have a gift of words!

    Second, I can absolutely relate to your value of common sense. I was the “ugly ducking” of sorts growing up, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Because of that, I found my value in my kindness, insight and maturity. I later grew into myself but feel so thankful to have a core value in something other than simply my looks or materialistic things. Your post reminded me of this, and I instantly felt connected!

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and your beautiful makeover 🙂 -Amber

    • Amber,

      I think this might be one of the nicest comments anyone has ever left for me; certainly one of the most thoughtful and thought-provoking. And can I just say, I quite like you. I mean that in all sincerity, not simply you had kind things to say — though I didn’t mind those, either. 😉

      Second, I can absolutely relate to your value of common sense. I was the “ugly ducking” of sorts growing up, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Because of that, I found my value in my kindness, insight and maturity. I later grew into myself but feel so thankful to have a core value in something other than simply my looks or materialistic things.” Truly, it was as if I was reading my thoughts. It sounds as if we may have had similar upbringings. My dad — with affection — loves to regale family and friends with my “Ugly Duckling” tale. He means well, but sensitive as I am, remembering those days can sometimes leave me with a small ache. I spent much of my younger years in tear; but as you said so very well, I would not have had it any other way. The virtues received for being ugly for a time, far outweigh the specious blessing of physical beauty.

      Yes, I agree. I feel connected. I am so very glad to have met you, Amber. Have a wonderful weekend!

  10. How delightful! You are clever … perspicacious, might I add?

    Excellent writing and photography! I look forward to reading & seeing more of your world.

    • Oh, Mona, how nice of you to say! Clever . . . Of all the words, in all the worlds, this is the one I love MOST! Nearly anyone can use sarcasm, but clever is in a league of its own.

      I thank you for coming by for a visit! 🙂

  11. LOVE Blucinda – the name and the jar! Pinterest is indeed like crack. It doesn’t make me want things so much as it gives me a million ideas for projects I could create and yet never make the time to make them! I like to look at the pretty things and do find it relaxing sometimes to just go browse and enjoy what others think is beautiful. Have a lovey day, Cara!

    • Thank you, Rachel. 🙂

      You are right. I think Pinterest incurs a bad rap because of the personalities that are drawn to it. It can be source of relaxation, if the intent is to go and browse lovely things. It’s that hunger to do/have/”pin” everything that becomes much like a sickness. Lately, instead of a magazine (which are upwards of $10 these days!) I have been going to Pinterest and searching pretty kitchens, bedrooms, etc… Much cheaper and serves my purpose!

      Hope you are feeling well today, my friend. 🙂

  12. For a moment there I thought we were going to get into a deep and meaningful discussion about one of the more perplexing aspects of human nature, how did you put it? “that insatiable hunger that abounds in the face of ennui”. But no, a few tricky dick segues later, we’re sitting happily with Blucinda on the reconditioned table, being photographed like any leading lady on the verge or a new career:)
    Ah, Cara, Cara …
    lol, Viridian M

    • LOL! Well . . . there are simply some things I will likely never blog about; my bedroom activities being one of them.

      “. . . like any leading lady on the verge of a new career.” Love this, M!

      Now, if only I could hear your voice . . .

      • How did we get to you defending the sanctity of the marriage bed? and for that matter the qualities of my voice – which by the way will sound pretty English to you, deep in confidences, or deadly anger, a little like a trumpet (I hate to have to be honest, here) in exclamation. Perhaps that’s why you didn’t hear me ign off as Viridian M?

        PS you haven’t had a notification about a conversation over at The ABC of Me? Your note to me there alerted me to the Blucinda story and Of course, I came straight over to see what all the fuss was about:) Go on, pop over and have a look:)

      • Oh, goodness! Was that not what you were referring to? I’m afraid that for all my regular spring cleaning, my mind seeks to remain a filthy place. 😉

        LOL! “a little like a trumpet in exclamation.” Oh, I quite like that! We should have a talk some day, you and me . . . And I shall get you exclaiming in no time at all!

        I did not receive a notification! Making my way over yonder presently!

        Hope you are sleeping well, dear friend. Tis 7:58 p.m. currently. My husband is roasting coffee, and I am eating peppermint patties. Adieu!

      • Oh dear! I’m shocked about your mind. That isn’t what I expected, at all:)
        Peppermind patties? Um? Do they go with freshly roasted coffee?
        It’s a jolly good morning to you – 8.38 am Tuesday:)

      • I am human; and moreover, I am my father’s daughter, which would make sense if you knew him. Didn’t have a chance . . . 😉

        Peppermind patties, you say? Are those good for the brain? 😉 And yes, I think they would go splendidly with coffee.

        Oh, I just love “Jolly good morning”. Makes me feel chipper, like I should be doing heels clicks in the air!

        Happy Tuesday to you, M!

  13. I’m so happy to have discovered your blog. I live in a 1730’s house and love finding little treasures that I can restore and repurpose.

  14. my dad had the mantra ‘if you own more than can fit in the back of a pickup-you own too much stuff’ i am a minimalist at heart but love pretty new things-contradiction.
    long story short-i get you and love your blog!

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