Thursday, 1 July 2010

Twelve things with Louis Duke and Dana Plank

This may not be an inspiration collection of objects as seen on The Selby, but it is twelve things that, at this point in my life, describe me on more than a personal level. Although I am by no means a person to put much weight on possessions, these are the twelve things that I certainly could not live without, and will be decorating my university dorm. Louis Duke

A bit about what they represent:

The journal, of course, because everyone needs their place of honest reflection.
My laptop open to one of the many blogs that is my creative outlet.
My Polaroid camera and the first Polaroid I ever took. (Captured completely on accident)
Photography and inspirational books that have helped me through bouts of doubt and those restless nights.

Dana Plank.
My violin. I am a violinist working on a master's degree in performance. This instrument and all the rosin dust on it represent so many times and places and pieces to me; hours spent in windowless practice rooms with metronomes, dark concert halls, the quintessential Bach Sonatas and Partitas, countless weddings with my string quartet. I've always been passionately in love with music, and this instrument has carried me through it all: Callouses on my fingertips, every pain and failed audition, every bow stroke and every triumph.

My engagement ring. My ring is perfect; I'm terrible at capturing it on film. It has such depth and intensity. It's a thin grooved band with a bezel set oval-shaped teal diamond. I was originally completely anti-diamond, at least, anti-white-diamond. My fiance left me to my own devices to design the perfect engagement ring. I knew I wanted something with a thin band (so I could still wear it on the left even though I'm a violinist-many violinists opt to wear their rings on their right hand), a blue/green stone (teal is my favorite color), and a quirky (i.e. non-prong) setting. I wanted it to be ethically sourced, unique, and handmade. Kate Szabone of Etsy did an incredible job bringing my ideas to life. As soon as she sent a picture of the teal diamond, I knew instinctively that I'd found my stone.

My favorite childhood stuffed animal. His name is Ralphie.

The first love letter John ever sent me.

Strangers in Paradise. I have a massive book collection. I am a lover of poetry and graphic novels, of classic literature and silly children's books. But nothing has ever spoken to me quite like Terry Moore's Strangers in Paradise series. I began the comic in early high school, and faithfully subscribed until the series' demise my sophomore year of college. I grew up as the comics came out, and though I had long been a nerd for comics, this book was the first I read about real people, their decisions, their relationships, and their unabashed love.

A piece of lace from my paternal grandmother. When my grandmother passed away, I was able to hold on to many of her forgotten craft and sewing supplies. This piece of lace was one of the more striking; I hope to incorporate it into my wedding dress when John and I finally tie the knot.

Silver rings. The stack of silver rings represents my maternal grandmother. She was a watercolor painter and a silversmith. She was such an incredible artist, and yet I barely knew her growing up because she was in the later stages of MS. I feel as though, even though she's passed on, I carry part of her spirit in me; I think her and my mother gave me my artistic eye and my gift for working with my hands. After she died, my grandfather held on to her silversmithing supplies. Years later, I am now learning how to make silver jewelry, and I am able to do so mostly because I have all of her old tools and sheets of silver she never used. I hope to make some beautiful things with them in honor of her. I also plan on making the wedding bands for John and I, because my grandmother made my parents' and this is a nod to my family history in several ways. The rings pictured are a mixture of hers and mine.

Blue suede shoes. These shoes represent two loves of mine; my love of vintage clothing styles and my love of swing dancing!

Gold heart locket. This locket belonged to my paternal grandmother. It was lying abandoned in the bottom of my mother's jewelry box until I found it one day while we were cleaning. I was never much one for hearts, but there's just something so incredible about this locket. I added a chain and clasp and two photos of John and I, and I wear it constantly now.

Sigma Psi bid card and badge, I have to admit, this is sort of a two-fer. But I couldn't decide which was more important: the beginning or end of my journey as a sister of Sigma Psi. We are a local sorority founded at Western Reserve (before it was Case Western Reserve University!) on March 7th, 1897 (the same year that Johannes Brahms died. Don't ask me why I remember that fact). The bid card was a representation of love and support; I didn't go through a formal recruitment process. The sisters sought me out purely because they liked me and wanted to share their sisterhood and support with me. I had no idea, sitting in the dining hall, why I was being accosted by three girls with yellow roses and an envelope. What ensued was the best thing to happen to me in college next to meeting the love of my life.

Hair fascinator. This piece represents my creative side; I make these hairclips by hand; incorporating vintage millinery netting and velvet leaves, guinea feathers, and rhinestone pieces (usually well-loved orphaned earrings). The one pictured is one of my favorites. I love working with my hands, whether it's to make silver jewelry, bold vintage-inspired jewelry, hair ornaments, gourmet food, cross-stitch, handmade cards, or any DIY project I get inspired by on a blog. I love making beautiful things and I try to surround myself with beautiful, simple things.

China, collected and inherited.These pieces represent my love of beautiful vintage things, my love of tea (particularly Earl Grey), and my doctrine: every day is special enough to break out the nice china and the candlesticks. John and I have candlelight dinners almost every night. I don't believe beautiful things should be squandered and put away in a cabinet for special occasions. My morning tea is a special enough occasion to drink it from a beautiful vessel. This philosophy stems from my personal mantra, which is "Passion in all things." I try hard to live by that.

Thanks to you both for taking part in Twelve things I am really enjoying your pictures and explanations.


Rose said...

how lovely- the ring story especially. I don't know how I would even start to choose an engagement ring if I were lucky enough to- something you have to wear and love forever is tough- and there is so much beauty out there!

Vivi said...

I love how intimate and personal seemingly universal objects can become once you hear about their personal meanings to be people. Lovely post.