reverse threading

the path back is the path forward


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things of comfort. [not-so-flawed wednesday]

duke's painting copy

painting by DUKE

“the finnish wood carvings, ” my sweet momma would answer when asked what she wanted in her little assisted living apartment, a place she would occupy without my dad, some time after he died.  those finely carved statues accompanied her from new york to florida, house to house, and, finally to her small apartment.  she cherished them and spent long hours deciding to whom she would give each one.  the list in many notebooks and on many scraps of paper showed that she pondered each recipient’s personality and interests before deciding on a gift choice; these wood carvings were important and each was later given with decades of love.  placed on an equally significant-to-her live-edge wooden shelf in her tiny living room, they seemed to represent comfort to her, something that spanned the years, something that, in their familiarity, gave her a sense of security.  a piece of what-had-been-home in this new home.

when you walked down the hall in eileen and duke’s home, just in front of you before you turned in to their master bedroom was this painting.  duke was an amazing artist, a painter and sculptor with an enormous collection of work.  when we were helping 20 move his momma eileen into her assisted living apartment a few weeks ago, this painting beckoned me as something that might be a familiar sight in her new unfamiliar home.  as we placed other artwork on the wall, i kept thinking about this painting that we had left in their home and i nagged 20 about it.  i felt it could be placed so that the moment that eileen stepped into her new bedroom it would be ahead of her, before she turned to head to her bed.  jogging her memory of the home she and duke had made together, a touch of comfort for her.  20 picked it up later that night and the day his momma moved in we hung the painting.  this sunny, but somewhat austere space, suddenly was lifted to a different level.  the photographs of duke and eileen in the kitchen, the familiar prints in the living room, this painting in the bedroom.  all touchstones from home in this new home.

there are certain things i like to have around me.  things that even in times of uncertainty give me a sense of footing.  were i to pare down there are items that would definitely make the cut, unlikely choices maybe, but things that bring me solace, things that alleviate angst, things that gladden my heart.  what are yours?

read DAVID’S thoughts this NOT-SO-FLAWED WEDNESDAY

hands website box copy

 

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not the fancy stuff. [two artists tuesday]

coffee pot copy

maybe we’ll go back.  this sassy coffee pot sits at one of our favorite antique shops and drew my eye.  we’ll be sure to know where to put it and, perhaps, how to use it before we maybe go get it.

we were on our way to cape cod and the sign salvage chic antiques stopped us.  four old aluminum coffee pots later, we left the store.  they are now part of a five-aluminum-coffee-pot collection on a shelf in our kitchen; instead of a canister set, these coffee pots keep all our different teas easily accessible.

anyone who knows us knows that we love our coffee.  anyone who knows us knows that we also love re-purposing old stuff.  but not the fancy stuff.  old aluminum coffee pots, old black vintage suitcases, old wooden boxes.  they are the treasures around us.  they hold special mementos, nespresso coffee pods, clothespins for the ukulele band, art supplies, rocks we have collected on beaches, in woods, from high sandstone precipices or red rock canyons deep.  they are history and they are new.  both true.

when we need a break, a few moments to lose ourselves, we will either hike or go to one of our local favorite antique shops.  things of worry will gently fall off as we walk through woods or aisles of things-that-remind-us of other times, memories, or maybe inspire us with a beckon to be brought home.

we choose carefully and deliberately.  for ourselves and for the gifts we get others.  it’s never the fancy stuff, but it’s the stuff that stops us, draws our eye, beckons to be purchased and re-treasured.

read DAVID’S thoughts this TWO ARTISTS TUESDAY

coffeepots website box

photo by 20

 


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longing. [k.s. friday]

longingSongbox.jpg

i first wrote and recorded this piece while i was working on the twin LET ME TAKE YOU BACK albums.  performing the tunes of the 60s and 70s made me feel wistful; memories flooded every note.  i’d remember dancing to a song at a prom or listening over and over to another in my room in the basement.  they made me picture the windows rolled down in my little blue vw driving on the open roads out east on long island and they brought me the sweet smell of warm sand on crab meadow beach with my red round ball and chain transistor radio.Screen Shot 2018-09-27 at 4.44.47 PM  they had me thinking about the songs coming from my sister’s room and the songs my big brother would play on his guitar.  so it wasn’t a stretch to write a piece that was all about longing and reminiscing and memories, stories that were deeply set in my heart, times that had gone by.  later on we orchestrated this piece for the album AS IT IS.  i still associate it with the twin retro albums; the cello line gets me every time.  it makes me want to take out all my photo albums and set up a white sheet in the living room to watch the carousels of 35mm slides my poppo called “film funnies”.  longing.  indeed.

download LONGING track 13 from AS IT IS on iTUNES or CDBaby

read DAVID’S thoughts on this K.S. FRIDAY

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LONGING from AS IT IS ©️ 2004 kerri sherwood


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which way? [two artists tuesday]

whichwayTODAYimageBoX

which way product BAR

the moment i saw this trailmarker it made me laugh.  i was feeling exactlyyy this way, so this lightened my mood.  (yes, yes, i understand that the marker made sense, but if you flatten it out (as opposed to three-dimensional) it is admittedly funny and a little confusing.)

middle age (ohmygosh, yes, middle age) seems like a time of arrows every which way.  where we’ve been, where we are, where we are going…these questions are all different now…different from the striding times even a decade ago.  time is starting to mean something else; i recognize the scarcity of time-limitlessness.

i lost one of my very best friends from elementary school, junior high and high school last week.  kenny was brilliant and funny and courageous and a really good person.  together with his twin richard and i, we were often thought of as “triplets” in school, mostly because we were all platinum blond kids growing up.  i haven’t seen kenny for many years.  the last time i can remember was having coffee with him at the atlanta airport; he was an airline captain and based there so we met when i flew through with a tad bit of a layover.  he was thrilled to catch me up about his beautiful wife and son and he joked about how long it took him to find her.  even though i saw him rarely, there was something about knowing he was in the world that was comforting…a piece of my long-ago-past that i could still talk to or text with, maybe see from time to time, who knew me when i was little, when i was a preteen, when i was a teenager, when i loved calculus.  i tried to explain this to d…when certain people who connect me way back to my roots are no longer present on this earth, it is as if i can feel the earth tilt on its axis; it wobbles.  and nothing will ever be the same.  i can’t get to ken’s service, but i hope to carry with me – always – a piece of kenny and our growing-up history.  i hope to honor him somehow.

and the next time i wonder “which way” in angst, i hope to stand still, right where i am.  time is not unlimited.  i don’t want to waste it.

click here (or on product box above) for WHICH WAY products

TWO ARTISTS TUESDAY – ON OUR SITE

read DAVID’S thoughts on this TWO ARTISTS TUESDAY

 which way products ©️ 2018 kerri sherwood & david robinson

 


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two artists tuesday

typewriter copy 2anyone walking in our home knows this is true:  i’m a vintage type.  our home is not populated with new things fresh from the pottery barn catalog.  instead, it is filled with things that are re-purposed, things that are old, things that have some history, things we haven’t replaced with new things.  even our manner of work is kinda vintage, although this blog and our online product lines aren’t evidence of that.  but as an acoustic-analog-type musician and a brush-to-the-canvas painter, we pretty much scream
“vintage”.

one of my most treasured physical memories of my poppo are a few old small wooden boxes we found next to his workbench.   they would likely have been thrown away, but i knew he had “saved them” for some future purpose – perhaps holding random fasteners or nuts and bolts.  we carefully wrapped them and brought them home and they now sit in our sunroom (next to our not-so-vintage-and-really-awesome nespresso machine) and they hold nespresso capsules (which are recycled) and a collection of old clothespins my sweet momma used to use on the old clothesline in our backyard growing up.  it’s not the fancy stuff.  it’s the vintage stuff.

i lusted over this typewriter in the antique store.  i’m still thinking about it.  if it’s still there one day when we are visiting that shop and i have a little bit of extra spending money, i will buy it.  i’m not sure what i will do with it, but it speeeeeaks to me.  my sweet momma loved typewriters too.  what is it about those??  i think correctotype and purple carbon paper, the workout your fingers got, how it feels when you take the return handle to move to the next line down of type, and that really great sound -think of it…hear it- when you pull the paper out of the roll.  it’s visceral.

the stove/oven in our kitchen is, ummm, old, and, although i prefer to think of it as ‘vintage’, it doesn’t necessarily count as  romantic ‘vintage’.  it was here when we bought the house in 1989 and had likely been here at least ten years at that point; the people who owned the house before us were not the buy-new or even fix-it-up type.  matter of fact, they took it to a new level, putting contact paper on the countertops and backsplash and offering to teach us how to replace it.  (eww.  the sheer bacteria-breeding-ground-ness of that makes me shiver.  one of the first things i did was remove that stuff.)  but, back to the stove/oven.  it continues to work and i can’t tell you how many meals i have cooked on it and how many people have eaten those meals.  (if you merely consider almost 29 years and maybe just one meal a day, that is 10,585 times that this appliance has served me and my family and it is likely about 40 years old.)  my sister has had multiple stoves/ovens in the time i have had this one.  granted, she has enjoyed lots of updated features i haven’t had, but i haven’t (knock wood) spent anything to date on a stove/oven since 1989.  amazing.  it’s a testament to kenmore’s older appliances.  someday i know we will have a new one, but in the meanwhile this workhorse is not taking up room in a dump somewhere, with a half-life of a billion years (ok, slight exaggeration) and i feel good about that.  it’s not pretty, it’s not high-tech; i feel it has earned the label ‘vintage’ and no one seems to run – aghast- out of our kitchen because it graces the spot for ‘stove/oven’.  there is something to be said for that.

we just had breakfast; d made it as he does each morning these days.  he cooked it on that stove and it was deeeeelicous.  and me?  i’m going to get out our coin jar and count what’s in there.  maybe there will be enough to go back to that antique shop so i can bring home this typewriter.

I’M A VINTAGE TYPE – this link will take you to wall art, cards, leggings, throw pillows, bags, fun stuff

 

society 6 info jpeg copy

 

vintage type FRAMED ART PRINT copy

framed art prints, metal wall art, cards

 

vintage type SQUARE PILLOW copy

throw pillows all shapes & sizes, floor pillows, clocks, rugs

 

Vintage tyoe LEGGINGS copy

leggings/yoga pants

 

vintage type COFFEE MUG copy          Screen Shot 2018-03-19 at 10.49.14 AM

 

vintage type TOTE BAG copy

tote bags, phone cases, laptop sleeves

 

TWO ARTISTS TUESDAY – ON OUR SITE

 

 

read DAVID’S thoughts on A VINTAGE TYPE

i’m a vintage type ©️ 2018 kerri sherwood & david robinson

 

 

 

 


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the back seat on the porch.

IMG_0014
monticello is a small town. there is a main road and a few arteries – small businesses dot these arteries a block or two off the main street. we’ve driven through there a time or two before, to see the place columbus talked about, but mostly to try and buy him a t-shirt. somehow, we managed to always get there after the shops closed, which is a little earlier than we were used to. so, no t-shirts.

this time, though, we were there to stay a few days. we picked up columbus and jeanne from the airport and brought them to an airbnb farmhouse we had pre-arranged. i knew that was the place to stay when i saw the porch.IMG_0020 i could picture columbus sitting on that porch, with the surrounding land to which his soul was ever-connected. i booked it, despite my mother-in-law’s wishes to stay at a motel in the area. now, it is dangerous to not listen and, even with my certainty about that being the right place for this pilgrimage, i was a little nervous about how they (read: she) would feel about it. they are dear to me and i don’t want to – well, let’s just say – tick them off.

IMG_0013the first time we sat on the porch columbus had a lite beer and stared out at the corn and soybeans (at least we think they were soybeans.). he talked about his days working in fields, traveling the roads he wondered if he could now remember, his friends, his growing-up house.

i sat in the back row on the porch and listened and watched. although we all asked questions, no other voices were really necessary…just his. the back row is a good place to listen from and to watch from. IMG_0019 i could watch my husband listening to his dad, absorbing the details, sometimes patiently listening to repeated stories. i could watch my mother-in-law help with some of the details, talking about the history columbus had and their shared decades of life, some of it spent in this panther-highschool-football-team-land. i spent a good bit of time staring at the corn and soybeans too. and a good bit of time silently taking pictures of a sojourn that my father-in-law had talked about for years.

he had wanted to “go back home” for quite some time. he wanted to visit the cemetery where he “knew a lot of people”.  IMG_0009he wanted to go see and touch the home that his grandpa built, proud to have been raised in a house where he saw the toil that made it possible. he wanted to visit with his aunt joanne, a feisty woman just a couple years older than him. his list wasn’t long. not much else. he just wanted to BE there. and so we were. we followed his heart around his home town.

we sat on the porch the second day to greet the morning and later in the day to process the day. we seemed to have assigned seats, mine, once again, in the back row, a place i lingered in, petting the farm cat i had fallen in love with, listening, sipping coffee or wine. i watched the satisfied look on columbus’ face take hold, the longing of wanting-to-go-back sated by the being-there. he was surrounded by memories-he-remembered and by memories-that-were-slipping-away. he navigated trying moments of confusion in his talk-talk. he spoke of glorious times. he spoke of hard times. he talked -like we all talk about the place that was home- with deep love and a root that is unbreakable.

the next day we visited with his aunt, a couple other relatives, a few old friends.  we went and found a pork tenderloin sandwich for him. we drove away from town for the last time and back to the farmhouse.IMG_0010 it was a little chilly that evening. early the next morning we would be taking them back to the airport. we didn’t sit on the porch.

i went out to see sweetie (the name i gave the cat) and to look at the sky, to remember. i, momentarily, took my back seat on the porch and quietly gave thanks for this time. i know why columbus didn’t want to porch-sit that night. sometimes, it’s a little too much. sometimes, a porch can make you feel more emotion than you can handle. i think, for columbus, that last night on the porch was one of those times.IMG_0017

so this time we were there -in that little town- when it was open. and this time we got him a t-shirt.  he was planning to wear it the day he got back home.  and who doesn’t get that?