Today I needed to kill about 4 hours while my exchange student daughter bowled her little heart out, so naturally I went to the antique mall. These places are great to find some weird and wonderful things. I personally go for the more weird, but that's just me. Today, for example, I bought a ancient wind up squirrel with the fur missing from his tail and his ears loved right off. Maybe...1930's...He was in a bag in the bargain bin looking all lost and forlorn, so naturally I took him home. The lady behind the counter (an antique herself) wanted to know if I was planning on fixing him and was shocked when I said, 'nope its perfect just the way it is'. Shrugging, she stuck it in my bag and gave me a 'whatever' look.
I then went to the local 'craft' stores to find bits and bobs for my jewelry business and found people standing in front a 1000's of beads and pendants trying to match them up. Yes, its creating, but is it creative. Nothing in these shops gave me half the thrill of discovery as the antique store did. Stringing beads together in a prescribed fashion is fulfilling, but looking at some ancient wooden game pieces and wondering what I will do with them is thrilling. Yeah, I know it sounds cheesy, but I love when I find a bag of broken jewelry and buttons and can hear it say...'we will be so awesome as a necklace buy me, buy me, buy me...'
I love the unloved. I find beauty in things most people ignore. I think that is why I love antique hardware so much. The detail in an antique door hinge or an escutcheon plate amaze me. Everything had style...something we have lost along the way. Give me the broken toy, the runt of the litter or the crayon with out the label every time.