a box of inspiration

Several years ago, I started tossing things that inspired me into an old suitcase. Little pieces of memory and reminders of beauty that I wanted to keep. Objects and artifacts of life, that I could pull out and look at and smell and touch. There is something about having something solid and real that I can hold in my hands, that brings a sort of inspiration no website or virtual place can.

So when I’m feeling uninspired, I shut my computer and pull out my Box of Inspiration. In my box I have a great mix of things–some of them intensely personal, and others are simply objects that I picked up at a vintage shop and liked. Here are some pictures of the box, as well as some pictures of a few of my favorite things inside the box.


This is an old 1900 pocket watch that I found at a flea market in France. It’s forever 9:02 according to the clock. When I hold it, I remember the ethereal, timeless feeling of Paris.


Some lovely little postcards I found at the thrift store last week.


I also found this handkerchief at a vintage shop with a handwritten note attached: “From about 1883. The only thing Grandma Johnson every sewed.” I don’t know why anyone would ever what to get rid of “the only thing Grandma Johnson ever sewed”–especially something this exquisite, but for my sake, I’m glad that they did. The smell of it me of my own Grandmother’s house, and playing in her trunk of 100 year-old dress-up clothes as a child.


Reed, and his unwavering love, is always a great encouragement to me.


This necklace is to remember my family, given to me by my mom. My Dad died several years ago, and I wore the necklace on my wedding day so he, in a sense, could come with me. Each of the five birds represents my mom and five sisters.


Vintage keys and sheet music. Reed found an old bucket of these keys in his grandpa’s barn, and we’ve loved collecting keys and making art with them ever since.


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