In many ways for my entire life I have been a major nester. The first home I created for myself was out in the trees in the empty lot next to the house I lived in when I was 5. Even at such a young age I loved the idea of having the space around myself filled with things of practical use that I found beautiful and loved. Secretly I took out and squirreled away many treasures in the crooks of the trees. I also have always been drawn to objects that have a sense of personal craftsmanship. If there is an item that oozes a story, history and is well made immediately I am drawn to it.
Well, the time just came for N and I to choose a place to call home base for the next year. Although I was willling the spot to be in Washington State near one of my dear sisters, try as we might, we could not make that part of the country feel like the right place to be right now. So upon looking at all our other options, we have ended up landing in a stunning vintage apartment building in upstate New York. Our building is called “The Algonquin” which is the French name for an Indian tribe who lived in the northeast. We walked into the front vestibule of the building and knew it was home right away. Now having done some research it turns out that this particular tribe was famous for their bead and basket artistry. Anyone who knows me well will immediately understand the heart happy smile I got on discovering this as I am a lover of baskets and over the years have collected and given away many stunning examples of antique and modern alike. There has not been one home I have lived in that has not had many baskets. And yes, I have even taken a basket making class before, but no it was not underwater basket weaving 101 as I did not get good enough to qualify for that level! Good quality baskets are true works of art, harder to create than one might realize. The one pictured here is an Algonquin one made from birch bark. As an aside, the outstanding bushcraft teacher Rey Mears does a wonderful show on birch use from this part of the world. WELL worth a watch:
Home for me is not just what the walls of a place look like, but the feeling they give off as well. For me in choosing a home it is like taking the pulse of a place to know how healthy and alive it is. Our building is from the 1920’s complete with all the updates the modern world would want without loosing one ounce of the charm. If these walls could talk, I am sure they would have many wonderful tales to tell. In the space itself I am most excited about our massive cast iron soaking tub, our New Orleans inspired iron balcony and being diagonally across the street from Great Harvest Bread. I am looking forward to many delicious pieces of toast made in our jewel box of a kitchen while here.
Dinner alfresco with a few candles thrown in is a definite possibility.
N and I are really looking forward to beginning an adventure together here over the next year or so. It seems we have found and made the perfect nest to hold still and launch from.