to display one’s stories . . .

One way I like to keep myself inspired is through the art of ‘display’ and the stories that possessions can hold. This idea of display is very intriguing to me – a piece of brown paper towel has the power to feel like gold if it were to be framed and hung on a grand wall. This brings me back to my very first post, Shpritzsh, where I spoke of the little details rendering the banal into the intriguing . . .

‘The details are what transform a nice jacket into a tailored jacket. With the right details, a rock picked up from the ground can become a classic paperweight, a coffee into a latte, a cracker into a biscuit.’

3 years ago, after living in on-campus rez, I moved out and into my very first apartment. If you know me, you’ll know that I have a lot of . . . stuff. To summarize this all up, what some like to call ‘junk’, I like to call ‘possibilities’! With that in mind, I needed some great shelving systems to hold & display all these ‘possibilities’. My mom found these great metal shelves at Ikea, and immediately my eyes lit up at all the possibilities forming in my mind of ways of displaying my precious ‘possibilities’!

At this point, these shelves have seen so many possibilities, I can’t even begin to describe what a storm they’ve been through. . . However, I will show y’all some of my precious ‘possibilities’ and the stories they have come to possess.


There’s a lot going on here . . . Where to start? Let’s begin with the bottle openers – a recently started collection of mine. The art of collecting has been discussed and analyzed thoroughly by many, including James Clifford (‘On Collecting Art and Culture’) and Sharon Macdonald (‘Collecting Practices’). I started this collection as a way to combine many aspects of my life into one – my love of beer, decorative details, and the weight of an object in your hand. These openers are held in a mason jar cup from my previous job, Brothers Beer Bistro . . . (Shhhh! I’m sorry! I only have one!) . . . beside that, is a cleaned out baby-food glass bottle, filled with dollar store beads. I originally put that together for Valentines day a couple of years ago . . . It remains a part of my ‘possibilities’ collection, as a way to remind myself that you can create beautiful decor for less than 3 bucks.

These two settings are displayed on minimalist white plates. I bought these plates off of a sushi restaurant in Montreal, Sho-dan – I ended up talking to the owner for a good half hour, as I learned that he had created all the paintings in the restaurant himself. A humble moment in my life, as I realized there is so much talent in the world, peaking through the shadows of people’s lives.


I bought this glossy, ceramic platter at Chapters on sale for a really, really cheap price. I had mentioned this quote in one of my previous blog entries on the art of fine foods (gastronomy! . . . read here!). I had just finished the last essay of my semester, and was running around, free as a bird. ‘People who love to eat are always the best people’ – I hadn’t eaten much that day in order to get that damn essay done, and in that moment, I knew Julia Child had it right. The three crystal cupcakes were purchased in that same, spur of the moment kind of way – like a giddy school girl, my heart skipped a beat at their kitschy beauty. The larger mason jar behind this set-up holds wine corks, of the wine drunk on memorable days & nights. Each cork holds a little story all on their own. This whole set-up revolves around my love of food, drinks and the art of enjoying the two together, with people you love.


Three things – pink phone from my brother when he was in Korea, wax candles bought on a beautiful day, and a wine box found in Montreal. Simply just a cluster of random memories I like to hold onto. 


Books & boxes! I once volunteered at a book sale for Penguin Co. As a result, I was able to grab a box full of books for free – a book-hoarders dream come true! That is where I scored the Hip Hotels book, as well as the Inspiration book. The Little Prince book was given to me as a gift from my Spain-Exchange family – I still remember the tears as Anabel, the mother of the household, handed me this book and told me of its power to hold life’s secret. Cool Drinks was given to me by a friend, on New Years Day of 2012, after we’d spent the whole day eating pizza and popcorn in an epic fort we’d built that day.

And lastly – Nina Ricci. Oh, how I love Nina Ricci! Surely, years from now, I will smell that scent in the air and immediately be brought back to my University days, slumming it in a pair of cheap sweatpants and a spritz of elegant perfume.


I wanted to show this shot, as a way to remind myself that not all things have to be perfectly placed. Sometimes a little messy, disorganized display can be just as beautiful, and sometimes even more full of life than meticulously placed ‘possibilities’. Sometimes spontaneity is a beautiful thing.

4.necklaceAnd lastly, a stream of clustered necklaces, all entangled within one another. The key, bought for 25 cents from a flea market, the glass heart, bought in Stockholm, Sweden almost a decade ago, the gold loops, bought for 25 cents at a garage sale . . . A piece of jewellery can sometimes render a plain outfit into a bedazzle of elegance and glamour. I love it! 

I’ve written so much, and I could go on and on even more . . . However, I choose to stop here. While I am wary of the disease of materialism taking over in this world, it is nice and calming to remember that possessions still hold the capacity to bear stories, secrets and experiences.

And in the words of Nicole Krauss, in The History of Love . . .

“At the end, all that’s left of you are your possessions. Perhaps that’s why I’ve never been able to throw anything away. Perhaps that’s why I hoarded the world: with the hope that when I died, the sum total of my things would suggest a life larger than the one I lived.”

ciao ciao, bellos.

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