Collecting Calm

My days, weeks, and months are spent bouncing from one article and location to the next. It has allowed me to amass quite the collection of favorite places and makers, but rarely do I get the opportunity to enjoy them more than once. Its hectic, and far from relaxing, but somewhere along the way, I began collecting things I could enjoy over and over at home. I was doing it without even realizing it, and before I knew it, they were filling up the shelves and surfaces of my office and kitchen.

It started by accident last spring. I had picked up a tiny purple pitcher, along with other tiny items, from Rustic Redemption in Granite Falls to fill some equally tiny shelves. Fast forward to summer, and I was picking up a tiny vase at Highlander Second Hand Store in Darrington. It was the same size, and I couldn’t help but think about how cool it would be to fill those shelves with tiny vases.

That was the idea anyway, but by Fall my collection to be had outgrown the tiny shelves. I picked up larger, but still tiny versions, of vases, sugar jars, etc. from The Collectors Shelf of Bothell (that name should have tipped me off) and Antique Station of Snohomish. It wasn’t until the fourth one that I finally realized I was intentionally collecting them.

I wasn’t sure what to do with this collecting thing at first, but once I started seeking, I couldn’t stop. I realized that doing it was something that was for me, something that was mine, amongst all this work I was putting in for local businesses and the communities of Snohomish County, work that I often find myself, as an individual, getting lost in.

Collecting has allowed me to keep a part of my mind, no matter how small it may be, focused on me, the things that I want and enjoy while we are out and about visiting locations, or while I’m scrolling through local social media feeds. It has allowed me to fill the spaces I work in the most for the magazine, my office and kitchen, with things that I can look to when life gets too hectic or I start to feel lost. My collection, collections now, have become the calm amonst the chaos, beauty around the screens that dominate my life, and focus for a mind that is always in a million places at once.

Since discovering I’d become a collector, I have started new collections, several of them. Again, sometimes without realizing it at first. I have a tendency to find something I like, only to have it sit around because I have no idea what to do with it. Then I find something similar, and it just clicks. They get put to use as decor, like detailed silver trays and salad tongs, or actually get put to use, like my colorful vintage colander collection that sits atop my kitchen island holding the abundance of fruit that comes in our weekly CSA Box delivery from Klesick’s of Stanwood.

You are probably noticing by now that my collections are mostly made up of antiques and vintage items. While that may not seem odd to those who have homes full of these kinds of things, it was at first for me. I don’t have anything from my home growing up, or from grandparents, or great grandparents. We bought our home, completely remodeled it, and filled it with new things. Before starting Live the SnoCo Life, I didn’t own anything old. So, it would seem, that maybe I’m collecting more than just things. My work has evovled so much over the last year, it has become as much about the stories behind local businesses and makers, as it has about sharing with all of you who they are and where to find them.

Stories have become an important part of my life, and while new things can grow to have stories, there is just something about owning old things, things that have been a part of the stories of others. When you look at them and use them, you can get lost in thinking about where they have been, who has had them. It’s yet another welcome distraction in my otherwise busy days.

While I don’t know how big my collections will become, or how many I will come to have, I look forward to more seeking, more time for me, and more distractions.

Did you know that this article, as well as all of the others featured on our website are part of a monthly magazine. It is all about shopping, eating, drinking, and playing local in Snohomish County. More importantly, it is about the ways that local choices can make your life better. Our monthly magazine is available in both electronic and print form (yes, you read right, print!). As if that wasn’t awesome enough, each issue contains exclusive content that can’t be found on our website or social media accounts. So if you aren’t getting a copy each month you are missing out.

Single issues can be bought HERE and annual subscriptions, which include exclusive giveaways and discounts, can be signed up for HERE. Finally, a limited number of printed copies are available at The Chic Boatique and Artisans Mercantile in Snohomish and Reclaimed Heart in Arlington, Vintage Company No. 7 in Bothell, Dahlia’s Vintage Marketplace on Camano Island, and Rustic Redemption in Granite Falls.

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