Friday, June 25, 2010

Wabi Sabi

Wabi Sabi - The Japanese art of seeing beauty in imperfections.
It celebrates cracks and crevices and all the other marks that time, weather, and loving use leave behind.Things that resonate with the spirit of their makers' hands and hearts: the chair your grandfather made, your six-year-old's lumpy pottery, an afghan you knitted yourself (out of handspun sheep's wool, perhaps). Pieces of your own history: sepia-toned ancestral photos, baby shoes, the Nancy Drew mysteries you read over and over again as a kid. It is the lines in a persons face that lets us know how much they have laughed, considered carefully, grimaced in their lifetime. It is flea markets instead of warehouse stores.

One of my dear friends, Amanda, introduced me to this philosophy. It encompasses all that I have recently learned about beauty. In a consuming society that has become plastic and particle board it is a treasure to stumble upon things that have the "Wabi Sabi" glow and beauty.

I thought of this philosophy the whole time I was in Boston last week. It was so full of history and beautiful architecture, every crack and crevice had a story of its own. I was so lucky to get to tag along with my sister while she was there on business. My senses were in overdrive as we walked through the streets and parks. I couldn't get over the amazing buildings that were built so long ago without the technology and heavy machinery of today. I was in complete awe the entire trip. Here are a few snapshots I took along the way.

This would be my doorstep if I lived in Boston. Every doorstep was different, unique in its own way.

Quaint little courtyard in the middle of two buildings.
Why don't we have courtyards like this in Oklahoma? I am trying to figure out a way that I can replicate this in my backyard! :)

There were random graveyards throughout the city.

This graveyard held the grave of Mary "Mother" Goose. Leave it to a 1st grade teacher to make this one of my "must see" things in Boston. They say you are supposed to put a penny on her grave and make a wish. I wished for an easy 1st grade class next year. I am hoping she will help me out on that one!

My sister Megan at Paul Revere's gravesite. Right after she got done yelling "The British are coming...The British are coming". We definitely stuck out as cheesy tourists.

How magical are these doors! I so badly wanted to knock on them and ask for the wizard.

Fresh Hand-squeezed lemonade in the park. It doesn't take much to make me happy.

To top it all off we got to experience the true essence of Boston...A Red Sox game at Fenway Park.

So sad to see the trip end. But I had so many projects waiting on me at home.

I recently came across this "Wabi Sabi" picture at a garage sale. I instantly fell in love with the detail of the antique frame. The frame was solid wood and had so much character. I could only imagine the life that this woman had lived and where this picture once hung.

We removed Aunt June (that is the name we gave her) and we painted the frame white. (Aunt June is still laying in our garage. I just don't have the heart to throw her away.)

We finished it with a black glaze to bring out all the detail. (As you can probably tell we are in LOVE with glazing)

I am going back and forth between making this a bulletin board for the office or using it to frame one of our black and white wedding pictures (which I have still not ordered yet, another thing on my summer to do list).

I bought this table at a GS recently. We needed a table to go between our chairs in our living room. I always look for things with detail and character. This table had both.

Here it is primed (using Kilz odorless primer).

Loved the legs.

We are decorating our living room in our wedding colors. So we decided to paint this table a deep purple. We chose Valspar semi-gloss in Rare Wine. I bought a new knob at Hobby Lobby. Z did some black glaze in the crevices to give it some dimension.

Before we painted the table, Z stenciled a design on the top using white paint. After we painted the table purple, we distressed the table using sandpaper. We concentrated on the part that we had stenciled, this made the design show through. I love this little added touch.

Now to find the perfect lamp for this table! Happy Wabi Sabi'ing! - A


  1. Came over from All Things Thrifty to see your desk makeover and stayed to check out the rest of your blog. Sounds like you have a very busy summer ahead :D But I totally understand how inspired and motivated you are from what you've seen on other blogs. Me too! I'm itching to re-do some old things left by my in-laws at their place in the country (which we're slowly cleaning/repairing/fixing up). After our last trip out there I brought back a few things to work on: four old chrome chairs, a chest (used to be my husband's toy chest!), two lamps, and a small table. I'm excited to see what I can do! Before blogging, I would never have even considered these projects.
    And it will be fun to follow your blog and see what you do :D

  2. Kim - I agree with you about the blogging world! So inspirational and so many good tips and ideas out there. What a treasure to have family heirlooms to re-do! They will mean so much more to you once you have personalized them and made them your own! Good Luck and thanks for visiting my blog! I would love to see pictures once you are finished :)

  3. hi there! love your accent table makeover. nice color! btw, what is GS?

  4. LOVE the table! It's so nice to see someone I know blogging as well!!!! Your trip looked amazing!


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