meanwhile, back at the nest

This last Saturday was the Crafty Bastards fair out in Adams Morgan. What an impressive concentration of talented people! (And would you believe that a few booths over was Jay- season one Project Runway winner!?) I am creatively energized and physically exhausted. My MIL, SIL and niece came in for the show. A few FS folks ventured out too. (Thank you, thank you, thank you ladies!) Those moments of recognition are so dear in the sea of unfamiliar faces. And a sea it was. The fair was from 10-5 and the crowds endured ALL DAY LONG. It was amazing. My one regret is that I didn’t have more time to shop for myself! My next show isn’t until the Saturday after next, out in Gaithersburg, then two back to back Saturdays in Silver Springs. Eastern Market just announced that they’ve opened applications for a few more vendors. Whew, no rest for the wicked.

By the time I’ve caught my breath, the holidays will be here and gone, then two more months until we’re off. This has got me thinking a little more about our accommodations, or rather “home”, in Luanda. Rumor has it that we’ll be in a new apartment building next door to the embassy. In an effort to keep things from feeling totally sterile for the six months it takes for our things to arrive, I’ve been keeping my eyes peeled for about one carry-ons worth of fun and familiar little home items. And of course, me being me… I prefer that they’re unique and handmade. Here’s what is delighting me so far.

Remember a while back when my friend Stacey and I did a swap? I made her a bag, she drew this illustration of Snakes and me with our boys, our girls and the old Detroit house. I knew I needed exactly the right frame and though it took me a while, I’m glad I was patient. I came across this etsy vendor, Ivars Design, who makes frames from recycled farm wood. I love it with this picture because I think it captures our “urban pioneer” spirit. And it’s simple to stick in a suitcase.

Then there are these guys, who make me indescribably and irrationally happy.  They’re so ridiculous and serious at once! I snagged a pair of them from this vendor, utilitarian franchise. What a great sense of humor. I love this guy. I figure if I ever tire of them in the living room, they can head to the bedroom. Although, honestly, I just can’t imagine that happening. And the (second) best part is they can fold up and fit easily into my pocket! Within moments of arriving on the other side of the world, I can have some good friends chillin on the couch. I also got this screen print on canvas stretched over a frame. It’s the biologist in me who loves the literal “home is where the heart is” reference. So beautiful.

Oh. And I know I said I didn’t have much time to shop this weekend, but I still eked out 10 minutes and I’m so glad I did. By ceramist, Vicki Hartman,  from upstate NY:

These exquisite little trees painted onto a ceramic “stone”. Tiny, sweet and imminently transportable! And finally, from artist Jordan Perme, the piece de resistance…

I think it’s a brilliant compromise and a nice way for me to “support” Snakes’ infamous taxidermy habit ( remember the baboon?) Maybe with this guy mixed in, the albino possum, massive raccoon and the vole won’t look quite so terrifying!?

A piece of advice to those of you yet to pack it up and come here for training. DON’T pack the things that turn a generic corporate apartment into your home.  Hold them dear and always travel with a hammer and nails.


5 thoughts on “meanwhile, back at the nest

  1. First of all, congratulations on what sounds like a great event! I am sorry we weren’t able to swing by, but it seems we have a few more opportunities before our own departure. Second of all, I LOVE (and covet) the crazy ostriches, the ceramic stone and of course, the felt (is it felt?) head of… um… the horned, deer thing. You have such fabulous taste. And lastly, does this mean that you know where you are going to be living? If so, I have two comments: while it might ordinarily not be your first choice (nor mine) to live in a sparkly new apartment building, it’s probably a pretty good option for Luanda. And second, doesn’t it seem crazy that you know where you’re going to be living in February in ANGOLA and I don’t know where we’re going to be living next MONTH in Brussels? Happy for you, frustrated for me.

    Can’t wait to celebrate my 33rd year with you guys omorrow!


  2. Love your new finds all~especially that beautiful frame for Stacey’s family portrait! I’m very happy to hear you’ll be living in a new apartment building. At least you’ll have a half way decent chance at correctly functioning plumbing and nice clean appliances maybe even air conditioning! Am also relieved that David won’t have to drive his motor cycle through who knows what on a daily basis. LYTP

  3. Wow! Right by the embassy? That’ll solve a lot (admittedly not all) of Luanda’s frustrations right there!

    I obviously can’t make the trek down to Maryland, but I do have a couple of friends in Gaithersburg. I’ll be sure to send them over your way.

  4. It was great to see you guys on Saturday! We did eventually squeeze the 5 of us into one cab and made it home. 🙂

    I totally agree about picking things out that make your home _your_ home and taking them with you as carry on. I have some Thai silk pillows and a runner that have gone from Bangkok, to Kabul, to Geneva, to Arlington. They were cheap, but they are orange and red and they make me happy and can brighten any room. I also like cheery table linens, so I take a few cloth napkins and place mats with me. Having a fetish for textiles makes for easy packing, too. 🙂

    A tiny photo album can be nice with photos of family and friends.

    See you soon!

  5. I wish I would have taken your advice and not packed all our art and decor, I think that the lack of our own personality around here is making us all the more anxious to get out of Oakwood.

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