Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Discovering Wabi-Sabi

Something clicked.
After 50+ years of living, I've discovered it.
Now I feel defined, emboldened and free.

What is it?
Not to be confused with wasabi 
which I also love.  :)
Be Still My Heart: Cobalt Blue Glass 
iso 1000, 50mm, f 2.8 1/80 sec

It's been there all my life,
but my life had never met wabi-sabi before.
And now, I know what I have loved,
and my love is justified.

What is wabi-sabi?
It is a Japanese world view of 
finding beauty in the imperfect 
and embracing the humble. 
A life where old and battered objects
are preferred over the new and pristine.
Teapot by Hall (USA) Teacup by Copeland-Spode (England) 
iso 1000, 62mm, f 2.8 1/30 sec

This explains why,
when you come to my house for dinner,
I won't have a new, matching dinner set on the table.
each place setting will have a unique piece
of {mostly} vintage ironstone transferware
that I searched for and found
one at a time.
(And do you know,
no one has ever commented on this.
It is unnoticed. )
Maybe that is why I felt so alone in my wabi-sabi-ing.
Keys to Unknown Doors
iso 500, 70mm, f 2.8 1/4 sec

I have collected my dinner glassware,
French, red, retro,
the same way - although this is a matching set.
A few pieces here,
a few pieces there.
And now, I have enough for a party.
Each glass is special.
I found it and
 it became part of my life.
Vintage Red French Glassware {Luminarc}
iso 1000, 55mm, f 2.8 1/15 sec

I haunt thrift stores, flea markets and the like.
I bring home the old, battered, unloved
and give it a home.
I like to look at it.
Something about it is special in my eye.
It stimulates my imagination.

How about you?
Do you wabi-sabi?
Good Riddance Martha Stewart
(or More Reading on Wabi-Sabi)
iso 500, 63mm, f 2.8 1/20 sec

Until next time,
wabi-sabi on.

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  1. I LOVE THAT FIRST PHOTO... and I to am a Wabi-Saby but not as much as you are, I prefer old over new except for a mattress.. I love all the up cyle things people create...i have 2 blue bottles, clear glass and green glass are what call to me, hubby prefers red glass like yours. but i don't buy any of it now. i used to. at one time i had a wall in our house in St Pete that had 40 antique oil lamps... i only have 5 now. your photos are STUNNING, but then they always are.

  2. That's a great world view. I share it as well (but knowing it's name though or origin). :)
    Great photos as well Rebecca!

    Mersad Donko Photography

  3. This is've given me the word for something that up until now was always just a feeling!

  4. I was just reading about wabi-sabi yesterday... and when I read what it is, I was thinking, "Hey, that's me!"

    I love those blue bottles --they're so pretty!

  5. I have wabi sabi-ed my whole life...and now there is a name for it.

  6. Rebecca, this post says so much about you and your personality. I have many wabi-sabis in my home, mostly passed down from my parents and grandparents, and I love them. Some may want to clean out and get rid of stuff, but these will probably all go to my daughters, and I don't even want to know what happens to them after that. Lovely post.

  7. Yes, living on a budget I use hand-me-downs and make things work! Thanks for sharing and lovely photos!

  8. I love repurposing old into new..Whether it be overhauling a photo, making a sweater into a scarf or readjusting my attitude for the day, lol..It takes talent to gather a pretty combination of these lovely wabi-sables for table settings, other uses around the house..Such a beautiful post :-)


  9. wabi-sabi to you

    We are living in the redo repurpose , use odd dishes at tables etc world
    I have done this for years and sure others have also. Love it
    I have 2 windows in my studio full of cobalt bottles

    I had a dinner party and used all odd place setting of dishes with roses on them, they blended wonderfully

  10. Loved this! What a fun to say expression, too!
    The colbolt glass is amazing!!

  11. Neat expression. I would go for wabi-sabi just because I like lots of different things. My wife, on the other hand, would probably go crazy if things didn't match. You have a cool collection, beautifully photographed.

  12. Rebecca your photos are truly inspirational! Just beautiful! And those cobolt blue bottles are stunning. But I have to ask you about the grist mill in your blog it the one in Clinton NJ? I am only asking because I have photographed the one in Clinton many times. Great picture.
    Visiting you from Ivy & Elephants WIW party.
    XO Barbara

  13. Beautiful photos!! So glad there is a name to my life style!! Does asymmetrical fit in there too?? That's me.......xoxo

  14. A fabulous post and your wabi-sabi so beautifully painted and shared. Yes, I wabi-sabi, just not flea-market but rather hand-me-downs from generations and generations and stuff I've accumulated since before the time of man.

    Love love love your edits on these images. Inspiring.

  15. Wabi-sabi is a wonderful way to look at life. I love your eclectic mix of surroundings. The cobalt blue glass collection is so lovely! Thanks for sharing.

  16. AGH, I LOVE this set of photos. And I totally would not mind being over for tea with your mismatched set. in fact, I would love to hear the story behind each piece. I am so happy to have you over at LTTL. :-D I think I'll have to sit a bit with your blog and my cup of coffee.

  17. I do wabi-sabi (and wasabi). I'd much rather have the old and often wonder what wonderful tales the pieces might tell me if I'd only listen. Beautiful post.

  18. I do! I discovered this way of thinking a few years ago. It's not something that is a complete adoption in my life, but I do love the beauty of things worn from time, the imperfect, the patina, etc... There is a lesson in the concept for sure.

  19. Really beautiful!! It must be fun gathering these treasures!!!

  20. I'm sure every kind of outlook of life has a similar view but it's always good to find a label! Great finds. Old keys always intrigue me.

  21. Beautiful blue and cobalt glass. I am not Martha Stewart-not at all!

  22. It's great to meet someone else who's china for dinner consists of a collection found and collected. Each piece is so beautiful, why would one limit themselves to collecting one pattern. I also feel that if my four year old grandson has an accident with a piece, it's not too hard to find a replacement.

  23. Well I never blue bottles, love em. My favourite glass is Bristol Blue they are exquisite. Love your work.

  24. Fabulous images and wonderful sentiment. Wabi-sabi is totally the way to go. All the best, Bonny

  25. Beautiful images! Love the blue bottles and the keys... Wabi-sabi is good.

  26. Awesome images... I love wabi-sabi too... you've done a great job of finding some real treasures.

  27. Blue is my favorite color, so I'm so loving your top image and those amazing bottles/jars! I'm right there with you when it comes to searching for the old and actually USING it! Wabi sabi on! Yes!
    visting from Friday Finds:

  28. Such a wonderful collection. Thanks for teaching me about wabi-sabi. Tom The Backroads Traveller

  29. Wabi-sabi is a way of life for me! :) Great post!

  30. Yes, I do! Wabi-sabi is so ME and I never knew what to call it. Thank you! :-) Great photos and I adore your collections!!!!!

  31. Loved seeing you vintage goodies. Not familiar with the life you are describing.

  32. I love your blue glass, very pretty. No, O don't wabi-sabi at all but my husband and youngest daughter do.


  33. I've never heard the term wabi-sabi, but that's me! Love everything old! You have some wonderful collections!

  34. I have it, too. I just never knew there was a name for it. Not that I have a lot of it in my home, but it does not mean I don't love it. I must say I love your photographs of it.

  35. i didn't know i was wabi sabi! love that phrase...beautiful photos!

  36. Wabi-sabi - I must remember that!!! I have serious envy issues with your cobalt blue glass collection! And the macro of the keys has me thinking I need to pull my collection out again... What fun I have had looking at your images!!!


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