I am incredibly sensitive to my surroundings when I'm trying to get work done. Every detail is an opportunity for procrastination or avoidance; My back is to the door! Not enough surface area! Lighting is all wrong! I CAN'T WORK LIKE THIS WHAT'S ON HULU?! So it's no surprise that I have had 3 offices in our apartment in 2 and a half years. 

Having a functional office is becoming more and more important to me. The clients keep coming and I'm tired of spreading out on our dining room table, shuffling salt & pepper shakers and cups of pens around (I CAN'T WORK LIKE THIS!). So in the middle of a heavy week of client work I freaked out and went on a office-improvement rampage, telling myself that my clients would get better work out of me if I had a proper office even if said work might come a day later than expected. 

I started with the Oh What fun! sign. Facebook demanded that I keep it and I agreed. If there's ever been another way of putting how I feel about my job I haven't heard it, so having it above my desk would be, like, perfect. I knew in my bones that the desk needed to be an L shape and white. I knew I wanted to get not-finished canvases by unknown artists to use as cork boards. I knew I wanted all my crafting/decorative nonsense to be visible and within reach, otherwise I reach for Hulu. I knew that between Ikea, UrbanOre, and Out of the Closet I'd be set and I was right!

YAY! Ikea supplied the desk, Out of the Closet sold me those shelves for $10.50, and UrbanOre had 4 canvases I had to have, 2 of which are too pretty to use as cork boards. My client/friend Jessica had given me that chair, the coolest office chair ever known to humankind, and the rest was thrifted at estate sales and stores around the East Bay. 

Here's what I was working with before. Shoot, that's embarrassing. 

 I CAN'T WORK LIKE THIS!

I CAN'T WORK LIKE THIS!

Let's tour the new digs, shall we?

 Is that a handwritten note from Emily Henderson? Yes it is a handwritten note from Emily Henderson. That excellent photo of a fireman's boots is by my friend  Solon .

Is that a handwritten note from Emily Henderson? Yes it is a handwritten note from Emily Henderson. That excellent photo of a fireman's boots is by my friend Solon.

 Do I have a problem? Probably.

Do I have a problem? Probably.

 Always have ribbon at the ready.

Always have ribbon at the ready.

 Yes my chair wears jewelry, doesn't yours?

Yes my chair wears jewelry, doesn't yours?

 Vintage trash cans are the best containers.

Vintage trash cans are the best containers.

 Heck yeah! That horse painting was $14 at UrbanOre and I love it so much.

Heck yeah! That horse painting was $14 at UrbanOre and I love it so much.

 People and memories I love.

People and memories I love.

 Maggie just gave me these vintage darts!

Maggie just gave me these vintage darts!

  Christy  gave me those photo holders!

Christy gave me those photo holders!

 Tools of the trade.

Tools of the trade.

 $4 portrait.

$4 portrait.

 YAAAAY!

YAAAAY!

Look at me! I'm writing this blog post at my desk in my office! It's working!

Whew.

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AuthorSarah Reid

On April 23rd, 2004, the day Zane turned 9, Matthew left a love note for me on the kitchen table. We had been together for just 2 months. I've kept it by my bedside for the last 12 years until this week when I found these wooden hands in a thrift store. How perfect are they? Sigh.

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AuthorSarah Reid

WHERE IS THIS GOING TO GO YOU GUYS!?

A part of me wants to put it over our bed. Referencing love over the bed makes me slightly ill; referencing special couple time over the bed makes me giggly. Matthew would probably not giggle with me though.

A part of me wants to install Christmas lights in it and hang it a client's nursery. She and her beau would absolutely love it and I thought of them immediately when I saw it and babies love lights.

A part of me wants to put it in Jake's room. It's so non-gendered and happy, what kid shouldn't have those words in their room? And I'm looking for vintage and one-of-a-kind art to put in there. But the red would make a lot of red, white, and blue, which isn't my favorite color scheme.

A part of me wants to make a table out of it and put it in a future client's house. But I have no tools or storage and need to just own up to the fact that I am not crafty.

What do your parts say; where should I put this thing? Tell me on Facebook - blog comments are the devil.

Posted
AuthorSarah Reid

Given my absolute fear of the ocean and dislike of water in general it is surprising to me just how totally in love I am with boats, or more specifically, boat imagery, history, and mechanics. I get seasick on them, avoid going on them as much as possible (which, thankfully, is very possible), and have no family history with them.

And yet. How totally stunningly beautiful they are. They are objects that by mere context (floating in vast bodies of water) become instant metaphors for (as well as literal representations of) human perseverance and ingenuity. They make being in an environment that would otherwise kill you possible. I just can't stop marveling at them.

Reading In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick is what got me started. I promptly read every book on whaling I could find, excluding Moby Dick, which I have no good reason for not reading except that the two copies we own are like sacred pets to Matthew and I am known to break spines. Book spines. Not pet spines. I love pet spines. And whaling books, what few there are.

After I read about whaling I moved on to pirating history, named my cafe after a lady pirate, commissioned my friend Stevie to paint this boat, and started collecting, very selectively, interesting boat stuff. I'm super picky about my boat stuff; If I'm gonna buy something it's gotta be something I've never seen before, which is actually a hard thing to find. Knots, buoys, and Salvation Army boat-on-the-horizon prints are everywhere. So when I was at the Alameda Flea this month I stopped dead in my tracks when my eyeballs took this beauty in, I mean, WHA?

Ghost Boat.jpg

I picked it up and pretended not to care and nonchalantly asked, "How much?" fully prepared to pay up to $50. "$10? It's not signed." "Cool." I handed the man $10, put it in my bag and calmly strolled away while quietly dying inside. Seriously, it felt like my organs were melting. Or like when I found this basket. As soon as I rounded the corner I took it out and gazed at it with all of my affection and more. It's painted on a thin piece of wood, is just about the perfect color palette, and clearly never got finished. Is there anything better than a good boat painting? Well, maybe a good boat painting half finished. I didn't buy anything else that day because sometimes when you find the perfect thing you don't need more things. Just that one perfect thing.

Until tomorrow.

 

 

 

Posted
AuthorSarah Reid

I've been sick folks. Like, real sick. Not the kind of sick that secretly feels like a nice excuse to watch reality television and order your partner around, but the kind that makes you want to get out of your own skin as quickly as possible and in which the words, "Thisisterriblethisisterriblethisisterrible" get stuck in your mind on repeat as you try to convince yourself that you might sleep tonight.

Anyway. Poor me. I'm getting much better and quickly. Thank you for your concern.

This Saturday, to celebrate my vertical-ness, Matthew and I decided to take a short drive out to the town of Port Costa. It's a sweet, curvy, empty, golden hill-covered 40 minute drive from Oakland (if you go the non-80 way, which you should). The town sits in a narrow canyon on the north bay, across from Vallejo, and has 190 residents.  You should go. Right now.

 Warehouse Cafe & Bar entrance.

Warehouse Cafe & Bar entrance.

There are 2 bars, one cafe, and one hotel in town. "Town" is one little street that dead ends into a parking lot by the train tracks that run along the water. As soon as we got to the parking lot I knew we were in for a special day. My elevated heart rate told me so. 

When you enter the Warehouse Cafe & Bar, which is indeed an enormous very old warehouse, it is unclear where to go or if humans are actually welcome. It has a very strong "find us if you can" vibe. I've never been to a place like it, and I've been to some strange places. Intrigued, we walked around until we found humans.

We had a drink on the patio, saw either the largest feral cat on earth or a small wild cat lurking in the bushes, and enjoyed the outfits of the bikers who frequent the place. Then we set about exploring.

The place is impossible to capture with an iPhone, needless to say. Just go. Now. 

After touring the Warehouse we crossed the street and saw this eye candy and I just about lost my shit.

I mean, Port Costa tried to kill me basically. It tried to kill me with this alley patio with its perfect herringbone brick, creeping vines, colored Christmas lights, and that arch. Luckily, I lived to tell the tale.

Once I caught my breath we crossed the street and were smacked in the face with this wonderful store by Wendy Addison. At this point in the town tour I thought that maybe I was being punked. The absurd and surreal nature of every building and business was getting to be simply unbelievable. 

Um, so, yeah. That exists in a town of 190 and is only open for several hours a week. How? MAGIC.

We walked on. The town is full of birds that are slightly too loud and great in number, the streets are lined with trees that are slightly too large to be lining streets, their roots pushing the sidewalks and curbs well past being bumps and into small hillocks. There is clearly no building or health inspector or any town employees for that matter. The town feels like a labor of love. 

As if we hadn't had enough we came upon a tree in someone's front yard, right on the sidewalk in which they keep a hanging pail filled with tags and pens for passersby to add their wishes to the branches. Naturally. 

 "I wish that Hank won't terrorize the babysitter."

"I wish that Hank won't terrorize the babysitter."

 "I wish my family would get along."

"I wish my family would get along."

Everything felt like a set piece.

Before getting back in the car we crossed the parking lot and train tracks to look at the bay and there we saw a tiny beach with room enough for one mom and her kid and their umbrella and I swooned. Swoon.

And that was our day in Port Costa, CA! Have you ever been? What's the most extraordinary town you've ever been to?

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AuthorSarah Reid