Inspired by History

Shore House Vintage, a new project!

I recently opened an Etsy shop: Shore House Vintage

At first, I thought it couldn’t be further from my origins of writer and artist. But as I posted one item after another, I began to realize this shop was just another expression of myself.

Most of the artifacts I’ve posted for sale are from previous generations of my own family. My husband and I have made the decision to ‘retire’ in 2017. This doesn’t mean we won’t be working, but it will mean we’ll be relocating to a much smaller living space. And just as painful as it was to wave good-bye to my children as they moved out on their own, it was initially devastating to think I’d be selling off my ‘ancestors.’ I knew I had to ‘downsize.’ So eventually I decided I had to think about this situation differently and change my point of view.

I often wonder why I collect stuff. My husband and I disagree, of course, on the definition of these artifacts. He considers it stuff, I consider it family. But I also collect things that catch my eye at the local antique mall. Definitely not from my family. Does it remind me of my family, or is it something else?

A parallel project of mine is writing murder mysteries, and in each story there is an artifact (a piece of jewelry, a Native American fetish, an old carving) that is woven into the plot.

As I photographed each item in my extensive collection of vintage ‘stuff’ to post to my shop, I was inspired to try on a pair of small, wire-rim glasses. I don’t know who they belonged to, but I inherited them from my folks. I researched them, and discovered they were made in the late 1800’s to early 1900’s. That would be two generations before me! Who wore them? What did being able to see clearer mean to them? Did they misplace them often? Were they a wife, a mother, a sister, a cousin, or a man of business, a teacher? To wear or touch something that had been used everyday by not only a relative, but someone who lived in a different era, a different world, made my fingers itch to write about them.


And my mind immediately began to build a story around these old glasses that I could hold in my hand, or wear on my face. Since then, I’ve traveled back in time with every piece of history I post to my Easy site.

Visit me, even if you use the photos for writing inspiration, at Shore House Vintage. You might find a tiny slice of history that mirrors your own past or family, or a unique gift for someone in your present life.