A Photo Heart Connection

vintage thread spools

Kat Sloma has invited us to review our photos from the month of January and select the image that touches our heart the most. Several of my friends from Kat’s photography classes are participating in this, and it is a joy to see the creativity and read what they have to say. You can find their posts by clicking on the link button at the end of this post.
Surprisingly, this was very tough for me to choose! Not that I took all that many images in January. I just could not settle on The One that touched my heart the most.  Finally, this evening after going to yoga and being away from the computer for a few hours I chose this one.  Vintage thread spools that I purchased at an auction years ago…with the stamped on name and description and price of the thread still clear and clean and sharp.
This wooden spool collection speaks to me of economy, thrift, of creating garments or quilts or home decor. I wonder what the white sewing cotton was used on, and the pure silk thread…was that for a fancy blouse or dress? There is a story in these small pieces of wood, even in their shapes, making me wonder where these were made and when. 
What made it difficult for me to choose is that I have found a message in many of my other images from January telling me to take better care of this earth, to be conscious of how I use what I have, and how I discard things.  The children’s room at the Dayton Art Institute dazzled and amazed me with art created from trash, and now so many questions came to mind.
Do I really need to keep all these spools? No. 
Do I really need to have that many books?  (Well, let me think on that one….)  
Can I recycle this? 
What can I create from these old folders or envelopes?
What about those clothes that I have not worn in a year? 
How do I want to leave this world for my grandson? 
Ouch. That was my toes…

23 Replies to “A Photo Heart Connection”

  1. My heart connected with your lovely image as soon as I saw it. I just went through my Mom's old sewing boxes last week and found a few hundred spools of thread, most of which were these wonderful old wooden spools. (Mom never threw anything away.) I wanted to keep them, but decided to photograph the spools instead before I gave them away.

    I ponder the question you left us with every day now that I have four grandchildren.

  2. Such wonderful thoughts to go along with this lovely image. Your words are powerful, Deb. How do we want to leave this world? An important question. And important motivation, for your grandson and my son and all of the generations that come after. I resonate with your questions. I will add one of my own – Will my life be enhanced if I bring this item into my space? This question has worked for me, to change my behaviors. We have a small house, and it's full. I have to carefully consider what new things I bring in, whether or not they have long term value to me, and what else might go. Thanks for this thought-provoking post. So glad to have it in the Photo-Heart Connection!

    1. Kat, I love that question you added to the mix here, "will my life be enhanced….". Our house is also small, but just right for the two of us and the two cats, but even so we accumulate needless stuff that becomes clutter even if it is hidden away. I'm finding that this organized clutter is interfering with my creativity, and it has to go. I am amazed at how powerful this photo-heart connection really is! Thanks for your comments.

    2. This discussion has hit a tender spot in me as well. The question of whether my life will be enhanced by and object is one I will ask before bringing in one more thing. Deborah, being a multi media artist I find that everything is grist for the mill so to speak. I see everything as a possibility to use in a project but the bulk of it does intrude on my creative space. Thank you for this post Deborah and for this question, Kat.

  3. Deb – I agree with Kat. Such a thought-provoking post evoked from a lovely image. A consideration of what is important and how we can each rest more lightly upon the world, this world that someday we will hand over to our grandsons.

  4. Such wonderful, wonderful sentiment. These are just marvelous, and I love the way you have shot them. I am inspired by Gina's comment about photographing and then dispensing. The story is there, and your photo tells it so beautifully.

  5. Your photo connected with me immediately!! My heart is always drawn to vintage items. When I see vintage items I know that the owner worked hard to acquire them, even a small spool of thread! I know they didn't waste as we do today! Thanks for the reminder to take better care of our earth!!

  6. oh but! I wouldn't be able to let go of wooden spools… they represent another time – when thread was wound on wood instead of plastic. The writing is unique to time – now there are fancy fonts… Comic & Cotton Candy… this photo must speak to many people's hearts! look at the number of people responding.

  7. I love the simplicity of the photo and yet it speaks volumes to me. And now that I have read your words, it gives me pause to think are there things I am holding on to that I need to let go?

  8. I clicked on your photo because I was drwan to the vitage feeling. And then I noticed that is what you titled your photo! I really like the feeling of your photo and was interested to read what you had written. I am often torn between my "treasures" that I hold on to and the thought of clearing away posessions to give myself more freedom and leave nothing behind for my loved ones to have to deal with when I am gone!

  9. What can I say that others haven't already? Except that I agree with them all. The lovely image and your words resonate with me also. I'm drawn to vintage items, especially when they evoke specific memories. I'm conscious of having too much, and not wanting to burden my loved ones later. And…I'm preparing to downsize to smaller living quarters as I embark on big changes in the near future. All of this is causing me to assess what I have and what I will keep. Thank you for your thought-provoking post, and also to Kat for the useful question to ask myself.

  10. My eyes picked this one out from all the images posted…my mother worked in a sewing factory, as well as sewing at home. I find myself drawn more and more to old things, wondering about their stories, and trying to figure out how I could give them a new home. Lovely, lovely shot, and perfect in its details.

  11. This image reminds me of my great-grandmother…another time and era when things were done more simply. Handmade clothes, quiet evenings and extended family. As a child I played with wooden spools like these…thanks for pulling those memories up to the surface. Lovely image!

  12. Deborah…lovely thoughts, lovely image-and so well processed. I have been looking forward to the PHC since learing of it and taking my time going thru the linky viewing others interpretations. Can't wait until next month.

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