My friend Leslie Ferrin, owner of a beautiful art gallery in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, took me to delicious dinner at a charmingly quirky place called the Dream Away Lodge. The owner had clearly poured heart and soul into the decor, which was full of exuberant detail. When we got to our table and pulled out our chairs, the seat coverings caught my eye. Perhaps because my son Theo knows so much about denim--and explains a great deal of it to me as new jeans arrive in the mail--I was delighted by the use of faded old jeans as upholstery. The owner noticed that the chairs had caught my attention, and explained they'd been created by his friend Crispina Ffrench, who lives nearby.
Amazing coincidence! I recognized that name: just a few days earlier, I had put away a heavy blanket that I bought years ago in Colorado, made of swatches of old knit sweaters. And I had plumped up a creature that had been sitting in Theo's childhood room, a little guy I couldn't bear to part with when I purged my belongings after selling my house. Now he lives in my bedroom. Both were made by the same designer. I had a lovely moment, flashing back to buying the work of that talented designer--who calls herself a "used clothing alchemist"-- and remembering how my sons and I had cherished them. We still do. Theo even pats the creature's head, once in a while. A little gift from the seat of a chair's pants, a little wink out of the past.