I love history and elderly ladies mostly because they both seem rich with stories and tell of a time when people had manners and didn’t wear sweatpants with words bejeweled across the bum in public stores and planes and malls. There was the whole savage slaying of innocents bit, but I like to look at that as kind of the angsty teen phase of humanity and not a testament to how we roll.
Recently I stumbled upon farmnflea, a sweet Etsy boutique of sweetly framed quotes, and when I struck up a conversation with owner Mary Petrzilka I knew we could be friends. She’s young and hip (two things I’d like to try). Smart (also considered trying this…briefly) . Soon to be married to a great guy. A dog mama. But the real deal clincher? She digs the vintage, too.
Her quotes are hand-pecked by typewriter, ranging from custom requests to boozy Hemingway lines and plenty of those inspirational sentences that make you want to go scale a mountain and sing “We Are The Champions” and, yes, even carpe the hell out of some diems. I was smitten with the classic typewriter font, the simple beauty of just black words against plain white. Then I got smitten-er (the most smitten-est, even!) when Mary, a 29-year-old grad student penning her thesis on economic anthropology and flea markets, described how she came to start her business:
“I visit my Grandma every other weekend, to braid her hair for her and give her company. She spent the latter years of her life working in a thrift store, and has both a basement and attic filled with vintage wonders. One day I brought home a 1960′s typewriter from the attic, and while procrastinating on thesis work I put a piece of paper in and tested it out (reminding myself how lucky I was to be writing a thesis on an Acer laptop and NOT a Webster XL-500). “
I’ve never met Mary but I can safely say that I’m a fan because she braids Grandma’s hair and knows enough to love and treasure things which got here before her. And you should be a fan, too, because she’s about to share a special piece of her hand-typed pretty with you.
” Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness.
It took me years to understand that this, too, was a gift.” – Mary Oliver
This quote from poet Mary Oliver perfectly touched on what the Tiny Spark Series is all about & thanks to one retro typewriter and the generous hands who use it for good, one lucky reader will receive a fresh-from-the-Webster farmnflea print just for commenting!
Tiny Spark posts are an opportunity to take a pinch or a handful or just maybe a big old chunk of wisdom from another person’s history. It’s recognizing the past, using lessons learned to light up a future. One of Mary’s favorite parts of running farmnflea is a similar amazement in how just a few, little words can be so big in a person’s world :
“ It is fascinating to read what quotes and poems inspire certain people, and it makes you wonder what the story behind that quote is that holds meaning, represents inspiration or serves as a daily reminder of ‘good’ in other people’s lives.”
One lucky winner gets a treasure from Grandma’s attic!