20 March 2009

oh, henry!

summing up my time away is going to take a few posts.....so i will stick to the hi-lites!! the weather in north carolina showed her true colours with all the seasons comin' out to play.
on the day i went to see henry we were mere hours ahead of getting six inches (an awful lot for north carolina!) of snow and it was freezing.
henry's house is bursting with his paintings, old quilts and recent finds. he made the loveliest herbal tea and told some serious tales about hunting for ginseng and digging for old bottles as far as five feet underground. when we'd warmed up we headed back out into the cold to the building which once housed his father's workshop and now serves as henry's treasure chest. i'd heard so much about it over the years and couldn't wait to see what was resting inside.
unfortunately i will go ahead and say....my photos of the interior just don't do the place justice. there was no sun that day! but just imagine an (ice) box filled with decades of history, tools still hanging from when the space was a workshop. plastic tubs and boxes, heaps of clothes left stiff from the wash, or from the dirt having not been washed. it was such a magical place, and the ultimate treat to spend those hours with henry, listening to his stories and knowing the man has led an amazing life thus far. who knows where he will go next on his adventures.
i was very interested in the old denims, denims that are often sold to designers from all kinds of companies, but i decided to leave those for another time, when i really have the space to keep them and to display them properly. also, henry could get a lot more for them from other people than from me. otherwise it was still really hard that day to not take more than i could handle. that was the story of my whole trip actually. missing the thrift shops so much and the good, affordable vintage for over a year is enough to make any girl ready to go on the ultimate spree. so to come into a shed filled with mounds of old clothes, the really old stuff you don't come across too often, is such a tease when you know that if you can't cram it all into the suitcase you'll have to put it in a box for storage. so i was good (!) and only got a few things, among them a few pieces of fabric (green buffalo check and red, white and blue whales), a madras 1950s blouse, a 1940s seersucker blouse, a 1940s minty skirt and two 1930s dresses - one from a waffle weave cotton and one made from feedsacks that breaks my heart every time i look at it. the heartbreaker of the bunch is at the bottom left here, i realise now that white-on-white is not the best combination but will try and post a photo outdoors this weekend. the circular, hand-stitched patches are what sets my heart a-flutter.
i only left the building when my toes had completely frozen and could barely walk. with my treasures in hand and a few lil' cobalt vicks drops bottles gifted from henry, i knew i wanted to hold onto my buzz for days to come.

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