In Celebration of Modest Christmases Past

christmas-holiday-lights

A long time ago in a country far, far away, America had less of everything and holidays were easier and more modest.

Only 50 and 60 years ago, well within human memory, Christmas was a plainer, simpler affair. Everyone—even the rich, but certainly the poor and in-between—had less. Because America had less. You’d get a sweater and socks instead of five toys, or five toys instead of 10. Technology was something that existed at places like NASA. No one’s wish list had a hoverboard, an iPad, or a brightly wrapped drone. There were more big families, whose children understood that even Santa couldn’t cover them all.

You could make gifts. Or you could buy one after saving up, and the recipient could guess the sacrifice involved. And because there were fewer gifts, the one you got made a big impression.

And so a nod to the more modest Christmases of years past. These memories came with a declared or implied, “We didn’t have much, but . . .” And this was said not with resentment or self pity but a kind of pride and wistfulness. […] [Read more…]

Shoes (Handmade)


10+ years ago, Frank Torres, a colleague from work, had suggested that I buy a single pair of hand crafted Italian shoes. His face lit up when speaking about his visit to Italy, visiting shoemakers and speaking of the quality of the product. I scoffed.  “Do me a favor.  Just do it.” So, I did as he suggested.  And, I’ve never looked back. I slide on my shoes each morning and think of that short 3-4 minute conversation with Frank. The form fit and cushioning offers me a magic carpet ride through the stress packed days.  Frank, if you’re out there and by some miracle you are reading this post, this clip is my thanks to you.  While it’s not of an Italian shoemaker, it offered me similar inspiration. “Yes, Frank. You do get what you pay for.”


Barbora Veselá is London based footwear designer and maker. Her work reflects deep technical knowledge and creative competence. She likes to challenge classic shoe making techniques, yet use them with respect and celebrate its value. Playful and inquisitive thinking brought into old craftsmanship is what makes her work strong and unique.  A special construction method has been developed and used across her collection. Multiple layers of leather scrap pieces are added on the last and subsequently sanded down to achieve the final shape and unique colour pattern of the shoe.  More shoes displayed here.  (Source: barbora vesela)


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