family photos by alexandrena parker, tim coulson and tamara erbacher / the frames I had been searching for / hydrangeas from the neighbours' gardens
Earlier this year I had the priviledge of walking the streets of Surry Hills with renowned stylist Pia Jane Bijkerk. Along with Gaby, Luisa, Steph and Sophie, we wandered in and out of hidden boutiques and warm, bustling cafes; a gaggle of women chatting under umbrellas. It was grey and wet and reminiscent of a winter's day in Amsterdam; apt considering Pia had spent the past few years living there (on a houseboat!).
We talked about a lot of things that day - motherhood, creativity, photography, birth, food, collecting, curating - but there's one conversation that has stayed with me, one that I've mulled over and subsequently treasured. We discussed slow-consumerism at length, our desire to buy quality over quantity and really love what we bring into our homes. It is to:
...consume and purchase with absolute mindfulness;
never settling for something that will 'just do' but waiting, waiting, for the right one to come along...and knowing that it will...
It was an apt discussion, considering I'd already spent eighteen months searching for the perfect picture frames. Our collection of family photos was growing and I wanted to display them above our mantle...but as hard as I tried, I couldn't find anything that was quite right. I'd looked in op-shops, visited my local framers more than once and trawled online stores but alas, nothing. You see, I wanted frames that would be around for years; solid and well-made they needed to be both simple in design and aesthetically pleasing. I wanted a natural timber frame, an off-white matte and a back that was easily removable for when I felt the need to change the photos.
A few months ago I was scrolling through instagram when I spied some beautiful frames in the background of a friend's photo. One message led to another and I finally discovered the frames online at Corban & Blair. They were exactly what I had envisioned and to make the deal even sweeter they're a carbon neutral product (the timber is sourced from renewable plantations in New Zealand).
It's a nice feeling to wait for the ideal purchase and then admire it every day (especially when it holds precious family memories). And perhaps it feels so good because I have also experienced the opposite; buying things on a whim only to regret it later.