This is the only thing I have that belonged to my grandfather.

I have used this large, heavy screwdriver for many things over the years including to lift the lids off of the tops of latex paint cans when I used to paint murals. (in another life) It has many colors all over it from different projects I have done and I love that. (I am clearly not a neat-nick when it comes to paint)

To me, the smear of a color can bring back the memory of that project. Kind of like a smell associated with a memory. That mint green color on the handle is from an entire room I painted for my kids- as though it was underwater. Huge stuffed fish hung from the ceiling along with a hook I made out of aluminum foil in the corner. That color brings back that room and their childhood to me.

I bought a Sorg easel many years ago when I finally felt I deserved one. Not the most expensive easel, it was still an investment and an indulgence for me. I had read on the website that David Sorg, who built the easels, said that once you get paint on the easel you may feel bad, but not for long since it is a workhorse and getting it dirty and paint-splattered will just break it in and make it feel more comfortable. That has definitely been true.

I have a drafting table I have had for even longer and at first I was so hyper-sensitive to keeping it clean and mark- free. Although I don’t go out of my way to get paint on it, I don’t sweat it too much anymore either.

I am not even sure how I came to have this screwdriver from my grandfather. I only know when I see it that it reminds me of him. It almost has a feeling, A sense of time linked to it. He was very particular about his tools. They were always in the “correct place” in his garage. I tend to throw it in a drawer, but I always know where it is.

Funny how we attach importance to such things. I have a favorite painting brush and a favorite tea mug. They mean nothing to anyone else. In my jewelry box along with the few gold earrings I own is a tiny yellow rock that my daughter used to call a “fruit snack.” (You may remember that story from one of my very first blogs) It is such a vivid memory for me. It sums up her youth and stubbornness, She knew it was a rock and giggled and called it a fruit snack every time I tried to correct her. I love it and it is one of my most cherished memories and possessions. It means nothing to anyone else. How weird to think that memory and its importance will die with me.

What do you treasure? What comfort item in your studio gives you a happy “feel” in the heart? In my studio as I looked around today I found the following…

This tiny little figurine which is about one inch high. I remember I wanted it in a store when I was maybe about 8 years old? My parents must have gotten it for me. I remember thinking this is me. One day I will be an artist. I have never been able to toss it out.

This crystal from a chandelier that hung in a house I lived in many years ago. The house was demolished, but it reminds me of the living room where I painted commissions and my own kids. So many nights near a chandelier staying up late to paint after my kids went to bed.

This dried flower my daughter brought to me one night when I was up working late. She came back from a walk and had picked it along her way last summer. She said she was proud of me and laid it on the oil palette beside me. That memory is so vivid it floods back when I see it. I keep it just out of sight from my easel, but I know it is there and if I need a boost on a certain day, I look at it.

And this is my friend… this rocking chair in my studio belonged to my mom and it was passed down to her from a relative. I rocked all 3 of my babies in this chair and my mom rocked me and my sister in it too. It now sits across from my Sorg easel where I drink tea and study my paintings with a critical eye not far from the figurine and flower. I also sit here in the dark to talk to friends or read art books. It is worth nothing and yet it means everything.

These things bring me joy. They made the cut out of the million things that have been thrown out over the years. They have value if only to me.

So… your turn… please share a story with me about something in your studio that you love… I would love to hear about it.

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