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artist date 2

February 13, 2013

I have a particular place in mind for an artist date, and I planned to go there this week. But first, I needed to buy stationery, and I decided that I should pick out stationery that both Hibby and I like.

I went to our local independent bookstore. While searching for stationery, I found myself in the Kids 9-12 book section. So I looked around. Most of the books and authors I’d never heard of, but I did find one old favorite: Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren. As a child, I’d read it several times, but never owned it. I decided to buy it today.

Hoping to find at least one other book for me and Hibby to read, I looked at a bunch of other books. Finally I found Wendy Mass’s A Mango-Shaped Space, about a girl who has synesthesia.

On the other side of the store, I found notecards we both liked.


Earlier today, before the bookstore, I was pondering the fate of a certain coffee cup. It’s the second one I ever bought for myself, so it’s been part of my life since 1991, when I moved into my first apartment. It has a straw colored background. The design is 3 leaves, 2 of dull green, 1 of dull rust. The leaves don’t overlap or interact with each other. Basically it’s a minimalist style, with a muted color palette.

I loathe minimalism. Muted colors can work for me, but not these particular colors. In 1991, I still thought I wanted to be elegant, and the cup seemed to fit that aesthetic. Now I find it boring and a little sad. And Hibby doesn’t like it. So I decided to get rid of it.

Hibby suggested I look at all of my coffee cups. I found 2 others I could repurpose by using in different rooms, 1 to hold my toothbrush, and 1 as a casual vase. Hibby wanted me to buy at least 1 new colorful coffee cup.

I also took a long hard look at my (bunch of grapes) teapot. It was originally my mother’s, so it’s not something I picked out for myself. I don’t know where or when my mother got it, or if it was a gift. I do know I really liked it as a kid. And one day, when I was about 10, my mother dropped the lid, and it broke. So she was going to throw out the entire teapot. I begged to keep it, and she let me.

As I looked at it in the cupboard today, I realized rescuing a cast-off teapot is rather similar to rescuing cast-off houseplants. The grapes teapot, though, was part of my life much longer than any of my house plants — it had been mine since 1976.

Hibby didn’t say anything about the teapot, but I decided it was time for a change.


After the bookstore, I went to the supermarket, looking for a colorful coffee cup. I was also open to buying myself flowers and/or candy, for my own Valentine’s Day celebration.

I quickly found a coffee cup decorated with Gustav Klimt’s Garden. I browsed the housewares section, including yellow kitchen towels. I decided not to buy anything practical, but look for things to treat Hibby and me with. Tucked away on a sale shelf, I found 2 egg cups in a sunny yellow. I haven’t used an egg cup since I was about Hibby’s age (now that I think about it), but I bought them because I like the color. And because I wondered if I could use them as part of papers sculptural things.

The floral department was an absolute zoo. There were 5 extra florists arranging and wrapping flowers. There were a rainbow of roses, with an entire section of every shade of pink and red. I was actually drawn to some beautiful orange Gerber daisies. But I decided not to get flowers today.

However, I did get two different kinds of chocolate bars: 1 of white chocolate and strawberry pieces; 1 of dark chocolate with fig, fennel, and almond. I know I’ll like the white chocolate (because I’ve had it before); the other is an experiment.


Several hours after I got home, I realized this was essentially an artist date. I spent at least 90 minutes at both the bookstore and the supermarket (which are both in the same mall). I only did things that both Hibby and I wanted to do. Now Hibby and I can look forward to rereading Pippi Longstocking, and reading the new book. Munching on chocolates that we won’t share (not that Spouse would like them anyway). Playing with our yellow egg cups, if we feel like it.


I’m still going to make valentines, although perhaps not tomorrow. And not for an artist date. I’m just going to do them because I want to. I’ve been thinking of sculptural kinds of things I could try.

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