worth the wait

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.

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Showing 7 comments
  • Caroline Maia

    Beautiful as always! 🙂

  • Katrina@capturingmoments

    What a great post. Leading up to Christmas it is certainly something worth considering. I know I'd prefer one or two special items over a handful of 'passing trends'. Thanks for this post Jodi (and I'm so pleased you found the perfect frames!).

  • Reply

    I couldn't agree more Jodi. Lately I have been clearing our (tiny) house of all the clutter and at the same time have become so much more mindful of what I bring into our home. Our generation is one of excess unfortunately – I hope to teach my children quite the opposite.

  • freckles

    Jodi, your words express exactly what i've been spending so much time thinking about recently. I look around my home and it is filled with clutter that holds no special meaning to me, bought on a whim or has been given as a gift, for this Christmas i have pleaded with my family to not buy us any gifts just for the sake of giving us something, i am nervous about the flood of toys that will surely be gifted upon our daughter. I will be very carefully selecting presents that have meaning & are good quality that will be treasured. I love the photo frames you found, i have so many photos printed and waiting to be hung, my husband told me to just get some cheap frames from Kmart but i couldn't bring myself to do that. Maybe i'll ask Santa for these ones?

  • Sharolyn Newington

    I've never heard the phrase 'slow-consumerism' so thank you for bringing it to my attention, it is great to have a phrase which really describes what we strive for. As a full-time student and stay-at-home mum we don't have a great income, but that is part of why it is all the more important to us that we spend our money on things that we can enjoy using: beautiful, practical and ethical things. As we can't afford to buy everything brand-new, we enjoy searching thrift-stores for quality finds. It is always tempting to buy 'bargains' but it really is worth buying less of the unnecessary and making informed and intentional purchases when needed. Always enjoy your posts Jodi. x

  • Camille

    I've not heard the word 'slow-consumerism' but I've talked at length about hyper-consumerism (especially within the internet/blogging culture) and society's desire and need to consume. I've never been one to collect many "things" and so when thinking about our lifestyle and creating a home, I've tried to always remember the, "less is more" mantra. I've found that simplicity in it's purest form is much more satisfying for me.

    Wonderful post, as always!

  • Maxabella

    It took me nine and a half years to find the coffee table I wanted. Until then we made do. It's what we do around here. Nothing makes me bewildered more than people who 'throw out' perfectly good stuff just to make room for new stuff. I try very hard to only buy things that I really, truly love and buy them just that once. x

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