Friday, August 26, 2011

Birthday Presents

My birthday rolled around not too long ago, so I went to the National Arts & Crafts Fair to pick out my present. Dozens of stands offered their tantalizing wares that included hand woven rugs, hand painted scarves, furniture with inlaid mosaics, and ceramics, to name just a few. The presence of extraordinary artists and artisans demonstrated that the Tunisian craft scene prospers. As I wandered around, I kept mental notes on possible choices. It was difficult. Of course, I could have bought several things, but the challenge was to buy just one perfect gift so as not to add more “stuff” to the multiplying“stuff” at home. An olive wood vessel with a painted turquoise border caught my eye: the pronounced designs in olive wood always mesmerize me. A copper bowl with a cutout design had a modern flavor—very appealing. An elegant ceramic table lamp was a contender as well.
But finally, just as I struggled to make a decision, I spied it and I instantly knew. My birthday present patiently awaited me in the last stand of the fair. It was love at first sight…sigh…ceramic pots that could be used for plants.
These two pots are made in Nabeul, the ceramic capital of Tunisia. They have an “old” look to them, yet the final glaze contains something like glitter and they sparkle in the sunlight. Because I don’t do this type of work myself (I'm resisting taking up ceramics) and because of the quality of the product, I was willing to pay the asking price. 
Ok, ok, I bargained just a bit on principle—it’s expected. The merchant asked for…(drumroll)…$30 per pot and accepted $27 after bargaining. The first pot I picked out had a chip in the rim and when I pointed that out, the merchant said that was part of the “old” look. Hmmff. There’s a difference between a distressed or shabby chic look and getting bumped around in a truck. So I picked two others. 
The cactus was in bloom the day I photographed. What appears to be wadded up paper in front is actually a piece of cement that got imprinted from a cement sack. My first mosaic pot and a twisty piece of grapevine wood seem happy in the mix.
Hmmm, maybe I should’ve bought the whole lot of pots, but, now I have something to look forward to next year. 

15 comments:

Radka said...

I love your new pots, my idea of a birthday present!
Yes, we all know the story about the "old look", LOL!You have done well :)
Thank you for your visit :)

Mary Zeran said...

I too have a thing about ceramics. I buy tons when I travel to Mexico. I'm dying to visit your craft market. It sounds wonderful!

ACreativeDreamer said...

Wow, they are just beautiful! I love the colors and that they do have that "old" look...I think you made quite a good choice... especially to have picked only ONE perfect gift!

Michele said...

The pots are lovely! You made a great choice :-) I know what you mean about the multiplying stuff.

aracne said...

Beautiful pots, the colours and the decoration are perfect.
I would have loved to be with you at the Craft Faira!

barbbouk said...

Thoroughly enjoying your blog and I love the pots! I enjoy experiencing your pleasure in things ordinary, yet extraordinary.
Next time you go to the Fair, give me a call!! I also love the "flea markets".......

Keep up the good work - your enjoyment is contagious :-)

Notjustnat said...

Great birthday gifts. I would bring them all home. Luckily I live just across land and sea away from Tunisia. Your cactus is so healthy too. Thanks for a lovely post - Hugs Nat

susan christensen said...

Happy birthday, belatedly and loved a vicarious shopping trip in sunny Tunis. The beautiful pots look quite happy in their new home.

Rayna said...

Nadia - so glad you dropped in to my blog - now I've found yours and it is a joy to read -- not to mention the visual stuff. Enjoy those pots - they are beautiful.

Teodo said...

Happy Birthday.
Thanks for your visit on my blog. I love to see the life in the world visiting the web.
Ciao ciao Linda

Can I write your link in my blog?

Quiltbenaco said...

Grazie per la visita e il commento è sempre molto gradito.
Hai scelto molto bene il regalo di compleanno!
Auguri!!!!
Ciao

lola ruiz said...

Truly beautiful pots, look like real antiques and beautiful setting too!

Bea. said...

ti ringrazio per la visita......
questo è un lavoro fatto da un'amica....
ciao ciao

Mrs Dibble said...

Lucky duck...happy birthday

Irma said...

j'adore ces pots et cette mise en scène avec ce morceau de ciment crée par hasard.
merci pour le com chez moi.