For the love of beautiful stuff…

It’s not fair. Here I am, trapped in paradise, surrounded by the most exquisitely crafted objects of art, and I’m committed to a simple, less is more kind of life? That’s just wrong!

But I’m adamant about keeping my possessions minimal and until now I’ve done well, buying only functional items that I need. One of those, the Bali Blue Bed that Ketut’s father made for his family over 30 years ago, is a treasure. It’s also my couch. I love it…cherish it…and so do visitors!

P1100176Then, lacking storage space, I commissioned a carved teak door from a craftsman near the Tagallalang rice terraces and hired a local tukang to create a pantry for my kitchen.

P1090999A cavernous refrigerator once occupied that space. It woke me up in the night growling because it was empty. Now I have a tiny, under-the-counter frig that I keep comfortably full, and a new closet that is functional, practical, and beautiful!

But then…oh dear.

You know how it is when you fall in love? The object of your affection becomes an obsession. You try to put it out of your mind. You tell yourself all manner of stories to reduce its importance, to diminish it. But nothing works. You make excuses to see it, to hang out in its neighborhood, to just stop by. And then, in a moment of weakness…you marry him! Whoops, no! You BUY IT!

Here’s what happened…

Penestanan is a village of master beaders. The first time I saw their creations I was smitten. But I had no home and less money so I tucked the memory into the ‘save for later’ corner and went about my business. That was three years ago. The other day I passed the shop. Except I didn’t pass the shop. I stopped and went inside. The array of shapes, sizes, and colors of baskets entirely encased in glass beads dazzled me all over again. My resistance melted and dribbled out the door. The bargaining went well and I placed an order. I’d have to wait a month, she said. No problem.

Yesterday I got a call from the shop. It was ready, but, so sorry, too tall, no short baskets, if you don’t like no problem, so sorry. All this was uttered in rat-a-tat-tat Indonesian and I caught the gist but had no idea what it really meant. I told her I would come right away.

She began apologizing again the minute I walked through the door. Please slow down. My Indonesian is no good! Uttering a few more sorry’s she disappeared into the back and returned carrying a fabulous basket, by far the biggest one I’d ever seen. Over the course of the next half hour I learned that the rattan structures that form the framework for the beading come from Java and the size I’d ordered hadn’t arrived. Of course this one, more than twice as large, was also twice the price.

Negotiation is a process I enjoy. It often takes unexpected side trips, and this was no exception.

I have villa, you have friend, maybe your friend like my villa, maybe rent, stay long time, maybe I give you good price and you tell your friend…(she quotes a price.)

Oh, sorry Ibu, that’s too much. I’ll wait until the smaller baskets come.

Long time, maybe not come…

I’m not in a hurry…

Okay, okay, what you pay?

No, it’s beautiful, and the price is good, but too much for me. I don’t want to steal it!

Okay, okay, you tell friend I have villa…(she quotes a significantly lower price and I’m hooked.)

Now I own the biggest beaded basket in Bali.

P1100232And I’m done. Really, I am. There’s nothing else I need, nothing else I want, my home is complete! And every time I look at that incredible, non-functional, impractical basket, I smile.

P1100230

 

 

 

 

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24 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sharon
    Sep 21, 2015 @ 10:45:49

    Good for you falling in love again! I’ll bet it proves to be just the thing to hold a treasure you are yet unaware of. Enjoy!! It is gorgeous.

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  2. stevecastley
    Sep 21, 2015 @ 15:55:50

    Oh, how we’ve all been there. I love those baskets and I have them littering the homes of friends in Australia. I loved this story and the recollections it evoked.

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  3. Janet
    Sep 21, 2015 @ 16:27:10

    Great story. We have three medium sized ones at home too. They are beautiful.

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  4. karin grouf
    Sep 21, 2015 @ 17:20:32

    It would make a great hamper for soiled clothes. You got bitten by the shopping bug.

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  5. Shane McRae
    Sep 21, 2015 @ 17:50:24

    The perfect spot and a wonderful shout of colour. Well done Sherry.

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  6. Michelle Haines Connell
    Sep 21, 2015 @ 17:55:47

    I love it! Great story too!

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  7. Judy
    Sep 21, 2015 @ 21:31:21

    It’s gorgeous a Sherry. Fits in beautifully.

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  8. angelvillabali
    Sep 21, 2015 @ 23:45:38

    I love reading your posts as…you are in my brain 🙂 I so love these baskets also. I also love the nobrol nobrol involved in setting a price that works for both parties and, the side trips!! Pas jalan pendek 😉

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  9. Nanci
    Sep 21, 2015 @ 23:57:17

    What a gorgeous beaded basket, Sherry! I have a very small one and I love mine. I love the details!

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  10. gigicullins
    Sep 22, 2015 @ 00:23:43

    That is an absolutely gorgeous basket, Sherry! I love it!!!! So special!!

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    • writingforselfdiscovery
      Sep 22, 2015 @ 07:40:49

      Isn’t it splendid! It’s about 3 feet high and when I was picturing the basket I wanted, it was always this height…never the short one I ordered! So I have to take full responsibility for what I manifested!

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  11. quirkyartist
    Sep 22, 2015 @ 22:23:54

    They are beautiful. Earlier this year I bought a little on do w friend who loves red, because the predominant colour was red.

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  12. Diane Struble
    Sep 23, 2015 @ 00:36:49

    Beauty has a function all its own. It is not frivolous. This basket clearly qualifies.

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    • writingforselfdiscovery
      Sep 23, 2015 @ 03:31:51

      I’ve never been one for collections of things (like teacups for instance)! And beauty surely is in the eyes of the beholder. But I like it when someone else appreciates something I find beautiful, so I’m glad you can also see the beauty in my basket!

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