Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things
A few years ago I did an unusual course that uncovered the essence of how I most naturally express myself. Turns out it consisted of two words – timeless and expressive.
This both surprised me and rang true, and I began to see how these two words showed up everywhere in my life. From my wardrobe to furniture and jewelry I chose, I saw that no matter the item it always had an element of timelessness combined with a story.
It makes sense that I was drawn to Silver Magpies.
“My silverware is the little black dress of my home’s decor. You can dress it up with heels and some jewelry, or equally dress it down with flats and sunglasses.” – Nancy
In her e-book Every Day Best, Nancy encourages you to free your silver from storage and use it – yes, every day.
Bringing together history, art, politics, fashion, economics and family stories, she weaves this information into a siren’s song, enticing you not just to bring it out of the closet but to make it a part of your day-to-day life.
When I read this it reminded me of an apartment I had a few years ago in a beautiful 100 year old mansion here in Vancouver. As I unpacked my things in the kitchen I discovered in the cupboard below the sink a parcel, wrapped up and hidden away behind the pipes. Imagine my surprise as I opened it up to reveal a few pieces of vintage silverware! They’ve been in my kitchen drawer ever since.
I love knowing that there is both a personal story as well as history in those pieces. I think that’s what most appealed to me about Nancy’s work and I’m delighted to have her in today’s spotlight.
1. Why are you here?
Right now, as Silver Magpies spreads it’s wings, I’m here to translate and interpret – be an advocate for silverware. Beautiful things are relevant for our modern fast paced life.
Translators provide literal word for word descriptions and that’s what I try to do with my sales and research work on Silver Magpies. Find the facts and history of a piece of silver and capture those facts for my clients.
Interpreters are more about catching the nuances. That’s where my blog Notes & Observations plays it’s role. On N&O my readers and I explore the details, intricacy, and consider how these gorgeous pieces of the past slip seamlessly into our present enriching today and future days.
2. What is your future self calling for?
She’s saying – Slow Down. Take a breath. Life has many pleasures but we have to make the effort to notice, let alone enjoy them.
3. How do you honour that calling?
Instead of eating in the car, standing at the kitchen counter, or working while eating, I’m making the time to sit down and eat my meals with no distractions.
It’s not white tablecloths and candles at every meal, but I’ve eliminated the electronic distractions. I’m enjoying a meal rather than fueling up.
4. What is both effortless and life-giving to you?
Researching a piece of silver. It’s a reverse treasure hunt! A journey through time, exploring the past through history, art, politics, geography, economics, social trends and fashion.
Uncovering the rich and far too often silent history of a simple spoon brings a smile to my face even thinking about it.
It reminds me of where society has been and is a guide for where it might go.
Those who don’t know their history are doomed to repeat it.
5. What do you do better than anyone else?
Showing you the relevance, importance and pleasure in silverware. It’s so incredibly gratifying to speak with people and they say they are going to get Grandma’s stuff out of storage, or that they have never thought about silver that way, or they’ve never thought about it at all but it seems much more interesting than they’d ever considered.
6. What is extraordinary about your work?
It’s extraordinary because my work illuminates connections and deciphers forgotten stories to reveal the depths of every day items.
These hidden stories are sometimes the story of a particular family and at other times history in the broader sense.
Sometimes people are shocked to discover that the story of a piece of silver is a history of themselves.
7. What is guaranteed to inspire you?
So many things!
A beautiful fork, a tarnished mystery piece, a wonderful meal, a fabulous book, a client thanking me. All of these things restore and inspire me.
On a totally non-work related note, the ocean is always guaranteed to inspire!
8. What will your epitaph say if you’ve lived life on your terms?
Nancy found joy in unlikely places and every day items.
Nancy Stuckwisch of Silver Magpies, has had a life-long fascination with silverware and blogs regularly about it on Notes & Observations. She believes we should get the silver out of the cupboard, onto the table, and then into the dishwasher. Download her newly updated (free) e-book Every Day Best: 7 reasons to get your silverware out of storage and start using it right now!
Connect with Nancy