I have been obsessed with Jennifer Steen Booher's collections for ages. In fact, whenever I gaze longingly at her photographs of beach combing and woodland artifacts I think to myself, "This person should be my friend." (Kind of creepy, but true. We could collect items together!) So Jennifer, I don't expect you to read this... but I'm telling the rest of the world that we have a shared affinity for old buttons, vintage detritus, small pieces of nature, and smooth and mysterious pebbles (you know, the kind that are so worn that you find yourself inexplicably soothed when you rub them between your fingers).
My love of collecting rocks, shells, bits of nature and antiques and ephemera stems back as far as I can remember. I can recall gazing longingly at my grandmother's old antique objects when I was little and the first time my father brought me to a flea market. I used to spend hours sitting alone in a patch of gravel, sifting through rocks to find ones that I liked. And sitting on my shelves, having traveled to four different homes, are fossils, sticks stripped smooth of bark, stones, small bits of dried flowers and leaves and other artifacts that I can't bear to let go of. I hoard these things the way another person collects jewelry.
I think the reason why Jennifer's photos resonate so deeply with me is that you can tell that this is a person who reveres the subtle beauty found in small objects and bits of nature. Jennifer blogs, too. You can check it out here. All images above are by Jennifer Steen Booher. All images below are bits of my collections: wheat penny, crystal found in the woods on an island in Maine, acorns collected with my best friend years ago, dried flower fragment from Colorado, shard of shell wrapped with indigo dyed yarn that was a gift from a friend at a papermaking and dying workshop at Haystack School of Craft, half of an antique daguerreotype case, pebbles from various places, fragment of sand dollar found on a beach in Ghana... this is some of what I treasure.