A Bathtub Full of Tea

floral print closeup

Time for an apartment update folks! I’ve finally filled the frames that have been hanging empty above my TV for months and months. My original plan (fostered by Pinterest-driven ambition) was to make my own art, but knowing me this would just end in spending too much money at an art supply store, a big mess and a lot of frustration. Leave it to the experts, I say. Problem is, there are many, many experts. I knew I wanted something feminine and colorful, maybe floral, but something with some visual interest beyond “ooh, pretty flowers.” Back to Pinterest I went, where I stumbled on Kari Herer Photography via Etsy. A quick browse through Kari’s shop and I knew I’d found just the right style. After much deliberation, I picked two coordinating prints that packed a punch of color. What do you think? Frames are Ikea, if you’re interested.

floral prints

I’m a big fan of Etsy for art. Sorting through all the options does take time, but finding the right thing (at the right price!) is always possible given how many shops do custom work. A while ago I wanted to have a favorite poem printed and of course went straight to Etsy. I found Amy at Domestic Notions, who specializes in custom quote prints. Amy was a joy to work with, making great suggestions and going through several revisions to get the visual just right.

poem print

I’m not much of a poetry buff, but the occasional poem or piece of writing at the right time can stick with me forever. This is one of those. I discovered it a while ago while in the depths of the breakup blues and it was just the kick in the pants I needed. I still hang on to it because I love the imagery – fun fact: A Bathtub Full of Tea was almost the name of this blog – but more importantly I think this poem captures a lot of my life since then: training my heart to let go, moving to a new apartment (just my size), and moving on. Full text here:

Frida Kahlo to Marty McConnell
Marty McConnell

leaving is not enough; you must
stay gone. train your heart
like a dog. change the locks
even on the house he’s never
visited. you lucky, lucky girl.
you have an apartment
just your size. a bathtub
full of tea. a heart the size
of Arizona, but not nearly
so arid. don’t wish away
your cracked past, your
crooked toes, your problems
are papier mache puppets
you made or bought because the vendor
at the market was so compelling you just
had to have them. you had to have him.
and you did. and now you pull down
the bridge between your houses,
you make him call before
he visits, you take a lover
for granted, you take
a lover who looks at you
like maybe you are magic. make
the first bottle you consume
in this place a relic. place it
on whatever altar you fashion
with a knife and five cranberries.
don’t lose too much weight.
stupid girls are always trying
to disappear as revenge. and you
are not stupid. you loved a man
with more hands than a parade
of beggars, and here you stand. heart
like a four-poster bed. heart like a canvas.
heart leaking something so strong
they can smell it in the street.

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