Saturday, May 29, 2010

Talent with a Capital T (Sharing Pretty Things)

There are lots of people in the world, born with talent.  It's true.  They're out there, by the hundreds of thousands.  People who have some aptitude or propensity to excel in some small or great measure at something - vocal music, instrumental music, art, writing, organizing, charming others, doing math, navigating through wilderness, woodworking, stamping, papercrafts, jewelry-making, designing, assembling super cute outfits.  You get my drift.  I had a music director when I was younger, who told me that there was no such thing as talent.  That there was only how much or little someone was willing to practice something.

This is just plain false, and I don't know if she was telling me that because she didn't want me to skate by, or because she really believed it.  I know there is talent.  I've seen it in the facility with which someone picks up a horn and makes it sing, in the way someone takes colors and materials and a space and transforms a formerly boring but serviceable room into a show place.  I've seen it in the way someone can take a simple thought and transpose it into verse that can make you weep.  Talent exists.

But that music director was definitely hitting on something - what makes certain people stand apart from others with the same, less, or more amount of talent at something, is the willingness to work at it.  To spend time and effort, expend blood, tears, and sweat, and deal with endless tedium and frustration (sometimes) to get really really good at something - this is incredibly difficult.  I'll make a confession - I've been told by many people throughout my life that I have the t-word: talent.  I've never had the diligence to apply it in any steadfast and meaningful way.  As the years of my life tick by, I grow increasingly rueful that I didn't do more, work harder, see farther than I did.  After all, the T word isn't much without a healthy dose of the W word and the L word (Work and Luck).

The good news is, amongst the scads of us with talent who are also gifted (or otherwise) with laziness or apathy, there are those who do put their T and their W out there, where the rubber meets the road.  The rest of us benefit from their efforts, every moment of every day.  Here are a few extraordinarily talented people and some of the amazing things they've created:

First, I just found out that Sandra, one of readers and Anthropologie employee, is also a silversmith!  Yes, a silversmith!, Paul Revere!  Only, she makes really cool, cute stuff like Kingsley the Owl Jewelry:

I mean, seriously, how adorable is he???  He so needs to make his home in my wardrobe.  I've already started my Kingsley the Owl fund.  Check out Sandra's Etsy store to see more of her amazing work.

Sandra also has a friend who is a leather-worker, and she makes the most amazing belts! Sandra was wearing this one the other day:

Isn't that amazing?  There are so many more beautiful things at her Etsy store, Contrived to Charm, as well, so check it out.

Then, last but definitely not least, is my younger brother, Paul, a singer and beatbox musician.  He's been working on his music, fairly seriously, this past year and I can't even begin to tell you how proud I am of what he's been able to do.  His latest thing is a cover of Coldplay's Viva la Vida, which you can listen to/watch below.  He sings and/or beatboxes ALL the parts - it's seriously awesome and I absolutely love it.  I hope you will too!

Hope you're all having a wonderful and safe Memorial Day weekend!


  1. Wow, your brother Paul is incredible! My fiancé just stopped watching the playoffs to come over and watch the video with me. We were both super impressed! Thanks for sharing. :)

  2. i've been lurking for awhile but i am seriously loving the blog- reviews, ootds, and everything else. you ladies are too cute. i particularly loved this post- i played violin for a very long time and that belt is just stunning. i will possibly have to get it in lieu of tattooing f-holes on myself (probably was never going to happen anyway ;-))

    finally, looking at that video i thought your brother looked kinda familiar... then i realized that i had seen him in a kollaboration 10 video! i am a huge fan of many of those artists, and i think it's great that youtube allows them to share their talent with us :)

  3. Nice shout out to Miss Hale, even if you're saying she's wrong. Though I think that's just a trick teachers use to tell people they can achieve anything they work at.

    I seriously want that belt for my cousin, a violin player!!

    Paul's video is super cool! The music is awesome, but he's got some pretty crafty video skills (er, talent?) as well!

  4. Hi Carol (and Kathryn) You guys are seriously awesome! I enjoy reading your blog and it truly is such a great escape for me. All your reviews are insightful with a little extra humor thrown in--love! The video of your brother is amazing--it made me happy and inspired :)

  5. Hi girls, The video of your brother left me speechless sooo awesome! super cool. Coldplay is one of my favorite bands EVER. Thanks for sharing this with us!

  6. Those 2 girls have some mad skills! I wish I could do or make anything as awesome as them. Guess I have no T or L because I never really did much W with anything.

    Paul's video is awesome as well! My boys were eating breakfast as I started listening and they stopped to come listen and look. My youngest, who just turned 3, asked, "that's daddy?" (They look nothing alike, BTW, except the asian factor) and I asked, "uh, does daddy know how to sing?" And both my boys yelled, "NO!" I was laughing, but then there's your, it's not daddy.

  7. Wow, that video by your brother is fabulous! Thanks so much for sharing!

  8. I've had that belt bookmarked since forever, and I promised myself if I am ever gainfully employed that would be one of my first purchases ahhghhh!!

  9. Carol! Thanks for the shout out! I checked my google analytics and was wondering why I had a huge spike in views around the time of your post. I actually had my very first sale recently and have been busy making commissioned pieces.

    BTW...everyone should own a CTC belt...they make your waist look itty bitty and they look fabulous with your favorite shirt dresses (I know how you and Katherine love them!)

    My coworker texted me the other day to tell me I was all over your blog...I just love that you love Anthro! I'm here to help you find a new and wonderful OOTD anytime!

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