Look For The Different, Notice The Quirky

The world is not easy on people who are different. Yet adversity can compress a life into focus on what really matters.
Restless humans driven to create and shape their environment fascinate me. Where does the energy come from and where does it go? Mechanical know-how, businesses, design, arts, even interiors of homes or offices are expressions of that force which calls forth from nothing to become something visible. People are the channels.
A shop full of stuff in Connecticut and a story.
So while on a shoreline cruise, the interesting clutter set against a weathered shingled exterior (a former print shop) called for closer look.
When the spirit prompts, take action.
Rustic Dog Furniture
Sure enough, there was someone with a sense of humor and imagination at work behind the unusual furniture on display. Enter the world of Anthony Rock, manager and owner of The Picking Pot in Clinton, Connecticut.
A shelf of books.
He’s carved out a niche with his flair for combining the new and old as The Rustic Dog. On any given day, visitors may see burnished wood-topped tables that make use of vintage elements or find bentwood chair backs re-worked as a bench. Amid the rows of doors without houses, seasoned barnwood benches, fishing tackle, vintage signs, rocking chairs, a child-size tractor, fishing floats, bicycles, a coil of rope. Shelves of books, a comic book or two, one corner devoted to ocean treasures. Knitters are literate souls, after all.
Close up of fishing poles and gear.
More than 10 years have gone by since doing an in-person interview for a business magazine with Dr. Robert Ballard – then president of the Institute for Exploration at Mystic Aquarium and director of the Institute for Archaeological Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography. He explained about how his love of applied science for exploration originated in the stories spun by author Jules Verne. What especially intrigued that day though (and never made it into the pages of the issue) was his telling of his building and enjoyment with his family of a backyard treehouse.
In motion, a Boston terrier on a daily walk in winter.
Since then, I’ve always wondered what it looked like, what could be seen from the platform. Treehouses are great places for thinking and dreaming.

Fortunate is the young human who has a tree large enough and an adult interested enough to build one. My own childhood fort (shared with many siblings and sometimes friends) was like a ship that had landed in a gnarled old apple tree. With hidden nooks, a jutting-out prow and a crow’s nest that swayed in the wind, my father cobbled together boards and other flotsam and jetsam from his stash of useful things.
Boston terrier runs in a nearly completed knit sweater.
As to how yarn and time knit together, well that’s a story up ahead. There’s a black and white vibe going on the needles right now. A plush blend of superwash wool and silk sock yarn in jet black alternates with a natural lamb’s wool, cotton/silk blend. The pattern of the center cable is the same; the results are very different, quite rewarding in that divergence.

Chris Brunson