I hate talking about myself.  But, this is an “About” page so you asked for it!

I’m Rachel–with a boring, boring middle name–so I figured I’d go big and give myself a grandiose nom de plume: Queen Patina. Why “Queen”?  That one I can’t really justify, except to point to Queen Latifah and to say I’m borrowing a page from her playbook. That, and she seems pretty dang cool.  Why “Patina”?  I love the stories old things tell: the evidence of use, the discoloration from fingers, and even the cracks that indicate some past mishap.

As I see it, I was doomed to love old things.  According to family lore, at the tender age of 3 or so, as my parents searched high and low for the perfect country fixer-upper I noted that one candidate “had a good roof.”  It shouldn’t be too surprising, then, that I ended up spending the bulk of my childhood in unfinished fixer-uppers; in fact, I grew up in an amazing 100+ year old Finnish log home.  Apparently appreciating old things is catching disease; while my compatriots fixated on boys and such, I collected old things, books mainly, but now pretty much anything that I like and can make fit into my vehicle. Ahem.

Today, I like to make things aesthetically pleasing (aka: pretty!).  As a general rule I don’t overly beautify myself as much as my surroundings, so this beautification includes the obvious canvases: my house, my garden(s),  my chicken coop (weird?), furniture, and general stuff.   It’s something that I’ve always done, even as a kid.  In the playhouse, the decorating held my attention, well, that and fighting off the imaginary, marauding enemies.  As an adult, I continue to play house–though now it comes with other, real responsibilities like cleaning (boo!)–and to fight off just one devastatingly cute boy: my husband, Thad.

On any given day, you might find me doing one of the following:

  • running: I’ve run several half-marathons.
  • reading: I used to be a voracious reader, was an English major in college and would like to read more, but find that other things eat up my time.  See below.
  • beautifying: furniture, garden spaces, various rooms, and occasionally, myself.
  • child rearing
  • canoeing
  • photographing some random object in my house, or a kid, though I suspect I have no natural talent for this newish hobby of mine.
  • gardening
  • Scoring student essays: when I set aside the “Queen Patina” title and all that comes with–fame, fortune, and general adoration–I’m a lowly, part-time writing instructor at a local public college.

Queen Patina attempts to document my love for old things, to appreciate their often superior craftsmanship, and to value the stories they tell.

Thanks for stopping by!

~ Rachel

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