Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Game Night in the Digital Age

Games have certainly changed in the last few decades.  Don't get me wrong, I was thrilled by my very first video game, the classic Atari 2600,  but it didn't replace the stacks of boxes in the closet, each filled with hours of endless possibilities.  There is something I appreciate in the ritual of setting up a game board, feeling the weight of the game pieces in your hand, watching that stack of Monopoly money grow.

Some may disagree with me but games today have grown impersonal - a player and their box, connected to another player somewhere else and their box. And heaven forbid the Farmville server go down, lest two thirds of Facebook users stage a coups.  So let's put down the Angry Birds for a few moments and go back in the not so distant past and talk about a few classic games that not only make beautiful additions to your home, but can be enjoyed with friends and family.


Tic Tac Toe, or Noughts and Crosses if you are from the other side of the pond,  is one of the oldest games played in history, dating back to the Roman Empire in the first century BC.  Called Terni Lapilli, it was a simple two player game on a 3 x 3 grid, with each player only possessing three game pieces, allowing the game to continue rather than end in the usual draw in the modern version.  Because of its straightforward nature, and limited number of game result possibilities, Tic Tac Toe was the first game written to be played on a computer.


In spite of its name, Chinese Checkers was invented in America in 1884 by a Harvard surgeon who called the game Halma, from the Greek meaning "to jump." This first version was played on a square board, allowing for a maximum of 4 players.  The object of the game is to hop or jump your marbles from your corner to the opposite corner using single hops or jumps over other marbles.  Pieces always remain in play, so no worry of "losing your marbles". The clever Germans adapted the board in 1892, making it in the shape of a star, allowing for 6 players and calling the came Stern-Halma or Star-Halma.  When the Pressman Game Company wanted to market this game as a toy,  they called the game Hop Ching Checkers sheerly for marketing purposes and the name Chinese Checkers developed from there.


In my house, we were big card players.  I learned to play Solitaire while barely in grade school, though my Barbies will never confess how many times I cheated.  We grew to trust that a deck of cards could be counted on for hours of entertainment.  Laughter and healthy rivalry over a game of Spades or Pinochle frequently appeared at most family functions - and I cherish those memories more than any game of Wii.

In these times of financial difficulty, some say the inexpensive tradition of family game night is making a comeback. I say - bring it on!


Thursday, August 4, 2011

"Weep not that the world changes -

- did it keep a stable, changeless state, it were cause indeed to weep." William Cullen Bryant

There have been a few changes here at The Source Collection;  so I set out to compose a blog about CHANGE and all I can think of is David Bowie's rendition of "Changes".  But Emily is partial to a well chosen quote, and so in her footsteps, I opted for a New England poet.  I think she will approve.

We are sad to say that as of last week, our little pixie, Miss Emily Brooks, is no longer with The Source Collection.  Although we are excited for her new opportunity, we will miss her presence here.  I'm sure our readership has come to recognize that she's a natural comedienne and she sparked quite a bit of laughter in the office.  We will miss her energy but we all wish her the best of luck.

Of course, that means this blog is no longer written by ERB!  While, I'm sure you'll be hearing more from each of us as The Source Collection moves into a new chapter of its existence, this installment is brought to you by Amy. *curtsies*

Change is a constant, without which, things can never improve.  Change is good for the soul and helps us to see things in a new light.  The ladies of The Source Collection (Chris, Bobbie and I) had a roundtable discussion and came up with a few quick fix ideas for changing up your living space, to see the rooms we inhabit in a new light as well.

A beautiful vase or cachepot with fresh flowers is an inexpensive and easy way to bring color and life to a room.  Bobbie's trick is to bring home a fresh bouquet each week for the dining table centerpiece.  Last week's stems get trimmed to fit a small vase easily tucked on a porch, in a powder room or anywhere in need of an unexpected pop of color.

Which reminds me, we're giving away a Spring Cachepot on Monday to one of our lucky Facebook fans, so if you haven't Liked us yet, now would be a great time!

More than a "quick" fix but with a few hours and a can of paint, you can make quite an impact.  Even less time, if it's just an accent wall, nook or alcove.  After the paint dries, consider having a little fun with Washi or Japanese paper tape! It comes in an endless variety of colors and patterns and the internet is "awash" with inspiring ideas. (ok, so I don't have Emily's flair for puns!)

Maybe that table in your living room would look much better in your foyer tucked beside that chair no one ever sits in anyway? I've been meaning to give my Libris Book Stand a turn as a bath organizer. Moving pieces from one room to another gives a new spin on an old favorite.

A breath of something new, a hint of lavender, a whisper of warm patchouli; fragrance is certainly a quick and easy way to change the way a room feels. We've got a great selection of candleware, including our natural soy candles made in California.  Indochine is a favorite. Chris is our resident candle queen, but if you aren't in the market for a candle, a quick trip down the home fragrance aisle at your local big box store might pave the road to just the change you were after.
This one is truly a no brainer but I thought I'd "throw" it out there as long as we're on the subject of quick changes. (Again, with the bad puns...).  Truly, new pillows or a throw blanket can change the entire look of a room, especially if the bones of your decor are solid timeless pieces.  I put a new throw on my living room sofa and suddenly we're all fighting over the sofa as the best seat in the house, when it once was the chair with the better view of the television.  If you need a nudge in the right direction, these two are in our Private Stockroom.
Dynasty Fringed Pillow
Camel Heather Throw

And you want to talk about a creature that
epitomizes change, how about a
It loses a limb and grows a new one; forever adapting.
Which is the best any of us can do in the face of 

Until next time,