to my online home for creative pursuits. Here I share projects in memory keeping, home arts, my inspirations, and a heaping tablespoon of the everyday. Thanks for stopping by.
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Everything is opening up. Everything is in full bloom; dogwoods, azalea, white clumpy things, purple ground-cover, pinks, yellows, reds, lavenders and the softest greens I may have ever seen. I feel a bit like it's the first time I've ever really noticed flowering trees so well. Flowers inside flowers, inside of flowers ... as though they endlessly repeat themselves. Today I am in love with the spring.
I like things simple, and I'm not really into antiques. Thrifting used to be fun, but I haven't done that in a long time since I've already re-donated so many of my intended fixer-upper flea market finds. However, I do have some family heirlooms: furnishings crafted by my cabinet-maker Grandfather, some china and silver, a few children's books from the 1940s. Those things mean a lot.
Appreciating relics of our family makes sense to me, but I haven't quite figured out how to incorporate some of them into our home. Especially the large, ornate mirror (pictured on the floor above). I wear the jewelry and we use the china and silver on occasion. I suppose, in time, other things could find their place somewhere around here.
Meanwhile, these treasures seemed like a good category for the 30-day macro challenge. So for me ... it's vintage week.
Serendipitously -- while looking more closely to take the photos -- I discovered an overlooked detail. My great grandmother, from Denmark, had fashioned a length of linen crochet work marking the turn of the century using such a subtle pattern that we hadn't noticed it.
Maybe it's kind of hard to make out from this close-up. Alternate view here.
It's just remarkable to me that all those many years ago, she had the forethought to mark that special year, hoping that it would be treasured some day in the future. Well, she should know that it is .. it certainly is.
Well okay, there's nothing wrong AT ALL with having a good, basic suit. But this is just not what I wear anymore and it hasn't been for a very long time. Who knows why I've hung on to these for so long, but I do know that pulling them from the box yesterday was like a time machine transporting me directly back to my 4th floor desk overlooking the old Postal Square.
These woolens served me well at the time -- in and out of cars, trains, meetings -- all that goes along with working in an ad agency and for a magazine, but they can serve someone else better now. Even when I have the need to dress, this is just not what I reach for anymore. Changing times; changing me. To the donations they go, along with three other overflowing bags of outgrown children's clothes.
Bye bye Anne Taylor, DKNY, Jones New York. So long suits. Have a nice second life.
While skulking around the internet, I'm always bookmarking items I find and read to my del.icio.us, which you are always welcome to explore in the right 'linkroll' sidebar. Here are a few selections to share for the weekend:
Yesterday, Marty and I discovered a sweet couple of doves setting up housekeeping among our porch rafters. Fascinated, we watched as the male returned often with a small twig, or one of the abundant grasses that grows along side the house. All the while the female remained at her post. As I watched him make his choices it was obvious that he was selective. Not just any stick would do.
The scene reminded me of something I read (and copied into one of my notebooks) almost a year ago. I thumbed back through to find its prose so perfect for this time of year:
"It was my admiration to view the structure of the little work, a bird's nest. Mark it well, within, without, no tool had he that wrought, no knife to cut, no nail to fix, no bodkin to insert, no glue to join; his little beak was all. And yet, how neatly finished! What nice hand -- with every implement and means of art, and twenty years apprenticeship to boot -- could make such another? Fondly then, we boast of excellence whose noblest skill instinctive genius foils!" -- James Hurdis, 1763-1801
The quote is an excerpt from a very pretty artist's sketch book called The Nest, by Maryjo Koch. How true and how fitting. Once again, I was glad for my habit of taking notes, to think on and to share.
Sadly, when we returned home later in the day, the ledge was vacant and a clump of scattered twigs lay about the porch floor. I do hope the mother didn't lay her eggs yet. I'll be watching for them in the neighborhood. They can't be far.
I'm having way too much fun playing with my craft supplies for the 30 day macro challenge.
Seriously, it's been really good motivation to organize and invigorating, coming up with fresh project ideas just by touching and re-arranging them.
Since I saw this photo of Ashley's I thought this was a great storage idea. I found these nice oval-head clothespins at the dollar store and was surprised to find just how many lengths of various ribbons I had strewn around here in different places. I didn't think I was a big ribbon person before, but apparently I like ribbon. What do you know?
Ladies, what hem length is best this summer?
Answer: you're all in fashion.
Okay, play time over. It's in the jar with you, and no elbowing each other. Oh ... I guess that won't be a problem.
Finally I finished this small book inspired by Ali's weekend creative prompt -- and not a moment too soon, as my head moved on a while ago to newer things.
My favorite part was combining texture with monochromatic color, and the simple, physical act of applying paint. That really satisfies! I sat considering the painted form for some time, thinking about how to deepen the color and highlight the contrast. The solution was adding a glossy top coat (Liquitex gloss medium & varnish) That gave the color a richness that I wanted.
Taking some time away from gazing at Ali's example helped me focus on what I wanted to say to my son, to make it my own ... and his own. After doing that the words came pretty quickly.
I have to admit the idea of running my new sewing machine through transparency (as Ali did) made me kind of nervous. Instead, for interest, I printed photos onto canvas and simply used painted chipboard as accents.
The back cover (not shown) is covered in the wave print from page 1 and has the date + one of my "handmade by Mama" canvas stickers.
Another project ... another lesson in technique. Thanks for the jumping-off point Ali.
Materials: corrugated cardboard, transparency + canvas inkjet cloths: Office Depot, paint: making memories (color: dusk), chipboard letters: Heidi Swap, chipboard circles: Maya Road, random alphabet stickers: ??? (leftover from something), patterned papers --wave: American Crafts, circles and stripes: Chatterbox, swirly clear stamp: Rhonna Farrer + Tia Bennet for Autumn leaves, blue stamping ink + random circle stamp: Target $1 section. (past season)