Fall Moves Indoors

This afternoon I continued with the seasonal change over, moving fall indoors. I enjoy creating vignettes, on tabletops and chair seats, on shelves and in boxes. I have a vintage suitcase in my bedroom that I change with the seasons, as well as an old wooden sieve that has a place of honor on my dining table.

It becomes a game, a form of artistic playing, to create a fresh look, using items I have on hand. I combine different pieces to create something new. This year I took the game to a higher level. I decided not to purchase anything to add to my decor or the vignettes. Typically, for fall, I buy mums, pumpkins and gourds for the front porch, and mini pumpkins for indoors use. And stores such as Michael’s or Kirkland’s always have cute seasonal items that tempt me.

But I chose not to shop.

There isn’t anything wrong with making such purchases. This is just one of my quirks. I like to play…and I like to challenge myself in new ways. The game was on!

Here are the areas that got make overs today:

The old battered suitcase switched to fall with seasonal colors in a shawl and a vintage wooden tray. I kept things simple. I added a large glass candle holder and a pair of red ceramic birds. A footed enameled metal bowl holds fabric balls.

I added a couple of fall candles to the wooden box I keep at the foot of my bed, and included a little blessing sign.

The 119 year old china doll, with her orange, yellow and green dress, always makes an appearance for fall, somewhere in the house. This year she shares the wooden sieve with an old pocket watch, a box with Abundance written across the top and a glass pitcher full of picks with red and yellow berries.

A pair of metal birds rest outside the sieve. And at either end of the table, metal cloches cover artificial pumpkins on bright orange plates. I pulled the brown, gold and red striped placemats from another location, to tie everything together, color wise.

And old wooden chair becomes a great spot for a little bird themed vignette.

And finally, the small table by the front door was reset. On the bottom shelf I’ve featured a print by local artist Alice Lynn Greenwood. Let the beauty of what you love be what you do. Rumi

And on the tabletop, a small enameled metal bowl, candles and a metal wire cloche. I usually stack miniature pumpkins in the cloche. I considered running to the store…but what about the game I was playing? I said I would use what I already had. This is where I wandered about the house a bit, in open to receive mode. And an idea came.

I had wooden acorns, in a little wooden crate. Perfect! The acorn was my sub-symbol two years ago. It represents potential…and remembrance. I really like the way they look in the cloche, plus I had two left over to rest next to the stack of books that serves as a candle holder.

I created a couple of other small arrangements and then I was done for the day. I am pleased with the new vignettes and I had fun challenging myself to be creative. In the midst of decorating, I had an odd thing happen, an unexpected bonus.

The old clock that hangs above the entry table is 103 years old. It’s been in Greg’s family for a while, and I have had it hanging on the wall for the last five years. It’s never worked while I’ve had it. Hasn’t worked for years, even when it hung in Greg’s parents’ house.

Tonight, as I dusted it, resting one hand against it to steady it while I ran a cloth over it, the clock pendulum slowly began to move. I thought I had bumped it enough to cause the pendulum to swing slightly. But no. The clock began to tick as the pendulum swung steadily back and forth.

Hours later, the clock is still ticking. And it’s keeping time. I had Greg look at it. He moved the hands to the correct time and the clock has stayed accurate. He used the big metal key to wind it, and discovered it was already wound up.

Something shifted. Energy moved. I am a clock whisperer. I don’t know what happened. But as I type this blog post, I can hear the comforting sound of that old clock tick-tocking. I like it. As the days become shorter and the nights longer, the clock ticking adds a wonderful coziness to my home.

I don’t know how long the clock will keep working, but tonight, I am loving it. What a wonderful addition to the fall decor…and a fun surprise during the decorating game. I think I won.

The Magic of Seashells

After a busy day, and the completion of a weeklong juice fast, I enjoyed some down time this evening, giving my creative energy an outlet. I packed up vintage Easter décor and starting in my bedroom, began creating fresh vignettes. 

The Magic of Seashells
Although I didn’t intend to focus on the bedroom, that’s where I felt drawn. Warm light filtered in through the window blinds as the sun set, giving the room a cozy golden glow. That sunlight inspired me to change out the room’s predominantly blue décor for warmer yellows, golds, whites and greens. 

The Magic of Seashells

The bottom shelf of the little bedside table got a new look. It features a dark green bottle and a delicate framed needlework crafted by Greg’s mother. The pottery was handmade by my daughter Adriel when she was a child. I love how shifting the lid allows soft candlelight to spill out. 

The Magic of Seashells
The vintage ceramic doll came out of storage to occupy a place of honor on my dresser. She was joined by a friendship plate and an old brass candleholder. 

The Magic of Seashells

Enjoying the shift to warmer colors, even the bed got a makeover. I love linens and quilts. I have a variety of bed coverings, in different colors, which means I can change out the bedding frequently for a fresh look. Included in my collection are vintage quilts from grandmothers, and handmade quilts from my mother and daughter Adriel. All get used. For the first time today, I made the bed with an old white chenille bedspread I uncovered in a chest after Greg’s dad passed away. I added the bright cheerful quilt, made by Greg’s grandmother. 

The Magic of Seashells
Finally, I reset the vintage suitcase, bringing back the Mad Hatter tea time collection. My sister Debbie and niece Ashley made the framed print for me, with the quote from Alice in Wonderland. The gold tea pot and stacked tea cups are perfect accessories. I added a different tea light holder and keeping with the tea time theme, added the vintage gold pocket watch. 

As I was finishing up the tea time vignette, my attention was drawn repeatedly to the empty wire basket I had placed near the suitcase. I hadn’t thought of anything to place within the basket and I was just going to leave it empty. 

The Magic of Seashells

However, something was filtering into my mind. Something I could use to fill the basket. Seashells. Seashells were coming to mind. I resisted that idea at first. Seashells didn’t seem go with my tea time vignette. 

This is how my inspiration, my creativity works…it won’t leave me alone until I listen to it. I kept looking at that basket. Seashells kept coming to mind. I finally listened and located a large conch shell that I have and a bag of assorted shells. 

I followed inspiration’s invitation, filling the basket with the shells, and then I looked up the symbolism of seashells. 

The Magic of Seashells

I discovered that seashells connect us to water energy. And water connects us to our emotions. Contact with seashells opens and activates our intuition, allowing us to more easily access our creativity and imagination. When we are able to express our ideas and creativity, we begin to heal ourselves, and then we can offer healing to others. 


Water is my element. I’ve always known that. And although I have spent a lifetime guarding my emotions, my recent journey has helped me to open my heart and keep it open. Once that happened, my creativity increased. This year is all about expressing that creativity in a variety of ways, including creating vignettes. Healing physically has been an important part of my journey as well, which is affecting me on deeper levels. 

I don’t know why it became so important to add seashells to my vignette this evening. But it did. And my ever present curiosity led me to discover what the significance of the seashells was. 

I am touched by the message. I am amazed at how these Divine moments unfold, and I am exceedingly grateful. Seashells are now present in my bedroom, a reminder of this year’s journey and the importance of living with imagination, creativity, tenderness and healing. 

How magical is that? 

The Magic of Seashells

Vintage Spring Vignette

Today’s bright spring weather deteriorated this afternoon, as the wind picked up and temperatures plummeted. I had begun resetting the front porch, changing the décor over to spring. Driven indoors, yet undeterred, I switched my efforts to creating fresh spring vignettes. 

Vintage Spring Vignette

A vignette is made by grouping items together to create a pleasing arrangement or to tell a story. This is a high level of playing for me. Using a mix of old and new pieces, keepsakes and sale items from craft stores, putting together a vignette is like working a puzzle without knowing what the finished picture looks like. 

The creation process is done by trying out various pieces and moving them around until I am satisfied. I enjoy using what I have on hand and rarely buy new items to complete a display. While I put a great deal of thought into this form of artistic play, I stay open to inspiration and Divine guidance. 

That state of openness brought about today’s chain of events. 

Vintage Spring Vignette
On the little table by the front door, I created an Easter themed vignette on the top surface. This display is similar to the one I put together last year, using vintage hankies formed into rosettes and a couple of porcelain pieces from Greg’s mother Leta. 

As I studied the table’s empty bottom shelf, I decided to create a totally new vignette. The fun began. 

I quickly selected several other small porcelain Easter pieces that also belonged to Greg’s mother. Rummaging in my closet, where keepsakes and craft supplies are stored, I deliberated between a dark green taper and a burgandy one. The burgandy candle brought out the same darker color painted on the rabbit candle holder and the little bunny bell. Perfect. 

Vintage Spring Vignette
That color proved to be significant. As I tried out other items with the trio of Easter pieces, I kept getting a “no”.  Nothing was coming together. Standing quietly, allowing ideas to flow to me, I saw in my mind a plate in the empty corner, resting on a stand. But which plate? The burgandy candle was sparking a memory. I had a plate with that color on it. 

Vintage Spring Vignette
In a drawer, carefully swaddled in bubble wrap, I uncovered the plate. My heart rate increased, alerting me that I was headed in the right direction. This plate has a hand written note on the back. Walter Davidson, born in 1880, was Leta’s father. He gave the plate to Leta’s mother, Ada Barnes, before they were married. 

Researching the mark on the back, I discovered the keepsake is a rare, Prussian made Royal Rudolstadt Beyer & Boch floral plate, approximately 110 years old. I almost wrapped the plate back up, to return it to the drawer for safekeeping. But that’s not me. I like to carefully display and use items. What joy do these treasures bring, hidden away in a drawer? 

Vintage Spring Vignette
I completed the spring vignette, using Walter’s gift to Ada, and it looks beautiful. I gaze at the plate and tremble a bit, because…110 years old! I’ll leave it on display for a short time, before returning the plate to its protective cocoon. 

As so often happens, I am amazed and delighted at the way the Divine invites me to play. However, the wonder didn’t stop there. 

Vintage Spring Vignette
Pictured above are Walter and Ada Davidson, photographed in the late 1930s. They are Leta’s parents, Greg’s grandparents and our children’s great-grandparents. Years ago, as we researched Greg’s family history, we could find very little about Walter. We knew his parents were born in England and nothing more…no names, dates or siblings. 

Searching for Walter and Ada’s wedding date online, I came across info on ancestry.com.uk that led me to Walter and his parents. Excited, but needing to write a blog post, I turned the search over to Greg. Amazingly, in a short amount of time, he found Walter’s parents and their parents, all born in England. 

In addition, Walter’s brother, Alvin Davidson, moved to Joplin, Missouri, by 1921 at least, as he lost two young children here that year. Alvin and all three of his children are buried in Joplin. We will be visiting their graves. 

How incredible. What began as an afternoon of creating spring vignettes using vintage items became an unexpected pathway to discovering new family members, and new stories. 

Walter’s gift to Ada opened that door. I am grateful…and excited to see where this journey leads. 

Vintage Spring Vignette

Inspiration Arrives Exactly on Time

Well into the latter half of the month, I still had an undecorated area in my house, post Christmas. The vintage wooden sieve was still empty, in the middle of my little dining room table. The last couple of years, I’ve slowly redecorated the house after putting Christmas décor away, allowing inspiration to guide me. But I was beginning to wonder if a) I should go ahead and create a vignette, even though I didn’t have a clue about what to put there…or b) the sieve was going to remain empty. 

What I discovered today was that inspiration always shows up, exactly when it is supposed to. 

Inspiration Arrives Exactly on Time
I was working in the bedroom, clearing space and creating a “place for everything and everything in its place”, when I came across two brown and yellow striped placemats. Pausing to touch the fabric, I immediately felt the tap of inspiration. In moments I was receiving a visual download, an image of the wooden sieve, with a fresh vignette. These placemats were the foundational pieces, literally lining the interior of the sieve, and inspiring the colors for the vignette. 

Inspiration Arrives Exactly on Time
The project came together quickly after that. An old crocheted doily joined the placemats.The simple  arrangement within the sieve included a white ceramic pitcher filled with rusty jingle bells and dark red and golden yellow picks, and the vintage china doll with her rustic dress. 

Inspiration Arrives Exactly on Time
The sieve arrangement rests atop a dark red, brown and gold table runner. At either end of the runner, my favorite wire cloches cover fat white pillar candles and red and gold wreaths, centered on white and yellow plates. 

I love the way this vignette came together. The nature inspired colors remind me of winter’s more somber attire. The bright yellow plates hint that spring, with its abundant sunshine, is not far away. 

Inspiration Arrives Exactly on Time
My favorite piece in this vignette is the old time piece, displayed in a small cloche. It is a simple gold pocket watch. And its inclusion in the vignette amuses me. Every time I look at it, I will be reminded that I wondered when inspiration was going to show up to guide me in creating this vignette. 

The great artist Picasso said, “Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.” 
I get that. Rather than sitting around, waiting for this particular inspiration to arrive, I have been creating other art and having creative fun. I’ve wondered when it would be time to create in the wooden sieve. But I didn’t postpone other creations. I was working on creating space, when the tap came today. 

Inspiration arrives, every time, exactly on time. I am learning deeper trust. 

Inspiration arrives, every time, exactly on time. I can trust that.

The Texture of My Life

In these weeks after Christmas, my house is in a sad state. I love the Christmas décor, and when it’s packed away, the rooms feel empty and somewhat bereft. After I put my creative studio to rights, so I can work in a supportive environment, I turn my attention to the rest of the house. I like to freshen things up, as everyday items are brought back out. So it becomes a bigger project than just returning pieces to where they were before Christmas. 

I enjoy such creative challenges!

The Texture of My Life, Using Symbolism in Creating Vignettes
My first inspiration came for the vintage suitcase in my bedroom. An idea formed for a new vignette when I picked up a little tea pot and cup set for one. Adorned with butterflies and dragonflies, I was gifted with this cute set after the Halloween party at my niece’s house. 

Both the butterfly and dragonfly hold significance for me. Both have been symbols representing my journey in previous years. I was thoughtful as I held the tea set. And then peered into the bedroom at the empty suitcase. A vignette created by using these two symbols strongly appealed to me. 

The Texture of My Life, Using Symbolism to Create Vignettes

I had fun gathering items I already own, with butterfies or dragonflies on them. Greens and blues were the predominant colors. I assembled a variety of pieces and played with arranging them. 

The butterfly painting belonged to Greg’s mother. As did the green glass bottle beside the suitcase and the little brass baskets. Greg bought the metal dragonfly for me in 2013, my year of believing. The fabric is a silk pillow case with appliquéd butterflies, that I found in the bottom of a chest, as we were packing up Greg’s parents’ house. It is delicate, and beautiful. I wish I knew more about its origins. I bought the dragonfly plate in 2013. The green candle was left over from Christmas this year. 

The Texture of My Life, Using Symbolism in Creating Vignettes
The Texture of My Life, Using Symbolism in Creating Vignettes 

I enjoyed creating this unusual vignette. This is the first time I’ve created one so strongly connected to symbols from my past. The butterfly was from my Year of Transformation in 2010. It represented change, growth, emergence and beauty. 

And the dragonfly from 2013, my Year to Believe, is symbolic of walking in two worlds, transformation, wisdom, joy and adaptability. I look at this vignette and recognize how important these years, and their symbols, were to my journey. I see, from my current vantage point, how far I’ve come and how much I’ve grown. This vignette, which is so imbued with symbolism, now represents crucial milestones in my journey, making it a special symbol in its own right. 

The Texture of My Life, Using Symbolism in Creating Vignettes
Alfred North Whitehead says, “Symbolism is no mere idle fancy…it is inherent in the very texture of human life.” 

Symbolism has been an important part of my journey. The symbols for each year come to me by way of synchronicities and repetition, and give me guidance for the months ahead. There is deep meaning for me in each one, and many ahas and magical moments connected to these little signposts scattered along my life path. They assure me that I am headed in the right direction and contribute to my ongoing conversation with the Divine. 

My symbols are indeed woven into the very texture of my life. And from my life two of them inspired the creation of a vignette…which is a short piece of writing or music, or a grouping of items, that clearly represents something or someone. 

This vignette clearly represents me, and a significant part of my journey. 

The Texture of My Life, Using Symbolism in Creating Vignettes