The Scotland Connection


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When I travel, I enjoy bringing home small keepsakes to remind me of my adventures. An easy way to memorialize the trip is to create art from postcards from each country. On this trip, with Edinburgh as my home base, I looked for postcards that represented the fascinating city. As my sister and I browsed in different shops, I checked out the postcards for sale. However, nothing really captured my interest.

I was looking for the Scotland connection, a link between Edinburgh and my interests. As we waited to enter the Museum Context, I spied a small artistic shop next door, called The Red Door Gallery. How grateful I am that I stepped inside!

The Scotland Connection Title Meme

The Red Door Gallery

This delightful shop, established in 2003 and located at 42 Victoria Street in Edinburgh, showcases artwork from Edinburgh and UK based artists. The Red Door Gallery offers a large assortment of artists prints, homewares, jewelry and CARDS.

Suddenly I went from not having the right options to having too many! I’d been so busy looking at postcards that I almost missed an opportunity to purchase greeting cards featuring the artwork of local artists. I quickly located a dozen cards that appealed to me, that offered the Scotland connection I desired.

As a bonus, the cards easily tucked into my carry on. I can’t bring home a bunch of souvenirs, when I travel, which is perfect. The small space helps me to decide what’s most important.

The Scotland Connection Haul
My treasures from the trip: Maitland tartan pieces, Maitland Clan Badge, kilt pin, art cards, small keychains, dated thistle Christmas ornament and a jacket that I had to wear home.
The Scotland Connection David Fleck Art Cards
Cards by artist David Fleck. David grew up in Edinburgh and now creates from Glasgow.

Inspired Art

Back home, I studied my art cards, eager to create. (Check out my previous postcard art.) I chose the watercolor and ink art cards by David Fleck as my first project.

Previously I purchased frames from Michael’s Craft Store to hold postcards from Italy, Scotland and England. This time, I wanted to be more creative. Daily I looked at my cards as I sought inspiration. And each day ended without a solid idea. Finally, as I clicked off the light one night, an amazing flash of creativity arrived. I turned the light back on.

Interestingly, during this same time, ideas simmered on the back burner of my mind for another creative project. That night, the two projects merged into one.

The Scotland Connection Vintage Chair
The chair my grandfather made, literally falling apart.
Vintage Chair Unassembled
The chair, carefully disassembled.

My Grandfather’s Chair

In 2014 my sister, the same one who accompanied me to Scotland, passed on to me a couple of vintage chairs made in the 1950s, by my paternal grandfather. The chairs underwent numerous repairs over the years. When I received them, one of the chairs needed extensive work to make it usable. (You can read about the restoration here.)

However five years later, this old chair is literally falling apart, due to exposure to weather. I considered throwing the chair away, but it’s one of the few keepsakes that I have from this grandfather, who passed away when I was just five years old. What could I make from it?

Last week inspiration provided an answer. Repurpose the chair into a frame…for the David Fleck art cards.

With Greg’s help, I disassembled the chair, piece by piece. The worn and weathered wood provided the material for a unique frame, a work of art in itself.

The Scotland Connetion Frame
From chair…to whimsical frame. I love that the arms of the chair became the sides of the frame.
Finished Repurposed Frame
Something new from something old.

Something New from Something Old

As I studied the pieces and tried out different frame styles, the finished work came together almost on its own. Suddenly the arms of the chair naturally became the sides of the frame. The 120 year old lath slats, which aren’t original to the chair but came from a remodel in my own house, created the back. And two dowel rods that formed the back of the chair perfectly divided the art cards, creating a window pane effect.

I’m grateful for Greg’s help in repurposing the chair into the frame. He used a variety of tools to assemble the frame and I attached the cards. I used double sided tape to close the cards and rubber cement to attach them to the frame backing.

I love the imperfections in the old wood, the nail holes and fine cracks. They add to the charm of the frame and remind me of the wood’s original purpose.

Vintage Chair in 2014
The chair as it was in 2014, after extensive repairs.

The Scotland Connection

I’m so pleased with this frame that holds four of my art cards from Edinburgh. The cards depict scenes throughout the old city, from the castle high upon its rock to the closes (alleyways) that offer shortcuts through town to the Hot Air Balloon event from 1785. One card, called Seek, is for those with wanderlust. It captures the Highlands north of Edinburgh. I love these cards.

I appreciate this framed work of art for another reason. My grandfather who made the chair, Dennis Fleet Lauderdale, is the Scotland connection in my family, to the country that I so love. It’s through his line that I trace my way to the Maitland Clan. This chair that he crafted once held him and my father and most recently, me. It now holds these mementoes from the country that birthed our family.

I hung the framed cards in my bedroom, above a table with a quirky telephone lamp that Greg’s dad made, a photo of my Lauderdale grandparents on their wedding day, and a small lion statue. The Clan Maitland crest has a lion at its center and the Latin words, consilio et animis, “by wisdom and courage”.

As I worked, I asked my grandfather if he minded that I took apart his chair and created something new. I hoped not. Grandpa was, after all, a carpenter and enjoyed tinkering in his workshop. And I intend to create more frames from this chair and the second one that still rests in my garden.

He appeared in my mind as I last saw him, a kind man with a bit of stubble on his chin and merry eyes. He smiled. I don’t think he minds.

The Scotland Connection Vignette
Finished art piece.

 

Scottish Watercolor Print from Amazon

Get inspired with this watercolor of Scotland’s national flower, the thistle. Better yet, travel to this gorgeous country, find your own mementoes and create the Scotland connection!

 


Cindy Goes Beyond is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate program provides a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, all at no extra cost to you.

Garden Magic

Last year, I came up with an idea. I enjoy repurposing metal containers, such as buckets and colanders and wash tubs, in the garden. I use them as receptacles for a variety of plants and flowers. It gives my backyard paradise a bit of an industrial look.

My idea was to hang a metal grid beneath a workshop window, using it as a shelf for potted plants. I could see what that idea looked like, carried out. I could imagine how cute the shelf would be and how it would tie in with the rest of my garden. However, after searching all summer, in hardware stores, flea markets and junk stores, I could not locate a metal shelf or grate that would work. Summer drew to a close.

Garden Magic

My daughter Elissa let me know a couple of weeks ago that she had some stuff she was clearing out of her house, items she had purchased at junk shows or flea markets and no longer wanted. She asked if I was interested in the metal baskets that she had. I agreed to take them. I can always use a metal basket, in the garden or inside the house.

Last week she dropped of those treasures. I was delighted with the metal baskets. One caught my attention immediately. It was a large rectangular shape, with the back slightly higher than the front. I realized it was the perfect size and shape to become the metal shelf in my garden.

Garden Magic

Greg helped me hang the repurposed shelf late this afternoon. It fit perfectly beneath the window on the south side of the workshop, the side that faces into the garden. In moments the shelf was up and I had plopped three terra cotta pots onto it. There’s room still on the shelf to fill in with some additional plants. It is as cute as I imagined it to be.

Garden Magic

As a bonus, Elissa also brought me a rustic, and rusty, wire box with a high back on it. This piece definitely belongs in my backyard garden! Greg hung it for me too. It’s empty at the moment but it won’t be for long. I’m envisioning more pots in this hanging basket, with vining, flowering plants that climb up the metal back.

Garden Magic

I love these additions to the garden and I appreciate that my daughter gifted them to me. The magic is this…a year ago an idea came to me. In spite of a clear visual about what the metal shelf looked like and how it would be used, I couldn’t locate it. However, the desire went forth.

Inspiration comes to me and my experience is, if I receive an idea, I have the ability to carry it out. Sometimes the idea becomes reality immediately. And sometimes it doesn’t. I’ve learned to stay open and let go of how it’s going to come about and when. I love the way this idea manifested in my life, without any further effort on my part.

The shelf came to me, by way of my daughter. And I received a second fun metal piece to create with in the garden, and two more metal baskets to play with, using them either indoors or outdoors. That’s abundance, beyond what I had imagined.

These creative experiences are bigger than gardening magic. They are life lessons in trusting and allowing, staying open to possibilities and detaching from the hows, the way the outcome is achieved. They teach me that every element of my life is important to the Divine. I am so very grateful!

Garden Magic

From Kid’s Craft to Framed Art

Tonight’s fun project was inspired by an idea I had last year. I found a child’s carefully drawn snowman, in a box of keepsakes from Greg’s parents’ house. The child who drew this cute snowman was Greg’s brother, Ray. I estimated the drawing was done in 1958. I framed the snowman, using a plaid scrapbook paper for the background.

I have enjoyed using this framed art as part of my Christmas decor. Ray passed away in 2002, making the snowman very special. I think of him when I look at his artwork. That project in turn inspired me to create framed art from vintage Christmas cards from the early 1900s.

Earlier this year, I uncovered more Christmas crafts, created long ago by another child. These construction paper pieces were made by Greg, when he was nine or ten years old. Being a parent, one thing I embraced long ago is fairness. Having turned his brother’s snowman into Christmas decor, it seemed right to do the same with Greg’s holiday candle and poinsettia!

Tonight I assembled materials to transform these childhood keepsakes into framed art. One slight challenge that I had was that Greg’s artwork wouldn’t fit within an 8×10 frame, as Ray’s snowman had. It was simple enough to buy larger frames. An 11×14 frame worked and at Michaels they were on a ” buy one, get one” special. Perfect.

The challenge part was finding a holiday themed paper large enough to serve as the background for the artwork. Scrapbook papers don’t come in that bigger size. I bought a roll of Christmas wrap, thinking that could be an option, and gathered my supplies, which included sheets of 9×12 holiday scrapbook papers.

When I opened the first frame, and discovered there was indeed an actual mat included, with an 8×10 opening, I made a quick decision. I liked the idea of using the scrapbook paper and the mat…and allowing the artwork to rest outside the mat, rather than within it. It was a literal “outside of the box” project!

Double sided tape secured the festive construction paper candle to the mat and background, and into the frame the repurposed artwork went. I used a plain green background for the poinsettia and in a few minutes the second framed art was completed.

The framed poinsettia is upside down in this photo, however, I am pleased with the results.

These simple projects are meaningful to me. Creating framed art from childhood treasures honors the artist, provides a lasting keepsake, and they are great additions to my holiday decor. I would rather have these pieces of art by Ray and Greg, which are almost 60 years old and 55 years old respectively, on display where they can be appreciated and enjoyed, rather than forgotten in a storage box.

I think Ray would smile over his framed snowman. And I know Greg takes delight in seeing a keepsake from his childhood elevated to framed art and displayed as well.

I must sort through more boxes…and see what other treasures I can find.

Vintage Ironing Board Makeover

When we emptied Greg’s parents’ house, after his father passed away, one of the items I carted home was a vintage ironing board. I could tell, without removing the cover, that the board was made of wood. I hated to throw the old ironing board away. I figured eventually I’d find a new use for it. That ironing board has been tucked away for more than two years. This week, it suddenly popped back into my awareness. Today, I repurposed it.

This is how inspiration works in my life. The ironing board has been in my house for almost 2 1/2 years. I don’t see it most days or think about it. Two days ago, without looking at it, the board suddenly came to mind. I’ve been wanting to do a creative project. Apparently, it was time to do something with this vintage piece.

As I thought about the ironing board, I got a visual “download”, images of how I could transform the board into a table, where to put it and even what items to place on and near it. This is the kind of information that I most often receive when a project, literally, comes to mind. My work, then, is to create in reality the idea I’ve been given.

Here is the fun process of making over the ironing board.

This is what I started with. I knew I wanted to set up the ironing board table in my creative studio.

I had to remove some modifications that Greg’s dad made years ago, to protect the floors or to prevent slipping. On the foot of the longest leg of the ironing board there were scraps of carpet secured with black electrical tape and wire!

I did find a wooden top after I removed the cover and an old foam pad, which had crumbled into dust. I was surprised to discover a huge paper label attached to the surface of the board. It is brittle with age and I considered removing it. I was able to look up the ironing board, though, thanks to the label. This model of ironing board was produced in the early 1940s. Greg speculated that his parents, who were married in 1941, received this practical necessity as a wedding gift. I left the label attached.

At one end of my repurposed table I placed a lamp, and a couple of rustic pieces. The minnow bucket turned candle holder normally lights my garden. It is the first item that I saw on the ironing board when I visualized this project. The concrete bird holds a tea light, and also moved indoors from the garden. I frequently use stacks of books to create height.

The framed quote by Elsie de Wolfe, “I’m going to make everything around me beautiful…that will be my life”, moved from a vignette in my bedroom to my creative studio.

At the other end of the ironing board table is a collection of books, with an old iron and a jar candle as bookends. I added a metal bowl with colorful fabric balls.

Beneath the table I’ve used a vintage metal olive bucket to hold an adorable scruffy looking tree, pulled out of my Christmas collection. Another stack of books is topped by my journee sign and another metal bucket with a tea light tucked inside.

And this is what the table looked like, after the repurposing process was completed.

I am quite pleased with the finished results! I enjoy using vintage pieces in fresh ways. I’d much rather use them and see them daily, than have these keepsakes packed away in a closet. The old ironing board reminds me of Greg’s mom and dad, who both shared in the chore of pressing clothes and linens.

I don’t need another ironing board. I rarely use the one I have. However, I can always use another table, another surface to create upon. I am very happy with this one.

Postcard Art

I’m back in creative mode today, and just in time. Fall is here, and with the changing of the seasons, my house and front porch get a reset. The summer items will be packed away and fall decor unboxed.

Tonight’s artistic project was not seasonal, however. During my travels this year, I picked up postcards, not with the intention of mailing them, but for the purpose of creating art to hang in my home.

Thanks to a great sale at Michael’s and a couple of discount coupons that I had, it was the perfect time to purchase a variety of frames and get creative.

The postcards from Italy and Scotland have a vintage look. From Italy, those mementos have the names of four of the cities that we visited, printed in their Italian equivalent. The Scottish cards are adorable, with illustrations of things that are considered representative of that bonnie country. I also bought a postcard at Thirlestane Castle that features that gorgeous fortress.

And in England I purchased three small watercolor prints of iconic landmarks. I took all of the cards/prints with me to Michael’s, an arts and crafts type store that never fails to inspire my creativity. I spent a pleasant hour sorting through frames and shadow boxes, considering how best to display my miniature works of art.

Although the styles are different, the unifying theme among my purchases is the use of black frames. Here is how the collection turned out:

The Italian postcards.

The Scottish postcards. I really like this display, with the cards mounted between panes of glass.

The Thirlestane Castle postcard, with a lot of reflection caught in the glass. This one is a stand alone tabletop frame that will become part of a larger display.

The London watercolors.

In the next few days, I’ll figure out where to hang these works of art. I like using the postcards. They are typically sent to friends and family from far off lands, with a Wish you were here type message scrawled on the backs.

My postcards are reminders that I was there, and that my wishes, my desires, to visit those countries were fulfilled. I will enjoy pausing to study these works of art, these travel reminders, as I walk by. And, they will fuel my future dreams.

You may have noticed that one of the countries that I visited this year is not represented. I didn’t realize, until after I got home, that I never purchased postcards in Ireland. I meant to! I planned to. I was looking for vintage postcards or some other artistic style to grab my attention. Somehow we moved on to Scotland without me finding the right cards.

I can probably find Irish postcards to purchase online. But I have a better idea. I simply must go back. I must return to that emerald island to complete my mission of finding the perfect set of postcards.

What a great excuse for another grand adventure!

Calling All Dragonflies

I love how today's inspiration unfolded. The cooler weather encouraged me to do two things: go for a walk this morning, and spend time in the garden late this afternoon. Greg accompanied me on a walk at Mercy Park. We found painted rocks, that we hid again. And we were buzzed by an unexpected visitor.

The Missouri Conservation Department just posted an article about this being a banner year for dragonflies. The right combination of water temperature and availability of food has occurred, providing the ideal environment for dragonflies to transform from their water nymph stage to flying dragonflies. Greg and I were discussing that article as we walked around the park, when we spotted the first dragonfly…a black one.

I see all kinds of dragonflies in this area, with blue and green being the most common colors. Black isn't as common but I see them occasionally. They are strikingly beautiful. This one flitted by and was gone. As we rounded a curve on the walking path another dragonfly appeared, hovering before us at eye level. To my amazement, this delicate creature was bright red. I have never seen a red dragonfly before. It flew along in front of us and then darted off. Incredibly, a short time later, my car was buzzed by a yellow dragonfly. It kept pace with the car for a few moments, flying directly over the windshield, before lifting up and away. I have never seen a yellow dragonfly either, before today.

Three unusual dragonflies, in a short time span, seemed significant to me. In fact, I kept thinking about those gorgeous insects and their unique coloring. Late this afternoon, as I prepared to work in the backyard garden, I wondered how I could encourage dragonflies to visit my little paradise. Inspiration appeared, to guide me.

I have had several items stored in my utility room for more than a year, while I figured out what to do with them. The tile covered discs came from Greg's parents' house. Apparently it was a "thing" in the 60s, to cover metal disc harrowing blades with decorative tile. My mom used to have one of these discs. Leta Moore had three of them. As I thought about the dragonflies, the idea came to use the discs in the garden, tucking them into various spots and then filling the shallow containers wth water.


The back of one disc, and the decorative tops of two others.

My intention is to draw dragonflies to the garden by providing the water-filled discs. I have spotted dragonflies hovering near cups of tea on the brickio. I don't have a birdbath, because…well, cats…so I am hoping the dragonflies will be drawn to these little pools of still water. I'll fill the discs each evening when I water flowers in containers.

I placed two of the discs on the ground in the garden. One will receive direct sunlight. The other is tucked into a more shady area. The third disc I placed on the brickio, near lemon balm. I'll see which of the locations the dragonflies prefer.

Because I fully expect dragonflies to appear. As I pulled weeds and watered plants in their assortment of containers, the words from the movie, Field of Dreams, scrolled through my brain. If you build it, they will come. His dream was a baseball diamond. Today, my dream is a dragonfly habitat. Belief is the common thread between the two.

I believe. In 2012, Believe was my word for the year. The dragonfly was my symbol. I learned a great deal that year about belief and intuition and journeying with faith. I also learned that the dragonfly symbolizes walking in two worlds, physical reality and the spirit realm. What a perfect symbol for me. I have walked in both worlds since my childhood.

The appearance of dragonflies, red ones in particular I discovered today, are also symbolic of the presence of a departed loved one, especially around the anniversary of their passing. Tomorrow is the two year anniversary of the death of my father-in-law, Bob. I like to believe that all these events from today are connected together. And Bob was saying hello…and, oh by the way, use the discs in the garden.

I sat in the garden as the sun set, my cat Shy Boy curled on my lap. The beauty of that peaceful space is such a balm to my heart and soul. I inhaled the scents of lemon balm, lavender, basil, mint and thyme, carried to me by a cooling breeze. We watched butterflies and grasshoppers and spiders and crickets in the garden. Shy turned to watch me as I softly called out to the dragonflies, inviting them to come, welcoming them to the garden.

I'll carry my morning juice and smoothie out to the garden tomorrow to check the water in the discs and watch for visitors. The dragonflies will come. I believe.

Wooden Pallet Boxes

I came home this afternoon to find a surprise waiting for me. Greg, who has been inspired lately to do some creating of his own, repurposed a seasoned wooden pallet into a couple of attractive boxes. I was thrilled with the result! 

Wooden Pallet Boxes
Because I enjoy creating vignettes, boxes are like picture frames to me. They frame a subject or a grouping, only in three dimensions instead of two, defining the objects within. These wonderful boxes that Greg made instantly sparked my imagination. 

As I completed the day’s work and watered the garden, my artistic self was sorting through ideas for using the boxes, and opening itself to inspiration. The rustic appeal of the aged wood drew me toward creating a very natural vignette. 

I found the foundational piece for the larger of the two boxes, in my backyard garden. 

Wooden Pallet Boxes
I have noticed a little volunteer plant growing cheerfully in a pot of begonias. It is a globe basil plant, named thus due to its compact, round shape. Although the leaves are smaller than a regular basil, it has the distinctive scent, which I love. 

As I watered the little plant, I suddenly could “see” it in its own little terra cotta pot, resting in the wooden box. These volunteer plants have inspired me greatly this summer. They are a testament to survival and resourcefulness. It has been at least two years since I had a globe basil plant in the herb garden., which accounts for my surprise when this aromatic herb showed up across the yard, in a flower pot full of annuals. With great care I tranferred the basil into its own clay pot. 

Wooden Pallet Boxes
I cleared a space in my bedroom, for the larger wooden box. The newly potted basil is my focal point. I gathered other natural elements to group with the plant, creating a simple homey vignette. 

A pinecone rests next to a small jar candle with a spicy scent. A carved stone incense burner sits atop a couple of books that repeat the colors of the terra cotta pot. I lit a charcoal brick and burned dried herbs from my garden. And finally a single seashell completes the look, its soft coral color complementing the darker rust hues. The conch shell symbolizes femininity and expansiveness.

I am pleased with how this nature inspired vignette turned out. And, I am grateful to be the recipient of these wooden pallet boxes. I already have ideas for the smaller box as well. Greg has a very artistic soul and a renewed desire to explore his creativity.  I am looking forward to seeing where inspiration leads him! 

A Bohemian Lives Here

It has been a real estate day, from start to finish. And I don’t mind that. I enjoy helping people buy and sell homes. It is a privilege to walk alongside my clients. 

A busy day doesn’t take away from a creative lifestyle however. I won’t let busyness be an excuse for not writing or not creating. I just have to be…well, creative…in my creativity! 

Inspiration for a quick project came from an empty frame that I forgot I had. An empty frame is like a blank canvas to me. What could I create?

A Bohemian Lives Here
I wasn’t sure how to best use the frame, until I was looking up quotes late this evening, about the Bohemian lifestyle. I have come to realize a truth about myself. I am a Bohemian…which is a fancy word for hippie. I have always been drawn toward that free spirited, peace loving, world wandering, back to nature way of life. It has just taken me a while to fully embrace it all. 

However, I am inhabiting that space now. From the clothes I am purchasing to the food I am eating (and growing) to the releasing of a way of life that no longer fits me, I am happy to acknowledge my Bohemian self. 

A Bohemian Lives Here I’ll write more about being Bohemian in a future blog post. Tonight, I was staying open to inspiration as I clicked through quotes about the Bohemian lifestyle. And there it was. The quote above, “A gypsy lives here” caught my interest. I flipped past the quote and then returned to study it. Suddenly I knew what I wanted to make, for my empty frame. 

A Bohemian Lives Here
I gathered supplies to create with, including a page from a set of vintage encyclopedias. I carefully removed the page about gypsies to use as a background for free-hand letters that I printed across the page and then colored in with my Prismacolor pencils. 

                   A Bohemian Lives Here 

In a short time I had completed my simple art project and popped it into the frame. The saying, which I have dubbed Life Art, is already hanging on the wall of my bedroom. It makes me smile when I look at it. It tugs at my heart and soul. 

“What if…you knew, really knew, that your heart pulls you toward mystery and wonder for a purpose, and that this is its job? Follow it just once and see…            MR Gilman

I know. I really do know. I am following my heart…

A Bohemian Lives Here

Maple’s Gift to the Garden

I enjoyed time in my backyard garden this afternoon. After a weekend of heavy rains, the sunshine today was welcome. And the ground was damp still, which created ideal conditions for a necessary gardening task…weeding. 

Wearing long sleeves and gloves for protection, I tackled a much needed project…removing miniature clumps of ornamental grasses that were popping up all over the garden. This wasn’t my typical puttering in the backyard. This was hard work, using both a hand shovel and a larger spade to dig up those tenacious little grasses. 

But all work and no play is never my intention. After the last blade of grass was tossed into the bin, it was time for some gardening fun, and a special project that warmed my heart. 

Maples Gifts to the Garden
On the first day of spring this year, the big old maple tree that overhung my backyard came down. Twisted and damaged in the 2011 tornado that struck Joplin, the tree was dying. Large pieces of bark were peeling off and the huge limbs were hollowing out. The tree presented a danger to my house and the neighbor’s home. As sad as I was to see the tree cut down, it was the right action. 

Maples Gift to the Garden
The rotten crumbling pieces of wood were disposed of. Greg cut up other portions into firewood that could be burned in the fire pit. And some of the trunk sections and bigger limbs he set aside for my creative use. This afternoon I turned my attention to what remained of maple tree. 

Maples Gift to the Garden
I chose a couple of large maple sections with hollowed out areas, and a smaller solid branch, and positioned them in a bare spot in the garden. The hollow areas sparked my imagination. I could see these two cut up branches serving as planters. The smaller third section was the perfect size to hold a potted plant or flower. 

I used a bag of top soil to fill in the hollowed logs. And then the fun began as I considered which flowering and non-flowering plants to create with. 

Maples Gift to the Garden
I planted colorful vinca and white salvia in the taller of the two hollow logs. In the shorter section I tucked sweet potato vines around yellow calibrachoa. And perched on the solid plant stand is a pot of aromatic garden sage. I settled another small pot of yellow calibrachoa next to my new planter. 

I am so thrilled with how this grouping turned out. I like the way the maple planters look in the garden. But most of all, I love that these unique garden accents came from the maple tree that shaded my yard for years. 

These planters and the stand are temporary. They will age and weather and the wood will break down, becoming rich mulch and compost in my garden. For those reasons, I planted annuals within them. 

These are amazing gifts from maple tree. I will enjoy the planters and the stand this summer. And my garden will then benefit from the deteriorating wood as the tree returns to the earth from which it sprang. 

What a beautiful legacy. Thank you maple tree. 

Maples Gift to the Garden

Vintage Page Gets a Fresh Illustration

I am loving the inspiration I am getting from the set of vintage encyclopedias. Printed in 1951, these outdated volumes have no resale value, however, their creative value is high. 

Tonight I had fun creating another artistic project using one of the vintage pages. 

Vintage Page Gets a Fresh Illustration
I carefully removed a page from the “I” volume of the encyclopedias. Using an article about Imagination as my background, I wanted to create a a piece of art that I could frame and display. 

Vintage Page Gets a Fresh Illustration
I sketched and then inked in a dainty milkwort plant, using another vintage page from The Book of Knowledge set as inspiration. I had pre-selected a frame and used the glass as a template to cut the encyclopedia page to the correct size. 

Vintage Page Gets a Fresh Illustration
I enjoyed coloring my completed sketch. The encyclopedia paper is very thin, causing me to color carefully. However, the old paper takes color extremely well. The pencils glided over the page and the colors blended well. 

In a short time, my something-new-from-something-old work of art was completed. It looked great in its simple wooden frame. 

Vintage Page Gets a Fresh Illustration
I knew I wanted to display this artwork in my bedroom. But I didn’t know where I was going to display it, within the room, until I carried the piece through the door. And then it was immediately obvious. Of course. There, on my little bedside table, next to the old phone that Greg’s dad converted into a lamp years ago. The framed art fits perfectly there, a fresh look on an old page, that I created. Behind it all, both figuratively and literally, is imagination. 

And the little milkwort flowers make me smile. 

Vintage Page Gets a Fresh Illustration