An Edible Vignette

Tonight I finally completed the last of five vignettes that I set the intention for doing, back in early January. As part of the Love Your Life in 30 Days course, by Mike Dooley, I selected five areas of my life that I am experiencing growth and shifts in. I chose Blogging/Writing, Abundance, Travel, Creativity and Health. I have enjoyed creating these 3D vision boards for each area in my life.

The final category was health…and I’ve struggled a bit creating this vignette. I came up with ideas for items I could use to represent health. Fresh fruits and veggies seemed a natural inclusion for this vignette, although one of the challenges I had was not eating my vignette before I assembled it! The kitchen was the ideal location for a health vignette, even though I am limited on surface space there.

This evening I decided to go for it. I stocked up on fruits and vegetables and began creating. My other ideas included a tea pot, lots of containers of herbal teas and dried foods, a mortar and pestle, a framed quote and a sunflower, which represents good health.

As I worked, the vignette ultimately became very simple. Food is what keeps me healthy…fruits, vegetables, herbs, legumes, brown rice and a variety of supplements and teas. I used a rustic wooden box that Greg made for me as a veggie crate. It is full of organic potatoes, regular and sweet, onions and cherry tomatoes.

A black wire basket holds a variety of organic fruits…lemons, limes, oranges, bananas, apples and avocados. I added several mason jars containing dry lentils, brown rice, a mix of 13 beans and a small jar of licorice root for tea. There wasn’t space for my tea pot, so I included a small white tea cup and saucer instead. And because I wanted each vignette to have a light source, I fit in a small vintage Bell mason jar with a tea light tucked inside. As an afterthought almost, I hand wrote part of Hippocrates’ quote…Let food be your medicine…and popped it into a tiny frame. The vignette rests on a vibrant antique linen.

It isn’t fancy, but I like how this last vignette turned out. It’s colorful. It’s inspiring. It’s wholesome, real food which is at the core of my health practices. It reminds me of how much my life shifted when I set off down this healing path, and how I continue to become stronger, healthier and more fit.

Five life categories…five vignettes. This last one differs from the others, and that’s okay. It will continue to shift and change because…I will eat that food!

Writing Explorations

A very long day results in a short, and easy, blog post tonight. I quickly completed vignette number four, of the Showcasing My Vision series, inspired by my work in the Love Your Life in 30 Days course by Mike Dooley.

Located in my creative studio, the Writing Vignette was built around an item I picked up recently. People laugh at me when, complimenting me on a cute outfit, I confess that I purchased it at…Cracker Barrel. Yep, that Cracker Barrel…the restaurant. I love wandering about their country store. They not only stock cute boho style clothing, they have an eclectic mix of housewares and decorative items.

I was looking at a display, when I realized that this year’s symbol, the feather quill, was waving at me at eye level. I was so excited and immediately bought the white pen.

My new quill matches the writing journal I picked up last year, part of the confirmation I received concerning the word for 2018 and the symbol. The journal is included in the vignette as well.

It rests atop a repurposed book that has become an art journal, and two books by Julia Cameron in her creative writing series, The Artist’s Way and Walking in This World. The books not only encouraged me in my writing and creative endeavors, their covers are great matches with the plaid scarf.

The feather quill rests in a candle holder, made years ago by a friend of mine. The light source for this vignette is provided by a vintage black candle holder. The red taper was too tall, so I cut it in two. Light in my vignettes represent inspiration.

The final piece is one of my favorite writing quotes. I didn’t have a framed art print of E.L. Doctorow’s words, so I very quickly created my own. I always have an assortment of frames on hand. I literally scribbled out the words on cream paper, and colored in a background that coordinates with the plaid scarf that anchors the vignette, in five minutes.

It came together in a flash, however, I like this grouping that reminds me of my desire to keep on exploring writing, and to continue to learn as I go. It is a journey.

Dreamer of Dreams

I have been in creative mode today, which lent itself perfectly to creating a vignette. I have been participating in Mike Dooley’s Love Your Life in 30 Days program, which includes expansive daily exercises. One activity was to create visual representations for each of five areas in my life that I am focused on growing in.

I chose to put together five new vignettes…a fun activity for me. So far I have created a Travel vignette, and an Abundance one. Tonight, it was time to assemble a Creativity vignette.

The creativity vignette seemed to belong in my studio. And the ideal spot in my studio for this new work was the vintage ironing board, serving as a table.

Here’s how the vignette came together, and the story around its creation.

I knew I wanted to use this framed quote as one of the pieces. It is meaningful to me. As I gathered other items, I realized the tray I had set aside for the vignette was not going to be big enough to contain my idea. So the vignette outgrew its “box”, spreading across the wooden surface of the ironing board. This is very like the way creativity can start from a small seed of an idea and expand.

Next to the framed quote I added a stack of coloring books. Their covers connected together beautifully, through colors of cream, gold, silver and copper, which led me to plop the similarly toned candle holder atop of them. Mason jars held bouquets of colorful pencils.

The tray at the other end of the ironing board holds a collection of creative items.

The bright fabric balls reflect the colors of the pencils. The ceramic jar was made by my younger daughter, Adriel, when she was a child. It holds folded slips of paper for when I play the Inspiration Game.

I created the flower print, using a page from a vintage encyclopedia as the background, and colored pencils to fill in my sketch. And the canvas print has one of my favorite quotes on it, about being creative.

Blessed are the gypsies, the makers of music, the artists, writers, dreamers of dreams, wanderers and vagabonds, children and misfits: for they teach us to see the world through beautiful eyes.

I placed a wooden candlestick outside the tray…and lit the candles. It is important to me that each of the five vignettes has a light source. Light represents inspiration to me, which flows through all areas of my life.

I am pleased with the Creativity vignette. It will inspire me every time I walk into the room, and send forth my desire to live intentionally in creativity, beauty and art.

The vignette reminds me that I am a dreamer of dreams. And, I am blessed.

Showcasing My Vision

On January 1, I began a new journey into a year of stories. As it happened, Mike Dooley, author, speaker and founder of The Notes from the Universe, offered a fun 30 day course called Love Your Life. Each day he sends a short video and an exercise to do, with the purpose of helping the participants create the life of their dreams.

I’ve been a follower of Mike’s for many years. I was intrigued by the timing of my new adventure and his course. I love these types of playful activities that get beneath the surface chatter and open up new spaces within and bring fresh insights. I signed up.

On Day 1 the exercise was to write out five areas of my life that I would like to experience change or continued growth in. I only needed to list the areas, without overthinking about the “hows” and “whens”.

I listed these five areas:

1) Blogging/Writing

2) Travel

3) Continued Optimal Health

4) Abundance

5) Creativity

Each day I have had assignments regarding those areas of my life. Day Four, Showcase Your Inspiration, encouraged me to create a vision board, or other visual representation, of each of my five dreams. I am in the process of creating a vision board for 2018 and I will certainly include these areas. However, the assignment sparked a new idea. Tonight, I had the opportunity to play with Travel.

My idea was to create a vignette for each of the five areas that I am envisioning growth in. I am in the process of resetting my house, as I pack away Christmas d├ęcor. The timing is perfect. I began with the area of travel.

I enjoy creating vignettes, using materials and items I already possess. So the challenge tonight was pulling together enough travel related items to successfully capture that idea. A vignette tells a story. I wanted this particular tale to be a travel adventure.

My battered vintage suitcase in my bedroom immediately came to mind. It seemed perfect for a story about traveling. I wandered about my house, deep in thought, gathering items that could work. Slowly, the vignette came together.

This print inspired my theme, and the predominant colors for the vignette. Put down that map and get wonderfully lost is such an inviting prospect. It became my equivalent to Once upon a time…

I used my Scottish tartan from Lauder as the foundational piece. It provides a beautiful blue, green, red, yellow and black backdrop. I added a metal globe, a gift to Greg from our grandson Dayan, a green candle left over from Christmas, and stacks of books ranging from travel guides to vintage books about Scotland and Ireland, to an Italian phrase book. My actual passport is present as well. I tucked a postcard I bought in Scotland into a simple black frame. And the little painting of Paris was a gift from a French friend, years ago.

I love how this travel vignette turned out. It fits well in that corner. Nearby are framed Middle Earth maps, a sepia print of a pathway curving off into the unknown, and a painted sign that reads, Wild Heart, Gypsy Soul.

The story unfolding here is one of adventure, mystery, and fun. It is my story. And the passport indicates my readiness to go.

What I most appreciate about this 3D vision board is that as I sit here on my bed, I can see it. And believe me, I have already looked at the vignette many times in the last hour. It calls to me. It excites me. And that is its purpose. These story vignettes that are showcasing my visions are evoking strong feelings of anticipation, joy and gratitude, which is exactly what the Love Your Life assignment was all about. Intention…realized. Outcome…released. I am ready. And the Divine knows.

In place soon…four more vignettes, telling stories about writing, creativity, abundance and health.