Day 3: Create Something

This beautiful spring-like day presented the perfect opportunity to create outdoors, for the third day of the Hygge Challenge. I knew I wanted to reset the front porch, using a fresh, spring theme. I typically redecorate the porch at this time of year, with items that will take me through spring and summer, to fall. I wanted to change that this afternoon.

Create Something

Wednesday – Create something

I enjoy creating vignettes by grouping items together that fit within a specific theme. I have vignettes scattered throughout the house. My covered front porch gets the vignette treatment as well. I have used a dragonfly theme on the porch for several years. It was time to come up with a fresh look, without buying all new décor. Part of the fun of arranging a vignette is using what I already have, in different ways.

I was in the mood for a unique focal point that I could create around. A trip to Michael’s Craft Store would perhaps inspire me!

Create Something

Indeed, a canvas print of a Henry David Thoreau quote snagged my attention. With its chalkboard look background and soft spring colors, I knew I could pull additional items together to complement it, pieces I already owned. And I love the quote: All good things are wild and free.

I couldn’t pass up three pastel ceramic pots. Michael’s had a BIG sale going on today. I bought them as well, in pale yellow, light pink and soft blue.

Create Something

This was my blank canvas, a bright yellow table tucked into the corner of the porch, near the front door. After clearing away my previous vignette and wiping the table down, I was ready to create.

Create Something

The canvas print hangs above the table. Below it a white table runner with embroidered spring flowers covers the surface. The three pastel ceramic pots occupy the center of the table. I dropped a white tea light candle into each pot.

Create Something

Create Something

Then the fun began. This is a bit of a trial and error process. As items pop into my mind, I retrieve them and try them in different spots, grouped in different ways. I have shelves in a closet full of vintage items and yard sale finds, candles and candle holders, and a drawer full of linens. I keep my theme and colors in mind as I make selections.

For this vignette, I wanted a spring look and soft colors. I used fake speckled eggs, a vintage ceramic bunny, metal in the form of a wire cloche and a bird cage, and a pair of porcelain birds that I have had for years. A candle and spring candle ring fill the birdcage, since those birds are free!

My favorite items are the small framed needlepoint art. Greg’s mother crafted the heart, with colors that reflect those in the large quote. She stitched this piece in 1986. The other stitched art pieces are not her work, but purchased by her about the same time.

Create Something

I love how this vignette turned out. Except for the table runner, none of these items have been used before on the front porch. Initially I felt like the two small framed pieces made the vignette seem too symmetrical. I rummaged in my closet for something else to add, and found the tiny stitched piece with a blue background. Adding it broke up the symmetry.

As I stood back to examine my work, I suddenly realized something…all three of the stitched art pieces contained a heart. That was one of those unintentional occurrences that tickles me and also brings confirmation. These were the right items for this new arrangement.

I had an appointment coming up, but I took the time to light the candles in the pots and take pics. This spring vignette makes me smile and brings joy to my heart. Welcome spring!

Create Something

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

Surrender 80: Spring Vignette

The first day of spring in Joplin, Missouri was, ironically, one of the chilliest days we’ve had in quite some time. However, periods of intermittent sunshine revealed signs of the season everywhere. I decided to bring spring inside and create a fresh vignette. 

  

I transformed my little entryway table, using an assortment of newer and vintage pieces and a couple of flea market finds. This is a fun activity for me, that allows my inner artist, my creative child within, free reign. 

 

The tabletop features vintage hankies formed into no-sew rosettes. The porcelain rabbit, the little white and yellow flower pot, and the artificial pansies are treasures from Greg’s mother, as is the crocheted doily. I bought the birdcage two years ago at Michaels and the glass globe candle holder and shallow white bowl are flea market finds. 

I love using stacks of books in vignettes. From my collection I have an assortment of colors and sizes to chose from. They are great for adding height and creating a perch for candles or keepsakes. 
  


On the lower level of the table, every item is from the Arkansas house, except for the hand blown glass pitcher, which I purchased years ago. I love the way the cloth balls look, nestled within the pitcher. And why use one little brass basket when two stacked together looks so cute? 

My children will recognize the butterfly painting. It always hung in their grandparents’ spare bedroom. I thought I’d never be able to use it, as that bedroom is where it seemed to fit best. However, I like it right there, on an easel on that lower shelf. The brass baskets and the cloth balls bring out the colors in the painting. 

The artist is R. Styles, who was with Avante Studios, and painted in the 60s and 70s. I haven’t been able to find out anything further about him. The painting has a certificate of authenticity attached to the back. I like the butterflies, which were my symbol four years ago. 

The day has been overcast, and cool, but that hasn’t stopped spring from arriving, in the northern hemisphere or in my heart. The vignette is a creative expression of renewal and hope, of life, and the return of color in my world. That little table makes me smile when I look at it, which is a worthy accomplishment. Welcome spring. 

  
  

Surrender 76: Vintage Handkerchiefs  

I confess I have a fondness for old linens. Vintage doilies, tablecloths, kitchen towels, pillowcases and hankies catch my eye at flea markets and yard sales. I have a delicate handkerchief that belonged to my great-grandma Cynthi that I cherish. And an assortment of old linens that Greg’s mother gave me years ago. 

 Grandma Cynthi’s hankie 

Image my delight recently when I discovered a stash of vintage handkerchiefs tucked away in a dresser drawer in the Arkansas house. They most likely belonged to Leta’s mother, as I never saw Mom Moore use a hankie. 

 Freshly laundered vintage hankies 

I was excited to bring this find home. I’ve been pondering what to do with them. I enjoy having vintage items on display. I appreciate the beauty of the pieces and I love the connection that I feel to the previous owners. I may temporarily store items or move them around the house, but I don’t like to keep them out of sight for long. 

 

Tonight I turned to Pinterest for inspiration and tried a few ideas. I tucked the handkerchiefs loosely into a ceramic pitcher, creating a frothy bouquet. 

 
Next I made simple no-sew rosettes. I liked the look! And they were easy to create. 

  Fold hankie in half, creating a triangle. 

 Roll up

  Starting at one end, wind into a circle 

 
I tried displaying the hankie rosettes in a vintage hand-blown glass pitcher. The handkerchiefs looked lovely. I think I need at least 8-10 more rosettes though. I feel sure I can find more old hankies this summer, to add to my collection. 

For now, I like the rosettes in the shallow white bowl. Over the next few days, as I have time, the vintage hankies will be featured in a new vignette on my little entry table. I’ll have fun trying out different items together, many of which have come from Arkansas, to create a fresh look for spring. Stay tuned!

  
   

  

Day 98: Create a Spring Vignette

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I often relax, and have precious “me” time, by being creative. I love bringing an idea into reality by assembling items and grouping them together in a way that is pleasing to me. For today’s first, I created a new spring vignette for my dining room table.

Spring is here in Joplin, MO. The days are longer, and warmer, and signs of new life are appearing everywhere. I am itching to begin planting flowers, shrubs and grasses in the backyard. Transformation is underway as a courtyard is being installed and pathways laid out. Yet it’s a bit too cool still at night to plant.

So today I brought spring indoors. This was a fun project. All the items in this grouping are flea market, thrift store or vintage shop finds, with the exception of the white birds, speckled eggs and the plants. There serving as a basket to hold it all is the vintage sifter that I bought over the weekend at Country Pickins Antique Mall. I love how this piece is the foundation for the vignette. I’ll be using the sifter again and again, throughout the year.

The white teacups and the white footed bowl came from Goodwill. As soon as I saw the footed bowl, I envisioned speckled eggs nestled within it. I found the eggs on sale at Hobby Lobby today. I was hunting for pretty white teacups Sunday, while we were junkin’, because I already had the idea of planting tiny pansies and impatiens in them. I loved these cups because they are nice and wide and have a lovely shape. The willow ball topiary also came from Goodwill. It was adorned with red berries when I bought it. I liked the green pot it was in and the general shape. It was easy to remove the worn berries and freshen the topiary with green ivy.

I bought the rectangular glass vase at Goodwill. For the spring vignette, I wanted fresh tulips. Walmart had a great selection today at a great price. I was hoping for a peachy pink color but I’m happy with the deep pink and white. The white birds were picked up at Michael’s for 50% off. Birds, freed from their cages, are my symbol this year. It seemed appropriate to include a pair.

I am very happy with the way the grouping turned out! It makes me smile every time I look at it. As spring wanes and summer arrives, I’ll change it all again. For me, that will be another therapeutic and happy hour well spent!