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: Abundance

Late this afternoon, I created my second specialized vignette, showcasing an area in my life that I want to see continued growth in. I am enjoying Mike Dooley’s Love Your Life in 30 Days online course. One of the assignments was to create a visual representation for each of five areas in my life that I am shifting.

I came up with the idea of creating vignettes for each dream of mine, beginning with Travel. These vignettes are 3D vision boards. They remind me of the transformational play I am engaging in and that it is not my job to figure out the whys and hows.

The area I focused on today was Abundance. For me, abundance is more than a monetary flow. It is being open to receive resources, quality time, creativity, and ideas.

I selected the vintage wooden sieve on my dining room table to house my Abundance vignette.

Here is how the project came together:

I lined the wooden sieve with a pair of silvery placemats. These were recycled from a Christmas vignette.

I spent an hour or more, gathering items to play with in making the abundance vignette. I knew I primarily wanted silver and gold objects.

This silver lamp is actually a tea light candle holder. It adds height to the grouping, and it represents the light of inspiration, which births creativity.

I knew I wanted to include this vintage pocket watch as well. Time is something I hope to have an abundance of.

This pretty box works for several reasons. It has the gold and silver colors I desired, giving it a rich look. I added coins from around the world, representing money, and also travel. And the heart shape signifies love.

I used a silver, gold and black bracelet strand as a garland. The dark beads are hematite, which causes the bracelet to be magnetic. The magnetism is a perfect symbol for attracting abundance. Plus, the bracelet is worn to lessen pain and improve circulation and the flow of electromagnetic energy through the body, making it an ideal symbol for health also.

I got creative in coming up with a framed print to include in the vignette. I don’t own a suitable framed quote, so I made my own Abundance art using a vintage gold and mother of pearl frame, and two gold and silver thank you notes. It’s low tech, and yet it works beautifully!

The pic below shows the completed vignette. I am pleased with how it came together. It has a simple, clean look, and it is full of symbolism. At either end of the table, I added white stoneware plates with beaded garlands, fat white candles and wire cloches.

What I love most about this abundance vignette is the immediate positive reinforcement that I received. The mail arrived, as I was working on the vignette. After I completed my project and took photos, I opened a package that had been delivered. It contained my workbook for the Love Your Life in 30 Days course, which inspired this visual art.

There was a letter included with the workbook. I circled the part that made me laugh. The letter states that as a thank you for ordering the book, a surprise is included. A link is provided for a free downloadable MP3 that I can listen to. The title of this gift? Abundance: 21 Steps to Opening the Floodgates.

It didn’t take long for more abundance to flow into my life. And I am not surprised at all. I am delighted though, and full of joy and gratitude. I marvel at the wonder of it all.

Beauty in Imperfection

I drew a fourth creative action this morning, the equivalent of pulling back on an arrow of desire in preparation for letting it fly. I was delighted to select:

Create a new vignette. 

I enjoy this creative project and I have an assortment of vignettes throughout my house. I especially like creating vignettes in pieces such as my old suitcase or in my vintage wooden sieve, however a shelf or table top works well too. 

Vignettes are slices of life, small scenes, that follow a theme. The fun for me is in gathering items from around my house, to create a fresh grouping that expresses an idea. I could go buy items to create a new vignette, but I prefer being inspired by what I already have. An idea begins to take shape and then it becomes a scavenger hunt to find items in my house to support that idea. 

Here is how a vignette comes together for me. 

When I drew today’s activity, I opened up to creative energy. I wanted to create a vignette that used pieces I’d never used together before. This lovely shell came to mind. I found it at Greg’s parents’ house in Arkansas. When I cleaned it up I discovered it had been broken before and repaired. But it is still gorgeously iridescent. Wabi sabi…beauty in imperfection…came to mind. I knew I wanted to build a vignette around this item. 

With the shell in mind, I selected a scarf and a large crocheted vintage doily. The blue scarf topped with the delicate white doily made me think of water with foamy waves crashing into shore. I’m imaginative, I’m know! The linens belonged to my grandmother. 

The fun begins then. I played around with arranging different items together. Because the interior of the sieve I’m using is fairly small, I stayed with the rule of three. The blue vase was a gift from my grandson Dayan years ago. The sea shells mug was handed down from a friend. To vary the heights, a small glass candle holder was tucked under the doily, and the mug placed atop it. I added clear glass rocks to the large shell and tucked tea lights inside it and the mug. The shell made me think of pearls. I strung a necklace across the shell. 

I trimmed the daisies down, as they seemed too tall. Better. And tried a clear glass globe candle holder. I liked this look as well. I may go back and forth between using this globe and the sea shells mug.

It’s a fresh vignette. Simple. Beautiful. 

The accompanying thought that arose as I completed my vignette was simple too and profound to me. I use items from the past to create these vignettes, finding new uses for these old pieces. My past is not something I want to dwell in. I want to live right here, in the now. 

Bringing a past thought into this present moment, and reframing it in the light of who I am now and what I have learned, is a way to create fresh “vignettes” with my memories. Doing so allows me to see my past, and therefore myself, differently, especially pieces of my past that I’ve considered difficult, flawed, broken. 

Wabi sabi works in my life as well. I have broken pieces that have been repaired, just like my large shell. I can look at myself as unflinchingly as I look at the shell and see beyond the hurts and the fragments of who I was, to the beauty of who I am becoming. I can look at others in the same fresh, open way. 

I am whole. They are whole. We are wabi sabi. We are beautiful in our imperfections.