C is for Cindy…and for Creative

After I shared the Vintage Story a couple of nights ago, featuring the crewel embroidery butterfly and the bean art rooster, I felt inspired by these creative family members to create something new. One of my favorite ways to play and create at the same time is to put together a vignette. Tonight I did just that, creating a fresh vignette in the vintage suitcase in my bedroom.

C is for Cindy and for Creative

There were two items that I knew I wanted to include in this vignette: the Butterfly, embroidered by Leta Moore in 1985, and an old book fashioned into the letter C. The transformed Reader’s Digest Condensed Book, from 1983, was a gift recently from my friends, Jim and Kathy. It’s been displayed in my studio. I was excited to include it tonight in this grouping.

Here is a photographic step by step detailing the creation of this vignette.

C is for Cindy and for Creative

An empty suitcase means a blank canvas to create upon. This battered piece of luggage, inexpensive when it was new, is 80 – 100 years old. Oh, the stories it could tell. I use it now to create fresh artistic stories.

C is for Cindy and for Creative

A beautiful old silk pillowcase, with butterfly appliqués, provides a foundational piece for the vignette. It works for two reasons: it continues the butterfly theme and the blues connect the my letter C.

C is for Cindy and for Creative

The butterfly art piece rests in one corner, while a vintage metal tray in the other corner provides an interesting backdrop and contributes to the orange, green and blue color scheme. The dark red topiary in the white crock adds height and balances the left side of the armoire top.

C is for Cindy and for Creative

I was ready to add the book, fashioned into the letter C. I looked at the spine, curious which books had been condensed in this volume. I laughed when I saw The Suitcases. This clever item rests now next to a suitcase. I looked at the inside cover page and discovered that the book formerly belonged to a couple named Bill & Judy. My next door neighbors happen to be…Bill and Judy! This letter C was definitely meant for me.

C is for Cindy and for Creative

The C and a heavy white ceramic bowl join the topiary, completing the section outside the suitcase. I use the “rule of three” often when creating vignettes or displays, grouping three items together.

C is for Cindy and for Creative

Back to the suitcase interior, I wanted another white ceramic piece, to balance the pieces on the armoire top. I used a simple white pitcher, adding light yellow and orange picks with rusty stars. I achieved balance, and the pick colors work well with the other items.

Finally, I added a cream colored three wick candle. It’s important to me that my vignettes include a light source, and candles are my favorite way to bring the light.

C is for Cindy and for Creative

I am happy with this new vignette. This is a totally unique arrangement of items, with the butterfly art, the metal tray, the topiary and the letter C being used in this artistic way for the first time. This is fun for me, creative playing at its finest. I’ll enjoy this vignette until the season changes and it’s time for fall décor.

I’ve glanced at the new vignette repetitively tonight, warmed by the sight, delighted with the way it looks. The letter C reminds me of Cindy, of course, and it also makes me think of Creative. I am both.

C is for Cindy and for Creative

National Creativity Day

As I moved through my day, I stayed open to what I would be writing about this evening. I had a couple of ideas. And I wanted to create a new vignette on the little entryway table, so that was a possibility too. I realized my ideas all centered around creativity, actually. As I settled in at home, late in the afternoon, I starting getting the nudge to check online to see what unique holidays were being celebrated today. There are more than 1,500 unusual holidays throughout the year. I occasionally find a fun one to celebrate and write about.

After being repeatedly drawn to look, I finally gave in and and checked to see what special holidays were on this date. And there it was, my story inspiration for the day.

National Creativity Day

Hal Croasmun and ScreenwritingU founded National Creativity Day in 2018 to celebrate imaginative spirits everywhere and to encourage them to keep creating. The Registrar at National Day Calendar declared that National Creativity Day will be observed annually on May 30.

This is the first National Creativity Day, ever, and I was drawn to participate in the inaugural celebration. Creativity is my thing. I focused on it last year as a theme. The creative urges I experienced throughout the day were guiding me to a fun way to unleash my artistic side.

Creativity can be expressed in many ways…through music, gardening, drawing, sewing, photography, film, poetry, writing, painting, decorating, coloring, fashion design, storytelling…the possibilities are as varied as the people who create.

I chose to celebrate National Creativity Day in these ways:

National Creativity Day

National Creativity Day

• Creating vignettes – I reset this little chippy table by the front door with items that make me think of summer. The rustic wooden box, made by Greg, holds a watercolor painting by Ray Moore, who passed away in 2002, a blue ceramic cup with a beach theme, and an assortment of seashells.

The bottom shelf features a butterfly painting, green glass bottle and a large shell. All of these items came from Greg’s mother, Leta. I added a couple of tea lights and moved on to the next creative project.

National Creativity Day

National Creativity Day

• Plant Based Cooking – I am loving my plant based journey, and the rewards of cooking nutritious and delicious meals and snacks at home. Several years ago I expressed a desire to be more creative in the kitchen, and this shift in my diet has provided that opportunity.

I have at last perfected a non-dairy, gluten free, no refined sugar blueberry scone! I found a recipe on Pinterest that I adapted with great success. I’ll share the recipe soon. I don’t indulge in this treat often, however I made a batch of scones this afternoon, in honor of the day.

For a simple but colorful and healthy dinner, I added fresh organic cauliflower, asparagus, zucchini and yellow squash to my pressure pot and steamed everything together for 4 minutes. This is my favorite way to prepare a quick, wholesome meal. I seasoned the veggies with a few sprinkles of sea salt, black pepper and garlic powder before steaming. Yum! I purchased tomatoes at the Webb City Farmer’s Market yesterday, and sliced the first one today.

National Creativity Day

National Creativity Day

• Sketching/Coloring – My favorite creative project tonight was working in my book that I’ve repurposed into an art journal. When I saw the page that included a scene from Lord of the Rings, my heart beat faster. I knew Arwen…the brave, compassionate Elven Princess who rode swiftly and battled the evil wraiths so that Frodo could be saved….would be the perfect illustration for this page. But could I capture her likeness? I decided to be brave myself, and go for it.

And you know what? I did it. I am very happy with my Arwen sketch. I thoroughly enjoyed drawing her and then using my colored pencils to lift her from the page. My manga lessons helped me tremendously. I started with Arwen’s head and face…and the three quarters view!

How grateful I am, that I followed Divine promptings and discovered National Creativity Day. What fun I had, expressing myself in these artistic ways. I even did a little playing in the garden, after washing up after dinner. My heart is centered and full and overflowing with joy, which is the perfect way to end a day of celebration.

National Creativity Day

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!

Tis the Season

It is the last day of November, and I experienced a first today. My house is completely decorated for Christmas. It is the earliest I have ever accomplished this task. I don’t know what happened!

Here is a pictorial trip through my house with some of the highlights and a peek at what’s new this year.

Aunt Annie’s red box on the porch. The metal luminary with the Joy & Cheer cutout out is new this year.

I love including vintage pieces and family treasures in my decor, like Great Aunt Roxie’s little red wooden foot rest, flipped upside down to hold fabric trees and mason jars.

Vintage poinsettia dish grouped with Dayan’s first Christmas photo shoot (he’s 18 years old now), an antique ceramic candle holder, a tiny early 1900s Christmas card that I framed, and a flea market white tree I bought several years ago. Even the ceramic polar bear is getting old, a Bath & Body promotional piece from 2009.

The Snowman Village, featuring the framed snowman artwork. Greg’s brother, Ray, who passed away 15 years ago, drew this dapper snowman as a child. I framed it last year. The wooden sieve is one of my favorite vintage pieces. It gets new vignettes throughout the year.

An eclectic mix of snowmen and light. The brightly glowing square glass box, filled with miniature lights, was given to me by my friend Beth years ago. Every Christmas I replace the string of lights within it, plug it in, and leave it shining brightly until the little bulbs burn out…about late March. It is a beacon of friendship and hope.

My grandfather’s WWII army trunk now holds vintage quilts, little Christmas trees, metal stars and a trio of mason jars with tea lights tucked inside.

The ceramic nativity set was made by Greg’s mother Leta more than 60 years ago. The wooden shoes on the shelf below were a gift to my mom from her uncle when he returned from the second world war. She was five years old. She wore them, as did my sisters and I, and my children and grandchildren.

The rustic wooden box in my bedroom gets a simple and homey redo. The ceramic bird came in from my front porch, where it perched all summer. I like to mix in everyday items with my Christmas decor as well.

Silvers and golds, with touches of blue and brown, in the old battered suitcase. When Greg’s dad and his brother sold their parents’ home after they passed, they included all the contents of the house in the sale. Prior to the completion of the sale, I asked for permission to run inside before the house was locked up, and get one item. I grabbed this suitcase from a bedroom closet. It was full of old photos.

I am really pleased with this new display. The cross-stitched silhouettes were made by my mom in the 70s. Their original frames had fallen apart. I found the stitched works of art again today, and purchased new frames for them. Look how cute they are with the tartan plaid scarf and plaid Christmas tree! The display sits atop a chest that is more than 150 years old. My mother’s great grandmother traveled by covered wagon with this chest, which Greg restored for me eight years ago.

Also newly on display, this embroidery piece that reminds me of a snowflake. I found this still in its embroidery hoop, with the needle pushed through the fabric, in a drawer at Leta Moore’s house. She never quite finished it. The fabric balls were in the same drawer.

Another fresh piece, this one a vintage card tucked into an old copper-look frame. This is the fifth vintage card I’ve turned into art. I would rather display them than forget about them, tucked into a drawer somewhere.

The last photo, posted below, is of the vintage wooden ironing board that I recently set up in my studio. It has a festive green plaid scarf thrown over it, and a couple of little vignettes displayed on its wooden surface. The antique porcelain doll, from the late 1800s, has taken up residence in my studio for the first time. She is sharing space with a fabric tree made by Leta Moore and a couple of Kirkland purchases from last year. I found the gingerbread house, trees and man at Michaels a couple of weeks ago.

I not only love this time of year, I love being creative and using a mix of old and not so old, Christmas decor and everyday items. Every piece tells a story. I enjoy walking through my house, and hearing those narratives. Love, hope, survival, and family are the themes that thread those those tales, weaving a rich and varied tapestry.

Tonight the candles are lit throughout my home for the first time this season. It won’t be the last. How homey and festive and full of cheer it looks and feels. Tis the season…

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.

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! 

The Anatomy of a Vignette

I have reset all of the vignettes in my home, except for one. The vintage wooden sieve on my dining table has patiently awaited transformation. However, no fresh idea has come to mind. I walk by that table many times a day. I’d look at the sieve and think Hmmmm…I’ve got nothing. 

The Anatomy of a Vignette

Today, as I returned a stack of books to my creative studio, a small canvas print hanging on the wall caught my eye. And BOOM…there it was…inspiration for the wooden sieve had arrived. I thought it would be fun to share the creative process of putting together a vignette, from idea to completion. I hope others will feel inspired to create vignettes of their own. 

As I work on a vignette, I am open to learning…about life, about myself, about creativity. These aha moments and deeper truths are the most important part of the creative process for me. I’ll share those insights as well, in italics

The Anatomy of a Vignette

The artwork that inspired tonight’s vignette features a bird with the encouraging words to “spread your wings and fly”. The colors in the print directed the choices I made for the rest of the pieces in the vignette. 

The bird outside a birdcage was my symbol several years ago, representing freedom and moving beyond the self imposed cages I had created in my life. It is no surprise that this artwork caught my attention today. I have been journaling and refecting on my growth these last few years and how much freedom I now have in my beautiful life. 

The Anatomy of a Vignette

This is vignette attempt #1. I play with different pieces as the idea develops. I really wanted to use the red metal birdcage with the bird perched atop it…because…see the insight above. Although I very much had the bird theme going, this arrangement wasn’t quite working. 

I have learned to be open to everything and attached to nothing. Sometimes that means letting go of something good, so something better can come to me. 

The Anatomy of a Vignette

I replaced the red birdcage with an old metal scoop, painted green and given to me by Greg’s grandmother many years ago. I recently found the scoop again, tucked away in the attic. I love this homey piece. Keeping with the bird theme, I filled the scoop with artificial eggs in soft greens and creams. I kept imagining a pair of birds building a nest in the scoop, as if it had been left forgotten outside. 

I don’t want to be afraid to try new things. Repurposing is the practice of creating something fresh from an item, using it in a new way. The scoop was repurposed into a piece of art. It still has ties to the past, as it embraces a new purpose. I want to live this way too!

The Anatomy of a Vignette

I liked including the scoop full of eggs. I didn’t like that the artwork and the metal nest were the same height. Suddenly I saw a new possibilty. I turned the scoop on its side. Perfect! 

It’s all about perspective. Often, looking at something familiar in a new way creates fresh purpose and insight for me. Perspective helps me to think and see in a bigger way. 

The Anatomy of a Vignette

I was getting close on this vignette! I swapped out the chubby bright white ceramic birds for chippy, off white metal birds with more slender silhouettes. They better mimicked the bird on the art print and tied in well with the metal scoop. Imagining the eggs in a nest, I created more of that look within the scoop by adding a pick with red and yellow berries. 

Creating a vignette is a great example of being in the flow, and staying open to change as part of life. The eggs became symbolic this evening of new ideas about to hatch, and new opportunities unfolding. 

The Anatomy of a Vignette

The Anatomy of a Vignette

I was happy with the vignette…and thoughtful as I snapped pics. I like the insights that arise as I create. 

I realized this vignette…all my vignettes actually…are reflections of who I am. My inner world is reflected in these outward expressions. This vignette reflects the truths of freedom, adaptability, perspective, flow, creativity and new opportunities “hatching”.  And there was one more thing…

The Anatomy of a Vignette

When I removed the birdcage, I removed my light source. All of my vignettes have a light source within them, typically a candle. My new vignette was not quite finished. It needed light. I added a small green tea light holder, and lit the candle. Now it was conplete. 

I carry Light. I am full of Light. My desire is that my heart is so full of Light that it spills over. 

Today truly was a good day to fly…and to create and reflect. This is how the creative process flows for me. And this is how I grow and learn. I just happen to write about it, and even that is part of being in the creative flow. 

Anatomy of a Vignette. Anatomy – a study of the internal workings of something. Vignette – bringing strong images, memories, or feelings to mind, by creating life representations. 

Oh yes! 

The Anatomy of a Vignette

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. 

Wow. 

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

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