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. 


Journey 86: Bloom Where I Am


With the arrival, officially, of spring, I have the urge to get my hands dirty, digging and planting in my garden. Very chilly weather and the possibility of a bit more snow is making me bide my time. 

After a long day today, between work and a trip to Arkansas, I bounced between ideas tonight, pondering which journey to take. I gave in to the desire to create and get my hands dirty, allowing soulfulness to guide me. 

One of my favorite ways to unwind is to putter, as I call it, around the house. Decorating a little here. Rearranging a vignette here. I brought gardening indoors, creating two spring vignettes that incorporated fresh tulips that I had purchased yesterday and delicate yellow pansies that I planted in white tea cups. 


The vintage wooden sieve holds, nestled within, a white pitcher filled with pinky orange tulips, an ivy topiary and a white footed bowl containing four speckled eggs. It’s a simple arrangement that looks fresh and pretty. Next to the sieve sits a pair of white porcelain birds and the tea cup turned planter, holding the pansies. 

In the bedroom the vintage suitcase got a make-over, bringing a breath of spring into the room. The tall wire cloche holds more specked eggs in soft natural colors of blue, green and cream. A small milk pitcher balances the cloche while the Tolkien quote print moved in from the porch to rest against the back of the suitcase. A scented white candle and another cup of pansies completed the vignette. 

I made a mess in the kitchen, adding potting soil to tea cups and planting the remainder of the pansies in a blue dragonfly pot that will grace the front porch tomorrow. That’s okay. I got my hands dirty! I smiled as I inhaled the earthy frangrance of the soil. And every time I walk past the dining room table or the vintage suitcase I feel joy surge in my heart. Welcome spring!


Journey 79: A Rare Spring Equinox

welcome spring

USA Today announced the arrival of spring by calling it a Freaky Friday. A rare occurrence happened today, with the convergence of the spring equinox, an invisible super moon, and a total solar eclipse!

The spring, or vernal, equinox marks the passage of Earth’s northern hemisphere from winter to spring, as the sun shines directly on the equator. The official time for this event was 6:45 PM, ET. Today, the sun rose due east, and set due west. This seasonal change happens every year. What was extraordinary today was the total solar eclipse as the new super moon crossed in front of the spring sun, briefly blocking out the sun and casting a shadow across the planet.

The eclipse was seen in totality in only a few places, in the far northern regions of Europe. In parts of Scotland, England, Asia and Africa, the sun was 50% – 99% obscured. The eclipse was not visible at all in the US. This is Earth’s only solar eclipse in 2015. The next one will occur in August of 2017.

The super moon, which was responsible for creating the solar eclipse as it passed in front of the sun, is considered “super” when it is at its closest to the earth during its elliptical orbit. When it’s a full moon, the moon appears bigger and brighter. Because this was a new moon, it was not visible except as it crossed the sun.

Freaky Friday solar eclipse

So what does this triple header heralding spring mean? It did create some interesting, high-level energy, as the super moon affects the ocean’s tides in a greater way. Paired with the vernal equinox, it ushered in a time of strong rebirth and new beginnings, growth and the flowing of life. Primarily, it means warmer weather, trees turning green as they leaf out, and plants pushing up through the ground.

It was a beautiful day here, warm and partly sunny, to mark this Freaky Friday. I spent a good portion of the day in Arkansas, visiting Greg’s dad. When we said our good-byes, Greg suggested re-visiting True Treasures in Bentonville, where I had time to browse in the beautiful and unique vintage and antique store a bit longer than my last hurried visit. I chatted with the cheerful worker there, and found a few wonderful treasures to bring home. It was a good way to begin winding down this gorgeous day.

At home, preparing a very healthy yet simple late dinner, I glanced through the kitchen window, and was lured outside by the vivid sunset. The sky was awash in bright pinks, deep reds, and dark purples as the spring sun sank. I strolled along the garden paths, checking the flower borders and the apothecary garden. New green growth is pushing up through the mulch. I was so delighted! The best sign of spring I could have received today was the appearance of Life in my garden. Gustav Mahler wrote, “Spring won’t let me stay in this house any longer. I must get out and breathe the air deeply again.” Ahhhh, freaky or not, spring arrived today, spectacularly. I am breathing the air deeply again.

welcome spring with true treasures

Happy finds from True Treasures. I love the metal caddy, which now holds silverware, and the mason jar dispenser which now sits next to the kitchen sink, filled with hand soap. The vintage metal colander may end up in the garden.

Day 71: Create a Welcome Spring Porch for Linda


I redo the décor on my front porch several times a year, changing it with the seasons and holidays. No firsts possible there. So for today’s first, I created a Welcome Spring front porch for my sister, Linda!

My sister bought a home in Joplin last year, graciously allowing me to act as her realtor. She purchased a cute bungalow style house that is just right for her. Among the favorite features of the house is a cute front porch, the perfect spot to relax, enjoy the outdoors and watch the world amble by.

That front porch was like a blank canvas to me. I love pulling ideas together to create a homey and attractive space. My sister’s birthday was last week, and for her gift, I offered to fix up her porch for spring. Truly, we both benefit! I enjoy the creative process and watching how it all comes together. That is part of the fun, finding a focal piece, in this case a rug, and then finding, in various stores, the rest of the pieces that complement each other. As in other areas of my life, the intention went out and delightful manifestations flowed back.

Creating welcoming spaces, where people can be themselves, is part of who I am, and my purpose in life. I am offering in smaller ways now as I journey toward offering in bigger, more expansive ways. The joy is the same though, whether I am creating a retreat center called Rivendell, or fresh porch décor for my sister. Happy birthday, Linda!