It may have been raining outside, but inside, I was creating a bit of summer for my first! I have a lovely, slightly battered vintage suitcase. It most likely was an inexpensive purchase. The exterior has heavy cardboard covered with thick, textured paper and metal edging. That paper covering is scratched and rubbed off in several places. The interior is covered in a thin beige and silvery blue paper that has faded to a delicate hue.
I love this suitcase. I like to imagine the journeys it has taken in its many years. It came to me by way of Greg’s family and someday I’ll pass it on to one of our children or grandchildren. For years it has sat in a closet, a container for old family photographs of the Moore Family. Recently I withdrew the suitcase from its hiding place, sorted through the photos and stored them in a plastic bin. I wanted to display the suitcase.
Today, perched atop my dresser in the bedroom, the open suitcase became the backdrop for a summer vignette. I love creating these little slices of life. A table top, a shelf, and now this suitcase, all become blank canvases that welcome my creativity. I get an image in my mind of what I want the completed vignette to look like and then I search for the right items to create that look.
I had purchased summery looking pitchers and containers recently at Michael’s, all on sale. I gathered those, a pile of vintage linens, and an assortment of greenery, a candle wreath, a candle and speckled eggs and laid them all out on the bed. I also had an adorable paper garland that I had purchased at The Fancy Flamingo Flea Market. It is made of old pages from a hymnal. Already, a theme was growing in my mind.
The vignette came together quickly. I love summer whites, so allowing the black suitcase with its faded interior paper to provide most of the color, I selected mostly white pieces and linens. The speckled eggs in the mesh container added additional color along with the greens and yellows of the candle ring. Stepping back, I liked where I was headed….but I needed something else. Then the perfect piece came to mind. I had the painting Greg had bought me at Cooper’s with the wonderful Rumi quote: “Let the beauty of what you love be what you do.” The muted greens, golds and hint of rust worked well with my other items. And the quote seemed so fitting.
Lastly, I dug through the box of old photos, looking for one that I remembered seeing, of Greg’s parents, Bob and Leta Moore, at the beach. Looking oh so young and happy, frolicking in the surf at the beach, this was such a perfect picture to complete the scene. This suitcase came to me through them. The garland with its folded hymnal banners made me think of Leta, who played the piano beautifully every Sunday at church.
Just as the vignette captures a bit of “summer”, so this snapshot captured a moment in the early summer of their lives. Their fall and winter years must have seemed so far away at that time. I like looking at that picture and seeing their bright, shining faces. Leta journeyed through her fall years and left us far too soon. Bob, at 93, is very much in the winter of his life. He still has that mischievous smile even though he is so weary. I look forward to showing him a picture of the decorated suitcase. I can already hear him snort as he laughs and mutters something about those young whippersnappers who didn’t know what they were doing. Ah, but they did so many things right, that young couple, not the least of which was to live and love well, and pass on that legacy to their children and grandchildren.