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

Journey 25: Vintage Meets Playful

vintage meets playful light

In a recent post, I mentioned that I am slowly and thoughtfully filling the empty spaces in my home after packing away the Christmas decorations. I’ve enjoyed this journey and the inspirational process of being drawn to the right spot at the right time with the right décor. The vintage suitcase in my bedroom has remained unfilled, until tonight. I had not created a new vignette, apparently, because the items that were to go into that space had not appeared until this weekend.

My sister Debbie, niece Ashley, and great nephews Ethan and Kaleb spent the weekend in Joplin, staying at my mom’s house. I spent most of the weekend there too, as did my other sister Linda, and enjoyed visiting, sharing meals and playing games, and yesterday, shopping at one of my favorite flea markets. I had thought I might come across something suitable for the suitcase while browsing the booths full of interesting items, however, the pieces I bought were all for the garden.

I realized this evening, as I was unpacking from the weekend, that the perfect items did show up yesterday, but from a different source. Ashley and little Kaleb surprised me with gifts. My niece made a tea cup candle, using a saucer from one second hand shop and a cup from another and candle making supplies from a craft store. I love the delicate tea cup and saucer with the lime green, scented candle. She intends for me to use the tea cup after burning the candle, and some day, that will happen! For now, I will keep the gift exactly as it is. Tonight, cradling the tea cup candle in my hands, I immediately thought of a heart shaped pillow that I own, made from an antique quilt. The colors in the tea cup were a match for the pillow.

vintage meets playful tea cup candle

Kaleb gave me a trio of small glass bud vases, in jewel colors of emerald green and ruby red. I look forward to filling the vases with fresh flowers from my garden this summer. However, they too were just right for the suitcase and I love the bright playful splash of color. I added little sprigs of dried baby’s breath to two of the vases. Kaleb also gifted me with a blue letter “C”, for Cindy of course. Kaleb is the only child in my family who calls me by my first name, instead of Yaya. My sisters and I grandparent each other’s grandkids and all the children call us by our grandmother names…Meem, Gigi and Yaya. Except to this boy, I have always been Cindy. That’s okay. Kaleb  and I have a very strong connection that reaches beyond time and space. We hang out when we are together and I spent the night at my mom’s house last night so we could have a sleep-over. He is an old soul, wise beyond his 3 years, and as we cuddled together on our makeshift bed, he whispered to me until about midnight. His gifts add a whimsical touch to the vignette that I love.

vintage meets playful C

I completed the suitcase with white linens, a vanilla scented three wick candle, a tall white metal and wire piece with a candle within it, and a trio of cream and blue porcelain birds with hearts on their backs. The birds and the quilt pillow both came to me via my mother-in-law who passed 16 years ago. I like the playfulness and colorfulness of the vignette while the hearts represent love and the groups of threes signify wholeness, joy and optimism. Most of all, I love how at the right time all the components for the vintage suitcase flowed together and into my awareness. Although my hands did the arranging, the vignette created itself. I will smile and think of Mom Moore, Ashley and little Kaleb every time I walk near the suitcase, and send out a thank you on a wave of love.

vintage meets playful dark