Thursday, March 26, 2009

Snowy Days

It's snowing today . . . . and with blizzard warnings posted, I took the liberty of closing the shop early and returning to my cozy little home, where I'm curled up with a cup of tea. I love to light a fragrant Votivo candle, (compliments of my dear friend Anne, who has gifted me with several of these delightful, longlasting candles). Votivo's Honeysuckle immediately transports me back to my childhood in the south, where honeysuckle vines crept along the fences and fragranced the evening breezes with a sweet, relaxing purfume. The smell is so true to nature that it evokes memories of summer nights, of catching fireflies in a mason jar, and relaxing on the porch, eating homemade peach ice cream. I'll while away the afternoon listening to my favorite CD's and browsing through a stack of decorating books for inspiration. Planning my next series of vignettes for the shop keeps me busy . . . . seeking just the right combination of textures and colors to delight the soul. Of course my foundations always seem to be scrubbed pine tables and cupboards and almost always must include my trademark chunky white ironstone bowls, platters and pitchers. Add a touch of wire or other industrial style metals, or perhaps a few pieces of beautiful silver . . . . some spring greenery, tulips, ferns or ivy, and soft, nubby cotton or linen fabrics . . . . and an ancient book, opened to show off the mellow contrast of black print on aged page. A bundle of hand dipped candles, tied up with waxed twine, or maybe vintage satin ribbon, will complete the setting.

Another tablescape will include antique watch faces and gears, garnered in a crazed white pottery bowl, resting on a placemat of old sheet music . . . . and away I go, drifting into my land of imagination and nostalgia. Vintage garden urns, moss, and soft sepia photographs tucked into the mix make me smile. I begin to experiment in my own livingroom, dragging my treasures from one area to another, until a mellow French breadboard has become the "tray" beneath a glass cakestand, heaped with white seashells . . . . a sterling silver compote houses an abandoned birdsnest, and my little stack of Victorian wicker suitcases has become a pedestal to highlight an 1880's platter heaped with tiny leatherbound books. Ahhhhh . . . . this will work! Now to translate the concept from home to shop! Maybe I'll add a pair of antique spectacles, or some tiny wrens eggs, or nestle a handfull of skeleton keys in the birdsnest.

The possibilities are endless. The garnering of your favorite things, each special and memory provoking, into a single display, can indeed be an artistic expression. Some artists use more traditional mediums, and some of us create a three dimensional, ever evolving still life of found objects and memorabilia. Whether you treasure a love letter or a vintage handwritten recipe, if that simple piece of history has meaning to you and it evokes a response within your soul, it should be used to create your personal artwork. Surround yourself with the things that have meaning to you. For some, a river rock, tumbled smoothed by time and the flow of water is a most inspiring and thought provoking paperweight. For others, the feel of a wooden spoon in a pottery bowl means home and continuity. I am particularly delighted by tones and textures of a single color. A color-range of whites: snow, eggshell, alabaster, cream, mother of pearl, oatmeal, ivory, vanilla, wheat. When shown in varying textures such as yarn, ironstone, handmade paper, lace, linens, paint, book pages, basketry, leather, buttons, seashells and enamelware . . . . the qualities of that color become so special and so beautiful that I have no need to add other colors to achieve the satisfaction of my soul. I encourage you to experiment with your favorite things . . . . and I wish you many snowy play days !

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