Wednesday, January 28, 2009

faded orange flags


Standing rooted through the muted winter, the trees, ranked like stoic sentinels, wait quietly with determined expectation of spring. For now, their patient shades of grey and taupe and charcoal are hung only with leftover faded orange flags. The game is in recess for the season. A single holly shares the soft snow cover in quiet camaraderie, not boasting its hold on color, but offering a reminder.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

a shopping tryst

What can I say? I've been on a blog diet. Yes, I know, really skinny pickings posted here lately. But life has that unavoidable habit of ploughing busily right through, regardless on one's efforts to sit back and assess its progress.  With a full house for Christmas, relatives visiting from Finland, three important family birthdays, Carol Wingert's five-day visit, Inaugural activities and, tucked in among the gatherings, some work, there wasn't much free time.  Sound familiar?

As usual when Carol comes to teach locally, we enjoy adding time to shop, play, and eat. This past weekend friend and fellow shopping champion Kitty joined us to find not-too-derelict treasures in some of our favorite haunts in Leesburg. Despite having to brave below-freezing weather (and a few snow flurries), we had no trouble filling the back of my car in our accomplished fashion.

For the most part, we were too busy to take photographs. But at The Cottage we found lots of happy Valentine vignettes to warm us.

My newly-found trove includes two red-and-white painted chairs for my studio, along with the red farm basket and the rhinestone pieces -- all from The Cottage. The "Live, Laugh, Love" taupe boxes were high on an armoire in Four Shabby Chicks, the Bethany Lowe snowflakes were dumped in the back room on sale, while the green depression glass shakers were hiding in the Antiques Emporium basement. I think my growing green depression shaker collection has now officially outstripped my glitter supply.

And Lucketts always provides a broad mix, from Carol's and my old tarnished silver pieces to Kitty's huge 8-foot-tall iron torchere. We had so many other purchases that we didn't try to fit Kitty's iron beast in my car that day, but it will provide gorgeous atmosphere when she retrieves it. We all found chandelier prisms, and I'm very fond of my heavy metal chrysanthemum box.

As one more addition to my studio, this curvy white chair upholstered in red ribbed velvet was too seductive to pass up, sitting under baskets way back in the corner of the Beekeeper's Cottage behind all the Rachel Ashwell finery. Its seat is too low, however, to be used in my painting classes, so maybe it will be a luscious display stand instead.

By the way, the pink glass balls were on clearance at Pottery Barn, and the Wendy Addison glitter prisms (in the tissue paper above)  were 75% off at Paper Source.

Friday, January 02, 2009


"Bottom" doesn't sound like an uplifting word?  Like many of you, I am considering my one word for 2009 following Ali's example. 

There are certainly plenty of challenging words from which to choose. But as I made my list of potential talismans for the year, I realized that it was equally important to know what lay at the bottom of each challenge. What essentials would always remain as my daily bottom line? What motivates me to get off my bottom and into another day of meaning and substance? What bottom level of kindness, gentleness, consideration, or even love was the least I could share in my day and still look at myself with appreciation?

Isn't it wonderful that so many of our good words aim for ascension? Hope, nurture, cultivate, create, simplify, beautify, grow, be true -- all aspiring to raise us up.  But, as we are constantly reminded by the news, in sermons, in daily observances, people can find it difficult to incorporate the good words into their lives unless they have a solid foundation, a rock-solid bottom on which to build that goodness, no matter the challenges.

So for today, at the bottom of the old year, I am considering the possibilities in the word "bottom" for the New Year.  Even including the cute appealing scalloped curves of a baby's bottom at the start of another healthy new life.

Have you chosen your talisman word for 2009?  I hope you find one that helps support you through a wonderful New Year!  And I wish you all good things from the bottom of my heart.