Monday, May 23, 2016

May Meditations

A visit to the Chicago Botanic Garden last weekend was my inspiration for this month's "Meditations" post. Though not much of a gardener myself, I very much enjoy the handiwork of others and am enthralled by the beauty of a botanical garden. Unfortunately, I was so busy admiring the setting, plants, and the precious company of my daughter, that I neglected to take very many photos. But I managed to snap a few, so without further ado, enjoy.....

Gardening is the art that uses flowers and plants as paint, and the soil and sky as canvas
-Elizabeth Murray

The Chinese word for garden combines forms for soil, landforms, a well, and an enclosure plus
trees. It is generally interpreted as a man-made place for recreation containing three elements:
flowers, trees, fishpond; buildings; and, an artificial mountain.
-Chinese Landscape Gardening

Gardens are not created or made, they unfold, spiraling open like the silk petals of an
evening primrose flower to reveal the ground plot of the mind and heart of the gardener and
the good earth.
-Wendy Johnson, Green Gulch Farm Zen Center

To create a garden is to search for a better world. In our effort to improve on nature,
we are guided by a vision of paradise. Whether the result is a horticultural masterpiece or only
a modest vegetable patch, it is based on the expectation of a glorious future. This hope for the
future is at the heart of all gardening.
-Marina Schinz

And, finally, here is my meager attempt at growing something pretty: three varieties of succulents and sedum in an old birdbath, placed on top of a faux column pedestal...a no-fail perennial garden delight!

Have a great week, Friends.


Sharing with: Cozy Little House, A Stroll Thru Life, The Scoop, Inspiration Thursday, French Country Cottage, Shabby Art Boutique, Sweet Inspiration at The Boondocks Blog, Between Naps on the Porch, Bella Rosa Antiques

Monday, May 9, 2016

Frida Kahlo is a Mermaid!

This weekend, I enjoyed a morning with my bestie, leisurely sipping iced coffee and strolling through the local Farmer's Market and a Patina Market, where vendors sold antiques, upcycled treasures, vintage goodies, and crafts.  The weather was gorgeous, and we were basking in the "glow" of friendship, a birthday celebration, and a few hours of escaping our daily lives. 

Then, THIS happened...

Imagine my delight when I spotted this painted metal Frida Kahlo mermaid!  When I saw her, she was being admired by another shopper.  I held my breath and said a silent prayer to the thrifting gods :)  And luckily, that shopper passed her up.  So, I immediately snatched her into my arms and gleefully chatted with the vendor, who said she had found the piece in Texas.  That's it, no other information was available, but that was ok with me. 

This art makes my heart sing, and I couldn't wait to hang it in my craft room!

I've had this frame for awhile and was just waiting for inspiration to strike.  It makes much more of a statement to hang the Frida mermaid inside the frame than to simply plop her on the wall.  At some point, I'd like to add a patterned fabric or wallpaper behind her, too; but that's a project for another day. 

The hope is that she will inspire me to be more creative and more fun while working on my art and craft projects!  I mean, if this doesn't arouse artsy and whimsical feelings in me, I don't know what will!

Speaking of open frames (one of my signature wall-accessorizing techniques), I recently hung one above the heirloom cabinet in our living room.  It filled up space but definitely needed something more.  Also, I often "fuss around" about not having good places to display fresh flowers in the house, and I really wanted some iris (my favorites) while I could get them, as the season is so short.  Well, a little light bulb went off in my head when I discovered that a tall vase in this spot looks pretty great!

After the iris had seen better days, my son presented me with a dozen multi-colored roses for Mother's Day.  It's extra special when he performs a sweet gesture for me, so I was thrilled to have a place to display the roses.

When these start to fade, I'll preserve the ones that I can.  Then, I'll have to decide if I want to regularly indulge in fresh flowers for this vignette or if another option would be better (something more permanent?)  Let me know your thoughts....................


Sharing with: Cozy Little House, Inspire Me Monday, The Scoop, A Stroll Thru Life, The Dedicated House

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Casual Living on the Porch

It's been a cold, wet start to May here in Nebraska...yuck. But everything is lush and green outside, which makes for beautiful views from our sun porch.

This space is great for relaxing, reading, and even napping when the weather is nice. We get a perfect cross-breeze through north/south windows, and the sofa is amazingly comfortable, if you can beat the dogs to it, haha.

I didn't make any drastic changes out here this year (you can see photos from a previous year here) but I've added some new accessories, pillows, and several plants and succulents.

This antique dresser spent many years in our daughter's room, from the time we created her nursery until we moved into this house when she was 14. It now sits in the sun porch and holds seasonal throw pillows, blankets, and a few dog supplies in its drawers. I decided to give it a greenhouse feel this spring with topiaries and a spray of branches, faux greenery, and pussy willows. The double ball topiary is from Ballard Designs, and the single olive topiary was a Goodwill find. I bought this fun grapevine and wire mesh cone hanger at Hobby Lobby and filled it with wispy greens for height and movement.

I added another wooden column (purchased second-hand) to use as a plant pedestal. There is a second one in the opposite corner that was an old treasure from my mother-in-law's former home. You may remember the rug (also Ballard Designs) and the upcycled table (see how my hubby and I created it here.)

This bumblebee pillow is new this year from cute, right?

An old Audubon book from a favorite used book store, some snippets from the yard and bushes, and a basket of apples add a natural feel to the coffee-table styling.

I created this fun box by painting a found wooden cedar jewelry box and embellishing it with a hand-painted sunflower ornament, antique-gold accents, and a vintage bumblebee brooch. It is SO perfect with my sunflower and bee pillows out here, but will ultimately be sold in my Etsy shop.

Thanks for joining me out on the sun porch today, Friends. Happy May!


Sharing with: Between Naps on the Porch, Dwellings The Heart of Your Home, Cozy Little House, The Scoop, A Stroll Thru Life, Inspire Me Monday, Inspiration Thursday, Thoughts of Home on Thursday, French Country Cottage, Shabby Art Boutique