Friday, January 26, 2007

Why Vintage? Part 2.

I grew up in New Jersey- the Garden State. My dad was a real estate agent and we spent countless hours driving around with him to some of his listings and developments. Sometimes those drives would take us into the most beautiful countryside , just miles outside the crowded cities. I remember one of the farms that he purchased. The house, the barn, the quiet. It was then and there , that I knew, this was my destiny. I was going to live in an old farmhouse, surrounded by trees, water and gardens. Oh to live the simple life!

Yeah right! Little did I know that the simple life, as depicted on television, wasn't that simple. I moved to the south, a place that seemed to have what I was looking for. I found that old farmhouse and moved in. I started hanging out with my neighbors and soaked up every bit of information about country living. I listened to hours of stories about things that I had only read about. These people had lived 'my' life! I was among my heroes.

I learned to garden and put up food. I'm a hands on type of person. Sure, I had stacks of gardening books, but there's nothing like a life lesson out in the field. My biggest joy came when I looked out my window one day and saw one of my neighbors standing in my garden- looking around with a confused look on his face. He didn't understand the concept of gardening without the use of a tractor; let alone plants that were grown close together in beds without an inch of ground wasted. I ended up teaching this man, and others, a thing or two about gardening. I had come full circle.

I discovered the world of heirloom seeds and started to grow heirloom vegetables. So many incredible varieties of plants that had been grown for decades and I had access to them. This made perfect sense to me that I would be attracted to them. They're vintage!

It's been many years since I lived in that farmhouse. Every time I moved, I took with me the plants that were given to me by my neighbors. These heirloom plants are my prize possessions; full of history and love and loss.

The seeds are ordered for the 2007 garden. It's just a matter of time before I'm back out in the garden. Most of my mentors are gone now, but their memories live on in my gardens. Thanks to all of you that took the time to pass your wisdom onto me. Until next time.....

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Why Vintage?

Where does my love of vintage come from? My life is surrounded by pieces from the past.

I have a cameo that belonged to my grandmother. I've had it for years and at one time in my life, I wore that piece every day. I lost it in the woods in Alabama. I ended up finding it several days later; or did it find me?

I always loved rummaging through my mother's jewelry box. Several years ago, my brother drove down for a visit, with a truckload of boxes full of vintage treasures that my mom had collected for me. There were several containers of jewelry in that load. That's when my obsession with vintage beads exploded. Word got around that I like old jewelry and my collection grew. And then I was introduced to Ebay! Need I say more? These beads that were made decades ago, now lace my jewelry.

My love of vintage goes beyond jewelry, but that's another story for another day. And yes, the cracks in the cameo were made by me. But, I don't think my grandmother would have minded. Until next time.....

Friday, January 12, 2007

Let the Sun Shine!

Yellow has always been my least favorite color. It's just too bright and bold and glaring for my taste. Until I snapped a picture of Althea sitting on top of one of our camping containers. When I saw that picture, I couldn't help but smile. Seeing those white feet against that bright yellow background immediately brightened up this rainy, gray Tennessee day. And then it hit me.....

I'm a gardener. How many of the plants that I work with have yellow in them? I don't dislike any of them. The season kicks off with daffodils. What's not to love about them? Plant them once and watch them grow and multiply. Ours are actually coming up already. Too early, but you can't stop them from pushing through the leaves and pine needles. I love sunflowers. My garden isn't complete until I plant sunflower seeds, although they do come up wild all over the garden from the previous year. That makes the goldfinches extremely happy! And then there are the mountains of yellow squash that keep growing and growing and growing. Don't they taste wonderful the first dozen times that you eat them?

I'm an herbalist. Lots of yellow there. I couldn't imagine my garden without chamomile. It's another plant that comes up wherever it wants to. I've seen it push through the gravel in the driveway. Many of the tinctures that I make are golden yellow. Hold that jar up to the light and tell me that's not a pretty sight!

I'm a jewelry artisan. Sometimes a piece just isn't complete without a splash of yellow. I have a healthy stash of yellow beads on hand. And I have the nicest yellow vintage givre glass beads that I keep for myself. There must be a reason for that. Remember, I don't like yellow.

So next time I look at something and start to think "I don't like it because it's yellow", I'm going to remember Althea and those sweet little white feet. Here's to sunny skies ahead. Until next time.....

Saturday, January 6, 2007

Happy New Year!

With the beginning of a new year, comes new ideas for the months that lie ahead. Now that the holiday season is behind me, my energy can be redirected towards the winter season- which just isn't settling in like it normally does!

Garden catalogs started arriving. It's time to start planning for the '07 garden season. Didn't I just put my tiller away? I have five of my favorite catalogs spread out in front of me and today just might be the day that I place my seed orders. I try to grow a new variety of vegetable, herb or flower each year. I'm not sure what it will be this year. With over 2000 square feet of gardening space and three freezers, there's alot to choose from and plenty of places to store the finished products.

I've pulled out my heart shaped beads and have started designing my HeartLine 2007 jewelry. If the truth be told, I am not a 'heartsy' person, but so many of my clients love hearts and start asking for them as soon as the new year rolls around. You can find them in my shop under the 'HeartLine 2007' Section. Check back often because I am listing new pieces daily. They go beyond the usual pink and red hearts- there's something for everyone.

May this new year bring exciting, wonderful things for us all. And with the season of love just around the corner, I'd like to end this by saying "follow your heart, she won't steer you wrong".
Until next time.....


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