Saturday, February 28, 2015

MAKING MY BATHROOM GORGEOUS- Part I

I had a sudden mad urge to completely redo my guest bathroom.  As always, my decorating had to be on the cheap. My usual muted palette was thrown out the window.  I wanted pink, raspberry, cinnamon and coral. The room had been pale green and would now be Iced Peach.

The cabinets were ugly and unfinished.  Out came a tiny sample of paler peach paint and sheets of floral scrapbook paper.


I bought new towels in coral and cinnamon and a raspberry bathmat (on sale naturally.)  I covered the switchplates with paper and brought in my collages featuring my chosen colors.

And here it is!


The picture is simply Free Artist's Paper from one of the Stampington magazines.


The sheets of scrapbook paper (JoAnn's) were simply cut to fit and glued on with Mod Podge.


The tiles were bought on a vacation in Tempe, Arizona for $1 apiece. (I KNEW they would come in handy some day.)  The shadowbox is my interpretation of Sleeping Beauty and the brambles (no handsome prince I'm afraid.)


The flower fairies by Cecily Mary Barker were cut out of a magazine and the frames were bought on sale at Michael's.

TO BE CONTINUED

Saturday, February 21, 2015

IN MY GARDEN (not quite)


My mother was born in New York City and never had a garden.  But when we moved to Florida she found out that she could make anything grow.  Someone would give her a cutting and she would stick it in the ground and watch it become enormous.  This lady had no gardening tools, no fertilizer, no potting soil, no knowledge of tropical plants and yet everything she touched grew like crazy.  She was like Jack with the magic beanstalk. Neighbors had stunted shrubs, dead flowers and pathetic saplings on their clear cut lots; we lived in the midst of a botanical garden.


A friend gave her a tiny maple tree; soon it towered over the house. People gave her almost dead plants; she would revive them.  She was the original Green Thumb.


Naturally, I believed I would inherit this enviable talent.  When I had my own garden I would create a vibrant paradise where I would sit with a frosty glass of lemony iced tea and survey my gorgeous domain.
It never happened.

Oh, I had tools and gardening books and potting soil and fertilizer. I planted flower seeds which never came up.  Friends gave me tiny trees which died in a week.  I watered, I pruned, I covered the plants when a freeze came and this was usually the result.
My puppy Darcy is saying "This is a garden?"


No, Darcy, THIS is a garden.


This paradise is what I always dreamed of creating, but never could.  It belongs to my college roommate and best friend Linda and her husband Eris.  This gorgeous garden is the result of their creative imagination and 45 years of backbreaking work.


This beautiful place has always been my ideal garden and although I could never create this Eden even if I had 45 years, I hold it in my mind's eye as my inspiration as I start over again in another place.


Right now my garden is only imaginary and my "cottage" is really a little condo.  But I want to transform and create my small sanctuary, always holding the above garden in my heart to move me onward.

Monday, February 9, 2015

MY DAYS IN THE FOREST

Ever since I was a small child, I have loved being in the woods. There was no forest in NYC where I spent my first few years, but there was the glorious Central Park and I went every day .



We moved to Florida in 1949 when Sarasota was a bucolic paradise of white sand beaches, fragrant orange groves and acres of woods so far untouched by man. That was not to last.





I spent all my free
time walking in the 
woods and weaving stories in my head. Naturally, I spoke all the dialogue aloud, leading my bewildered
parents to think I was crazy.  And I was a bit strange. 

The small wood sprite in the pictures represents me of course.  I was happy in the woods--I was ecstatic if I was reading a beloved book in the woods while birds sang all around me.  I would have slept there if I could in a small rustic cottage covered with vines, but there was no cottage.  In the coming years those small patches of forest would be destroyed to make room for shopping centers and cramped, ugly cement block houses painted intense lime green or the brightest of pinks.  Tacky motels sprouted neon signs on Highway 41, disturbing the snakes.  But I did not know what was to come--and soon.  I simply wandered through the majestic old trees,  inhaling the stillness.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

IN MY STUDIO WITH HORACE AND AMY

My Studio

Ever since I retired I have become wildly creative; I want to make things all the time.  I have tried collage, mixed media, art quilts, shadowboxes, assemblage, handmade books, making tiles, paper making and painting and decorating boxes.  But my favorite craft is making collages.  What fun!

All the Doors of the World Are Opening For Me

This is one of the first collages I ever made and I love the spirit of it--the unbridled optimism, the joy, the freedom.  A very literal friend wondered why the flowers were so large.  I hardly knew what to say.  "It's not realism," I murmured.


Horace and Amy are cats who behave like people.  Like me, they love nature and a pastoral life.  They live in a quieter, simpler time.  When I create their lives on paper, I feel calm and peaceful.  After this collage was finished, I took a walk in my own woods listening to the birds and wishing I could fly with them just for a little while and then I would come home.