Tuesday, February 19, 2013

New Life for a Vintage Poppy Brooch

 In a cute antique store in Deep River CT (while I was out shaking off the winter blues this past weekend), I stumbled upon this adorable vintage Oriental poppy brooch. The colors are fantastic, all fiery, orangy-reds and bright greens contrasted with the black seeds. JUST THE THING to get me in a Spring frame of mind. The price was right, so home it went with me. Now, what to do with it?
Nothing against brooches, but they do have a bit of an image problem these days, reminding some of their grandmothers' stodgy fashion statements of days gone by (that is, if you have/had a stodgy grandmother. I happen to know many grandmothers who are amazingly stylish and cutting edge).  Plus, "brooch" - what a strange, funny word. What's up with that?
 I really felt this beauty needed a little updating however, something to bring it out of the past, but still acknowledge it's timelessness. So I ripped apart an old charm bracelet that had seen better days itself,  and with a few adjustments and the addition of a chain, I now have a really great necklace.
Now I'm inspired - time to raid the jewelry box and see what else I can re-purpose! And most importantly, no brooches were harmed in this process. It can still be worn the "old-fashioned" way (but the same can't be said for the charm bracelet, unfortunately(!)

Blizzards and Creativity (or Lack Thereof)

It's been about a week and a half since the Great Blizzard of 2013. Thirty-six inches later, the remnants remain; great mounds of snow in parking lots (that no doubt may still be there in April, I shudder to think); lawns still hidden from sight beneath great white blankets.  My ancient azalea shrub brought to it's knees under the weight of the drifts. There is hope however; alternating freeze and thaw cycles have melted a good amount (at least on the relatively flat surfaces).
House-bound for four days last week, unable to go to work for two days due to un-plowed streets, you would have thought it would have been a creative bonanza; a free-for-all with paintings and illustrations and photos flying off the drawing table and computer screen. Not so much. Blizzard paralysis set in. Well, that and alternating hours of shoveling, and shoveling again, and did I mention shoveling? You get the idea.
So I am trying my best to get motivated  to ignite that creative spark. This past weekend, we visited the Winter Carnivale in quaint Chester CT, which featured ice sculptures and chili cook-offs, art galleries and a tractor parade(!). It was below freezing all day, with biting winds, but you know what? We had fun. They know how to do it there in Chester:
There is something to be said for embracing the cold; enough of hibernating and playing a waiting game with the weather. The cliche of "life's too short" is begrudgingly true; Spring and another year closer to death (just making sure you're paying attention) will be here before you know it. Oh yeah, and with Spring comes new projects, like building that fence around the vegetable garden to keep out our favorite little buddy Mr. Groundhog.  Can't wait. No, really. I'm not kidding.