Words of late artist Frank Howell...I totally relate!

"There are few days off and no retirement from this entanglement of knowledge, passion and vision that will be molded and converted into creative expression. There are no guarantees of acceptance, understanding or reward, but...the noise inside the mind never ceases. I will paint today, tonight and for as many tomorrows as I am given..." Words of the late artist Frank Howell...

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Packing Away Winter Wishes & Decorating With Blackbirds and Wooden Feet

After taking down the Christmas decorations over a month ago, I put out my Winter Wishes pieces and that's about all I did to decorate for the remainder of the winter season.  Actually, I don't think I ever shared these pieces with you.  They are by Dee Foust and I simply adore them.  They are two of my very favorite things.  I'll show you, now that they are about to be packed up again for the warmer months ahead.  (These are actually part of the Dee Foust for Bethany Lowe Christmas series.) 

So, they are now packed away and will make an appearance once again right after Christmas next year.

I completely skipped Valentine's Day, so I'm thinking ahead to spring...but, something doesn't feel quite right about that either, not just yet...still seems a little early.  I was going through my things to see if anything made sense for this "in between seasons" place  that we find ourselves in on the calendar, and I came  across my blackbird paintings. I just saw a huge flock of blackbirds a couple of weeks ago in the yard, and one of the paintings has the line, "The blackbird said to the crow, it ain't gonna rain, it ain't gonna snow."  Since the weather man is forecasting nasty wet, freezing precipitation for upper Alabama at the beginning of the week, I felt like these would be a good fit. This will feel sort of appropriate until I start seeing some tiny bits of green popping up. Then I'll get out the Easter and spring stuff.

To go along with the blackbirds (and the silver, light blue and white ironstone that are always out), I'm adding my little wooden "feet" or shoe forms (lasts) that were used in days gone by to make shoes.  I have lots of them and my favorites are the ones used to make children's shoes. It makes me especially happy to look at and enjoy the little ones with the name "Mary" on them.  My mother was Mary, and she's been gone four years now.  I love to have little reminders of her all around the house, and these make me think of her. I'm guessing they were used to make the little Mary Jane shoes that we all (well, some of us) remember wearing as little girls.  They look like the right shape with the rounded toes...

These have marks from the tacks that were used to hold the leather
 in place.

You can see marks that were left by a punch that was used to create
 little "petal" patterns on the tops of the shoes.

And this blackbird on the table is a pie bird.  Remember those?  I've actually used it for the intended purpose, I think, once.  I'd rather just look at it...it's cute, and I believe I just heard him tweet, "It ain't gonna rain, it ain't gonna snow."

I've still got white candles in mercury glass out from Christmas, but that's the beauty of using just plain candles during the holidays...they just keep lasting without looking like you forgot to put away Christmas.  They actually look really pretty with the new decorations.

This candle is still out...it smells heavenly, like evergreen trees.  I
burn it almost every day, so hopefully it will last until I put
out my spring decor.

As a side note, I was searching online to learn more about the little wooden "feet" (lasts) that I collect.  I had always thought that they were tools that a cobbler used to make shoes. But, guess what?  I just learned that a cobbler is a person who repairs shoes.  The shoe maker is a cordwainer.  Did you know that?  I love to learn new little interesting tidbits!  To learn more about the tools of the trade, click here

Now, I'm going to go work some more on the Gypsy bedroom.  It's coming along, just very slowly. Hopefully, I'll have pics to share with you in a few days.  We'll see.


  1. I love your little blackbird paintings. They're so colorful. Just yesterday I was saying how I can't wait for the grass to turn green and the leaves to start coming out on the trees. It's a tough time of year to get through for me, even down here in the south.

    1. Thank you! I painted these little blackbirds a couple of years ago...It's always fun to paint colorful, quick little pieces like these. Winter is hard for me, too, but I have to remind myself about the winter I spent in Chicago with 30" of snow that never melted until spring, then I appreciate the fact that we don't have that. With that said, spring can't get here fast enough!

  2. Thanks for the lasts pics & tidbits of info. Like you, I've taken down my winter decor (is it encouraging more of this miserably cold weather?). I agree w you...too early for Spring decor. For the in-between time, I am just putting out general, nonseason specific sentimental things. Gail

    1. Yes, exactly! I do feel like leaving out the winter decor encourages more winter weather! Funny, isn't it? I agree with you about having sentimental things out for decor. It's meaningful things around us that make our house a home. Thank you for reading and leaving a nice comment!

  3. Love the birds and the old shoe form!

    1. Thank you! I'm still hoping that their little song will keep the bad weather away!

  4. Your Winter Wishes pieces are charming! Love the blackbird prints too!
    Thanks so much for sharing at AMAZE ME MONDAY!