Welcome to my world.....a world of lovely things and thoughts I want to share.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas more than a day!

I used to think of Christmas as a "season". Now we don't even get time to begin and "they" are putting it all on sale 40-50-60% Off. I miss the anticipation, the excitement, looking outside to spot an ELF, ie. Santa's helper (my dad).

I don't like making the standard , obvious statements...so I won't. It is a challenge keeping Christmas "magical" for big kids and grand kids. We do have the Verburg family game and our traditional breakfast. We are able to extend the blessed family time to almost all day and then enjoy each other by the fire. Come to think of it isn't that what Bob Cratchet's family was all about? So , Charles Dickens knew what to do to keep the holiday alive and good Ole E. Scrooge was able to learn...the "Spirit of Christmas" can be celebrated in our hearts all year. To quote Tiny Tim "God bless us everyone!!" and don't let us forget it!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

A wedding and art

I will be sharing more of the wedding pictures as I receive them. It was a magical event.

It has been a year since the exciting news of our youngest announced he and Rose's engagement. It was with this announcement and search for a venue that allowed for a special vision.

At each idea I had ,Rose and I met and came together to enhance her "dream". The library room at the Governor Hotel was perfect and the vision for an English library lit with candles...domes with flowers and nests seemed so right. These pictures show the embellished books I make...the domes and nest boxes we love and even a Fairy that had become trapped in a big jar (red haired 0f course). Whimsy and candle light a beautiful crimson haired bride and a groom in top hat made for a magical night. I am so pleased to have the art I created help set the stage for the beginning and continuation of a wonderful LOVE story. We all felt it!!!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Eye for color...not in fashion...but my love!

I love color! Bright, joyous alive color!!! I think I always have been drawn to things bright and bold. For awhile I was seduced by the monochromatic and "peaceful" rooms of whites and creams and in this time of all things white ,I felt a little apologetic of a passion for color . While I didn't succumb to the seduction to white rooms with chipped cream paint, I did sell and paint things to enhance and fit into these rooms and I no doubt will continue.

Looking back at the photos I have taken on my travels I see an eye drawn to and capturing vignettes where it is a color that seems to tell the story.

I am surprised that it has taken me this long to "claim" my color identity! I do have a red wall and russet couch. I hang my Mexican art on that red wall and love it. I plant bright flower es in my garden and collect all colors of fabric and silk flowers, of ribbon and trims. Yes that is me and my love!!!!!

So...what brought about this need to at last claim my " color voice"? While sitting in a movie, an Elizabethan dark movie scene...I noticed on a desk a stuffed parrot in vibrant greens and blues. I couldn't take my eyes of that magnificent albeit stuffed bird. I loved it!!!! It's me it's OK and I love natures expressions of the rainbow!!!! For every white soothing room there is somewhere a room that is reminiscent of the "Renaissance" or old masters. A room that is enveloped in the red of Cardinal's robes and the blues and greens of Monet's garden. I find that people like my cards that show these things and plan to go out and revel in this colorful world. It seems to me that it has taken me some time to realize what anyone who reads my blog, sees my photos has known!~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~AMAZING!!!


Fisherman's cottage Clovelly, UK

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Hidden Messages

I have been busy collecting and aging books.

I have been discovering...

People use fun things for book marks and leave them behind. Tucked between pages I have found pictures,slips of notes and last night I found a business card from Tiffany & C0. on Rodeo Dr. (Beverly Hills,Ca). Today I found a book report and schedule for some ones week. It makes me wonder what I have left behind or sent out into the world . I also wonder about the people who have read these books and perhaps the families that have cleared them out when someone has passed on. I enjoy reading books from the 1940's as well as books from English authors (Booker prize winners). I am fond of castles and old manor houses, villages and old churches. I love a good ghost story with a monk or "white lady" thrown in. Finding the "bits and bobs" makes me hope I left something interesting for other to find!

Friday, September 23, 2011

To blog or not to blog...that is the questions !?!

I just picked this picture because I love it. It was taken at the small chapel at Stourhead in the UK.

Sometime I feel lost in "Internet fog". Much the same fog as in old black and white movies I love so much. You know or maybe you aren't a fan of Sherlock Holmes, " Hound of the Baskervilles " and others. I digress..........

I began blogging for sharing my art and ideas. Helooooo!!! I am not sure if I am using the time and space as I first intended. I do much better talking than typing and most definitely spelling. I generally have so much to say when face to face,however when called on to find a topic to blog about I end up on my family or garden. This is not a BAD thing! I am just wondering if anyone really cares. NOT that I care if I am with a friend over wine and...

So to blog or not???!!! I seem to enjoy commenting on face book and get excited if some one "likes" one of my cute "type bites". I can however put my art, thoughts and share the photos so much more easily there...until...they change the format on me. OH WELL~~~~~!! There is one problem...there is no spellcheck [yet].

Sooooo is this the proper use of blog space. Not very profound is it? I do find I have blog envy over so many of the beautiful blog formats I come across. The blog world is yours you computer whizzes and young talented geeks!!!!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Hollyhock House on the Csorner all a Buzz

Sat in the garden last evening. David laying on the hammock me watching the yard. It's alive!!!!

The bird feeders are so busy and the hummingbirds diving,reminding me of giant bumble bees. It was warm...! There was a flicker attacking the big fir. The squirrels traveled the wires like freeway rush hour and I watched and listened to the morning doves fly from the feeders making a lovely cooing sound. All this activity was lazily observed and appreciated.

We are recovering from a neighborhood garage sale yesterday, not my favorite thing to do on a (HOT) Saturday. I do want to say though it was fun meeting so many neighbors and "new folk". That is the draw of 30 garage and yard sales and it was a good thing that I was too busy to leave and shop. I have more than enough projects~~~~~!

The garden was the big draw for so many. It was so nice hearing the "thank yous" from the walkers who pass by frequently. I shared so many hollyhock seeds. It is fun to think of them sprouting in so many gardens. There are seeds I carried back from England (the Brighton Pavilion garden) and the seeds that a neighbor had collected from the Linus Pauling estate, here in Portland. Those houses have since been torn down and a lot of the plants in our garden have been collected from vacant lots that were awaiting construction. I love sharing plants,seeds and stories. I have an abundance of each. A new neighbor and his son told us his family just moved here from the U.K. and that their home had been named "Hollyhocks". They asked if we chose our name on the sign in front of the house. I said it just happened...people just kept saying "You live in the hollyhock house on the corner". SO...when we were in England I had a potter make a sign for our home. I love it!!!!!!

I just realized I say "MY GARDEN" way too much. David is my partner in gardening and takes direction well (JOKE). I do share the accolades...really.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Gift

The garden is reaching ,fading and seeding everywhere. It is a big job to keep it tidy.

I often forget that a garden/flowers/ living things go through changes. Some are less than perfect than I would like. I have spent years admiring gardens in magazines and in classic paintings,often forgetting that they are a captured moment in time. While I was busy with "tidying up", spreading hollyhock seeds several cars stopped and people remarked on how much they love the garden and what it means to them as they walk the neighborhood. The note above is one I found tucked in my door. The people I spoke to today expressed joy and gratitude. The thing that struck me and led me to this entry is...not one person has ever mentioned a weed. Not a single walker has ever not said "thank you"and not a soul has mentioned that the garden looks tired, faded or past it's glory.

Lesson for this "maturing lady" who tends a garden...it's all beautiful!!! Me too!!!! I change with my seasons a few more wrinkles and grey hairs maybe a filling a little more space that I would like. I will stand tall take compliments for me and my garden. We are both beautiful!!!!

And THANK YOU!!!***

Monday, August 29, 2011

A Collector in Action

This is "anabell"! She is always a star in the garden. As fall arrives hollyhocks are drying their seeds and I love it that walkers stop admire and "adopt" some of the fat pods. Who knows how far flung they grow. LOVE IT!!

We will be using the big beautiful anabell blossoms for Andrew and Rose's wedding. They seem to make it into many weddings,

the perfect "bridal blossoms".

I delivered to Rosebud's Boutique in Springfield this last Sunday. Debra Hodges has created a wonderful space and has added a resale bridal boutique recently. I am honored to be asked to be a part. She has a website so I hope people check it out.

Back to the garden...the air is sweet with the scent of the lillies and the dalihas are getting fat buds. I can't wait to see what they will be ( I don't remember). Some gardener I am! I garden the same way I create art. Each addition is placed according to my"eye" and then let be. I am surprised next year!!!! As the weather cools planting will begin. SALE plants are waiting to be added. I have a little group waiting.

So...bring on autumn. Summer may have been late but I am ready for the NEXT act!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Something Has Turned

Something has changed in the air, the light, and most assuredly the garden.

We returned home from a delightful weekend at the beach. What a remarkable thing it is to spend time with our adult "children", their chosen ones and our grandchildren. Sitting on the sidelines as my family "frolics" on an uneven Bocce court (gopher holey lawn) after sharing a wonderful "gin concoction" cocktail puts my life into real focus. They are all more than "fine"...they "shine". David and I are so blessed. I was "keeping score" and I noticed as I have in the past that distance can shift the lens,change the focus and make things much clearer. These "Kids" will be able to roll on into the future!

Yes, something has indeed turned with the family and with the weather and the garden as well The first of the Fall blooming cyclamen has been spotted. The hollyhocks are setting seed pods. When people stop to admired them I tell them to find the one they like and WATCH for browning fat pods. Then please adopt them plant them right away and wait...next year they will come. Hollyhocks are one of the easiest plant to grow and they thrive on neglect!!!! What more could one want.

I have long been working with trusting that my family will be just fine. I now think I may not have needed to TEND them so ferventlybut they are my "other garden".

As there is a shift in the air at this time of the year...so it is with me. Families mature...gardens prepare for the next season. There is no stopping and of course MOM sits on the sidelines. Keeping score no, just enjoying the game.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Where am I ??????

Pathways... whether in our world, within a rose or deep within our spirit can lead us any where. I guess I have been away from blogging on a pathway of which I am still not sure.

Creating has been hard for me. Gardening, a joy has had me noticing too many "weeds" rather than flowers....busy busy busy...with what I am not sure~~?~~~.

Time out!!! I couldn't remember how to access my blog. That means it has been way too long since I have sat down and thought about what I am doing in time and space!

"Take a breath Julie"....look around and give a sincere" thank you". Give up the voice in your head that is (not whispering) yelling at you to do it right...check the computer...dust all your stuff...and alas pick those weeds! Even telling me it has been too long since I "BLOGGED".

OK I get it . I think I will feed the birds...make something (even if it is not art worthy) and just maybe just sit in my yard awhile.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Monday, June 6, 2011

I have a memory........my mom sitting on the beach picking rocks with my young [at the time] daughter.

Many things I love to do are rooted in past experiences..but I am sure you know that and it is true for most of us. Just a thought and a memory and an opportunity to recall my mom. I wonder what memories my children have of me and our lives together. We don't get to chose them for ourselves or them. I hope some laughs, some singing but most of all LOVE and hugs.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

New Projects

Fairy in a jar...might be captured for a spot at a wedding!

I haven't been very creative lately. Well not exactly. Andrew and Rose's wedding has been occupying creative space in my aging brain.

Here are two shrines I did have fun making. They went to Sixpence Antiques. speaking of Sixpence.....they are having "fair" this summer. I will writing more about that "FUN" event later.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Aptos Gardens

These are out side in the garden. A magical place. Especially when visiting from our cooler or should I say "slow arriving Spring". Enlarging the pictures will really enliven the space... be there.

We took some time from the realities of our tasks to visit and breathe in the magic!

I think I will publish these and show the inside of the house and "Wisteria Antiques" in the next......

This made me think of Ludmil's dove cotes.

Check out "Willow Nest"

Monday, May 2, 2011


A slower trip to California....regarding my Aunt's estate.

We have spent many a happy time along the California coast. I remember dreaming about someday living in the beautiful town of

Mendocino. I wasn't until I found Oregon that I knew I had found home.

We continued on down the coast,ending up in Ft. Bragg. A lady in a wayside told us about "glass beach". This is a beach below the cliffs where MANY years ago they would dump over the edge...the glass has washed and turned in the surf...now the beach is tiny washed pieces of multicolored glass bits. "Yup" You know I couldn't pass up that and my sweet patient husband...well...you know we passed some time there with a promise to return. With all "glass pickers" and me there they must have taken up tons of glass over the years.

The next day it was on to Mendocino. The town is an historic sight and hasn't really changed much since we were there almost 33 years ago. The town is shown in the opening credits of "Murder She Wrote" and Jessica's house is one of the charming ginger bread houses that line the streets.

As we left town we stopped by one of our fondest memories...the Heritage House is an inn over looking a magical rugged cove. It was something unique in days past. No phones, no T.V.s. It was just fireplaces gardens and charming rooms in acres of "SPECIAL"!!!! Alas it is closed
but we snuck up to take one last photo of that red door. The movie "Same Time Next Year" made it well known in the 70s. I am just full of tid bits of information~~?~~~!!

I will write more later about....gardens,antiques and finally closing family history.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Art Angel Anna

I have an art angel! Anna is the daughter of a women I dance with at NIA and a young artist,having already a portfolio of charming creative projects.

I have been sharing some of my "stash" of papers and stamps. I am so glad to have someone to pass on some of what I have collected. As any artist knows we are always collecting things that may become.....here are several things she has created and shared with me. The "thank you"card is wonderful. I am amazed that at her age she is overflowing with ideas and passion. She is most definitely someone that quite simply MUST create!

Lately life has kept me busy with events that seem to require the energy I have used in my art. Anna's gifts are reminders to me that creativity is a living thing that multiplies while dividing and sharing can remind me that I can be creative even when I am busy with LIFE.


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Foundations and Grace

Lori took time out of her busy life to come by and bring me a lovely card case with beautiful keys pictured. The key is of course a symbol and metaphor for the project that I was introduced to
through " Door to Grace" via "Sixpence Antiques". These picture are of the training event I was privileged to be a part of by sharing and selling my art. Everyone was so enthusiastic and welcoming.

"Door to Grace" is building a home for girls who are rescued from the sex trafficking trade. They are training volunteers and bring together resources for the reclamation of these women's lives. I encourage anyone who stops by this sight to check them out and include them in your support[if possible] and say a prayer most definitely for their success.

This leads me to a subject which Lori and I discussed....BUILDING A STRONG FOUNDATION! As we talked she shared how their time has been spent doing just that for the charity and the home they plan to build. What really became clear is that anything we wish to accomplish...even my NIA (my dance/exercise) practice begins by building a strong stable base.Learning a new art technique or skill begins with a foundation. This is true with almost all skills and pleasures. So often I just want to be at the end....setting the strong base(foundation) of the skill I want, does take time...I am usually in a hurry. Great results begin with that strong foundation I want to bypass, alas a human trait does not always serve me in the best way. Yeah!!! Lori thank you for the soul lesson. Patience,strong bases, good foundations all blessings, skills and creative challenges start here...and for me that takes patience and courage!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Family Ties and Goodbyes

My Family*** I began to comment on face book about settling my aunt's estate...lo' I decided to blog and share some of my experiences. Some people may not have reached this stage of life....I have said goodbye to all of my immediate family[brothers too young] and now my aunt[my mother's sister]. Along
with being her medical representative, I had been helping her go through all the family pictures listing the names on the backs. This was months ago when she was still looking forward to her 90th birthday....boy how fast things come. Now I find myself going through those and more!!!

I am the only one who knows these people. Thank you mom for telling me our family's history...I am glad I cared enough to listen and thus am able to share the stories and "family gossip". These are bricks making up our family.

There were massive amounts of pictures many duplicates!!! More than enough to spread around to children and I hope grandchildren...the stories alas will not survive (I will not be writing them down).

My oldest child {that's you Jay} who loves history has become the KEEPER of surprising amounts of old newspapers and ephemera. Many of these are the letters my mom and dad sent to each other during the Second World War. Thank you sweetheart...for caring enough to store my past and "our " histories, in the hopes someone may come looking.

It was so hard to put the "over flow" in the estate sale boxes....I learned I can't keep it all and am committed to not having my children be left with piles and boxes to go through. As a dealer in ......well anything unique and old and funky, I have a lot!!!!!! I am promising to divest,clean out and hopefully leave you with memories and not so much stuff, when I go!!!

Wordy I know....TMI maybe but I have to go in and finish the job I promised and have started. The things she loved and saved and told me what to do with are dwindling but still not finished.

Good night dear Dolores. I think your wishes have been honored. Thank you for caring for Dad. Rest!!!!~~~~~

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Rainy day entertainment

What better way to dream and travel than to look at Pictures and remember? I have not been taking pictures for cards lately...hmmmmm

These are England...my souls other home...or perhaps it's original home. I spent yesterday curled up with my cats with my English Trust magazine and memories. I guess rainy days have


Monday, March 28, 2011

A Clear Table~~~Almost

The table is clear. Sweet Thea picked up
spring nests and lots of great things for her store in"the pearl". I have enjoyed making tiny nests in and under glass in various containers. Always a fun way to usher in spring time....even if it is slow in arriving.

That leaves me with the opportunity to begin new projects. It seem that I would rather work on my long table than in any other work space. David and family are so patient with my creative needs. So...on to the next. If you get a chance...visit my art at Thea's and Sixpence[Lake Oswego] Send me strong creative energy and oh yes {SPRING } thoughts and wishes!!!!!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Cat Petting= Joy

" garden wakens in cold...a sun shaft cheers and in my soul...joy rises----sometimes i forget"

I have an unsettled spirit. I am trying to "figure" it out. That's me "figure it out Julie". I want to just settle into me and wait...not force things. There has been a lot happening lately. Funeral,family and memories. I rise to the occasion, adrenalin pumping...I am proud of that. I know how to "solve" problems, fix things. What I don't know,is what to do with the "LULL"....the waiting for the weather to turn, warm the garden to wake up!
Creating has often taken up that "space". Experiencing a "TUG" to what I don't know; from what I don't know. I can avoid the voice by checking face book and blogs but that too often frustrates my need to figure it out. So many out in the "world" seem to have done just that.
I am choosing gratitude...that will be the ladder up and out of myself. I am going to list and bless each thing in my life and be thankful...even the most difficult things.
There is that "glass half full " thing....OK !!! "SNAP OUT OF IT JULIE" I think I am going to pet my cats!