Friday, January 27, 2012

"When Lilacs Bloom"...

With my thoughts filled of nothing but the coming of Spring, I picture in my mind my special, secret little place I visit often... come May, the most beautiful lilacs bloom there as well as my cherished red roses that clambor up the little old abandoned building I love so... last August I was most honored to have my lilac photo, below, and a little story Jo~Anne Coletti asked me to write about my childhood memories gathering lilacs with my mama, featured in her second edition of The Feminine Home, Where the Heart Is... I would like to share that story with you today... I hope you enjoy it... and that sweet, precious memories of yesteryear fill your heart today as I know they will mine...


"When Lilacs Bloom" © ~ Julie Marie Vicknair

"My morning walk takes me down a new country road today. I have not been down this winding dirt road before... or have I? Beautiful lilacs are growing wild along the side of the little lane; it is a stunning sea of purple and lavender. The gentle Spring breeze carries their Heavenly aroma to me, teasing me, inviting me to come closer. I close my eyes and let the heady perfume envelope me in it's spell. I am overcome by a sense of wistfulness, of scenes long past. A young girl and her mother are gathering armloads of the delicate blooms. I gingerly walk closer and listen as the little girl tells her mother that God must have planted the lilacs just for her as they always bloom on her birthday in May. The mother picks the child up and holds her close. "It must be so", she whispers.
I let my thoughts drift back to when I was a little girl. My mama and I would gather lilacs to fill the vases in our home. I too, would tell my mama that God planted them just for me and mama would pick me up and kiss me on the cheek, telling me it must be so. I close my eyes once more and let my childhood memories come back to me. When I open my eyes the little girl and her mother are gone, but the beautiful lilacs are still here, blooming today... my birthday. Yes, I know that I have been here before"... xoxo...



Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Just What is it About a Little Nest?...

As I am spending blissful hours getting our home ready for Spring, (while the countryside is under a blanket of white from the last two snowstorms)... I can't help but notice just how many little nests I have here and there... each one unique... like this beautiful knitted nest from my friend Vicki at 2bagsfull... made with love and bits and bobs of this and that... Nature's treasures... ever~so~delicately woven into the perfect "home" for two sweet little eggs waiting to hatch...

I actually bought two of these at the time... Vicki names all of her little nests, so of course I had to name mine... the top one is "Sylvie Nest" and the one below is "Prissy Nest"... (hello Mama Vicki! we love you... the sissy nests!)... you can read more about the little sissy nests in my post here...

Just what is it about a sweet little nest that captures our hearts so?... for me, it begins with my never~ending love of Nature and all of God's precious little creatures... all of the nests I am showing you today are faux and live indoors year round... many I have bought, many I have made myself... I cannot imagine a world without birds and birdsong... delicately woven nests out of twigs and bark... feathers and vines... I love happening upon a secret nest when we take our Nature walks... for I feel as if I have found a precious gift... no, not to take... one must never take a nest from a tree or any other place it was built... once one has been blown out of the tree and to the ground, it is quite acceptable to claim the little treasure for your own... so long as there are no little ones inside... if you come upon a nest that has been blown down or fallen, and there ARE babies inside, place it back into the tree... hopefully as close to where it was built as possible... it is an old~wives tale that a bird will not return to a nest that a human has touched... it simply is not true... and I can tell you that from personal experience... the mama will find her babies...

On my Nature walk in Spring, I gather all sorts of treasures from the trail... tiny little discarded eggshells that have already hatched... most often, I can identify what kind of bird laid the egg just by looking at it... if not, I refer to one of my many books on birds, nests and eggs... one cannot have too many reference books on Nature!...



One of my most prized possessions... a beautiful little "Nature box" my dear friend Celeste of Celestina Marie Design painted for me to keep my little treasures from the trail in... she even included a special little feather inside for me she had found in her garden...


A sweet little nest inside a broken terra cotta flowerpot...

Another favorite bird book... the sketches and artwork in this particular one are especially beautiful!...

"Tailoring a nest in four easy steps"...

A teeny little nest I created myself... I like to add some of my dried roses to mine... sort of a shabby chic style nest...

I also love to sketch Nature and carry a little sketchbook with me on my Nature walks... I can hardly wait for the Robins to sing their sweet Spring song one day soon... I love to wake up to their beautiful melody floating in through an open window in the early morning hours... did you know there will always be something white in a Robin's nest?... my great~grandmother told me that when I was just a little girl, and through the years I have always found it to be true... sometimes there will be a piece of white yarn... perhaps part of a white paper towel... a silky ribbon or even a white feather intricately woven into the nest... I know not why... but I do know it will always be so... perhaps one day if I listen closely I will find the answer in the Robin's song...

Another tiny nest I made from twigs and moss gathered from the trail...

Vicki at 2bagsfull also created this stunning shorebird nest... I was fortunate enough to purchase one of her limited nests last year... the proceeds from mine went to a shorebird recovery sanctuary... you can read Vicki's story about her rescue of one of these precious shorebirds on her blog... you can read more about my beautiful shorebird nest in my post here...

A friend of mine carved the beautiful shorebird for me many years ago... it rests on an old piece of piling out of the Great Salt Lake which borders my little town just to the west of me...

Another itty bitty nest I created today... I gather moss all Summer long and save it in plastic bags to use for special times like today...

A wonderful find from several years ago... "Audubon's Birds of America" c. 1950... a $5.00 find at a local used book store... to me it is priceless!...

I created this one from raffia and it looks pretty inside a little glass atrium...
Another one I made entirely out of moss, and added a skeleton leaf I found on the trail last Summer... this one lives in another little glass atrium...
Recently, my friends Jeni and El gave me this beautiful little vintage birdie plate from their shop, Madeleine L'Amour...

Along with this adorable little petite birdie... so teensy... all handmade out of the softest~ever felt... Merci ladies!... these "tweet" little birdies will be available to purchase soon here in their shop...

A window seat in my bedroom is the perfect spot to watch the comings and goings at the feeders and birdbaths in our backyard... a small pair of binoculars is a valuable thing to have to watch up close... I keep a birders journal and am constantly adding to it as a new little feathered friend comes to visit...

Our backyard is a certified wildlife habitat by the National Wildlife Federation... you can visit their site here if you are interested in certifying your yard as well... you simply must provide the four basics... food, water, cover... and a place to raise their young... xoxo...

"One touch of Nature makes the whole world kin"
~ William Shakespeare




Saturday, January 14, 2012

My New French Bust...


Hmmmm
... maybe I should re~phrase that... not "my" French bust... tee hee hee... (I am French on my daddy's side of the family)... but my new French bust from my friend Janet's shop, "Shabbyfufu"...


This stunning, very very old "Marie" is so beautiful... made out of metal, not chalkware like most you see... and quite heavy... the base is marble and she looks just lovely on my dresser along with some of my most treasured French heirlooms...

She has the most exquisite features...

I do believe she feels quite at home here... along with my antique French Bible dated 1904, vintage French books, vintage Chevalier French opera glasses from Paris... a pretty vintage French parfum box (which I purchased many years ago from Janet as well)...

I love this photo of her... gazing at a photo of my French grandfather Jules Arthur Vicknair, Sr., and his brother, my great~uncle Pierre Seraphin Vicknair... both the epitome of French gentlemen... (after I was divorced and before I met Jack, I took back my maiden name of Vicknair and have kept it ever since)... my middle name of Marie was given me after my French grandmothers and great~grandmothers way back, who were all named Marie... and my niece Elizabeth carries on the family tradition as well... as her full name is Elizabeth Marie...


If you are looking for exquisite vintage French tresors and other lovely vintage finds, you will fall in love with Shabbyfufu... Janet is truly one of a kind, and no one does vintage French better than she does... along with many other gorgeous items in her shop... please tell her Julie Marie sent you when you stop in to visit!... xoxo...