Saturday, October 31, 2009

A Box Full of Bittersweet

Several weeks ago my Mother & I made a pilgrimage to my Uncles farm in Osage City to pick up pecans. The drive was long but one filled with much laughter and talk.

As we turned off one country road on to another, we were meet with a breath taking sight~~~ Bittersweet growing over an old fence and up a tree! I'm going to make a little confession here. I absolutely LOVE Bittersweet. There is something about it's yummy orange colored berries and snarled vines that just makes my heart sing. What do I know about Bittersweet? Absolutely nothing! I have no idea if there is a difference in the Bittersweet that grows in the wild or the kind that grows in town. I just know it's gorgeous!

This Bittersweet was different than any I've ever seen before. Not the pale orange berries of that in town, instead it was a brilliant orange....Like those pumpkins we see with the dark orange color. And mind you it wasn't skinny little berries either but big, plumb gorgeous one!

While I was going nuts over this beautiful display, Mom wasn't the least bit impressed....Probably because she had walked this old farm ground for years in her youth as she went back and forth to grade school. Yes, this wonderful Bittersweet was growing on her Aunts land, which is just across the road from my Grandpa's farm.

Mom assured me that Aunt Reen wouldn't mind if I took some so after we picked up our pecans we stopped at this magnificent bush. As I was whacking away and filling my box, who should drive up but Aunt Reen and Mom's first cousin. (They thought we were stealing their walnuts! HA) Aunt Reen told me to take all I wanted and I needed to come back this Spring and dig up some plants for myself. Oh be still my heart!!!!!

Arriving home I proudly carried that box full of Bittersweet into the house. My poor ole mind was racing with ideas of decorating with it. But where to start??? As I walked through the house my eye came upon an old primitive cabinet that has a little Needle Punched sewing bag hanging from it. The design on the bag is that of a bird with a few twigs of Bittersweet around it. Yes, the perfect spot to add some berries.

Next my eye rested on another primitive cabinet with a precious little bag made out of homespun my dear friend Sher in New York made me. With a little muslin "tag" stitched with the simple word, 'herbs' on the outside of it, it was another great place to hold some.

Spying a black basket I had just refinished for my DIL, Codi, I could resist...She just had to have some of these gorgeous berries so I proceed to fill it. (That basket is now proudly displayed on top her kitchen cabinets!)

As I turned and saw my fireplace I knew where the rest was going....My mantel!!!! For the next hour I quietly worked weaving berries, vines and leaves across the top. As I stood back and look at my work I couldn't have been more pleased. Before me that mantel fairly dripped with the color of orange. Just the perfect display for Fall.

In a few weeks it will be time to take down my gorgeous Bittersweet to make way for Christmas. There will be something so sad about seeing it all come down. It's going to be like saying good-bye to an old friend who has brought me much enjoyment. However, Spring will be here before I know it and at that time I'll make another pilgrimage to Osage City...This time to bring home Bittersweet plants that I'll loving plant and care for during the summer month in the hopes that in years to come I'll have my own berries to decorate with.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Where does your inspiration come from? I have to be honest and admit that a good deal of mine comes from the Internet. With just the click of the mouse I'm inside all my favorite bloggers homes. Drooling over their decorating ideas and asking myself, "Now why didn't I think of that!"

And of course we can't forget our wonderful friends who we see in person and chat with online. I'm always amazed how much a note from a dear friend can inspire me to get up and get something done. How sharing an idea with someone you love can make it seem 'right' and just perfect for your home.

Nature is another source of inspiration for me. At this time of year when I'm watching the leaves slowly drifting out of the trees and feeling the crisp morning air all my sense come alive. Suddenly it's like looking at the world through a different set of eyes. The eyes of someone who is seeing something for the first time. A simple red leaf can make me think of a new hooked rug design or primitive Fall pinkeep. Just the other day the stock of a tall, dead sunflower set my creative juices flowing. Think how one would looked hooked out of dirty light brown wool. The perfect table runner for Fall.

Our old farm provides it's share of inspiration too. As I walk around my eyes drift to the old pieces of wood laying here and there. They call my name to be picked up and have a small piece of cross stitch added to them. That's how the design came about for the above piece. While small in size it's just the perfect little piece to fit inside a made-over bowl. And to think it was made from a piece of wood the dog was carrying around in her mouth!!!!!

Yesterday while at my parents their old barn called my name. To expensive to be restored, it's slowly falling down. A part of my life that will end in a heap of old wood. This is the barn where my first husband and I stole kisses (Bet you didn't know that Mom & Dad! Then maybe you did but didn't want to admit it!) and where barn dances were held with my classmates. Daddy has gave me several pieces from it but that wasn't enough. Leaving Keith to talk to Mom, I walked around it. Suddenly I had an idea. This morning I shared that idea with Mom and she told me to go for it. For now I won't be telling anyone what my plans are but hopefully within the next few months I'll share it with all of you. A way for the old barn to live on for each of my sisters and our children.

Now it's time for another sort of inspiration....One my Sweetie loves....My cooking. On that note I'll sign off and get some Chili started for supper. May you find inspiration in everything and everywhere you look. Hugs, Sher

About Me

These stories are dedicated to the loving memories of my childhood on the family farm and to my life on our farm. May my children always know how Blessed I've been.