Sometimes the goofiest things make me happy.
Yesterday I needed to go to the post office and post an order that had come over the weekend. I also needed to stop at the store for a couple things since it was right on the way. Our local store is really cool. Although it is one building, one side of the building is a small hardware store and the other side is a craft/fabric store and all the way at the end, it has a small clothing/shoe section. The groceries are in the middle. What amazes me most is that even though it is kind of four stores rolled into one, it doesn’t seem crowded or cramped and the variety of items that they sell is outstanding. While they don’t carry everything, most times, in a pinch you can find what you are looking for and it saves you the trip to Yarmouth which is about 45 minutes away.
The store is family owned and has been there forever. It was established long before the days of Wal-Mart superstores and being a fraction in size of even the smallest Wal-Mart that I have seen, it is a model of efficiency and good use of space.
Naturally, my favorite part of the store is the craft section. In the two plus years that I have lived here, I have come to know the girl in charge of the craft and gift department very well. Her name is Simone and she is helpful and friendly and I have the greatest admiration at her ability to pack that small place with an extensive supply of quality and delightful craft components, gifts and fabric. For those of you who think that I am organized and make good use of my small space here, I need to admit to you that I can’t hold a candle to Simone’s use of the small allotted space. I humbly bow to her.
There have been many times when I am designing a new project and need something odd or unusual and I have been able to find it at the store. There is a vast array of beads, jewelry parts, feathers and other things that not only fit the bill for many of the projects that I am working on, but inspire me as well.
As you enter the store, there is a section to the side of the door that is usually filled with seasonal gift items and decorations. Being September, they are just beginning to fill it up with Halloween and autumn themed stuff. I love the autumn colors as those of you who read regularly know. It is my favorite time of the year.
In earlier posts, I talked about the little ‘all season tree’ that I keep in my living room. The tree is an artificial pine tree, about six feet tall and about 18 inches wide at the bottom. It has a natural bark and fits nicely in the corner of my living room. I call it an all season tree because I keep it up all year and when my kids were young, we would use it to hang their special seasonal projects on. In February it had home made Valentines. In March/April it had Easter decorations. Etc, etc.
Since the kids are grown, I have only decorated it in spurts. Mostly, I use it for a kind of night light and for the photography of my ornaments that I make for the magazine and my wholesalers throughout the year. Since Christmas designs are due in Spring, it was just natural to leave it up all the time as part of the daily decor and I didn’t think about it much. For most of the year, I kept white lights on it. That way it was easy to change the ornaments and other things on it without having to change the lights too. At Christmas time, I used multi-colored lights, as it added to the festive season. It made things easy.
This year, sometime around March or April, a tragedy occurred and my white lights malfunctioned and died. Of course this was after I returned from the United States, where I would have been able to find a set of them rather easily. I searched for white lights all over but after looking at several places, I finally conceded that I would have to wait for the holidays when the stores had their Christmas stuff out and gave up. For many months my little tree sat in the corner, naked and dark.
In the big picture of life, it was a minor thing. I am an adult and I realize that. And honestly I didn’t think about it much. As with any common piece of furniture, it gets to a point where we just kind of look through it and don’t even notice it anymore.
But yesterday that changed.
When I walked into the little store, my eyes went to the seasonal display that was still not fully set up. The shelves were still half-empty and there were boxes that were still not unpacked that were filled with what I am sure were delightful things. But on the shelf I saw several boxes of orange holiday lights. My thoughts went immediately to my poor little tree. When I was in Yarmouth on Friday, I had purchased a couple of small autumn decorations to give our place a little festive look. I get caught up in the season like that and even though I am not a knick-knack type of person, I thought one or two things would make the place warm and inviting (For whom I am not sure because we rarely have guests)
I had never considered orange lights for the tree. It seemed too frivolous. But being only September, I can see having at least a couple of months of use of them. Besides that – I am painting some really cool ornaments that were destine for the tree anyway and the orange lights would complete the look beautifully. So why not?
My head is now spinning with ideas. I have so many thoughts of items to design not only for my little tree, but for the season in general. The creative floodgates in my mind have been opened and I am happy and excited and can see many new projects emerge not only from the scroll saw, but also from the end of my paint brush. I can’t wait to show you all!
It is funny how this one small thing can trigger such a whirl of activity in my mind. I have so many new ideas it surprises even me. Perhaps they just needed a little inspiration to light the way for them to emerge.
I put the lights on the tree last night. I took my time and fluffed out its little branches. Some of my friends call it my ‘Charley Brown tree’, poking fun at it and saying how pitiful and sparse it looks. But I will show them. I feel like Linus because I also think that with a little love, it will be a masterpiece. I have faith in it and I also have faith in myself and my own creativity that it will be something special.
I think it is all very symbolic. For a time, I went through some very difficult years and even though my little tree was here with me all the time, it sat in the corner – bare and dormant. As my own life turned around and improved, my thoughts have gone more and more to bringing that little tree back to life too. I am very happy and excited about seeing it come to be.
I can never look at that tree without thinking of my children. Perhaps that is why I have kept it close to me. Even though they are far away from me, part of them lives right here in the same room with me within that little tree. Each branch holds a memory of a time or an event or a day that I spent with them. I can’t explain it and it may seem silly to many of you, but it is a comfort to me and it keeps them here with me in my heart. It triggers the wonderful memories of their childhood and their love and all that goes with it. And through it those memories will live.
Have a beautiful Tuesday!
-- Contributing Editor, Creative Woodworks and Crafts, Sheila Landry Designs http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com "Knowledge is Power"