Tomorrow is the vernal equinox, but this month has already felt like spring. We were recently given a bird feeder. It took a week for the birds to find it, but finally a group of chipping sparrows discovered the seeds. Ever since, it's been a bird buffet. I just wanted to share some photos of them from yesterday.
Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky - The Seasons, Op. 37b - March, Song of the Lark
It seems that spring happened while I was in bed with the flu. It was amazing to go outside without a jacket in the last few days and see buds on the trees and little yellow jonquils popping up - especially after eight days in bed!
These are some of my favorite flower paintings by Vincent van Gogh. They're so alive and full of movement. Did you know that the background in the fifth painting, Vase with Irises, used to be pink? Over the years it faded to white. One detail I love: the big red underlined "Vincent" in the last painting - Vase with Zinnias and Geraniums.
I've been wearing this coat by Kling more than any other garment this season. It's perfect for our relatively light winters. I'm sure most people in the northern hemisphere are looking forward to spring, but I was glad to have one real snow this winter. Most if it melted right away, but I enjoyed taking photos in it.
Shortly after these photos, however, I came down with a very nasty flu. I hope you have managed to avoid it this year because it is not pleasant. When I can manage it, I drag myself to the couch. My husband and I are working our way through Inspector George Gently on Netflix, after having recently finished Sherlock. I feel like a lazy slob, but there's not much else one can do with the flu.
I thought I should update you. Recently, I wrote about my experience with depression and anxiety attacks. A lot of my anxiety centers around health concerns, but despite this winter sickness I haven't had a full-blown panic attack in weeks. The medication - minus some pesky side-effects - seems to be really working for me and makes it easier for me to do the therapy. Every day has its challenges, and I often have crumby moments, but for the first time since October I feel mostly like myself. For the first time in ages I am (for the most-part) optimistic about the future, and I'm very grateful for that. I'm not sure how I will be tomorrow or next week, but right now - even with the flu - I am okay.
It's not really time for lilacs yet, but I associate months with colors and in my mind February is purple. Purples, grays and whites all seem to go with this time of year. I was crazy about wearing the color purple in my early teens. It was my signature color, but I got bored with it and wore mostly red for the next few years. After that it was blue. This past year I've fallen in love with purple again - especially lavender and eggplant shades.
Lilacs are such a romantic flower. They're a little sweet and a little somber, and I love seeing different artist's depictions of them - from botanical illustrations to renditions in pastels. Just hearing the word "lilac" makes me think of the song Jeannine, I Dream of Lilac Time. It was topping the charts in 1928, and the only reason I know it is from the 1928 film, Lilac Time, starring Colleen Moore and Gary Cooper. It's a sentimental wartime romance set in France. I haven't seen the entire film - only several long clips online - but the images and accompanying soundtrack made enough of an impression on me to always associate them with the flower.
I made some crude lanterns out of empty food cans a few months ago. They're pretty in the dark with tea lights inside. Have you ever made these? You fill clean aluminum cans with water and freeze them. You can take nails or screwdrivers and hammer out patterns - the ice keeps the shape of the can.
With knits and tweeds, it's so easy to incorporate a wide variety of textures into one outfit. This is the fourth time I've remixed this purple rose print dress from Mata Traders. It's a lovely breezy summer dress, but the dark print makes it a good choice in winter too.
I had a birthday recently and a good friend gave me this adorable vintage cat pin. I just love it. It has such a sassy expression, and I can almost hear it saying "kiss my fluffy butt!" or something similar. It also reminds me of Jiji, from Kiki's Delivery Service.
Recently, we've had high winds followed by some snow. It didn't cover the ground, but it was the first we've had this winter (aside from the snow we've seen at nearby higher elevations) so it was pretty exciting.
The weekend before last I had the sudden urge to make candles. I love lighting candles around the house on these dark winter days. With my recent trouble, making something - actually doing something creative - was a big deal and it turned out to be pretty therapeutic. I purchased wicks and wax from a craft store and recycled old jars and parts of old candles. I didn't do much research so most of my candles look dreadful, but they work - for the most part - and they were fun to make.
I took out some of my grandmother's costume jewelry to photograph. Still life photography had been on the brain, and February is the perfect time for it since the weather makes it so difficult to get outside and experience nature. I don't think things are nearly as interesting as the story or people behind them, but looking at these pieces reminded me of my grandmother and her style. She passed away when I was sixteen after years of dementia, but I have some nice memories of her when I was very little. She tutored me in reading and writing, and she had a great sense of style.
She loved brooches and large, gold-colored pieces. When I was about four she gave me her blue heart pendant and the silver sparkly brooch - and I think those pieces are least representative of her style. However the gold leaf brooch was all her. I remember her wearing a lot of autumnal colors and subdued animal prints along with pieces like this leaf brooch. A pair of gold or enamel clip-on earrings always complimented her ensemble. She seemed very comfortable in her style.
I wore my grandmother's faux pearls for my "something old" at my wedding. This Valentine's Day, I'm celebrating romantic love, but I'm also remembering the loved one who came before me (I'm wearing the blue heart pendant right now). Do you also see Valentine's as a time to appreciate all kinds of love?