I’m really not exactly sure how it has come to be the 2nd of September. Are you?
In this year, 2020, the year to end all years, we might (if we are hopeful) be thinking, one might expect that it would have dragged along interminably. And in some ways, I suppose it has. We certainly have been through an awful lot- and we are still mucking our way through as best we can. In my wildest dreams, I could not possibly have imagined a worldwide, terrifying pandemic and the emotional and economic toll that would take on all of us. Add to that the turmoil and polarized division our country is currently in due to racial injustice as well as a political climate that seems ripped out of a doomsday novel. The challenges appear to be greater every day. It’s hard at times – I’ll be honest, a lot of the time – to feel hopeful. So how I suddeny l find myself in September is a bit mysterious to me. I feel like I’m in some bizarre space/time continuum that is completely out of my control. No doubt I am not alone in that feeling. At least I hope I’m not.
I’ll try to bring you up to date with a very quick synopsis of what’s been going on. But first I’d like to move on to my exciting news.
And that is, I am thrilled to tell you, Glittermoon Vintage Christmas and I have been featured in the 2020 Flea Market Décor Magazine 2020 Holiday issue with a beautiful 4-page spread! Have a peek:
The issue went on sale yesterday. You can find it on newsstands, in grocery stores, and pharmacies everywhere. I picked up a copy in the grocery store. Or you can go here to order a copy mailed right to your home.
The issue is chock full of creative, fun holiday decorating ideas. I am over the moon to be included in the company of amazingly talented people, some of whom I follow on Instagram. Let me know what you think when you get your copy!
Speaking of Instagram, I do hope you are following me there at GlittermoonCards. It’s become my happy place. Because you can better control what’s in your feed than on Facebook, which I have found to be so toxic and negative at times, I can’t spend a great deal of time on it these days. Instead, I much prefer to follow along – and make friends (albeit virtual) with – like-minded, positive people who post lovely visuals. In all honesty, I have struggled quite a lot to keep my emotional being centered this year; IG has been like a balm. Since we cannot see our friends in person right now, it’s become a sort of surrogate friend. I tend to follow designers and gardeners. One of my favorite designers (and Richmond native), Charlotte Moss, notably, helped keep so many of us out of the “weeds” this past spring by offering up weekly creative challenges that were not only fun but they also benefitted charity. An example of this was the Collage Challenge. For every collage submitted, Charlotte , a lifelong collage aficiando, offered to contribute $100 to Feeding America. In the end, that added up to a whopping $100,000 donation!
So, for the first time in forever, I made a collage. I have to say it was an almost perfect exercise to keep the demons at bay and, oh my, did it ever feel good to have the creative juices flowing again. This is what I came up with…a sort of Italianate/Into the Woods fairy tale.
This space as well as my social media pages have always tried to be positive, politically free zones and that goes for now, too. Especially now. I made the decision early on during the pandemic to try to only post things on social media that might bring people a smile or something beautiful that gives someone a lift. I have felt deeply for those who were stuck in high rises or other places where they could not even see green spaces much less get outside to one. So, I posted a lot of pictures of my garden during this past glorious spring; truly the best spring I can remember – what a gift that was and how we needed it! You’ll find lots of photos of how the garden has done this year as well as occasional peeks inside my house and whatever else might pop into my line of sight. So I do hope you will follow along and enjoy.
The other reason to follow me on Instagram is that I tend to post updates there first. I will be using both that platform as well as the Glittermoon Facebook page to keep everybody updated on what I’m making and what I’ve got that is available for purchase this fall. Because of the Coronavirus all the shows for this year have been cancelled – quite rightly. However, this makes for a challenging time for people like me to get what they make out there to the people who want to buy. I am still trying to figure out what is the best strategy for that so stay tuned on social media. I will, of course, also be posting here but not as frequently as on those pages.
When the Coronavirus first roared into our lives back in March, like everyone else, we were scared – not only for us but for everyone we care about. With Mr Transplant, we knew we had to be especially vigilant and heed all the warnings the scientists and doctors put out there.
As the pandemic really began to rage and tragic stories of heartbreak and death etched themselves upon our consciousness, I found myself waking up at 4 AM every night with terrible anxiety. Thinking about people trapped in nursing homes, all alone, particularly haunted me. I wanted to help – somehow – but simply could not figure out how. I made donations but it just did not seem enough. I don’t sew so I offered up fabric and some money to a vibrant local group of mask sewers. And while those were good things to do, it did not satisfy that urge to DO something more. But how? As the spouse of an immune suppressed transplant patient and a member of the “at risk” group myself (though I am in good health and refuse to think of myself as “elderly”), there is no question that I need to stay at home for the duration.
I kept thinking about my inventory of Glittermoon Cards sitting in my workshop out back. Everyone knows getting a card in the mail can cheer you up. It’s a simple gesture that makes you feel like you matter to someone. And there are so many people in need of a human connection right now. So, I came up with The Glittermoon SPREAD SOME LOVE Project. For $12, you receive: An assortment of 10 GLITTERMOON CARDS (valued at $30-40, specially chosen and packaged by me), FREE SHIPPING to you via USPS (lower 48 states only, please) and, in addition, for every order, I MAKE A $2 DONATION to FEED MORE, Central Virginia’s food bank.Mail your cards to someone who you think needs a little love, whether it’s a stranger in a nursing home, a special caregiver, an elderly neighbor down the street, or anyone who you think could use some cheer in these strange and scary times. And then tell all your friends! Let’s start an avalanche of mail to the people who need some cheer during this dark time! Hop on over to my Etsy shop to purchase. If you are local to the RVA area, they are also in stock in my space at Crossroads Art Center.
Pre-Covid seems a very long time ago indeed and so much has changed. We were supposed to have our house and garden open in May for a tour in our Ginter Park neighborhood but, of course, that had to be scratched. As of this writing, it has been rescheduled for May 1, 2021. Put it on your calendar now! Naturally, we were in the midst of several house projects trying to get ready for the tour. I was still finishing up the bathroom renovation that began 18 months ago now 😳 and I was working on refreshing some of the downstairs rooms. And then, everything ground to a halt. At this point, most of those projects have now been finished – yay – and I’ve begun working on the upstairs which has started to look tired after 25 years. If you remember way back to last year, we were doing a total gut renovation of the master bathroom. To give you an example of how looooong the bathroom took, I just got the new curtain, actually an antique pillow sham that we repurposed, up in the window last week! The master bedroom (which was the workshop during the bath reno and thus completely trashed) is all pretty and fresh now and I could not be happier with how both it and the bathroom turned out. I’ve moved on to the tiny little room I call my “perch” and things are proceeding at a sedate pace but that’s just fine with me. Here’s a peek at how the bathroom looked once I hung pictures but before the new curtain. You can refer back to this post from a year ago to see the “before.”
In late July, our beloved kitty, Gabby (Gabriella Glittermoon), whose face and name were on the back of every Glittermoon Card, left us for heaven. She was just a few weeks short of her 20th birthday and we are having a hard time to adjusting to the empty space that small but mighty being has left behind. As I wrote at the time, I had a pretty good feeling of who she was on the day I adopted her. As I drove us home, this little striped arm kept poking out of the cardboard carrier, feverishly trying to feel its way along the car seat. She was feisty and funny, contrary and cantankerous, precious and persnickety, and full of her own self worth. A warrior with a zest for life. She was loving. And she was deeply loved. Most of all, she was her daddy’s girl: his constant, boon companion, especially during these past challenging years. We miss her terribly.
At the same time, my sweet Emma developed some scary health issues, too. We are still working on trying to figure out what is going on with her but it’s been very worrisome for me. She’s my shadow and I don’t even want to contemplate what life would be like without her.
I’m all set to get cracking out there in Santa’s Workshop, Southern Branch. Everything is organized and in its place. I had a bit of a hiccup when the fluroescent fixture directly over my worktable croaked last week. Fortunately, my electrician was able to squeeze me into his busy schedule and came yesterday to replace it and another one with new, and very bright, LED fixtures so I am raring to go! When I was working on getting everything put away and ready for the 2020 season, I realized just how starved I’ve been to get my creative juices flowing and get to work making beautiful things to share with you. I looked over at all the Santas on the old workbench one afternoon and there they all were, with jolly faces alight, and my mood improved by leaps and bounds in just that moment. Here’s a look at how nice and tidy a couple of the shelves are…perhaps your mood will lift, too!
By now, you’re probably as exhausted reading this as I am from writing it, so I’ll come to a close.
Despite everything that has happened this year, I have much to be grateful for. We have a wonderful team of doctors who are doing their best to keep Mr Transplant safe; weekly family Zoom meetings we began months ago and which provide a happy lifeline (quite honestly, we are keeping up better now than during normal times); a comfortable home that we love; and a garden that offers respite and peace. Our family and friends have so far managed to stay healthy. We are at an age where we do not need to worry about losing our jobs or the place we live. These are all big things. It breaks my heart for all out there who are suffering so terribly.
Every day, though, I am reminded that so much of our happiness and contentment is derived from the little things in life and it’s those things which keep me going on the difficult days. For me, the natural world is the gift that keeps on giving. A chipmunk racing acoss the patio, the sibilant sound of the breeze rustling in the trees, my sweet dog’s delight when I decree it’s time for walkies, or a little wren singing her heart out are what bring me joy. I hope you have something like that, too.
And let’s all be kind to one another.
Stay safe out there friends. I’ll be back soon with what’s happening in the workshop. Until then, I’ll leave you with this thought and a few random shots from the garden this past spring.
“Be soft, don’t let the world make you hard. Be gentle, don’t let the people make you difficult. Be kind, don’t let the realities of life steal your sweetness and make you heartless.”
― Nurudeen Ushawu