I love decorating with antiques, and unique old things found at a flea market. I'm also big on seashells and other natural elements. Leaves and nests and such. I enjoyed recently seeing a wonderful collection of heart shaped rocks found in different places all over the world.
Though I don't have a collection of heart shaped rocks myself, my most favorite things to decorate with ARE things from the heart. Keepsakes with personal meaning. Objects accumulated over a lifetime that capture some of the character of your own nature.
Apart from the obvious Mother's Day offerings from kindergarten, the little white shelf is a keepsake too. I hope it someday finds itself among the coveted few possessions my kids will want to draw straws for, because it was made especially for me by their father eons ago.
This shelf was updated with a creamy paint in the 90's, and now holds shells and driftwood from many forays to the Oregon coast. Bits and pieces of my own natural history. The sea star was a gift, and the first of my collection, a symbol of regeneration to me.
To look at it, one might surmise that I merely like sea themes. But sea stars also remind me that at times I must go far out of my way to find what is worth keeping in life. After all, starfish don't turn up much on the banks of the Rio Grande in my town. On the other hand, I was also greatly influenced by the reading of Anne Morrow Lindbergh's wonderful book Gifts From the Sea in my thirties. In it she writes, "The sea does not reward those who are too anxious, too greedy, or too impatient. One should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach--waiting for a gift from the sea."
I like discovering the interconnectedness of nature, and I see similarities in the shape of little hands, sea stars, and even Sycamore leaves, which are sometimes found on this shelf in the fall. Occasionally a postcard or note will find its way here as well. And I've found that you don't always know at first what a treasure a humble little offering made of plaster will eventually turn out to be.
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