As a child I loved to spend time with my Grandmother--many afternoons were spent with her in her cozy little house passing the time knitting, crocheting, sewing, and baking.  I learned many of the skills I still have today while sitting at her knee, watching her work.  Her hands were gnarled and disfigured with severe arthritis, but still she created.  It was a need and a drive that I find I too carry within me.

Gram had a variety of curiosities both in her personality and in her home.  She hated chocolate.  Can you even imagine?  When I was little (and honestly, still) I thought that was the oddest aversion.  Who on earth doesn't like chocolate?  A small but distinguished group, apparently.

She also loved owls.  Big or small, porcelaine or carved wood, realistic or stylized.  She had curio cabinets full of them throughout the house and I would stand for hours looking over her collection, discovering new details and delighting in their unique faces. 

When my Gram passed away she left me her vast owl collection.  It was carefully packed up and stored in the basement of my Mum's house for a time when I would have room to put it all out on display. Sadly, that time did not come quickly enough, and in March of last year the flood waters rose and drowned her precious collection.  

I squatted on my Mum's front lawn in freezing cold temperatures, tears rolling down my cheeks as I sorted through sodden boxes, throwing the vast majority of her treasures into a debris pile for the trash collector to haul away.  Anything submerged in flood water has been contaminated and should be discarded, but I just could not let go of everything, so I salvaged a few porcelain pieces and set them aside to be disinfected, cleaned up, and brought back to Miami with me. 
These two handsome fellows are proud flood survivors--aren't they gorgeous?  They have currently taken up residence on a high shelf in my kitchen, but took a stroll to the garden this afternoon for a bit of fresh air.
Several trips to IKEA this week (a big project is in the works) ended with a couple of great finds in the clearance department.  I found two of these great glass jars for $1 each!  A bit of scrap fabric to dress them up in shabby but cheerful fashion...
This gorgeous cross-stitched pink tea towel was also a $1 find in the IKEA clearance section...
The beautiful little Japanese bowl was a $1.99 clearance find at Ross...
And I painted the lovely little plain wood birdhouse during the holidays--it was a great Walmart find for $1.97.
A fun way to combine some great bargain finds with a couple of pieces that are very dear to my heart. 

I think of my Gram every time I'm in the garden... and she was with me today in spirit, admiring her 'beautiful babies', as she used to call her owls.

  I'll leave you with something she used to always cheerfully recite to me when I was a little girl:
The wise old owl sat in an oak,
The more he saw the less he spoke,
The less he spoke the more he heard,
Why aren't we like that wise old bird?


24/01/2013 8:52pm

Oh I'm so happy that you were able to save those sweet little owls. They are lovely. We had a house fire several years ago and while the fire did extensive damage the water did more in the end. Glad the owls are with you now. I know they are so special to you.

25/01/2013 12:28pm

Thank you, Melinda--anyone who has experienced that kind of loss will completely understand how important small things like photographs and family heirlooms are! I'm sorry to hear of your house fire, but glad you are 'refeathering' and sharing your journey. :-)

25/01/2013 11:35am

Very lovely post, filled with heart and soul! Reminds me on my childhood!
You're certainly very creative! Inspired by nature.
Greetings from the Périgord,

And thank you very much for your friendly comment, would love to see an image of your "furry-four-legged" one, whenever, however....:)

25/01/2013 12:30pm

Thank you, Karin!

Our furry boys could certainly be brothers--I'll post a pic of Mr Oliver aka Pussito so you can see him! :-)

26/01/2013 8:49am

Your little owls are so sweet. I'm happy you were able to salvage something of your grandmother's.

Linking from Share Your Cup Thursday,
Ricki Jill

29/01/2013 11:39pm

Thank you, Ricki Jill! They mean so much to me--I'm so grateful to have salvaged them! I'm so glad you stopped by!

29/01/2013 10:09pm

So happy you were able to safe these adorable owls. Thank you so much for sharing this inspiring story at Simple & Sweet Fridays. Have a wonderful week!


29/01/2013 11:40pm

Thanks, Jody! I'm so glad you enjoyed my little owls' story!

30/01/2013 10:01am

Oh I love your beautiful heirlooms and your vignette is so pretty. Thanks tons for joining TTT. Hugs, Marty

11/02/2013 4:07pm

Hi Leisa,

So nice to meet you!

I so enjoyed reading about your Gram and her very special owls. I'm glad you were able to save the ones you did and they seem satisfied here in this little delicate garden. I've memorized your Gram's poem; how true it is! I hope to stay true to its message, myself.

Thanks for stopping by and your very kind words.


PS: It's warmed up here the last few days... your hugs went a long way!


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