Thursday, May 7, 2009

Hidden Treasures: The Hands Reveal the Heart

Creative hands give birth to the hidden treasures of the heart. Some people just have a knack for using their hands and my dear friend Julie from Gilded Moons is one of them. She is a lovely young woman that I met last summer as a result of stepping into one of the most elegant vintage shops in our city. I learned quickly that Julie not only has the ability to rescue an old button, a scrap of vintage ribbon or a swath of fabric and turn it into a "must have" piece, but has a heart for authenticity in life. Her shop was filled with items that she selected during her numerous trips to Europe along with handmade treasures that she and her friends carefully created using ribbons, vintage jewelry pieces and paper. Here are just some of the lovely things that she has made that I was fortunate enough to get from her; unfortunately, the lighting is not suitable to show the detail of a frame made from two vintage buckles, an invitation to a recent elegant soirée/sale with champagne and handmade earrings that I wear frequently. Please click on the photos. Wouldn't you just feel special receiving such an invitation in the mail? I was at the party with bells on, some change in my pocket and a smile for my friend!

Julie is also an exceptional seamstress. The detail on this chaise lounge is astounding; my mother, who sewed quite well, would have worshiped Julie for her attention to the detail in the back...I was never that neat!

Another person with gifted hands is my husband. He plays guitar beautifully, but also takes pleasure in building and creating the fairytale look. He is a talented gardener and with the exception of several attempts I made to help move some dirt, he single-handily landscaped our entire property. He maintains the pruning of the trees every year and enjoys applying the art of bonsai to the outdoor plants.

His gardening skills and woodwork are show stoppers. The uniqueness of our overhangs, shutters and gate draw the curiosity of walkers. We have made many an acquaintance transforming our home! My husband's talents don't stop outside, however. The entire kitchen and newly remodeled bath are the product of his attention to detail.

Then there are my hands; I write, I draw, I make books, I have sewn costumes on occasion, I play the harp and I make whatever I think is beautiful. However, there is one more person that I want to honor on this day: my mama, mi madre, ma mère.

I regret that I no longer have the hundreds of Barbie doll clothes, prom dresses, and dance costumes that she sewed for me in my youth. All that I have left is something that she made for me while she was dying of cancer 21 years ago and I was 3000 miles away. When I arrived in Los Angeles to see her, I was sick to my stomach from worry. When I got to the house, I apprehensively walked into her bedroom for fear of seeing her in her condition, however, what I saw instead was a beautiful soul, drowning out the stain of illness and beaming with the love of a mother. Never complaining but always thinking of others, the first thing she said to me was, "Hello mijha! (a term of endearment in Spanish). I made something for you and it's in the closet." I took the package out and freed the surprise from its rumpled wrapper. This is what was inside:

I wept. I still do. I have no words to express why everytime I see this little 25 cent plastic doll I totally loose it. Perhaps it is the thoughtfulness of my mother that comes to mind; she had no money and was seldom able to buy me things, so she would make me a toy out of whatever was available. Or maybe it's the thought of her being driven to the closest five and dime and use what little money she did have to buy it just for me, her mijha. I don't know. But what I do know is that sometimes, non-verbal communication is much more powerful than words and the memories stay with you for a lifetime.

My dear friends, for those of you who are mothers, I wish you a happy celebration tomorrow and never forget that the gentleness of your actions and the work of your hands will bless your children for a lifetime.

I love you mama. Anita


The Victorian Parlor said...

What a beautiful, heartfelt post. All of the pictures are amazing. Your friend Julie is truly a gifted artist and your husband's handiwork is amazing (love the chandelier in the kitchen:). Your house is simply darling-it makes me think of a storybook house:)

The story of your mother is beautiful. It's a wonderful tribute to her.



Tracie~MyPetiteMaison said...

Hi Anita,
What a beautiful, tribute post for your mother. You truly touched my heart with the words of love for her and that little doll so sweet. How wonderful you carry those memories of love with you every single place you travel.

You home is beautiful with all the hard work you and your husband have put into making it a real castle.

Deborah said...

**weeps** Ever so lovely. Also love your home. It IS like a storybook house. Handy hubbies are keepers. **blows kisses** Deborah

KeKe said...

What lovely things you found in your friends shop!! I would probably love it. :)

Your house looks great!! And you *are* surrounded by oodles of creativity!! Thats one of the best things in life!!

Deborah said...

Thank you for visiting my Mother's Day tribute to my Mommy; however, I am NOT the author of that poem. I listed his name at the bottom of the poem, but now moved it up to the was written by Larry S. Clark. That IS my Mommy on her Harley, though. **blows kisses** Deborah

Tracie~MyPetiteMaison said...

I received your comment, Anita. (((Hugs)))

Jacque said...

The love of a mother--your story tells it so well. Her love for you overcame her sickness and she was made whole by giving you joy. The doll is a treasure.

Fete et Fleur said...

Anita this brought tears to my eyes! I know how much you miss your beloved Mama. She would be so proud of you.


Grace said...

What a beautiful post, Anita! A lovely theme for discussion, and the story of your mom was so moving. Your husband's gardening is just amazing, and his woodwork is out of this world! What talent is displayed in this post! And I also have to mention how lovely your last photo was of your hands on the harp.

I am so greedy when it comes to pictures of your house. I see some, and I think "more more more!!" :)

In response to your sweet words on my blog...

I chuckled out loud when I heard that you and your husband create stories around stuffed animals. We do this too, constantly. In fact, just a couple of weeks ago, I picked up a small 10-cent stuffed airplane-with-a-face for a small gift for my nephew. I brought it home, and Tom (husband) made a huge production of the shy little airplane learning how to fly into my arms. It will be difficult if not impossible to give up that toy now. This is how we end up with so many stuffed animals! :)

Again, thank you so much for your sweet comments about my posts. Your enthusiasm is a high honor to me, as I consider you to be utterly talented in decorating aesthetics!


Dzintra Ingrid said...

How very beautiful Anita...(tears)♥
I adore your Fairytale Cottage...your Husband's handwork does indeed reveal the Heart♥
Your little 25c dolly is truly priceless...not for what it is but for what it represents...I'm sure your Dear Mother is with you in Spirit♥
The Harp has one of the most glorious sounds...Blessings to you Dear One...Dzintra ♥x

Bonnie said...

Hello mijha, how are you this fine Sunday morning?

First of all, your husband, what a keeper, truly a renaissance man! I had a neighbor long gone now who was a bonsai master. He had quite the collection and had a story for each one.

Your home, it is truly a home and not a house. It looks like love resides there.

I love the photo of the chaise and noticed the bedrom slippers on the side! How I would love to recline on that bed surrounded by books - heaven!

And your Mother's Day memory, Anita, it was lovely and a wonderful tribute to a special woman.

Do you know that when I was younger I wanted to learn the harp. I thought it was magical!

Have a wonderful, wonderful day!

Luv, Bonnie

Tristan Robin Blakeman said...

your post made me tear up a bit - a lovely tribute.

... and so many lovely photos today - thanks for the minutes of beauty

Dzintra Ingrid said...

Hi Anita...calling back from the Land Downunder...thank you for those beautiful harp very thoughtful of you...Have a lovely week ♥x

Grace said...

Hello Anita!

I'd love to correspond via email. It seems I'm always leaving you novels here anyway ;)

My email is sidhe_etain 'at' yahoo 'dot' com!

And oh yes...we certainly know about creating stories for our animal friends as well. I've never met a man so kind and well-loved by furry-kind as my husband! :)

Looking forward to your letter, and your rabbit blog! :)

Medieval Muse said...

What a moving and delightful post. Not only do you surround yourself with lovely things, but they are things full of love.

Marie said...

I remember my Auntie well. We used to call her the saint. She had a heart of gold and was slow to anger. When she did anger it was almost entertaining because it was so rare. We all would have to choke back our laugh and wink at each other behind her back as she attempted to express her frustration. What a rare jewel she was. There are so few who could match her.

Anonymous said...

Good evening Anita, What a lovely and heart felt tribute to your mother. I could feel the love as I was reading your post. You doll is beautiful and such a treasure. I would love to recieve a pretty invitation like that. You have a very talented friend. Your house is absolutely beautiful! I could get lost in your library. Your kitchen and bathroom are so charming. I too love your chandelier. Your husband has done such a wonderful job in your home and with your landscaping. I love the harp music in the background. I wish someday you will make a video and play for us. I hope you are having a lovely evening.

The Dutchess said...

Dearest..this is a swift visit between work...I am speechless..such a beautiful post...I miss my mother every day...she died when I was 18..
I will send you a (moussie)mail very soon..
Your husband is a Genius:)))
Big Bear Hug from all of us..

Anonymous said...

thank you anita for the kind words! You are such a talented writer among many other talents you have. Have a lovely week, hope to see you sometime soon!

Rosemary said...

That was a lovely sweet post Anita.
What a wonderful mom you had.
As for your husband, well, he is quite amazing. Love all of the photos. Tell Julie that her art is so beautiful. One thing I cannot do is sew.
Well, back to work on a certain crown.

Thistle Cove Farm said...

Lovely and Loving. The gift of your Mother's heart was given to you to pass to others. Whether we have children or no, we may choose to be mothers to many. The world simply cannot hold enough grace, love and mercy.

Barb said...

Oh Anita,

What a heartfelt post. I cried when I read it. A mother's love runs so deep. Your mother sounds like a beautiful soul and you have received that gift from her.

You and hubby make the perfect team.
I love everything you have done with your home. It is a true reflection of your love.

many hugs,

Crystal Rose Cottage said...

Hello Anita,

I am just playing catch up on reading my favorites and your blog was wonderful! The tribute to your mother was very moving...we all can relate if we have lost our own. Also your husband is very talented! You're a lucky girl!

KarenHarveyCox said...

Anita, what a beautiful post. I love all the fairytales that surround your home. Your mother sounds like such a special woman. So gentle and filled with love. Perhaps your mother didn't have money on earth but she stitched priceless love into your heart.

She blesses you from heaven, you know. I am almost sure that she helped whisper blessings into your castle. She spoke to the angels and prayed that God give you your hearts desire. Isn't any wonder that you play the harp, Anita?

You are filled with blessings, even your garden spills out into the world with your blessings.


Bellamere Cottage said...

What a sweet Mama.....and what a wonderful memory.


Paris Atelier said...

What a beautiful and touching post Anita! I loved reading it. i always leave your blog feeling more positive and more grateful for even the smallest things in life. Thank you! I am so happy our paths have crossed!

Ms. K @ Write On Thyme said...

I can't believe I missed this post! What a moving tribute to your 'mere'! We cry for them so many years later no matter what kind of relationship we had with them.
Btw, I also have one of those Bonsai neighbors. I think he tends about 50 of them and also loves to tell stories about them. He's helped me start a couple and i'm hoping to get a few more lessons from him. Cudos to your fabulous husband! Stunning work!
Thanks for sharing these photos!

Such a Wondrous Place this Faery Space said...

Such a lovely experience, this post. You tell many heart stories and it is sweet and golden. Thanks for sharing. Blessings from Amy.

Crown of Beauty said...

I came over from a friend's blog.

I just didn't want to leave without letting you know came by.

What a delightful place your blog is! I truly enjoyed my visit, seeing the pictures of your lovely home, the gardens, the bonsai, your husband's artistic touches, as well as yours... and the heartwarming tribute to your mom that brought tears to my eyes.

My father also used to call me "Mi hija" (My daughter) when I was young.

Cynthia said...

Hello Anita~

The delicious red coverlet is
utterly gorgeous!
The purple flowers are a small
And the adorable doll from your
Mother is certainly a heartbreaker.
Isn't always the little things that
carry such kindness and touch the
heart so very much?

Christopher Barrios said...

Anita, I am speechless.
Though I had the privilege of seeing your mother only a few times...I can still see her lovely face so clearly to this day.
Thank you for sharing your heart and touching ours.