Summer is here...

With Ben's school year ending last Friday, we are in summer mode!
The lilacs have already come and gone, but the state flower, the Columbine, is in full bloom.  I have them in many colors in my garden; with the hot, dry weather we have here it's best to try to be satisfied with what is native, I've found.
As I spent most of the Spring sick in bed, I never got around to my usual spring cleaning so over the last few days, as my son sleeps until noon, I've been trying to work on that; I began with clearing off my crowded, side kitchen counter.
I also did some re-arranging on the shelves which show off some of my favorite red-themed the top of the above photo, my fun new greeting card from Julia, which I have mounted like a print; it proclaims, Her Royal Highness Queen Mum, which is a name I will answer to!
I also got busy putting up my seasonal artwork, including this assemblage of the art collages I made at Birdsong Two.
I started with this kitschy black light painting that I'd found at a thrift store sometime last year (or so...)  I bought it because I thought the frame was so pretty.
I found the little note on the back very endearing, too.  (But I guess Jennie didn't love the picture as much as grandpa and grandma hoped she would.)
I took the picture out of the frame and wrapped it with some beautiful old wallpaper -- not an easy task as paper like this is VERY brittle!  It took a couple of tries.  Then, I attached the three collages to the paper using Glue Dots; for the one in the middle, I used fabric corners.
Here's how it looks arranged on my wall; sorry for the fuzzy photo -- the light in my family room is never very good for photos.  But you get the idea; I arranged it with that lovely bird purse I bought from Lisa, and the wonderful woven pouch we made at Birdsong last year -- also taught by Lisa.
And, how is this for irony: the day I was working on putting up the natural, bird-y decor inside my house, I discovered some birds building a nest on the back of my wreath which was hanging on the front door!  It breaks my heart, but I had to take it down.  We have had birds try to nest in the front door wreath many times before, and it always ends in heartbreak.
But the good news is that I caught the nest-builders early and they relocated their efforts to the birdhouse in our backyard!  They are the second nesting couple in that house so far this season!  (The above photo is from the first set, a couple of weeks ago.)
The birdhouse outside is similar to this inside one I keep for decoration; both were made and painted by the dear friend I lost last year to cancer, Michelle.  The one above was something we worked on together:

she brought over the weathered bird house that she had kept on her front porch, and we experimented with putting some of my broken china mosaic pieces over it.
I love the collaboration, and its sweet memories of my friend.


Linda said…
Are those buttons I see in those jars-imagine that. Love the frame with your art work display, a nice idea. And the bird house-oh my-that's the prettiest, fanciest bird house I think I've ever seen. Sounds like Ben is happy and you are busy, good start to the summer.
I see you have a red & white calendar plate like one I had and then at flea market bought 4 more last Saturday, still need one more.
All you treasures are things I really like , the coin purses are great
Tami Hacker said…
Hello your Royal Highness Queen Mum... you are so funny!

This is my 3rd attempt via Google to leave a comment - hope 3rd times a charm.

My favs are:
Those kitten kitchen towels! And next to displayed buttons... swooning for sure!

Totally adore your old frame with vintage wallpaper and your INCREDIBLE Bird Song II assemblage art - a perfect fit!

How wonderful to have your special memory bird houses for Michelle!

XO, Tami
Unknown said…
I have birds that do the same thing and they scare us half to death whenever we open the door, so I had to stop putting anything on the door! I love that you have real bluebirds, we have Robin's but they aren't that amazing blue. Nice job with the painting. I bet that was one of those Hawaii craze things from back then...
Kathy said…
Oh how sweet to have that memory made with a friend - love it!
Lisa said…
What a cute glimpse of your life Laurie. What special memories with your friend.
I love your kitty towels and I want to hear more about that precious house painting on your kitchen shelf.
Great job to recover that old painting and to display your collages. :)

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