Posted by: mew | January 17, 2010

a week’s worth

Here’s a whole week’s worth of Creative Every Day.  (It works much better for me to post at week’s end with the previous week’s activity, so I think I’ll be sticking with that format.)

In the foreground of this shot sits my first creative project of the week, a seed organizer, made from an empty soda box.  I cut little rectangles of cardboard to act as dividers and separated my seed packets into their appropriate time slots, using Clemson University’s very detailed information for this bioregion.  Every 15 days beginning February 1st, something is ready to be planted, either indoors or out, and usually both.

Completing this seed organizer made me feel as if spring was just around the corner — and that I could tackle the sowing, at least, one gentle, doable step at a time.

(Also on the shelf, and just visible, is the sign one of my neighbors had made for us and taped to our front door upon our return from honeymooning in Tennessee.)

Just after Christmas, these little frame magnets went on clearance at my local drugstore, for less than a dollar each.  I had it in mind to cover the freezer door on my refrigerator, which is scratched, rusted, and wears half-scraped-off stickers and other signs that it’s been around nearly as long as the duplex, itself.  I’m estimating its birth date to be somewhere in the early ’70s, like my own.

And while I love vintage, I don’t love ugly.

On Monday, I put a whole series of photographs of the cardinal climber vine in the magnets and created a collage that cheers me each time I see it.  F. really likes it, too, and suggested I change it up each month, doing “portraits” of various garden plants or a cat (or two) or another aspect of our daily lives, making this an ongoing creative project which is not only practical, but easy, quick to complete, and fun.

I’ve even thought of hunting for my French magnetic poetry set and adding some words to the next collage.

Speaking of cardinal climber vine, about mid-week I decided it was time to thresh out the seeds from their thoroughly dried seedpods.  While tossing the chaff into the compost bin, I realized how beautifully it caught the light.  Once completely emptied, the seedpods became translucent and so lovely.  (Nice and symbolic; don’t you think?)

I had to get the camera out, you know.

One night this week was spent sketching garden plans, daydreaming of all that may be once spring blossoms — and trying to shoehorn my grandiose daydreams into a fairly small kitchen garden.  Just last year, this garden was more space than I’d ever dreamed of having.  Already my imagination has outgrown it.  How’s that for artistic progress?

It’s not only our gardens.  We all grow by leaps and bounds.  It just isn’t always obvious, I’m learning, and it’s especially hard to witness while the growth is ongoing.  (Is that what the dormant season of winter is for, so that we can pause long enough to pull inward and see?)

To read more about this lettuce planting, check out the article on my other blog.

For Creative Every Day’s purposes, I’m including the invention of waterproof plant markers from materials I already had in the house.  I did not want to buy more plant labels made of plastic, but last year’s wooden ones were destroyed by season’s end.  We live in a very fertile region, and while I’m glad decomposition is speedy when it comes to my compost, it does create some issues.

By the time these seedlings are grown to transplant size, I’ll recognize them by sight.  Until then, a matchstick, some clear tape, and a bitty strip of notebook paper solved my problem.  And the resulting flags are kind of cute.

And last but not least… artisan bread.  I made healthy whole grain bread for F.’s lunches (these are tiny individual loaves) and for our breakfast four days this week, and cooked up some lovely homemade soup to accompany it on Friday.

I love how homemade bread looks all cattywampus.  Reminds me of my garden plants, how because I follow a no-kill policy the leaves get nibbled, and sometimes the fruit, and nothing ever seems to look like the grocery store produce, sprayed and coddled and spoon-fed chemicals since infancy.  But, oh, the difference in taste is incredible!  So incredible that I’ve come to automatically prefer slightly imperfect-looking vegetables.

That’s how I feel about my lopsided homemade bread.



  1. I love this post, and how you showed how simple being creative every day can be. (At least it sounds simple, but maybe I underestimate the effort you put forth.) I also love how you used creativity in several different areas of your life and recognized it as such. Great!

    • Thank you, Kathy! That’s exactly what I’m trying to do with CED 2010, making room for creativity every day — yet not making it too big a deal, you know? As Julia Cameron says, “Easy does it.” I really don’t feel it was that much effort this week. But it was fun!

  2. I want that bread!!!!!!!

    • 🙂 I can send you a recipe, if you’d like, Pam.

  3. I am envious of your seeds! I wish I had land to grow a garden. This summer I am going to try growing tomatoes and cucumbers on my tiny apartment balcony. My grandpa assured me he would assist. But a big part of me wishes I could just sneak to his house and raid his garden every single day instead!

    • Whitney, I’ve had great success growing things on a balcony. Never tried cucumbers, but I bet they would work if you trellis them properly. 🙂 Maybe your granpa is hoping you’ll raid his garden anyway… because it means you will visit. I definitely would, if I were you. The days of my grandfather being able to raise his own vegetables are gone, sadly, and I so miss walking the fields with him now that he’s housebound.

  4. I love your seed holder too! Very creative. And that bread looks divine. xo

  5. Ooooh, seed organizer! Smartness! I might have to do that too. The old paper bag full of seed packets isn’t working for me anymore. And I do need to go through and figure out what I need to order this year. I seem to remember being out of a lot of stuff at the end of the last season!
    I love your post! The bread! Wow. Thanks for some new ideas about ways to be creative!

    • Yeah, my old paper bag full of packets had turned into a sealed box of packets last year and was way out of control. 🙂

      Thanks for the compliments, Emily!

  6. Gorgeous. I loved “hanging out” with you this week. 🙂

    • Thanks, julie! I’ll be sure to stop by your place soon. 🙂

  7. beatiful bread – and I love your seed organiser.

    Mine are all stashed in a cupboard, in a heap and not at all organised. *blush*.

    • No need to blush, kelly! I usually do that, too. It’s just, I was feeling the need to take control of the situation this year. 🙂

      Thanks for the compliments.

  8. I love love this! I love Spring time and gardens and homemade bread. Beautiful.

  9. Wow, what an amazing amount of work. So wonderful and diverse.

    • It really didn’t feel like so much work, Sandy. I expect you know what I mean. 😉 Creativity is play!

  10. I loved this post, Meredith! I have been reading a book by Elaine St. James titled – Living the Simple Life – and this post reminds me that the simple touches can make all the difference. Those name flags are way cute! Your artisan bread looks delicious! I adore the smell of bread baking in the oven. I like that you have a ‘no kill’ attitude for the fruit and vegetables in your garden ~ 🙂

    • Serena, I think I do live a pretty simple life. Maybe I’m a simple person. 🙂 Glad you liked the post!

  11. You take incredible photographs – and I love all the little ways you found to be creative in your every day life!

    • Thank you, Ruthie, on both counts! 🙂

  12. Love your mosaic behind the seed divider. I love the idea of a being creative every day. Recently, handmade a few little things for our new home and this was very satisfying. Wasn’t that creative today… hm, if you consider negotiating creatively being part of that… than I might have been a little creative. Some members of my future team are quite obstructive now and I have no clue how this will all end. Will I have to quit before even having started?

    • Soo-bean, that mosaic is a lovely piece of Mandy’s, a huge canvas which did not sell at her gallery show. I couldn’t believe it didn’t sell, and then couldn’t believe my luck when she gave it to me upon our move up here. I love it so much. It’s made of torn bits of glossy magazine pages that were destined for the recycle bin. 🙂

      Negotiating can be creative, indeed. It doesn’t sound like negotiating, though, if you are considering quitting already. It sounds like fighting for your professional life. 😦

  13. Love it all. The bread looks yummy.

    • We are having it again today. 🙂 It is pretty tasty.

  14. cattywampus…such a great word. And I love the photo of those seed pods. lovely!

    • I heard that “cattywampus” was a Southern expression. Not sure whether it’s true. But it does seem to get across the idea. 😉

      Thanks for the compliment, brandi.

      On an unrelated note, I was so sorry to hear about your loss. Hope you and Jason are faring better…

  15. Boy are you ever creative. Your garden is going to be AWESOME. Love what you’ve done organizing and planning. That bread looks wonderful.

    • Well, I never count on the garden doing much, ever since I lost everything a couple of years ago in a record-breaking drought. My grandfather’s wisdom helps here, too. Whenever I imagine what loveliness might happen and get too excited, or imagine what horrors might befall the garden and become despondent, I try and remember his words about the weather: Take it as it comes. 🙂

  16. the seedpod photo is just breathtaking. i am so glad you saw the beauty in them. i am not surprised by this. you are beauty.

  17. I like the picture titled ’empty’… it’s got almost a sepia-tone to it. 🙂

  18. I had the best time exploring your blogs, art, and you. 😀

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