Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Day 274- My Garden Of Neglected Things



We have a display cabinet that used to showcase pretty merchandise in a lifestyle store. It was offered to me when the store ceased business and would have gone to the garbage disposal man if I had said no. I simply could not allow that. Standing tall and clumsy in a corner of the walkway to the kitchen, holding mainly my art supplies and carelessly chucked materials, it was probably the least loved piece of furniture in my home. In fact, my housemate still hates it.

He calls it the chunky piece of junk and has been bugging me to throw it out. 


On the top shelf of this cabinet stood a dozen or so empty glass bottles. One or two of them have been there since 2006 when the cabinet first arrived. Over the years I have amassed a small collection of these bottles, some added after boozing with my girlfriends but most after nursing a couple of broken or lonely or confused hearts. Now these bottles, unlike the cabinet, were completely useless and not even particularly pretty. I kept them anyway, to serve as reminders, I thought. Truth is I can longer remember the occasions they were associated with.

So there they remained, on that top shelf , collecting dust and faded memories.


Stashed deep inside another cupboard, hidden in dirty plastic bags were bunches and bunches of plastic plants. The bulk of them were bought when I first started making miniatures, meaning these plastic plants and the plastic bags they came with were at least two years old, some even three. I wanted them for my Maharaja's palace, my tribal house, my firefly park.

Alas, it was a case of out of sight, out of mind 
because none of these plants were used in any of my projects. 


So 2 weeks ago, in between rusting gardening tools for the kurinji flowers and dirtying light-bulb bottles for the window sills of my tribal house , I decided it was time I clear some of those cobwebs.


I started the process by throwing away some of these things. There were not many of them because I kept thinking up excuses why they should stay. Like this metal woven cylinder that I could not even identify. I know though that it was an engine part of my old car, a vintage Alfa Romeo that has long gone to the scrap yard. Look at how they weaved those metal strips. What is it, do you know?


Then there were the broken branches and a couple of fallen fruits. I could not bear to throw them away when they looked so sweet on Flora's scallop shell.


And I just have to keep these tin cans for tea. They were from two mooncake festivals ago and I still remember why we got them, how it happened, what was said and who I was with.


You must have guessed by now that I was trying to create a tropical garden with a motley collection of neglected things, souvenirs from my past, presents for the present.


Tribal bowls from Africa, a trip I made more than 10 years ago. 


A wooden bottle canteen from the same trip.


And Win's present, a loud red box which he had bought from the salvation army thrift store. 
My brother knows me well.


It is fall now.




My favourite time of the year.


For the 1st time in my life, I see these glorious leaves in ways I have never seen before.


So I used them in my garden, as a canvas to pay tribute to the autumn colours and my friends.


Now if you ever visit, my garden in a display shelf is just around this corner.


Open the left most window of this walkway,


you'll see a garden with a great big tree.

Look through the same window from out there,


you'll find my garden with the bottled trees.
This garden is nowhere close to the other, not by a million miles,
but at least, with it, I can pretend I am a gardener.


59 comments:

Eliana said...

Amazing cabinet!

Dark Squirrel Victoria said...

Sans! You have created beauty and made me smile :)

Hugs,
Victoria

carmen said...

ERES un jardinero, quien lo duda?

Drora's minimundo said...

You show signs of being a great gardener. It's very handy to have a collection of greens when for when you need them. A great photographer you already are.
Hugs

Sans! said...

Hardly amazing, Eliana but thank you :).

Sans! said...

And Vic, you made me smile too :).

Sans! said...

O Carmen, que me has dado un gran cumplido. Siempre, siempre quiso ser un jardinero.

Sans! said...

Drora, one day, I hope I can show off a real garden. One that I create with my own bare hands and maybe a couple of rusty tools.:)

Thank you for your faith and your encouragement.

Alison said...

Ahhh, Sans...a similarity between us? I'm sentimental towards certain things that beg to stay when logic (or people) says, "Throw it out...space hogs, dust collectors!" But my emotions allow them to remain :)

Great memory "garden".

ps I'm not a hoarder, hahaha.

The Old Maid said...

Glad to know I am not the only one who likes to collect things to keep memories alive.;) I love both window's views.:)And the tins are so pretty:)

Maria Ireland said...

I couldnt have thrown any of them out either :) Your garden of memories looks wonderful.Hugs Maria

Jennifer Rydell@Plushpussycat said...

This was such an enjoyable read, Sans! Thanks for letting us a little further into your world. It's so good to know you. :-)

malu2 said...

oh Sans, el proximo proyecto sera un jardín tropical, perfecto, aqui estare, para verlo!!!!
Besos de las Malu´s.

Lataina said...

Oh Sans, what do men know! That cabinet is wonderful. I love the shape and style. You've given it a wonderful new look with all it's decor. =)

BiWuBär said...

Do I have to find words for how beautiful this post and the pics are? ;O) And it was very comforting, too - it's always great to see others who can't throw away things where memories still hang on to. And I believe in our case being miniaturists and crafters it's even worse because there's this little demon in our ear whispering "Someday you will need this piece"...

Greetings
Birgit

P.S.: Flutterby asked me to give you a big hug, he says you can call him "Fluby" anytime. He enjoyed having a nickname - gotta keep an eye on the little fellow, I think. And of course Flutterby and all the other BiWuBears were made by me - every little one shown on the blog is my own "child" (except for the few guest bears like Plums or Bubble where I always put the link to their creators). Thank you for asking - and a very big thank you for struggling with that translation, I really appreciate that. But I think translating all my very long posts into English would make my blog explode... (LOL)

Ara said...

Sans, I just love this garden and all the work and memories you put into it! And I love the 'chunky piece of junk'too! I think its charming and I would love to look at it every day! I am not a gardener in any way so plastic plants are my friends for life! Many hugs, Ara

Rosamargarita said...

Eso es EXACTAMENTE un jardin... un lugar de relajación, recuerdos y frescura! Me encanta! el pequeño y el gran jardin con enorme árbol!
Un abrazo y muchos besos

Rosamargarita said...

Eso es EXACTAMENTE un jardin... un lugar de relajación, recuerdos y frescura! Me encanta! el pequeño y el gran jardin con enorme árbol!
Un abrazo y muchos besos

Outdoor playground equipment said...

You show signs of being a great gardener. It's very handy to have a collection of greens when for when you need them. A great photographer you already are.

Marion said...

You have such a creative mind, every which way you look at it. Great stuff!

Flor said...

Que jardín más bello!! Ö
Se antoja estar ahí y disfrutar de lo verde y el aire fresco Ü
Y también me gusta todo lo que hay en cada foto ( ;
Un abrazo
Flor

Ascension said...

Somos unas incomprendidas jejeje
Nuestros maridos no entienden que "todo nos sirve", sino ahora dentro de 20 años jejeje
Unas botellas de unas buenas borracheras, unas plantas de plastico que solo sirven para coger polvo (aunque nuestra intencion fuese hacer un jardin tropical....pero son nuestras jejeje)
Me ha encantado la pieza de tu Alfa Romeo (yo por lo general no guardo cosas tan grandes.....debe ser que mi piso es pequeño jejeje)
Yo creo que eres una buena jardinera, solo hay que mirar por tu ventana.
besitos asc.

Norma said...

I loved reading this post Sans, you are blessed with a magical touch to turn the mundane (a load of old stuff - LOL) to amusement and, dare I say it, ART! The story is amusing and the photos wonderful. It's a stroke of genius to turn it into a 'garden' :)

Norma Soulet (AZArtist) said...

Hi Sans,
I love that cabinet and all the bottles with the flowers in them!
Don't throw anything away! It all looks great.
Lots of hugs

Daydreamer said...

Dear Sans! I LOVE the picture with the pink sunlight streaming in the window! And I LOVE that you have made a GARDEN of your neglected corner! I am GLAD it is Fall.... your favorite season! Here the Fall has a VERY Melancholy feel for me..... the winter is approaching.... but FIRST we have this GLORIOUS and BRIEF burst of AMAZING BRILLIANT COLOR! It takes your breath away EVERY YEAR!
I Too, am finding Amy's looking closer to be very inspiring.....
But I find your creative use of Plastic plants to be at least as inspiring! They adorn your collections in such a beautiful way.... green is such an amazing color that way.... it brings out the BEST in EVERY OTHER Color! But your old corner shelf collecting lost and unused bits, now honored by the greenery and the evening sun.... is Beautiful... even more so for being an accidental and unintended collection! Like a garden of beautiful weeds..... I read somewhere once that every shelf and tabletop where things gather is like an Altar..... what better way to honor it than turning it into a Garden!

Katrina said...

Every time I visit your blog I become glad. It´s interesting to wait for your new ideas. Hugs Kati

WeeLittleWest / Kathy Olaf-Obrenski said...

Wonderful! I love that cabinet!!

Ana Anselmo said...

may I say something? may I, Sans? When i saw your cabinet just one idea comes to my head...oh! this will accumulate lots of dust... and not easy to clean ....LOL

Amy said...

How could I have been so late to your post? Forgive me, Sans, I've been so swallowed up by "have to do's" I'm losing track of the things I love to do. I love the cabinet, and I especially love the idea of the bottles there, that they hold old sorrows, contain them, keep them from you but remain there as reminders. That's beautiful. And I can't get "mooncake" out of my head. If a word could dance, this would be a dancing word.

Thank you so much for linking to my sidewalk-and for loving fallen leaves.

One thing you know more than any other, is that the size of the garden doesn't measure its beauty. I've seen acres of garden that doesn't have the meaning that your cupboard garden has. If any cupboard could hold a soul, yours does just that.

Sans! said...

Ok, I am rolling on the floor here . Ana, I smile a lot when I read comments but I hardly ever laugh as loud.

You are of course, absolutely right! The dust! Especially on the bottles and plastic plants (by the way, since this post, I have added some more creepers!) But you know what? It will be no different from what it was before, except prettier. I prized pretty over all kinds of inconvenience sometimes, even health hazards (like heels that hurt).

Another thing I like. Plastic plants with a few layers of dirt .I have pots of little fake plants that I left on my window sills for the past 15 years. I am not kidding when I say sometimes I thought they were real. It's the *ahem* rich layers of grime. Really adds to the realism. Really! Try it!

You must think I live in a dusty rusty musky house. I do. Some people call it shabby chic.

teehee

Sans! said...

Ali-san- me no hoarder, no no no :). My housemate will of course beg to differ.

Ok, here's how you tell the difference between a hoarder and a collector (courtesy of Mayo (?) clinic at http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/hoarding/DS00966/DSECTION=symptoms)

People who hoard typically save items because they believe these items will be needed or have value in the future (oops). A person also may hoard items that he or she feels have important emotional significance — serving as a reminder of happier times, for example, or representing beloved people or pets (oopsie poodle!). People who hoard may report feeling safer when surrounded by the things they save (phew...not me, i think).

It's important to note that hoarding is different from collecting. People who have collections, such as stamps or model cars, deliberately search out specific items for their collections(Yes!). Collectors often categorize their items and carefully display them (YES!). Hoarders, on the other hand, will save random items they encounter in their daily life and store them haphazardly in their homes or surrounding areas (OOOOOOPS! but, but they are only for my minis and, and nooo, I don't store them hazardly...they are just shoved into cupboards..yes, many of them , and nowhere people can seeeee...heeeeeeeelp!)

Sans! said...

Ewa, can you see the thin line between collecting and hoarding? :)

Nahhhh, don't worry, we are not hoarders. Hoarders collect newspapers, stacks and stacks. Not us, right? ..teehee

I think I am going to build a real garden of tin cans and glass bottles just to put these things into some use.

Sans! said...

(((((((((((Maria Ireland))))))))))))
and kisses for you :)

Sans! said...

Thank you Jen for reading my ramblings. :)

Sans! said...

Jejeje que eres tan inteligente, MaLu. Siempre he querido hacer un pequeño jardín tropical.

besos

Ana Anselmo said...

LOL!!!!!!!!!!!! I confess I have several plastic plants too, but they are in the attic (my working room), since my husband hate them....
Hugs

Snowfern said...

i'm COMING OVER~~~~!!!!

doral real estate said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sans! said...

Ana, I hate anything plastic except realistic plants. They make them very well in this part of the world. Especially Thailand.

Sans! said...

Liz, I am not a sexist but when it comes to beautiful things (especially when they appear useless), I will have to agree with you, what do men know?

That shelf is awkward but I have always had a soft spot for most things awkward. I bet you do too.

Sans! said...

Birjit, you are so beary talented! Ok, you must get that alllll the beary time!:) Such a beary bad joke.

By the way,a few people have told me that if there is an animal that can represent me, I am either a grizzly bear (grouchy), a panda bear (clumsy plus dark rings under my eyes)or a polar bear (cos I hibernate like them). :) No wonder Fluby and I get along .

Sans! said...

Ara, I walked home today determined to start gardening. Just a little patch in front of my kitchen, nothing adventurous. 2012. :)

Sans! said...

Rosam, un día tal vez se visita tanto de mi jardín?

Sans! said...

Thank you, OPE

Sans! said...

And you Marion, have such a sweet tongue :) Thank you :)

Sans! said...

Hoy en día, he trabajado en mi casa tribal en honor a ustedes, Flor. Tengo que confesar que siempre he preferido las hojas de las flores:). Esto significa que mis jardines no son de colores, verde y marrón solo. Hoy, sin embargo, he trabajado en un pequeño rincón de la casa tribal y en realidad tienen más de 4 colores en ese pequeño espacio, porque me decidí a plantar flores, como su nombre:), mi querido amigo:).

Besos y abrazos

Sans! said...

Ascensión, teehee, Alfa Romeo y la F1! Esta noche tenemos la carrera de F1 en Singapur. En los últimos 3 días y las noches, puedo oír "vroooooooooooooooooom Vroooooooooooooom Vroomvroooooooooom" y mi casa está a 1 km de las pistas! Ver qué tan fuerte es su sonido?

Ascensión, me encantaba coches clásicos. Yo tenía un Alfa Romeo antes. que era un 1750GTV en las carreras de color verde. :) Pero es imposible petend usted es un corredor en la F1. El coche es demasiado lento. Sin embargo, era mejor que mi ojo de rana Austin Healey. Ese coche pasó la mayor parte de su tiempo en el taller. Creo que se rompió casi cada vez que trato de unidad:). No hay coches más clásico para mí. De hecho, yo no tengo un coche ahora .. solo las piezas del coche .... jaja.

Sans! said...

Teehee Norma. I love your combo, art and amusement ! :). And genius? I think I am called that only in blogland. No wonder I love it here :). Thank you dearie.

Sans! said...

Norma S, I won't throw anything away but finally, I have started using some of these plants for the tribal house ! Hooray!

Sans! said...

Bets , till I was in uni, my favourite colour was blue. Then it became green and I don't think I have ever looked back since. I am convinced its the green that's making the shelf pop (don't you love that word?) :), no magic really or any particular artistry. My real garden is completely neglected (except for the mowing once a month) but I still love it cos I only have greens and browns in it. :) The trees have grown so tall here and some of them have such long spindly branches and roots dangling down from so high that once my brother said he wouldn't be surprise if his car gets eaten up by that tree if he should park underneath it :).

If only I have a good memory... I would have loved to study trees. :) They are probably one of my most favoritest things in the whole world. :) and because of them, dawn or dusk at my house is beautiful. I think I live in an enchanted forest. :)

Sans! said...

Every time you visit, Kati, I become glad too :). Thank you :)

Sans! said...

Thank you Kathy O-O :)

Sans! said...

O Amy, you are a silver tongue! And I only mean it in a good way. Have you read the Inkheart series? I swear you too can read every character to life:).

Mooncakes :). They are very much linked to dancing in a way. On the night of the Mooncake Festival, when the moon is invariably full and bright, the adults gathered to have tea and mooncakes. Little children carry lanterns and walk the street . Back when I was a kid, the lanterns were lit with little birthday candles. So as we walked, our lanterns would sway as if we were waltzing with oir lanterns :).

Mooncake Festival is celebrated like Valentine's Day in Hongkong and China.And dances were held for men and women to meet on that day.

In Inkheart, the silver tongue's name was Mo. And you, the other silver tongue shall henceforth be nicknamed Mooncake :) teehee

Sans! said...

Ello Sindhi ..*gigggggles. Remember how I was sleepy that day when you guys were here? I still am today!

Ascension said...

Sans que sepas que vi la carrera de coches en la tele y le dije a mi marido, "mira...hay vive Sans, una buena amiga de las minis".
Esperaba verte en la tele y que saludases jejejeje
besitos ascension

Sans! said...

Ascensión, ¿sabes quién es mi piloto de Fórmula 1 favorito? Alonso, por supuesto! :) Ganó dos veces en el Gran Premio de Singapur. Siempre lo he querido porque parecía tan humilde. Que conducía Renault cuando se convirtió en campeón, un coche que no era considerado como de alto rendimiento como dicen McClaren o Ferrari. Yo no soy un fan de la F1 grande y realmente no disfrutar del espectáculo en vivo. Casi me desmayo del sonido (aunque hable en voz alta a mí mismo). Mi sobrino de 7 años de edad, fue a ver la carrera en vivo con su papá este año. Estaba tan feliz que estaba viendo la carrera, moviendo su trasero como si estuviera conduciendo el coche sí mismo:). Se levantó al público sonriendo a su entusiasmo. Él es la única persona que conozco que realmente le gusta ir a las pistas para ver la carrera .. jajaja

dale's dreams said...

I love it! It looks fabulous!!! :)

Sans! said...

Heh,Dale, do you remember this shelf at all ? :) You are one of 5 mini friends who have /could have seen it in person. But despite its size, it was easy to miss.

dale's dreams said...

Oh, I noticed! I notice a lot of things other peeps miss. Strange quality about me. lol ;)

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