Beth Markel

Spring Begins…sort of

Posted on May 18, 2013 by Beth Markel

What inspires me?  This is the question that motivates me daily this year, and I’ve been pretty diligent about keeping a journal of daily inspirations – creatively speaking.  I’ve discovered that I love texture – not just fabric, as I started out by hating to sew, but doing clay work while still in junior high and loving the subtle difference between thrown pots and coiled pots, but now I enjoy all textures – nubbly tweeds, smooth marble, rough bricks, and mesmerizing, vintage chenille bedspreads,  just to name a few.  This week I went to a brilliant, little museum call the A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum in Houghton, MI…waaayyyy up in the U.P. on the campus of Michigan Tech.  This is a gem of a find – pun intended!  It’s a stunningly beautiful museum with modern sensibilities, wonderful exhibits and information, and maybe best of all, a gift shop that is incredibly well-priced.  The staff is very friendly and helpful.  I started my Christmas shopping.  Don’t laugh, my son has already mocked me for Christmas shopping in May.


Multi-Colored Spheres: granite, calcite, sandstone...

Multi-Colored Spheres: granite, calcite, sandstone…

 Early Christmas...a beautiful and unique vase from the Seaman Mineral Museum at Michigan Tech

Also, FINALLY, my daffodils are in full bloom – YEA!  They are glorious!   If you aren’t a gardener, this may not seem like much of a big deal, but S-P-R-I-N-G this year has been an elusive player.  Last Sunday on Mother’s Day we had snow, some freezing rain which bounced on our heads, and finally a little bit of sleet.  It was lovely.  OK, that was facetious, as it was a lot like Easter Sunday…cold, rainy, gray, dreary, with a side of ugly.  Earlier in the week it had been 74° and sunny, so many of us hopeful gardeners moved some of our tender plants outside…like wintered-over geraniums, only to lug them back indoors once again.  I had a start of my Gram Day’s red geranium for years and years, even after she had passed, I moved it in-and-out of every house that we lived in until it finally died off.  I still keep red geraniums, hot pink, now, too, as Gram would have loved them.

Wintered Over Geranium

Wintered Over Geranium


Backyard Daffodils.. YEA!

Backyard Daffodils.. YEA!

Anyone who sews, quilts, paints, throws pots, scrapbooks, or crafts, knows about ‘creep’ – that phenomenon where a room with a horizontal surface becomes a new place to “keep” things.  My dining room, for example, was simply NOT being used to it’s full capacity on a daily basis anymore (empty nester) sooo, I couldn’t help but use it for a cutting surface when I needed a 5’ space.  One of the things I’ve discovered in searching for daily inspiration, is that INSPIRATION can come from anywhere.  Grocery stores, flower markets, walks through the woods, window shopping, picking up a prescription, etc.  Sometimes my inspiration needs immediate attention, and I converted my dining room table to a cutting table about 3 weeks ago.  When I came home from the Michigan UP adventure, I found my dining room table looking like this….I’m guessing my husband might have an opinion about eating meals in that room again!  Weird.

Are the placemats over the chairs and the bottle of wine a hint?

Are the placemats over the chairs and the bottle of wine a hint?
















Look around.  Touch.  See with a new perspective.  Breathe deeply.  Observe. Smell the Hyacinths.  Try something new.  What inspires you?






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