Monday, August 6, 2012

Beauty In Times Of Drought?

We are in the worse drought in nearly 25 years here in mid-Missouri. We have not had any measurable rain at our house for nearly 3 months. Add to that several weeks of 90 plus degree temperatures and at least two weeks of 100 plus degrees and it paints a pretty grim picture. Things are not good for us, the crops, and the wildlife. I don't remember the drought of 1988 - it's not that I wasn't old enough to remember but I think living in the city and not doing any real gardening at that time in my life made it less of an event - the 2012 drought is, however, significantly different for me.

Since we are on well water and do not know much about where the water levels are at, we are re-thinking our usage and doing some things to conserve and reuse. We have been taking Navy showers, flushing the toilet less often (I know, TMI), and doing laundry and running the dishwasher only when we have a full load. We are also foregoing watering anything that is not necessary. That means our lawn is pretty much a waste land and the only "pretty" plants that are getting any moisture are the ones I am watering from the buckets we are using to capture the runoff in our sinks and tub.  We have watered our tomato plants some so that we can have fresh produce and the wildlife have some vegetation to munch on plus the birds love flying through the sprinkler. At least, I planted some succulents this year which are thriving in these conditions. It is bad.

One of my recent thrift store finds reminds me that beauty can come from reuse and recycling. I picked up this tramp or folk art for $3 and I just can't believe someone would have given it away. It has such detail and whoever created it put a lot of love and time into its design. I mean, really, look at the all the pieces...

I think nearly everything in this art piece is vintage jewelry parts, except for possibly the sea horse. There are ear rings, pop beads, chain, and even the sea shells around the edge were most likely a necklace at some point. There were a couple of spots on it where the original treasures were gone so I filled them in with some of my own vintage jewelry parts I had on hand. Can you tell where those places are at? I am hoping I blended them in so you can't. Honestly, I almost don't remember where I added things.

Looking at this piece makes me wonder if the parts had any meaning to the artist. Was the sea horse from a vacation to the coast? Was the sea shell necklace part of a lei from Hawaii? Or were all the treasures handed down from a grandmother or mother? Even the crushed velvet for the background looks to be recycled from something - maybe an old throw pillow or possibly, an article of clothing. And look at the back...

Even the back is a piece of old wood paneling. And it looks like the artist even "signed" her work as it reads "Jane Legat" or maybe, a child scratched their name into their bedroom wall. I bet even the frame was reused from something else. I love this piece.

As thrifters, we live a life of repurposing, recycling, and reusing - it seems to be in our nature. When times become harder than normal, it is easier for us to adjust because of it. Just like this tree art, I think we can find beauty in knowing that we are helping to save our environment through our actions. What have you found lately that inspires you? Are you taking measures to preserve your surroundings? Even in times of drought, there is something good to be found.