Tag Archives: Trinkets & Treasures


KEYS TO MY HEART – FIBER ART – This piece was created during a time of deep reflection & a time of great stress after an accident I had 12 years ago.  The creation of this piece was actually also a form of physical therapy to get back use of my left hand.  I gathered up trinkets & treasures from the first 52 years of life. Some of those treasures are my old girl scout badges, 2 pet collars & a favorite cat toy from my beloved cats, my son’s childhood toy,  my baby spoon & my son’s baby spoon, plant tags handwritten by my father for his greenhouse business, guitar picks found on the ground after a childhood musician friend passed away, old calligraphy pen nibs & a huge collection of assorted keys purchased at estate sales.  The keys at the bottom (made of shrinky dink) have journal entries written & illustrated about the objects on the fiber art.  Each key & each trinket on the art has a number to link them up.  

This piece was like saying to myself “OK so that part of my life is over & done.  I bless all that has come before & I cherish that part of my life, but time moves on and I must be open to this sacred moment of change & I must have faith that what is coming to me in the future is meant to be.”   Little did I know that in the 12 years to come that this accident would turn out just maybe to be a type of blessing in disguise.  I suddenly had the luxury of time to create art, to find my voice as an artist by-the-sea, to become a nature photographer, to be an animal activist for the harbor seals & sea lions, start a blog & to live my life everyday with a profound gratefulness of the beauty that this life of ours is.    It all makes me wonder if just maybe, maybe, there really is an unseen hand that guides us.   Maybe it’s all about faith after all.


JAPANESE KOKESHI DOLLS – When I was a little girl, I remember having some tiny Kokeshi dolls, which I really liked.  Recently I saw some photos of Kokeshi dolls & I thought it would be fun to paint my own!   These dolls are about 3″ high & they fit perfectly into a vintage silk box that I had.  I think these little dolls could bring a smile to almost anyone’s face!


I’m a collector, a hunter & a gatherer.  At estate sales, garage sales or thrift shops, I acquire bags of keys, vintage maps, old buttons or paper ephemera, etc. all of which I store for future use in my art.  Often my pockets are filled with found objects on the ground.  These talismans hold inspiration & unleash my imagination to create new art.  When friends travel, I ask them to bring me back small stones, shells or coins and if I’m lucky they do.  I store my trinkets in hat boxes, small jars & vintage green silk Chinese boxes.  As an artist, having the perfect little trinket to add for “just the right touch” is a wondrous thing. 

Blue & White – I remember seeing my first set of Japanese Blue Willow pattern dishes at the age of 17.  That particular shade of indigo blue made my heart sing with delight & started a life-long obsession & collection of all things blue & white.  Therefore, when I was on a jaunt to San Francisco China Town and spotted this blue & white ceramic butterfly dish, it was a “must-have”.  There was a gigantic refrigerator-sized box full of these lovely boxes and they were about $3 each.  I should have bought more, but my young son who ended up carrying it for me said “Noooo”.  I’ve had this china box for about 15 years.

Butterfly china box - 1 WATERMARK

The wonderful thing about this butterfly box is that it contains small china dishes inside, which fit into the butterfly box like a ceramic dish puzzle.  The box is enormously heavy.  It is not some delicate porcelain thing, but a hefty yet still lovely, hand-painted useful work of art. 

This box was probably designed to serve food, but for me it is a container for pressed pennies, sea glass, skeleton keys, Mexican Milagros for healing, tiny plastic eggs, quartz stones, a plastic frog “clicker” & other small items.  No more Trinkets & Treasures will fit into this butterfly box.  Yes, I should have definitely bought a few more.  “Noooooo”, I hear my young son’s voice say from the distance of memory, but I am a hunter, a gatherer, a collector.  I am an artist. 

Butterfly china box - 4 WATERMARK

One of the Art Journals I have is titled “Trinkets & Treasures”.  This art journal is specific for watercolor sketches of some of the talismans I have collected.  The Butterfly box is a treasure I have collected filled with smaller treasures I have collected.  I sketched it in 2010.  Looking at these sketches, I can see that somehow I have added even more to this little box.

Not too long ago a young man told me he was photographing all of his possessions in the hope that if he had a photo of the item, he would then be able to get rid of all the stuff his minimalist girlfriend found as unnecessary.  It’s an interesting theory.  This seems to work for me in some shops.  If I can take a photo of something I would like to have, but can’t afford or don’t have the room for, it seems to alleviate the “want” because I will always have the photo to take home & enjoy. 

My Trinkets & Treasures Art Journal was started as a tool to encourage myself to let go of some of my collectables.  I thought that if I took a photo & then did a sketch and watercolor of the trinket, that I might be able to get rid of it.  Instead, it just made me love the object more (if one can “love” an object), but it did not make me feel like letting go of something that made me smile and brought me a certain type of happiness.  I am aware that sometimes I fill my life with “stuff” in lieu of things that are missing in my life, but still if it brings me joy & happiness, than who’s to say that I should get rid of this stuff.  I tell myself that I only live in a one-bedroom apartment, so it’s not like I live in an enormous house filled literally to the rafters with 50 years of stuff, like some of my artist friends.  & the continual moving I have to do as a renter does help me purge.  A lot and on a regular basis.

The truth is that I could probably spend the rest of my life doing small watercolors of the tiny objects d’art, which I have collected.  & yet I still keep collecting.  There’s no end in sight I’m afraid of this hunting & gathering that cultivates my artistic inspiration.  Sometimes I wonder if I collect from some tribal instinct.  I do have a rule now that for everything that comes into my home, something has to leave. Controlling my collecting madness & passion is a challenge.  A small table, which is next to my favorite chair  where I sit all the time, is an ever-changing sort of a shrine with small Trinkets & Treasures that nurture my creativity and my current 2014 Art Journal.  Someday I will downsize.  Someday, but not today & not now.  I am a collector & an artist.  I know some of you will understand.  As for the rest of you, well if you’re not a collector, than you must be a minimalist, which I simply will never be able to understand.  Sometimes I admire Zen environments with all the space & serenity, but honestly I just love being surrounded by Trinkets & Treasures.  I hope you do, too.