My mom, aka Burl to her left coast kin, was an energetic and creative soul. Burl tried so many different crafts during her retirement years that I started calling her creations “Burl’s Limited Editions: sometimes limited to one.” Learning a new craft, enjoying the process, and then moving on to another new craft were what fueled her life until the day she died. Here she is in her little store, called Burl’s Closet, where she peddled her crafts and other treasures.
Recently, one of my favorite pieces of original Burl art crashed to the concrete floor of our carport where it lives. One of the ancient eye screws holding the hanger had given up. The carport has been a perfect home for this serene outdoor scene created from beach finds.
This was one of many creations Burl made while living in Carmel, CA in the late 1980s. It was made of bits of driftwood, glass, rocks and shells that she collected from the local beaches. The rocks she called “holy rocks” were from Del Monte Beach. Some even have the remains of the snail creatures that created the holes. There are shells of course, plus ocean glass and driftwood.
When Burl and I ran a craft barn together during the summers of the late 1970s, nature collage was our favorite activity. We’d take kids out into the surrounding woods where we’d gather cones, sticks, leaves, lichens, rocks, whatever. They’d staple burlap to a piece of cardboard and then glue all their treasures in whatever design pleased them. I later created a giant piece for the screen door on my aunt and uncle’s house and won 1st place in the yearly contest for holiday door decor (though my collection of leaves, cones and sticks had little to do with the usual glitz of the season).
When Burl’s beach collage fell, a lot of little bits went flying. I gathered them up and vowed to put it back exactly as it was before. But, finding out what the original looked like was a challenge. As much as I treasured this piece, I didn’t have a picture of it, exactly.
But, after scrolling through about 3,000 photos on my Mac, I found two photos where the collage was in the background. I enlarged the images, cropped and patched them together, printed, and then used the guide to glue things back pretty much as they were.
Now I’ll put in a more secure hanging system and hang it back up. Maybe I’ll glue a copy of this blog to the back for someone to discover after I’m gone.