One day Marilynn decided to take her mother's rooster cookie jar and her nana's casserole dish, throw in a few things she found at a thrift store, and create a bird bath.
Happy Cat Creations was born. That was 3 years ago and Marilynn Harper, who has spent most of her creative life as a painter, has made over 100 of these beauties since. People use them indoors and out for birds, plants, admiration or ??.
Each piece is made entirely from repurposed bowls, vases and other treasures. See the sweet chicken in the base of this one:
Mr. Buster, her "Happy Cat," keeps Marilynn company while she creates (editor's note: Mr. Buster used the term "supervise").
Marilynn loves seeking out new objects for her creations.
"The thrill is in the hunt. I go to thrift stores, yard sales and flea markets looking for just the right pieces for my creations. Sometimes I can put 2 or 3 together (not glued) in an hour and other times, after a few hours, I come up empty."
I'm imagining one of these lovelies holding homemade salsa or a garlicky bean dip for the next party in the yard. Why should the birds have all of the fun?
Come meet Marilynn and see her beautiful work at The Providence Flea next weekend!
I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest that even if you don't have a yard, it would be worth your time to stop by Katey's Garden Flower Art booth at The Flea.
"I will use the term 'whimsical' to describe my yard art."
And this, dear reader, is super cool whimsical yard art:
How did Katey get started making these?
"A friend of mine introduced me to plate flowers through a photograph she found, and I was hooked. I wanted to just make a few for myself, but we know how that story goes. That was 3 years ago, and I'm still at it. Let me compare it to Lay's Potato Chips*: I just can't make just one!"
Um, no, she can't:
Where on the good green earth does Katey find so many plates?
"I find pieces at the secondhand shops that everyone goes to. I also have been lucky at estate sales and antique shops. Yard sales can be good, but I don't find as much as you would think. I do have a couple of secret haunts that will remain nameless. Friends stop by my house and give me things. I think people are happy to give things away when they think that something unique can be created with it. My friend Al from Big Al's Poke and Pick spent part of last winter finding items for me too!"
When Katey's Garden Flower Art is at The Flea she sets up a magical glass and porcelain patch on the Greenway.
"I started this art later in life and it has brought out the good and bad in me. The good part is being able to create fun things that make me smile and hopefully make other people smile too. The bad part is that I have become obsessive compulsive over making them. Does anyone know a good therapist??"
Okay. The work is amazing and you now know exactly what your yard is missing. But even if you DON'T have a yard, don't you want to stop by and see the glass in the sunshine and hear a few more lines from Katey? Come meet her at The Flea!
* The Providence Flea does not endorse or recommend Lay's Potato Chips, but we do heartily approve of snacks and snacking.
Kimberly Joslyn has had a passion for all things vintage since high school: furniture, quirky decorative pieces, lamps, linens, hankies, kitchen goods, mirrors, frames, books, and… well, you get the idea. Kimberly offers these gems to the world through Arrowtrue Vintage. She also repurposes some of her treasures into jewelry and decorative pieces.
In true treasure hunter spirit, Kimberly told us, “Most of my items come from thrift shops and yard sales." And then in a whisper, "Although some of my best stuff has come from the side of the road.”
Kimberly summed it up best: “A whole crowd of people converging on the Providence waterside for the love of vintage and food? What's not to love?!” Get your Arrowtrue on at The Flea on June 22 and 29.
Betty Daigle of Country Squire Antiques in Fall River (yes, 'that' Betty!) is coming the Flea with enough merch to fill a double-wide space this Sunday! Featuring refurbished New England, Early American furniture, Betty also carries a large assortment of early americana, cast iron, glass and china. (We're so anxious with anticipation we're in a cold sweat as we type this!)
Betty told us, "I love bringing things back to life, whether it be from many years of distress or taking something that no longer has any use, such as early farm items...and turning them into tables, benches...with lots of character and charm." If this gorgeous piece is any indication, Betty has cornered the market on antique TLC. Only on Sunday, October 27, and only at The Flea!