The kind of people you meet while walking down the street is a series I’ll be hosting weekly on ordinary encounters with extraordinary people. These folks may be often or rather easily overlooked in todays bustling society, or perhaps always overlooked. They each graced me with their unique yet immeasurable magic and good-natured stories.
We met Maureen while helping an elderly client with her garden. Maureen happened to be her neighbor and shared a deep love of plants and trees. Our client actually suggested we walk over to Maureen’s yard and visit her home which she described as ‘museum-like‘.
We sensed from our client, that Maureen could use a visit and perhaps a helping hand. As we entered her garden it was clear that everything was done with intention, all of her landscape adornments placed mindfully and many of them crafted by her own two hands. Her two skittish Chihuahuas greeted us at the screen door and a heavy stream of cigarette smoke flowed steadily onto the front porch.
When Kay (our client) mentioned her neighbor collected Dolls & doll-houses my intrigue was immediately sparked. My Godmother, who was a cornerstone in my life, collected dolls and doll accessories, she passed away a few years ago leaving me to find remnants of her spirit through other people. Maureen exuded this spirit to the highest degree. Not just with dolls and little collectibles that carried great value to her but the voice, heavy smoking, and presence.
Maureen was nurturing but direct, bold even. She was delighted to have guests and relished in the exchange of conversation. She had recently suffered an illness that put her on the brink of death and presented different obstacles that hadn’t previously existed. Her tenacious spirit kept her on her feet while her minds connection to her hands impeded on her beloved art, her escape.
Maureen not only collected dolls and accessories but she built their dwellings, handcrafted the accessories, constructed the woodwork, and customized the design/theme. It was enough to leave anyone in awe. There were many displays in each room, each a world completely of its own, sweeping one away into the maze of imagination. The details were outstanding and completely pulled everything together, leaving not one thing undone.
Maureen walked to each station explaining her vision behind each piece and turning on the lights that were built into each. She mentioned she travelled all over to display her art and work alongside different artists that made small-scale crafts. She was a well-known artists in this platform and it was easy to understand why. She had a greenhouse with all different plant species, each one reflecting perfectly its real world inspiration, it had a pond and garden furniture that made you want to climb right in and escape too!
The photos below were taken before my current camera was in function and do not come close to doing Maureen’s art the justice it so deserves.
Look at the intricate woodwork and painted food items. The carpet is made from tiles each selected to complete her design.
Many of the wall pieces above she made from clay and then painted each.
These were some of my favorites of Maureen’s creations. As I admire the (mediocre) photos, I find myself lost in a world of joyous imagination and venture. An inner place of child-like wonder and deep appreciation for the innate work of Maureen’s hands, but even more so, her heart.
Maureen had little quotes and sayings all over her cozy miners cottage like the one above “Life without labor is guilt. Labor without art is brutality” .
She lived these quotes down to the bones and that first impression upon entering her garden, mindful and intentional, was just what her spirit echoed. A sign made from a piece of driftwood and red paint sat just outside of Maureen’s front door. It read “What Greater Wisdom can There Be Than Kindness.” The essence of Maureen. Maureen’s great wisdom was rooted in genuine kindness ♥
These are The Kind of People You Meet While Walking Down the Street. . .
What encounters have you experienced that influenced your life?
The Kind Of People You Meet While Walking Down the Street will take a brief pause while I venture further west for a couple of weeks. Stay tuned for more plus photography & fun on the open road!
Thanks for joining me here ~