Friday, March 16, 2007

When you care enough to send the very best

We have already established that I love all things odd. "Normal" just isn't in my vocabulary. We have also established that I am a Habitat for Humanity thrift store junky. I can usually find wonderful little oddities there, and they usually find their way into my car and my heart. This light fixture is just the latest in the growing list of HfH finds. My wonderful hubby and I picked this little one up for just $10.00. I didn't even think to see how it was supposed to be hung. It looked like a ceiling mount to me and it wasn't until I got the thing home, DH had the ceiling fan down and was perch on top of a step stool ready to hang it, that I noticed the label inside that said, "wall mount only" crap, double crap! I don't have use for a wall mount hanging light, I needed a fun and corky ceiling mounted light. Crap! Now in these situations there is only one thing to do, besides yelling crap, call my sweetheart of a brother in law, Kevin to help. See DH is swell and all, he's a keeper, but anything outside of matching colored wires and he freaks. Not one to find satisfaction in a problem solved; he is more of the shrugging shoulders, wrinkle up the brow, I don't care how much you cry and throw yourself on the floor, it is meant to be a wall mounted fixture and that's it, kind of person. But my BiL, he's the go to guy in a pinch, heck he's the go to guy in any situation. I am so grateful that he not only possesses the skills, but catch him on the right day, under the right stars, and in the right state of mind and he's a true problem solver extrodanaire! In a matter of minutes, ok it took an hour, the thing was reworked and wa-la one beautiful, corky, odd ceiling mounted light fixture was up and working. Is there such a thing as BiL day? Cause I'm thinking there should be...maybe I'll contact Hallmark, they're always in the market for a new holiday to shove down our throats...

Thursday, March 08, 2007

chicken or the egg?

I have decided that there are two kinds of people, those that love things and those that love the idea of things. I am the latter. For those of you who are the former, let me just orient you to this slightly off kilter world of the lover of the idea of things. You see we fancy ourselves as users of nifty things, we trick ourselves into believing that these things will jumpstart something in us and we will, I don't know, USE them. It is the follow-through that the lover of the idea of things needs to work on. The idea of things gets me into more trouble then I can possibly get out of without intervention by a team of trained professionals. The idea of things leads me to make decisions based on possibilities. The possibility of creation, the possibility of organization, or the possibility of conformity, leads me down certain aisles that the likes of me should never see. Rows and rows of ideas of things call my name and I automatically see the possibilities in them, the opportunity for betterment, for expansion, for improvement. These ideas of things come in a plethora of shapes and sizes, these ideas of things are sourced from a variety of publicly traded enterprises, these ideas of things are evil. Like a junky looking for her next fix, I am drawn in by the sight and smell of theses ideas of things. They lure me into their vile web and I find myself touching them. I am convinced that will be enough, but it never is, soon I am smelling the idea of things and the battle is lost. Flooded with the sensory impute of possibility, quickly I lose my grip on reality, I begin to experience what can only be referred to as desire. I have taken that step into the spiraling world of possibilities fueled by the idea of things and then it happens these temptress land exactly where they shouldn't, in my cart. Damn, and I was on step six of my twelve step program. The journals shown here are exhibit A. I love the idea of a journal, the possibility of organizing my often disorganized thoughts, leaving a piece of me behind for the next generations to see, but yet most of them remain unopened, unused, and unloved except for the idea of them, of course, now that I love. I have spent years working to overcome my addiction to the idea of things. I have won as many battles as I have lost. Through all of this warring over the idea of things and things I have come to a precipice. I think the idea of something is just as valuable as the something. It has to be, because we are just ideas of something swirling around each other waiting to be plucked off our safe shelves and dropped into a basket or cart so that we can become somethings...All somethings first come from the idea of something...Maybe I don't need those other six steps after all!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Tile by any other name is still a mess.

I'm not sure what it is that comes over me. Why I do the things that I do. I am sure of one thing, it is this uncertainty that makes the majority of people in my life wrinkle up their noses upon visiting Miss Flora on any given day. I honestly feel a little responsible for their stress. A visit to a friends home shouldn't give rise to pressure and confusion but here in my crazy world it does. You see, visitors never know what to expect, how to react to what they are about to witness or even if it is safe to enter. This is because there is always something going on, and usually that something is ten things, at different stages of completion, varied levels of skill, and all messy. This fine day finds the once old crusty backsplash mid-transformation. You see, upon a recent visit to the Habitat for Humanity thrift store I found boxes of brightly colored tile, cheap. Never one to pass up on a bargain, they made their way into my car, box after box. My 'find' ended up being enough tile to cover the two streets that separate my sister's home and mine. Oops! So now was the time to find new uses for all of this tile, wouldn't want to be wasteful. I began with the backsplash, I will move onto the piece of plywood that my hubby cut to fit the iron table base I plucked from the garbage, making, I hope, a great backyard dining space. Then, only the tile gods know what's next. If they don't start behaving, the kids may wake up and find themselves sporting a brand new look, one of red, orange, and yellow.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Stop the insanity!

I have decided that I am materially challenged. I love to collect bits and pieces of things. Sure that with some effort I will be able to put them to 'good use' and make a something out of them. But here in lies the problem, I never manage to muster up the nerve to use the bits and pieces I've gathered. Anxiety hits as I approach the piles of stuff I've so aptly amassed. Doubts rise as I question my choices and fear never finding the unique materials again. Once it's used, it's used up! Then what? I won't have it anymore and my collection of beautiful bits and pieces will only be bits. It is a wonder I ever get anything done! Now for the really horrifying revelation into my inner insanity, every now and then, the collections of items gets to me, they haunt me and I begin to see them as clutter so I make a rash decision, a decision to exorcise them by...Oh dare I share it....purging them! They live no more, at the bottom of some donation pile, or trash heap, cherished not, never realizing their full potential or seeing the fruition of their intended purpose. Geez...the guilt! Well, I've resolved to do better, to use the things I collect, to allow the creative energy to spring forth and work their magic on the lovely little collection of things that I have stored in this office/studio/all things dog room. Here is the beginning of my renewed dedication to the process we refer to as creativity... I don't know what I am going to do with them, I haven't identified their purpose, oh Lord, I hope they don't end up like their predecessors!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Flora has some exciting news....

After years of languishing under the heavy weight of dull grey and chipping paint, even duller grey trim and lackluster red awnings, our little girl is looking fresh and perky in her paradise green, white trim and bright red awnings. Of course this project is taking some time for my dearest sweetest hubby to complete, what with all those clapboards to caulk and that old paint to remove. The time is well spent as passers by actually realize for the first time that, yes there is a house on that lot after all. Yep, she makes a statement alright, a loud whooping holler of a statement. Choosing a color was not an easy task. Not living among the beige people, it was important that we chose wisely, respectfully, yet individually. I think we hit the last one on the head. It's unique, that much is true. I thought and thought about my choices. Play it safe, just for once in your life, stick to what works kept being played over and over in my head. I'd stand firmly on my choice only to cave in and second, third and even fourth guess myself. Finally I said enough, I listened closely to my lovely Flora and heard her pleas clearly, she wanted to be noticed, she was ready to step away from the doldrums, she wanted to be dressed in a party dress. Good for you Flora, its about time you perked up and contributed to the neighborhood fair. With each stroke of the brush she comes to life, standing a little straighter, a little prouder as if to say, look at me, I'm getting ready for a soiree', care to join me?

Thursday, February 01, 2007

A journey complete...

I have a few of these vintage table cloths left in my collection. Over the years they have suffered much at my hands, becoming pillows or parts of bags or even used into oblivion. This one was no exception, it suffered greatly in the back of my husband's car for years. It was finally released from its captivity and allowed to re-enter the world. The hardships it faced were evidenced by the small tears in the fabric and the one very large stain, oil I believe. Oh goodness, we have not been very good stewards for this little piece of the 40's. Wouldn't our little home be very angry, knowing we has turned our backs on an accessory that could have once resided within these walls. Waves of guilt rose in me, as I attempted to shout the stain out, oxy clean it, and yes even bleach the heck out of it. No use, time wasted, the stain remained, the pattern dulled in places but the stain lived on. Filled with remorse for my less then perfect care of this lovely little table covering, I set about re-inventing it. I looked for areas of the cloth that were still representative of the once fun and playful pattern. I cut into it and created these "just for show" kitchen towels. I added the little trim of fluff, a nod towards the modern, which is my Jill stamp. I feel better now, having saved these small remnants from further humiliation at the hands of my not so delicate family. The towels hang proudly from various spots, once again a display of vintage splendor watching over the not frequent events of the tiny kitchen as if to say they are at home, here. When you see them together, the towels and the kitchen, it is as if old friends have been reunited. They compliment each other beautifully and each gives the other the support and balance that only true friendship can bring. From a table cloth to a towel, her journey complete.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

re-purposed purpose

I found this little chair at a yard sale one Saturday morning. Some people can't wait to sleep in on a Saturday, or sip coffee on the front porch while they peruse their morning paper. I can't wait to hit the road searching for the next big bargain, the next great find. This particular Saturday morning I scored big time. This lovely, dust covered, forgotten, neglected side chair set me back a pretty penny, five bucks worth of pennies to be exact. I quickly set to work, problem solving my way to a semi slip cover/reupholstered chair. I think she's dandy, and she now resides in our little sitting room with the other salvaged chairs all wearing their own unique style. No matched sets of anything for me, nope that's the fun, mixing and surprising our visitors with freakish plays on pattern and scale. I'm sure to most it is the stuff that nightmares and migraines are made of, but for me, it is home. Nothing makes my day more then the remaking of something old. Breathing new life into that which was thought of as used up, brightens me and encourages me. It gives me pause for hope. Hope that I too can be remade and re-purposed. A new breath of life might await me if I only allowed a new viewpoint to enter and work its magic spell. Perhaps we could all use a new semi slip cover/upholstery job now and again with brightly printed patterns covering our old and musty ones. Re-purposed purpose, the possibilities endless.