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.