I’ve sat here like a lump on a log. Really, for months. Technically, I’ve worked like a Trojan, but only when I had to.
All those beautiful projects that live in my mind have sat like an island for nigh half a year. Why, when for a time, I had all the time in the world? All around me were raw materials, just waiting for inspiration and a rainy afternoon. Even when my daughter found out, just three weeks before her wedding date, that we could not use her original venue, we binge-watched on Netflix and lolly-gagged on the porch for at least a week before we let the clutch out. Then it was Katy-bar-the-door to get everything done in time.
Now that real estate is as hot as a firecracker and I’m covered up with work, I’ve been pulling out my crafty projects. Go figure. First, there was the ancient, musty old rocking chair that’s been moldering in the barn. I slapped a fresh batch of chalk paint on the frame, yanked off all the decrepit fabric, found a jolly-looking remnant at the store, stapled it all back together, and then hot-glued trim to it. It looks like a toddler’s happy place now. I was so energized, I found old curtains from a yard sale, cut them in half, attached some zingy pom-pom trim, and hung them in the nursery. I think somebody needs to crank up the grandkid machine again. I’ve got eight very cute yard apes, but no babies now and Yaya’s ready to rock.
It’s easy to get carried away, especially when you’ve been living in a desert, creatively, for five months. Today, it all started with my dining room rug. Tragically, I bought that thing with good money a couple of years ago. I thought it might bring some whimsy into my formal Victorian ethos. But it’s not whimsical and it’s not happy. It looks like a bad paint accident and my feet have to touch it numerous times in a day.
It’s at the very heart of my dear, sweet home. How could I do that to her? There’s century-old gold-ish and ivory wallpaper in the next room that I refuse to paint over, even though my Mama does not understand my undying love for it. It is elegant, classic, and timeless. Who cares if it has a few age spots and crinkles in it? It’s precious and will remain. So anything I do in this dining room has to also respect the old grand paper.
I looked at the hapless rug (which will soon succumb to Facebook marketplace) and thought about the future. Then I made the mistake of calling my dear friend Frank, the decorator who invented Excess and happens to live next door. The 90s were Frank’s oyster and his work is simply glorious. One time, he walked into another of my houses and in 15 minutes told me what to do to my living room. What was a colorless, awkward box became a delicious, warm haven that we hated to ever leave. When he tells me something, even with my years of houses and decorating under my belt, I listen.
We started commiserating about that room. He asked me to remind him about the colors in the stained glass, the fireplace tiles, the light fixture over the table. I’m pretty sure I heard the gears turning in his head. Before I could blink, I was clicking on Pinterest ideas and thinking about jewel tones and the wisdom of the fact that we only live once (Frank might have said something about that). Sherwin Williams’ Whole Wheat ain’t gonna cut it ... when I mentioned that color, he said, “Chicken.”
He sent his wife Karen over here with one of her blouses, in the color he wants me to use. So this wimp waited until Pa went to bed (let’s just say Pa’s a really intense morning person and I am not), then tore off to Home Depot to gather paint samples. Please don’t tell him I shopped there, but they don’t have a Lowe’s in Villa Rica and desperate times call for desperate measures, especially when you’ve only got 40 minutes before the store closes. That poor room has already been painted three times in the last eight years, but this is me. Oh yeah, and then there’s Frank, Mr. Excess. There will be no half measures. Carpe diem.