Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Wednesday Morning Meanderings and Memories From Home

We're making a few changes around the house.  Much needed updating, and I'm excited about it all, but you know what this means - - - one thing leads to another.  And while that's fun, it also costs more than you originally thought, right?  big sigh.

The upholstery man is supposed to come this weekend and pick up a chair and a loveseat and when he returns them it'll be a whole new look.

This little loveseat

will come home with this fabric replacing the old blue checks

and this tired old chair

which has been around dressed in many different looks for an awful lot of years (it was originally in our apartment in Cambridge when I was still living at home with my folks), will come back dressed in this

I'm excited.

But now I also have to find a new rug to replace the old blue braided rug which, obviously, won't do at all.   Finding one we both like that will also fit in the budget is proving to be tough.

Last night we did something that we didn't think had a thing in the world to do with the remodeling.  And it for sure was not in the budget.  We went to Cheap Joe's Art Stuff to see a local art show.  If any of you are artists, I know you're familiar with Cheap Joe's - they're well known for their first rate on-line catalog for art supplies.  They've also become quite well-known for their classes.  I was lucky enough to take one of those classes a couple years ago.  It was taught by watercolor/mixed media collage artist Cathy Taylor, and it was one of the coolest things ever.  I hope to do it again one of these days.  Going to an art class from 8 to 5, Monday through Friday was a whole different feeling and mindset than working those same hours at a "real" job. 

The art show was top notch and very impressive.  Our friend Jill placed 2nd and that was very cool.  She's an exceptionally talented woman and it's a thrill to see her work recognized.

After visiting the show, we discovered that Cheap Joe, aka Joe Miller - artist extraordinaire,  now has a small gallery just off the retail area of the shop.  oh my. 

We came home with this

The name is "Purple Glens of Grandfather."  And I just love it.  We hung it in THE perfect spot, and looking at it is like finding a single point of serenity.

Grandfather in the title refers to Grandfather Mountain which is a local treasure.  Grandfather Mountain is  almost 6,000 feet high and gets its name from the fact that the ridge resembles an old man's profile.

And all this has reminded me of a funny "growing up in Cambridge story."

You've heard me wax poetic about Cambridge, Maryland where I was born and raised and is still the home of my heart.

You've heard me talk about the apartment we lived in from the time I was 3 months old until I was 16 - The Arcade Apartments.

There are a lot of Arcade Stories and they're still told with hoots, hollers and guffaws in my family.

Here's one relating to redecorating.

Mother and Dad loved to take weekend trips.  Seems the three of us were piling into the car and going on little weekend trips all the time. This particular weekend while we were off doing who knows what, my Uncle Jimmy was going to paint our dining room for us.  Mom & Dad bought the paint and I remember them telling Jimmy to be careful with it 'cause it was really all they could afford, but it should be enough to cover the walls if he was careful.

Our dining room was a big open room with a big bay window.  The sun would shine through that window seems like all the time.  Well, the sun told tales on my Uncle Jim.

When we got home on Sunday evening, everyone seemed really pleased about how freshened up the room looked with its new paint and Mother called Jimmy to thank him.

The next day was a whole different story, let me tell you.  Whew.

Seems my Uncle Jim, who is quite an artist himself, invited a friend to help him paint.  And adult beverages were involved during the painting.  Artistic tendencies arose.  From the muses came pictures of Mickey Mouse and all his friends on our dining room walls.  The painters, at some point, realized this was not what my folks had in mind when they asked to have the walls painted, so they painted over the Disney guys.  But, not well enough.  When the sun started streaming into the windows, those images showed right through the paint.

It's made for hilarious stories since, but things were a little tense around the apartment when it came to Uncle Jimmy for awhile.  He did come back, and he did put another coat on the walls and it did help, but even years later, if you knew where to look, you could find a shadow of Mickey's face.  or Goofy's.  And, honestly?  If was a lovely thing.  What is lovelier, after all, than a home that has some whimsy and can make you smile?  That's what makes it "home."


Anonymous said...

Kaye, love the new fabrics for your upholstery. I know you will be happy with freshening. Your story about the dining room and Mickey and Goofy is priceless. Seriously. I loved it.

Beth Groundwater said...

Love your new fabrics, Kaye! As for my house, we're making major changes to prepare it to put on the market. Before it looks better, though, it's going to look a lot worse. The painter is working now, so we have ladders and cans all around and stuff pulled away from the walls. And I'm NOT going to tell him the Mickey and Goofy story! ;-) Then the kitchen gets demolished to put in granite countertops. And I'm trying to squeeze in some writing around all this!

Vicki Lane said...

Love the Disney dining room story! There's an art term for that -- when something painted underneath shows through -- pentimento, I think it is.

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

I love your painting! I could look at Grandfather all day. :) I was in Blowing Rock last weekend, with my family. It sure was windy!!!

Will Harley be allowed to sit on the new upholstery?

Mystery Writing is Murder

Wendy said...

LOL! You were right. I LOVED that Cambridge story! My kind of guy, Uncle Jim.

Kaye Wilkinson Barley - Meanderings and Muses said...

Kay and all - I'm so glad you got as big a kick out of the painting story as I still do. Funny little family stories are just a treat in our lives, aren't they?

Beth - you made me laugh about your painter. Awww - go ahead, have him paint a big ol' Goofy face and then paint over it!

Pentimento. I adore that word, and the meaning behind it, Vicki. it's just a mysterious little that comes with it. Remember Lillian Hellman's books of memoirs (which, ironically enough, were questioned as to where or not they were in fact memoirs, or fiction, OR if in fact the Julia memoir wasn't perhaps "lifted" from another person?). One of those books had the title "Pentimento."

Elizabeth - Blowing Rock is lovely, isn't it? And Grandfather is just awe inspiring, I think. I swore I'd never buy a Grandfather painting or drawing or photo because it's subject matter that is SO overdone up here (and sometimes very very badly), but this one just touched something inside and wasn't going to let go. My friend Judy says the painting has a fairy tale quality to it, and I think I agree.

Wendy - I knew you'd love the story. I will never ever write a Cambridge story that I don't think of you and my friend Debby, who also loves them. And she's a Cambridge girl.

And glad everyone likes my fabric thank you! Come help me pick out a rug to go with!!

Elizabeth - That filthy blue and white striped chair is Harley's chair. big sigh. Which is how it got so nasty. What's going to happen is that I'll end up putting his blanket that his Aunt Wendy made him in that chair so it can still be his chair, but not get nasty. Not the best solution, but it'll have to do. Oddly enough, he doesn't hop up onto any other furniture unless invited. But, you know - we're just those kinda people who feel like it's Harley's house too, so what the heck.

Jill said...

Kaye that is one of the best painting stories that I have heard! Love it. I really like the fabrics that you have picked for your upholstery. I know you can't wait to get your furniture back. I also want to say thank you very much for your nice comments! You should definitely take another workshop!