Tuesday, September 11, 2012

in clover: paint by number

With my vision impaired, I have not been getting out of the house much at all.  I was getting a little stir crazy so I emailed a friend and suggested a "lunch and junk" outing.  She took me up on my offer which was nice because she had to do all the work!  She's such a good sport.  Once, she rode in my van with her head stuck through a hole in an old screen  door I bought for $1.  That was the only way we could get home.  That's a good, good friend!

We had so much fun!  Driving around the countryside of Central Ky on a pretty day was a pleasure indeed and when we landed at a genuine estate sale,  I was delighted to find a few things I just could not live without.  Here's a photo of my haul, right after we unloaded her truck: 

I was particularly captivated by this pair of 1960's paint by number paintings in faux bamboo frames. I debated and debated...are they cool?  or tacky?  cool?  tacky?  I really don't care for parrots...I don't think....but I LOVED the colors and really liked the bamboo and exotic flowers.  And whoever painted these, from a dime store kit, did a really great job!

When I bought the three dozen or so canning jars, the nice man threw in the unusual square galvanized tub.   These jars give me a good start on next year's pickles and jam. 

My friend spotted the vintage Minolta camera and steered me towards it.  I have a thing for vintage cameras and telephones.  I find them irresistible.  Maybe because they both facilitate communication? Maybe I wanted the camera because it looked like the one I coveted for years...the one my dad toted over his shoulder in the seventies...not sure...I imagine that's a question I could tackle in my journal soon! 

I am very glad I decided not to pass on these two funny little chicken pillows (on the right) for the breakfast nook.  They seemed like the perfect companions for the yellow hooked pillow I bought from Garnet Hill last year: 

So enthralled was I by my retro paint by numbers art, that I set out to find a spot for those parrots right away.  They looked great against the yellow walls of our living room so I decided to try a swap.  Over our sofa, we have a large French iron mirror flanked by vintage French sconces and two Victorian era iron heating grate covers: 

Love these iron grates but they do lack color....

 I decided the parrots deserved a chance.

Yep, that'll work! The parrots bring new energy to the space and I smile every time I see them. 

It's fun to have a little make-over, estate sale style! Plus, I got to hang out with my friend.  All that's left is to find a place for those white iron grates.  

In spiritual direction, we are taught to pay attention.  We are taught to continually ask ourselves what feels life-giving...and what feels life-taking.   

As I type, I find myself wondering if it's wise to post these photos...you might snicker at my idea of "art"...or you might think that my time could have  been used more productively...that I could have been doing something more important or "real."    

Maybe.  It might be silly...inconsequential...genuinely a waste of time.  It may not be productive or bring kudos...but looking for treasure among junk and puttering about my house fills me with a sense of life.

If Spirit whispers to me....make your home with cast off 1960's dime store art, a 50 cent pair of imperfectly sewn calico chickens and a junky old galvanized washtub...who am I to argue?  

Resisting the movement of Spirit never seems to have gotten me anywhere, except stuck.  That doesn't mean that following what is life-giving is always easy...sometimes it can feel darned uncomfortable. (Think "spiritual director" rather than "ordained minister.")  It can feel vulnerable.

But, in the end, choosing to go with the flow has always been the best choice.   Especially when you can go along with a friend who'll stick her head through an old screen door, just to keep you company.

peace and all good, 



  1. as women, sometimes I think we hear the echo of voice of hundreds of years of insecure men in our heads saying "silly, inconsequential, waste of time, not consequential." That is not the voice of mother earth, of nature, of God, of love, or of ourselves. what a gift to follow your energy and find spirit in old pillows and paintings! They look great!

  2. Thank you, Lori. I always enjoy your thoughtful reflections. I am so grateful that through FB I have come to know you! I love the image of the "voice of mother earth, of nature, of God, of Love" and especially "of ourselves." So true. peace and all good to you!


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