Voodoo Dolls and Teenagers

I started painting a loooong time ago when by boys were toddlers.  I faux finished beautiful custom homes during the construction boom.  I have been making and doing since I was a teenager.  I stopped for a while when my kids were small because I couldn’t find time to wear a decent outfit  much less paint.  As their pre-teen years approached I felt my morph to the garage some since I wasn’t afraid to leave them in the house alone.  I was wrong, of course, as evidenced by my coming in one day to my 12-year-old, with a can of hair spray, a straw and a lighter (making a flame thrower like the one he saw on Youtube.)  I yelled at him for wasting my good hairspray and went on about my business.

Over time, my tweens became teens and I was glad to have my painting as I rose on the weekend and the man and boys slept until 2:00 p.m.  I enjoyed my radio and the outside and found my company in Annie Sloan, Martha Stewart and some gal with the last name Behr.    My boys used to make fun of my hobby saying that shabby chic was stupid and they hated the old furniture in the garage.  They shamed me for my hoard at every turn.  When people came to pick something up they’d scowl off waiting for a grilled cheese and wonder how anyone would like the things I painted.  I made voodoo dolls of them and made their butts itch and shaved off an eyebrow.

Funny how the jeers stopped when we took the first vacation we had in 16 years, last year, because of my painting, my peace, the thing that sets me free.

I’m full-on in the throes of raising two high-school boys.  Painting and crafting still takes me to my happy place in so many ways.  I hope you have found your happy-place as well.

Here are some things I’ve done in the last few:

dressernight standombreharlequin Drexel dresser

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Once Urine, Twice You’re Out

For more than a dozen years my office has been in the “Historic” (homeless) district filled with quaint shoppes, brick -paved streets and the dude on the bike with urine.  The first time I met him was 10 years ago.  I had just got out of the car and  was burdened with a purse, briefcase and a box of files and teetering on cute but unsmart shoes in the metered parking lot downtown.  Briskly and much like a ninja this grown-ass man on a kids bike scrambled up to me like a crackhead tornado and he said, “Hey ladyladylady, give me all your money or I am gonna throw all this pee on you!”  In his free hand  was a cup of yellow liquid with a rubberbanded  tin foil for a lid. I dropped everything and gave him all my cash…and I mean every red cent..and it was all the money I had to my name for a week (and I had small children to feed…does that make it worse?  Good!  Because that’s how it was!)  He left and I picked up all of my thrown belongings and walked to my office with my heart racing and aching that he had taken all the money I had, even though it was not a large amount.

Pitiful, huh?

Fast forward to April of this year after I had been called into the office to hear that our doors were closing that day.  I left in the sunlight wondering what I was going to do.  Up rolls this guy on the bike (probably a different guy by now but the same scam).  “Hey ladyheyladyladylady!” he screamed, ushering me to attention. “Give me what you got for money right now or I am gonna throw this pee all over you!”  I threw everything down except my purse and I rared my head back and just belted out, “HHHHEEEEEEEEEELLLLPPPPPP!”  It was so loud that I think I burped in the process and it sounded like a lion’s roar!  His face was priceless.  He was afraid.  I said, “Bring it, BITCH!  Let’s go!  What cha got!?!?”  I was a crazy woman! I even think I was trying to pull off one of those Fred Sanford fancy footwork boxing deals..I dunno, I was in a zone. (Mind you, this was 100 feet from the police station).   My would-be assailant scooted off faster than Moody’s goose.  I gathered my things from the pavement and walked bravely to my car, feeling fearless and amused.  I knew I would be okay.

P.S.  The photo is not my actual would-be assailant, I think it’s of of them Walberg boys.

Fugly Fraternal Twins

I have a problem.  I like chairs.  Chairs are so interesting and have so much personality.  Old chairs are the best, they come from a time when the wood was real and the people who made them were craftspeople and artisans…not some dude who staples presswood to other presswood wearing earbuds and waitng for the time clock to tick.  These two particular chairs were hideous and putrid green.  They were ornry too.  I tried stripping them and they fought back, sending me for a triage and tetnus party before I asked the upholsterer to strip them so I could pick them up again and paint them.  They sat in my garage a long time.  I just knew that the work and expense to make them lovely wasn’t what I was feeling in the spring, summer, fall…..

One day I started the painting and got my revenge on the twins with distressing and waxing and fauxing years of character onto their wooden bones as if punishment were the only thing these two knew.  Happy with the result,  I labored over the fabric and decided that I wanted a clean palette of french linen and a European look.  I think, aside from our toil and bloodshed, they turned out to be quite serene and civilized!  These have taken yet another ride- to the Vintage Warehouse Lakeland and are ready for their new forever home where they promise to behave.