Where you Find Your Inspiration

You find your inspiration in the oddest places.  This week I was inspired by a TV show:  American Horror Story-Coven.  The show started off this week in the swamps of Louisiana.  The scene involves a character in a floaty hippy dress and shawl with layers necklaces and smokey eyes.  Fleetwood Mac music haunts in the background.  Just a delicious episode riddled with reference to Stevie Nicks.

I grew up in the 70’s-80’s and I fondly recall coming home from school, a very happy latch-key kid, and laying in the dining room where the stereo was and wearing the grooves off of my parents Fleetwood Mac Rumors album.  I carried the band and Stevie with me from album to cassette to CD to iTunes right up until today as a favorite.  I love the haunting voice and poetic lyrics that Stevie  does as only she can.

There’s that vein in me that loves lace and funky boots, necklaces and the sweet remembrance of how people in the 70’s looked at love and intimacy that seems so far removed now.  When talk of the tall grass, mountains, mirror in the sky, and night birds were as tangible in song as they are in real life.  Before texts and blogs and face time we had sitting around a living room (or laying in a dining room)  and having soulful talks with great music.

This has inspired my painted piece this week.  Dusky lavender with gypsy print accent and gypsy gold.  Here are a few pics…it’s not done and I am breaking a cardinal rule by posting a pic of the (yuk) garage (AKA my Fancy Studio).  I’m still knocking it around with my “purty sticks” but you get the idea.

Gotta run, at some point I have to go in and cook dinner and let the dog (with the breath that’s worse than Satan’s skidmarks) out.

How it starts

How it starts

In Progress

In Progress

“Wait a minute baby, stay with me a while
Said you’d give me light but you never told me about the fire

Drowning in the sea of love where everyone would love to drown
But now it’s gone, it doesn’t matter what for
When you build your house then call me, ‘Home””

Lyrics from Fleetwood Mac’s    Sara

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

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.

Lizard in the Bed

lizard

It happened.
Our dog, who loves to chase lizards has run one of those damned things into my bedroom. I considered moving or setting the house on fire but I decided to take an antihistamine and go dead to bed instead hoping that the meds would put me into an anti-reptile sensory coma. No such luck. I inspected every corner of my bed an pillows, no sign of that green bastard. I looked around the room for any sign of that Geico-looking-son-of-a-gun. Nothing. I sealed my ass up in that bed and was so tucked in that I was collecting condensation under the sheets. Sleep came.
2:00 a.m.. I bolted up with the strangest tickle on my décolletage. I started flappin’ and slappin’ my chest and undercarriage so hard that I literally snatched a knot on myself. I flung every stitch of clothes off and sprinted through the house screaming “Oh GOD! It’s Got Me!” The dog, awoken at his post in the family room, thought I was a chubby naked intruder in the dark and bit me right on the ass. The bite broke my run and I remembered that the wall made a “splat” as my first round of titty-slaps sent Mr. Lizard into space.
Beat up, bitten and unclothed I went back to my room to see if I could find him. He was gone. I decided I’d spend the next few nights on the couch and wait for him to be eaten by the dog. They deserve each other.

WILD PIG OBITUARY

PIG

One of the biggest treats I allow myself is a day trip to the beach. I get up early and start the road trip at 7:00 a.m. which puts me at my favorite beach spot at 8:30. I take the back roads, through the phosphate mines and small farming towns of central Florida. I can drive 20 miles at a clip and never see another car. The roads are two-laned and are insulated by tall pine trees. Deer and wild hogs are rumored to be abundant in this desolate alleyway to my nirvana, but I choose to travel this path in order to eliminate the interstates with their texters and screamers and Hummer-limosines full of people getting-it-on all the way to a BUCS game. (One Sunday I carried an SUV full of teenaged boys to the beach who had the delight of watching 4 40-year-old couples having a massive BANG in the back of a Hummer limo with poor tinting.)

At any rate, I often go alone to the beach, to think, to float, to enjoy the solace of silence. But fear creeps in on my trip and I envision a wild hog skipping accross the two lanes while I hum along in my tiny car at 80 MPH, clip him (or see him and swerve) and flip my car and die because of a pig. I would be mortified of my OBIT:

“Dana Mercaldi of Lakeland passed away yesterday during a selfish ride to the beach …alone…with a car packed full of sweet tea and cheese popcorn. Mrs. Mercaldi unskillfully flipped her VW on SR 674 as a pig crossed the road. The deceased will be laid to rest in her “Miraclesuit” bathing suit since it was so tight the mortician couldn’t even get it off of her.”

Topless Tuesday at the Thrift

toplessI am late for everything.  I have two teen sons, a full time job (I call it my “Big girl job”), the Vintage Warehouse space and have a full load at USF.  So what that means is that when I am somewhere…somewhere else is a sufferin’.  I have to work extra hard at everything to get it done and that includes scoring my good junk and antiques to paint.  And before you get your thong in a wad, I am not all about painting great-Aunt-Gerties prized Berkey and Gay buffet that has been in the family 3 generations.  I am about getting a half sanded buffet that Jolene is selling for her crack habit.  (I am kidding about the crack but it’s funny to say so I do).  I haul these half sanded junkerz in and they roll back out like they have had Botoxx and a full-on ass-lift.  So, I see it as a service to it.

At any rate…   I rolled up to one of my face honey holes (I can’t tell you where or I’ll have to take you out) and on the step were these tops…a bikini, a ragged out bra and a push up bra.  Panic came over me as I feared it was Topless Tuesday at the honey hole and here I was knocking these A and B cups straight out of the game.  A tingle rushed up as I knew that if this were a contest for a discont that I WAS GONNA WIN!.  I quickened my step, rushed the door to see every heiffer in there with a shirt on.  Dang… I had missed it again… me and my full schedule.

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.

What It Weren’t

Sometimes I allow myself to get lost on the junk-route and make turns and twitsts all about. (I have a GPS, I can get home). One such day I went the back way behind the mines (phosphate) and started day dreaming. Before I knew it I was in the middle of these small clap board homes that were a hundred years old. The homes were oddly similar and although kept up, not much life showing around the area. I knew that these were heritage places, where milk cans were stools and chickens were pets and dinner.
Recently, I was told by a friend that I don’t wear enough makeup. I said, “Listen bitch, I wear a gob..it just gets rubbed off all damned day long!”. She didn’t buy it so lately I have really been trying to whore-it-up, make-up wise, and this was one of those days.
I digress… So, even though I was only like 40 minutes from my house I felt worlds away. I saw an old lady wearing one of those apron smock deals full of clothes pins hanging her laundry on a clothes line and in her yard, all growed up in weeds was an old iron bed. I pulled over.
I introduced myself to the lady who was about 70 and plump with wild ass hair and was wearing those turn of the century shoes with a heel and the apron and capris with martini glasses embroidered on them. My mind wandered as I wondered what motivated this old gal to get up and dress like”Deliverance Goes to Stein Mart” but in a skinny minute Wichitaw’s (her name, no lie) hubby rounded the corner all puffed up like a rooster just a gettin’ it with his cane and pointed index finger. He was all wanting to know who I was and where I was fromand why was I wearing more face paint than a street walker  and who sent me and did I have kin there and if’n my Daddy worked for the government and would I be staying overnight. I was like, “Hold on there, Poppi, I just wanted to ask about the bed frame you got all up in the weeds”. Wichitaw told the old man to go get him some chew and set a spell inside where the fan was cool. Turns out Wichitaw and the old guy are Common Law spouses. (Whatever that means). Evidently, he told her in 1960 that he had cancer and if she’d be his old lady (and take care of hom) she stood to get a lot of money when he died. So Wichitaw cooked and cleaned and sewed and gardened and ironed and scrubbed and toiled for now going on 52 years living in a house the size of a postage stamp. I asked Wichitaw if she loved him and if the amount of money (yes, I wanted to know how much) was going to be worth spending her whole life at the clothesline and if she minded cutting off chickens heads to eat for supper- you know, the general “getting-to-know-ya” run down of questions. She told me that he was worth “a quater million on paper and another 50 in land”. I thought to myself that 50 million plus was not a bad retirement plan. Then she said, “What it weren’t was cancer. He ain’t got no cancer. He is gonna outlive me.” I shuddered a little bit in the hot sun and wondered that if I stayed there too long would I get sucked in too. Wichitaw said I could have the bed she originally put it out there 30 years ago as a “flower bed”. She said ain’t been flower one it in ever since. Well I sure as hell didn’t want it and it’s bad JuJu. I got up out of there and haven’t made a rouge junk wander in weeks.

Hate the smell-love the look…

I  have a confession about my addiction.. it morphs and shows up in many forms.  Sometimes I get on an enamel ware kick, or a chicken wire frenzy.  Other times I start twitching for burlap and linen.  One category of … Continue reading