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.

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.”

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.

Pause

The above video is the theme song to my drive-bys, pick ups and midnight junk runs.

This is a song we Zumba to. (Zumba:  a dance class for crazy people who think they look like Usher and Janet Jackson dancing when they really look like Cee Lo on meth.)

At any rate… This is the song I hear in my head when I am on a curbside furniture rescue. I prefer to call it rescue and NOT theft.

It’s sometimes a surprise as to what is lurking in the forgotten corners of abandoned or thrift purchased furniture. Just this week I came across these tidbits:

1.)  In a set of 1950’s french provincial night stands:  1 pair of tweezers and a pair of cuticle snips, a lace hanky and a picture of someones ass. Literally, a picture of someone’s ass~ circa 1960.

2.)  In a dresser:  A fake fingernail and  2 hits of acid on stamped paper.

3.)  In a roadside rescue dresser:  A crayon,  a nickel, a twenty-dollar bill, all wadded up and stuck between drawers… and  a tooth.

4.)  In a cabinet: A shoe lace,  cassette tape of David Bowie, a chicken foot and a  cowboy boot.

So, with these little details I have assumed that many people who I cosmically or financially transact my furniture from are an eclectic group of  highly groomed, drug addic,t voo doo enthusiasts with a flair for country western?  Also, I figure I am up $20.05 , two hits of acid and an ass picture.  Surely the street value of the latter two would be worth at least a ten spot.  (KIDDING…..I WOULD NEVER SELL THEM ON THE STREET!  That’s what Craigslist is for…)

It does take some doing to figure outl what all is left behind in a piece of furniture.  You see, it shifts in transit and things become visible again when once they were hidden.  The tooth and the fingernail, both gag-worthy items, came rolling out at me like marbles when I pulled out the drawers.  I handled them with tongs that I have rigged up with spongy grip so I don’t have to touch them.  The single tooth did help me understand the mystery of so many toothless people in my county.  (Evidently the tooth fairy is heinous and just yanks and stashes teeth in furniture so that her quota doesn’t go over… something like that.)  I imagine the press-on nail became a resident of the night stand on a drunken evening when lady and her man were having a squabble about which youngun pulled up all the onions she was growing in the yard and chucked them into the above ground pool.  I imagine that the argument grew hotter and in the midst of her finger-waving monologue about how there. “Won’t gonna be no damned onion rings at Skeeter Mae’s birfday party!” that the one nail flew off and hid in the drawer next to her Lucky Strikes and Vaseline.

So, I am replacing the song, “Pause” by Pitbull (Video attached) with a shout out to my boy David Bowie as I blare the cassette (turned MP3) song “Let’s Dance”  and deem it my new FAS (Furniture Acquisition Song).

Anybody want to buy a cowboy boot?  Size 10. Mens.

My pulls were once knotted telephone cords