Saturday, April 27, 2013

Thinking and rethinking

Hi all, thinking about a comment on my BSBP reveal and I had to stop and think about what I wrote. The person said that one would not know that I stepped out of my color pallet when I did the pieces for the blog party. I looked at them, then at the shirt that I displayed them on, then looked at the other pieces that I have displayed and then.... at the design of my blog itself.... wow!
I guess that I never realized that what I post and how I post is so different to what I do every day. Maybe it is my subconscious working, maybe it is really what I love, maybe it is just me trying to be different than what and who I am???
Sooooo, here I am now, I thought about what it is that I love and what I do and what I have around the house, and I decided to update the design of my blog to reflect that... not what I try to portray myself as, but who I think I really am. Outside my house is the person that I married, the yellow house, The earthy bricks, the wooden furniture on the front porch, the earthy flowers that the birds nest in... those are all here because my husband didn't want to change the color of the house, he was a guy, he liked things just as they were.... when I painted the white walls in the living room, the walls that had been white for the whole 20 years that he had lived in the house,
The living room in Blue, Christmas '08 maybe. 
I didn't think he would be as gracious about it, but he took it in stride, not the color he would have chosen, not the "Impressionist Sky" blue and white trim, but he was really nice about it. When I talked about changing the carpet and tile (both dark brown) he did balk... but he let me paint the cabinets in the kitchen, they had been a dark brown stain and the tiny area looked even tinier if possible.... I tried white, to perk up the room, but it didn't look right. I didn't want to mess with the wallpaper above the cabinets on the soffit, I just didn't have the energy to take it down or to cope with the mess and didn't think that the paint would look right over it since it was metallic with green and gold and yellow pattern. Very 70s but not at all me...
So I tried the white and didn't like it at all, it was just not right, so I tried a buttery yellow color and that did it, the cabinets looked better and the room, tiny though it was, looked bigger. I painted the walls to match and did the dining area as well, but the back side of the cabinet that divided the kitchen and dining area didn't get painted, my husband liked the dark wood... ugh.  Somehow it didn't look right with the dark wood and butter yellow so I tried a couple of different techniques to give a faux finish but they just didn't look good with that darn wallpaper.That wallpaper was my main focus when it should have just been a little accent...I left it alone and learned to live with it.

Next was the office, which was plain white, had a desk, chair, file cabinets, game table(I know, no respectable office would be without a game table) a bunch of boxes, collectibles, and some goofy pictures on the wall... it turned into the nursery for our soon to be son. Well, at the time I didn't know we were going to have a son, I refused to look at the sonogram and wouldn't let the tech tell me what she thought... so I tried to do something neutral in that process so it could be either feminine or masculine (as much as is possible in baby terms).  The top half of the wall stayed white and I painted the bottom that buttery yellow and painted a border of cows, bunnies and chicks I can't remember the name of the designer that originally did the cute animals, I had seen them in a book and painted them  with hearts and dots  and a checkerboard pattern between each. When my son was born it seemed to be the thing to do was to paint a mural of a farm on the East wall of the room..

It turned out fun, I added a floor to ceiling oak tree with a squirrel looking out a hole in it, a bunch of flowers with bees and butterflies, a farmhouse and barn and a field with a tractor (had to be a John Deere) plowing, last but not least a pond with a frog and cattails. Among all this was a bunch of cows, pigs, horses, chickens a dog, bunnies, and some cute sheep. I loved that mural, it was cute as well as giving us something to point to at night and talk about instead of always reaching for a book... we made up our own stories.

When my son got old enough and we we added a little boys bed  and moved over the crib for our grandson to sleep in, I painted the room a pretty blue but still kept the mural and most of the border.  After the boys were big enough, the beds both went and we got bunk beds and lost the baby border but kept the mural... then it seemed like only a day and he was too big for that room, it was too hard to get in and out of there with bunk beds, bookcase, wardrobe, desk and toys... so he moved into what used to be my daughter's room or the guest room/ sewing room, depending on what time frame it was. The room was more of a normal shape and the furniture fit in pretty well... I decided to turn the nursery into a workroom. My husband had passed away so it didn't go back to the office as I had always planned to do... I don't need an office... using that room for a guest room was pretty much out of the question since it was such an odd shape and a queen sized bed was out of the question.. so it became my workroom. I took out the carpeting and painted the floor white and painted over the beloved mural. I thought I would cry, my son nearly did. It was time though and with a million pictures it was ok.  I painted that room a peach with blue bursts of color and put gemstones on and around the flowerlike bursts. I left the other three walls blue since it was a nice  blue and moved my junk in...

The living room changed from blue to "Java" and kept the white trim, that blue just wasn't working with the dark carpet and furniture, I gave up trying to lighten it up  but the kitchen changed dramatically. I didn't necessarily plan on tearing out all the cabinets out of the tiny space, but I had dreamed of doing it. The decision came from the cabinets that hung over the little bar. They had been put up with nails, don't know why they didn't use screws ... but they were slowly but surely coming down, literally falling off the ceiling. I marked a spot below the trim and watched it over a period of time.  Where I thought it had moved some... sure enough over the next couple of years it moved dramatically... I was scared about it and had taken almost everything out of those cabinets, leaving me virtually no space at all, three tiny cabinets were all the upper cabinets that I had, the lower cabinets were of no use. two were corner cabinets that were inaccessible, one was deep but really not usable since I had to literally get on my knees and crawl in. My dishwasher had not worked in years, my husband didn't ever use it I guess, I never did either. I wash everything by hand so it was taken out and I did makeshift shelved where it has been and painted them white. UGH

Well, when it was time to fix the cabinets that were falling down, I decided to look into getting a few new cabinets to replace the tiny ones above the counter tops. I don't remember what on earth I thought when I asked if we could pull out the soffit and replace the cabinets with  taller cabinets. It was not such a huge job, so the soffit was going to come out, along with the little cabinets...

Wow, I had always kidded that I was allergic to my kitchen... simply because every time I went in there I got a headache and it seemed I felt bad if I stayed in there for very long, but it wasn't just from my hatred of small places, it was a real reason... we found mold. Yes, it was black and growing on the wallboard and studs. Seems way back when, when they were building the house, it had a copper pipe run from under the sink up around the corner of the wall and around and down to the refrigerator. Normal I guess, I would have taken a better route I think, anyway,  when they set in the soffit it was set over that pipe, when they nailed it up somehow they pierced it. When they turned on the water it spewed all over the inside of said soffit. At some point I guess somebody noticed that it was soaking the inside of the soffit, and I would imagine the wall and cabinets... and they cut off the water to that pipe, eventually cutting the pipe off but never removed it... go figure, instead of fixing it they just did away with it. So long story short, I got a new kitchen out of that ordeal, we just tore the whole thing out. Every cabinet, counter, sink... it all went.

The cabinets that I picked out are a white, the appliances are still the grungy old ones but they work so I can't do away with them... the walls are painted with a cool looking pale turquoise kind of maybe a bit of green but a lot of whte added... and it looks just beautiful In my humble opinion. Kind of a robin's egg blue but not quite. I put up lace curtains that I purchased while we were on vacation and a swag to match the "Java" from the living room, and I found a clock, painting and glass shelf that make it look kind of tied in. After a couple of years, I still don't have the room finished. We did finally get the floor done, though it isn't what I wanted, but settled for, and part of the ceiling is done, but not the counters, sigh, I do still think that out of the whole house,  I love this room the best. It is more organized and I have totally more room to cook and eat.

The kitchen, not quite done, but it is getting there, this was at Christmastime!
The kitchen is "me". It looks like I feel. It looks like I want my work to look. Most of the pieces that I make are blues and greens, silver, whites, maybe some pink thrown in. Maybe I have been wanting to do other things and that is why I had started with the blog being oranges and greens and browns? Maybe I have wanted this color to stick around so I started using it when I took pictures? The dark colors for the backgrounds. I know that for some of the pictures it is just convenient to take the picture on the front porch, The color is there, black, rust, brown, orange, red, yellow.... those are the colors of the house. The rustic furniture is nice and easy to display on, Indoors I always reach for blues and purples to photograph on, but somehow they just don't ever look right. I try darker colors and end up using something that I have in the closet to lay the pieces on.

 This past year I have sat in the hospital with my mother and sat with her while she was recuperating, and in those months I tried to keep busy. At first I just sat for days it seemed. I just didn't feel like doing anything, Mom was out of it so much, and when she was awake, she was fighting the medications... I needed to find things to keep my mind occupied after a few days passed. It seemed that I had a little less time to do things that were tedious and more time to do those things that I can do mindlessly. Peyote stitch is one of those things. I made a ton of bracelets while I was sitting, I made stethoscope covers, I made ribbons of peyote stitched beads. I beaded myself out. I knit. I knitted a Mobius scarf, several scarves for friends, a pair of mittens for a friend... I crocheted beads, ribbon, wire, yarn,.... I doodled, I would draw, I sketched and wrote in a journal, I tried to keep busy. I finally got my talking books, but found that the player isn't quite what I thought it would be and I can't take it with me as easily but when Mom is here, I can put on the headphones and listen while she is resting.... So I can get back to doing the more tedious things again, with the aid of the magnifying glass and extra lighting, I can work with seed beads again, but I have taken a different approach to color and I didn't even notice that I had done it.

The more natural earth tones are really pretty and it seems that I have been using more and more of them in my work, but I love the bright colors, they are earth tones as well, those of turquoise, limes, silver. those are really earthy as well... just a different kind of earthy. I keep looking at the melon colors and the reds that are so "in" right now and love those... but I still am drawn to the blues and watery colors...  I have a necklace that I am working on right now, it is greens, mostly lime. I stopped and looked at it and thought, I love, love that color. Not the neon greens, the lime, lime color that just never seems to go away. That lime that seems to go with every other color.

I guess I just wanted to reassess my life again, seems that has been something that I've done a lot of lately. Though I don't ever seem to get really deep into the wherefores and whys of the things I do. Maybe it is something deeper with everything that has been bothering me lately, the eyes, the arthritis, the allergies, the working for myself,  the colors.... maybe they are all tied together??? Maybe I am over-analyzing myself? Maybe I just needed a break in the colors, maybe I'm just burned out working for myself, maybe I just have health issues and need to deal with it?

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