Sunday, January 27, 2013

the lazy, the women and the wardrobe

o Happy four day weekend, how I love you.

Nice weather on the home front....

Good friends, champagne, fresh local oysters, mussels and local salmon.  You could almost taste the serenity.

We were (as usual) tip trawling on Friday afternoon, when we came across a lovely antique wardrobe (which caused my companion to drool) and a mid-century display cabinet, which caused me to lose all reason. I HAVE NO ROOM IN MY HOUSE FOR MORE FURNITURE.

Naturally, we bought them instantaneously. She who hesitates, misses out.  Of course, they won't fit in the vehicle at the same time. I stay with the purchases, friend scoots home to get the trailer.  Extremely large and heavy wardrobe fits into trailer with 5cm clearance.  At this stage we'd just like to thank all the gormless blokes who stood around or sat in their vehicles texting - no doubt complaining how we were slowing them down in their quest to buy grog for Australia Day.  Especially the ex-local Councillor and his young mate, for whom helping your fellow person is apparently only a church guideline. 

We also wrassled the heavy mirrored and glassed cabinet into the vehicle without assistance.  We knew we could do it, but it simply would have been easier and quicker with another pair of hands. 

My friend is very happy with her wardrobe, and my display cabinet is in situ and intact, which is more than you could say of my opinion of the Australian spirit and 21st century manners.

At a tip in a nearby municipality, however, there is no shortage of helping hands and community spirit.  My uncle, in the dark recesses of the dawn of time (last century) was possessed of a rocking chair which even in the 60's was considered antique.  When they moved into a new residence it, with other fabulous stuff, was dumped.  Even as a child I begged my father not to do it, but he said it was old and I couldn't possibly want it.  He was so very wrong.

(Come to think of it, this may have started me on a certain path.)

I saw one at a garage sale about 4 years ago, they wanted an inordinate amount of cash for it and I had to let it go.  Today, I got one.  It's a bit ratty but structurally sound. I can rebuild it, I have the technology - sandpaper, hard work, etc etc.  I also got a wooden tripod thingy which will make an excellent lamp, and assorted other bits and pieces. And yes, someone offered me assistance to load it into the car without being asked, with a smile. 

It's called good manners.

I took my out of town friends to Willyung Antiques for a bit of a prowl on Saturday, and it's well worth the (short) trip.  Lovely spot, fantastic stock, proper cup of tea with a scone, served by a helpful and genial host. I loved that he knew the stories of the items he was selling and so obviously was interested in them.  My friend bought a lovely old bathroom/first aid cabinet and my grip had to be prised from some oregon pine pigeonholes.  

I thought I might reclaim a certain blackwood sideboard currently stashed elsewhere - pigeonholes for the placement of - but when I got home I realised I have a nice oregon chest of drawers here which would be enhanced by said accoutrement.

I told you I have too much furniture. I may need another scone next weekend, who can say.  

Sunday, January 20, 2013

a long goodbye to the busted flush....

Having spent another torrid week with Phillip Marlowe, I've found time for a few little jobs.  The temptation to sit on the shady veranda and read was awfully strong.

I looked after this:

(although she ate my favourite and most comfortable pair of Camper shoes.  She was very sorry but unable to stop herself, apparently.)

I did some work on this:

And was quite pleased with the outcome so far. 

 I also got this:

cleaned up and inside (where there is just NO room for it!).  Still some work to be done but on the upside you can get to the back door now.  Casters?  Legs?  Hmmmm....

I only went to 2 garage sales yesterday, one was a farm clearance (and you know how I do love those!).  We got quite a lot, really - so much the guy who helped to carry it to the car didn't think it would fit.  It was a very small car.  Some neat packing and we made it home safely and even with room to spare.

Amongst the treasures:  boxes, boxes, boxes

and this:

which is now this:

and this (well, it will be soon.  Are you thinking what I'm thinking?)

I also now have enough ginormous bolts for several interesting rustic hat/coat/key racks.

The second one was a friend's and also proffered treasure, however the excitement was such that I seem to have forgotten to take some happy snaps.  I'll try to do it this week.

I'm nearly out of Phillip Marlowe, but I understand that a bunch of Travis McGee novels are winging their way towards me.  Just in time, really.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Eyes like strange sins

To all those women who walked into those sheds on Saturday morning and said, in a disappointed voice, 'oh, it's all men's stuff' I say : pfffft.  Oh happy days, sheds full of old, rusty, grimy boxes of stuff.  I was down to a couple of skiploads of the stuff, so I was more than happy to top up the supplies.

As a side product, I have one container of airbrush bits, and a box of car bits like new fuel filters, spark plugs, and so on.  Maybe I can swap them for something interesting, since I have neither vehicle nor airbrush.

Yesterday, friends delivered an Albany Advertiser (newspaper) from Thursday November the 8th, 1934.  Fear not, they are not the world's slowest paper persons ( for paperboy would be both politically dubious and 50% gender-incorrect) but had found it when pulling up the lino in their lovely old house.  Today, a very nice lady brought me forty - forty! - that's four zero - maritime charts.  Primarily Western Australian coast, with Northern Territory ones as a bonus.  I barely know where to start. 'Thank you' doesn't even start  to cover it.

As it happens, I've been spending the weekend with Raymond Chandler.  There's a lot of terminology which would probably be seen as politically incorrect now, but as a lyrical description of the time (in this case, 1943)  it holds it's own.

"A check girl in peach-bloom Chinese pajamas came over to take my hat and disapprove of my clothes.  She had eyes like strange sins."

"From thirty feet away she looked like a lot of class. From ten feet away she looked like something made up to be seen from thirty feet away."

Pure gold.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Pinterest, ideas and addiction

I have a confession to make.

I was googling about the interweb, as one does, and I weakened and had a good long look around on Pinterest.  Oops.  Now I'm addicted. (I institutionalise easily.  Who knew?) 

So now I have boards to which I can pin all sorts of interesting things, and other people can look at them, and I've been sort of surprised that others have similar interests and tastes and like or re-pin my pins.  And I can look at other people's stuff too. I can highly recommend it as a way to find and exchange cool new ideas, and avoid doing housework.

I was explaining this to a non-Pinterest friend, which led us to a really interesting discussion about creativity as we hurtled about the burg looking for garage sales and tip shop bargains in this week's hideous heat and humidity.

People say to me that I'm really creative, but I think mine is just a visual creativity, in that I make things which people can see.  I think that others are just as creative, but express it in different ways, and don't give themselves the credit they deserve.  There's creativity in making a home, whether it's minimalist or eclective, like mine.  There's certainly creativity in raising children, cooking, and gardening, let alone doing all that and working 9-5 at the same time. Clever people are creative in whatever work they do, because of the way they approach it. If you let yourself accept that whatever you're doing is in it's own way creative, because you're expressing yourself, you can perhaps look at yourself differently and give yourself the credit you deserve.

If you aren't being creative on some level, then you're just going through the motions of living.

That's not to say that creating isn't difficult. Art is hard.  I spend lots of time (and I do mean LOTS) looking, researching, planning, and recording ideas, themes, thoughts, and inklings.  

Brainpickings (a truly excellent source of interesting things)quoted artist Chuck Close: "Inspiration is for amateurs — the rest of us just show up and get to work.”   

Maybe some people think that ideas show up fully formed, and because they wait for that to happen, they don't start?  If you wait for something to inspire you, you'll just keep waiting. Go out and inspire yourself.  Look, experience, experiment, feel, touch, think. Write. Work out how it's done. Find things that make you smile.

My fave quote is from Einstein:  "Creativity is the residue of time wasted."  Certainly, for me, the time I 'waste' looking around, reading, combing through other peoples' junk, informs what I do when I try to make or draw something.  I keep scrapbooks and photos and notebooks (and now virtual pinboards) as memory joggers, planners, idea generators - I suppose I immerse myself fairly constantly in the 'creative process'.   Someone asked me what an item was when I bought it at the tip shop.  My response was that I didn't know - I didn't - but I could see what it was going to be.  I said it without really thinking but having said it I thought some more about it. Sometimes I pick things up because I have a plan.  Sometimes, the plan comes later, but it's informed by something I have. Sometimes, I knock things over and they fall in a way I could never have planned.

Which is why I love my books - and magazines and bits of paper and ribbon and string and fishing lures and all the other stuff that I have about me.  The colours in a magazine's photo shoot can be the inspiration for something completely unrelated to fashion or travel. Stuff is stuck on the fridge (no, not the dust)because it's an interesting shape or there's something interesting in the colour or the composition.  I would die in a minimalist environment, I'm a visual person.

So much as I'm loving Pinterest, I'm not giving up on my visual diaries, corkboards, and things affixed with clothes pegs to other things about me. The Pinterest stuff is accessible and tidy, and very very neat, but I need my stuff about me so that I can waste time being residually creative.