Mysteries of My House

I have long held the belief that owning a home is like having a third person in your relationship. You have to take care of each other, but you also have to take care of your house. I am not entirely sure that my house is not a living being, with wants and needs.  And after conducting what amounted to a small archeological dig in my kitchen recently, I have to at least consider the possibility that my house is partying far more than I.

The other morning I tried to open my silverware drawer and the bottom fell out. Although he did offer,  I assured the nice Roger that I was possessed of repair skills adequate enough to fix the issue. However, I also realized that if I didn’t deal with the excess of contents in both this drawer and the utensil drawer below it, I would have to do it again real soon.  So, out came both drawers and I spread their contents out over the kitchen counters, striving for some sort of organizational sense.  I hadn’t done this in some time, and found myself amazed and puzzled by some of the accumulation.  Where did all of this stuff come from? Did I buy all these things? Or, did the house order things online when we weren’t around? I may have to check the browser history on our computers, because I am puzzled by some of the following inventory:

5 tea strainers- 2 hinged spoons, 2 tea balls, & this elegant strainer.20160430_112952

11 nut crackers- including this beautiful stream-lined wood & brass number(oddly, we rarely buy unshelled nuts)20160420_131616

3 cheese knives and 2 cheese slicers-because you never know when you’re going to need to cut the cheese.(no, I am not sorry about that terrible joke)

45 tiny plastic hors d’oeuvres forks-including 1 lone ‘Mr. Peanut’ fork(these may have come from my mother-in-law, but I have no more clue why she saved them than I have as to why I saved them)20160420_131338

1 set of 5 wooden-handled hors d’oeuvres forks (they have never been used)

1 set of 5 wooden-handled fondue forks (I have never made fondue at home. Never.)

5 pairs of tongs

21 turkey-trussing skewers in 2 sizes. I have never used these on a turkey. And yet, they appear to be used.

Several obscure kitchen tools-1 melon-baller, 1 zester, 1 antique ‘Presto’ egg slicer(again, from my mother-in-law. I have never hard-boiled an egg in my life. The smell is appalling.)20160420_131404

And finally, 10, count ’em, 10 corkscrews-these are spare corkscrews, in case one of the three I regularly use breaks. (I recall buying a few, but 10? I think not.)

So, after conducting what I feel was a very thorough investigation, I believe it possible that our house is having parties when Roger and I are not home, with lots of wine and food requiring tiny forks.  If, in the future, anyone receives an invite to one of these parties, bring me along as your plus-one. I love a good party, and apparently, my house knows how to throw one.

 

 

But is it Art?

Like half the women in the US, I have taken up coloring.  Coloring, the simple act of filling in spaces in various designs with the colors of one’s choice, using markers or colored pencils, is now being marketed as the way to relieve stress, increase ‘mindfulness’, and otherwise help make one’s life wonderful. Or at least brightly colored.  And I discovered I LOVED it.  I chose a book of designs, “Mandalas and More”, by artist Valentina Harper,2016-04-14 10.47.00

bought a package of 30 fine-point markers, and began to fill in the little spaces with color.  Each design took hours, but I was entranced.

While I was exploring the wonderful world of color in my coloring book, I was also looking around at the art hanging in our home, and realized that several areas could do with an infusion of color.

 

Initially, I thought I would simply go shopping, looking for some brightly colored paintings to brighten up the areas I thought were a bit drab. And then I was struck by an idea. What if I created an artwork with my colorings?

The first thing I thought I should do was put the colorings on a stiffer backing. I thought that just taping the pages to the wall would be a bit tacky.  So, after some trial and error, I decided to back them with layers of black sketch paper. Elmer’s Glue had too high a moisture content and caused the color to leach out, so I went with wood glue. Using a foam applicator to get an even coating, I brushed the glue on, pressed the papers together (colorings + 2 layers of sketch paper), and put them to dry under heavy books to minimize warping.  Then, I got out my exacto knives, and began cutting away what was uncolored.  Removing all the negative spaces, leaving only the colorings, gave them a more three-dimensional quality that I really liked.  The final step was to give the colorings a protective coating.  I used a water-based resin, BioShield Aqua Resin Stain Finish. An unexpected side effect of using this was a slight blurring of the colors, giving the pieces a water color effect that I thought was quite lovely. As long as I worked quickly, and didn’t overwork the application, there was minimal muddying.

Now, I have to accumulate enough for a grouping of pieces to create my own indoor garden, complete with fantastical birds and beasts.

I haven’t quite figured out how I’m going to mount each individual piece.  I may just use glue dots to attach them directly to the wall.  But I am truly pleased with my first foray into making my own art.  It is not art for the ages, it is simply art for me, but it is wonderful to discover this joy, in both process and outcome. So I say to you, go on, color something. Brighten up your life.2016-04-14 11.08.47