Saturday, March 11, 2017
Fun with Furniture
When I took my desk apart last week, I had to remove the topper I had on it because the desk was now in front of the window, and I wanted the pleasure of being able to look outside.
Now, as I've mentioned before, the desk is a hand-made hand-me-down. Decades ago, when my mother was illustrating a series of coloring books she needed workspace, so my stepdad knocked together a simple base and put a sheet of plywood on top of it to serve as a desk. Later, when we moved house and my mother moved on from the largely failed coloring book project, the desk became first a place to put the skill saw in the workshop and later a dumping ground for any sort of junk anyone and everyone saw fit to dump on it. It languished in a corner for a very long time. When I cleared the shop after dad died, I rescued the desk for use in the workshop.....but then, in a typically thoughtless move, I gave away a desk I had been using in the house.
Nitwit, me. But resourceful. I couldn't stay desk-less, so I hauled out the old handmade dinosaur, slapped some paint on it, and it has ever since been the best desk I've ever had. It's certainly forgiving. It has since had several different coats of paint, and I've cut holes in the top for electric cords. No matter what I do with this desk, it's workable.
I liked having the topper nearby--great storage for a drawer-less desk. I found the topper at a flea market for what I thought (and still think) to be an exorbitant price: $14. After all, it was scratched and the spindles were broken. But it had a charm I could not ignore and after a week of agonizing over the decision, I gave in and bought it. I glued it together (badly but, hey, it's all good) and painted it. I have no idea what sort of furniture it originally was part of but I've used it in a variety of ways.
Now, the topper had to make an exit from the desk and there was only one sensible thing to do: make it part of the work table. The work table (another cobbled-together project from my stepdad but updated by me) was, unfortunately, already busy.....maybe too busy.
Still, I took it all apart because the topper was so tall that it was gonna interfere with my mother's English antique chain-hung beveled glass mirror. I had to re-hang it higher, and that stinker is heavy. Really heavy. Got it done and put everything away neatly.....then spent all that night wide awake and fussing because I just hated where the mirror now was and also because I didn't trust the four long screws that I had hung it with. That mirror had to come down.....and that meant taking everything apart again. (Now, the mirror will be placed at an antiques mall to find a new home. I'll miss seeing it but I never want to have to re-hang it.)
And I had to find something to put on the wall over the work table. As someone (quite pointlessly) pointed out to me yesterday, I can't stand a vacuum; I like Stuff. Empty spaces bother me. I thought and prayed and hunted around and came up with a combination that pleased me: an embroidery sampler I designed years ago, the quilt that I designed and made on the back porch in the weeks we went without electric power after Hurricane Katrina (the quilt tells the story of that terrible time), and an old metal cross that I gave a fresh coat of green spray paint (just using what paint I had--besides, that green seemed good).
Yesterday, I had the pure pleasure of sitting at the work table all morning watching a movie that my good neighbor loaned me while I worked on a project--making fresh copies of a clock-setting booklet--a little elementary book-binding. I have no idea what I'm doing but I've never seen why that should stop me.
So, not a very exciting story but it's just another step on the road I'm taking. I believe in change. And I like messing about with my funny old furniture. Stuff just doesn't have to be perfect, just doesn't have to be all shiny and new, doesn't even have to match. It just has to work. And it helps if it makes me want to work as well.
Life is good.