Tuesday, May 24, 2011

My Two Dollar Chair

For quite awhile now I've been fantasizing about a comfy, cozy, smallish, wing back-typish chair. This would be the perfect chair in which to knit, drink my morning (and afternoon) coffee, and just in general act as my base of operations. A throne, if you will, for the queen of the household. The nerve center of the home operations.

The other factor (and it's a biggie) that makes this chair a fantasy chair is that it is cheap. Really cheap. Like yard sale or thrift shop cheap. But never in my wildest dreams did I think my dream chair would only cost two dollars...

This is the story of my two dollar chair.

My chair! My beautiful two dollar chair! And my adorable Patrick. Also, please note thrift shop pillow featuring hand embroidered mushrooms. And if you will, please kindly ignore those pesky dust bunnies. These little beasts tend to come out of hiding when I've moved all the furniture around.

After a pleasant breakfast at the Blue Iris (yummy little local bistro) with my brother-in-law, Damon, his main squeeze, Molly, and Kieran (my almost-five-year-old son) we cruised down Water Street headed for home. We had almost passed the New to You Thrift Shop when I spotted The Chair. I yelled "STOP", which Damon did, right in the middle of the street. I then pushed the door open and sprinted across the street at full speed, heedless of oncoming traffic (this is not as dangerous as it might sound, considering where I live). A note pinned to the chair read, "$2 or BO". What? Could this really be true? Only two dollars or best offer? It looked to be in great shape, and when I hefted it it seemed nice and sturdy. There must be something wrong with it, I thought.

So, I commenced to sniff the chair all over. I mean ALL OVER.  Passersby might have thought me crazy, but when thrifting and yard-saling, sniffing the goods is essential. Amazingly, the chair passed my thorough sniff test. I then crossed my fingers and began to gingerly lower my rear end toward the chair, my mind racing. Would it be comfortable? Would the springs be worn out? Would I feel the well-worn imprint of the previous owner's butt? None of these would allow the chair to qualify as my dream chair. After what seemed an eternity, my rear finally touched down on the chair cushion. I closed my eyes and breathed a sigh of relief.  No wonky springs, no sag, no butt imprints. It passed my comfort test. Chair, you will be mine!

I then ran into the shop and without preamble announced "I want that chair!" I handed over the two dollars. I didn't even try to talk them down. I mean, I could have. The sign said "$2 or BO". But hey, I figure two dollars for a chair that didn't stink or sag was a pretty great deal. And I'm a reasonable girl, after all!

After getting the chair home and cleaning it up a bit, I'm a very happy girl. I've rearranged my living room to make a cozy spot for the new addition. Granted, the chair isn't my favorite color. But that's okay with me. I can always pretty it up with a snazzy new lap quilt. Maybe someday I'll even have it reupholstered. Who knows?

I'm not completely nuts. I do know that there are better, prettier, superior chairs out there. Some folks might be mortified at the idea of bringing home a two dollar chair, or laugh at the fact that this thrift shop chair is my fantasy. But the fact that I can be satisfied with less than perfect makes me happy. It's an attitude that keeps my life simple. And that doesn't mean I fill my life or my home with inferior things, or things I don't like. Quite the contrary. But I'm not going to be obsessed or wasting my time or money searching for that perfect thing. I'm gonna wait and let it come to me. And it did!

Dream Chair

Monday, May 9, 2011

On Crafty Gift Giving & Creativity

One of the advantages of being a crafty girl is giving handmade gifts to those I love. There have been quite a few occasions for me to do some crafty gift giving lately, and I managed to get a few shots to share what I've been up to.

Before I wow you with photos of my fine handmade items, I just wanted to say a little something about creativity. My own creativity, that is. For most of my life, I had never considered myself to be artistic. I felt I lacked imagination. And I know for a fact I had imagination in abundance when I was a child. I can still remember some of the wild games I used to play, songs I would make up, even the elaborate hospital for ants I created in the dirt driveway of my childhood home. Now, I seem to recall that there was also a graveyard for the ants behind that hospital...but I'm getting off topic. The point is that I had an imagination! Sadly, somewhere along the line, I lost it.

So, what an absolute gift, a little later in life, to tap into that part of myself that I had assumed was lost forever. That part of me that can create, dream, and imagine. What freedom. I am constantly amazed that my life is full of such lovely, lovely surprises.

And now, on with the show!

A messenger bag for my dear friend Amy's birthday.
A mini name banner for my niece, Grace.
A mini name banner for my just-turned-one-year-old  friend, Cecelia. I went the nickname route, Cece. Those blobs on either side of her name are actually birds.
Mini matryoshka dolls for Grace and Cecelia.
Kieran insisted I take a photo of him holding the doll. And who could refuse that face?

Making stuff makes me happy. Making stuff for other people makes me happy. I am grateful for the twists and turns my life has taken to get me here. Finally.