real-life decorating

So . . . when I haven't been toying with the look of the blog, I've been working on a project for our room: nightstand/bookcases. For some time we have needed night stands that would function as more than tables. Our old ones were cute, but they were just that: an antique table divided (where the leaf would go) and perched against the wall. They also clashed with the heart pine bed--a sort of orangey color. So . . . we've been searching for either bookcases or dressers, and at Target (of all places!) I found a three shelf bookcase that seemed like it would work. I wanted white which was online only. Several weeks ago, we had the capital to fund the project, but every time I got online to order I couldn't go through with it. The Saturday before last, Tuan and I were at Dirt Cheap in Columbia and found the bookcases for seventy percent off--whoo-hoo! I think bargains swarm to me like so many love bugs around a white car.

The bookcases were a dark "espresso" finish which would never do with heart pine, so I've been painting them. It's taking a while because of limited space and two little ones, but tonight I am actually getting the paint on. We primed them white, and I'm loosely brushing blue on them (what better to go next to orangey heart pine than blue--complementary eh?), then working some cheerful green into the cracks. I guess because I'm too lazy and hurried to pick out a proper paint and go to the store and have it mixed, I am taking some old paint and brushing it roughly onto a brand new surface to give the illusion that I found old bookcases at a thrift store and ran out of steam while sanding the bookcases to paint and just left them like that so I could hurry up and put them in my room. It's rationally ridiculous, but if it looks good . . . There's the rub. It may not even look good and I won't know 'til they're dry and assembled. Then, I really won't want to fix them with a proper coat of paint.

To add to the craziness of it all, in one of those inexplicable moments of slow-motion "oh, noooo"-ing, the green paint somehow flew up in the air and splashed across a good six feet, puddling on the floor and ALL OVER our couch. Children were quickly thrown into their room/bed and spray bottles of 409 and warm soapy water enlisted (along with the shop vac) to get the paint out. To great relief, we got all the paint out. I confess, though, that I thought I might have finally gotten a new couch out of it!

I am on a rabbit trail to who-knows-where, but I want to give a shout-out to Formula 409. This is truly the miracle cleaning solution. It degreases my stove, laundry, removes horrid rug stains, paint from upholstery and love bug gunk. We sprayed it on our cars today and let it soak in before washing. The 409 really made a difference--it was much easier to remove the gunk.

If you're a Jan Karon reader, you may recognize familiar phrases. I read the Mitford books aloud to Tuan in the car whenever we're traveling. So far, in four years, we've read up to In This Mountain. It's been really enjoyable. I enjoy doing character voices (Fancy Skinner is my favorite), and occasionally get too worked up over details of the story. Why, I wonder, do a retired priest and a work-at-home illustrator with no children in a small house, need a woman (Puny) to come in every day and clean/cook for them? Also, Cynthia seems to get very worn out. Maybe she is doing a lot of things in the community while Father Tim is walking Barnabas and eating at the Grill and not getting his hair cut, but Karon certainly isn't letting us in on it. I really love Mitford, but there are days when children are endlessly eating, soiling diapers and strewing toys so that our living room looks like a small day care, that I wish Cynthia would come and see what it is really like to be worn out. Then maybe, just maybe, she would send Puny over to my house for a day or so and I could go and illustrate children's books.

There ya go.

1 comment:

Caroline said...

Good to know about 409. I have been trying to be greener with my cleaning products, so I haven't bought any more since my last bottle ran out. Perhaps I should reconsider.