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Friday, July 19, 2013

I'm a little bit country...

When I was a kid growing up I use to watch The Donny and Marie show and wouldn't miss an episode.  Now to some, I may be dating myself, but if you know me at all, you know I am proud to be as old as I am. I've earned this age and I think its about time woman embrace the age they are and stop buying into the incredible media pressure to stay twenty... but that's a different soap box for a different time.  So anyway, as I was saying I use to watch Donny and Marie show and one of my favorite parts was when they would sing, "I'm a little bit country..." and "I'm a little bit rock n roll."  So why the flashback... truth be told, I find this sentiment to really represent me in my life.  There are parts of me that love the open spaces, big beat up barns and old dirt roads and I turn my head in adoration whenever a beat up old truck drives by.  Then there is the part of me that is as my grandmother-in-law once described me as the, "city girl".   The love of culture and museums, expensive coffee and an appetite for quality cuisine and the hustle and bustle that a city can have.

My first flight on a plane I was headed to a Washington D. C.  What a shock that was, from Salem, Oregon to Washington D.C at 19.  Most my adult life I have lived in the suburbs of  major cities.  I've lived in Washington D.C, New York, Auckland, New Zealand, and have raised my family in Los Angeles, California.  I love the melting pot, and cultural soup that a huge city can offer, but I also don't like to be immersed in it on daily basis.  I like to have it  just close enough so that I can take mini adventures into it and find my way back home to digest it all.

These days however, I seem to be craving more country.  Long drives in open land.  I am drawn to flea markets and rustic wood, nostalgia, ephemera, vintage everything and a simpler life.  Setting down roots is no longer threatening to me, funny as that sounds but its a huge part of my own inner journey to being comfortable with life's choices.  The idea of settling in one place seemed to at one time represent that I was giving up on the adventure of life.  Little did I know I was actually creating a magnificent for my children as well as for us to thrive in.

So in this rustic country phase in my life and am in a sense returning back home.  I am often reminded of summers at my Aunt Pats house.  She lived just outside the city limits in a town that was founded by the timber industry.    A little town known as Drain, Oregon.  She has recently sold the house but I was lucky enough to return to it year after year even in adulthood and bring my three children to swim in its creek, catch wild little frogs and take long walks to the only grocery store in town, simply with the goal in mind to get ice-cream. We would pick fresh apples and blackberries alongside the road as we ventured and watch the deer every dusk eat the fallen apples alongside their dirt road.

Well these days I live in the suburbs in a Mayberrish town and I love it.  I am in the house I hope to grow old in and finally after 20 years of living in Los Angeles I actually feel like I am home.  I am drawn to the rustic sheds that are found along the alleyways from when the town was founded and like my dear friend Michele Rivard will break for garage sales and look for treasures.

Having known her and watched her turn something overlooked into unique furniture pieces to adorn and transform a house into a home, with I now have an appreciation for specialty paints and their applications for various affects.  One I have mentioned on occasion is the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint but the other is a paint called Miss Mustard Seeds Milk Paint.

Now I have tried using this paint but I tell you this is where workshops come into play and are so valuable.  I can read the directions just like anyone else but its the hints and learning curve I want to learn from.  I wanted the chippy look ignored the directions and created the paint according the consistency I thought paint should be and I did NOT get the same results.

So with that I think I will more than likely stick to what I know and what I have time to learn how to do.  The thing about being a DIYer is that sometimes, we just don't know when to let others do it for us and stick to what we are best at and get more joy from.   I don't have to do it ALL myself.

Because its a cool product and I've seen how it can turn something drab into absolutely fab I made the sign for Michele at Knot Too Shabby here in Glendora, California.  The great thing about Michele's store is that not only does she sell the stuffs she teaches you how to use it and how to prep your piece to get the best results.

Here's her sign...

                                I may have been born in the city but in my heart grows country.

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