MONTHS ago Gadora and Sandra set about Austin with a few bucks and a mission: hit up some garage sales and blow our wad. We had a ball, and late in our day we hit the mother load. A lovely lady was selling the farm and we scored a funky rug for $5 and four ladderback chairs for $2.50 a piece. That’s practically free, we thought.
4 ladderback chairs…
They sat in the garage all of the fall and most of the winter. Staring at me, sometimes I stared back. Once in a while I’d give them a close inspection. No markings, they appeared to be handmade. A little wonky, the front legs were longer than the back. But they’d make someone a nice set, and surely we’d recover our $10 investment.
The seats were tightly woven jute, soft and pliable, and in really great shape.
Gadora has before mentioned the almost bah humbug-like attitude I possess when it comes to decorating for the holidays. It stems from the ruthless way stores shove glittery Christmas crap at us earlier and earlier every year. Hey, before you get started… I’m all for the Holidays. I like my family. And I’m down with the Chocolate Vegan Chili recipes, and consuming way too much dessert. I simply identify more closely with Charlie Brown’s philosophy: “I won’t let all this commercialism ruin my Christmas!”
My first Christmas in New York I lived not far from The Met on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. It was a small studio, fit me just right, but there was no room for a tree. Armed with winter gloves and gall, I strolled over to Central Park and clandestinely plucked out a few fallen branches. Dragged them the few blocks home and up to my roof where I deleafed them, sprayed and adorned them. “I’ll take this little tree home and decorate it! And I’ll show ’em.”
Charlie Brown Christmas…
By December 15th of this year we’d not done one thing to prepare for the holidays. No light strung, no sweets made, no nothing really. We’d planned our second annual Festivus for the Rest of Us party—where decorations (and tinsel) are abhorred—but I knew the BFF was secretly hankering to bust out the Christmas boxes. “How about I make us a tree for the party,” I pose. She squealed. Gadora intended to repurpose the branches I’d witnessed her saw off a tree a few days earlier, saving them the fate of the trash can. It would be our Zero Dollar Christmas Tree… no tree felled, we’d craft the ornaments ourselves and enjoy an evening with the girls while pulling it all together.
Gadora has happily been off-line lately. Out of the country, actually. Just returned from Istanbul, not Constantinople*, where I spent a splendid week with the family.
Beforehand I’d hurried through the packing, sure to include only the most essential wardrobe elements: slouchy Frye boots, sensible-but-saucy walking shoes, 2 leggings, lots of lightweight sweaters and tops for layering and a Harajuku Lovers cross-shoulder bag. I was certain to buy a mess of stuff at the famous Grand Bazaar. On the quickie layover in Chicago, where I caught up with a dear friend, I remembered I’d neglected to pack a journal. I wouldn’t survive the 10 1/2 hour journey across the Atlantic with Sudoku alone! After perusing a few shoppes in bustling Geneva, Gadora decided to make her own.
It would boast no lines. I’d be doodling in it, after all. We found it at the local Walgreens, but it was lacking any style. My friend had a recent style-guide with a suitable cover, and allowed me to commandeer it for the project. Tape, I’ll need tape. And scissors. Easy enough, though she’d just moved into her new digs.
There’s no rest for the weary. Though the suitably roomy L-shaped sofa has arrived, Gadora is still searching for extra seating for the 2nd Floor Lounge. I’m hoping it will be the place-to-be after all, so we’ll want enough space for the work peeps to enjoy it, thoroughly.In search of both a “floating” wall shelf and carved wooden stumps, last week I visited the folks at Delta Millworks, who recommended I meet Lee of Old Texas Floors(there’s a visual story here! but you’ll have to wait for it). Lee’s worked up a pricey quote for 2 stumps-to-turn-stools and to be sure…I surfed the interwebs for comparable items.
Turns out Lee’s wood stools—which were once beams anchoring an old warehouse—will be aaaah-mazing and at more than 100 years old, they are priced just right. While nurturing a cup o’ joe this morning, Gadora found a few items worth percolating over: home furnishings made from reclaimed coffee sacks.
This hand-built chair inspired by Mies van der Rohe’s iconic Barcelona, is an upholstered version of a Mexican butaca. They’re made of machiche, a tropical Guatemalan hardwood, with well-padded cushions upholstered in reclaimed jute coffee sacks. I. Want. Two.
Gadora had a particularly fruitful day not long ago. By fruitful, I mean monetarily. In one single day, I’d sold and collected monies for two Still life watercolors I’d placed in our first-ever Office Art show, received payment for another Still Life sold through Spruce, AND was alerted via email that my beloved X-ray lamphad sold on Etsy. Happy to be in the money I was somewhat sad to see the lamp go.
I hoped it would go to a good home. In our email exchanges its buyer offered, “It’s actually a gift for a friend of mine who collects X-rays and is notoriously difficult to shop for…”
“I will tell her to take a photo of it for you though, she’ll have to take one for me as well since I’m in a different state from her. ❤ (she’ll probably be thrilled to show it off to be honest!)”
When the pictures arrived, this morning, Gadora was told: “:) She adores the lamp though and the only problem is she keeps finding other places for it that are just as fabulous.” Thank You both for sharing. I’m so happy you ❤ it (too)!