A Wilde Find

My dear husband, Studly Doright, doesn’t quite get my fascination with estate sales. Or rather, he doesn’t understand my non-competitive attitude toward them.

I don’t arise at the crack of dawn to go pawing through the belongings of some recently deceased dowager in order to find items of value. No, I’m quite content to wander through homes looking for books and/or small objets d’art to add to my collection. Now, should I happen onto a rare first edition hardcover in mint condition, or a unique piece of jewelry, I’d likely snap it up; however, there’s a whole different mentality involved in the search for pieces of that nature.

I see these people at every sale. They arrive even before the doors open and walk around with a no-nonsense air about them. They block the bookshelves until they’ve examined every vintage book, and their bags are filled with promising finds to list on eBay.

On the other hand I wander through rooms picking up nonsensical items and looking for the next book in the Harry Potter series (currently I need book 4). This isn’t to say I never find anything that’s been overlooked by a more avid shopper, but my goal isn’t to turn a profit.

This past weekend I discovered a couple of fun items in addition to The Prisoner of Azkaban. One was a small piece of art that I thought was interesting:

The other was this book of fairy tales by Oscar Wilde.

Neither is worth much, but I couldn’t leave without them. I pictured both probably going to a Goodwill shop somewhere, and thought surely Doright Manor could provide a better home for them.

Of course at some point my kids are going to have to go through my stuff and decide how to deal with my treasures. At least I won’t be around to see how they are disposed of. I hope they’ll be treated kindly.

Peace, people.

Intellectual Arithmetic

At least once a month I spend my Saturday in search of estate sales. Very seldom do I buy anything, but this week I found a couple of new-to-me treasures.

First is this lovely wildlife print by Nancy Z. Guinn (or Gwinn).

The photograph doesn’t do it justice. I keep expecting one of the birds to fly out to light on my finger.

This, though, was my favorite find:

I know, this copy of Ray’s Intellectual Arithmetic is in awful condition, but I’m sure I won’t look all that great when I’m 142 years old either.

After perusing the pages of this pocket sized publication, I realized that by “Intellectual Arithmetic” the author was referring to what we call mental math.

Perhaps this find doesn’t excite you, but I’m a retired teacher who often was assigned to teach math (or maths, for my British friends) and science to elementary students.

I can well imagine the reactions from modern day children were they to be handed a plain Jane copy of Ray’s Intellectual Arithmetic when they’ve become accustomed to this:

Studly Doright was impressed with my little book, but for a different reason. He thinks it might be worth more than the few dollars I paid for it. Given the book’s condition I doubt it’d be valuable. Except, that is, to me.

Peace, people!

Social Caterpillar

Last week I found myself attending social events on three consecutive evenings. I haven’t been out that many nights in a row since I was a busy mom driving kids to and from various activities. And don’t tell them, but this past week was (marginally) more fun. I’m not quite a social butterfly yet, but I am a fun-loving caterpillar.

On Wednesday I went to a group painting activity at Painting With a Twist in Tallahassee. Thursday evening I saw Train at Cascades Park. Then on Friday I attended an art show at Florida State University’s Museum of Fine Arts.

One of the women I’ve met through the Tallahassee Women’s Meetup group had a piece selected for the show, and I went to support her.

That’s Martha M. Lord, below, with her oil painting, Spring Haven. The painting was displayed incorrectly. It should have been rotated 90° to the left, and my photo doesn’t do it justice. These manatees make me happy.

I wandered around the event like I knew what I was doing, admiring art, oohing over some pieces, looking bemused at others.

Below, No Bee=No We by Rita Barker.

Magnolia by Charlie O’Toole

Boots on the Ground by Judy Lipman Schecter

I didn’t get artists’ names on these, but they all caught my unpracticed eye.

The evening was fun. I didn’t turn into a butterfly, but I think it might be time to spin my chrysalis.

Soon….

Simple Art for Non-artists

My need to create art is overshadowed only by my complete lack of artistic ability. Almost daily I’ll see something on Pinterest or on Facebook that makes me think, “hmmm, I can do that,” only to discover that no, I can’t. But that seldom keeps me from trying, and subsequently failing again.

One day last week I found this video on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/artfidodotcom/videos/1737457416309371/

It looked foolproof, so I gathered a sketchbook, some paints, and a bit of embroidery floss. Guess what? Not only is it foolproof, it’s great fun.

My first attempt. I love that I get two prints in one go.

I tried two colors on my second piece. I’m calling this one “Angry Parrots.”

And three colors on my third. The black just looks muddy, though.

Here’s my favorite:

This will be fun to do with visiting grandkids. I used washable paints, and all my work surfaces survived unscathed. Yay, me!

I won’t be opening a gallery any time soon, but I am going to keep experimenting.

Peace, people!

Artistic Inspiration

On my recent trip to Austin I spent a bit of time admiring works of art displayed in the Bass Concert Hall on the University of Texas campus. This piece, “Let the Big World Turn” by Molly Bennett, caught my eye:

The circle is a collage comprised of pieces of paper arranged in an aesthetically pleasing design. I thought it was lovely and decided I could try my hand at creating something on a smaller scale.

Let’s just say I wasn’t very successful.

Nevertheless, I’m going to give it another try. I believe my pieces of paper need to be smaller. And I should probably have some kind of a plan for the composition. Also, it might need more cowbell:

https://goo.gl/images/eGRuhU

Thrift Store Finds

My decorating talents are weak, at best, and most of my efforts at making my home attractive are more miss than hit. That doesn’t keep me from trying, though.

Last week I dropped off some donations at a local thrift shop and thought I’d look around for artsy pieces while I was there. Usually I come away from such trips empty handed, but on this day I hit gold.

Okay, this first one is something most likely originally purchased at a Bed, Bath, and Beyond, but I liked it and for $10 it looked like a winner. It’s a great piece for our den.

This one, though, was my favorite find.

It’s an original, most likely by an FSU art student, and fits nicely with the Guatemalan decor in our dining room. It only set me back $3.99.

One of my all-time best thrift store art finds, though, is this painting.

I think I gave $5.99 for it at a second hand shop when we lived in Melbourne, Florida, many years ago. It makes me happy. Isn’t that what art is supposed to do?

Peace, people.

Random Photos from Austin, Texas, plus Bonus Footage of Me on Drums

On my recent trip to Austin, Texas, I took a good many photos. Surely some of them are worth sharing.

These photos below are of random works of art I saw on the Austin Tour of Weird Homes:

The one above was part of the black light decor in a bathroom!

One home had two rooms dedicated to various images of Marilyn Monroe.

We stopped for lunch at Lucy’s where darned near everything is deep fried and delicious, even the deviled eggs!

I did find a sandwich that wasn’t fried:

Oh, except for the fried chicken in the chicken salad sandwich.

Sister-in-law, Angie, struck a pose at Lucy’s.

We also strolled around the expansive grounds of The Great Outdoors nursery.

But best of all, I got to play drums at the house we rented!

Autographs, anyone? By the way I’m well aware I am holding the sticks incorrectly. Don’t be haters.

Peace, people!

Austin’s Weird Tour of Homes

Saturday in Austin was spent touring weird homes around the city. In a town known for being weird, it takes a special kind of home to qualify for this tour.

I’m not even going to try to explain what we saw on the tour, but here are a few photos I thought it would be fun to share with my readers.

Pictured above are the weirdest people in Austin this weekend. From left, my sisters-in-law Lyn and Angie, friend Mauri, niece Christie, and yours truly. We’re not nearly as innocent as we look.

Too much happened today and I’m too tired to post much, but suffice it to say I had way more fun than is probably legal in the state of Texas.

Goodnight and peace, people!

Picasso, or the Not-so-Wonderful World of Makeup

For most of my life I’ve been told by well-meaning women, “You’d be so pretty if you’d just learn to apply your makeup properly.” I know they meant well, but those words, rather than feeling like a compliment always came across as put downs instead. What I heard was, “Damn, girl, you’re ugly, but you’d look better if you’d cover up your sad looking face.”

I’ve worn makeup since my early teen years, but I never learned the fine art of turning the bare canvas of my face into a work of art as so many women can. Unless that work of art is akin to a Picasso. I’ve got that whole cubist period look down pat. Or was that his blue period? I forget.

Several years ago I discovered a makeup brand I loved. Pür Minerals 4 in 1 foundation provided appropriate coverage for me–not too light, not too heavy–in an easy, breezy format. Makeup application took all of two minutes, including a swoop of blush, a splash of finishing powder, and a dash of mascara. I wasn’t going to win any beauty pageants, but hey, that was never on the table anyway.

Then just a couple of months ago I realized that my foundation was gathering in the creases and wrinkles of my face. It looked as though someone had crumpled up my skin like a sheet of parchment paper and dusted it with beige powdered sugar. It was not becoming.

Since that discovery I’ve been on a mission to find a new foundation, a new routine, an entirely new look. And the whole thing is pissing me off. Liquid foundations don’t stay where I want them even after applications of primer and finishing powder. I end up with a ghostly white upper lip after only a couple of hours of wear. It’s discouraging.

Today I spent thirty minutes in Ulta allowing an enthusiastic young woman to try out a new foundation on me, and then she filled in my eyebrows to make a frame for my face. Why do I need to frame my face?

Oh, yeah. Picasso.

Even after all the young woman’s careful ministrations, the makeup around my mouth wore off much more quickly than it did on the rest of my face. I look like a reverse raccoon. My eyebrows are holding up nicely, though.

Peace, people.

Minimalist Challenge, Guinness Day 23

I promise these Guinness bottle caps have been collected over many, many weeks, not a matter of a few days. There are 23, plus eight to compensate for two frivolous purchases I made on Thursday.

These bottle caps have been taking up space in a kitchen drawer and will be forwarded to Studly Doright’s youngest sister, the beautiful and witty Amy, in Texas. Amy is a creative soul who will turn these Guinness caps into a work of art.

Of course, some would argue, they already are a work of art. And the Guinness? Sublime.

Peace, people.