so today . . . i learned a few things.
1. i prefer mediterranean ocean views to hawaiian ocean views.
2. all palm trees are not the same. some palm trees look like they are coming to eat me.
3. rollie likes paintings of red poppies (yay!)
4. i am a terrible judge of space and size. (and age and weight, but those two aren't really relevant to today's blog.)
5. i need to drink more water.
every saturday morning rollie plays basketball at the church. he leaves early and usually gets home between 10:00 and 11:00. most saturdays this works great for me! i sleep in and just take it easy. but every once in a while, i get this urge to go do something fun. and today, my urge to go do something fun just happened to coincide with a non-basketball saturday for rollie and our need for some new artwork...
that, of course, meant just one thing. orange county swap meet, baby!
we have lived in our new house for seven months now, and there is nothing hanging on our walls. nothing. the furniture is all in place. the boxes are all emptied (well, except for the book boxes--i need to get a bookcase.) we are all settled in. except that there is nothing on the walls.
when we moved, i decided i didn't just want to hang everything back up. we've been looking at the same photos and artwork for the last 20 years, and i decided it was time for a change. so i put all those photos and decorative items into boxes and spent the last seven months looking at blank walls. and that has been ok, but it feels like spring is just around the corner, and that always makes me feel like prettying things up.
in the past, our walls have mostly been decorated with photos. i love photos! but it seems like once i frame a photo and hang it up, it's place is secured until the end of time. i've heard that there are people who actually change the photos on their walls occasionally, but i am not one of those people. once a photo is up, i can only add to the arrangement. i cannot take it down. the result of this sort of thinking is that my walls become "cluttered" with photographs.
i've worked really hard to get rid of stuff and keep our new house clean and clutter-free. it just feels calmer to me that way. cleaning now trumps cuteness. i watch all these shows on hgtv where they come in and redo rooms for people, and they always look beautiful! but now i look at all the stuff they "stage" and think, "who is going to dust all of that after the designers leave?!?" i am done with dusting stuff just because it is cute. i hate to dust! so my solution is not to clutter up every horizontal surface with things that require me to dust them.
this also goes for wall art. i love a good collage wall, but that means a lot of frames that have to be dusted and glass that needs to be cleaned. instead, i've decided bigger is better. bigger means less dusting! bigger means less confusing to the eye. bigger means i feel calmer.
but there is a limit...
our goal today was a nice big picture to hang in our bedroom. for the last ten years, our bed has had a window behind it, but now there is this big, blank wall. we have a vaulted ceiling in that room, and it is a large room, so i thought a nice large painting would be perfect. i've tried to give that room a calm and peaceful feeling, so we have light yellow walls, driftwood colored furniture and white trim. this decor screamed out for a beachy picture. i was thinking ocean, sand, and palm trees. and then we started actually looking at paintings...
i discovered that i hated the palm tree beach pictures. i didn't know why, i just rejected all of them. i was saying things like, "the colors are too vibrant," or "it looks too fake," or "it looks like a picture from a calendar," or "no huts with thatched roofs!" and then there were the snakey, carnivorous palm trees. they looked like they were coming to get me. they looked like if i didn't run fast enough, they would eat me for lunch! they were my worst nightmare!! i couldn't have those things hanging right above me as i slept... or i shoud say, as i tried to sleep!
this surprised me! i love palm trees!! but i was not loving the palm tree pictures...
what i was loving were the pictures of the mediterranean ocean views. we had the good fortune to visit santorini in greece several years ago, and there were some paintings of that location. i really loved those paintings! they were calm and serene, and they reminded me of how much we enjoyed that trip. the problem was, i have a small painting that we bought when we were in greece of santorini, so it seemed like two pictures so similar might be too much.
as we were flipping through all the paintings, we found one of red poppies. i love red poppies! (actually, it would be more accurate to say that i love pictures of red poppies. in person, i'm not such a fan. but show me any group of paintings, and if there are red poppies, that is probably going to be my favorite.) "i love those red poppies!" i said to rollie. "well," he replied, "they are the state flower of california." "really?" i said, "i guess i did not know that. they are just so happy looking." "yes," he said, "i like them too!" this was news to me. i didn't think rollie would be all that enthusiastic about any flower pictures, but he liked the poppies! we quickly decided that the poppies would be perfect in our living room, over the brown couch which will one day be a cool and stylishly sleek red leather couch. i hope.
we were making progress, just not in the direction we had planned. now we had a painting that we weren't even looking for, and we still didn't have one for the spot we needed. we looked and looked and looked, and finally decided on a painting of the marina on catalina island. the colors were perfect for our room, but the painting was really large. we asked if they had a smaller one, but they didn't. that was ok though, because as i said, we have vaulted ceilings...
we walked back to our car, each carrying a painting. and then we got to the car. it's a prius. i was looking at the large painting and looking at the prius and thinking, "we are going to have to call someone with a pickup truck to get this painting home!" have i mentioned that i don't really know anyone with a pickup truck who would be willing to drive all the way out to costa mesa on a saturday afternoon to pick up a painting for me??
maybe i need some new friends. preferably ones with a pickup truck and no life...
rollie was saying, "oh, ye of little faith..." as he put the back seats down and got that big painting into the back of his prius.
ok, maybe i don't need any new friends as long as i have rollie and his prius...
we were all smiley all the way home. we had found not one, but two paintings that we both loved! we were so excited to get them home and get them hung up. we brought them into the house and i propped the poppies up on the back of the couch, just to see how they were going to look. they were perfect!
then we went upstairs to hang the picture of catalina. and that's when the trouble began...
"it's going to be too big," i said. "it isn't going to fit! we are going to have to take it back!!" "let's just get it unwrapped and see," said my calm rational husband. "ok," i said, "but i can tell that it is too big." we unwrapped it and held it up where we wanted to hang it. yep. it was too big.
how could this be?!? it fit in the prius!! how could it not fit on the wall?!?! and what if we couldn't take it back? why hadn't i measured the space? or the painting?? i was getting a little bit panicky.
rollie was not. because even though it wasn't fitting in the space we had, it was close. so we started shifting things around, and we finally got it hung. (that is the short version. the long version included moving the bed several times, taking the 6" risers out from under the legs of the bed, and carrying the painting around the room to see if we had other options. this was all done by rollie, while i stood back and gave my opinion. and then of course, we ended up right back where we started. there are days when you don't want to be married to me...)
our house is starting to show some personality. when you walk into our living room, now it looks like people live here, not just like it is a storage room for furniture. and while that giant painting in the bedroom is a little overpowering right now, i do love it. and i think when i get some smaller things up on the rest of the walls, it will balance out.
at least i don't feel like it is going to eat me!
on a side note... one of the things i was looking for today at the swap meet were seat covers for my car. it sits in the sun with the top down sometimes, and i am worried about the fabric seats fading. there were lots of people selling seat covers, but these are the ones rollie thought i should get.do i even need to tell you what i thought about that??? i didn't think so...