Monday, January 10

on the street where you live

If you were driving down the street and glanced in the big bay windows of a second-hand shop and saw an old street sign hanging on the back wall that said, "LOVELAND ST," would you be compelled to pull the car over and go inside and throw down three fives for it?


You know, hypothetically speaking.

What's odd is that I actually did this over a week ago-- maybe 10 days ago-- except for the buying the sign part.  I spotted it as I was driving, went in, decided it was silly and left.  But then, on Saturday, I was back in that part of town-- which is a few towns over from me-- and as I was coming past the store I thought to look in figuring, of course it would be gone.

But nope-- there it was.  So I went in and bought an old street sign.


More often than not, whenever I buy some old thing like this-- I have the clear memory of exiting a second-hand shop with my niece Kate who was probably about 12 or 14 at the time.  I brought her there as part of our special day together, but it turns out she and I have very different aethetics.  As we crossed the parking lot she said (with no small amount of disgust that teenagers reserve for particularly pathetic adult behavior), "I can't believe people actually buy things that are old and used.  That is so gross."

So much for our bonding over that particular activity.  I guess I was thinking it would be more like how Abby describes it here . . .

Oh well-- the thing is I LOVE finding something-- okay, the sign is not the best example cause its pretty useless-- but I love finding something I can repurpose and you know my favorite place? The dump. Yikes! Did you just fall off your chair? Sorry about that-- but our dump is a pretty posh recycling center and you cannot believe the stuff people just leave there-- sometimes-- it has real value, well-- at least to me.

Oh god, have I just revealed myself to be a junk digger? I'll take some photos of stuff I have found and repurposed-- but hey! That sofa/daybed thing I have posted pics of? THAT was a second-hand store find. Christine was with me and she spotted it first, but couldn't take it with her to Providence, poor thing-- so I got to have it-- it was painted all black and had the worst cushions on it-- but it was $135.

And maybe that sounds like a lot of money-- but now that it is painted white with beautiful, antique linen pillows-- and I'm liking it, especially because I didn't pay big dollars for it in some real furniture store. Am perverse like that.

Anyway-- got this sign and was gonna put it on the wall behind my bed, but then thought about it falling off and landing on my head (it's REALLY heavy) and decided that might not be such a great idea, so there it is-- above the threshold into my sweet studio space.

Oh and happy Monday to you all!

I love Mondays-- I love beginnings-- although I am historically always about a week or two behind the traditional start of a new year, i.e. the first of January. Somehow, I never quite get all my ducks lined up for that day.

And-- allow me to clarify that my whining about making ny's cards that I OFFERED to you all and was DELIGHTED to make was not nearly as horribly ungracious as it sounded-- okay, it sounded really ungracious-- but it wasn't that I didn't love making them or wasn't THRILLED that you would want them-- you have to know I was seriously excited to receive your emails--- it was more that I spend so little time in the studio making stuff, I forget how long it really takes-- in my brain, I always think-- like, you know, an hour or so .. for any project and then I am in it and DAYS are passing by and I'm all-- really? It takes time to make things? Who knew-

And, having said ALL that-- be prepared that they are like really bad 3rd grade art projects-- a whole lotta love, but not a whole lotta art- you know?

But-- here's exciting news! Today is the first day of a 5-week e-course I signed up for with Misty Mawn. She's gonna have us drawing, collaging, painting and who knows what-- not sure how I will do with an e-course, second one I have ever signed up for (first one was Susannah's which was gorgeous but timing wise I was prepping June SAW, getting divorced and moving house, so um, yeah-- I guess I got distracted on that one)-- I generally prefer (and need) to be in a room with someone-- live body and all that-- but I am gonna give this a go. I really need it-- so thank you Sam for inspiring me.

Oops-- was this just a pure and out ramble with absolutely no point whatsoever?

Then it must be time to go walk the dogs---

Oh wait-- one more bit about the sign. So I am standing there at the counter and the guy is doing his cash register thing and he says, "this has been there for weeks and nobody even noticed it. Of course it would be better if it was GRACELAND ST, right?" And, dearest reader, it was all I could do to simply raise my eyebrows, smile and say, "hmmmm" most politely instead of what I wanted to say--

Dude, are you out of your freaking mind? I would never buy a sign that said Graceland Street. Ew. Gross. Loser!

Ahh-- the inner teenager, squelched once again.

Bisous, E


  1. I once jumped out of the car at a stop light in Key West (fortunately I wasn't driving) when I spotted an old suitcase covered with travel stickers in a shop window. Sometimes a piece of the past just speaks to you for no particular reason...

  2. That sign? Way beyond cool. I wish I had time to go to the dump. Last time I went to drop off old paint and tires, I noticed a table where they put the "good" junk. I so wish I had had time to stop and browse...

    - Jazz

  3. My favorite days around here are bulk trash days.....I love what people put on the sidewalks for me to pick over. I love others junk!
    Im also taking Misty's class and am a little overwhelmed by all the facebook posting....A lot of connecting.

  4. Mary-- I LOVE that story and I want to GO to Key West!
    Jazz-- breathe, breathe, breathe-- there is time enough
    Susan-- YAY-- i will see you in there, then. But I don't do facebook-- so I won't see you on FB, but I will do all the flickr posting and such. xoxo

  5. Ummm YES. Yes, I would totally buy that sign. And probably the first time, as me and spending money on random old things go hand and hand.

    I'm big on turning around to grab things off the side of the road that people have left for the trash. You can't beat free!

    I'm also pretty keen on 3rd grade art projects ;)

  6. I adore the sign, I really do! Because you know I am alllllll about the LOVE! But, I would have been fine with a Graceland St. sign. Not because I am a big Elvis lover or anything, but because I so resonate with GRACE. I need lashings of grace, like gravy on rice, baby. Dude, I'm about to launch into a hymn just thinking about that would be really awesome...but if I did have a Graceland St. sign, I bet you anything my BFF Carrie would try to steal it, because she does love Elvis. She only recently confessed this love to me, like it was a deep dark secret...

    Junkin' is so much fun! Really, I'm getting braver about going into the funkier shops where it's all crazy and luck-based in finding ANYTHING. And of course you find the coolest stuff. I was so hoping the right table would come to me, for my little bedroom studio area, but alas. I will still be looking for one, in the meantime, a 6 ft card table will have to do.

    I am so thrilled you are taking Misty's course! (And may I say that it was the fabulous Mindy Lacefield who alerted to me - all props should go to that awesome woman who inspires me in every single way!) Going to get some time in on our first day's offering - Misty is certainly giving us more than our money's worth!

  7. I am also a fellow dumpster-diver. Our city has "clean-up" days for the month of May. They split the city into four areas and we each get a weekend. People put out their junk for the city and for anyone who wants to take it. I LOVE it! I got two tables and a chair and random things like baskets and plastic bins for the kids to trash. Next year we will be looking for windows to possibly make a place to begin seeds...

  8. Here is another fellow dumpster-diver. Being a part of two theater groups I am constantly looking for set furniture or any other object to repurpose for a play. We also have the May Day parade in which we have community workshops the whole month of April to get ready for the parade. During the weeks we have dumpster diving sign up sheets and each team, about four or five, goes out and scours the Twin Cities dumpsters for things we can repurpose for the parade. I have found some very cool furniture during those expeditions that have made its way into my home. So ya, who doesn't love cheap or free stuff.

  9. Being with my mom on our annual Mass trips is the best because we can spend HOURS browsing antique and junk stores together. SO very fun.

  10. oh my, i have a street sign story....

    we moved to brook road twelve years ago. i love the name of our road, especially because it winds along an actual brook of water. some call it a canal, but to me, it will always be a brook. sooooo.....

    two years after we moved to brook road, we brought home our daughter. she is graced with the middle name brooke. not because we live in brook road, but rather because it was a name my husband and i loved them name before we married and bought a house together. it was on our short list of potential names for offspring, or dogs, whichever came first. sooooo......

    a few years after our daughter was born, our street sign went missing. as in, someone stole it! (we live on a corner - brook and upland.)

    i called the city to report the loss and they immediately replaced the sign. funny thing is, they misspelled our street name. the new sign read "brooke". with an E! as in our daughter's middle name. it was meant to be.

    yah, i love street signs. and i love the idea of loveland street.

    p.s. as for you and your niece's difference of aesthetics, i took my daughter to the thrift store today where i was planning on purchasing a vintage sofa because it was 40% off furniture day, and she took one look at it and told me, "i don't think it matches the look of our house."

    i might regret not bringing the sofa home, but even more so, i respect her taste and opinion. she is growing up to be my design guru. i like her style. and her middle name.


thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with me-- I love that you stopped by and hope something I shared was what you needed today. xo, e