Just because it is physically possible to turn something into something else, doesn't mean it should be done. A beautiful object does not always need to be a lamp or a curio shelf or a napkin ring. Everyone seems to be turning everything into everything else at this point. And sometimes, a cigar box is just a cigar box... So, I was pumped to literally stumble upon a creative reuse concept that pulled me out of my craft indifference while walking one of my favorite places on earth - the beaches of Lopez Island, WA.
I'm not reinventing the wheel with this one but rather putting a fresh spin on a seventies trend. Driftwood. Don't worry, I'm not imposing it randomly into a macrame wall hanging or creating a clunky mobile or sand candle. I've put together something more substantial and more, dare I say, functional - a headboard. And once I pictured it, I found the three perfect pieces of wood to build it with within eight feet of where I stood.
It was conceived to be a contribution to the beautiful simple beach house our good friends have welcomed us to every summer for many summers. Navigating the tastes and feelings of our hosts was trickier than designing and building the piece. But decor is a personal thing and a bed is a very personal thing.
Okay, so I've made their bed. And, apparently, they are happy to lie in it. And drift...
For obvious political and health reasons (I'm gay and have been diagnosed as tulle averse), I have issues with "marriage" as it exists right now. But weddings? Well, that's a different story!!! Especially those which I would have planned exactly as they happened, but didn't have to. I'm pleased to say I run in a social circle not bound to any degree of formality when throwing these events. Sometimes my friends steer clear of the proverbial envelope altogether. My "partner" and I recently ditched our kids and spent a weekend in rural, rustic, Ojai, CA at just such a celebration.
The first indication that this wouldn't be your run-of-the-mill church wedding arrived in the mail on craft paper card stock printed in chocolate brown and barn red. Location instructions included meeting a trolley at the hotel for a short ride to the barn where it would all go down.
The soon-to-be hyphenate Ms. Kate Powers - Puryear (below center), is escorted from the trolley to the hay bale alter by her step father (below right) and father (below left). The love between the bride and groom was electric, the passionate ceremony was concise. I believe the officiate was cast thru Ford Models and licensed via the "Minute Minister" iPhone app. The simple farm setting was at once disarmingly casual and movingly poetic. Podunk Elegance. Fantastic. One useful tip omitted from the invite - getting straw out of dress socks.
A glowing, blissful Ms. Kate Powers and her handsome husband Mr. Scott Puryear (above). Here's to a long joy-filled life together, brimming with love and two-steppin'. Hot dang!!!
I never quite believe what I'm seeing with African block print fabric. My eyes ask my brain to explore a little further to verify that the electric colors and psychotropic patterns are for real. But my brain brushes them off distractedly with, "Not now - can't you see I'm experiencing a blissful sensory overload?" And all for under $5 per yard (www.ashantifabrics.com). There are a bazillion different colors/patterns, many with gold or silver metallic ink detail. Be prepared to buy all you need of a specific print as it's not guaranteed to be there long. It is sold in 12 yard lengths, often traditionally used in a single piece as a wrap dress. But the possibilities are endless (though a little can go a long way in shaking up a space). I was recently inspired to wrap a good friend's wedding gift with it using carpet tape for a blind seal on the ends (below).
I used the block print fabric (below) as privacy curtains in the built-in bunk beds I designed and made for my kids (above). I think my next venture may be upholstering the inside of vintage luggage. Or perhaps a jump suit for the new puppy.
Child's play is hard work. Styling a kid's space for an interiors story or for a catalog means kneeling, crawling - seeing the world thru their eyes. How one kid inhabits his or her room is exactly like no other. The reality of an unmade bed, a game scattered in mid play, and an experiment with toilet paper tubes and bubble wrap that makes sense only to its creator paint the picture of the occupant - when a client understands that level of real. This is my niche. And I love it. Authenticity thru idiosyncrasy breeds a beauty and relatability that is palpable. And my own daughter's room serves as proof of my theory as well as inspiration.
At nine, Nola and her twin brother, Ziggy now have their own rooms which has sparked a frenzy of interior decorating in her second only to Nate Berkus. And, as if inspired by her father's work, she has embraced a sort of Grey Gardens Chic. An unmade bed the centerpiece of the design.
Nola was insistent that her desk not face the wall but rather face her "classroom" - she adores teaching an imaginary class on her way to accreditation (in about 12 years). I was dead set against the furniture shift but humored her. I am the first to admit how right she was.