Pennsylvania was supposed to be a brief stretch of road on my way to Lake Chautauqua in New York, but there was an accident ahead of me. I was parked on the freeway for hours. I guess that's one way of giving me quiet time?
They closed the freeway and I had to find my way to the next exit through Erie, PA. Erie is fond of 4-way stop signs, which is nothing compared to the 6-way stop. 2 of those ways were going about 65 mph from around blind corners too. I'm not loving cities.
Sue loaned me her house on the lake this week. (Thanks Sue!) I just wanted to get away from my life and hit reset. I took my dog and she just laid down and went to sleep through our traffic problems. Once we actually got to the lake she was thrilled with our escape. I was less thrilled to walk the dog in the arctic wind. Winter is coming! Brrr.
I suppose I'm not the first artist to go to upstate NY for an artist's retreat. I packed a LOT of art supplies because you never know exactly what you're going to need, and I still forgot a ruler. I made my own out of a piece of cardboard. And then I painted. And painted. It felt great. Hours of freeway fumes and city traffic fell away while I listened to the sloshing waves. Late at night I read a book with my puppy curled up at my feet.
I wandered around Sue's house thinking "how can she do projects?!" because there's a lot of seating and ambiance, but not a whole lot in the way of work stations. My house is full of work stations and very little ambiance. It reminds me of a guy my mom told me about whose entire furniture consisted of one folding chair because he didn't want company. Okay, I'm not as bad as that, but I could definitely do better?
I recovered the seats of my dining room chairs with some pretty tapestry fabric I'd gotten from a garage sale at some point. One of the seats was in pretty bad shape, so I took it apart again, reconfigured the seat, and covered it again. It wasn't until all the chairs were back in place that I really considered whether or not the chairs go with their surroundings.
They look okay, but I don't know if they look intentional, and that's the way of it throughout my house. Somebody called me "eclectic". Yeah, that's one way of putting it. I think I'd say I have diverse tastes and dump them all into a small house without a plan -- but I'm handy enough to fix a chair.
When I was little, my grandpa fixed my chair. It had seen generations of little butts on it before me, and Grandpa decided the best way to prevent future repair was to mend the seat with industrial strength white clothes line which he expertly wove around the rungs. I'm sure that chair will never need reseated unless someone else has better taste and less utility. I think I'll blame Grandpa for my frugality, practicality, and deficits in interior decorating genes.
|Roots of a downed tree in the woods|
|Bro standing by a giant oak tree|