Material Girl

As we get to the finish line on our house…. it’s remodeled, upgraded and repaired as much as we are willing to do – we can finally downsize, kick-back and relax!  I won’t have to keep 4 bathrooms clean. Someone else can rake leaves, sweep acorns off of the porch (over and over and over again) and maintain the lawns, pool and gardens. I think I always wanted to “want to garden.”  But the truth is, I only work at it so things will look pretty. 

Where was I going with this?  Oh, yes. Downsizing. Cleaning closets.  And the box of fabrics that I have been dragging around for at least 20 years!

I really love fabric. I grew up hanging around my father’s interior design store, where they also did upholstery on site. My father and I shared a love of the exotic and the modern. Downstairs was the upholstery shop, and there were racks of textiles and exquisite fabrics. It was the 60’s and I loved to sew vests with long fringe from the embroidered fabrics, or tapestries, that he’d bring home for me to wear with my bell bottoms. It was long ago…

Material GirlCleaning out the linen closet today, I looked at my box full of patterns and pages torn from magazines as inspiration, and large swaths of batik fabrics from Indonesia. Two pieces are gifts from an ex-lover who proposed marriage (safely knowing I didn’t want to be married) before moving to Jakarta. He sent me these beautiful pieces, then broke up with me long-distance, via telephone. The fabrics definitely turned out to be the better end of the deal! 

The floral on the bottom is a traditional print worn by the royal family in Indonesia. It was brought to me by Grace, a much-loved client, who has since passed away.  With the fashion trend now being exotic fabrics, I think the time may be right to sit down and sew again.  I won’t have the gardening, or as much house-keeping to do, so I will have time to sew some sexy Palazzo pants (pictured) and  bias-cut skirts. I dream of sheer, floaty tunics and a maxi-dress.

I’m just hoping that sewing doesn’t end up like gardening…something I want to want to do!

XO Donna

Just start again

“We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us. The old skin has to be shed before the new one can come.”       Joseph Campbell  

Pool RemodelTwo young men, wielding electric jack-hammers are working out back.  Their metallic rattlesnake sounds signaling the end of a swimming-pool remodel we did four years ago that just didn’t hold up, and the beginning of a brand-new walkway and Mediterranean blue tile.   We never thought we’d be doing this again, but our goal is to sell our house and downsize…and we want to have done our very best by it!

  The pool was beautiful when it was first remodeled, but that beauty faded and crumbled rather quickly. Poor workmanship? The ongoing Texas drought?  Maybe swimming-pool updates are meant to be measured in dog-years, who knows?  As my Buddhist friends say, “it is the what-isness of the situation.” 

Life is a process – just one thing after another. When you lose it, just start again.”  Richard Carlson, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff…and it’s all small stuff.

Our feelings  went from “we can’t believe how lucky we are,” to “we can’t believe this happened,” in what seemed the blink of an eye. Tiles cracked (here a crack, there a crack, everywhere a crack-crack!) .  Then fell off. . .a single blue tile shimmering on the bottom of the pool one day…a ribbon of them hanging by a thread the next, poised to join their friend.  The crisp white line of caulk at the top line of tiles mildewed before our very eyes.

100_2876It had become unattractive…but it held water. Her beautiful turquoise ripples still offered us welcomed relief! That pool has been our after-work rendezvous for nine years now.  We sat beside her and planned. Floated in her and dreamed. Skinny-dipped under the stars and the full Moon.  She’s been very-very good to us, so we’re giving her another face-lift.  I know she’s going to look worse before she looks better…but we will pull our chairs up and enjoy her again when it’s all done!

XO Donna