I'm sitting in my studio next to my favorite little whimsical lamp. I love the warm glow the velum shade casts and that crazy coffee pot design. I keep it on an old candle stand right next to my studio entrance so that as soon as I walk in the door, I can turn on a light. That cute little lamp is my protection from all the big, bad things that go bump in the dark and it only cost me $3.99 at the Good Will in Oak Ridge.
Today, as usual, I am outfitted almost entirely in used clothes. My light cotton, flowered blouse, so cool (in both senses of the word) is also from the Goodwill. I've practically lived in it this summer. I gave $2.00 for it.
My sandals are from the Knoxville Good Will. I bought them last Sunday, for $1.99. As soon as I bought them, I put them on. I've been wearing them ever since.
I'm also wearing a beautiful ornament in my hair today. I bought it last week from my friends at the Salvation Army. I actually paid $2.99 for it, which is a little pricey for me, but it's beautiful, unusual and besides, it really holds my thick hair. (Looking at this picture, I can hardly believe how WHITE my hair has gotten!)
* * *
Now, let's go in the house and take a look at the dining table where my husband and I just finished eating lunch.
That cut glass pedestal bowl was a find at the Catholic Thrift Store (The White Elephant) at St. Mary's in Oak Ridge. It's so beautiful! I used it last Christmas to serve egg nog. Now I fill it every week with apples and leave it on the dining room table. By the way, pink lady apples are my new favorite variety. I think they're the perfect apple. I've been buying them three bags at a time at Trader Joe's every weekend.
The white milk glass bowl in the front is also from the Catholic Thrift Store but the volunteers had thrown it in the FREE box outside! I couldn't believe it when I saw it. It's old and has the beginning of a crack on the inside, but to me, that suggestion of a crack only makes it more beautiful. Don't we all get a few cracks as we age?
I love that bright table cloth too. It's very fine, soft fabric. Those blocks of color are not printed, but rather woven into the shiny, damask like cloth. I bought it for little more than a song at the Salvation Army store in Montreal, Canada last fall.
And while we're in the dining room, I'll just mention that the plants were nearly all freely given by friends or marked down for quick sale at Kroger's, in need of a home and little loving care.
* * *
Now let's mosey on out to my front yard. I love lawn furniture and yard art, but I don't buy it. I collect it from the side of the road during the annual spring rummage round up in Oak Ridge and oh, what treasures some folks leave on the curb, free for the picking.
These garden chairs were thrown out on West Outer in front of an old flattop. I've honestly forgotten where I picked up the table. The concrete planters were discarded on Beverly Circle.
As you can see from this photo, my poor fig tree was hammered by the Polar Vortex's sub zero temperatures last winter. We cut it back severely in hopes of shocking it back to life. The birdhouse hanging on it was a find on Walton Lane. I picked up at least two bird houses during the rummage round up that year. I think I retrieved the bird feeder hanging on the shepherd's crook at the same house.
Looking out the back door toward my studio, I have to mention that the bricks that line the concrete walk between the house and studio were freebies from an old dam wash out on a creek in upper Anderson County. They were in the middle of a gravel road in the woods and I stopped and threw them in my trunk. The little hexagonal table next to the studio door was retrieved from the curb in front of an old cemesto in the east end of town. I usually put a plant on it. And that little concrete pineapple on the step was another curb freebie, but I don't remember exactly where.
* * *
But best of all, there is the freely given feast for our eyes that we enjoy every day: the green, green woods where we are blessed to live. I give you one last picture, this one taken a couple of days ago, standing in front of my house, looking toward the woods.
I like old, shabby, quirky stuff. I love objects that have been used and loved and show it. I enjoy knowing that I, in many ways, live a re-cycled life. I don't want shiny, new stuff. It's not because I can't afford it (though I don't like to waste money either.) It's because new stuff just doesn't interest me. Given the choice between a five thousand dollar gift certificate from Rooms to Go or the Salvation Army, I'd pick the Salvation Army any day. How about you?
And now I hear thunder. It sound like we're about to get the sweet gift of summer rain.
Be well and good luck.