Friday, October 27, 2006

Inspiration Overload

My friend has a show at her pottery studio every year at this time. It has become an annual event for us to make the tour of sales that run in conjunction with hers. We visited three of them yesterday afternoon.

The first was on a dead end road in this gorgeous hollow. We both commented on how we live in such a beautiful part of the country. Lots of rolling hills and hidden valleys and ridges with views to die for. There was a renovated farmhouse and cute shed that housed the sale. Just walking up the yard was a joy. First thing I saw was a smaller oil can that had been tipped on its side and given a corrugated tin roof was hung from a tree as a bird house. An old metal barn cupola centered in a flower bed which earlier in the year had been surrounded by coneflower blooms. A flickering in a tree ahead proved to be small pieces of mirror glued back to back over a heavy fish line - this was made into a "garland" and hung from tree branches. A closer look revealed there were several of the mirrored garlands adorning the trees. The yard was filled with small touches like this. I immediately started taking mental notes of projects. Inside was a beautifully displayed mixture of old, new, vintage, antique, crafts, fine art, whimsical and classic items. We had to walk through three times before making our purchases - including the glove holding the spider on the left. On the walk back to the car I saw even more wonderful touches to the outdoor space...more mental notetaking.

The next stop was up the road a few miles to a home on the ridge overlooking the river valley. This sale has been an annual event for many years. Again, the sale was held in a specially constructed outbuilding that looked like it had been there for 100 years. Walking up to the building, in the garden before the front porch were some metal sculptures for sale. These were made from found metal items welded together to create the most interesting animals and creatures. My favorite was a big spider about 2 feet tall and 3 feet in diameter. The legs were railroad spikes welded together to create 8 legs holding a center plate above the ground. Upon the center plate was a black bowling ball placed to look like the spiders body and two finger holes looked like eerie eyes. Inside was a more sparse mixture of fine art, dried florals, handmade soaps, fiber arts, canned goods and jewelry. She had a new artist there this year who painted the most beautiful images in watercolor. I looked through every piece and was in awe of her talent. I bought hubby a jar of pickled green beans - he was thrilled!

The third and final stop was up the road a bit further. I love going to this place - it is my dream house. Beside the home is an old barn that has been fixed up using old farm relics and a lot of the original windows, wood and doors. They have a couple of pot bellied stoves billowing heat and a large array of crafts and furniture. The furniture at this sale always gets my imagination rolling. Many of the pieces are made of old doors. Much to my husband's dismay, I collect old doors. They get stacked here and there just waiting for me to do something with them. I even have the door to the farmhouse I grew up in. So when I see this furniture I start planning my dining room with a red hutch and black buffet made of old doors with a harvest table surrounded by mismatched old chairs (another collection) and a bench made of old doors. I can envision it in great detail. Kind of a dining room of misfit furniture. Remember the misfit toys in "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer"? I'm running a home for wayward furniture. I didn't buy anything here but resolved that I need to bring hubby here and see if he'll understand the great value of those doors and get inspired too.

Once I got home I had to take notes and make a new "to do" list. I'll set it right next to the notes I took last year that are gathering dust. One of these days...

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