I have done this twice.  Below is one example:  a little passage of color in an otherwise woody and neutral set of rooms.

1-orange cabinet

Color is in my collection of objects (mainly orange and green) set off by a sweet little cabinet bought for five dollars at our local flea market. Removing paint on some things is preferable to adding it.  Remove it, reveal older color layers, and then apply a glossy finish to reinforce the idea that this surface is intentional,  not simply neglected.

1-sideview orange cabinet

The first step was to straighten the faces, re-glue and clamp.  After drying,  some of the orange paint was removed with an electric sander to reveal the other colors in the cabinet’s history.  The whole process took maybe two hours.

1-new table

Last weekend we bought this little table for ten dollars.  Yesterday I knocked the project out. The table had many paint layers and was very flaky.  The table top is tongue and groove, and Glenn had to fit the puzzle back together.  Much of the table is put together with pegs and did not need much structural work.

1-table legs

The flaky paint was easily removed with the electric sander.  Then I concentrated on the edges of the legs, revealing a darker incarnation.  These lines define the legs nicely.  There is a beaded edge along the base supporting the tabletop, and the paint was removed from that detail as well.  Also, the rounded pegs holding the legs to the base lost their white color.

I think this little table must have been in someone’s garage for use in paint projects.  When we got it, the top was a s**t brown.  Underneath was a rich red.  White drips were superficial and in masses on the top.  They sanded off very easily as did some of the brown.  The table top got richer and richer.  What I noticed then was the shadow of words from a newspaper printed on the red parts, underneath the brown.  By this time there was an even smooth surface, and I decided to leave the words.  Some are readable, some not.  All part of the history.

It is so much fun to do this!  Told my husband that a little business could be created here, and he said yeah.  Which one of these things could you sell?

Just around the corner from this table, my ladies of the shower are moving towards completion, slowly.


1-third lady


My husband figured out why the photos in my Armstrong Linoleum scrapbook are so difficult to re-photograph for here.  They are colorized.  Therefore, there is no perfect concurrency between the contour of the object and its local color.  Nicely done, they cannot be near perfect.

Every time the book is opened, new pages appear.  Now I know a little bit about them.  They are from the back of the front cover of Ladies Home Journal; the paper is very thick.  As far as dating them, here is a paragraph that is repeated often in the captions: “Your linoleum merchant will help you plan an equally smart floor, even though his (only HIS?) selection is limited these days. “.  So these were the war years, WWII, when these ideas emerged in magazines.

1-red kitchen

The  marks on the linoleum and the red handles on the cabinets are having so much fun together!  This is an energetic composition led by the use of the color red which always gets our passions moving.  Love the Venetian blinds.  They always make me feel so comfortable.  I have an early early memory of slits of sun across a floor.

1-red chair

Another kitchen/laundry room with a great pattern of glass blocks under the cabinets on either side. Look at the ironing system!  Rollers, or is that simply a water extractor?  My grandmother had one in no way this grand in her basement.  Although I love the idea of a “constructed” linoleum rug within another pattern of linoleum, it feels odd to me not to see all four edges, especially with that tri color border.  Look how it blazes!  It makes one wonder if color shots of these rooms would look at all like this.  The colorizing makes the environment all feel so surreal.  Out the back door window feels like a landscape from Oz.  During the war, maybe this kind of escapism was necessary.

I own this red chair.  Below is the difference in reproduction.  Other details are not true in the above rendering.  Look at the seat of the blue and yellow chairs and their depth.  Now the red.  It has been played with for some reason.  My chair is like the blue and yellow ones.

1-my chair

So now I have a better approximation of the date of the pair of red chairs here.  Wartime.  Paid five dollars for the two of them years ago.  Don’t ever stand on a chair like this to reach something; you have been warned.  This one has been photographed in front of a hand painted wall in my studio.

1-kitchen three

Another kitchen with huge doors to store tools, utensils, as the first kitchen.  A similar pattern to the previous two, but with at least one more shape added within the repeat, makes it much busier.  This room seemed pretty ordinary to me until the detail shot with the doors closed was inserted.  See on the right side of the open door?  A farmer’s field has been furrowed and new plantings are starting to create line.  A sky represented by the edges of clouds is included at the top.

OK, so the above image with the doors closed is really hard to see.  But as ART, it is so important for the time period.  First we see the agricultural environment, and then we see, with the doors closed, a neighborhood forming!


Boomer heaven! Happy, happy, joy, joy the war is over and we are all going to be so blessed in our little spaces where as far as one can see, there are little happy houses just like ours!  Who wouldn’t feel that way after cruising through bombed out Europe for several years?  And who wouldn’t like to have a fabulous reminder like this in their kitchen?  It is the physical embodiment of what the government promised to all the GIs.


It is November 4, and we still are using the new outdoor shower.  Or Glenn is.  I have run into logistical problems.  OK, so Glenn has no hair.  I do.  We both have to shave in the shower, Glenn less than me ( he has to get rid of the odd late bloomer).  Glenn does not have to shampoo.  So, women do more stuff in the shower than men, most of the time.

Mud is created in the new gardens around the shower when it is on.  I cannot sit in mud and tend to my legs.  It just seems so wrong.   And we need a way to store shower stuff outside so it cannot be seen.

An old Mexican made window pot placed under the bench will do a great job containing and hiding shower stuff.

Of course, tile will have to be put on bench, maybe words this time?  And see the blank area on the shower bottom next to the bench? That is a perfect cement plane and tile can be added there too.  Visually the bench and that part of the shower bottom could interact.
In the first picture above, the papyrus and ginger lilies transplanted earlier this summer are doing well, but are only a shadow of what they will be.  The ginger lilies are blooming!  They never had before; they were in another garden and had too much shade for their needs.  I already cannot wait for spring to come.