Monday, August 9, 2010

Recycled Yard Art.

I try not to buy anything brand new. There are times when I just can't help myself, but for the most part, I keep things very limited on the new-tip. I think it stems from my childhood when we lived on an island in Alaska and, literally, lived like Little House on the Prairie. I kid you not, we had no hot water, slept on cots, peed in a dual outhouse and had a large ladder to climb to the second floor. When we needed to bathe, my folks would heat up water and poor into a clean garbage can. It was perfect for my young size because I fit neatly in the can and the water went up to my neck. It probably wasn't as much fun for my folks, but they never let on. My folks recycled before their time and were not wasteful people by any means. They still aren't - although they are able to splurge a little more now - which is always nice to see.

When I had my son, I filled his room with all second-hand gear; all hand-me-downs from my brother, sister  and friends who got started on the kid scene a lot sooner than I did. I found an old dresser in the basement of a new house we bought, was given a changing table by some friends who had outgrown it and even now use the bunk bed set my Dad and his brothers used when he was a kid. It's amazing what you can do with a gallon of black paint! I'm not a hoarder by any sense of the word, but I like to reuse useful things.

So, when it was time to add a little 'flava' to the yard, the only thing I could come up with was put as much stuff on the fence as I could find; old mirrors, frames, window panes and even copies of oil paintings. My favorite includes an 1800's lady hiking up her dress while sitting on the toilet. Her behind shows and everything. The cool thing is, I didn't buy any of this stuff; I found it. This isn't a new idea and a lot of people are a lot better at this than I am, but I really get a sense of satisfaction with creating a new place for old things. I'll scour an old garage and find a little spark under some cobwebs. For some reason, I'm always drawn to old chairs, lamps and baskets. These items always fit nicely into the landscape of a yard and makes it easy to decorate with a little twist that is the polar opposite of Pottery Barn, Crate and Barrel,  and, well, you get the picture.

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