New Realities of Motherhood

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Color My World

Yesterday I attended my first vintage outdoor market. We used to call them 'flea markets' when I was younger. But the generation immediately behind me is starting to deem their parent's aging goods as 'vintage' so I guess the term 'flea' is passe. I definitely like the vintage term over antique too since anything over 20 years old, including me is considered vintage!

The market features 'better quality junk' for the most part. The market screams bring me your dented, worn and scuffed and I will show it new life. Some of the items have already found new purpose and usefulness in resale marketing directly to shoppers, while other items are marketed with their crafted counterparts to show potential to other artsy and decor-minded shoppers. Coupled with the advent of everything being 'eco -friendly' the term 're-purposing' has new meaning for the shoppers at the vintage markets too. Farmhouse glam and shabby chic and a new generation of country decor is being resurrected. I recently found a quiz on Pinterest and the quiz told me my decor interests fall in the farmhouse glam area. I was not entirely surprised with this analysis since I loved the comfy warm country look in the 80's. Currently my house is Transitional Tuscan. A term lovingly bestowed on me by my decorator several moves ago. I have been 're-purposing' my furniture after every move the past 20 years. So I am not sure I will be able to integrate my new vintage interest in my current decor scheme. 

I only wish my last month's closet and garage purging bug had not hit me until after seeing the vendor's wares at the market yesterday. Goodwill must have made a killing from vintage shoppers after my donation several weeks ago. I begrudgingly saw lots of similar donations re-purposed at the market. Frames repainted in pretty pastel colors, fashioned with chicken wire and decorated with little contrast-colored pastel clothespins for hanging photos or other mementos. Buttons made into bracelets, sliver trays covered in chalk paint for displaying messages, clothing scraps made into scarves and jewelry, cabinets and chairs repainted in lighter colors. My dad was right. Save everything, there will be a purpose for it. This market proved that theory.

I admittedly blame a bit of the 'vintage' popularity on Pinterest. Peoples posting of creative solutions is addicting. I profess exclamations of 'Why didn't I think of that?"and "That is so clever!" and "I gotta try that!" at every log in.

A nice irony of my attendance at the market yesterday was running into a friend I had not seen in years, since my divorce.  A vintage meeting at the market! We met when our kids were in Jr. High and we were planning some events for the school. She had a silver tray in tow and was going to take it home to chalkboard it. She was beaming when she asked what I was hunting for. I admitted I was looking for already re-purposed decor to bring home to add to my daughter's shabby chic bedroom. Gleaning on our past acquaintance of creative event planning and perusing membership - only decor stores for interesting holiday accessories, she seemed a bit disappointed I didn't have a craft in mind with my visit. I disclosed since the divorce I have had trouble connecting with my creative side and feel more encumbered with the survival side. She professed a wonderful perspective - "Honey", she said "You are just black and white right now. You have to add some color back". That statement has inspired me!

So, where does one find color? What are your colors? What colors are you living right now?

While I did not find anything tangible to take home from the market, I did take home a new perspective from a chance reunion with a friend.

Time to take the rocks out of my backpack. There must be some diamonds in there. I'm adding some pastels to my resume (..I'm aiming for the brighter colors I will find in a new success), and making a list of the things I enjoy that bring me color.

Time for me to be re-purposed.


Sue Denim said...

I like it. What a great comment from your friend. I think we all go through 'black and white' phases when we are just trying to cope and get through the day. I'm ready to experiment, too. I will think about adding "color." :)

Anonymous said...

I read your comment about feeling unable to find yourself 5 years after a divorce after being a stay at home mom. You could be describing me. I don't regret my decision to choose my children over my job 15 years ago. What I regret is that our culture can't recognize, let alone embrace, the value of the skills that women like us bring to the table. Like you, I went through divorce at the height of the recession. I found myself accepting jobs that I used to gladly pay someone else to do, just to make ends meet. Both my children are now in college and I am still struggling to secure a stable job. The 10 years management experience I had before taking family leave is consistently minimized and overlooked. When I was in a managerial role, I would have considered it a gift to have someone with my skill set walk through the door. Especially, since I'm beyond raising my children, I'm there for the long haul. I feel frustrated and desperate. Can anyone offer any advice. I will be 50 in February and I am scared to death because I have no retirement or job security.