We have a very dear friend who has a sibling who is an art teacher. Neither Chuck nor I have ever met said art teacher but we have enjoyed and appreciated her work in our friend’s home over the years. As far back as either of us can remember, every holiday season has brought a new artistic work into his house. He throws an extravagant holiday party in his home and all of us who attend look forward to seeing ‘this year’s gift’ when we are there.
There are some lovely pieces – paper sculptures, paintings of the family, ceramic works and one year she even hand painted his basement floor (the room that he outfits to handle all of us at his party) into a work of art!
On a completely different note, in August, Chuck and I hosted all of our neighbors on our driveway for National Night Out. (For those of you outside the States, NNO is an annual event where neighbors get together to mingle. The idea is to build camaraderie in the neighborhood and with the local police and fire departments to make our neighborhoods better, safer places to live.)
For our little event, we went with an alphabet potluck theme. Each neighbor brought something to share that started with the first letter of their last names. We had lasagna, salad, samosas, lingonberry sundaes, wine and more. And as a side benefit of the mnemonic, I can now remember most of the neighbors last names on the block!
To set the mood for our little driveway pop-up bistro, we pulled out every collapsible table and chair that we own to fashion a space for every one to sit, eat, mingle, and relax. We even resorted to putting the work table to use with a nice embroidered tablecloth over the top!
This brings me to the point where these two anecdotes merge. In pulling out the tablecloth, I stumbled across a hand-painted fabric napkin that the dear friend had used as a wrapping paper of sorts when gifting Chuck and I with something over the years. We can no longer remember what came in the fabric-wrapped package but we still have the wrapping! I knew it was hand-made by his art teacher of a sister (signed in the corner from 2006) and I liked it but it never quite suited our decor. Not knowing how to use it, I apparently had tucked it away with the embroidered tablecloth for safe keeping.
Now that Chuck and I are seriously getting into this hobby called ceramics, I find it very helpful to wear a bandanna to hold back my mop of red curls. And what better use for the ‘fabric napkin turned wrapping fabric’ than to turn it into a colorful bandanna. The art is now off the shelf and in use!
I think of that friend now every day and I am certain his art teacher sister would approve. I know when I design a lovely kitchen or craft a beautiful dish, I want it to get loved and used even if that means it gets loved to death. I suspect she feels the same. We can always make more. After all, what fun is being creative if somebody doesn’t then enjoy what you create?!