Welcome to austinagrodolce … My family and I garden with more intention and enthusiasm than allocated budget or overall design plan. It shows. Wildlife populations don't seem to notice our lack of cohesive design, they just like the native plants here. It seems by growing local we've thrown out a welcome mat. Occasionally, we're surprised at who (and what) shows up.

Saturday, August 22, 2009


{Did It Myself, FINALLY!}

I adore looking at photos on the interweb of before and after DIY projects. It encourages my belief that some day soon I too will take one of the many objects cast aside by previous owners currently collecting dust in my house and refashion or repurpose it into a productive and creative new life.

The potential for such dramatic makeovers combined with the pleasure I derive in treasure hunting is the rationale behind (way too many) trips to second hand and thrift stores on my part. In the current economy, I'll stand by that approach as making a lot of sense.

I typically hurtle myself into two obstacles when it comes to DIY execution, however. First, it often takes me years to get a project started, much less completed.

While I am fabulous at seeing the potential in objects I lack great organizational skills. This means I do not have any sort of neatly arranged workshop area filled with the kinds of materials I would need to tackle many projects.

The second obstacle, and this one is much harder to address, is a generalized lack of the sort of editing discipline necessary to express a coherent viewpoint. This makes it difficult at times to keep every room in the house from randomly filling with TUPT (Tiny Unrelated Potential Treasures).This little footstool is one small project I recently completed. I replaced the old needlepoint covering and tacks with a reworked wool pillow top I had on hand that coordinates with other pillows already at use in the room.

I'd be more self congratulatory (because I am, indeed, pleased with how it turned out) but that sense of victory is tempered by the realization it took me nearly two years between when I purchased the piece and when I got around to doing anything with it.

Perhaps it isn't perfect, but that is another small victory for me as I am a recovering perfectionist. Working on that piece and then letting it go as "good enough" without using the "I can't get it to exactly where I want it" as an excuse to never begin, is an accomplishment on its own.
I am also feeling pretty good because recently I got one area of our house completely cleared out after allowing it to collect flotsam and jetsam including stuff "stored" from/for two adult children and other detritus from thrift store runs that had accumulated over a period of nearly 5 (that's right, FIVE) years. I'll be resting on those laurels for a while and deservedly so.

I go up there every so often now just to stand and stare at the lack of chaos. And smile. Yeah. I'm that dork.

Because not that I have any choice but I'm pretty sure I'm not ready for September in any way, shape or form. But that's mostly OK. When the feeling I ought to be doing something more strikes, I just go look at that footstool or the neatly cleared upstairs area until it subsides. Fortunately so far, it always does.

How about you? Does the reappearance of "back to school" ads send a new surge of energy coursing through you to tackle projects long stalled? Or do they rather find you wishing you had another month of summer...


Iris said...

I think your "new" footstool looks great!!

Although it's still beastly outside, I do get kind of excited and more inspired to start or finish projects now that the quality of the light has changed (more like Fall) and I see students moving into dorms, etc.

I'm having a little bit of trouble translating the excitement into preparing the Fall/Winter veggie garden, though. Guess I'm still "burned out" from this continuing heat and drought.

SO, I'm going to stay inside this weekend and paint a cute little chair purple to use as a plant stand in the backyard.

Thanks for the inspiration!

TexasDeb said...

Sounds adorable - I am already a fan of your painted pots. Hope you'll share this on your blog so we can all admire your handiwork.

PassivePastry said...

Yay for DIY projects!!
I finished my first knitted hat for ManFriend. Unfortunately he wont be needing it for a few months.

Did you save that needlework part of the stool you replaced? I really, really like that- it'd be awesome to do something else with that. :)

TexasDeb said...

I'm impressed you know how to knit a man hat (or any hat for that matter). I want to learn how to do that. It is one of my long term (aka putting it off for now) projects to be able to make granny squares.