More than a year ago, I decided that I absolutely hated the brass piece that served as a fireplace surround in our living room. Once I made that decision, I wanted it out of my house. Every time I brought the subject up to Carmen, he cautioned me "you can't just take it of there! you need something in there!" Never one to be deterred by Carmen's warnings or his practicality, I decided to take matters into my own hands. Late one night, after Carmen went to bed and I was sure he was sleeping, I ripped out the entire surround and the attached screen that was apparently attached to it. Then, I hauled that heavy, ugly piece of junk and the screen out to the curb for garbage pick-up. Pleased with my caper, I went off to bed.
Now, Carmen gets up and leaves the house much, much earlier than I do Most mornings, he is so preoccupied with the day ahead of him that he doesn't notice much more than his wallet, his keys, his lap top and his brief case. He swoops those things into his arms and bolts out the door into the very early morning hours. So, how was it that on that particular morning, he noticed the huge hole in the center of the fireplace---I'll just never know. But, as I peacefully slept, I was startled by a booming voice......"what the hell is she doing NOW? she just goes and tears things out with no plan whatsoever on putting it back together....". Yes, it was Carmen sharing his frustration over what he considers my perpetual bad habit. The door slammed. After that, we never discussed the episode for a very long time. I paid careful attention to decorate it (cover it up) with a series of things that I picked up here and there. And, he just avoided the subject completely. Although there were moments when I caught him staring at it, shaking his head and then walking away in disgust, he didn't share his feelings. He knew it would get him nowhere.
He knows me.
Despite the fact that I did have plans to install a new surround, what I wanted to do took some time. You see, I decided I wanted to do a mosaic with pieces of a specific transferware pattern. So, every so often, I would scour thrift shops, flea markets, garage sales and off price stores to find plates that would fit my needs. After about a year, I had collected enough to start the project. But, of course, I didn't. Life got in the way. Or, maybe I was too tired. Whatever deterred me, I never took on the project and put it out of my mind. Until a week after my surgery.
Maybe it was all the time I was spending in my house. Maybe it was the whole "transforming" mode that I was in. I'm not sure. But, all of a sudden---I needed to do that project. And, considering that I could do it sitting down, I figured it was a perfect way to spend some of my free time. But, I had to enlist Carmen to help me build the frame for it. Thankfully, my timing was perfect. With me recuperating from surgery, he was not about to start lecturing me. And, of course, he was probably happy to do this project considering that I was already making lists of larger house projects that we needed to undertake. He figured this would shut me up for a little while. He was right.
So.....here's what I started with......(Carmen made the white frame inside from a large piece of some kind of board)
And, more than 25 lbs later.....this is what I ended up with......
Transformations. That's what this past month has been all about......