Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A Front Door Do-over: Before and After

Yesterday's post discussed my failed attempt to pick a color for the front door of our house when we had it repainted a couple of years ago. What was on the color chip turned out to be worlds apart from the color it turned out to be when painted on the door. I detested it. It was a gaudy, raspberry-hued magenta that clashed with everything. It simply had to go!

The magenta door readied for its makeover

The new color is Mirage Lake by Sherwin Williams. It's actually slightly more green and more muted than it looks here. I still need to remove that trace of magenta at the bottom edge, but I'm much happier with color now.
So, which color looks better? Would you have ditched the magenta? If so, what color would you have chosen to replace it? Tell me what you think. Just click on the Comments/No Comments link below to share your views!

Monday, April 21, 2014

A Color Scheme Gone Awry: Repainting the Front Door

When we had our house painted a couple of years ago, we chose a pale blue green (the color of sea glass) for the body of the house; a deep, dark blue green (almost black) for the shutters, and crisp white for the trim. I wanted the front door to stand out, so I sifted through dozens and dozens of paint chips trying to find just the right color. Then I bought sample bottles, painted poster boards with my candidate colors, looked at them propped against the door in every lighting condition from morning until night, and STILL guessed wrong! Goes to show even someone who works with colors all the time can misjudge on occasion.

The infamous magenta door, taped off and ready for a do-over.

Color shock

What I thought was going to be a rich, dark mulberry -- when applied -- turned out to be an obnoxious bright magenta. Not remotely close to what I'd had in mind! It looked nothing like the color on the chip. The magenta clashed with the other colors and made the front of the house look like a circus wagon.

The painters finished up the job a couple of days before Thanksgiving. By then the weather had turned sharply colder and they were racing the clock to complete the exterior before falling temperatures made painting impossible. The front door had been the last thing on their to-do list. So the magenta stayed. I was mortified.

The following spring we were immersed in other projects. Summer came and went. Fall flew by. Then winter. In short, I never got around to repainting the front door, though it made me cringe every time I looked at it.

Better the second time around?

Now it's spring again. And I'm determined the magenta has got to go. Now. Yesterday I washed down the door and taped off the hardware to ready it for repainting. A brand new quart of paint awaits. Will this new color be the right one? Will it look good with the rest of the colors on the house? Or will it be just as garish as that god-awful magenta? Once I start painting, I'll have answers. Then I'll post a photo to get your take on it.Whether I've made a good choice this time remains to be seen. Like Forrest Gump said, it's like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're going to get!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

A Thought for Sunday, April 20

"The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance." -- Aristotle

Friday, April 18, 2014

Losing Chardonnay

This week we lost one of our fur children. Chardonnay, our big yellow tabby, lost his valiant battle with kidney disease. We knew it was coming, but that didn't make his loss any easier to accept. He was with us for almost 19 years -- a long, happy life.

It seems so strange to not hear him wailing loudly for his breakfast in the mornings. And to not see him peering through the French doors as we pull into the driveway. It's not until they're gone that you realize how large a role a beloved pet plays in your life. They stake out a claim not only on your couch but also in your heart. They're a part of you, day in and day out. And so when they leave us, we grieve deeply. It's their absence, the emptiness of the chair they always napped in, the silent kitchen in the morning, that reminds us just how much they filled up our lives. And fill our lives he did, in so many ways. He could be funny, maddening, irresistible, amazing and demanding. But most of all, he will always be unforgettable.

Rest gently, sweet Chardonnay.


Monday, April 14, 2014

A Folk Pottery Find in the North Georgia Mountains

Tucked away in our state's beautiful mountains is a gem of a museum. For those interested in Southern arts and culture, the Folk Pottery Museum of Northeast Georgia is a must-see. It showcases the work of North Georgia potters whose handcrafted wares allowed people to prepare, preserve and store foods and beverages in the era before refrigeration. Back then, pottery was essential for survival. 

After refrigerators became commonplace, many of their pieces began to be acquired by collectors.When the Smithsonian Institution focused its attention on the work and processes of White County potter Lanier Meaders, he became internationally known. The attention paid to Lanier and to other potters in the Meaders family by the Smithsonian raised their work and that of others in the region to folk art status.

The Folk Pottery Museum of Northeast Georgia in Sautee, near Helen.

My husband and I have an especially keen interest in this museum. He's related to the Meaders family and Lanier Meaders, who made utilitarian wares along with his renowned "face jugs." Lanier's face jugs feature grinning or grimacing characters, often with "teeth" made from porcelain clay. For Lanier, creating these grotesque pieces was simply a fun diversion from the more serious side of the pottery business. He was amused but puzzled when people began stopping at his small pottery operation in White County seeking to buy something so "ugly," as he described them.

When a documentary film on the Meaders family's work and processes was released by the Smithsonian in 1976 at a special event held at the Library of Congress, it cast the attention of the cultural world on this plain-spoken man and his family. It also transformed a humble household commodity, along with the quirky face jugs, into highly collectible art.

Lanier had clay in his blood, so to speak, but didn't take up the profession until he was in his 50's. His father Cheever was an accomplished potter with a well-established business supplying general stores, hardware stores, and gift shops. Several uncles and other family members were also skilled potters; Lanier's mother Arie took up pottery making at 60 and became widely known for her highly decorative designs. Lanier didn't have children, but members of his extended Meaders family produce pottery to this day, with multiple generations still shaping clay by hand.

Naturally, their works occupy much of the Folk Pottery Museum's display space, along with those of many other well known North Georgia pottery families including the Dorseys, the Hewells and the Fergusons. The museum's collection features an amazing number of pieces from the earliest periods right up to contemporary works. Each has its own story and provides a fascinating glimpse into the social, geological and economic aspects of our state's history.

The museum's Suzanne Reese-Johnston offers a warm welcome to visitors. Suzanne herself is an established potter with an extensive knowledge of the craft and its history. The painting behind her, by Clarkesville, Ga. artist Linda Anderson, depicts a typical early pottery operation in this mountain region.

A display of pitchers, bowls and crocks prior to glazing and firing. The photo is of Lanier Meaders working in his White County pottery shop. It was originally published in the book "Brothers in Clay: The Story of Georgia Folk Pottery" by John A. Burrison.(University of Georgia Press).

This kiln looks life sized here, but it's actually an exquisitely constructed model in a glass case.

Face jugs by Lanier Meaders. He marveled that anyone would find these whimsical creations, which he described as "ugly," appealing enough to buy. Demand for them was high: he produced and sold several thousand of them over the course of his career.
This massive specimen greets visitors in the reception area.
Natural wood and lots of glass give the museum a rustic yet comfortable atmosphere.

My hubby with a toothy friend
This trip was a wonderful experience. We learned a lot as we immersed ourselves in pottery appreciation. We also admired the beautiful views surrounding the museum of rolling green pastures and dazzling dogwoods at the peak of bloom. Secondary stops at Shapiro's Gallery and the Old Sautee Store offered fine handicrafts and unusual gift items. At Suzanne's suggestion we had lunch at a tiny restaurant adjacent to the Store. The vegetable panini sandwiches we ordered were absolutely delicious! There was more to see in Sautee Nacoochee, and we would have liked to tour the studios on the Folk Potters Trail as well, but we were running out of time. As we headed for home, we vowed to return there soon and are happily looking forward to it.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Watch Out! Cookies Can Cause Problems!

If you've been trying unsuccessfully to leave comments here on my blog, there's good news. The problem is now fixed! It seems the difficulties had something to do with cookies. If your system was set up to block cookies, you were blocked from being able to comment. Techo-Luddite that I am, I had no idea this was happening. Then a friend told me she had been trying repeatedly to leave comments with no luck. It was good she made me aware of the problem, but I was thoroughly puzzled as to why this was occurring. So I went looking for answers.

After much investigation, I finally found an inquiry in Blogger's Help Center that sounded like what was happening here. The solution offered was this: go into Settings, then into Posts and Comments. Under Comments, go into Comment Location and change it to Full Page. So I did, and now it appears all is (finally) well.

If you've been inconvenienced and frustrated by this glitch, you have my sincere apologies. Hopefully the problem is now behind us, and you can comment to your heart's content. I look forward to hearing from you.

A Thought for Sunday, April 13

"Working in the moment" is a dance of doing and looking, creating and appraising, affirming the self and criticizing the self. It's the artist saying in one breath, "I am god" and saying in the next breath, "Am I ever human!" -- Eric Maisel, Ph.D., Fearless Creating: A Step by Step Guide to Starting and Completing Your Work of Art