Saturday, October 07, 2006

Somebody Rocks, And I Think It's Me! ...

You know who rocks?

I rock!

Today has been a kick-ass creative day! Day of creativity. Say it however you want, I love, love, love when I get to flex these muscles.

Because my workaday life ain’t creative. Nosiree, Bob. My day job is editing for an IT consulting company, which is like, well, editing for an IT consulting company. Don’t get me wrong: I’m grateful for the gainful employment. And the fact that my commute is from my bedroom to my office kicks ass. There aren’t even stairs involved. Nope, I just mosey out of bed and traipse into my office, boot up the computer, make my rounds opening curtains, put on a pot of coffee, then plunk my butt down in my wheely chair and edit. The fact that it’s an IT company pretty much tells you that I’m not editing comic strips or literary fiction. And so my creativity shrivels a bit during the week. IT consulting is like a cold swimming pool.

But then the weekend arrives and I get to cast my geek hat into the corner and focus on creative stuff that I so dearly love.

To wit: In my house, there is a wall. It is the first wall you see when you walk in my front door. (Unless you have a kink in your neck, but for the sake of this discussion, let’s assume that you don’t.) Over the years (and I have lived here more than six), I have had various ideas for art to go on that wall. None have panned out.

At first, I thought I wanted 10 16”-square frames. Four on the top row, then three, then two, then one, justified on the right. Why, you ask? Because that configuration would follow the descent of my stairs. Ooh, nifty. But I couldn’t find 16”-square frames for the longest time, and then when I did, they were 40 smakeroos apiece, and I had no intention of spending 400 bucks on frames. Next!

So then I thought that I would hang my big-ass Bernard Buffet piece on that wall. It currently hangs in my dining area. It’s big. It would fill the space over the stairs nicely. But I don’t like the Bernard Buffet there. I like it where it is. (That's it, below.) So: Next!

So then I thought I would hang 3 26”-square pieces horizontally. (Yeah, I have a thing for squares. Just look at my history of exes! Badump bump! Goodnight, everybody! I’m here all week! Try the veal!) My friend Jeff is a knock-out photographer, but we were never able to find the right combination of images and resolution and output. Sadly. Sigh. So: Next!

So a year or so ago, I was in an antique store and I saw some prints that I thought I should buy for my guest room. So I did. And I brought them home and I hung them up and I thought, “Hmm. Yep, I don’t like those in this room.” But they’ve hung on the wall in there ever since, because I had nothing else to put on that wall, and because I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do with them.

Until just the other day. I decided that I wanted to frame them in much larger frames, gallery-style with mats. So the hunt was on for 16x20 frames. I found a 14x18 frame at Target, but that’s a stupid size. Also, the prints I was going to take out of the existing frames were shy of 8x10, so I’d have to cheat them in an 8x10 opening. Hmm. Messy. I don’t like things that are half-assed. The hunt continued. And today, we called off the dogs, mom and me. We went to Hobby Lobby, a stupid name for a store, but it’s not just for hobbies. It has a ton of crap: throw pillows and picture frames and clocks and all kinds of nifty housey stuff. It also has crazy sales. All the time. Like 50% off. Now, I know the mark-up in retail is insane, and that even at 50% off, retailers are still making a bundle, but hey, I don’t get to pay cost, so 50% off is okayfine with me.

And there they were, cue the singing angels and the ray of light: 16x20 black frames, with glass, $29.99. On sale. Bingo! I bought four. And then I came home and got one of the prints (because I figured I’d just find mats that had 8x10 openings, but oh no, you can’t find mats with 8x10 openings for 16x20 frames) and went back to The Lobby (as Dave would call it, because he adds “The” on to proper nouns to create a new proper nouns; it’s one of those quirky little Dave traits that I find so damn endearing) and had Mandy cut mats for me, the perfect size for the prints, and off-center. I wanted more space on the bottom, and that’s what I got. "Bottom-heavy," she called it. Righto.

So I brought home my mats and got busy with my Xacto knife, cutting off the backing paper of the existing pieces, and then got busy with my pliers, pulling out the bazillion staples holding in the backing cardboards, and got the prints off the backing mats and put together the prints with the new mats and frames and damn! They look go-ood. They look like I spent a whole lotta dollars on ‘em, but I didn’t. At the end of the day, the cost of the original framed prints plus the cost of my new framing supplies today set me back about 120 smackers. For four pieces of framed art. Which, most importantly to this story, aren’t pieces that I’m going to see anywhere else. Well, I might see them somewhere else, but they're not Target “art” or Wal-Mart “art” or J.C. Penney “art.” No, this art is nifty and different and special.

Like me!

So THEN, on a roll, I taped paper together into 19x23 rectangles to tape to the wall to start figuring out the placement. And once I was happy with that, I sat myself down with a pencil and a piece of paper and started figuring out all the measurements and where the nails will have to go to hang ‘em up all pretty like.

And with that done, I sat myself down in front of this here computer and started playing with a CD compilation I’ve been working on, and had a fab idea, but it involved editing an existing mp3, which I FIGURED OUT HOW TO DO! Ohmygosh! I’m SO clever! And I pulled more songs into the folder and threw out songs and shuffled songs around (because how songs end and how songs begin help you arrange them into an aurally pleasing progression) and I burned the collection to a disc and I hopped in my car and I drove around for a bit to listen (I like listening critically to things in the car) and damn, it’s really cool.

The past few months have been stressful. There have been some financial worries, and it’s amazing how those will suck the life right out of you. There ain’t no room in my brain for fun, creative stuff when I’m freaked out about how I’m going to pay my bills. But the financial situation is getting resolved - big sigh of relief - and my brain is once again free to think creative thoughts. Like it did today.

Woo hoo!


Blogger Dave said...

Great blog entry. But FYI: I can't see the Bernard Buffet piece. I get the question mark, and when I click on it I get the 404 Not Found error message. You may want to look into that.

10:23 PM  

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