Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I draw the line at discarded food, though.

Every girl grows up swearing she'll never turn into her mother, and then there's that inevitable moment when she realizes that dadgum it, her mother has taken over her body. Don't deny it.

I realized this about myself a few months ago when I took a few extra streets to get home after choir practice, just so I could listen to a song I liked on the radio. As providence would have it, I drove past a house that had just been moved out of, with piles of junk at the curb, waiting for the trash men.

My mother's spirit entered my body (despite the fact that she's alive and quite well, thank you) and forced me to slow down. I saw something amazing there on the curb and raced home to get the stroller out of the car and breathlessly tell my confused husband that I'd found a treasure and would be right back. And then my mother's spirit made me do the unthinkable: I drove back to that house; pulled over; stopped; got out; raised the hatch on the back of my station wagon; and there, in the dark, hoisted no less than 50 pounds of abandoned mirrors into my car.

I drove the short distance home with a huge grin on my face and my heart pounding. For me, other people's trash (literally) is often my treasure. I couldn't believe somebody would throw these gems away, because I instantly knew what to do with the two smaller mirrors. The huge, heavy one is still in my garage, untouched. I think these must've gone on top of a dresser. Beats me why they were thrown out.

The two side mirrors, plain and with an oh-so-80s discount furniture store patina. But they're HEAVY, so they're real wood. They also have sweet beveled edges on the glass.

I started by using newspaper and painter's tape to protect the glass. This was by far the longest and most tedious part of the whole process.

Then I got out a cheap girl's best friend: black spray paint. I don't live at Morticia Addams' address, so these certainly weren't going to stay black. But I needed a base color, so I let these dry until the next day.

And then, be still my shabby heart, I spray painted them white. I could barely stand the nearly 24-hour wait to make sure the black coat was dry.

Here's where several steps are missing, because I get excited about these things and forget to take pictures. I let the white paint dry for about 45-ish minutes, until it was nearly dry but still a bit tacky to the touch. I went to town on it with some heavy-duty sandpaper. I attacked all the edges and the corners and it really did end up looking like an old piece of furniture that's been moved around and beat up and loved for years.

I waited two long, torturous days for them to dry completely, and then! THEN! Here's what I did with them!

Pretend there's no pumpkin there and that I didn't take these photos back in the fall. (Oh, here's a tip: the pumpkin got lost in the bottom of the compote dish, so I gave it some height by standing it up on top of a baby bottle cap. Fancy.)

Scruffy, shabby corners!

I like to pretend these beauties' former owner is reading, all sad she threw them away and didn't see their potential. Sorry, sucka! They're mine now!

Kidding, kidding.

My mom paid them a high compliment and said they look like they belong there. She should know, since it was her conniving spirit that forced me to dig them out of the trash in the first place.