"You're starting a blog? Why?!! Who would ever read it?" Sharing ideas with my teenagers always results in raw, honest reactions. I have raised them to be strong people with the ability to speak the truth, or at least their truth.
Here I find myself, with 46 years behind me. Six years ago, I returned to college to pursue a second degree. A degree that was denied me the first go around by my well-meaning parents who thought a business, teaching, or advertising degree made me more employable. I picked the latter. I had a lot to prove to myself. A huge lists of "I'm forty now, I have to finally do something for me. No regrets." Funny thing is.....after toiling over my BFA in Studio Art and coming out with an impressive 4.0, I still didn't really know what that was....."Doing something for myself." The only part of that I understood was that when my rapidly growing children went off to college and I became an "Empty Nester," I needed to "have a life!" I had observed my own mother fumbling around after we left and never really finding her footing. She passed young, 59, and never really ever overcame our leaving. That wasn't going to be me! (Nail biting here.)
So, I graduated into the worst economy of my lifetime, wounded by the over-arching critical comments of a professor and facing an election of a President in a tough time for our country. Art career could wait. Right?? Was it that I needed to simmer a little? Was it that old adage, the fearful artist? Was it that I got too much of a head start on MY "life" with my kids still living under my roof? Issues raising teenagers have been huge distractors. Or was it the tool in which I allowed myself to be distracted? Until now, I have not truly pursued my career.
Okay.....back on subject. I have always had this love....no obsession....no addiction (For those who get this, there is a difference.) for vintage finds, shabby chic, french country, mid-century goodies and the like. I see the opportunity in what others might see as discard-able. Yes, I know.....how do you make all that work? When I was much younger, I had a designer tell me that if I love something, buy it and somehow it will "work." I repeat that often to the hazy gazes of those who stand in my house seemingly wondering why I have put such a crazy collections of stuff together. I am still sorting through whether it always works.
I have been trash picking off of bulk piles in my neighborhood, haunting tag sales and strolling collectible stores and fixing up what I find for years. I was doing this before Rachel ever came out with her books and coined the phrase "Shabby Chic."..... "Shabby Chic!!!! Shabby Chic!!?? You mean someone out there has validated my obsessions??" I was excited. I thought, "I'm not the only crazy out there!.....Maybe, I'm not crazy?" I use to dream of the day that I could have a business connected in someway to that concept. But, something was missing.....or was it?
Did I need a certifiable college degree in art to achieve this? Probably not, but I thought so. "What the heck," I said, "I'm going back to college." Made the split second decision in less than an hour and drove to the university. By lunch I was registered for classes that started the following week. It was, for me, the best four years of my adult life. I grew. My kids grew in size, but more importantly, they grew in independence. They learned how to fend for themselves and it made them stronger. For example, they had to learn to make their own breakfasts because Mom was over in her chair studying for that Baroque Art exam. Now, they are both pretty good in the kitchen.
Six years later, I am writing the first entry to my first blog. I am not quite sure where this is going to take me, but I am hoping that it will be the catalyst that I have been looking for to push me on down the road toward that "life" that I know I need to develop. My initial plans for this blog are to merge my art with my love of design, decorating and collections. I am about to embark on a total re-do of my master bedroom and bath and I will use this blog to document the steps along the way.
I named the blog "The Homeless Finch" because I own 4 pairs of a variety of finches and they occupy a small aviary in my studio. They keep me company and entertain and sing to me every day. Why homeless? It denotes my need to rescue all that is homeless, whether it is the funny little treasures I find, purchase and fix or the creatures and people along the way whom I try and bring into my home and my life in a quest to help fix them. Nothing is lost. Nothing should be homeless. Everything is renewable. At 46, I am going to renew myself too.