By Lucy Fuller
I’ve just sent Jody and Emily to Mimi’s. She is going to watch Abigail for a few hours so I can write. Jody and Emily are then going to Auburn to pick up a mantel. Once they get back from Auburn, Emily will then go back to her dad’s (in Smiths Station) and Jody has a gig in Birmingham this evening. We spend a lot of time on the road.
Working from home is fun but it’s not always easy. Jody and I both write. Jody is also a speaker and I am running a little antique/vintage furniture business on the side. We are also raising a 15-month-old and a 12-year-old and going to a class to learn how to keep bees, because our hands aren’t full enough as it is.
We are a busy pair, Jody and me. There is always something going on and just because it’s marked on the calendar does not mean it’s always set in stone. The calendar, to us, is a basic guideline for the month. We are constantly adding notes and gigs here and there. We are also trying to live in between the blocked off times and schedules. It may sound hectic. That’s because it is. Would I change it? Not a chance. It’s our life.
Furniture and decorating have always been a fun pastime for me. I grew up with a mother and grandmother who were both constantly antique shopping and re-decorating their homes to accommodate their most recent furniture finds. I remember coming home from school as a young girl and my bedroom would be completely rearranged. My mother would open the door and present my room to me with such pride and excitement. Most of the time, even though I would love what she had done, I would spend hours locked in there moving furniture and picking out new paint colors or wallpaper trying to follow her lead. I caught the creative bug at a young age and its never left me.
Our farmhouse needs a lot of work. We are embracing our renovation and understanding that good things take time… and money. We have been working very hard the past several months trying to expand our budget to fit our (my) big ideas for the farm. My mind reels as I go through numerous ideas in my mind of what I want it to look like. I pick up my pen and write them down. I then pick up my paintbrush and get to work, except I’m not working on the house right now. I’m working on furniture to sell.
My most recent find was a mantel. The one that Jody and Emily are picking up in Auburn, shortly. I have been searching for antique mantels for several people who (like me) are on a very strict budget. I found lots of them that were gorgeous. They had character. They looked like they were ready to install upon delivery. They also had a price tag that exceeded the financial limitations of not only my customers but myself included.
I had almost given up until I finally stumbled across the one that caught my eye. It was a dingy white and some of the paint was missing in certain places. It looked like it had seen its share of fires in its day. My grandmother would faint if we “white glove tested” this piece. It had nail holes and looked like it needed lots of work to bring it back to life. The description read “Antique mantel- flaws included”. The price fit my allowance and I immediately messaged the seller to claim it as my own.
Re-painting and re-purposing antique and vintage finds take a lot of work and a lot of imagination. One of my favorite parts is that it doesn’t have to be perfect. The scratches and chipped paint ensue character and tell a story of its life. When I see a flawless kitchen table, for example, I completely dismiss it in my mind and continue to look for something more “banged up” because that shows that it’s lived. It shows it had a busy life and went through things. I don’t want perfection. I want something that includes the flaws on the finished product as part of its story. I want to be able to relate to that table.
I have never met an individual who has a perfect flawless life. In fact, I avoid those people. I like the ones with war stories and battle scars. I like the people who “lived to tell about it”, who have “been there, done that”. I can relate to the people who have made mistakes. I love the “flaws included” type people.
Those are my people. The flaws only add character and help tell the story of all you have been through.
Furniture and writing are my passions because I can embrace the flaws and highlight my own favorite parts in whatever color or word I choose. In my opinion, the more flaws the better.
I can’t wait for Jody and Emily to arrive with my mantle. I can’t wait to put it in my workspace, sit down and listen to its story. I can’t wait to discover its beauty and uniqueness, flaws included.
Lucy Fuller is a lover of nature, animals, gardening, and old houses. She is a full time mother and wife. She currently resides in Dadeville with her husband, two daughters, 4 dogs, and cat. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org