07 November 2007


(This is pronounced "olay", as in "oil of".) Like many North Americans, I learned whatever Spanish I know from Speedy Gonzales, so please pardon any spelling mishaps.

(It is a little known fact that Speedy Gonzales actually coined the phrase "Una cervesa* mas, por favor" - one of the most useful expressions in any language as far as I'm concerned!)

*Why didn't I put a link to Corona above? I don't like Corona. I don't like Moretti either, but for some reason I love the painting of the old guy they use to advertise.) And if you were wondering, the word for "beer" in Italian - and Greek, for that matter, is birra. The Italians must have stolen it from the Greeks. Far simpler to remember for this ignorant North American.

Anyway, for those less tutored in Spanish than I, olé means "Opa" in Greek (closest English translation I can think of right now is Yee-hah!!)

Why the Spanish exhortations in a Greek/Scottish household, you ask? Because I recently took photos of my favourite mosaic creation ever (having realised I lost most of the other ones when I dropped my former laptop last winter... don't fall asleep when blogging!!!), the Fiesta Chair!
So why not bore you with the story behind the creation today? I'm sure it won't be the first time I've made you either yarn or hit the back button!

I made this one a couple of years back. Here's my how-to:

1. Haunt the large garbage disposal in your apartment building until you come across a discarded child's chair.

It is rather fortunate that I don't have photos of the "before" picture. This may have been the ugliest chair ever seen. It was painted puce and had ripped burlap upholstery, probably because the poor toddler who was forced to use it took an X-acto knife to it in desperation.

So, of course I was completely thrilled!! (JJ, correspondingly, less so. He made me take it back outside, brought out a can of bug spray and sprayed it for about 15 minutes before I could bring it back up. I was afraid Super Mario might come and poach it...!)

2. Let the eyesore sit in your spare bedroom for a year and trip over it while you decide what to do with it.

No explanation needed here.

3. Break a Fiesta plate in the microwave by accident.

By the way, have you ever heard a plate crack in the microwave? It sounds like gunfire. When I woke up from my coma after being incapacitated when my head hit the ceiling, I was mighty peeved to learn that my favourite plate (which I had scored at my grandmother's house) was broken.
They LIED! I almost wrote a very, very strong letter indeed. But, given that it had sat in my grandmother's basement under two tons of canned goods for 20 years, I figured I'd save my sword-like pen for a worthier cause (such as writing to Loblaws to complain about their not having the $5/litre olive oil in stock and not offering raincheques...).

So, of course, I decided to break the only other Fiestaware in my possession (a small green side plate). All the broken pieces went into the spare room and then I spied the ugly burlap chair - A-ha!!!

4. Dip into the five gallon drum of paint lying around the spare room, and paint the eyesore.

That paint may well have been JJs one and only Treasure from Trash. He brought it home from work but didn't know what colour it was. He works at a military base so I just assumed it was either khaki or institutional beige. However, I had no other paint in the house and was too lazy to walk five minutes to the Pro Hardware. So, I cracked into it. Wedgwood Blue!! Yee-hah!!!

(Let me tell you that JJ was not best pleased that I cracked open five gallons of paint to use on a baby chair. However, he sold the rest to Mario, our building superintendent, so all was not lost.)

5. Break some more crockery.

In this case, an old teacup from my grandmother's collection. This detail is my little trick to stop people from trying to sit on the thing...

6. Raid your stash for beads and tiles and glue everything onto the chair.

Again, rather self-explanatory. However, I was glad to note that the middle part of the plate was more or less intact... so of course I smashed it (OPA!!!) and reassembled it in the middle of the chair seat.

I then discovered that this feature works very well as a plant stand. So, that is its official use. And, if there was a plant in existence which could live for more than a day in my presence, it would probably hold a plant all the time.

This is the one piece of furniture in my apartment which is never, ever draped with clothes/books (can one drape books? hmm)/empty cigarette packages or other general detritus of the Brouhaha lifestyle. So, that in itself should tell you its value to me!

Happy birthday to Joni Mitchell!



PS. here is my other Spanish delight in progress:

I would have finished it tonight except that I managed to wreck my brand new glue gun. You can look forward (?!) to that story when I post pics of the finished object. Suffice to say it will be something along the lines of this when finished - perhaps a tad shorter as I am really not all that tall and I don't know that this would suit JJ.

In my travels today I also acquired a felt hat form. Stay tuned for whatever is in store for it!

But wait! What's that in front of the head mannequin?

The comb JJ gave me, and a tube of crazy glue!