11.28.2010

where glue and spice collide

I think that a person's kitchen, as it appears and functions on a daily basis, will tell you almost anything you need to know about that person.  I live in my kitchen.   Despite not actually having a table in it, we still manage to do crafts there, read books and even have picnics.  It's the sunniest spot in the house, the location of all the sugar, and the place to go for solitude.  I've found that if I stand at the counter the kids leave me alone, assuming that I busy with meal prep or clean up.   If I look like I might ask some one to take out the garbage it is practically guaranteed that no one will walk into the room.  Which means I can stand there and read a book in peace as long as I do not sit down.  Sitting down destroys the magic.

More than any other room, I wish for my kitchen to be pleasing visually.  Living in various furnished rental cottages as I have for over a year now, I don't have much choice about the appliances, cupboards, and furnishings.  Heck, most of the dishes do not belong to me.  But the reused containers, former jam and pickle jars pressed in service holding bulk bought foods and crafty odds and ends, are definitely me. 

I do my best to make my motley crew of containers colourful and happy.  Some decorative bits, a few whimsical fillings, an attempt at visual irony to tickle my own sense of humour.  I'm glad that I am the type of person to miss the forest for the trees - it means that I can walk into my kitchen, completely ignore the stack of dirty dishes but still see the few items that make me smile.  Hear hear for tunnel vision - it's a gift.

This powerful urge to decorate containers mixed with the standing-at-the-cupboard-and-no-one-bothers-me phenomena has emulsified into a peculiar love for a specific pot of glue.  When things get tough around the house, maybe a cranky kid or a daunting mess, I find myself irresistibly pulled into the kitchen with a bag of fabric scraps and my bottle of Mod Podge.   Brandishing a paint brush, I find myself something, anything, to cover and seal. 

I know that I am not the first woman to go through a Mod Podge fixation and I know I won't be the last.  In the homes of my friends I find large jars serving as bookends covered in pinking sheared cottons.  Or the clothes pegs are in a beheaded laundry soap bottle, cutely covered with printed paper cutouts.  I suspect I am not the only one to find relaxing brushing on the sticky white stuff.    

This past week was a bit emotionally tumultuous.  I have several newly coated and sealed containers to show for it. 

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This former cocoa container has held my chai tea spices for over a year now.  The children helped me decorate it.  Since they've moved on to actually helping me make the chai, I figured I was no longer obligated to hold sentimental feelings about it and it was fair game for redecoration.

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I'm not sure if the result has much to do with chai, but I do love these fabrics and they remind me of the dresses for Smootch I have made with them.

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Plus, I think they also nicely complement the sequin/glitter/stand/eyeball collage from the fast food drinking cup the children made.  I keep change in the cup.  Who says you can't live with children's art?

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Another little project was inspired by the chai spices and the time of year.  You can hardly go anywhere without being nasally assaulted by chemical laden bags of potpourri.  I can't stand the fakey coloured tree bark and dried flower stuff sprayed with a synthetic cinnamon scent they sell at the store.  But I do love the way my tea smells. 

Speaking of synthetic scents, the container is from a powder based odor absorber I bought to try to combat the aroma of victory coming from my derby skate bag.  It didn't work very well, but I couldn't throw out the plastic container it came in.  Not this lady with this container fixation.

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With Birdie's help, using a punch scavenged from a mega craft stores' bin and some unsolicited mail, decorative elements were acquired.

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After some meditative standing at the cupboard time, I filled the cup with cinnamon, cardamon, cloves, and peppercorns.

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With the lid on to keep the kitties out, it makes a rather nice scented thingamabob.

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Sitting on the shelf in the kitchen, it smells divine, even when I am not making cookies. 

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Anyone else got a Mod Podge fixation to confess?

8 comments:

  1. Yes, I admit it. Especially when I'm feeling down for any reason! Clementine boxes got covered in yellowed book pages, and Lego boxes in origami paper.

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  2. Hee hee! I was just looking for our pot so that the girlies could glue circles onto a magazine holder for their teacher for Christmas. We love the podge.

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  3. Have you ever tried to knit in the kitchen? Seems that's when I get interrupted. If I'm sitting, I'm fair game. Maybe if I stopped between rows to clang dishes around, they'd stay out.

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  4. Wow, sometimes I think we share a brain! This post really made me feel great.

    I also use my kitchen as a sanctuary. When the kids hear, "Oops, Mommy's working!" no one needs to know that sometimes my "work" is emotional, and it involves dark chocolate!

    And I should send you a photo of my box full of little containers. When you start looking, they turn up everywhere!

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  5. Ok, it's such a simple idea of mod podging fabric on containers but I hadn't thought of it. I'm new to Mod Podge and I have tons of fabric scraps, my girls would love doing this.

    thanks for the inspiration.

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  6. I salvadged a delicious vintange mirror: paint crackeld and flaking from its oversized frame. A wipe down with a coarse rag and a coat of mod podge later, Voila. shabby sheek home decor ( without lead-paint-chips shedding on my mantle.) Yea for runny glue!

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  7. I love using it to cover just about everything, but I have even used it when my kids tell me they're bored. I had my older daughter decoupage the garbage can (pickle bucket)one day and she has never said the "B" word again:)
    Fantastic way to personalize recycled objects.
    ~Michelle
    www.falafelandthebee.com

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  8. I was inspired by your cute container for jacks and finally broke open the Mod Podge container that I've had for months. I'd never used it before. I took an empty butter tub and covered it with colorful paper scraps -- a place to plop threads and clippings from my sewing and knitting about the house. My husband gets nervous about me leaving stray strings around, for fear the cats will consume and gag. I'm happy to say my first Mod Podge experience was a happy one and I'm planning to soon cover a beat-up old wooden picture frame with fabric scraps!

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