Patriotism is by no means limited to July 4th, right? For that reason, I’m sharing today a vignette I created and intend to leave up a bit longer. Like any dedicated crafter, I put a lot of time and effort into my projects, and I don’t enjoy the process of bedecking the house for a holiday just in time to turn around and store everything away. That would be the same to me as year round post-holiday blues; like that pervasive sense of dread that settles in after the Christmas season.
The vignette evolved in three stages. It started with the wooden cut-out of the USA that I bought from JoAnn sometime last year. I bought it at a rock-bottom price and although I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it, I love Americana and just had to have it. I happened upon it a few weeks ago, in of all places, the motorhome. I guess I originally planned to use it there.
Unrelated to July 4th, I suddenly had the idea of embellishing the cutout so as to reflect the path Larry and I have taken together. I added stars to each significant city, and skinny hemp twine to show the route. Why I have a tiny box of vintage map tacks in my craft inventory, is a mystery. But they are perfect for this wooden map! I gently tapped a tack into each star, and I wrapped the twine around each tack. I hung the map on my blanket ladder, and it looks especially good in light of the fact that all of the throws have been stowed until the weather cools again in the fall. Our lovingly built ladder looked a little out of place empty.
Stage two~ Creating hand-painted signs is something I thoroughly enjoy doing, and it didn’t take long for me to create the sign, “Born in the USA”. I used a retro font rather than something predictable like Times New Roman. I’ve started exploring the use of less ordinary fonts for my sign projects.
Now at the risk of boring you, I’m going to tell a brief story about stage three, the flag. A few weeks ago a friend was visiting from Arizona. She is an enthusiastic collector and shopper and I think we visited every antique mall in our county. So after church one Sunday, I suggested we go have coffee in a really cute cafe in a small, nearby town. I always order my coffee in a to-go cup because coffee is not something I drink in a hurry. When my friend was ready to hit the road, I just took my coffee along. On our drive home an attractive antique mall seemed to be calling to us, so of course we pulled over to have a browse. As is my custom, I asked the shopkeeper if he objected to coffee in the store. Believe me, in Washington State, it would be highly unlikely that any shopkeeper would say no to a coffee-drinking shopper, but I still always ask. I went a step further this time and assured the nice gentlemen that I would absolutely not spill the coffee. Big mistake!
I found a few cute things and paid for them, but my friend was still looking. So I decided to circle the store a final time. In the very last booth, something caught my eye and I stooped to have a look. And yes, you can guess what happened. A few drops of coffee dripped on a very new looking American flag. My gosh, I was mortified~ seriously. This flag was priced at $22 and believe me it had not a trace of vintage character. However, I felt terrible about the spill. My conscience would allow nothing else than to take the flag to the counter and offer to buy it. I really didn’t want to, but I knew it was the right thing. So I explained what happened but I did courageously ask for a 10% integrity discount, to which the mall owner readily agreed. I’m usually shy about asking for discounts but I felt so mad about buying something I didn’t want, I just didn’t care.
Friends, on the way home I felt sick. I know $20 is not a big deal, but it was $20 poorly spent. But thankfully I suddenly experienced what I call a light-bulb moment. I had already spilled coffee on Old Glory, rendering it unusable, so my thought was why not antique the flag by dying it with coffee, this time with intention. So that’s what I did. Folger’s Instant to the rescue!
Here’s a before Folger’s photo~
It’s a wonder that I even have instant coffee in my larder, considering I am a coffee snob. I actually bought it for use in a recipe and there is no way I would make myself a cup of instant coffee, ever. I would drink decaf before I would consider instant coffee. I’ve gotta say, the flag really turned out well, so I’ve obviously discovered a great use for instant coffee. Anyone who has seen it thinks the flag is an antique! Now I love the flag for many reasons, and it reminds me daily of the proverbial silver lining. I may get tired of a patriotic look dominating the living room and put the flag away. But for now, it’s making me happy.
The completed vignette. Long may she wave.
Linking to these quality blogs this week~
A Stroll Thru Life