Saturday, 15 November 2008

cushion covers, dragonflies, and my friend Sally

A while back, I blogged about my sudden obsession with RED in my living room. While puttering about home today, I sewed up some new cushion covers from a couple of pieces of RED fabric I found at our local "Stuffmart" (I like that name ... can't remember whose blog I "borrowed" it from, but THANKS!). The living room transformation isn't quite complete yet, but here's some pix of the work in progress.
Here's the BEFORE of two of my living room cushions:
And here's one more BEFORE:This cushion cover is made from an old teeshirt. My friend Sally and I bought matching teeshirts somewhere in the downtown Eastside of Vancouver back when we were new students at Douglas College. We both had waitressing experience and laughed about "being discovered" for our amazing individual talents ... it was a sunny day and we were both feeling pretty good about ourselves.
Sally was certainly a colourful person ... probably packed in more colourful adventures than I ever did, and I like to think I've done pretty good on that score. Sally had a penchant for bikers and bad men as well as musicians. A very short time before I met her, she had been a down and out gutter drunk, and remained pretty rough around the edges. Despite those rough edges, she had a generous and loving spirit, and an infectious sense of humour. Besides, she LOVED Johnny Cash and Stevie Nicks music ... how can anyone who loves Johnny Cash and Stevie Nicks music be all bad?
Oh, and here's the AFTER look for the above three cushions:Sally was a natural story teller. One of my favourite Sally stories is how she quit drinking. Apparently one day she scraped together enough money to buy a case of beer ... a BIG deal considering she had drank the likes of Lysol and God only knows what else ... and on her way to buy said case of beer she noticed a blender in some shop window. Yes, a kitchen blender. Your plain ordinary kitchen blender. She had no idea what one would do with a kitchen blender, but noticed its price tag was exactly the same as a case of beer. Somehow, in her thirsty addled mind, she equated a blender with sobriety and stability and a home ... all the things she lacked at that moment. So she bought the blender instead of the beer, and that was the beginning of her recovery. She kept the blender in its box, never used, because it reminded her of that moment and her decision to sober up.
Just before I moved away from Vancouver, Sally moved into a really nice little bachelor unit in a downtown Co-op. It was her first "real" home in many many years, and she was SO proud of it. Her first purchase was a coffee maker ... even though she was strictly a tea drinker herself ... and she LOVED to put the coffee on for her small group of friends. Oh, I didn't explain that bit, did I? Sally had more than her share of mental health problems, including paranoia, and didn't make or keep friends easily. For some reason I posed no threat and I considered myself very blessed to be her friend.
Here's another BEFORE shot of two of my living room cushions:And here's the AFTER:Sally would love these! She was fascinated by dragonflies. When she moved into the Co-op, I bought a wood picture frame and painted it glossy black, then painted multi-coloured dragonflies all over it and used it to frame a bulletin board. She was thrilled with it, and hung it over her little kitchen table on the most prominent wall.
Sadly, Sally didn't have long to enjoy her new home. All those years of hard living took their toll, and she died of pancreatic cancer shortly after I moved away.
Every so often I feel Sally nearby ... like today while recovering my living room cushions. I wish she could really pop over for a cuppa and a look at my "new" RED living room cushions.


Anonymous said...

Sally sounds like a cool gal. L.

Anonymous said...

I remember Sally! but I didn't know she died. {o(