MAKE DO AND
Perhaps it was because we were brought up during wartime years when everything was in short supply, and everyone learned to “Make Do and Mend”, or, as I’m inclined to believe: we all got a heavy dose of the “Creative Curse”.
You can be blessed with the urge to become a writer, or a musician, or an artist, or many other creative endeavours, it only becomes a creative curse when you are showered with so many different urges and capabilities that you have no specialty. At one time, this ability was referred to as “Jack of All Trades” with the last portion of this phrase being “Master of None”. As I am one of the Jacks that I will be referencing in the following stories, I object to that last portion.
There was a time when I was in a very deep well of grief that prompted my Covey to decide that I needed activity and creativity, so working individually and collectively many creative big and small endeavours were attempted. There was a big job: purchasing, renovating and selling a house, and then, there were smaller efforts which I’ll start with first.
As a person always on the look-out for a bargain I think I hit the motherload when I heard that the department store Simpsons was selling off all their old Christmas display decorations in preparation for a new decorating theme. There they were: masses of green, red and silver, sparkly, shimmering pieces of plastic all shoved into large tea-chest sized boxes.
You know the kind of box: about 4-foot-tall and 2-foot side walls. Each box was priced at $5.00. I wanted them all, but my Ex insisted that he could only get two in the car.
For a while, two bulging boxes full of Christmas cheer, sat innocently in the garage as I tried to figure out what could be done with this enormous amount of glitz.
Then the creative urge hit! I can’t recall who had this brilliant idea. Possibly LS. However, the “who” is not as important as the “what”. It seems we had the means and the opportunity to make our fortune selling Christmas Centrepiece decorations at the local flea market! So, we let the creative curse take over as we began taking apart and reattaching these glitzy elements into some extremely unique and glorious household decorations.
|Hard at Work - Creating!|
Naturally, we had no intention of making this a life time endeavour. Our plans were to make a quick killing with the available ten dollars worth of materials from the tea boxes plus a purchased box of Plaster of Paris. This meant that the containers for the centrepieces were garnered from whatever we could find that looked suitable. There was no rhyme or reason to the selection, it might be a cup, or a saucer, in some instances it might even be Christmas coloured. Mainly though, it just had to be at hand.
Creations completed, flea market space booked for a two-day weekend, hair curled and fluffed up to a dazzling degree, LS and I set out to strike it rich.
Saturday was a tiring but successful day, lots of interest and lots of sales. We had hoped to sell everything on this first day but we still had a fair amount of inventory for the next day. Sunday rolled around and although by days-end we had depleted our stock there were still some items that would need to be taken home. Taking stuff back was not in our plans! We couldn’t just abandon it, so we sold it all at a reduced price to our neighbouring booth, and then went home to count our money.
|Counting our Money|
It could have been when we were flush from our success at the Christmas decorating, or it may have been earlier when we made some amazing Styrofoam creations which we sold at a larger venue.
I wish we still had some pictures of these creations. Children’s names were popular, but so were the colourfully painted character cut-outs. How we became interested in this endeavour is no longer available to my memory bank, but certain little titbits stand out. For some reason, my youngest daughter’s teacher and her husband play a part as information providers. LLB features heavily as the electrical expert. Styrofoam can be cut with a serrated knife but if you want fine-smooth-edges it needs a heated wire. LLB’s constructed a two-person cutting platform where LS and I could work together.
Somehow, amongst this array of activity, LS and I managed to purchased a rundown rooming house to renovate and once again make our fortune. The only stipulation that LS insisted on was that she did not wish to work evenings or weekends – she had a life to live. We soon realised that this stipulation was not going to happen because evenings and weekends became our busiest times. This was one creative endeavour that sucked the entire Covey into its vortex.
LB became our contractor, LLB became our electrician and every other family member who could stand upright, hold a paintbrush or a hammer was called into service.
It soon became apparent that we should not have been so cavalier accepting offers of hammer holding. LS’s help in this regard necessitated major correction after a glancing strike resulted in lots of unwanted running water.
Nevertheless, we did renovate this house. We did pass government inspection (albeit with a lot of smiles and eyelash batting from LS). We did sell it. What we didn’t do was make our fortune, but that was never the real goal. The real goal was achieved: I’d had no chance to think, my Covey had kept me busy for a few more months.