25 February 2006

Waiting for My Ugly Sofa

It's 9am on a Saturday and I've already vacuumed the living room, done the dishes, and cleaned the bird cages just because my ugly sofa and matching ugly chair will be arriving today! Yes, I said ugly. I can't tell you exactly how ugly because, well, I haven't seen it yet.


That's right, I'm getting a sofa and chair delivered and I have no clue as to what it looks like.

Could you please explain this? Or have you finally gone off the deep end??

I belong to a group call 29PalmsFreecycle. This group is just one of the many FreeCycle groups located all over the US. The whole purpose of these groups is for people to list items they no longer want so that people who want or need the items will get the items, and thus, unwanted, but still useable items are no longer sent to the landfill. The one catch is that everything must be free.

When I first heard about this, I thought most of the stuff would be junk, but I was wrong. I've seen laptops and office copiers listed, along with plenty of clothes, furniture, exercise equipment, etc. So far, I have received a chair and ottoman for our study, a bunch of binders, some dog magazines, etc. Everything has been in great condition. I've also gotten rid of a number of items that were "too good to throw away" but I couldn't use anymore. (No need for a bug zapper for mosquitos in the desert!) I'm addicted!

If you would like to check this out further, go to http://www.freecycle.org and see if there's a group in your area.

What does this have to do with art?

In one sense, nothing. In another sense, a lot. See, I do art that is inspired by the beauty of nature, whether it's flowers or animals or landscapes. I live in a beautiful area -- yes, deserts are beautiful in their own way. One of the things that hurt me is to see all the junk that's thrown out along the road. In a desert, things don't decay as fast as they do in say Iowa, so the old mattress lays there for along time, making my desert ugly!

And then there's the issue of local landfills filling up. I once took a load of stuff to the dump, and was utterly appalled by all the useable items I could see. Now for liability reasons, they will no allow you to go out and pick thru the junk, so that wooden bookcase which looked useable and which I could have used is now buried and rotting. What a waste!

Since my general life philosophy is to improve our world, this FreeCycle fits right in. It makes me feel like I'm helping our planet. And this then translates into a better mental attitude about life and art.

Ok, but what about the 'ugly' part?

Well, the lady said, "However, they are ugly -- upholstered in army green." I have no idea if I think they are ugly or not, although I'm not thrilled with army green. If they are ugly, this will be my chance to try making slip covers or even re-upholstering. It'll be an adventure!

And now, I get to wait for my new, ugly sofa and chair to arrive!

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