Monday, August 13, 2012
The Era of the Urn
As previously noted, I've entered the Era of the Urn, and as with most of my eras, this came about by accident.
First came ornately embellished terracotta pots and a gilded and sculpted fiberglass beauty or two. Then the metal urns began turning up as things do, in someone's trash. There are several in the garden, light weight and cheaply made but lively with ferns and sprigs of geranium and ivy and such. In the winter they'll come indoors to perch on the various columns I've similarly rescued and arranged around my tiny greenhouse.
The urn here -- fabulous isn't it -- is my most recent addition. I came across it last week when I was in the scoping it out phase of staging a home that will shortly be sold -- staging, if you're unfamiliar with the term, is the process of rinsing a home of any notion of personality so it resembles as closely as possible an exceedingly bland yet marginally trendy place you'd see on HGTV.
This cleansing usually requires heroics of patience and charm, which we leave to the real estate agents, but in this case, the home was empty, the owner deceased and blessedly unable to weep and flail about the piles of pictures and dusty antimatussymussies being consigned to a thrift shop. The executor was showing us through.
As it happened, a neatly planted pair of these cast iron urns flanked the front doorway and ten more marched emptily along the garden path in the rear of the house. I stared in wonderment; they were beautifully modeled, clearly antique, worth a small fortune.
One of my minds turned instantly larcenous, licking its chops -- I would shortly have the keys and who would notice? But my better half, that priss, that wuss, quickly countered, "Will you be having a yard sale? I'd like to buy one of these..." I simpered, attempting a sweet and adorable countenance, which is not easy, being me.
"Please! Take one," she said, so I did, and quickly, before she could change her mind. Lifting the behemoth of behemoths (of course, it would be) and tottered with buckling knees up the back steps, through the house, down the front steps and to the car where I managed with a final insane heft to land it on the car's back seat, drive it home, and wrestle it onto the front walk, leaving further heaving for the Prince.
Happily, I happened to have a palmy thing that looks like it's growing out of a pineapple -- I know it has another name that I've forgotten and it's not actually a palm, fill it in comments if you're compelled -- that I bought for $10 last week in Raleigh where we were visiting baby and Pete and Lula, the murderess; perfect as a centerpiece. (The Raleigh farmer's market is fantastic).
I also had a $2 wandering jew in a shocking shade of pink, that I actually bought (the vendor was so nice and really, Stephanie, $2? -- I hadn't the heart to pinch and pinch, as I would ordinarily do. (See my treatise on wandering jews).
This was added to purple and variegated sprigs of wandering jew that I snipped from the window boxes, and some flowering stuffs that recently arrived as part of a gift basket that have arranged themselves to drip rather nobly over the rim.
The whole is heaved upon another trash find -- I can never believe what people discard around here --an iron base that the Prince insists is plaster and will be ruined sitting out in the weather. He is wrong, as usual. I pinged it.
So. It's all very grand.
$12. How brilliant am I? Honestly. I can't get over myself some days....