Wednesday, December 19, 2007

the file cabinet

This is the story of a file cabinet. When we were selling our old house last year we rented a dumpster to get rid of a lot of crap that really didn't need to make the move with us. There was this file cabinet in the kitchen that became a big bone of contention between us. It was a battered, two drawer file cabinet that fit perfectly into an alcove under our counter. It was incredibly useful for keeping everything in order. And it was a little...unique.

I have a confession to make. I absolutely adore Mary Englebreit prints. Not the (really) kitschy teapots and other "collectibles", but just the plain old drawings. Normally I'm not the whimsy type, but something about these makes me happy. I can't explain it, although god knows I've been challenged on it enough times. No one seems to expect this from me. (I'd love to know what people do expect from me. Cadaver art??).

I have another confession to make. I'm crafts challenged. Seriously. If I were my mother I'd demand a maternity test, because she can do anything crafty and I'm bad to the point of amusement. My own anyway. I doubt anyone who has ever been gifted with one of my "crafts" has even cracked a smile. The only thing I can do at all is decoupage because it's idiot proof. And the messy look is part of the charm. At least that's what I tell myself.

I have a third confession. I'm a garage sale addict. Love them to bits and have found some amazing things at them through the years. It's all about the thrill of the hunt and the chance of finding something amazing (which happens more than you would think). The FG and I have spent many a happy hour hitting garage sales over the years. In a college town especially, they can be jackpots.

So what do these four things have in common?

1. File Cabinet
2. Mary Engelbreit
3. Decoupage
4. Garage Sales

Well, I took ten Garage Sale assorted Mary Engelbreit calendars that I got for $2 total and decoupaged the battered File Cabinet with them. The entire File Cabinet. I remember the day I did it very clearly. I was supposed to be studying for a Microbiology final but instead I sat on my dining room floor all day happily pasting away. And it became one of my very favorite things. If you have to pull a bill out of a file cabinet to pay it, it at least takes some of the sting away if the cabinet itself makes you smile.

But it had taken a beating in my kitchen and to make matters worse the bottom of it had rusted enough to mess with the floor underneath it. One of the handles was broken. The hanging tracks for the files were quirky. The FG thought it should go meet its destiny in the dumpster. I didn't. We went back and forth in that insane period of time and I don't remember what made me capitulate, but I did. I took it out to the dumpster and tossed it in.

And I've missed it ever since. (I'm also pretty sure I've bitched about it ever since, but you'd have to ask my husband about that). For the last couple of months I've been searching for a very cheap, possibly battered File Cabinet for round two. (This is a practical problem, too. All of our records are in plastic grocery bags all waiting to be properly filed away).

Over the weekend the FG rustled one up. It was beaten up and free. I had bought more old ME calendars on eBay. I stocked up on brushes and Modge Podge and licked my lips.

Today I decided I had waited long enough. In the midst of the Christmas rush, with presents still to buy and wrap. With a kid with a head cold home sick from school. I blocked out my scary To Do list, dragged the cabinet into the living room, started a fire in the fireplace and put the Love, Actually DVD in.

And spent the afternoon happily pasting away. Snoring dogs, sleeping kids and possibly the most heavily loaded eye candy movie ever. Fabulous.

The File Cabinet's not bad either. *************************************************************************************
This has given me an idea for this week's Thursday Three - Best Eye Candy Films. I don't think I've ever announced the topic ahead of time, so start working on those lists. I'm in a comments dry spell!


Altaglow said...

You watched "Love Actually"? The second or third best chick flick of all time? I can't find my copy of that movie so Obviously I'm Damned.

The Rotten Correspondent said...

Okay, I just had to think real hard to make sure I hadn't stolen yours. But I didn't. (Whew!) Could you have left it at the lake?

Altaglow said...

Plus I'm not nearly as good as you think on this craft st?>:::f> You are way better than you thins!!

Sweet Irene said...

That sounds like a wonderful and fun job, decoupaging a whole file cabinet. I could have come over to your house and helped you do that. You have given me an idea! Now to implement it! Mmm...

Stacie said...

If I didn't already know that I liked you before your love of that movie would have closed the deal!

Kaycie said...

I'm sending the chicken poop back to you, only slightly used.

Decoupage me something.

my two cents said...

I want to see a picture!! You didn't happen to eat any See's candy while you were working on this did you? Now that would have made it the perfect afternoon. Although for me it would have been sewing or needlework instead of the decoupaging.

Flowerpot said...

Love Actually should be available on the health system I think. Liam Neeson (sigh), Alan Rickman (even bigger sigh) - I must stop now..

Jo Beaufoix said...

Hee hee. I love that film too.
And did you send Kaycie chicken poop?
Hee hee heee.

And Flowerpotm did you forget yummy Colin Firth? Sighhhhh.

You have to post a pc of that cabinet RC, I've never done decoupage but I'd love to try. And what is modge podge? I'm assuming it's some kind of glue??

Jo Beaufoix said...

Oh, and I already have an idea for your eye candy film post, but I'll keep thinking abut it too. Mmmm. Eye candy.

Potty Mummy said...

So, now I finally know what decoupage means...

My life is complete. And the boy's rackety old chest of drawers may be in for a new lease of life.

PixelPi said...

Love Actually has become my all-time Christmas movie. And I love decoupage. Somehow you must combine the two.

And then send them to me, of course.

kitten said...

Gosh! I have been wanting a file cabinet for a long time. Maybe I'm not throwing a big enough fit. LOL!

laurie said...

wow. mary engebreitsen. hmmmm. that means you have a sentimental and romantic streak in you.

though since you love "love actualy," i guess i knew that already.

i do know that feeling of throwing something away and then regretting it. it's painful!

oh, and the only eye candy for me? Ciaran Hinds. you'd better post a big picture of him with your thursday three. hopefully, wearing that gigantic and absurd hat he wore in "persuasion," the best chick flick of all time bar none.

in my book, you only need a thursday One this week. persuasion.

auntie barbie said...

What a lovely way to spend an afternoon!
Crafting is my winter therapy, until spring when I switch to gardening.

Kimberly said...

I went from wanting to see pics of the file cabinet to seeing pics of my favourite eye candy movies play across the movie screen of my mind. ~sigh~

The Rotten Correspondent said...

altaglow - riiiight....

sweet irene - I've found that you can decoupage almost anything. The FG drew the line at the fireplace surround!

stacie - what isn't to like about that movie? It's got it all.

kaycie - ewww. Decoupaged chicken poop.

my two cents - I'll post a picture when it's done. It's not there yet. And there was no See's candy in this scenario because I don't want to share it with any kids!

flowerpot - I'm right there with you on both Liam Neeson and Alan Rickman. Any man than can almost make Sevarus Snape look good is okay by me.

Jo - Modge Podge is a type of glue. You can get it in matte or shiny finish and you use it to stick paper on to something and also to coat it afterwards. It goes on like white glue but dries clear.

Okay. Liam Neeson, Alan Rickman, Colin Firth. Anyone you COULD be forgetting??????

potty mummy - I've done small pieces of furniture. They can be really cute. Especially with all the specialty papers available now for scrapbookers - they're gorgeous and all different styles.

pixelpi - I adore this movie. Not just the cast, but the whole idea. Must think on how to combine the two. Hmmm...

kitten - well, you notice that even with throwing a fit it took me a year and a half to get one! Gee, and I thought I was good at throwing fits!

laurie - now you know that I'm a chick flick junkie, but I'd never heard of Persuasion. I'm taking your comment as a recommendation. What's it about?? Or does it even matter??

auntie barbie - I like crafting for the relaxation factor. I like to knit, too.I'm just not good at it. (Kind of like gardening!) But I do enjoy it.

kimberly - that's the great thing about eye candy movies. You don't even need a screen!

Anonymous said...

We have the most revolting filing cabinet in one of our junk rooms in the house. It's yours if you want it!! The farmer thinks it's great and comes in for all things we don't need anymore. Hmmm, work that one out.

Crystal xx

Kaycie said...

Oh, RC, do you think you're getting off that easy? I didn't say decoupage the chicken poop, silly.

You could knit me something.

Willowtree said...

Gee, art prints, craft exercises and a chick flick, what more could a guy ask for?? Oh wait, I know...a break!

The Rotten Correspondent said...

crystal - that's what my husband thinks about file cabinets, too. Just keep stuffing all the crap in.

kaycie - oh, honey. Wouldn't you rather have something you could show in public? My knitting is, um, different...

WT- you just start thinking about YOUR idea of an eye candy film, buddy. Enquiring minds want to know. (And I promise you won't have to go through word verification).

The Rotten Correspondent said...

Actually, kaycie...tell me your favorite colors. I'll knit you a scarf.


Iota said...

I can't believe there is a blog post on 'Love, Actually' and 22 comments, and NO-ONE has mentioned Hugh Grant. Am I on the right blog here? Confessions of a Rotten Correspondent? Yes? I am? Well, how do you explain the no Hugh thing then?

The Rotten Correspondent said...

Iota - well, I alluded to him in the comment back to Jo, but I try to not mention him by name because some people start in on my taste.

But tomorrow - on the eye candy Thursday 3 - you'd better bet he'll be there.

Remember my personal Hugh philosophy - if he can't make it better, it isn't fixable.

Diana said...

Sorry, I'm just starting to get caught up. Christmas and the whole season have kicked my ass at work and in Santa-land, which is what my loft has turned into.

Love Actually makes me swoon. As does Bridget Jones, but I'm getting ahead of you.

(And where's the picture of The File Cabinet Mark II?)

laurie said...

"persuasion" is based on a jane austen novel. it's all about misunderstanding, and well-meaning people persuading others to do what turns out to be the exactly WRONG thing.

lovely, motherless spinster (at 28, or something. you know jane austen) anne elliot has been in love for 10 years with captain wentworth.

he proposed 10 years ago, but he had no money, and she was persuaded by a well-meaning neighbor to turn him down.

so he went off to sea.

and made a fortune.

and now he's coming back, rich and handsome.

and there the movie begins.....

i actually blogged about it last spring.

go here, if only to gaze upon ciaran hinds

Jen said...

26 comments is a dry spell? As they say in the 9That's damn for those of you who are phonetically challenged).

I confess to not having seen Love, Actually. Should I turn in my girl card now?

Kaycie said...

Well, I was totally teasing you, RC. I can't knit and I'm just jealous.

I will jump on the Hugh Grant bandwagon with you right now. He just makes me melt.

But, Laurie, honey, Ciaran Hinds? Really? When RC said eye candy I was thinking more along the lines of Val Kilmer or Johnny Depp, or perhaps David Duchovny. Ciaran Hinds just doesn't do it for me.

Kaycie said...

Oh, and besides the teasing, I was trying to up your comment count. See how nice I am to you?

The Rotten Correspondent said...

Diana - I love Bridget Jones, but let's be honest. If Hugh Grant is in it I'm there.

And if it makes you feel any better, I'm getting my ass kicked by this season too! As Jen would say day-um!

laurie - I'll have to read your post. But I do have to say that when I googled him I recognized him from Rome. Loved Rome. (What I saw anyway).

jen - DAY-UM! Go get this movie NOW!! Give me your address or something. Do not let one more day of your life go by without seeing it. There's a music aspect of it that you of all people will get a huge kick out of.

GET UP! Go to Target! NOW!

kaycie - oh, thank god. I've been feeling very alone here. The British contingent think he's a wimp and a weenie. (He may be. What the hell do I care? I just want to look at him. Forever).

I really will knit you something. I can do scarves. Mostly.

Anonymous said...

I love what you did to the file cabinet. What a great idea. Sounds like a very theraputic way to spent an afternoon. Good way to zone out all the stresses of real life. I loved Love Actually...I am with you on Hugh Grant!

Teresa said...

My daughter (age 20) got Love Actually from her Secret Santa and it is sitting upstairs on her desk. Now I'll have to carve out time to watch it before she returns to Chicago. She said it is a very sweet film and 'good for the holidays'.