Monday, August 8, 2016

Summer days with lace curtain

These beautiful (dry, windy, hot) summer days are going by so quickly. I eat warm yellow peaches every day, two-handed, leaning over the sink, like a greedy child. I shred, chop, or slice zucchini into everything I eat, and still more arrive on my doorstep--zucchini is so hard to love, but it is here in abundance, and I am doing my best. If I shred it into a green salad, I don't even notice it's there, which apart from the garbage is my favorite way to dispose of a zucchini.

Looking for new ways to make a fresh mess, I conducted a little experiment with a white polyester lace curtain from the thrift store. White doesn't seem to have much place in my messy life, and this proper granny curtain was looking a little prim in the window. A little too clean. What with the polyester and all I despaired of being able to dye it, and I was about to go in search of a dirtier-looking one when I suddenly remembered a tidbit gleaned a few years ago from an Annie Sloan book--you can use chalk paint to "dye" fabric. (Maybe you've seen the beautiful blue curtains she made from antique linens and, dang, blue paint. Amazing. There's a picture of them here.) I had some chalk paint in the cupboard already--Folk Art Chalk in a sort of brownish-gray color called "Castle". Annie's instructions say to mix 1 tablespoon of paint with about 1 liter of tepid water--now, I have no idea how much a liter is, so I just put a blob of paint into a bowl and then filled it with what seemed like approximately some water, maybe a half-gallon--and then stirred it with my hands until I couldn't feel the paint blob anymore. I dunked the curtain in there, wrung it out, and hung it on the clothesline, where the hot wind blew it dry in about four minutes.

I ironed it to set the color, and then hung it in the window, where it fluttered very satisfyingly, in a very summer-cottage kind of way, and where it looked properly dingy and not white at all. I can't quite believe it worked--I have painted a lace curtain, and lo, it is good. All of a sudden, anything can be any color I want. Holy cow, nothing is safe.

Off now to eat another peach.