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If These Walls Could Talk

Love, Life, and Time

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11/01/2011 - Time marches on, but do-it-yourself projects never end. I've spent the last several years helping my mother repair and redecorate her home. It's been done with very little of the work hired out. Our budget has consisted mostly of ingenuity, elbow grease, and bargain hunting. A few rooms are now finished, a few are untouched, and a few are torn up and filled with construction materials. Being in the middle of this project however couldn't stop Mom's 80th birthday from rolling around. Since 80 years is an accomplishment that couldn't go unnoticed, a party was planned. A summertime picnic in the yard of her mountain home was the most pleasant option, so we locked off the under-construction part of the house and planned the party to fill the rest.

One room had to be finished before the party. All of the guests would pass through the front entry porch to reach the buffet lunch. Finishing the porch became a birthday goal. The porch was dry-walled and beautiful window trim work was done by my aunts and uncles. We then painted, and put in simple indoor/outdoor carpeting. Yet the room was bland without a solid decorating theme. My mother's love of butterflies provided our theme.

A badly beat-up bench was refinished and reupholstered with a butterfly print fabric. The bench added a little flair, yet the porch still felt unfinished. Several talents then came together to provide an artistic element as a decorative anchor-point. Casper poet Vickie Windle wrote a poem about a butterfly as a personal gift to my mother. A wall art print was made of the poem and illustrated with butterflies from the print fabric of the entryway bench's upholstery. The print was beautifully matted and framed. The result was lovely.

Oftentimes a decorating theme is built around a piece of artwork. It's rarer for artwork to be specifically created to fit a theme. A simple way for us to do this was by scanning a piece of the bench fabric and artistically altering it on computer. The computer-generated image was then saved in tiff format on disk and taken to the local photo shop to be printed on high quality photo paper. The result was a one of a kind of archival quality print.

The print and bench were placed at one end of the porch. The other end was laden with 80 roses. The yard was filled with every patio table and lawn chair we could gather in the neighborhood. The teenagers from next door arrived with a car brim-full of balloons. Becky Wise made a cake that was yet another work of art. One couple sat spooning on a swing, and Wendle Culbertson sketched the scene. Sweet summer sunshine--- love , life, and time are what a home is built of.

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Chris Walsh

Casper In Home Care LLC

Ark Animal Hospital

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