Thursday, February 9, 2017

Shower Curtain

A long-ago decision to add a shower to the 1890 clawfoot tub generated a series of illuminating design decisions. I installed a rounded rectangle of hospital curtain track on the ceiling over the tub and paid for the first of five custom shower curtains*.

The least expensive, simplest to acquire, most durable, and easiest to maintain of those curtains is also the one least likely to impress a visitor. Changes in the solar exposure of the house necessitated a curtain that will hold no moisture after a shower. In a moment of expedience, I tried a thin waffle-textured plastic painter's drop cloth that cost just a few dollars. I folded the top edge, hammered hardware store brass grommets into place for a few dollars more, and trimmed the bottom edge along the convenient and accurate fold lines of the plastic.

I expected to replace the curtain by now but a recent discovery has extended its life indefinitely. Inserting a spray bottle mechanism into a pint jar of white vinegar allows me to refresh the inner surface of the curtain without having to remove and wash it. Once I figure out how to modify the visual, perhaps with agricultural polyester or a mylar survival blanket, the room should be back in prime condition -30-

*The first currtain was white nylon that transmitted supremely elegant light. The second was made from white cotton sheets. The third, that lasted years longer than the first two, was made from white polyester sheets. All three had to be washed and bleached in a machine, and all three failed from mildew. The learning curve spread over twenty years. The fourth was cobbled together out of a fiber-reinforced white poly tarp. The light was gorgeous, but the thing was too stiff to be practical.  More after the jump.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Procrustean Storage

The many ultra-small apartments that have sprouted in the neighborhood leave me newly conscious of inventory. The rigor of Pomme's digital designs keeps me focussed on the here and now. The banquet of visual information that is the web more than satisfies my hunger for engaging things to observe.

I like to keep a flexible house. To that end, I store away things that are not in active use. If the storage areas can't hold the excess, it simply goes into the thrift bag that lives by the front door. This neighborhood is in the one-hour delivery radius of the big on-line supplier, so I don't have to worry. Following navy practice of keeping two of every staple in reserve cushions shopping deadlines. Things too large for the thrift bag go into the alley on a dry Friday, when they simply melt away as neighbors scrounge on their way home for the week-end.

It is rare that I surplus something valuable enough to sell. An unexpected consequence of my way of managing storage is that the best of my possessions are in daily rotation. The best, it turns out, is the best because usually it is the most durable and aptly designed. No need to bother with the second-rate. Just cheap out with the most utilitarian and then spring for the good stuff -30-
More after the jump.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

The Little Fabric That Can

When polyester crepe first appeared in my world, I tried a nicely cut and patterned blouse from a mid-range designer. It wore like iron and made a good layering piece because it blocked the wind. Not long after, I picked a skirt off a sale rack and tested it. The fabric looked too dressy and fragile for daily use, but that skirt outperformed one cut from denim.

At the moment, I am enjoying life with a couple of poly crepe blouses. I'm pleased that they spare me the trouble of worrying about an iron, hypothermia, or the considerations of personal care that the polyester of old used to generate -30- More after the jump.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Housekeeping And Attention

I have the privilege of being spread thin by choice. The more I pare inventory to basics, the freer I am to invest my energies in knowledge work, family, and community. 

In a design class, I learned to identify and manipulate the focal point or points of a composition. The same holds true for a room or landscape. To my mind, the display on a digital device is focal point enough. Add audio, and a space comes to life -30- More after the jump.