Monday, July 19, 2010

Coral Cupboard

Some time back -- ten, maybe fifteen years ago -- I decided it would be nice to paint the inside of my kitchen cabinets red -- or rather, a coral-ish red. Just a nice surprising pop of color when I opened a cabinet, I thought,  would be refreshing.

And I thought and thought about it and now and then brought home paint chips of the sort of color I envisioned but it remained a 'someday' project -- hardly necessary but fun.

Then, finally, last year, when I had turned in the manuscript for The Day of Small Things, I actually went and bought some paint, mixed to what, according to the paint chip, was just the color that had been haunting me, lo these many years.

Well, you know how that goes. Suddenly I was caught up in writing Under the Skin -- and playing catch up from the beginning. The brave little can of coral paint languished in a dark corner, collecting dust. 

Yesterday dawned hot and humid and it seemed a good time for an indoor project -- preferably one that could be executed in front of a fan and listening to a recorded book.

In fact, it seemed a good time to begin the coral paint project!
I began with the cupboard where my spices and baking supplies, teas and vitamins stay.  Just getting things out, deciding if they really needed to be tossed out or if the jars only needed a good wipe -- that part took well over an hour.  

Finally though, the cupboard was empty and wiped down with alcohol in hopes of providing a clean surface for my long-awaited coral paint. I pried open the can and began.


Horrors! What appeared was a dreadful Pepto-Bismal pink! I mean, REALLY awful! 

Arrgh!
 The dab of dry paint on the can's lid, however, was the coral-ish red I'd wanted and I know that paint color changes as it dries so, only slightly daunted, I painted on, enjoying  Neil Gaiman's Ananzi Boys as I worked.

Three coats later, it settled down to a more respectable coral -- not yet as dark as the color on the paint can lid but okay by me. After all. it would be mostly hidden when I put things back.
Later in the evening, as I was doing the dishes after supper, I glanced at my handiwork and was startled by a quick flash of memory -- when I was growing up, our neighbors had an outdoor party room with a tiny enclosed bar. I think that I remember this coral color back there -- behind the shelves? Inside the cabinets? 

I can't be sure -- but is it possible I've been carrying this idea  -- not ten or fifteen years but over fifty? 


And what other projects does my subconscious have in store for me?


First I'd better finish those other cupboards.
Posted by Picasa

25 comments:

Bernie said...

I wasn't sure what I thought until I got to the last picture and I really like it......it does look very nice, good for you Vicki. You put me to shame......:-) Hugs

Martin H. said...

I love the idea of opening a cupboard, to be confronted with a vivid colour.

But where do these ideas come from? A good question, and the book of answers is probably sitting on a coral painted shelf somewhere in what we call our subconscious. Nice post!

Callie said...

What fun! Great idea... I would like to give it a go.

Pat in east TN said...

What a neat idea, but when I saw the beginnings of your color I was a bit taken back ... WOW! ... the the end result is quite nice.

Brian Miller said...

the first shot (pink) gave me that feeling in the pit of my stomach, when good intentions go bad, but glad it turned out nice in the end. i like a splash of color...

Jean Baardsen said...

Love it! How many cupboards are left?

Vicki Lane said...

Thanks, Bernie!

Great comment, Martin -- the book of answers on that coral-painted shelf in our subconscious,

Believe me, Pat and Brian, I felt the same way at first. But now the color has calmed down -- and is mostly covered up. And, of course, the cupboards stay closed most of the time. But I am enjoying the surprise when I open the doors.

Two more above the counter top, Jean. On the ones below, I may just paint the doors.

Elora said...

What a daredevil! Another great story with a great ending!
Elora

FOLKWAYS NOTEBOOK said...

Vicki -- Projects can linger in the mind for years. I have a writing project that has lingered with me for 34 years. It always seems to get shoved to the back of the line because of the myriad of other projects that press on me. Good for you that you found the time to tackle your cupboards.

evalinn said...

That´s pretty funny, and I do like the end result!

Deanna said...

I never would have thought of painting the inside of my cabinets a bright color. I'll have to admit that the pepto pink was a shock. It is amazing how much darker the paint dried. I like it. I hate painting the inside of cabinets and book shelves, though. So... mine will probably stay white for that reason alone.

Have a wonderful day.

Jon Lee said...

I like the coral. I'm going to paint my bedroom a shade of aqua and my bathroom too. I'm going a little darker than I normally do. It's fun to have that splash of color. We had an aqua living room when I was little. I can't wait to read your new book. It sounds really intriging.

Friko said...

"After all, it would be mostly hidden when I put everything back" . . . . .

Are you sad now that it the gorgeous colour is mostly hidden? Leave the doors open, accidentally, occasionally, and you can enjoy the fruits of your labour.

jennyfreckles said...

Well, it turned out beautifully but I did wonder when I saw that pink....!

willow said...

Oh wow-wee!! What a fun pop when you open the doors! I love it!! You've inspired me to do something fun like this!

Star said...

I love the coral. It looks so warm and friendly when you open the door and it goes with the spices too. However, it doesn't go with your blue tiles, does it? so now you're going to have to think carefully......
I can well believe that you carried that idea around in your head for forty years. Things which make an impression for good stay with us and things which upset us stay with us too, sadly.
Blessings, Star

Vicki Lane said...

Elora - My niece once said to me, looking at my tee shirt/over shirt combo, "Well, you're certainly not afraid of color."

Folkways -- It wasn't so much finding the time as deciding that it WAS the time.

Thanks, Evalinn and Deanna!

Jon Lee -- Our bedroom has been a deep turquoise for the past ten or fifteen years -- I'm getting ready to make a change there too -- I've really loved it but am ready for something different.

Friko and Willow -- I open those doors many times a day and grin happily each time.

Believe me, jennyfreckles, so did I!

Star -- It doesn't matter if it goes with the tiles --it only shows when I open the doors.

pat said...

love it...but I am curious, what is that board up above the cabinets? Is it something painted on wood? Or paper litho on wood? It is really beautiful form what shows in the photo!

Victoria said...

Vicki, when I saw that shocking pink I gasped so loudly that I scared my husband, lol. I'm so relieved that it settled down with more coats. The deep blue of your tiles and the rosy coral will complement each other wonderfully when you have the doors open.

I'm certain you could have carried that color around in your mind for many, many years, since color can make such powerful impressions on us, even influencing our behavior.

Suz said...

Your cabinets are wearing sexy underwear
I love it

Vicki Lane said...

Pat - that's a print of a Japanese scene -- probably from a screen. I got the print from some avant garde 'magazine' that came as bits and pieces in a box back in the late Sixties or early Seventies. John affixed it to a board and varnished it and it hung in out kitchen back in Florida and made the move with us in '75. Sharp eyes! I tend to forget it's there. I need to wipe the grease and dust off it.

Victoria -- I tend to have a very good color memory -- faces, on the other hand, I don't do well.

Suz -- what a great comment! Love it!!!

Carol@ Writers Porch/ Book House said...

I think it looks dashing! Puts me in mind of Tuscany! I'll be seeing it for myself late August!! :)

Merisi said...

Somehow my mind is going haywire: I see a cupboard painted turquoise, another one painted sunflower yellow, here, an apple green one .... hold me ... those cupboard doors are talking ... oh no............

Vicki Lane said...

Do it, Merisi! Do it!

Tipper said...

I like it! And I bet it did come from your childhood memory. Amazing how many things are imprinted on our minds and hearts from when we were children.