Thursday, June 16, 2011
"Gasp . . . . big sigh. Oh my gosh, I love it! I want it! What in the world would I do with a little pink bathtub?"
These were all the things that came out of my mouth, quietly of course, as I was shopping alone and didn't want to frighten people. That's the thing about talking to yourself - it's ok as long as nobody else hears you!
It all began as I was walking down the main isle at Michaels and spotted this darling little pink bathtub. I gingerly picked up the bathtub, smiling and giggling to myself like a fool, admiring it as though it was a priceless heirloom in a museum. I placed it carefully in my cart, and as I wandered through the store I couldn't stop glancing down at it perched proudly in the front of my basket. Now, I can't say for sure, but I thought I noticed admiring glances from shoppers passing me in the aisles.
The bathtub had a personality of its own: retro but whimsical, fun and funky. It was the most perfect shade of pink, with a touch of girly-girl attitude. At least I thought so.
The guilt feelings for not staying home and cleaning out the basement swiftly left my head. Note to self: Next time you feel like cleaning or something crazy like that - don't give in to the urge!
I tried to imagine who came up with the idea for this little gem. Obviously I'm not the only crazy person out there. Wait . . . crazy is kinda harsh. Eccentric sounds nicer - yes, eccentric. I like to think that my unique tastes are part of my charm.
Pushing my cart along the aisles of the craft store, I tried to enjoy all the beautiful shades of pink and teal yarns, but my mind kept going back to the bathtub - what possible way I could justify buying a pink bathtub? I have so many little silly things like this in the house and just one cabinet to put them in. The entire cabinet is pretty much filled with little antique figurines picked up over the years and handmade treasures from my children. The bathtub was much too big for the cabinet anyhow. After a few more minutes of strolling up and down the aisles I placed it back on the shelf, reassuring myself that if I still really wanted it in a few days I would come back and buy it. And maybe by then it would be on sale, because I never buy anything unless it is on sale or I have a coupon. This is how I try to control myself from impulse buying. It usually works - I just tell myself if I still want it as badly tomorrow or the next day I'll come back. Unless it is the last one or a one of a kind - then I must buy it immediately.
Fast forward one week. I must admit I thought of the bathtub many times during the week, usually at least once a day when wiping off the bathroom counter. Hmmm, where could I put it? I could set it on the ledge surrounding the bathtub, but it would look kind of funny there and most likely get knocked off. How about on the wall on a shelf? Well, we actually don't have much wall space except around the tub, and that is all ceramic tile with an accent border of smaller tiles, so that wouldn't work. Not much space on the bathroom counter either. I think it would fit nicely on my husband's side, since his is always emtpy, but I was pretty sure he wouldn't care for that idea. Hmmmmm.
This week my only sister, Susie, whom I love dearly, came in from out of town, and we decided to do some shopping. I told her I wanted to show her this cute little bathtub, so we stopped in and saw it. She smiled and said, "That's so you!" She thought it was very cute and was not a bit surprised I loved it. I explained my dilemma about where to put it, and she felt certain I would find just the perfect spot.
Now, I'm not positive, but right about then I thought I saw a beam of light shining down from Heaven on this bathtub, and off in the distance I could faintly hear a choir of angels singing - and there it was: a sign showing 40% off. Well, who am I to go against the universe and angels and planets lining up and everything else that fell into place? So I grabbed it. Only two left anyhow.
I told her I felt it needed to have bubbles, and I dragged her over to the floral department where they have those little mesh bags of pretty decorative marbles or stones you can put in vases. I then agonized over whether to have white or clear, and decided on an opalescent clear bag and another pearly white bag. My sister is always amazed at how I will debate over such little details, but again, just part of my charm. I just crack her up! While not super expensive, they weren't cheap or on sale. My mad money was going fast, but I realized I could put some crunched up paper or something into the tub to fill it most of the way up, and then put the marbles on top! See, I saved money already!!
So now we had a bathtub, and we had bubbles. I remembered that near the display where I found the bathtub I had noticed a delicate little pale pink ceramic flower that was actually a votive holder, and a vintagey-looking shabby-chic candle holder with beads dripping off. I'm not sure why, but for some reason it all looked like it belonged together. We went back and put those in the cart. Beautiful! Love them! We grabbed a couple candles on the way out and headed home. I left the store with my precious pink bathtub and these other items:
Once I got home I cleared off my side of the bathroom vanity and Susie and I got to work filling up the bathtub with bubbles. We put the candles in the candle holders, and set everything up. It didn't look right. Just not quite right. We moved things this way, and that way, traded places, changed the angles, but for some reason I just didn't love it . . . yet. I remembered a beautiful old doily my grandmother crocheted, tucked safely away in my desk drawer.
I took it out and placed it on the vanity. I placed the bathtub and candle holders on the doily, and VOILA . . . much better. We stood back admiring our work, chuckling over how silly but charming it was. Yet . . . something was missing. "I know, something needs to be in there taking a bath!" I exclaimed. Surely with all my little antique figurines I had to have something that would fit perfectly. One by one I brought out little girls, angels, bluebirds. None of them looked right.
"Wait a minute, I just remembered something" I yelled over my shoulder as I ran out of the room. I thought about how last weekend at the antique mall I found this really cute, silly little mouse.
I have no idea why I bought this little mouse. It was just so darn cute, I had to. I took it out of the cabinet, and Susie starting laughing when I brought it in the room. We carefully placed this little mouse into the bubbles . . . PERFECT!!! We both laughed out loud and congratulated ourselves on our masterpiece!
We tried to think of a name for the mouse. On the bottom it is stamped "Made in Japan". I thought of Yoshi. That was kinda cute. I also like Pepino, because there is an old Italian song called Pepino the Mouse. My sister's boyfriend later suggested Topo Gigio. The mouse actually looks like Topo Gigio. If you don't know who Topo Gigio is, Google it. So, what do you think? Maybe you can comment and tell me which name you like or suggest another one.
Did you notice the tiny teal washcloth our little mouse has?
I made this for my little mouse. I feel any little mouse that has it's own pink bathtub should have at least one hand-knit soft washcloth too. My next post is going to be a tutorial on how to make your own washcloth. It is a beautiful little luxury that we should all have. There is nothing like a homemade washcloth. I knit them while watching tv at night, and all my friends and family love them. I can't make enough. My sister-in-law, Diane, whom I also love dearly, asked me to teach her how to make one. I'm thinking she is not the only one who would love to do a simple little project like this, so I'll teach you how on my next post. If you can do a basic knit stitch you should have no trouble at all. If you don't know how, just Google "how to knit" and you will find a multitude of instructional videos on the web you can watch. I will put up some links for some along with the post. We will do it together, and you can treat yourself and your loved ones to a little luxury. Handmade, with love. For them . . . from you.
If you are going to join me in making a washcloth, pick up some size 8 knitting needles, (or if you have a size close to that - don't worry, good enough) and a beautiful little skein of some 100% cotton yarn or washable cotton blend in your favorite color. You can buy this yarn at Walmart, Joann Fabrics, Michaels, or Hobby Lobby. You'll have no trouble finding it. Not too expensive, (around two dollars) but so nice. Even better, you could visit your local yarn store, but be prepared to wander around for hours drooling over the beautiful yarns available.
So pick out your favorite color of a very soft yarn. You will love your washcloth. Simple, basic, but sweet and soft. Like Martha says, "It's a good thing."