Friday, May 13, 2016
I said it sounded like a serger, which I actually do not possess. Never particularly wanted one, never learned to use one -- but also, according to policy, would never turn down one if offered.
I never, ever turn down donations. Even if it's not something I can use, I know someone who can, and I never want to turn off the stream of donations. Too much of what I make comes from that stream, and it's helped a lot of other folks out as well.
So I go around to get the machine, and they hand me a big Rubbermaid tub. I thank them kindly and haul it home, only to unload and find out it's two sergers, an older Singer model and a relatively new Baby Lock Eclipse. The Singer is complete (even to the manual), but the Baby Lock was missing its foot pedal and power cord. I know I can source these, so it's not a big deal, but I did text my friend and mention the fact, and ask her to pass on to the niece and nephew that if they find it in the basement to let me know.
A few days later, I get a call from the nephew. "We're at the apartment today," he says. "If you want to come over and look for that cord, feel free. You know what it looks like better than I do."
I text my friend to thank her for passing on the message and she sends a warning: "Don't come home with anything!"
The apartment was a treasure trove. The late tenant was indeed an artist, and worked with everything from paint, clay, papier-mache, jewelry, rhinestones, taxidermy and who knows what else. Every passing idea was given full rein, and every possible supply was purchased to support his habit. It was glorious, and it looked like something out of a movie crossed with a particularly artsy episode of Hoarders.
As an example, the bathroom had a six foot long clawfoot bathtub. Over the tub, mounted horizontally on the wall, was a series of narrow antique wall mirrors, the kind generally hung vertically between windows. At the foot of the tub was a large angel sculpture, nearly lifesized, covered in rhinestones and faux ivy, and draped with -- what else? -- strands of twinkle lights. The whole place was like that.
So now my downstairs hall looks like an explosion in a fabric store, and I actually had to fend off a donation of another six machines last week. I did. I said no. Because they were vintage, and collectible, and the family could actually make money off them on Craigslist, and because where the hell would I put them in the meantime?
The recent Brother machine has made its way over to the place where I teach, along with a big blue Ikea bag of fabric. The spring semester started recently and the kids needed more stuff to work with.
And at the end, I'm really impressed that there's someone out there -- and who was so close by! -- who had even more sewing machines than I do. It makes me feel a little less . . . hoarder-ish.
Though I have to admit, I'd like a big glittery angel looming over my tub. Not sure what Mario, or the cats, would think about that.