Allow me to share with you one of my fancier quirks: The inability to do anything anything without a vision.
Not like a psychic vision, but a mental vision. As in, I need to be able to see whatever it is (running a race, shaving the cat, climbing a rock, peeling my lazy butt off the couch) in my mind before I can get started on step 1.
Good because: I don't go off half-cocked and waste a bunch of time doing stupid things (most of the time) that come out crappy and have to be thrown out/returned/apologized for.
Bad because: Sometimes there's no time for a vision and one must proceed forward unguided by pictures in one's head.
And this is where I get into trouble. Any shopping trip of mine that starts out without a clear vision inevitably turns into a day sucker where I wander from store to store, not looking for anything in particular, but spending endless moments asking myself if I need another purse or perhaps a hat - yes a hat! - for those sunny days in the garden, and oh couldn't I use a new pair of gardening gloves or what about some more tank tops to replace the ones I've destroyed with my lady sweating, oh and what about these jeans I could use some new jeans because my favorite ones are developing a hole in the hip so what about a...
You see what happens? My mind unravels.
So - I have to have The Vision to keep it all raveled up and working in a straight line.
Last Sunday was an example of me shopping without a vision.
And this is photo of what happens when my mind unravels, I lose focus, forget what I like and don't like, can't listen to one more minute of the Fabric Frau bitching at the register, make compromises and eventually give up just so I don't have to listen to another Doo-Wop song on the scratchy overhead sound system:
Allow me to identify the pieces of this photo that resulted directly from the personal crime known as Shopping Without a Vision.
Floral Fabric: I am really not a floral fabric person. At least not florals that come in pastelly colors with tiny hand painted looking flower buds and leaves in that paley green that reminds me of my mom's spare comforter in the hall closet. This napkin fabric is an exact replica of my mind's example of unFinny floral fabric. Yet, here it is on my table, folded up as part of this project.
Because I shopped without a vision, that's why. And by the time I'd finally chosen a fabric (the butterflies) that I liked, this was the only other fabric that would also match the striped fabric that I chose during a separate moment of bad judgement.
My justification for the floral print, and the overall scheme here, was my imagination hearkening back images of vintage whimsy from a recent shopping trip to Anthropologie, where, thanks to the supervision provided by my dear mum, I managed to buy a dress which was at once unFinny and totallyFinny - thus creating this erroneous idea in my mind that I had the ability to stray from my typical style into areas of blended patterns that include florals.
I'm not to be trusted when the job calls for matching up more than two fabrics. I get all attached to one fabric and then spend a ridiculous amount of time listlessly staring at novelty patterns after I realize that there isn't a single other fabric in the store that will achieve the Project Nirvana that I'm seeking so why not just give up, throw down everything and lose ourselves in Strawberry Shortcake nostalgia.
Striped Fabric: This is me giving up and going for the easy match. I don't like pink, so this is an obvious manifestation of me throwing in the towel and deciding that I'd rather have the fun hand-stamped looking butterflies and the boring pink stripes than no butterflies at all.
At the time I was also caught thinking, "Maybe there's a way I can maximize the amount of green that shows and minimize the pink".
Again, wrong. As you can see here - the pink is out there for all to behold.
Finally, The Butterflies: I won't lie here and tell you that they caught my eye the second I walked into the store. No, they were second choice after a long bout of hemming and hawing over some legitimately appealing Far East-type fabric which proved to be of a rust color that was impossible to match. You'll remember this "Color not found in nature" issue from the Surprise Cowboys incident. It seems to be a common theme with me and the fabric store. I manage to find the one pattern that speaks to me on a spiritual level and then am unable to find a single other fabric on the face of the earth (in the store) that can get within a mile of the Fabric of My Dreams without activating my gag reflex.
This may be a problem that even The Vision cannot solve.
Anyway, I'll sum the whole situation up and say this: the pattern itself was just fine - easy and straightforward with excellent results. And, really, the combination of stripes, florals and butterfly patterns isn't atrocious - in fact, it's kinda pretty - but it's not me.
However, it is perfect for the Mahjong Mistress of Sonoma County who happens to be celebrating an 84th birthday next month and who might enjoy some new linens for her weekly rounds with the tiles. That Mistress is my grandmother, who I affectionately call Fluffy, and I think these might go nicely on her table as she kicks the other ladies' butts at Mahjong.
Meanwhile, I'm still fantasizing about the FarEast fabric I originally picked up and am now determined to make myself a set of linens with it and some other mythical fabric that I'm certain exists somewhere.
And, in a moment of irony and actualization, I folded up the (large) remnant of the floral fabric only to find that the fabric's name was printed along the raw edge: Granny Floral.