I spent this morning with the Oswells. I love this couple. They are in their 70's and wear the age with about as much grace as I've ever seen. They have an authentic love for life and all its sentiment. They have savored every breath and have acquired a collection of treasures as evidence.These relics have been scattered throughout their home like a living scrapbook. 20 to 30 original paintings from his father's hand. Her mother's old hat boxes. The very cool lamp their son made. The piles of quilts and afghans and pillows. Baskets and tins from everywhere filled with balls of yarn for Mitch to knit with. And a houseful of antique wardrobes, dressers, chairs, chests, clocks, stained glass, and window frames.
The moment I stepped into their home, I felt its wealth of eclectic warmth. They confided that they were feeling discouraged because they had recently been told by another designer to scrap much of their collection and buy all new matching pieces. What a tragedy that would have been!
So we've spent the last several months taking inventory and reorganizing their entire home. We added a honey wheat paint to their family room walls, created a unique media/fireplace wall, hung many of John's father's paintings, completely re-shuffled the furniture, painted an old wardrobe, and designed a metal top craft desk for Mitch using some vintage table legs John found on the street. It's been a great creative release.
To show her appreciation, Mitch knitted me a pair of red fingerless gloves. I love them. Can't wait to wear them. I told her I was learning to knit and she could hardly contain herself. Pulled out her book of patterns and gave me a great pattern for knitting a scarf with a clean edge.
As usual, we ended our visit with take out pasta from a great little restaurant in Danville. We sat around their petite oak table and chatted about the recent anniversary of the Loma Prieta earthquake. Where we were, what we were doing. Music from a local alternative rock radio station played in the background. Both of them in their hip J-Crew outfits, laughing out their many stories and filling me up.