One woman, lots of paint and hundreds of tiles. If you're here because you found a painted tile, it's yours to keep.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

All I wanna do ....

So far, I’ve only told a few close friends and my brother about this project – though they don’t know the blog address. I can almost see them shaking their heads.

When I explained Tile Fort Lauderdale to my brother, the phone went so silent that I thought we’d lost our connection. “Are you there?” I asked. “I’m here,” he finally replied. “So what, you thinking I’ve gone off the deep end or something?” “I'm leaning in that direction,” he responded. Others, to varying degrees, had similar reactions. Only one friend seemed to find it perfectly normal to want to do this. But she’s from New York.

I realize this little project makes no sense to some people, but for a person intensely intrigued by Found magazine, Postsecret.com, street art (and candid videos of people reacting to it) and flash mobs (which sadly never made their way to South Florida), it makes more sense than working a second job, as I did earlier this year so I could keep up with inflation. But the extra work made me so tired that I’d just wind up spending the extra money to pay for things I could have done myself if I had the time or energy.

When I die, I don’t want people to remember how hard I worked. I want them to remember me having fun. If I can do it while advancing my skills, that’s even better. I’ll make nothing painting and hiding tiles, but I’m learning how to blog – an increasingly marketable asset - and use a digital camera. I’ve never taken many photographs, but now I do, and have learned to download the pics to my computer, put them in a Photobucket and transfer them to my site. This is no big deal for many people. For me, it’s a big deal.

Then there’s the painting. I acquired 297 tiles four years ago (cheap) from a friend who bought them for a project that never got done. I had plans for the tiles, too, but decided I don’t have the patience for tiling. So they’ve been sitting in my closet for years, as has a cartful of paint leftover from my six-month painting binge a few years back.

So I’m learning new things, getting rid of stuff I don't need and while lost in the process of painting, I’m imagining stories about whatever I paint and thinking about what I’m really supposed to be doing with my life. For now, it’s this. Well, this and my full-time job. I also plan to seek out other fun projects to feature in this blog, because given the increasingly heavy weight resting on everyone’s shoulders, I think we should strive to take life a little less seriously and reward those who head up such efforts.

Later this week, expect a little story on the founders of Dropspots.org. They help people add personal character to the streets by providing a Web site for those who like to hide and/or find things in random hiding places in public areas. I’m planning to use the map they provide to show where I’ve hidden some of my tiles.

So far, Tile Fort Lauderdale makes sense to me and I plan, at least for now, to paint each and every last one of those tiles. I’m obsessive at times.

My last post included Tile #1, titled Pink Kitty ("Milton’s mama told him to visualize his dreams so he started to think pink.") and this post includes Tile #5 Red-Haired Girl ("Her muses were many. Her troubles were few.") and #3 Questionable Kiss (“It was written all over his face, but the answers eluded him.”). If you want them, check back as I’ll be posting the hiding places on Dropspots.org. The paint's still drying on #2 and #4.


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