Self-amusement as an art form:
A couple months back, I salvaged a basic coffee table my neighbors were throwing out. It was made of cheap, heavy pressboard covered in formica, with no interesting architectural details, but it was in decent shape. I already have a perfectly splendid coffee table, one which Boy-Morgan daringly rescued for me off of a construction site scrap heap during a recent visit and which I sanded and stained and varnished until it looked fresh and new.
Still, I thought there was probably something interesting which could be done with this other table.
Last night, I coated it in black acrylic paint. Then I decoupaged the top with a mixture of school glue, water, and twenty-one form rejection letters for Charlotte Dent that I've received from literary agents.
I coated the letters in varnish mixed with a drop of brown paint to bring the glaring whiteness down a notch. The effect isn't noticeable in these lousy photos (I'm still using the $20 Walgreens digital camera, and it's a good workhorse, especially outdoors, but indoor photos look pretty rough). Up close, it looks like they've been stained with coffee, or, in keeping with the struggling-author theme, with cheap whiskey and cigarettes and a thousand tears.
After the decoupage dried, I painted in a black border and coated it in varnish.
There's a possibility I spend too much time being self-amusing. I'm sure this also violates some rule of feng shui, as nothing says "bad energy" quite like keeping a whole bunch of form rejections always in sight.
Still, there was something heartening about getting some practical use out of those cursed letters. And it's a heck of a good conversation piece.