Sunday, March 29, 2009

Mermaids Revisited

I felt the need to revisit my love of mermaids and how it has contributed to the decor of my house. My husband got new orders, so we packed up our belongings, kids and cats and headed to what became the Jewel in the Crown of our military postings: Key West! We had 3 1/2 years of fun in the sun on that quirky, friendly, come-as-you-are, tropical island. I will blog more about our time in Key West, but for now this post will be about the Trading Spaces Mermaid.

Most of you are familiar with The Learning Channel's (TLC) show called Trading Spaces. While we were living in Key West they taped a show down town. One day, while watching television, that episode aired. It was obvious by the end of the program that one of the participants was not at all happy with the results of the trade. We liked what Frank had done to her little place. A couple of weeks later we were walking around town and stopped in a local bookstore and who should be behind the counter, but the disgruntled Trading Spaces lady. We chatted with her, got her take on the experience. We asked since she did not like the design, what ever happened to the mermaid that was central to the new decor? She said she had taken it off her wall and set it out on her porch. Could we have it?, we asked. Certainly, for a nominal fee. That is how we became the proud owners of a piece of Trading Spaces memorabilia. She now hangs in the living area of my guest cottage.

Key West holds a sunset celebration at Mallory Square every evening. There you can see many vendors selling food, jewelry and art. You can also see the famed Cat Man who has miraculously trained his house cats to do amazing tricks, as well as fire-eaters, jugglers, dogs jumping through hoops, a man walking on broken glass and musicians. One evening we were at the celebration and happened to see the local artist who painted our mermaid. We told him that his original artwork had a nice home with us. I saw the relief in his eyes, knowing that his handiwork was not at the bottom of some landfill.
We had made one more lovely mermaid purchase while in Key West at at nice chandlery filled with all things nautical. We were poking around the shop when we spotted her. She is a solid wood, antique, ship's prow figurehead. She hangs on my living room wall with some, as seen on T.V., Hercules Hooks, because she is heavy.

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