Thursday, May 29, 2008

Free Love

Adulthood rocks. I can eat a milkshake for dinner. I can refuse to play with people I don't like. I can stay up until 1 am on a schoolnight watching movies that give me brain damage. Best of all, I can fall in love with a piece of furniture on a steamy June afternoon then ditch it after the first snow.

Some more prudent folks prefer to hold on even after the love is gone. They keep the papasan chair for the memories, the deflated leather sofa cause it was expensive, and the faux finished dining table because it took 16 hours to get the mixed vegetable pattern just right.

I say, let it go. Take it to Savers and help a college student who has $60 and a roll of shelf paper with which to set up her first apartment. Take it to the Humane Society Thrift Store and thrill a sweet lady who's been looking for a dining table that matches her salad-themes chairs. Sell it on Craig's list. It would rather be with someone who loves it anyway.

Now go and find the perfect thing. You might build it from reclaimed materials scavenged at Resource. You can buy it affordably at Joyful, Feather Thy Nest, or The Amazing Garage Sale. As long as you're not breaking the bank or stuffing the landfill you'll never need to feel guilty that it's not your first or heartbroken if it isn't your last.

June Newsletter

The Monthly Mirth
Your update on all things Joyful

New stuff:

Elegant narrow table for entryway or behind the sofa $249

Snappy handbags from Biscuit designs starting at $45

Antique two-drawer nightstand $199

Pink vanity with circular mirror $299

White desk with swoopy legs $269


June brings everything we like, flowers, bikes, swimsuits, and money. Yep, money. We are
giving away $100 in Joyful furniture credit to whoever wins this contest. All you have to do is tell us what kind of schwag (cheap marketing gift) we should give the students in August that will remind them to furnish their lovely homes at Joyful. It can't be garbage. They have to use it often enough that they'll save it and see our store info again and again. It has to be inexpensive too. Please send your ideas in by emailing me at or just hitting the "comments" button at the bottom of this page. Good luck.


Parking Spaces Friday, June 13th- 11am - 2 pm
As part of Walk and Bike Month Joyful will join dozens of local businesses in a celebration of human-powered transportation and the urban outdoors. We'll have a park set up in our parking lot, complete with plants, benches, and cool drinks. Get a map from GO Boulder and you could win prizes for visiting all the "parks."

Join the Artivist Movement Saturday, June 21, 2008 7:00-9:00 p.m
Art can change the world ~ A fundraiser for Art as Action at Joyful.
Live performances, drinks, hor'dourves, dessert and an excuse to wear a dress.
Tickets are $25 and can be purchased through

Quote of the month:
I'm on the patch right now. It releases small dosages of approval until I no longer crave it,
and then I'm gonna rip it off. -Ellen DeGeneres

Have a Great Month!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Shuffling Orbit

It's still out there. Almost every object you've ever touched still exists. Maybe you lost it, tossed it, or gave it away, but if it wasn't biodegradable, it's still in the world somewhere.

Maybe it's nestled into a landfill serving as a pillow for a sleepy barbie, or spooning with an abalone ashtray. It might be rolling down a hill in a fondue pot or sandwiched between a couple of Van Halen records. It may not have moved for years but if it's lucky, it's been picked up by one of my tribe and is now living the good life.

I seem to attract people with an eye for good garbage. Some of Joyful's furniture is currently on display in an award-winning eco-home made from old shipping crates. Joyful's own glass artist Hannah Upham makes jewelry, boxes, vases, and bells from broken glass that she has fused and molded in a kiln. For the last ten years, an old friend of mine has been building beautiful art quilts out of cast-off drug bags. Another friend sews amazing handbags out of scrap fabric. The diligent dog-owners of Boulder have made a valiant effort to reuse our endless supply of plastic newspaper bags. However, Moe's Ecomats has done them one better by weaving the brightly colored bags into elegant placemats and coasters.

I like to imagine all the lost objects like bees humming in a layer around the globe, inaudible to people who only speak "new." The rest of us, when we need something, just whisper "please" into that low-slung atmosphere and watch it fall into our hands.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Be A Man

I might be the most female thing alive. If it makes you squishy, curvy, or emotional, I've got about as much of it as a human being can carry. If there were a way to sell estrogen, I probably wouldn't be slinging furniture.
As it happens, I'm sitting here at Joyful next to several very handsome pieces and thinking, if they could talk, they'd invite me to take a walk on the man side. No long-term changes, of course, but just a vacation from the usual with an itinerary something like this:

  1. Do something all by yourself, even if it might be smarter and faster to get help.
  2. Keep a thought to yourself.
  3. If that doesn't hurt, try keeping a complaint to yourself.
  4. If that doesn't kill you, try keeping a judgement to yourself.
  5. Give someone your bus seat.
  6. Shovel a neighbor's sidewalk.
  7. Carry something for someone.
  8. Stick up for the little guy.
  9. Stick up for yourself.
  10. Risk total humiliation in a no-holds-barred romantic gesture.
  11. Risk life and limb for fun and adventure.

These pieces of furniture are no beer-swilling frat boys or corporate drones. They wouldn't be caught dead scratching their smelly bellies in front of the game. These are gentlemen.

The dresser is smooth and mod like Tim Roth in Prada. The spiral-leg table is Cary Grant, all coiffed hair and wry humor. The old door halltree is the bartender at your favorite place who smiles for real. The stout ladderback chairs are bodyguards in perfect shape and perfect form.

They've probably got money on whether I can do anything on my man list. If you're interested, they're probably still taking bets.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

A Really Really Goodlooking Band-aid

Okay, fair enough. It's true. Having crap all over your house (as I currently do) is a sign of an unbalanced life. It means you either buy too much, purge too rarely, or spend too much time working/playing/blogging and not enough time nesting.

It would follow then that quick, easy, storage solutions are just band-aids designed to hide the real problem. Whatever. Have you ever been stuck without a band-aid when you needed it? It's the pits. So get some bandaids. Get some really really goodlooking ones.
Like this hall tree for instance. Perfectly sized for kids' jackets, shoes, hats, and gloves all wrapped in a cute little cowboy package. Joyful also has an elegant tall one in espresso brown for grownups.
Our benches don't even get away with just looking pretty. We've got a gorgeous rustic white one with deep drawers under the seat. It looks like the lovechild of a wayward throne and a garden gate.
Some people seem satisfied with a shelf here or there but I'm partial to a cabinet. In some mythical Pottery Barn catalog world, we all fold our sweaters and stack our magazines perfectly on shelves. I like to throw them in something and shut the door. We have a very handy nightstand right now in rustic white that not only has the cutsy little drawer for your "novel" or your "earplugs" but has a big cabinet underneath for whatever else you might have around.
Someday you might not need furniture with storage. You will be calm, balanced, and organized and your spartan little house will be guest-ready at every moment. When that happens you can proudly rip off your storage band-aid. Have fun with that.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

I Love Lamp

My aversion to overhead lighting is so severe I suspect it could be the result of some allergy or mild form of autism that went undiagnosed in my childhood, but it's too late to worry about that now. Now I just shop for great lamps.

Before I invest in a lamp for Joyful, (regardless of whether the investment is a pile of cash or a midnight dumpster dive) I always consider the setting. Just because you love something doesn't mean you should live with it. Compatibility matters.

If your mansion is all cherry/marble/granite shi shi la la you may want to head down to Enlighten or Splashlight to gaze at the handblown beauties. If your pad looks like a go-go dancer from a Russ Meyer movie you'll want to check out Invironments and Design Within Reach. If your cottage likes it a little rustic, you may want to see what we've got at Joyful.

My favorite find of late is a cast iron combo of swirly fleur-de-lis and solid square base. Its deep amber shade looks like Lauren Ambrose in gothic armour. We've also got an elegant pair with vase-shaped bases and ultrasuede shades. Lastly, don't, for a minute, underestimate the powers of a standing lamp. Plugging in a table lamp when you're short on tables or plugs can be tricky. Suddenly little self-supporting illumination is a godsend. We currently have a slender stander with a smart, deco-style glass shade.

The best part of it all is the sound. Wall switches and dimmers don't hold a candle to the sound of a hand-turned lamp switch. At the end of the workday, at the end of the night, after the final word, I love that concise, conclusive sound.