Paper, Scissors...Rock!

When I was reading Courtney's post last week it reminded me of a very heavy decoupage phase I went through when I was first married. As a frustrated artist, I've always enjoyed decoupage as you can end up with a really satisfying result and you don't have to draw anything. Not that I can't draw, but it just never turns out quite like it is in my head. And I'm not great about practicing. I tend to think my first effort is usually the best.

The beauty of decoupage is, all the skills you need you truly did learn in kindergarten. Basically cutting and pasting. But, it doesn't hurt to know Durwin Rice.

Durwin Rice is from Kansas City, but took a tour of duty in New York before coming back home. He wrote the book on decoupage. Literally.

Random House is reissuing his book in February (it's available for pre-order now.) I happen to own a well-worn first edition. It's basically everything you need to know. So who needs John Derian?

Durwin has a store here in Kansas City. Full of paper and plates and trays and all things decoupage.

He even offers classes. Wouldn't that be fun? You and a few friends cutting and pasting your way to a great little creation. "Oh, that? Oh, I made it myself."

Durwin Rice has a storefront on Troost. That might not mean a lot to you if you are not in town. Troost Avenue as a long history as the racial divide in Kansas City. Recently, as happened in the Crossroads District, artists and craftspeople are rediscovering, and resurrecting, Troost.

So, while he's not doing a spot for HGTV, Durwin Rice is working with a movement called "Tulips on Troost."

Durwin has provided the front of his shop as bulb storage. He even took one for the team; when I saw him, he had had a nasty run-in with a wayward shovel.


Last year volunteers planted 70,000 tulip bulbs along the avenue.

Listening to the buzz in the shop on Saturday, it sounds like planting for next year's blooms is well underway. Volunteers are, naturally, welcome.

This is not what I expected to find when I went in search of Durwin Rice. I thought there would be a bit of good paper, maybe some advice on glue. Someone said to me the other day, "You are not the cynic you think you are; you are always surprised when someone does something unpleasant." I'm not sure what it makes me that I am equally delighted when I find out someone is doing something wonderful. Not just livening up a living room, but an entire neighborhood.