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Lisa Curry Mair's "Basic Checks" is a 9-foot-by-12-foot floorcloth in the artist's 200-year-old Vermont farmhouse. A floorcloth should lie flat with no bumps or ripples.
Floorcloths as home-decorating art date back to the 17th century. Artists like Julie Biggs bring them into 21st century with bright, bold color and motifs.
Lisa Curry Mair's "Mariner's Compass" floorcloth may be homage to the mariners' wives who turned their husbands' old sails into floor coverings.
"A floorcloth in a high-traffic kitchen should stand up to dogs, kids and all kinds of abuse," Mair says.
Biggs achieves this worn, layered look by painting and then sanding each layer.
If you were the artistic wife of a sailor back in 17th century France, you didn't let modest means deter you from decorating your home in style.
The city should publish a step-by-step guide for sweeping problems under the rug. It's just become so good at it. That was my first thought after reading the city's report on the Paul Cunningham drunken-sex-talk story.
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