There’s nothing like settling down at the kitchen table with a palatte of paints and tiny pots of liquid gold and transforming a formerly unwanted handmade mug into an artifact from Hobbiton or Ithilian. It’s like being a props production person without the film schedule hanging over your head. Much that once was is lost . . . but when what remains surfaces in thrift shops and warehouses, then I hope I am there to receive it, take it home, put on my Extended Edition LOTR soundtracks, pull out my paints and utensils, and see what takes shape.