Friday, January 30, 2009

Really Bad Blue

It was after my mother had died that I decided to strip off the kitchen wallpaper. My husband had returned to his job in another state so I had plenty of time to work. Originally I had hung the wallpaper. It was a small vinyl print with little green flowers on a white background - so very 1980's. I pushed the furniture into the center of the room. It was good therapy, peeling the old covering, then washing off the glue. It didn't matter if there were piles of paper on the floor. Although the removal was therapeutic, it obviously comes to an end.

Color. Rich, glorious, in your face color. I love it. So it was time to spread my wings and shape up the old cottage. I decided to do an accent wall. Just a little bit of space behind the counter - sort of a poor mans back splash! It would be blue. Deep, vibrant blue.

Getting a new can of paint is like a gift. It's an opportunity to change perceptions of any given space. It was time for a statement. Not waiting to prime, I spread the blue with great gusto. Wait a minute. It's not so great... Why isn't this working? I spent the afternoon trying to make myself enjoy the blue. Sure it needed another 17 coats.... Was I already going to throw in the towel? What would my family think? They would hate it. Sooooooo, at 10pm I was painting over my misbegotten blue. What a mistake. I didn't want anyone to see. But my daughter-in-law called and asked what I was up to. After hedging, I admitted the mistaken color which I was covering up. She said "You have to take a picture". Oh no I don't. She insisted and I did. So here we are almost seven years later. I've started "waitwait" the blog and what could be more appropriate than my mistaken blue.

However, the cottage was now mine and I wanted to be a good steward. Taupe came next. It was neutral, classic but, eventually, boring. Then it was green for about a day and a half. Why was this so difficult? They say you shouldn't make any decisions after a death in the family, but this was just "color". I poured through my extensive color card library. It was a rainy day - a very rainy day. NH was flooding. Roads were closed. People were evacuated. BUT I found my color!! It was terrarosa. The phone rang, it was my brother. "What are you up to today?" he asked. I told him I was going to Sherwin Williams. "But the roads are closed", he said. It made no difference. From the first brush stroke it was love! Terrarosa is not red or rose or peach, it's a compilation of all those colors depending how the light hits it.

The remainder of my blue paint went to the local theater group. Hopefully they have a night time drama coming up soon.

Sooooo don't give up. The longer the journey, the sweeter the arrival.

Really Bad Blue

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Art Lessons

Naturally my granddaughters are the very best, brightest and most talented kids! That being said, we can all use some further instructions in life. That's when my role as grandmother/art teacher began.

DOING stuff has always been interesting for me. Having two eager girls to join my adventures has been gratifying. Not being trained as a teacher, I looked for some guidance. Kumon Workbooks, which are available from the bookstore, offered brightly colored pictures to cut, paste and follow the maze. The material was a great beginning.

It's been fun to see their personalities come out in their work. My six year old spends a great deal of time developing her work. She will do the assignment as well as initiate her own experimentation. My four year old is very passionate. One sticker is never enough, rather she favors a pile format, one on top of another. Her color choice is very dramatic - black is her latest favorite.

Of course we are also creating gifts for the family. Their gifts for Dad were paperweights. I shrunk some of the girls' photos down to stamp size and they used mod podge to glue them onto the rocks. The only glitch was the rocks were quite large. Oh well, it meant more pictures. And should a hurricane hit their Dad's office,he is well prepared.

They have taught me much in this process as well. Once I was taking my four year old through the steps of creating a sea monster. Each one of the coils rose above the surface of the water giving the impression of a mighty beast. When the last coil was ready to put into place, she calmly informed me that she would rather put it on her balloon and did so. It has been a challenge for me to "not help". Even though I wanted the results to be wonderful, I've learned that is not the point.

Saturday, January 3, 2009


One of my objectives in doing this blog is to remain true to my "Mission Statement". No wandering off course. Recently I posted "What's with all those cars and trucks?" It took me four tries until it posted. Soooooo don't give up out there. Although the layout is nothing to write home about - each successive try looked better.

Persistence will, eventually, get the job done. Case in point: the mural at our local Inn. As a kid I painted five foot daisies on the hall wall - no pressure there! The six inch grass was also a piece of cake. Another time I polka dotted my girls' bedroom walls with round red circles of contact paper. So I have a history of adventuresome decorating. The Inn is a totally different situation. The subject has to be recognizable - additionally it has to be a credit to a beautiful old building being gracefully restored.
The reference material came from our town history book. Years ago Labor Day was celebrated with parades and a band concert. As a former "summer person" turned "year rounder" I wonder if all the excitement was due to the annual departure of the summer residents!
The space is about eight feet wide covering two adjacent walls. It's bordered by a chair rail and well lit. Initially the corner of the composition was the most problematic. Once that was resolved the composition fell into place. Sure there are a few cases of "artistic license" but I'm not recreating the photograph.
The first day of work was very intimidating. I wanted to get something recognizable on the wall immediately. I traced over the design I had done at home with transfer paper. Oooooops, I forgot to gesso the wall first. Losing all that work was unacceptable. So I blocked in each area with tinted gesso. It looked like I knew what i was doing!
I photograph the results after each work session, so I have something to study at home. So far the results are encouraging. It appears that, once again, persistence is working.