I did enjoy myself yesterday.
One of the things that I transported to Coventry when I took my daughter to start the University phase of her life, was a large print from Ikea with a mathematical theme (reduced to next to nothing I believe - mathematical themed posters clearly do not have wide appeal). The print was packaged against a cardboard back and wrapped in cellophane. Once we had hung it on the wall of the room she will call home for the next 36 weeks, I put the packaging back in my car to take away and recycle for her. I was neglectfully remiss with my recycling. Two weeks later and the large rectangle of cardboard was still in the back of my car.
Yesterday, it came out. Not to be recycled. To be reused.
I was thinking about the Sylvanian Families Twitter Party that I will be hosting next Tuesday and wondered if there were any decorations or scene setters I could use to help create a party atmosphere. Blackcurrant Cafe is one of the many lovely playsets available from Flair so I thought that I could easily give our dining area a Sylvanian makeover. I used the cardboard to make a Cafe sign (no menu as yet!) and had enough left for a little signpost as well.
I used some old acrylic paints that belonged to my daughter, Liberty, back when she did her Art GCSE. Liberty always found academic subjects easy but Art really challenged her. She did not possess much in the way of natural ability but her dogged determination to succeed saw her achieve a grade C. The lone C may look like a failure amongst the A*s that she was awarded for just about everything else, but for me, that C represents a huge triumph. I am incredibly proud of her for that C.
One of Liberty's Art coursework projects is still lying around in the garage somewhere. It is a huge, ugly purple flower thing without many redeeming features. It was, however, the exact shade of purple I wanted for my Blackcurrant Cafe sign. I didn't think it would be too difficult a task to mix red and blue to make purple. How wrong I was. By some strange transformation, red and blue made brown. I tried again and made an equally dingy shade of yuck. I tried several times, mixing together different proportions on the off chance some magic would happen. It didn't. Could the fact that the paint was some 7 years old have had an effect? My 15 year old confidently took over to save me from myself ... and made a lovely vivid russet! I am not one who gives up easily. Eventually, using a lot of red and a little of one of my reject shades I made a colour that, compared to it's predecessors, looked acceptable. I amalgamated all my previous attempts to make a grimy pot of gloom - perfect for Hallowe'en crafts.
By comparison with the mixing, the painting bit was easy. In the dim light of energy saving light bulbs I thought it looked pretty good. In the cold light of day I feel less inclined to run away to Paris to start a new life as an artist but in terms of creating a bit of Sylvanian atmosphere, I think I achieved my objective. And I loved it. It was so relaxing and the sensory pleasure of slopping the paint about is something I'm sure I will never tire of.
There are strong indications that my little boy shares my passion for paint. This makes me very happy!