Sunday, June 19, 2011

Paintin' on a Sunny Afternoon

And I love to live so pleasantly
Live this life of luxury
Lazing on a sunny afternoon
- Sunny Afternoon, The Kinks
Days and days and days of rain... and it's probably not over yet. We were lucky to have some sunshine this afternoon. Rascal is lazing around on the deck, hubby is watching a movie on the History Channel... ahhh...

I had no plans this weekend. I figured I would do a bit of work on some projects in progress, knitting and otherwise, but I woke up this morning with an urge to paint.

I don't paint, in case you were wondering. I do love to play with paint, though.

In my days working at Michaels, I spent a lot of Saturdays on the store floor with projects for kids to do. One of my favourite standbys was painting terracotta pots - cheap, easy to do, and satisfying for the kids. (In case you are wondering, acrylic paint will stain, and I am obliged to tell you after a mom threatened a lawsuit when paint stained her coat... ahem...)

Anyway, I purchased a couple of terracotta pots at the local dollar store a couple of weeks ago. My intent was to use them to hold small balls of handspun yarn for plying. You put the ball under the upside-down pot, thread the yarn through the hole in the bottom, and then attach it to the spindle for plying. They keep the balls of yarn from bouncing around while you concentrate of spinning the spindle.

Originally, I was just going to paint one red and the other blue, just so that I could keep track where each strand of yarn was coming from as I plied. This morning, I went down to the basement to dig out some paintbrushes, and I found some bottles of acrylic paint in various shades of blue, as well as brown, white, and even some metallic gold. This was a bit of a surprise to me, because I thought I'd given away all my paints and paintbrushes in a fit of cleaning last summer. I dug around a bit more and unearthed some cheap artist brushes and sponge brushes.

I washed each pot clean of the pricetags stuck to them. That was a bit of mistake, because it being a rainy morning, it took FOREVER for them to dry. I didn't want to make the mistake of painting damp clay, so after I ate lunch, I popped them each into the oven at 65C/150F for 15 minutes, and that dried them nicely.

Then, I spent the afternoon painting. While I painted, I kept thinking about how long it had been since I'd done this. When had I last worked on something purely on a whim? I normally plan things out, turn things over and over in my head, tumbling the rough ideas into smooth steps. Today, no. Woke up. Thought about it. Did it. Nice.

These pots are inspired by batik fabrics. I started with a couple of motifs and just kept painting until I couldn't think of anything more to put on them. They're a little shaky since I have no training for this kind of thing, but I like them.

I've sealed them with some Modge Podge (also leftover from my Michaels days), and I'm very happy with them. I may seal them later on with some polyurethane, but we'll see how well the Modge Podge does. It's tough to stop "improving" things sometimes.

So, the bathroom didn't get cleaned, I didn't work on my knitted blanket, and I didn't work on the computer. I painted two pots. I had a nap, and painted some more. Nice.

Here's to unplanned projects with no time limits and with the singular purpose of beauty. Thanks, sunshine!


  1. That sounds like a perfect day to me :) I love how they match but are still very unique! Any ideas what you're going to use them for now that they're complete?

  2. I'm still going to use them for my yarn plying. I figure that I should spend as much time looking at them as possible!

  3. If they're still tacky by the end of the day, I think I might seal them with some polyurethane, though. Yarn on a sticky pot doesn't seem like a good idea to me.

  4. They are lovely! I'm sure they will help you ply.