I spent the day yesterday for the most part working on the fence pieces for Ellen. I am happy with the progress, but as usual it is taking me far more time than I anticipated. I have everything mapped out in my head as to how I am going to paint these, and that helps the process, but it still takes a lot of time to actually accomplish.
I worked on the candy cane piece for most of the time. While it looks simple, painting all the stripes is really the hitch. It is a lot of sections and I like to shade each one so that it gives the piece some dimension. Working with the red is another thing that slows me down, as it takes several thin coats to give the piece the coverage that I want on it. This is where patience comes into play. I really needed to allow things to dry completely or I would be pulling the previous layer of paint off and start up at square one or worse.
I think this is one of the biggest downfalls of those who are trying to paint. (Being patient enough to allow the paint to dry enough to add another layer.) Many times people are in a hurry and either they apply too thick of a coat to begin with or they reapply over paint that is still a bit wet and it tends to make a mess. Acrylic paint such as the paint I use (DecoArt Americana) dries pretty fast, but until it dries, it will still lift if you attempt to reapply the next coat prematurely. For that reason, several thin coats are preferable to one or two thick coats, and the results is much better. On occasion, when I am really trying to move things along, I have used a hair dryer for a couple of minutes to speed things up, but for many projects it is just as easy to move to another area or color and come back later. This is the difficult part though, as for the moment the color may look uneven and streaky, But as soon as you begin to (properly) build the coats, you will see that the paint adheres to itself quite nicely and soon you have beautiful, even coverage and are ready to shade or highlight.
In between painting, I did make my mushroom perogies for dinner. I hadn’t had a lot of success in making perogies in the past, as I have always tried to make the sweet cheese variety. I had trouble sealing the little pockets, as the cheese mixture was a bit too thin and then when I threw them in the boiling water, they would seep all over. They tasted good (what was left of them) but they were quite the mess.
This mushroom variety used not only mushrooms and onions, but a base of some mashed up potato which made it easy to control and they did come out great. They took some time to make the little pockets though and they are definitely something that you can’t do on the fly.
In the midst of painting and making dinner, my 25 year old Kitchen Aid mixer decided to just ‘stop’. I was horrified because I use this all the time and being without it would be quite a hardship. Keith, who was busy turning a pen, was kind enough to do ‘surgery’ on it and get it up and running again. (He’s my HERO!) He has a degree in electronics and has also learned a lot from his dad who is a machinist. It took about an hour to dissect, but somehow whatever he did worked and it has new life. I am very relieved because it is a tool that I have come to love and it was not cheap and replacing it would be difficult for me to do right now. But all is well and good.
So the day went by quickly, as many of them do. Here is the result of my efforts-
The next piece up is a poinsettia. I cut the piece out yesterday and hopefully I will get it done today. That will leave me with only the bell to make and I will be finished. I need to look and find a picture of an appropriate bell to make that will fit in with the other pieces nicely. I can pick around with that later on today.
As the sun came up this morning, there is another light dusting of snow on the ground. It was like that yesterday, but by noon it was all gone. We took a walk at dusk and got to see the sun go down. I love seeing the gray and orange clouds in the sky, and by the time we returned it was nearly dark and all the Christmas displays were lit. It was very pretty and peaceful.
I hope you all have a good day today. Remember to take some time to enjoy the season and the day.
-- Contributing Editor, Creative Woodworks and Crafts Magazine, If you like reading my blog, come visit at Sheila Landry Designs http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com "Knowledge is Power"