Whose idea was this?




I think the answer to that question is “mine”, sadly.

More about the flowerpots in a moment.  First, I am sure you’ll expect an update on the Breadbox test yesterday?




Ta-dah!  I left the perfume and the handcream there in the top right hand corner as a point of reference.  See, it can be done ;-)




I found a rather appropriate slip of paper from a fortune cookie amongst the debris, too.




But what of the flowerpots?

Well, it’s my WI’s turn to host the group meeting for our neighbouring WIs next week, and being the competitive bunch we are, we love to set everyone a challenge.  Our speaker will be local author Katie Fforde and we decided to give the whole evening a local flavour, including the competitions too.  The Stroudwater Canal is currently undergoing some restoration and bearing in mind, a couple of Katie’s books have been set on or around a canal, someone not too far from here had the idea that one competition could be to paint and plant a pot in a canalboat style.




A couple of weeks ago, we got together around Wendy’s table to try out some of the “castles and roses” style motifs.  Well, I know we were gossiping, but somehow, we couldn’t get them to work.  We’d been on the internet and printed out some step by step instructions which appeared really easy…but nothing we did looked remotely like a rose.




The following day I was off judging a competition with my friend Marion, who happened to mention that her WI had just had a “Roses and Castles” painting class – and her WI had bought the book.  Bless her, she kindly loaned us what we hoped would be the key to success!




But my next attempts weren’t much better.  I was having difficulty controlling the brushstrokes and decided I needed a different brush, so whilst in London, I dropped into Cass Arts for one with a shorter head.  Of course, they had superduper offers on and it made more sense to buy a lovely new matching set of six than to get just one single brush…




I found it easier with the little brush and at last, felt I was getting somewhere.  I still wasn’t confident enough to paint on the pots yet, though!




I painted a piece of card with the dark green paint I’d chosen to paint my pots with.  I’d sprayed them with polyurethane varnish first, to waterproof them and given them two coats of acrylic paint as well.  However, until I was confident of my ability to paint a reliable rose, I wasn’t going to take my red and yellow paint anywhere near them.

It was then that I discovered the next challenge.  My basic brand of acrylic paint was not opaque enough to cover the dark green base.  I mixed in some Titanium White with my red and unsurprisingly, got pink…

Determined not to give up at this late stage, I dropped into my local art shop this afternoon to find an answer – which was a few different acrylic paints made more opaque with gouache.  At last!  I have the answer!  (I hope…)




We’ll see.  there’s some way to go, but the pesky pots are drying on my workbench and I’m feeling that the end is in sight.  They still need a bit of tweaking here and there, not to mention a few squiggles and dots…but I think that after all of that, I will at least have a painted pot!

I was glad I dropped into the art shop, anyway, because whilst I was chatting to the owner, a friend from the old school run, someone else recognised my voice. What fun is it to bump into friends in surprising places!




Thankfully, I can report that my cold is on the way out now and though I’m still coughing, I haven’t needed the second bottle of Benylin yet.  I have a sneaky suspicion though, that my hero is going to need me to replenish the eucalyptus oil in the USB  burner and return it to his desk…

Eclectic tastes

Testing the breadbox theory