When Opportunity Knocks: ANSWER THE DOOR, DUMMY!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

**Coffee and a Donut post**

A little over a year or so ago my mom started going to a watercolor painting class every week. My dad thought it would be a fun thing for her to do; possibly helpful as well since she had been diagnosed with Dementia. He was so right - she absolutely loves it! Although retired my dad is a busy guy, so in an effort to pitch in and give him a break (albeit a small one), I offered to run by the class each week to pick up mom and bring her home; then he could run some errands or do whatever he needed to do during that time. Since he was staying there with her - trying to work from a chair in the studio - I thought it would at least buy him an extra hour or so's worth of [more comfortable] productivity each week.
Now I'll cop to a teensy bit of wishful thinking here, as painting (and I do NOT mean the walls in the house ;o) has been a dream of mine since forever, though I've never made mention of this to my dad or anyone else. I figured if I sat there and paid attention to Mom's lessons, I might even learn something. Photo inset: Isn't that the coolest door? I loved the peeling paint, weathered look, and the overall symmetry of it. This is a local church, and one of my "Scripture Pictures" (to wit: Rev 3:20 "Behold, I stand at the door and knock...")

I was an art major in high school and we did all kinds of different things, but we never covered painting. I guess because it was too expensive; it certainly couldn't have been the mess, as we made some spectacular ones on a regular basis. In any case, I was not allowed to pursue art beyond high school (long story, that) and I gave it up completely after I graduated. Well, until my cancer diagnosis, that is (more on that whole story here, if you're interested). Although I did attempt to learn to paint on my own, it was a little too complicated for me figure out without professional help (so I just went back to my faithful friends - #2 Pencil & Company ;o) I did manage to create one halfway decent work with watercolor pencils [photo inset] and a whole boatload of "Meh" before I gave it up in frustration.

After I had picked up and delivered mom a few times, my dad and I had the following conversation:

Dad: You know, if you're going to go get your mom every week you should probably just take the class with her.
Me [rolling my eyes and laughing]: Yes, well. That'd be great there, Pop, but I'm afraid extravagances like art classes don't exactly run around in my reality.
Dad [shrugging]: We'll pay for it.
Me [horrified]: Oh my goodness, that's not what I meant at ALL! No, no, no, I couldn't let you do that. It's way too much!
Dad: I'd be happy to do it. You're going there every week anyway; you might even enjoy it.
Me [backpedaling]: Well I'm sure I would, but I don't want you to feel like you have to do that. I'm happy to just pick her up for you. Really, I am. I don't mind it at all. Honest!
Dad [in exasperation]: LOOK. We may not be rolling in it, but we can certainly afford to do this for you. You know that.
Me [now sputtering]: Well, yes...Maybe, but...Well, I...I mean, you can't...I couldn't... it's just SO much... 
Dad [eyeing me strangely]: I don't see the problem. You like art, I know you do. We want to do this; I know good and well you'd enjoy it. Besides, are you seriously going to keep arguing with me about it?
Me [having a major V-8 moment]: Uh... No. No, I'm not. Not at all, actually. I think I'm done being an idiot. Mostly, anyway. THANK YOU, Pop!
I guess this might sound a bit silly, but I actually cried a few happy tears in the car on my way home. (I mean honestly, what's a girl to do when she's overwhelmed by an out of the blue blessing like that, you know? :o)

Not sure why, but after the first two or three sessions, I decided to start keeping up with the weekly progress on my third painting of a Nandina (done from a photograph of a bush behind the house that was taken a long time ago). My second painting (a Rose of Sharon) is in the blog slider above. The first one may (or may not) ever see the light of day. I have a LOT to learn, and I am incredibly slow. I did do my sketch at home (seemed wasteful do use class time for that, since I can at least draw all by myself ;o) Each slide change is one class; it took me about 23 or 24 weeks to finish this. I told you I was slow. *laugh* Disclaimer: In my defense, I didn't know I was going to share these, so the cell phone photos are not the best (#3 is simply dreadful):

And now for an update on the "P" word (project). I'll bet you thought I forgot all about it, didn't you? Surprisingly, I didn't (though maybe shockingly would be the more appropriate adverb ;o) We definitely needed somewhere for our visitors to wash up after petting the ponies (or using the outhouse), and decided to go with your basic el-cheapo laundry tub. Not only was it basic, it was also incredibly booooring. Added to that, of course, was how utterly ridiculous a blinding white sink looked with the rustic theme we had going on (remember my potty post?) Plus anyone with an ounce of brain cell knows that while it is all shiny and white and pretty right now, it certainly isn't going to stay that way. As if all that were not enough already, don't we all know by now that Jennifer just can't leave such things alone? [Cue eye roll and dramatic, self-deprecating sigh] I decided to paint it, but with what? For the outside I knew I could use outdoor paint made specifically for plastic, but what about the inside? I decided to try Leak Seal (the stuff you put on your gutters). It's made for outdoor use and it's tough (at least I hope it is). Wasn't sure if it would work or not, but it looks like it just might do the trick. *WOOT* I started with the bottom, which still needs another coat or two...
...and then I went for the interior and top portion. So far so good, but it definitely will need another coat of Leak Seal (this was the whole can).
Hopefully, I'll have some "all finished" photos for you in the near future :o) I also [FINALLY] started painting the spectacular wood cutout DD made for me (which was longer ago than I care to acknowledge *laugh*):
I might have gotten just a little bit sidetracked somewhere in the middle of all that to play with some dangling Zenspirations (this info's for my creatively crafty blogging buddy, Ann ;o) to spice up a birthday bag for my friend Kimby. I'll tell you all about her next week - she's amazing! Not my best work, but it was a lot harder to doodle on that bumpy bag than I thought it would be (plus the .07 pen was a bit too thick for my liking - .03 worked much better). Sure was fun though!

I'll be adding something new here called a "Random Moment" periodically. Sometimes I have something I learned or came across that I want to share with you, but it's often short and not relevant to whatever I'm talking about at the time (that's so very... Me: not relevant - HA). Anyhoo, here's the first one:

Random Moment: Paper Karma is the most marvelous app! I guess you could call it the postal version of "Do Not Call". I know one thing; it cut our junk mail down to almost nothing. We had an unbelievable deluge of "spammy" snail mail and credit card offers every single day; it drove me bonkers tearing them all up (can't just toss it all because now they plaster your name all over it and you have to worry about identity theft don'tcha know). Now we barely get a handful all week. Hooray!! Find it on Google Play here, and iTunes here. It really does work!

Thank you for reading so [very, very] far this week; have a blessed day y'all!

OH-OH-OH! Did you see what Carrie did for me? Check out my new little ray of sunshine in the comment part below (I'm telling you, that girl is a digital rock star!) You might even leave me a comment; they really do brighten my day! ;o)


  1. That is terrific that you get to go to art school. We like that little piece that you showed us. Good luck and can't wait to see some results.

  2. Marg: Thank you for your kind words :o) I'm pretty slow, so I'm sure the next one will take awhile (though hopefully not quite as long as the last one did *laugh*).

  3. I'm glad you took your dad up on his offer of attending art school with your mom. I'm sure you'll both love it. Can't wait to see all your finished projects! Have fun with it all.

  4. how fun taking art classes. I've always wished I could paint but I'm not even that good at drawing. I like your big ball of sunshine there :)

  5. Grey Horse: Not the brightest time to argue, was it? ;o) Thanks!

  6. Ann: It really has been marvelous (not to mention therapeutic :o) I was so tickled over Carrie's willingness to make that sunny tweak to the blog. Isn't it fun?

  7. Oh my exciting.
    I do hope you'll share each and every lesson with show us what you learned and how you interpreted your learning/skills!!! I'm so elated.

    1. by the way, I love to draw and paint too. On my personal blog I have shared some of my work....

      go to

      And then...on the side bar, find the easel.

  8. I can't draw a straight line with a ruler so I envy anyone who can draw...

  9. Anni: Actually, I've already peeked a sneak at your art :o) It's wonderful! I'll try to share what I can, but as of right now I feel like I'm barely bumbling along. *laugh*

  10. Grace: One of the most interesting things I learned was that most of Susan's other students don't draw at all. When I showed up with my Nandina sketch, she was totally floored that I had actually hand drawn all those leaves. When I laughed and said "Well how else am I supposed to do it?", she told me that the majority of her students used a projector she had downstairs to trace their next drawing. I was shocked by her answer at first, but then figured that was a great idea for people who wanted to learn to paint but didn't know how to draw. Wanna come to class? ;o)

  11. What a wonderful story. Love that cut out!

  12. Gail: Glad you enjoyed it ;o) Didn't she do a grand job? I can't wait to finish painting it so I can put it up!

  13. How I wish I could paint. Can't wait to see all your finished projects! I can only ice cookies!

  14. Veronica: NEVER underestimate the power of a well-frosted cookie. *grin*
    Thank you so much for your kind comment :o)

Your comments really brighten my day!

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