I have been flexing my creative muscles in the delightful role as a new Grandmother. Said grandchild is visiting with his parental retinue and all the newly realized paraphernalia that has become necessary. I remember those days, something that used to take 10 minutes now takes planning, a strategy, and sometimes nerves of steel. So I have taken the opportunity to reduce some of that carry on and provide a cot for him, here in our city.
What bliss. Suddenly I am filled with ideas, visions, and a kind of visual madness. Now I have time and some available funds to do something I would have loved to do when my own children were arriving.
One cot bought off Trademe, multiple sheets of sandpaper, and rather tired arms later I am all ready to apply paint that is child-safe, and let loose with the ideas I have decided upon – after I have recovered from severely sandpaper affected finger tips! I did this by hand in a spirit of using my own energy and spending the time thinking about my babies who are all so grown up nowadays, and wondering about the futures that will unfold for our new additions as they arrive. My fingers suffered, my arms and hands ached, and I wondered at my stubborness. But I got to think, hear the birds, enjoy the strength I have, and muse on what I was going to paint.
I have chosen a gorgeous indigo blue, green, purple, white, and a beautiful sparkly greenish silver paint for night-time stary-ness. Some of these are test pots from previous projects which satisfies my recycling ethic. I applied the first layer with diluted paint and a cloth, rubbing it in and hoping to keep the grain of the wood visible. The varnish that I didn’t manage to remove in the corners put paid to that. Another layer and I am ready for the fun bits.
I decided that the images would be on the inside of the cot ends. My children were all very busy and needed a lot of entertaining, so I figure it might give the baby something to look at as he falls asleep…. well you never know, do you? I have a soft spot for hares, and owls are in my focus at the moment so that is a good start. I found it a bit of a challenge not having a table top to balance things on but I really enjoyed playing with the paint and ideas. I am not a tidy worker. I like texture and movement and colour, so I have to accept that there will be a final coat of blue paint after I finish, and then the final coat of varnish to seal everything in.
Here is where I have got to. The colour in the picture isn’t too bad, the green is a bit greyer in reality. I put star gazing fishes in the water as I rather like them as an idea, and I remember my daughter insisting on releasing the first fish she ever caught, never fishing again. I think she will enjoy the little fishes peeking out and looking at all the goings on.
The other end has other ideas I have played with recently. The whirling night sky full of stars and constellations, birds flying in the moonlight, a boat travelling with its passengers carried by the tides of life, and the sleepy owl.
This is finished now, bar the final coats. I might fiddle a bit more – which can be my undoing, but I think I am there. Our visitors arrive in a week or so, so I need to hurry up if it is going to be ready. I am loving the excuse of being a granny, I am so lucky to be a part of his life and I am going to dive in and probably spoil him!