Tag Archives: garden

Uncharacteristic pursuits

Apparently aliens landed and replaced me with a badly researched clone of myself the night before last, because yesterday saw me painting watercolours with the children and also gardening.

Or else it’s the spring air.

Mabel had been painting again the day before, and seemed to enjoy it so much that when I was at Target in the morning I picked up a watercolour pad I’d seen before and some brushes that looked a little more decent than the “brush that comes with the 1.99 paint set” we had at home. It was a raging success.

Mabel's assortment

Mabel’s assortment

The pad has 20 sheets of proper, thick, watercolour paper for 2.99, which seemed like okay value to me – though since we went through every one of them yesterday, I think I’ll be heading to an actual art-supply shop next time I’m feeling the urge. The brushes were also 4.99 for a selection of five different sizes, and they’re much nicer quality than the crappy Rose Art brushes I’d bought before. Both were from the Target Kid Made Modern range, which I really like. Their products are my new go-to kid birthday presents.

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Dash’s stormy sky

My dad paints lovely watercolours, but he’d never really given me a lesson. I gleaned the tiny amount of knowledge I have much more recently, from Joanna and Emily. I talked about wetting the paper first with the big brush and soon the kids and I were happily bandying about the term “colour wash” as if we all knew what we were talking about.

One of my favourites by my Dad

One of my favourites by my Dad

(Okay, this is such a bloggy love-in bit here, but I have to explain. Actually, it’s all down to Jane at That Curious Love of Green. Jane asked Joanna to write a guest post on her blog showing how she does her lovely watercolours. And Joanna based her picture on a photo I had previously put on my blog. In the same series, Emily painted a beautiful picture for Jane to give away – and I won it, so it now graces my hallway here. I love the Irish bloggers.)

My lovely painting by Emily

My lovely painting by Emily

Meanwhile, in the garden, I discovered that our huge and indestructable rosemary bush had gone from partly dead to entirely and irrevocably dead, and was actually looking pretty atrocious, out there right in front of the house. So I cut it back as much as I could with the shears, in advance of informing The Muscles that we need to lug it out altogether. I also discovered that our poor rhodedendron looks so pathetic because it’s being crowded out by about four small trees that seeded themselves and started growing up right beside it. Apparently you have to keep a close eye on things or else they grow without permission. Then I dug up some dandelions and called it a day. My back did not thank me for that hour and I have strange pains in my forearms today. Much like housework, gardening is dangerous.

My masterpiece

My masterpiece

I think I’ll stick to painting.