Tuesday, April 21, 2009

What ever happened to puce?

What do kiwi splash, turquoise mist, and alpine valley all have in common? They're all on this paint card I picked up from the mega-monster warehouse hardware store. And they're all blue.

I've often wondered how they come up with these names. Is there some team of people in the paint manufacturing world who sit around and toss names back and forth?

"What do you think of Celestial Seasonings as a name for this bright orange?"

"Uh, Fred, that's a tea bag company. They make sleepytime tea."

"Hey! Sleepytime! That sounds like the perfect name for this neon yellow!"

Kiwi Splash is blue. Um, the last time I peeled open a kiwi, it was green, not blue. Besides, doesn't that sound more like a super sugared, ultra-food colored kid's drink? There's Blue Bayou on this other card. As if bayou is going to make the blue seem more, I don't know, blue. And Frivolous. I'll buy that, it's frivolous, but I've just got to have it. Just exactly what color IS Frivolous? Oh, look at that! It's also blue. No? How about Gulf Grandeur or Astral? None of those? Well, how about Free Spirit or Galactica? Yessss...Galactica, as in Battlestar? Maybe I should just stick with Just Jazz, or Safe Harbor. Teal Zeal sounds fun, but maybe just maybe, when I look at my walls, I want a Caribbean Holiday. Personally, I'd think a Caribbean Holiday color would not be midnight turquoise, but a bright flashy orange or hot pink. But that's just me.

Now I am an artist, and I do differentiate between light blue, dark blue, turquoise blue, versus a green blue. There's warm blues and cool blues. Blues that are on the verge of purple (a.k.a. blurple). There's navy blue, blue black, blue grey, and earthy blue. I understand blue sky, ocean blue, periwinkle blue, cornflower blue, bright blue, aqua, and blueberry. But I don't think I can conjure up a greenish/bluish ocean blue when I hear the words Alpine Valley. Maybe that's just me.

Most of the time, I ignore the names, and well heck, the color cards, and put my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree to some actual practical use! I mix my own paint colors! My family ribs me for this, but I hate waste. If I have a little of this, and a little of that, I make my own color that is only marginally off the mega-monster warehouse hardware store's paint palette, but for considerably a lot less. Most of the time it works out pretty well. Sometimes I have to go back to the drawing board. The verdict is still out on the kitchenette.

My studio is yellow. Why? Because I had a lot of different yellows in the basement and one really bright orange. I mixed some of the yellows, a spot of the orange, and dumped two cans of bright white in. I ended up with five gallons. I used three and a half gallons of the yellow to paint the studio, so I decided to use that color as a base for the kitchenette.

A survivor of the seventies, the kitchenette stove is a lovely olive green (not Party Time, nor Flower Power, nor Mexicali, nor Pretty Paisley, but olive green). Most of these mega-monster warehouse hardware store paint centers will sell two to four ounce samples of paint so a person can test Melodious Strain on their walls to make sure it harmonizes with Candlewood Lane. So, I bought two different DARK yellowish greens, Avocado Surprise and Jalapeno. Hey at least those names sound like something green. I mixed those with the yellow and added a bit of the earthy grass green Floyd painted in the office on the first floor. He uses Premium-Super-Expensive-Paint that us mere mortals can't really afford. I have no idea what the name was, but I'm sure it had nothing to do with green.

I must say, on one level, my yellowish green does match well enough with the seventies oven. However, I'm not sure it's really all that attractive. If I can pull it together with some other colors, it will be either brilliant, or a total flop.

Hannah, my youngest child and owner of one unhappy tummy, came to work with me today. She wandered up to the third floor while I was painting the kitchenette walls. "OOOOOoooh, PRETTY!" she exclaimed.

"You think so?" I asked, standing on the step ladder. "The jury is still out on this one for me. I dunno yet if I like it. Don't you think it looks like boogers?"

Hannah giggled, "Yeah, it kinda does. I still like it though."

"You know what?" I looked down at her sweet little face.


"I think I'll call this color: Sinus Infection."

"Mama, you're silly." Hannah called over her shoulder as she descended the stairs.

Maybe. It's either that, or the paint fumes. I'll just wait until tomorrow after it dries, and darkens up. Who knows? I might like it after all.


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Attack of the killer...

I've had a frustrating couple of days. Yesterday I dropped, broke, spilled, dumped, anything and everything...including the rabbit pee that was lying in wait in the bottom of Oswald's (my angora bunny) cage tray. Isn't the kitty litter supposed to absorb that stuff? After about the umpteenth millionth mishap (and no I'm not exaggerating) I gave up hopes of getting over to the studio to do yet more manual labor. I set out to get there by eleven. It was one thirty in the afternoon, shortly after cleaning up rabbit pee, getting into the van, and having to turn around because now I could add "forgot to bring paint" to my list of: dropped, broke, spilled, and dumped. I figured Fate was out to get me yesterday. I don't tempt Fate. I figured the forgotten, needed paint was a sign. Heeding the warning flag Fate was waving my way, I curled up on the couch with a fluffy book. (It was terrible. I don't remember the title, but it was bad, so it doesn't matter).

This morning I thought, surely, whatever curse hovered over me yesterday would be lifted today. I was feeling more rested. I hadn't had a mishap. Surely, I was in the clear.

I began tearing out the carpet in the kitchenette. Why anyone would think carpet in a public kitchen is a good idea, I don't know. Like a gluey fly-strip collecting it's prey, It was a nasty combination of stains, dirt, and old food particles. I wrestled it into a roll, and began hauling it down the three and a half flights of steps to the first floor. Half way down the first flight, the carpet began to unwind, slowly. I got it to the landing and tried to remedy the situation. I wasn't going to fit it down the stairs if I didn't somehow make the carpet more compact. Even now, I have no clue how I managed it. But before I knew what had happened, my petite frame was swallowed whole by a carpet. Like a low budget horror flick, I, the heroine of this dastardly tale, discovered I was in the bowels of the monster with little hope of escape, my predicament revealed too little too late. I slowly turned three hundred and sixty degrees: carpet, carpet, carpet and more carpet.

I imagine I must have looked pretty silly standing there, or if anyone could have known I was standing there, in the middle of the nasty jelly roll of floor covering. My father was working on the basement floors, happily singing off-key with his earphones in his ears, hooked to his blackberry. There would be no rescue from that front, unless he just happened to check on me. Pondering the situation for a minute more, I decided standing there in the middle of a seven foot high roll, contemplating the riddle of how I got there in the first place, wasn't going to get me out. So, I fought my way out of the carpet maze, then kicked the menace down the remaining two flights of stairs. Ha! Take that you killer carpet! Setting it near the front door, I re-rolled it nice and tight.

I only wished I had something to tie it up with. You never know who its next victim might be.


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Should I die this week, I bequeath my...

I'm finished painting the studio, minus the kitchenette and the bathroom. Which means, I can now pack up my little bedroom, and move it over to my new place. I'm shocked and amazed how much I managed to stuff into one small bedroom. It's like the never ending pit of yarn, fabric, paint, weaving tools, various and sundry supplies! So far, I've filled about 30 boxes with no signs of letting up. Looking into my former 'studio,' no one would know it was in the process of being moved. And it will probably be a few weeks before I get everything unpacked and settled over there. I still have shelving to put up, closets to finish, doors to put on. In other words, I'm a long way off from being able to work there.

Last night, Joshua and I loaded the van, twice, with my stuff and took it over to the building. My new place is at the very top of the building. It takes three and half flights of steps to get to my new digs. My old studio is on the second floor of my house. That's another flight of steps. And my house is on a slight hill, which requires someone to walk up about ten steps to get to my porch. Hauling boxes, heavy and light, we went up and down and up and down and up and down more stairs than I care to count.

Halfway up the second flight of steps with the umpteenth box, Joshua said, "Man. (huff) This is (puff) like using a (gasp) stairmaster. Uhhhh."

"Yup. (wheeze)"

"Why (huff) on earth (puff) do you have (heave) your studio (gasp) on the third floor? (PFfffffff)"

"I don't (phooosh) know. (gasp) Some (pant) crazy lady (wheeze) thought (ahhhhh) it was (huff) a good idea (wooooooof) to (gaaaaaaaaaah) have (ehhhhhhhhh) a studio (whaaaaaaaaaaaa) on the (pant) third (heave) floor. (wheeze)"

Sigh. I haven't even begun to move all the equipment that doesn't fit into boxes. Not to mention, the actual furniture, looms, a dresser, benches, a couple of shelving units, my sewing machine table, and the television.

Could someone notify my next of kin, please?