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October 11, 2010

Laura’s Blog Entry

Do you love completing a project as much as I do? In general I think this is a positive character trait – being a “finisher.” As long as you don’t finish at the detriment of your health or your family’s emotional welfare. Or make yourself really cranky in the process and therefore no fun to live with. In general, finishing what you start brings a very special feeling of closure and satisfaction. I kinda live for it. Don’t get me wrong. I often do enjoy the journey, but man, that destination rocks!

This weekend I finished up a project that started on vacation. I love to look for concrete garden ornaments while traveling. This year we picked up an Oriental pagoda-style piece. Usually I prefer them in a natural state – the bare concrete. It is a nice contrast to the foliage in the garden. A sample of this one was shown with a painted finish at the store(?) shop(?) roadside stand(?)  (What does one call a purveyor of concrete statues?) where we bought it. I loved the look and asked the owner how he got the finish. He told me that he used a black undercoat and then did a dry-brush technique over that with a red.

How hard could that be, right? Well it really wasn’t too hard! I had red paint from the trim on the house so all I needed was some matte black. Here’s the process:

Neil instructed me in dry-brushing. You put a very small amount of paint on your brush. Then you off-load a good bit of the paint onto scrap or newspaper so that the brush is lightly coated. Then when you daub and stipple the end of the brush onto the item you get a light coating that shows the base coat through it. It was really fun – but it kind of destroyed my brush. If you have an older, messed up one it would be great for this technique.

Turned out pretty nicely. I can place a candle inside, too! Fancy!

Did you ever notice that to finish one thing requires that you also finish yet another project? Case in point – once this was dry I wanted to get it off the porch and into position in the garden. But of course I haven’t touched the plants in weeks. Once school starts I tend to go crazy with the knitting and gardening goes by the wayside.

There was no way I could put this in its designated spot because there was a plant there. And the ivy was overgrown. [That ivy’s days may be numbered. I am over it already.] And if I was going to clean out the center of the bed I kind of had to clean up the ivy that was overtaking the sidewalk. Of course.

Luckily this project stayed pretty much within bounds. I edged the sidewalk then ripped out the lackluster flower clump. Ta da! The perfect focal point for the front garden I’ve been looking for since I put in that bed. I tried a couple different plants there, but nothing made enough of a statement. This does the trick!

Now if I could only get excited about ripping out the bed on the side of the porch and transplanting all the ground cover… Waiting… Nope… Still not an iota of excitement…

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