Tag Archives: paint

Oh For Some Warmth!

The past three months have been pretty manic in the Domino household, thanks to my husband deciding winter was a good time to start refurbishing the hall, stairs and landing, seeing as he couldn’t get out and work in the garden. Bad move!

100_6791 The work definitely needed doing, from it’s acid yellow walls full of bumps and cracks and a carpet I was totally ashamed of, although beautiful when it was new some 25 years ago. Just before Christmas, off came all the internal doors, as these were all going to be replaced. It wasn’t too bad with no doors when the heating was on but, oh boy, was it drafty when the boiler was off. As soon as the festivities were over, we called in a plumber to replace the downstairs radiators, thus for several days we were without heating.  When the radiators were connected again, it was found we had a fault on the boiler, which necessitated another plumber calling several days later to make the repair. Again – no heating on all day. It was certainly a good job it was a relatively mild January. We then had the plasterers in, which again, necessitated all the outside doors open so they could do the messy mixing part outside. Brrrr! Thank goodness for my halogen heater.

Once the plaster was dry, Dave could start painting the woodwork. We were turning our dark mahogany wood into white, so several coats were needed. During all this I was unwell with the nasty flu bug that was doing the rounds this winter, with a cough I couldn’t get rid off. Then commenced the long, slow task of painting the walls. Dave could only do this of an evening or at weekends as he is still at work. He didn’t want me to do it, although I offered. When the painting was complete, the carpenters were called in to fit the new doors and a new wooden floor downstairs. Again, the front door was required to be open all day so they could do all the sawing and sanding outside. And still my cough wouldn’t go away.

The whole three months this work continued, it was a constant battle with dust, noise, seemingly constant banging, and workmen in and out of the house. I couldn’t make plans as Dave would come home from work and say, “Oh, so-and-so is coming tomorrow at nine o’clock,” or some such. Three times I had to cancel my appointment with the hairdressers. Or I needed to be in because something was being delivered. During all this time, I was curtain hunting. I just couldn’t find the right curtains to go with the new colour scheme. I was swamped with samples and swatches.

Dave was repainting the wrought ironwork on the stairs and I started coughing again. It wasn’t the bug, we determined, it was me allergic to the paint! As some touching up to the woodwork was needed, I arranged to be out the following Saturday so he could do what was needed. I came home to find him in tears. He’d dropped a can of white gloss paint down the stairs, all down the wall, over the new wooden flooring and up the new solid oak panelled door to the lounge. We spent several hours cleaning it up, with visions of having to have another floor laid and a new door. Didn’t help my cough though! Thankfully, we were able to clean all the paint off. Phew!

100_6880Choosing the carpet was easy, for we had already decided on the same carpet as was fitted in our bedroom last summer, as were the hall walls the same colour choice. Come March we were nearly there, just waiting for the carpet fitter, and I finally found curtains I liked, just had to wait for them to be made to measure. It was raining the day the carpet fitters came, so the carpets had to be cut inside, in the lounge. I can’t begin to describe the noise and dust made. It took me nearly two hours to clean up.

100_6885Finally, the week before last, the curtains arrived and we were finished. We’re thrilled with the results but have decided to wait until next year to do the lounge and dining room. We’ve had enough decorating for now and intend to enjoy the summer in the garden.  After I’ve done a deep clean of the house, that is.

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A Splash of Paint

Whilst the weather in the UK this winter has been more than a little wet, it has enabled me to indulge in one of my more recent hobbies; that of painting. Recent, because I only found my muse some 6 years ago whilst at a writing “holiday” where, finding my tutor was a stand-in and a person I wasn’t fond of, I opted to do the painting class put on for accompanying partners. I had dabbled in watercolours (dabbled being the operative word here) since school but was never any good. On this course the tutor allowed me to try all mediums until I found the one that was meant for me: acrylics. That first stroke of the brush and I was away! So I do hope you’ll forgive me this little indulgence.

Lavender Dawn

Lavender Dawn

The first real success came when a lady in Germany saw one of my bluebell paintings (my first serious work) on my website and persuaded me to sell it to her. I was reluctant to let it go, it being my first baby, but I did, turning me into, as someone pointed out, an “international selling artist”. Wow, what accolade! She went on to purchase two more bluebell paintings and is now considering buying another. Since then, my work has sold in Spain, America and Canada, as well as in the UK, with several donated as prizes in various raffles and fund-raising events. And, of course, most of my family now own a painting or two, which is rather nice. And, surprisingly, I have sold two paintings already this year – a fabulous bonus!

Sunset on Snow

It’s a most relaxing hobby although at times can be exceedingly frustrating when something doesn’t work out how I intended or I can’t get something quite right. My husband is very much my top critic although he does have a habit of pointing out where something is not right long before I’ve even finished it! And not all I do is good; there have been many failures, ones I wouldn’t dream of showing to anyone, but one of the joy of acrylics is that you can paint over a canvas time and time again.

Painswick Hill

Painswick Hill

Since taking up this hobby, I find I see the world differently. I notice the seasons more, observing shade and light, even the sky and clouds with increased intensity, as well as appreciating colours and the effect of shadows and the movement of water and the reflections it creates. Most of my work is of landscapes, real and imagined, often from photographs, or photos giving the inspiration, the starting point. This is needed as, like writing, one can be faced with a blank canvas and not have a clue where to begin, let alone know what to actually paint.

Hampshire Ford

One great help in this score is belonging to an online art group whose leaders set a challenge each month for us to tackle, often being out of my comfort zone, ie portraits or people or animals – none of which I am good at because I cannot draw; all my work is freehand. This month’s topic is “what Spring means to you” so this has given me a wonderful opportunity to try my hand at a vase of spring flowers. For the first time, I’ve painted a “draft” on paper so I have something to follow although the final painting, I hope, will be far better.

Wish me luck!

First draft

Spring Challenge: the first draft