Better late than never, I suppose… Been a bit busy today and haven’t had a chance to settle down to WOYWW!
My desk today looks staged – that’s because it is! Not for WOYWW, though, but arranged a couple of days ago so that I could photograph all the Infusions samples I’ve done so far, and since then I haven’t done anything in the studio, so that’s literally What’s On My Workdesk this Wednesday!
If you read back over my previous few posts you’ll see more detail about my experiments with Infusions, which I’ve been working on since getting the new set of 12 colours that has just come out. I really, really love these paints! I am intending to make a toilet roll mini album from the samples, as a reference of how I achieved the different techniques. There are so many things you can do with these versatile paints.
Here are some detail shots.
These are the first samples I did, of each colour in the two sets. I blotted off one half of each card to show the effect of allowing, or not allowing, the paint to dry naturally. You can also halt the reaction by heat-drying. If left to dry naturally, the fragments of walnut will continue to react with the water and produce the brown flecks that are so characteristic of Infusions.
A detail of the samples in set 1. Underneath them is a piece of scrap paper with a recipe for home-made watercolour ground which I found online, which I was hoping to make up to help my hubby cover up a boo-boo on one of his paintings – but in the end he started it again!
Here are the samples I finished this week, using Infusions through stencils.
For some of them, I applied Polyfilla through the stencil with a palette knife (a lot cheaper than moulding paste), and for others it’s just the Infusions through the stencil, with another piece of card being used to blot off the paint from the stencil – you can get 2 or 3 print-offs from this, giving a lovely subtle smudgy result (better with a fairly plain stencil without too much detail). The one at bottom left was made with transparent 3-D gel medium through the stencil and the Infusions applied onto that – great result! – and the blot-off sheets to the right. Several of these samples have distress inks added afterwards as well, and one or two have a bit of gilding wax.
A detail shot.
I love the muted colours of Infusions – preferable to Brushos in my opinion, although I shall go on using my Brushos for certain things, I am sure.
I am feeling so much better now! Today is 7 weeks on from my operation. I am now getting my own breakfast and today I had my first online Tesco order delivered, and tomorrow I’m starting cooking again. I’m doing the laundry and coping pretty well with things, but I do still get tired a lot more quickly than usual. This morning I cleaned out the fridge and need my sunglasses on when I open it!
Our younger cat, Phoebe, was sick, and then off her food for two or three days – I thought it was probably just a tummy upset, but we were getting worried yesterday because she had lost quite a bit of weight, so my hubby took her to the vet’s. She said that on examining her, she found a mass in her abdomen which she is pretty sure is cancer in her bowel causing an obstruction. As you can imagine, I have been pretty upset over this news. First thing this morning my hubby said he would take her in because the last thing we wanted was to see her gradually getting thinner and weaker. However, she ate all her breakfast in one go (something that neither of them does these days, now they are older – they prefer little and often!) and then he followed her outside and she did a poo! She came in and ate a bit more! He has called the vet and told them what has happened, and we are going to keep an eye on her over the next two or three days.
What we suspect may have happened is that she did have some sort of an obstruction, and despite what the vet said about it not being mobile when palpated, which made her think it was a tumour, all the prodding of her tummy may have dislodged it. We are really hoping that this is the case. For the first time this morning she was really hungry again!
Good and bad news about the house
When we had our new kitchen fitted when we moved, I asked the builders to retain the old cupboard in the corner as it was an original feature that I was reluctant to lose. However, since we’ve been here, it has proved to be an absolute pain to use as it’s too deep and I struggle to find what I want in there. The bottom part has always been a bit damp too.
A couple of days ago we were invited for coffee by some friends, and they showed us around, and when she showed me her little walk-in larder, something went “ping” in my head and I knew this was what I wanted instead of my awful cupboard! Later we contacted our neighbour who is a builder, and has done quite a bit of work for us, and he came up to look at it, and he said it was possible, and although he could do it, he knew a professional kitchen fitter who would do an even better job, and he’d match it all in with my existing units.
He then looked at the damp, and this is where the bad news begins. He pulled up the piece of lino covering the floor inside the cupboard, to find that the floorboards had completely rotted away and the joists underneath – he could poke a thin wooden stick right through! On a traffic lights scale, he said this was RED and needed immediate attention. Again, he knows a damp specialist and this man is coming to see it tomorrow morning. We are hoping the insurance will cover what is going to turn into an expensive job. We are also hoping the damp hasn’t travelled too far under the kitchen floor. Our neighbour suspects the damp came from before we had the new roof when we moved – it was probably leaking down through the chimney breast. It’s a pity this wasn’t spotted when the new kitchen was fitted, as it would have been a simpler job at that time.
The cupboard will obviously have to come out in order to fix this (which I wanted anyway) and I certainly don’t want another the same put back in, so hopefully the new larder will all come under the same job, and if the insurance company does pay for the repair, we will get it fixed, and a new larder, for £75 (our excess)!
Fortunately our kitchen is only 3 1/2 years old and Howden’s will still have the units and laminate flooring in their catalogue, so hopefully it will all be done to match what is there.
Watch this space for progress on this. It’s a combination of really worrying and quite exciting…