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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Back to Boring.....

I have vowed to clean up one mess before starting another in the workroom this time. It has lasted for a week! Amazing!

Actually, I am still cleaning things out and will be for quite some time.

This morning I moved my paint bottles from their former location in plastic bin drawers to their new home in the table drawer under the saw. It worked out quite well. I managed to squeeze all of my white glue bottles in there too.

When I got to the next drawer, guess what I found? I have been looking for my 19-0 paint brush for over a year. Not only did I find that one, but I found a boat load of brushes that I didn't know I had. Some of them were other favorites that had been missing in action.

Tessie made the suggestion that I put the favorites in the frog on my worktable so that they wouldn't disappear again. No. I didn't force a frog to swallow them. I collect glass flower frogs. Don't ask me why. I guess that it fascinates me that someone thought them up to keep flowers straight in a vase long ago. Obsessive-compulsive much? LOL

They are really quite useful for other things besides flowers. I have them here and there all over the house to keep pencils, scissors and other tools handy.

The other day, when I started working in the disreputable workroom again, I started using another item that I will pass along. We all have good intentions at the start of a new year. We either buy or someone gives us a daily planner. I usually get less than a month into a new year before it hides in an obscure place or I throw it across the room in disgust because I forgot to note something in it and forgot about that something.

I have a large one that Walter brought home from work last year and yes, it had almost all of it's pages intact. It was lying in the middle of my work table. I decided, being to lazy to move it two feet to the left, that I would just leave it where it was and use it as a work surface.

It is now there forever or until it's pages all disappear. I am thrilled with it. I can put a puddle of glue on it or a small dab of paint that I need to use. I can lay a piece of paper on it and smear Yes glue all over said paper without worry of cleanup. When I am finished with a task, I simply rip off the page and start all over.

I know that you could do this with any old pad of paper, but I am getting satisfaction from the fact that I am using that darned book before I throw it away. I will write my appointments on the calendar or just remember them in my head. Easy clean up is much more important than making a list of things to do. I usually make the list and forget to take the book with me anyway. It's too big to carry around.

OK. I'm done with the rant of the day. Back to the subject of brushes.

Tessie volunteered to help sort out the found brushes. Ten seconds into the process she found a big brush with a puce handle....So much for help.

The pile that you see next to her are the found objects.

I am a very bad cleaner of brushes, so as I have mentioned before, alcohol is a lifesaver for me.
the glass that you see at the front of the photo is full of alcohol and all of the dirty or semi dirty brushes that I found in the mess. I am happy to report that I only lost three. Those were due to Minwax stain.

This is a before and after of the worst of the worst. Yes. The grey paint was hard as a rock. And yes. That is the same brush, top and bottom. Alcohol is amazing stuff.

Are you tired of me wandering yet? I hope so.....I am just about done. The same drawer that had the brushes had watercolor and tube acrylics in it. Some of the watercolors were dried in the tubes. They can still be used, but that gives you some idea as to how long I have had them.

When you have clean brushes and watercolors, it follows that you want to see if they still work.

That was the last step. I went rummaging for a block of watercolor paper. Found it, for some reason known only to the bookworms, I found it in the bookcase in our bedroom. I have absolutely not idea why I put it there. I don't paint watercolors in bed.

I am very pleased to report that the brushes, paints and paper all work well together.....I am not so sure about the artist. I don't remember the last time I put watercolor on paper.

I messed with them for a while and these are what came out of my head. I need something or someone to look at.

Tessie just volunteered to model. She says she Will sit still as long as I make her look like the Mona Lisa.....I'm not sure if she is referring to the painting I will be doing or if she thinks I do make up on the side.....

See you tomorrow.


Kathi said...

Thank for the tips! Love the idea of using your appointment book as a work pad. I'm sure I have one around here too. Sure would be going to the kitchen for wax paper when I want to paint or glue. Wondering why I don't keep my wax paper in here now...
I've started using bottle caps for paint. If they dry out I just toss them. No more cleaning my paint dish!
Love your watercolor paintings! Can't wait to see them framed!
Guess I'm rambling too... off to watch more soccer. Better than going to get groceries which is what I NEED to do!

Caseymini said...

Kathi, I think that I would rather go grocery shopping!LOL

Debie Lyons said...

Thank you for the tips Casey. I am a brush fiend and I have drawers of old favorite tools that I cant get rid of just incase I might need them one day LOL.

Debie xxxxxxxxx

Kim said...

I never knew that about the alcohol and paint brushes- I tend to let paint dry in mine once in awhile too- didn't know they could possibly be saved! Thanks Casey!! I collect glass frogs too- never thought to put my brushes in one though- I learned some good tips today!!

Caseymini said...

Just remember. If they are badly coated with paint like the one pictured, you will have to soak them for a while to break down the paint.

Eliza said...

I'm protective of my brushes. OVER protective of my brushes. I hate to throw ANY brush out. I even clean and re-use the "disposable" foam brushes until they fall to pieces. My mom often forgets to clean brushes before they dry. I think you may have just averted World War III!