I have a couple of cup/mug coasters (mats) in my craftroom. One to the right of my computer (no-one can sit at a computer without a coffee or a tea to one side), and another on what I call my ‘work desk’ – where I do the majority of my crafty things. BUT … both of these mats are rather, umm… old and grubby looking. Bits of paint; spills – which although I’ve wiped up, have still stained; little bits pull off where I’ve sat some Sellotape (well-known brand of sticky tape in the UK – yes, I know that Sellotape is the name of .. erm .. something else in another country). Well look … why don’t I just face the shame and show you what one mat looked like. Are you ready? ……
When these were new, I absolutely adored them. I have some Cornishware storage pots and other bits and pieces in my kitchen, and my dining room (in our previous cottage) linked to the kitchen and was very English country cottagey in style so these mats fitted in perfectly.
But … years later . . . they really aren’t good for man nor beast, as you can see, hence the reason they’re in my craft room. However … I looked at them a couple of days ago and said [to no one in particular] … “those really need to be thrown away”.
A voice boomed over me like it came from out of the Heavens. “WHAT DOES?” (made me jump I can tell you!) … “Uh?” I swung around on my chair to see Mr. Cobs stood behind me. “Ohh… these. <picking up the cup mat> Look at these . . . they really have seen their day and I sadly think it’s time to go.” “No! Don’t throw them away … paint them! Paint something on them. Flowers or something. Paint something, like you used to!“.
Hmmm… Ok, I could see where he was going with this. “That’s a good idea, you clever chap. I shall do that very thing. But … would you rub them down for me?” (He knows I hate sandpaper. It makes my flesh recoil. <shudder>). So he did … and this was the result:
The top layer was actually a paper/card layer, so rubbing the top down wasn’t difficult, but it did leave ridges which were impossible to totally get rid of. Since the cup mats were only for me in my craft room I thought that I could get away with a few ridges. So I set to work with some paints. I first did two coats of Gesso – to help give it a ‘base’ to work on, and also to kind of help smooth out the ridges a little. Then I gave it a coat of good quality black acrylic.
If you look carefully at the above photo you can see some of the ridges. The coat of black paint was done in order to dull the next coat a little. Kind of ‘knock back’ the colour I was going to apply next – a deep blue colour which I’d hand mixed – and the black would ensure that the navy stayed ‘flat’ or kind of dull, in colour.
Once the navy was dry I could then begin a ‘picture’ of some description. …. Can you tell what it is yet?
Well I’m committed now so I’d better get on with it …
Now can you see what it is? 🙂 Yeah, it’s a Goose! But … the chest is a bit flat there, isn’t it? Aw, don’t worry … that bit is going to be hidden anyway so I won’t trouble myself about it.
This photo (above) I took with a flash, with the blind up, and two craft lamps on, so that you can see some of the details which I’ve added … like the shading under his/her chin, shading under the tummy and some detail to the feet.
I realised that I hadn’t shown you the colours of paints I’d used/be using on this project, so I took the opportunity of adding in the pots of colours while showing you that I’d changed his/her bow from looking like a Christmas red, into a tartan bow. (I didn’t want anyone to think he was the fatted goose which we were all going to feast on at Christmas! eeek!).
Surrounded by a vine, and four freshly laid eggs.
Finally … three LIGHT coats of a spray varnish and it’s finished. You can see from the background in this photo – that the ridges from the sanded paper were still there … but they really aren’t that noticeable anymore.
Want to know the funny thing about this? I am scared of geese (and horses, but we’ll talk about those another time) … and what’s more … they KNOW IT TOO! If ever I go anywhere where there are geese … they surround my car until they’ve discovered the door which I need to get out of and then they gather around the door and stand there LAUGHING AT ME. They know I’m scared silly, and they mock me with their gaggling honks and giggling laughs.
If I visit somewhere – a lake, a walk with a stream running along side … and there are geese … those little bu&&ers make it their ambition to get to me and chase me. Honking all the way.
And yet … here I am painting a goose on one of my cup mats. AM I CRAZY??? Obviously so.
When I’d finished painting this mug mat, I did have a little wonder to myself if perhaps this sort of thing would make a rather nice Christmas present for someone. You could buy some MDF (Medium Density Fibreboard – sorry folks outside the UK but I don’t know what you call this where you are) and if you’re handy with a saw (or have someone handy with a saw) you could cut the MDF to size and paint a set of four/six coasters for someone special.
OR … if you have a child at school … how about a personalised mug mat for the teacher, as a Christmas present? (or present for anyone at any time). Just a thought. 🙂
Happy Wednesday all. Make it a good memory day.
Sending squidges your way ~