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Thrifty Garden Art
I could have titled this blog post “Utter Carnage in 5 Seconds” but that wouldn’t have described how much fun the girls had. Maxi Minx wanted to paint, Midi wanted to pet her rock collection and Mini just wanted to cause merry havoc...
Maxi Minx wanted to paint, Midi wanted to pet her rock collection and Mini just wanted to cause merry havoc (why *do* children love to collect stones?! Although it could be worse – my friend’s daughter collects twigs; and Maxi used to secrete her stone collection in jacket pockets, never to be found until they were clattering off the washing machine drum...). I had to go to a DIY shop anyway, so we put them all together: paint the stones!
I gave the girls a budget of £10, and they spent a long time practising new arithmetic skills, debating the merits of 2 pots of shiny Hammerite versus 9 different tester pots. In the end, they went for the bright colours. Very wise and thrifty, especially as tester pots tend to come with their own integral brush in the lid (a tiny bit less mess...). I say bright colours – true to form Maxi wanted all-pinks and Midi just wanted black. So we compromised. If only I hadn’t thrown out all the old tester pots from last year! But they’re on 2-for-1 just now in another DIY chain: had I known we could have had 18 colours! Or just spent £5...
What about the mess, though? Well, I did insist on old clothes. Mini’s Bush Baby all-in-one came into its own here: the paint just wiped off, whereas I had to attack her little feet with Swarfega (though she got a nice foot massage with moisturiser later). The shower-hats were essential: even water-based paint doesn’t always come out of long hair or cotton dresses.
The paint only took an hour to dry, and I did apply some plasti-kote spray varnish we had lurking in the garage to make the stones a bit more weather-proof because everyone knows that rocks are outdoor, nocturnal animals (!)
I did find it difficult not to turn into a screeching banshee: “No, no, no, stop painting your sister! Leave the cat alone! Get your paintbrush off that snail! Argh, noooo, you’ve turned the pot upside down!” My rule of only-one-pot-open-at-a-time was obeyed for 5 seconds. And it was impossible to keep all 3 girls out of trouble or happy at once. I also fear that the grass may never recover... So although the girls loved this activity, perhaps even more than the incredible bubbles last week, I think this might be one for the more relaxed (i.e. normal) parent, or zoo-keeper of 1 or 2.