craft · homemaking


Painted jar vases

The prospect of painting a kitchen is a daunting one.

With seemingly endless cupboard doors, handles, nooks and crannies to sand, coat and recoat, the mother lode of mental discipline is required to remain on task without flinging the brush in the air and dialling a tradesman.

Fortunately, mammoth tasks have inbuilt motivators. As small sections take shape, like giant jigsaws, the puzzler is gradually fed clues to the total picture. That urge to see the completed vista mobilizes a further sift through the box – and another lick of paint. While my current internal mantra is to ‘eat this mammoth one bite at a time’, some instant gratification is required. Spying empty glass jars near the drooling paint can, meant today, some new vases were born.

painted passata jar vase

And being that it is daffodil season here right now, there is no better time to create something simple and understated for them to sing in.

The beauty of jars is that they come in all shapes, so choose yours with its resident in mind. A short squat vessel is perfect for herbs, while a tall slim bottle will display your single bloom with elegance. Don’t buy paint, I’m sure you have an old tin lurking from a long distant refurbishment. Give it a shake and prize off the lid. Away you go and coat as many little receptacles as you wish. Mine needed two good coats with plenty of drying time in between.

So scrape out that last bit of marmalade and retrieve that passata bottle from the recycling box, and before the day is through you may not have consumed your entire elephant, but you sure will have something pretty to look at while you contemplate the next bite.

cosy space

Postscript: and at the end of a paint splattered day, how lovely it was to retire to a cosy corner and be cheered by daffodils and hellebores in their new homes.



autumn village painting

To be able to take in an image on countless occasions and still to see it as though for the first time, to come away each time feeling settled and content, and for all of this to occur bearing no relationship whatsoever to cost, I’d say then, what you have before you is truly a work of art.

Secured some years ago in a local charity shop and now firmly mounted on our entrance hall wall, this amateur painting is possibly the first and last thing those that pass through our home will set eyes on. For some, it may not warrant a second glance, but for me that pathway is so inviting and I’m sure there are some welcoming kitchens and fire sides in those bright little cottages. My first task would be to pick a handful of those wildflowers for the table and then later in the afternoon as the autumn chill drifts down, take a brisk walk toward those mountains. Five minutes spent with this picture is a simple reminder of what is good.

Find your own piece of framed friendliness and park it where it is likely to intersect your line of vision, so no matter how demanding your day has been, your soul is not forgotten.

autumnal virginia creeper

Postscript: If you subtract the vista of rolling background hills, the bovine grazing and the picket fence, I guess the picture framed by our front window does similarly good things for the spirits.