I’ve Been Painting (but Shouldn’t Quit My Day Job)

I’ve Been Painting (but Shouldn’t Quit My Day Job)

Once in about five years, I get a crafty fit. It’s a condition to beware of, as I’m exceptionally unskilled. That doesn’t prevent me from attempting, pentannually, dyeing, crocheting or (visual artists forbid) painting.

Today I sat down with the determination to paint something. More precisely, to paint nothing, since I can’t paint anything that would look like something, preferably itself. So, to the natural question as to what my artwork represents, I respond nothing.

The mission starts with painting and drinking supplies spread on a plastic bag and a doubtful cat.

painting (1)

I’m attempting the first shaky strokes, while the cat is making free use of my drinks.

painting (2)

Half the coffee is gone, and I’m wondering what the heck I’m doing.

painting (3)

The cat is severely critical of the result so far.

painting (4)

I ran out of coffee and of straight lines, so I’m starting on curly ones.

painting (5)

I want to get all the white space covered with paint.

painting (6)

Soak brush in water, smear it all over the paper and, tada, white space is gone!

painting (7)

P.S. After this painting and photo-taking session, I realised that the reason the photos turned out so poor is that I had my flash turned off all the time. And why, no, I never noticed that the flash wasn’t flashing. That pretty much explains everything.




My Corkscrew Got Screwed Up; or, The Worst Christmas Ever

My Corkscrew Got Screwed Up; or, The Worst Christmas Ever

A day before Christmas, something terrible had happened. My corkscrew got screwed – in a bad way – it broke into two pieces as I was diligently applying it to a bottle. I was left in an even worse way, with the prospect of holiday without wine. Fortunately, there was still slivovitz.

A few days later, as I ran out of slivovitz (the horror, the horror!), it occurred to me that I could claim warranty for my newish but already deadish corkscrew. (Also, I switched to rum.) I emailed to my supplier of screws, attaching a graphic image of the subject’s dead body as it was left on the crime scene. I suggested that due to the nature of the damage, I deemed it unnecessary to send the product back.

The crime scene
The crime scene

The seller responded with what looked like an automated reply, requesting that I return the faulty product, fill in the attached form and add a detailed description of what the problem is. (At the point the problem was that I ran out of rum.) The next day, I faced the depressive absence of alcohol in the house, but for an unopened bottle of wine. With determination, I set out to describe my problem in the form provided.

Lacking the booze muse, I hesitated what to write in the MALFUNCTION SPECIFICATION field. It seemed obvious: It’s broken. But I don’t like stating the obvious, plus I don’t want the seller to think that I approach my claim with less than dead seriousness. After all, the corkscrew is dead, Jim.

I was thinking of approaching a technical specialist to help me write my complaint: The product manifests a severe failure of structural integrity when due force (F; also, may the force be with me) of x Newton (N) was applied and caused axis y to detach itself from axis x, the latter of which collapsed, resulting in the absolute annihilation of the product. 

At least that’s what I imagine are scientific terms for the colloquial observation that the corkscrew broke into the handle and the screw (plus the cork, still impaled on it). The screw would make a great prison shank. Regrettably, I’m currently not looking to go in jail. The complaint form remains as yet uncompleted, and I welcome informed advice on how to go about it.


That’s not the end of the story though. Today I was feeling inadvisably crafty and set my mind on creating a home-made corkscrew. What I used: the spiral from the broken screw, a double wrench (size 16 and 17) and some string. How I did that: I tied the corkscrew spiral to the wrench with the string. Did it work: no. So now what: I just pushed the cork into the bottle. Who cares about bits of cork in the wine.





Box It; or, Organising with the Mara Method

Recently I read an interesting post on My Messy World about organising with the Konmari Method. When I saw that Karla used Curver boxes to store her things, I felt compelled to come out to her as an organising freak, Curver ware fan and general box lover. (I love boxes even more than my cat does, which is a lot.)

Not knowing what she was asking for, Karla suggested that I share my own ideas for organising. In keeping with the mood of the Boxing Day, here’s my own take on it. It’s organising with the Mara Method, or, when in doubt, box it.

While this is not a sponsored post, I encourage the Curver manufacturer to pay me for this endorsement – preferably with boxes. Also, if you wish to use a free version of the box-it method, cardboard boxes will do just fine. Though the images below may be misleading, please note that a cat is not required for the Mara Method.




Poetry 101 Rehab: Odyssey

Poetry 101 Rehab: Odyssey

In response to Andy Townend’s Poetry 101 Rehab.

Ulysses fares abroad


Penelope waits at home

for him

With the quiet heroism

of women








Weekly Photo Challenge: Now

In response to WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge.