I am so very glad that I bought a new tablecloth when I went to John Lewis last week. It looks fabulous and has really brought some colour to the Breakfast Room. It also meant that I had an old oilcloth table-covering to have on hand for a) curry night (have you seen how take-out curry stains things???) and b) craft.
This afternoon, the Kidlings and I got busy in the art department. I haven’t done painting with Dimples. I rather assumed she was too little, but given that she will not let me feed her anymore, I figured if she can handle a spoon (vaguely) she should be able to manage a paintbrush. So, once I had covered us all in every avaiable bit of oilcloth, I taped a few pieces of paper to the table and let the get on with it. ‘It’ got to be very messy after a short while, particularly as, whilst trying to stop Dimples eating the paint, Tweeva took the chance to smear paint all over her hands. And whilst I was on operation ‘Damage Limitation’ with her, Dimples ripped up what I felt was going to be a masterpiece.
But I had a flash of inspiration: a seascape. The ripped pieces of paper got ripped some more by the Kidlings, and we stuck them willy-nilly to another piece of paper, not worrying if they were flat or not, since that added to the sea-like quality of the ‘piece’. Then we added some green strips of seaweed. I found that ripping the paper and sticking it whilst it was still sodden with paint made for a better sea-like quality, but I might just be getting too pretentious for my own good. Then we sponged some oranges and reds onto a second piece of paper. Leaving both to dry, the girls transferred to the bathroom to ‘Paint the Bath’*.
When we returned to the dry artwork, I drew simple fish shapes and cut them out from the orangey paper then stuck them to the ‘seascape’. A couple of other bits of seaweed over the top to create ‘depth’ and we were able to enjoy our art whilst we ate tea.
* Paint the Bath is a game I devised to encourage paint (or mud) spattered children to get in the tub at odd times of day. The paint that covers them will dilute in the water, making the paint, and I give them a clean paint brush which they can use to paint the tiles with the coloured water.