Accidental Rose and the Sculpey Improv

It started out as a simple challenge. “Let’s all do something with a tin ceiling tile and see what we create,” suggested one of the ladies on the HGTV Trash-to-Treasure forum.

And with a tin tile just sitting around in the basement, waiting for inspiration, I’d said, “Why not?”

I’d bought this tile for a couple of bucks at Construction Junction, and thought someday I’d be ready to paint roses on it. I had grand visions of creating this soft, dewy-looking bloom on architectural salvage... An homage to Shabby Chic I could be proud of... A shining testament to nature’s beauty...

I should have waited longer.

You see, no amount of inspiration, peer pressure, or wishful thinking will teach me to paint decent roses on cue.

Accidental roses? Roses that somehow end up looking reasonably rose-esque through no knowledge or understanding of my own? Sure! A one in five chance!

But when the pressure’s on, and I get to painting, my roses will only look like roses to a half-blind abstract art admirer...

One wearing, I might add, SERIOUS rose-colored sunglasses.

I was reminded of this not long into my tile project.

So I sat in my favorite chair in the livingroom, staring miserably down at the blotch on my tile wondering just how I could salvage this... er... salvage.

I could try to remove the rosely blob with a bit of water and a Q-tip. (It was gouache, after all)...

I could paint over the whole tile and start again-- losing that nice old tile patina...

Or I could pretend it never happened by sticking Sculpey to it.

You know by now where I’m going with this.

I admit, while I was rolling red and pink Sculpey around in my hands, I had a moment not totally unlike when I was varnishing Marshmallow Peeps for my Easter garland project. It was one of those brief moments of reflection where I questioned why any sane person would think there was even a POSSIBILITY that this was a good idea.

Ah, good times, these reflective thoughts. I nod at them. Give ‘em a smile and a “Hey, thanks for stopping by!” Then wait for them to pass, so I can really get something done.

It’s times like these, I also feel a little sorry for my housemate. She is, after all, just trying to carry on with her everyday life. To have a decent place to live, as she saves for a home of her own. Or just wants, say, a soda.

Yet every few months or so, she comes downstairs to find me threading Marshmallows and beads. Or gluing flatware to necklace wire. Or spies me completely red-handed from polymer clay.

She no longer asks what it is I’m doing and why, which should probably concern me. She just raises an eyebrow, gives a smirk, and continues on into the kitchen.

I can’t blame her, really. This last week I was lining a cookie sheet so I could bake plastic.

Only crafters fail to see the full surreality of these things as they happen.

Having baked the buds, I began to noodle around with it on the tin ceiling tile. The blue, somehow, looked a little TOO blue. The rose, rightfully, looked a little too plasticine.

So I gave it all a light coating of some white pearl paint.

There’s really nowhere else to go from here.

Yes, I look at the thing and think, oh, how far one ends up from the original idea sometimes. It says a lot about the pros and cons of creativity when a Shabby Chic-inspired rose painting on architectural salvage can somehow mutate into a three-dimensional art installation with plastic petals and pearl paint. And to tell the truth, I STILL don’t know whether I even like the thing or not.

Only thing I can guarantee is, no one else in the tin tile challenge will have anything like it. So, if only for a laugh, I have to believe my time was well-spent.

Hope you’ll come back next week as we celebrate The Thrift Shop Romantic’s first bloggy birthday! Have a wonderful week!