Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Dirty Pioneers

You know how everyone is always going on and on about people who paved the way for us in one way or another?

Like the people who settled the American West, the suffragettes, blah, blah, blah.

I'm not saying those things aren't awesome, but there's a group of humans who were MUCH tougher than anyone who got through the Donner Pass on an admittedly tough trip, or over the Continental Divide in a wagon with no coffee.

I'm talking about the squillions of generations of people who never got to take a shower. I call them the Dirty Pioneers.

When I reflect on what sort of mental fortitude it must have taken to lurch around one's cave, or even survive in a castle in a corset, a dress and possibly a very stinky wig without being able to take a MINIMUM of one hot shower a day, I realize that I could not have survived that.

I would have definitely started drinking laudanum by age four under those circumstances. Give me a tough hike, a snowstorm and a cannibal any day as long as there's a shower waiting for me.

Also, it's reason number 38 squillion I'm not in the military.

Speaking of water, I've been practicing watercolor for a project we're doing at the retreat. Thanks to a nifty tip from +Jennifer McGuire, I found something that improves the process immensely. My cup of brush water was always a pain. For one thing, I have frequently taken a drink from it by mistake. That's fun. But also, it gets dirty so quickly and I find myself stopping often to change it out, which really disrupts the flow of my work. She uses a little craft locker that has lids on the wells, so that kids/pets don't bump it and spill it. I don't really need the lids, so I just bought some cheap ice cube trays and labeled the sides with each of my color names with a Sharpie:

Cool & simple! After I use a color, I swish it in that color water, and then in the well with clean water in it - it's awesome and saves so much time and headache. And I have yet to drink out of the ice cube tray :).

During one of my backyard coloring sessions, I played with Bloom With Hope and the no-line technique with my Koi watercolor set.  The background was made with drywall tape.

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Mel said she wanted this one, so it's in the mail!

Go forth and enjoy some hot running water, some cold running water, or some pretty colored water in an ice cube tray and be glad you weren't a Dirty Pioneer!



  1. What a great idea and one that I must try! I have an old ice tray around here somewhere. Yes, showers are a must and wake me up every morning. Love your lovely.

  2. Lovely, I must try that water color, technique. I saw one today that the lady took shavings of watercolor pencil and brushed on paper and used as backgrounds on splitcoaststampers, must try that also. No, don't think I could make it as one of those pioneers crossing the country in covered wagons.....geez, can you imagine the stinch, bad weather, sickness, raids, scary stuff. Uge.

  3. 1. They didn't even HAVE showers, they had baths. And they didn't like to take them. I couldn't have lived with myself, but then they weren't used to bathing daily, so I guess it's what you're used to.

    1.5. Know why June is historically such a popular wedding month? Spring bathing!!!

    2. Ever hear of sachets? People carried them to put under their noses to block the stench of corseted, powdered ladies and just plain powdered gents (no corsets, although ...). I would have heaved.

    3. I would embrace this magnificent idea of a sectioned water tray if only I had a flat desk. Alas, mine is a drafting table at which I stand, and not only is there no ROOM for this tray, it would slide off and spill.

    3.5. Some of us have a small collection of ice cube trays that were actually USED in the olden days, before ice makers. Did you know my Dad was an ice maker pioneer when he worked for Frigidaire when it was still part of GM? Truth.

    4. Did you link to Google+? I might have to rethink our friendship.

  4. You're brilliant (and so funny) as always! When looking at the picture I had an idea. What if you used a little less water one time, froze it, set the cubes on watercolor paper, and see what happened when it melted?? Could be cool, messy but cool. Thanks for always making me laugh and think and wonder and create : )

  5. Fantabulous!!! I'm in LOVE with your fabby background. Need to add sumthin' to a shopping list! ;)

  6. Beautiful - I love those two colours together!
    What a neat idea on the ice-cube tray thing. Mind you, my personal problem isn't drinking my water, since I use a jam jar and I think I'd notice if I picked it up. But more than once I have nearly dipped my painty brush into my coffee. And it's not even as if I risk drinks on my desk all that often...

  7. hey wots wit dese ice cubes - my bourbon is a funny color and tastes like paint! ;> happy M-Day!


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