It’s dark again

And the lamps over the dining table are broken. So I have a very white daylight lamp in front of my painting station but my back is to it when working with small images or other things requiring a table, and it’s not enough in winter gloom. (getting a new lamp obviously, but it’s not as easy as all that to find what you like and need)

I’ve been thinking I’d like to do some big canvasses for a change anyway, but then I’m up against another issue: Uncovered living room floor. Acrylic paints. A desire to perhaps use runny stuff? As it is I spend way too many brain cells monitoring that I don’t accidentally spill or wipe my brushes on furniture, it ruins the flow more than you’d think!

One solution would be to tape heavy paper to the floor, renew when cats and dogs have torn it up, remove when company comes over, because well, some people are like that. Vacuum over it the other days so I don’t have to spend most of my batteries getting ready for painting each time and then it’s goodnight.

Or a soft rug that I can roll up between sessions and store somewhere.

Which do you find more practical, or do you have other suggestions?

When not using runny paints I can hang them on the wall and paint there, just probably get a sheet for the sofa, even if it’s old and worn. But that leaves me with lots of drying-waiting time, as I can only hang one at a time! (or two mediums, careful not to splash the other one)


I also have another problem. The young cats are doing a wonderful job catching mice and voles, BUT they have a silly habit of bringing them inside for the kill. Or to play with and leave in a corner to die alone. If you don’t find them fast, they begin to stink. So for a while one has been evading me, poluting the living room with rot.

And now I found it. In my IKEA Expedit box of paint tubs, hello mr. flat mousie. Yuck. Somebody must have been playing dunk while I left it pulled out. (Leeeee-OOOOO!!?) And I can’t get the stink out of it although I’ve washed with all sorts of anti-smelly things and disinfectants, can’t leave it outdoors as the cardboard parts would disintegrate. My tubs smell a bit too, not in the room but you know, if you sniff them up close. Yuck.

So I’m looking for cleaning solutions. Can’t get a new storage box asap, leaving tubs inside the cubby hole and having to lie on the floor to drag them out individually would be a nuisance. Most are nearly full, I’m NOT throwing them away unless I give up paints forever. Would chlorine work?

(And no, I’m also not shutting the cats out in the cold to fend among the ferals without a safe haven. I invest feelings as well as money and hope to keep each one for 20 years. Because that’s how I roll. So I help catch mice, dead or alive. Gah, I just fished a live, undamaged one in the mudroom and forgot that it would have been the perfect illustration for this post, before I released it in the paddock!)

My senior cuddlebug who abhors any kind of wet or live food.
My senior cuddlebug who abhors any kind of wet or live food.

9 thoughts on “It’s dark again

  1. I have used brown paper just like that for catching paint drips, and it seemed to work just fine. Though I’d worry, if you were doing a lot of pouring and drizzling, at how the paper might stand up to the water and soak through. Maybe put a rug/ clothe over it for good measure if you’re going to be done a lot of watery drippage. Otherwise, I think the paper is a good solution.

    For the smell, my first instinct would be to rub everything down with vinegar, then air dry in a covered area outside for a little while, not long enough for it to get damaged, of course.

    Maybe baking soda, too will absorb the smell, though since it’s alkaline, best not to use in combination with vinegar I would imagine.

    In our first new york apt, 2/3 of it smelled like the inside of a cat litter box. I tried everything- vinegar, baking soda, all the cleaners that promised it takes away smells. I tried masking it with candles and deodorizers. I think cleaning did put a dent in it, but what really worked was ordering 100 sticks of incense and burning them all day long. I think I used up the first 100 in like month or less, the next more sparingly. The walls absorbed the smoke and now it smells like vanilla and nag champa. The owner of the apartment honestly should pay me.

    1. Well, incense gives me a headache, so we’ll skip that. I tried vinegar, another cleaner that is great for cat pee and I also found some chlorine. I thought I had it fixed after half a day outside, but now that it’s been inside all afternoon, it smells again. Not in the room, just when I stick my head in, like. The mouse wasn’t even touching the box, it was wedged between two bottles.

        1. Perhaps I could apply somewhere else, but several months’ work sounds exhausting compared to the price of a new box. 😉

          I’m really HSP about perfumey smells, so I’m going to give Febreeze a miss too.

          1. My sis is the same way re: smells, she can’t even handle the lighter stuff. I’m fine with incense so long as the fragrance isn’t artificial, as in made with real herbs and resins. Same with laundry detergent, I use 7th generation free and clear…The perfume I use is very light oil infused with vanilla, kind of like an oil vanilla extract….Otherwise, yeah immediate headache. I actually used a whole bottle of Febreeze in our last apartment and it just made me sick and didn’t make the smell any better.

            Something else that is smelly but not necessarily perfumy would be coffee…? I used to put crushed coffee bean satchels in my clothes drawers. Then I started painting with it and my sketchbooks smelled amazing for years, in fact they still might smell good, they’re in storage now so I can’t check…

          2. Ah, yes! I did think of leaving something in there, like lavender, but I don’t have any in the garden right now, so I can’t gather it naturally. The room was stink free as soon as I removed the mouse, so it’s just a case of not wanting icky feeling stuff.

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