Last week I was delighted at all of the mini time that had suddenly been dropped in my lap. It seemed like things were progressing quickly, and I could see the project taking shape. You know - the exciting part when your vision becomes tangible!
Then, the next step arrived - the dreaded egg carton stones. I was enthusiastic about doing them! That was until I had worked on them for many, many hours over two days. Then I realized my pace had slowed to a crawl. So much for progress...
The cutting and applying part, though excruciatingly long, went fairly well. I used the pattern from the vacation photo of the Mt. St Helens path wall as a guide. I loved how they looked and thought maybe they just needed a bit of dimension.
Okay - I'll just sponge on a little paint in contrasting but muted colors. That ought to do the trick. Well, it might have, if I could just leave well enough alone. But I can't. 47 years on this planet and still I can't just Leave Well Enough Alone! I swear, they looked fine on Saturday evening.
They didn't become completely disagreeable until I had the Grout Idea on Sunday! You see, I had several different grout options, but each also had a drawback:
1. The powdered grout from the hardware store where you just add water. Drawback - It was already colored, and being a bit of a medium brown just didn't fit with the vision for the project.
2. Spackling compound. Drawback - Too easy!
3. The tub of mosaic tile grout that I purchased from Northwest Art & Frame in 2002 which by now of course was a completely hard and solid rock inside the container. Drawback - Why, none of course! Let's prove a point and bring to life and make new again something completely dead and useless! Frankenstein was not crazy! He was a visionary!
So once option #3 was chosen and committed to I began to attempt to resuscitate the dried up grout. I took a rather large Xaxto implement (to scare) and cut the substance into chunks and out of the container. Once I had dispatched about half of said grout into a paper towel I added about 1/4 cup of hot water to the container with the remaining (now scolded, freaked out and ready to submit) grout. I let it sit a few moments after which time I further forced it into submission by smashing and stirring it vigorously with a large paint brush handle. After several minutes of such treatment the grout relented, and was just as liquidy smooth as the day it was purchased. Ha! Try to waste my $3.99 will you! To this now yielding batch I added more and more of the paper towel contents until I, once again and satisfied, had a full jar of perfectly good grout. :O)
I mixed in a little complementary color, put it in an applicator bottle and began the grouting process.......... It Was A Mess........... Apparently, little bitty chunks of the resistance party remained, clogging up my applicator bottle, exploding under the pressure and causing a great disaster of a mess. I stopped trying to apply the grout into the cracks, I began to, in frustration, pour great globs into my hand and apply the grout smearing and pushing and hoping some would make it into the places it was supposed to be! It Was Awful! Then it got worse...
Now, with warm wash cloth and sponge in hand, I began to attempt to try to remove the grout off of the rocks only to find that in the motion of scrubbing off the grout that the surface of the Egg Cartons were coming off too! Never Have I Ever Had This Kind Of Holy Terror With Egg Carton Masonry!!!
At this point I went to bed. To distract myself from the grouting horror with which I have never seen the like, and being at home alone (due to hubs and son doing an out of town job), I thought listening to the Dark Waters YouTube Channel would be just the thing to fall asleep to........... I have come to the understanding, after lying awake and afraid to move until 4:00 in the morning, that I am an appalling decision maker, and that apparently, my bad decisions come in groups. Unless you want to truly terrify yourself while home alone with "real" encounter stories, Never, Never Listen To Dark Waters!
The next morning I made the decision (remember? Me + Decisions?) to just coat all of it in a wash. I mixed a little of the grout color into some water and brushed a coat over everything. It does look a little better, but still so one dimensional. Now I have decided not to do Anything! I need to wait a few days and see if I can figure out what to do next. More sponged on color? Some Mod Podge? Leave it alone? I am just afraid to do anything.
So, in the meantime, I am doing some trim and some detailing. Thank goodness, that is going much better than the Egg Carton Stones!
And, in other Bad Decision News I have resolved to quit being such a big sissy and just enter the darn HBS Creatin' Contest. I finally had a fun idea (my ideas are still okay) for the structure, and it's so fun to share with everyone! Don't think I'll start until this project is done, but I bet that decision will come back to Bite Me too!