Not feeling very upbeat today......... 5 February is my most hated day in the calender and it hasn't helped that PP is still feeling very poorly, the weather has been dull and grey and cold, I'm behind with loads of stuff and even displacement activity has temporarily lost its lustre.
So, in brief, a litany of woes and desolation.
In an act of virtual self-flagellation, I set myself the long overdue task of a first china paint and firing on a batch of dolls which were bisque fired two weeks ago, just before PP went into hospital. Since then, apart from unloading the kiln to check that the firing had been successful, the dolls have lain in a box in the workroom, unpainted and neglected.
I normally enjoy the act of painting as the doll's characters emerge with each successive paint firing, and the faces slowly come alive.........sallow or rosy cheeks, lips either plump and kissable or thin and disapproving. Eyes, bright and sparkling or red-rimmed and brimming with tears.
Eyebrows raised in questioning disbelief, or drawn together in deep thought. My characters never have exactly the same painted expressions.
Today though I just couldn't get enthused at all. Partly due to my malaise, and partly due to the fact that my MS chose to play up and firstly ever so slightly blurred my vision then added to the fun by introducing the barest minimum of hand tremor. If I hadn't been concentrating so hard on painting I probably wouldn't have noticed it, but working under a powerful magnifying lamp, delineating the features of a tiny baby whose head measured less than 3mm in diameter, it had the same effect as a minor earthquake. As a result, some faces had to be wiped clean several times before I finally got things under control and stuck at it until I was satisfied with the paint quality.
In all, the task should have taken no more than two hours tops, but it was four hours before I finally finished and was able to load the kiln with a huge sigh of relief.
I couldn't even muster the energy to produce my usual neat, concentric circles of heads and bodies, so pleasing to the eye and a balm to the soul, so instead there is a rather unsatisfying jumble.
Incidentally the dark coloured porcelain dolls are not the result of a catastrophic overfire, which can happen from time to time. No they are meant to be that colour, a rich velvet brown, and are destined to be exotic young child Indian princes to accompany my pullalong ceremonial toy elephant with howdah. If I can regain my creative inspiration there will also be matching tiny 1 1/2" dolls to sit in state in the howdah.
However, in the meantime they still have another two paint firings to go..........