Fresco mama

There’s two things I know for sure.
I’m more creative than I thought I was and I should have my own show.
(Time slot—8:30 p.m. Monday nights on HGTV, between “Design Rivals” and “House & Home.”)
It’ll be tagged “Beth Caldwell’s Painted Ladder.”
Back in May, I wrote a column slugged “It’s an Improvement.” In it, I said (and I quote): “If there’s one thing I’m good at, it’s moving.”
Well, now there’s something else I’m good at—painting like an Olympic champion.
The bedroom (a.k.a. Project Centre) finally arrived at the “colour me” stage. Actually, it had been in that vortex for quite awhile while Peter waited patiently for my chicken legs to stop quivering. Yes, I was afraid to paint.
When you come to the edge of all you’ve known and are about to step into darkness, one of two things will happen. Either there will be something solid for you to stand on or you will be taught to fly.
I was scared I’d make a mistake. But I’d laid claim to painting. I was going to do it. Someday. Straw broke camel’s back when procrastinating wife finds ladder, paint, and paint brush lying next to her in bed. It was “The Godfather” all over again.
So on a Sunday morning two weekends ago, I made the big trip to town to buy paint. I dug out the worn out colour swatches I’d been carrying around in my purse for two months and closed my eyes. I was okay with this. I could do this. I had filled my head with a plan of attack, compliments of many painting books from the library. I think I can. I think I can.
I returned home with the goods—Ambertique, Havana Cream, Mocha, and Burnt Sienna. It was enough to make you hungry.
I cracked a bottle of red wine and picked up a paintbrush.
The bedroom, I might add, is 400 sq. ft.
Big. Huge do-it-yourselfer. (I could have had help, but as you know, I’m strong-willed).
From Sunday afternoon until midnight, and for four nights after work until 1 a.m., I made colour-wash history.
By that Thursday, I had a Tuscan villa—pulled right out of the pages of Architectural Digest—as my bedroom.
Such a labour-intensive project had transformed me from “super kitchen-and-laundry-mom” to “Michelangela,” fresco artist.
I amazed myself.
But wait a minute. Who’s that over there? Why, it’s the children holding up little signs that say “We miss you Mom” and “Please feed us, we’re hungry” Are those vultures hovering over my dog, wasting away in the corner with no food in her dish? The infrastructure has gone awry.
Okay, so the family hadn’t seen much of me for four nights after school and yes, they’d fended for themselves when it came to supper.
But they survived, albeit on corn flakes and Kraft Dinner, but hey, sometimes you just have to put down that spatula and pork chop and do something with your spare time.
Now, I have a little piece of Italian scenery to go with the big hunk of Italian man in my life. And the best part is that I can have both behind closed doors in the bedroom!
Break out the Valpolicella and look out honey, I’m feelin’ a little passion comin’ on!

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