Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Dolphin Chalkboard - Some Presents Live in the Present

I'm kicking myself for not taking a before picture of a dolphin wall panel I've been commissioned to paint.  Back in the Summer, DK asked me to paint a wall panel featuring a dolphin as a gift for "his lovely bride". It just wasn't coming together.  The first version was a bulky, unintentionally cartoon-like dolphin jumping out of the water.  It's been sitting in the garage for months (because it just wasn't up to par) as a constant reminder of yet another unfinished project.

Last night a light bulb went off in my head as I made my way through the garage on my way from the boathouse (which I've been painting) into the basement (to clean my paint brushes).  First, I saw the unfinished dolphin panel leaning against the garage wall which immediately made me hasten my pace (What? With too much to do and not enough time, I need to move FASTER).  Second, when I reached the basement, I glanced over and saw the can of black chalkboard paint on the basement shelf.  Why didn't I think of that before?  Many of my silhouette panels feature a black silhouette.  Why not paint the silhouette with chalkboard paint so it can double as a message board?  Third, I cleaned out my boathouse brushes and, instead of calling it a day, I was inspired to try something new.

I grabbed the dolphin panel from the garage, said "bye bye" to the chunky mahi mahi as I painted over him, tweaked the dolphin design into a swimming position (rather than jumping), and added a second dolphin (for more chalkboard message space). I then flipped a new but never used cabinet door handle (from the basement shelf adjacent to the chalkboard paint) upside down to hold the chalk and - voila! - now I can finally give DK his long-awaited dolphin panel.

My lesson - It is important in my daily haste to slow down enough to observe and enjoy.  I will never be one to cruise around in 1st gear but I do need to remind myself to pay more attention as I speed around the track so as to notice the detours that are worth exploring.  Yesterday I was rewarded for my patience (setting the dolphin aside this Summer instead of forcing myself to work on something I wasn't inspired to do at the time).  And I was rewarded for recognizing a detour worth taking. (Dolphin panel, chalkboard paint, and then cabinet door handle). Are you kidding me?  How many times have I missed a series of signs as obvious as that?

Hopefully, DK feels rewarded for his patience too and he is glad he waited for his wife's gift.  Considering his wife is a teacher, I couldn't have planned a more appropriate gift if I tried.

As an added bonus, I made J a new morning checklist chalkboard while I had the supplies out.  She was thrilled with it AND I didn't have to feel like a broken record this morning...brush your teeth and hair.  where are your socks?  did you pack your homework?  where's my kiss and hug?

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