Thursday, August 26, 2010

TSB - Day Four!

Today, Mum and I finally finished the Traffic Signalling Box!  Yes!  After one extension, we spent all day today from 11am until 5pm applying the finishing touches.
It was a freezing cold day to get out there and do it but our last day to get into it was tomorrow, and so we made the commitment to  get it completed today.  So, once we were unpacked, we found the wind was coming from all directions and we had to hunt up some rocks from around the nearby tree to keep down the drop cloths.  All day, we were chasing down lids and plastic wrap from the brushes; it was funny, but it was freezing!  I had on both my painting shirts, a hoodie and a jumper with a cap to keep my head warm.  And I also brought along two cushions I usually use for reading outside to sit and kneel on when we had to do any painting down low on the box.
When we were wishing for a cup of coffee, Dad showed up with two drink thermos' of tea; nice and piping hot for us to drink!  He had stayed home today feeling a little under the weather and thought it would be nice to bring us something hot to drink.  What a great person to think of us out there like that.
The traffic got busier as the afternoon wore on and we felt the wind change and become cooler; but we kept on going until I put on the last bit of green paint on one of the
leaves around the back and Mum and I whooped in celebration!  It was done!  All we had to do was sign our names and date it!  Before that, though, the people who owned the house came out and had a look at our work.  An older lady - about Mum's age - told us that they were really excited that the box was finally getting painted and have been watching get better as the weeks passed and we had our days at it.  The lady said the each time they came home, something had been added to it and it looked even more lovely than before.  She was an artist herself and her granddaughter is a brilliant artist; and is still in high school.  I said that if she's great, she should look into working on one of the boxes with a family member as a practice for bigger works.
Well, as I finished the last bit of green, 5pm has just passed.  We packed up quickly and got some great photos of it as the sun went down and the temperature turned cooler.  If I had the chance to do another one, I'd definitely get in and do it!  It's a big thing to get into physically and mentally, but it's so much fun and my work is out in the public eye for a long time.  I do encourage anyone who has the patience and energy to try it out.  Urban Smart Projects' website is on the sidebar if you'd like to find out more about their work and other TSB's that have been painted around Brisbane. 

Thursday, August 19, 2010

TSB - Day Three

Well, today, it warmed up fast and Mum and I were late getting to the TSB site.  So, we didn't panic; going at our own pace as it became hot really quickly.  The good this was that I knew what I wanted to do straight away:  I had to make the leaves on the stalks bigger.  And so, I did.  I drew around the ones already there and worked in the bigger - better-looking - leaves.  I painted the lighter green on first and then darkened it to a nice, darker green; which has set off the whole design really well.

Mum and I had gone out yesterday and last night; we were pretty tired from doing that.  However, seeing we took our time and kept our water up.  We were really grateful there was a lovely cool breeze as it dried the paint quickly; and kept us cool too! But the sun was really hot.
Lunch was freshly made hot chips from the fish'n'chip place across the road and I also bought some tartare sauce (home made; not store-bought) and a bottle of water for Mum. 
Later on, she drank it down.  I was thankful I got it at lunch.
During the day, the lady who lives in the house that borders this TSB came home.  She said it was nice to meet the artists who did these things.  She told us that her daughter was absolutely over the moon when she saw the the box had been painted blue and then the flowers were next.  And now, she can tell her daughter she met us. She also said it's looking lovely.  But we've got one more day to work on it; but she doesn't mind that we've parked right in front.

We began work today at 11am and came home at 3:30pm... what a long day.  But we got a lot done since Saturday; where we got a lot done then too.  Our next session will be our last seeing we have only the fiddly detailing to do and that's it.  I'll have to make sure to take detailing brushes with me; well more than one!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

TSB - Day Two

It's almost been a week since Mum and I were at the Traffic Signaling Box and when we arrived at 11am this morning, we found that it hadn't been tagged. Yay!
We unpacked quickly, laid down the drop cloths and orange markers and donned our bright vests and got to work on applying the templates.  It was funny and interesting work.  Mum was really great at getting the centre of the flowers right and we got in and mixed the paints with the help of the mixing chart on the inside of the lid.  
Work was slow and as we had to put on three coats of each colour.  Dad showed up with a much-needed lunch of pies and pasties... yummo!  And he suggested we painted the rest of the flowers with a white before applying the colour.  So, we tried that and voila!  It was a lot easier. 

By the time we got most of the flowers painted white, I had drawn up the stalks in pencil; with the leaves as well.  We had taken a few breaks and found that traffic was slowing down to take a look at what we were doing; thus there were fair few people beeping horns at the lights.  And an accident nearly occurred when a tow-truck nearly rear-ended a nice white sedan.  The sedan was forced to run the red light so it wasn't destroyed.  It was scary to watch on and not be able to do anything about it.
While I went to get a drink earlier in the day, I spotted a gorgeous Thunderbird on a car trailer at the service station.  It was red and American-built!  I asked if they could stick around for a few minutes while I got my camera and took some photos of it.  They said yes and I ran back to the car and grabbed by camera.  Isn't she a beauty?  The owners had just bought her and were taking her back to Rockhampton!  What a car!

Well, we've got one more session to do on the TSB and it'll be finished.  I think I have to paint the leaves a little bigger and they'll be sweet.  Otherwise, it looks lovely and eye-catchingly pretty.   We finished the session today at 4pm... what an exhausting day!  I bet I'll be sore tomorrow!

Monday, August 9, 2010

TSB - Day One

What an exhausting afternoon I had with Mum!  At first, though, we didn't think it was going to happen because it rained heavily; then fined up.  But we got going and spent three hours on the first session on the Traffic Signaling Box.

Mum parked the 4X4 on the footpath near the box and we unpacked and washed it down with sugarsoap and water.  It was filthy!  Then, after drying it off, we painted on two coats of undercoat and waited for it to dry.
I mixed the first coat of background colour - a lovely sky blue.  I called it Budgie Blue ( looked very much like the colour my budgie... honestly, it did!).  Anyway, the roller we used was still in a bucket of water and no matter how dry I tried to get it the paint was still watery.  So, we had to take the first coat a little slow.  Once the first coat of that dried - after half an hour or so - we used a paintbrush to put on the second coat.  The brush I used was a proper brush bought from Bunnings; not from an art store.  It looked great!

We decided that while we were waiting for the paint to dry (and while we looked like Council workers in our vests...hehe), we'd get a few photos taken of the site and something to eat.  I bought along some nuts, a banana and something to drink.  Mum ate nearly all my nuts and I scoffed down the banana and then we kept working on the box.
It was a good day and we soon had to pack up as we were very tired and there wasn't really much else we could do as the weather was beginning to turn on us.  Clouds were building around the back of Woodridge.  So, we began folding up the dropsheets and took off our vests and made sure we didn't leave any rubbish anywhere before driving away.  But the Traffic Signaling Box sure looked bright and lovely when we looked at it from the traffic lights... very bright and pretty.  I can't wait to finish it!
I just hope it doesn't get tagged between now and the next time we get to it; after the rain goes away.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

TSB Box Arrives!

Last Wednesday afternoon - around 4:45pm - the Urban Smart Projects box arrived at my parent's house.  It showed up just fifteen minutes after Mum arrived home... how's that for good timing?  Well, I got the phone call from Mum and the next day, she arrived to find me very sick with a bad headache, but the box was in the back of her Pajero.  So, I brought it inside and opened it up.
After reading the instructions, I found there were pots of paint, three dropsheets, two vests, empty container and a other things to use while I'm at the Traffic Signaling Box.  It's all pretty straight forward.  We photocopied all the letters and printed out my acceptance letter a few times and then we were all set.  I can't wait to get into it and paint the whole
The great thing is that I've been prepared for this for the last month; buying brushes and getting things from the shop for it all.  The calendar has been kept as free as possible and I'm really looking forward to doing it; as is Mum (who is going to be there with me).  I said that to help get it done, she could paint it with me.  It's such a basic design, she could paint some of the flowers and be part of the project.  She's so excited that I asked her to help with it; and so she'll be dressed in old painting gear.  I said even if she has to be in overalls that she used to paint the house, it would be good.

Tomorrow afternoon, Mum and I are going to be heading to the Traffic Signaling Box and getting in to paint it.  I've been to it to check out what I can and can't paint, find the keyholes, numbers, hinges and other pieces I have to avoid and then there's the reflectors I've been told are on the box, but they've been painted over by other people.  So, I don't have a choice but to tell Urban Smart that that's what's happened.  Well, I'll keep you all up to date with photos of what the TSB looks like before an after we've done painted it up... it ought to look great!

Until my next post, keep creating and keep knitting.