It’s hard for me to finish projects that involve working with my hands. Because, impatient. Because, bad small motor skills. But perseverance, humor, and community work miracles. Anyone remember the “I want gold leaf for Christmas” idea? No reason you should. How about “I am dreaming of fuchsias?”
Oh how the stars align.
Here we have a garden variety clay pot. I almost said “terracotta,” but apparently it might be “earthenware.” So much terminology.
And here we have one “Speedball Mona Lisa Gold Leaf Kit.” It sat in my closet for 7 months, but never escaped the mental to-do list. Perseverance.
The gold leaf comes in several sheets, interleaved between orange pieces of tissue in a sort of pad. The kit itself comes with glue, sealant, but no brush. Since I now use this to apply tinted moisturizer, or foundation, I nonchalantly sacrificed the tool below to the cause. Would Coco approve? Let’s say yes.
I thought I’d need tweezers to hold the gold leaf, which, to cover an intricate trivet, I might. But I was just gilding one stripe, and I wanted an imperfect look.
Which I got. Here’s how it looked after the first go-round.
I brushed the glue on about 6 inches at a time, starting with a smaller stretch as a test. Turns out fingers make make a great tool for tearing off pieces of gold leaf, despite all breezy fluttering. Also for smudging said pieces onto the glue.
The whole process, gold leaf adhering to my fingers, foundation brush repurposed, my own ineptitude, made me laugh so hard I’m surprised I didn’t knock the pot over.
Turns out the materials are forgiving, you can keep smudging gold leaf until it looks OK.
The contrast of gilt and error.
One unforeseen result, a gold-flecked patio.
It swept up pretty easily. I kind of wanted to gold leaf something else immediately. I’m thinking lampshades.
But it’s fuchsia time!
And so to Annie’s Annuals, an East Bay tradition, about which I knew nothing until @ElizabethJSays (on Twitter) introduced me to @Fuchsiarius, and he in turn introduced me to Annie’s.
Oh this place! It’s huge. The planted displays!
It was difficult not to lose focus, not to start imagining multiple acres with multiple beds, a staff of gardeners and undergardeners. But I came home with, yes, a fuchsia.
Tiny aristocrats. This one is called Mrs. McDowell. Originally thought to be fuchsia gall mite resistant, in fact it is not fully so, but I risked all for the big blossoms. Reader, I planted it.
Although I imagine elegant hues of purple set off by impudent orange-yellow, the plantings don’t look like much at the moment. For now I’m hiding the gold stripe behind other pots, so as to keep it from overwhelming the companion vegetation.
And we wait. Gardening teaches patience, gold leaf forgives what it must. A small bit of fancy in my back yard.
By the way, for real fuchsia doings, take a look at @Fuchsiarius’s blog, Fuchsias In The City.
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