A tale of research and development

I should totally hire these people!

Ahhh...R&D....the thing that gets my heart pumping.  It all began at my Muskoka show when a lovely woman ordered a vignette and asked for hot pink flowers....she is a Marimekko fan and actually painted a back wall of her house facing onto her deck hot pink!  I have the greatest customers!!:)

Pieni Unikko cushion cover
The inspiration - a Marimekko print

Although it sounded intriguing, my initial response was no because I use a very specific type of paint, and it simply doesn't come in many non-dirt related colours:)  It's an enamel paint made for the miniature modelling industry, so they are more concerned with true to life vintage railway colours.  I then changed my mind because I've often wanted to expand my repertoir of flowers to include colours other than the red, purple, white and yellow.  How hard could it be to find a replacement paint?????

Ahhhhhhh....famous last words.  I initially discovered that my fav paint brand, Testors, has come out with a line called Trend Colours, which gave me hope.  Alas, not available in Canada, unable to ship to Canada, and I'm on a deadline!  I spent 1 week going to every paint, artist supply, hobby shop within an hour of me and came home with a myriad colours, gel mediums, etc.  Nothing was quite right...either the colour was wrong or the consistency, or just everything.  I know you're thinking 'why not use nail polish' but I refuse to use a quick, easy fix that I don't feel will hold up for years.  It is similar in chemical composition to enamel paint, but not exact, and my favoured paint is made to hold up for years on miniature metal models without breaking down.  Also....nail polish.....seriously!!!!!

I also coloured resin with various pigments, but the problem was that the resin kept pulling away from the edges, giving only a stripe of colour down the centre of the petals.  Honestly, if there is something I didn't try, I'll be shocked.  I am the new expert on Golden Gel Mediums for oil and acrylic paints:)  Oh, and with the regular colours that Testors comes in, mixing the perfect shade was just not an option.

Two nights during this experiment I didn't crawl into bed until between 6 and 8 in the morning.  When I am experimenting my mind simply won't shut off.  I finally gave my head a shake and ordered my paints from the States.  My customer has been wonderful in telling me to take my time....I just really like to meet customer expectations.  Anyhow, imagine my surprise when the shipment only took 3 days to get to my US mailbox, so I whipped down there today and brought them all home.  Keep in mind I had no idea as to whether the colours would work.  The colour that Testors calls orange is actually coral, their yellow is mustard, etc, etc, so you can understand what I was dealing with.


My biggest coup.  The perfect hot pink!  Oh...
btw, this is NOT the colour that Testors sells
as hot pink...that one was too purple.

YAHOO!  amongst the many that I ordered, I found wonderful matches!!!!  

Here's the thing.  I know that I long ago spent any profit from this order with my wild goose chase, but this is how I make great leaps in my work.  As I mentioned, I have long wanted to create more colourful pieces so this R&D work actually was all to that end.  I've now got a lovely array of colours to create with.  

p.s.  Don't suggest I enamel my pieces.  I have no interest, the cost would go up DRAMATICALLY, and I also haven't seen the perfect colours....believe me...I checked:)

p.p.s.  While in the midst of this drama, I completed 3 other custom orders and am 1/2 way through another.  Thank goodness little boy is away at camp!

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