8:16 AM

A while back, we finished constructing a second end table for our living room. Unfortunately, the stain took much too dark, so we decided it would have to be sanded back down and re-done. Spencer sanded it down for me in April, and looked pretty hot while doing it. After he was finished, I stained it again, with a new can of stain, as the old one had separated beyond saving. This time, we were much more content with the outcome.

Also in April, I became overwhelmed with a desire to watercolor - something I hadn't done since I was a child. Supportive husband that he is, Spence drove me to the store that night - as in after 10pm - just to pick up paint, brushes, and paper. I fell in love immediately. The weeks that passed, I left my mixing plate, paint, and water mug out, to pick up whenever I wanted to unwind. Watercolor, I have discovered, is an effective means to combat stress. Also a fun way to get creative juices flowing.

I was enjoying it so much, I did not want to stop for our anniversary trip we would be taking. After a bit of internet searching, I discovered an affordable way to make a portable palette that I could take with me. I bought two Altoid cans (although one would work fine), some baking clay, glycerin, and liquid watercolor paint. 

I used the clay to mold separate slots for my colors, as well as divide the lid to be used as the mixing area. Originally, when fashioning the lid dividers, I put the clay all the way to the ends, only to later discover that it would not close like that; so I had use a knife to cut enough of it off to allow it to shut.

After a time in the oven to set the clay, I pulled it out, let it cool, then squeezed the liquid paints into the pots. Along with the paint, I added and mixed a couple drops of glycerin to each, to insure it would not dry out. It took some time to dry enough, but when it did, it was ready to go.

Found as well at Hobby Lobby was a travel watercolor brush, that holds water in the handle, so carrying around a cup of water would be unnecessary. It breaks in half, so it's smaller and easier to store. Half of it fits in the slot leftover in my Altoid can, and the other half I rubber band to the outside. Along with the brush, I also put a folded paper towel inside, on top of the paints, to use while traveling.

With the second Altoid can, I broke off the lid, bent the sides in just slightly so it wouldn't fall off, and attached it to the bottom of my main can, to serve as an extra mixing tray should I have the need.

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