Day 1 - #WorldWatercolorGroup Building a Better Mousetrap Game Vintage Original

Building A Better Mousetrap

It’s New Year’s Day and also the start of a brand new Doodlewash Adventure! This month, we’ll be exploring Childhood Memories, by taking a tour through some of the fun things we enjoyed as kids, so if you’re looking for ideas to paint, then please join along! To kick things off, today’s prompt is board games and the only one that popped into my head was Mousetrap which is ridiculously difficult to sketch. But this was one of my favorite games, not for the game itself, simply for the ridiculous contraption that was the centerpiece of the game board.  I can’t remember actually playing the game, but the object was to move around the board and build a mousetrap to catch your opponent’s mice. Even with no friends around to join me, I’d pull the game out and build it just to see the little balls roll down twisted tracks and trigger the various mechanisms. After awhile, though, I grew bored and decided to use the pieces to build an even better one.

Using anything I could find, I set about trying to invent the ultimate impossible machine. This sounds grand, to be sure, but beyond the plastic pieces of the game my additional supplies were mostly crafted out of spent toilet paper rolls and tape. The original trap was cool, but I wanted to extend the experience a bit before the little plastic mouse was captured. I formed additional tracks for the ball to sail down and when that wasn’t enough, I decided to add some dominoes to the mix. This was another game I owned but never used for its intended purpose. It was far more fun to stand them up in rows of various patterns and watch them fall. They proved to be just what I needed to make the experience more elaborate and soon I had covered the floor of our rec room with an incredible, albeit hideous looking trap that was only impressive in the sense that it miraculously ended up working flawlessly.

As the years went by and I moved into adulthood, this urge to modify things and make them into something different has never changed. It’s great to be able to do something new that you’ve discovered, but I find it even more enjoyable when you find a way to transform it into something else entirely. Something only you could create. As I move into a new year of doodlewashing, I’m excited to try some new things and add to what I’ve already learned along this journey. Whenever I get a bit frustrated that I can’t seem to get the watercolors to bend to my will or my fountain pen to draw the correct perspective, I just think back to childhood. Those times when I was literally unstoppable because I was far more interested in the learning and doing than the result. Truthfully, this is still how I approach life. I’m always looking for new things to try, and when I get bored, I don’t immediately walk away. First, I take a second look. Who knows, if I just think about it for a bit more than maybe, just maybe, I’ll find a way to build a better mousetrap.

Join us for the January Doodlewash Adventure: Childhood Memories,
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About the Doodlewash

Sennelier L’Aquarelle: Indian Yellow, Sennelier Red, Phthalo. Green Light, Phthalocyanine Blue, Ultramarine Deep  and Payne’s Grey. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon with black ink in a little red cloth hardbound l’aquarelle journal I found in a Paris shop.
 Day 1 - #WorldWatercolorGroup Building a Better Mousetrap Game Vintage Original

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27 thoughts on “Building A Better Mousetrap

  1. WOWZA!! Charlie! What a cool Doodlewash!! WHOOT! 😃🎨👍 I remember that game! And like you, I never played it like a game but instead enjoyed watching it work. You sound more creative than me with your “additions” though! 😉 When I got bored, I just went onto something else… hehe! ✨🐁

    1. Ditto for me too! I remember playing it by myself also as it was so much fun watching that contraption work! Charlie you did a fantastic job rendering this “ridiculously difficult” sketch–looks just like I remember!

  2. Brought back my own memories of my brothers and I always modifying every game. “Rules” are just suggestions, right? My own children did it as well.
    Happy New Year Charlie! (K)

  3. Your humor and imagination seem boundless, Charlie. What a fantastic “mousetrap” you’ve painted! If I were mouse-sized, for sure I would succumb to that enticing red bath tub. 🙂 Happy new year!

  4. So energetic, all those bright colours! I don’t remember our version of MouseTrap being this vivid – and yes, I too grew quickly bored of the game itself and just marvelled at the contraptions, the reason for which is clear in your doodlewash. I wasn’t inventive enough to devise my own though, so hats off to Little Charlie on that one!

  5. The journey is always more important than the product (unless you’re the President of the United States, but well…)

    Our older son’s family came to spend New Year’s Eve with us, so we ate take out food that we love (please don’t tell Phillipe but Phineas might approve) then played a board game, Suspicion – our version of Family Fun Night. It was similar to the old board game of Clue, the whodunnit game I loved as a kid, but it was an updated version and a bit more elaborate than a really good game should be. Some things can be built out to unbelievable extrapolations, like Mousetrap, but others ought to stay within their footprints. Still, playing the game was a fun way to drum out the Old Year and slide in the New .

    You’ve always been a creator, Charlie, and kudos to your parents for letting you take over the rec room with Charlie’s Mousetrap Extraordinaire. I suspect you are still building that marble maze in everything you do, getting more inventive every chance you get. See what family fun night did for you! Your Doodlewash, BTW, is wonderful. Exactly as enchanting as the game itself.

    1. Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕 I’ve seen that game, Suspicion and wondered if it might be fun. I loved Clue when I was younger and actually still have a copy of that game, but haven’t played it in years! And take out food is the only way to go for Family Fun Night… not fair if someone has to cook! hehe Sounds FUN!

  6. I love this sketch! Your Mousetrap story got me wondering . . . what do you do for your day job? You seem to be an incredibly creative and inventive person. Best wishes to you and yours for the New Year.

    1. Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕 Glad you liked this! As for my day job, I’ve been a Creative Director since the mid-90’s doing everything from advertising, websites, online gaming, product development, movie development and now packaging design! hehe I had to take a creative career… I don’t really have any traditional skills. 😊

  7. Another splendid childhood memory, thank you! Mousetrap was really an expensive game and I’ll never forget how spoiled I felt the day my grandmother bought it for me and presented it. I had forgotten all the details of the actual mechanism of the trap until I looked at your illustration. Thanks for the memories!

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