For our prompt of “Glue” today, I thought back to all of those fun craft projects I used to enjoy when I was a kid. Part of the fun, if not all of the fun, was being able to play and make a big old mess. I remember getting more glue on my body than anything I was actually meant to glue, and it was totally awesome. I was never really a perfectionist, because that would imply I knew exactly how something was meant to turn out. I never did, so I just kept playing and moving forward to find out what would happen next. That’s pretty much how I still live my life now. And, today is Philippe’s birthday and I was actually pleased that I managed to pick up a cake for him and had all of his little presents ready. Though some bits and bobbles still came at the very last minute. I didn’t attempt a frenzied gift-wrapping session, however, for fear of ending up like the dog I just illustrated. Instead, I relied on that most wondrous invention of them all known as a gift bag.

Okay, so the gift bags were actually recycled from previous years, because I forgot to buy new ones. I tried to be sure that all of the tags were taken off, but at this moment I’m not entirely certain of my success. I adore giving gifts, but I just want to hide them more than make a big presentation out of the whole affair. Philippe will do as he always does and try to wait awhile before opening the first gift. Then he’ll only open one and insist on waiting and opening the others at various moments throughout the evening. This, in an effort to prolong the celebration. Yet, it’s just me and the dog, and latter will spend the evening snoring and farting, so it’s not really a large party. But there will be champagne and the most delicious orange chocolate Grand Marnier cake to top off the evening. He doesn’t know it yet, but this year’s cake has been personalized to say, “Happy Birthday, Philippe!” I didn’t know they would do that until they offered this year while I was ordering it in advance. Normally, I’m rushing in at the last minute to grab a generic cake an hour before dinner.

And, as I look at the little pile of gifts I made, it certainly lacks a bit of finesse. The ribbons are tied in bows that look like something you’d find on the shoe of young child just learning to make one for the first time. I thought about rushing over to tie them better, but then I thought, there’s something charming about the tableau. Like everything I make, including my art, I just sort of hope that my sense of excitement and joy shines through all of the many imperfections. In many ways, I’m still just that little kid exploring the world while making shapes with paper and playing with glue. I’m far more interested in the idea of something grand than worrying over the precise execution. And, while I’ll continue to be so impressed by those who can create with immaculate attention to detail, I’m going to keep on scribbling my way through life. It’s just super fun to let loose and enjoy life as I did when I was just a little boy, dreaming big dreams and making messes.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.:  Yellow Ochre, Hansa Yellow Medium, Quinacridone Red, Opus (Vivid Pink), Leaf Green, Terra Cotta, Cobalt Turquoise, Phthalo Blue, and Indigo. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with black ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash?  Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!
Beagle Craft Project Glue Mess Watercolor Illustration Sketchbook Detail

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26 thoughts on “Making Messes

  1. It was fun, at least when you didn’t have to clean it all up afterwards. Happy birthday to Philippe! Orange chocolate cake sounds like the best birthday surprise! I’d like to see Philippe try and wait a while before sampling that 😉

  2. That orange chocolate Grand Marnier cake sounds delicious and I want some! Although, I did just have a bowl of mango ice cream with fresh mango on it so I won’t complain too bitterly about missing out on the cake. I’ve always had allergy problems with mango in the past, but I’m found I can eat oranges in Florida but not in Oregon, and decided to give it try. Yay! I can, though I’m not going to go overboard. I’m not sure if it’s the freshness, the source of the fruit or something they spray on, but I’m enjoying it while I can!

    1. Oh wow! That’s awesome! Yeah, I’ve always been allergic to mangos as they come to me here at least! And the cake was amazing… so light and fluffy and in my head at least… that means calorie light as well. lol 😉

  3. Happy Birthday to Phillippe! He will love all of your efforts to make his birthday a special day! Love your crafting Beagle! It makes me think of a German Shepherd we had years ago…a very mischievous dog and he loved glue….big gallon sized jugs of glue. We walked into the house one day to find one of my husband’s shirts on the floor in the middle of a very large puddle of glue and a dog with glued whiskers and fur. He pulled this stunt more than once even when the jug of glue was in a cupboard where we thought he couldn’t get into it. He was quite a character.

  4. Hola, mi amigo, Charlie! 🎂🎂🎂 Feliz Cumpleanos, Philippe! 🎉🎉🎉 He is going to love your gifts because they are from your heart and THAT is what really matters. 💕 Cute poochie! You made me laugh out loud when you said that the party was just you and the dog. His two most important people, Charlie. 🏵 Charlie, we got a car! Yay! The Lord really helped us out because the Honda dealership had just received a few new cars that morning with only one Honda Civic. Geez, Charlie, the used cars were more expensive than the new ones! So we now own a 2021 steel gray Honda Civic. We got a great deal and it rides like a dream. A lot of technology, which intimidates my mom, but it’s the norm now. 😀 Still haven’t heard from my friend, Charlie. The news said the situation is getting worse and worse. All I can do is pray. Warm hugs, my friend.

      1. Thank you, Nellie. Such kind words. 💜 Our old car was also a Civic. It was 12 years old, but was totalled in a fender bender. Warm hugs to you, Nellie. 😀 Marisela

    1. Charlie you made the perfect party! Happy Birthday to Philippe! You reminded me I have 2 Birthdays tomorrow! (Oh my, I’m gonna be busy!)

    2. Thanks so much, Marisela! 😃💕 Yeah, Philippe has a fabulous birthday… though it went by super quick. And yay on the new car!! That’s wonderful! Yeah… there’s so much new tech in them these days. We still drive our classic car.😊 And sending positive thoughts for your friend. Warm hugs to you!! 💕

      1. Charlie, I heard from my friend and she is well. She’s on the neighboring island (I think it’s 5 islands that make up the Spanish Canary Islands), but says it’s still scary and they get ash raining down on them. I think the volcano island , La Palma, is one of the bigger ones because my friend’s island only has 150,000 residents. I feel so relieved. 😀

  5. Oh my gosh this made me smile Charlie because it is just how I see myself all gluey and sticky and … well you know 🙂 I don’t have to dream about making big messes … lol …. they happen quite regularly with me. Paint on my hands, face, in my white hair and always … for some reason on the tip of my nose 😉 lolol But nothing on the paper 😉 lolol Happy Birthday to Philippe 🙂 and many more!!

    1. Thanks so much, Zoie! 😃💕 hehe… glad I made you smile. Yeah, I always make messes even when I tell myself I won’t this time around. lol And I have lots of clothes with watercolor embellishments now as well! haha!

  6. Hellooooo Charlie!!!!

    How are you? Happy Happy Birthday to Phillipe and wishing him all his dreams come true! That cake sounds lovely and now I want some. I’m in the heart of a jungle called Satpura and it’s butterfly & dragonfly season. Yesterday I spotted a Malabar Giant Squirrel and a bunch of emerald doves and I thought of you. I had zero internet connectivity for almost a month so today am extra thrilled to be able to read your post. 🙂 Sending you a big hug,


    1. Hellooooooo Mugdha!! So happy to hear from you again my friend! 😃💕 Wow… that sounds so amazing! All those beautiful creatures… that would be so inspiring. And a break from the Internet can be inspiring too… hehe… but happy you could pop back in to say hello. Sending you a hug to the jungle!! Much love my friend! ❤️

    1. I make lots of messes in my atmospheric paintings — and it’s harder to make a mess in those because you deliberately draw pigment across the page and invite or bleed colour and use lots of water to create water or colour flow. Have fun!

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