Sunday, 22 July 2012

Australian Flag Washing Machine

At one point, I was getting so carried away with artistic fervour that I was basically painting everything that stood still long enough. (Though not quite to the extent of my former housemate James – I woke up one morning to find a live mouse in the humane trap in the kitchen, with a note taped to it saying “Do not release – gone to buy paint”. But I digress.)

It started life as just plain blue, but if you’re going to paint your washing machine, you have to go all out, you know? No point going to Woodstock but not getting stoned and dancing naked on a table. And, well, for someone who wears fluoro green and gold shoes, nothing is too patriotic.
My first stop was the Union Jack. I blew the dust off my measuring tape and figured out the dimensions of the machine lid, then found an image online, pasted it into a Publisher document and sized it to the same dimensions as the lid. That told me how wide the stripes needed to be, so I chalked them out and then masking taped the edges of the lines.

Pretend this photo is of the tape for the white, not the red. You get the idea. 

It’s easier to paint half on top of the tape, because if you’re running the brush along the edges then the paint is more likely to work its way underneath.

While I painted, instead of singing along with my Banjo Party record like I usually do while crafting, I had a chat with my conscience that went something like this:

INNER VOICE: So, hey, remember that time in second year when you failed your open book exam because you watched movies all night and showed up on no sleep with no notes?

ME: Yeah, so?

INNER VOICE: You have an open book exam in two days, Rach. Have you written any notes yet?

ME: ….What’s your point exactly?


After more layers of paint than the Golden Gate Bridge, I repeated the measure-tape-paint process with the red stripes. (I found them harder to measure on the computer since they’re slanted, so I printed them and went old-school ruler on them.)

Embarrassingly, the process for the stars was much the same: measuring the front of the washing machine, sizing the Southern Cross and printing the stars individually. If I’d tried to paint them freehand they would have come out looking more like white-capped waves, so I stuck the print-outs on poster board and cut them out with a Stanley knife to make a stencil. 

In hindsight, I would have moved all the stars up a few centimetres, because even though they’re perfectly even, you can only really tell that they’re even when you’re sitting on the ground. I don’t spend much time on the floor of my laundry room, especially since nobody’s vacuumed in there since we moved in.

Now my only problem is how to hide it when Nan comes to visit. Suggestions?

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