Paprika Brigade: Blog

Classic Cruiser
May 11, 2009, 10:46 am
Filed under: Nostalgia, Recreation | Tags: , ,

1972 Sears 3-Speed

1972 Sears 3-Speed

About 37 years ago my parents purchased a couple of 3-speed Austrian bicycles from Sears to trek all around Ames, Iowa. This weekend Katie and I fixed up my Mom’s bicycle (read more and see more pics here). Surprisingly, the 1972 Sears 3-speed needed very little work to get it going. We gave the whole thing a nice bath to remove the decades of dust and grime, replaced the intertubes (the tires were still in great condition), adjusted the brakes, made a few slight realignments to the fenders, and adjusted the 3-speed hub (this still might need a little more adjustment). My Dad’s matching bicycle is in a greater state of disrepair and will require far more work to get it back in running order. In time however, I hope to try and pull it together too so Katie and I can cruise the city on our classic bikes just as my parents did 37 years ago.


Children’s Set: An old tradition sparks new appreciation
April 18, 2009, 1:46 pm
Filed under: Art, Nostalgia, Painting, Watercolor | Tags: , ,
The traditional Christmas paint set

Traditional Christmas paint set

I have never really cared to paint using watercolor. This is possibly surprising considering that as children my brother, sister and I would each receive a watercolor paint set every year for Christmas. The paint sets were the kind with the simple rectangular tray with about 8 oval-shaped paints and a single, cheap paint brush. I do not remember exactly when this tradition started, but it lasted for many years, mostly as a fun, inside joke. Afterall, the paints would hardly be used before we obtained our next annual set. As a family, we began to amass a nice collection of watercolor sets.

The traditional Christmas paint set gifting had well disappeared by the time my siblings and I were all in our teens. The inside joke remained for many years, however. We would often joke that we were hoping for our paint sets, but of course we never expected to receive another set again.

Woebegone Fool

Woebegone Fool

It has been approximately 15 years since the tradition ended. But this year our mother surprised us, and once again my brother, sister and I each received our traditional paint sets. We all thought it very amusing and enjoyed the nostalgic moment, and I am certain my mother assumed that would be all that would be created by those child’s paint sets.

Fairly recently, however, I decided to put those watercolors to use and have a little fun. As I said before, I am not a fan of painting with watercolor, but there was something fun and whimsical about using a set like those I had as a child.

The use of the child’s paint set brought out themes in the subject matter of the paintings that seemed well suited yet ironic. It allowed me to access ideas that I might not normally consider.

At this point I still doubt if watercolor will become a regular medium for me, but I truly enjoyed this experiment.

Thanks for the paints, Mom!