During quarantine, I’ve discovered a lot of things about myself. I like to make checklists to maintain some semblance of productivity. I don’t hate the Marvel movies. I can go a week without washing my hair. And I love paint by numbers (or – as I affectionately call it – “PBN”).
I have to give credit where credit is due – my boyfriend Ryan’s mom gifted me a beautiful hydrangea Pink Picasso paint by numbers kit for Christmas. Once lockdown was under way, the kit came out. Without yoga classes, work commutes, and social events, I had plenty of time to pour my creative energy into the canvas. I’ll admit – at first I was intimidated by the seemingly infinite amount of little tiny numbers scattered across the blank canvas. Would I ever really finish it? But I became entranced. My motivation to get through all of the awkward WebEx meetings in the work day became to get back to my painting passion.
I finished that first piece over the course of about two weeks. And I was hooked. The only problem was… I wasn’t the only one who had discovered this passion. Around the world, quarantine creatives were snatching up all of the PBN’s. Amazon had a very limited supply available, and shipping estimates were weeks away. In this time of PBN shortage, I inadvertently purchased a diamond drill kit while on a quest for a new design. Little did I know what a happy accident this would be… but that’s a story for another day.
I soon found myself waiting in line at Michael’s just to scoop up any PBN I could get my hands on. I ended up with a tiger treasure – a fitting piece in the era of Tiger King. I even improvised on this one with a few colored metallic pens.
Another COVID-induced challenge: you’re forced to purchase PBN’s from international shippers who are bit unreliable to put it mildly. I placed an order for four different pieces from BlingPainting (yes, four pieces) that arrived in different shipments and way later than expected. Yet my frustration melted away as soon as I got my hands on those brushes. I made a special painting for my pug-loving mom (with improvised purple doodles) that made for the perfect birthday gift.
But my favorite PBN piece by far is one that Ryan custom ordered for me from Winnie’s Picks. Much like the BlingPainting experience, it was a long anticipated arrival… the shipping was delayed, it got lost, and Ryan was going back and forth with their customer service department trying to track it down. But boy was it worth the wait! It features our “album cover” shot of the B’s, both looking at the camera with a badass expression of canine cool.
Upon completion, it got a frame and a prominent place on our living room wall. Duh.
So you see, the PBN addiction is real. As an activity, I rate it five out of five stars. It’s a therapeutic distraction with some pretty satisfying results. Now where to put all of these creations…?
Stay nonsensical, friends.