Out with the old!

Last weekend I cleaned out my dresser because it was overstuffed, yet I couldn’t find anything to wear. Truth is, now that it is summer, the kids are doing more chores – like folding laundry. But they don’t put TLC into it like us moms do.

No, they are teens. They have Rock Star video performances to sing to the TV. Therefore, they shove the clothes at random in various dressers around the house. That is why sometimes I’ll find Patrick’s chonies in my drawer, and he’ll find our daughter Maya’s favorite jeans in his.

Channeling the thoroughness of my mother-in-law, I pulled EVERYTHING out, plopped it all on the bed, and began to sort, sort, sort. Can you believe I had 27 paint shirts? Not to mention paint pants too. They all started out as exercise garb, but ended up work clothes. And they are in a rainbow of colors, sizes, and textures. These sloppy garments didn’t only have paint on the fronts, but also under the arms and on the backs (once the front is covered, I wear the shirt backward to make the most of every clear inch).

I’ve had some of these shirts for more than a decade. Why can’t I part with them? I’ve thought of making them into something else, but they are so hard and crunchy with dried paint, they wouldn’t exactly make a luxury pillow or quilt. I’ll cut some swatches to use in fabric collages, but I’m plus-size, these are big shirts, I would need to make fabric art until the Apocalypse in order to use them all.

Plus, there are memories. I’ve worn the orange one while making hundreds of handpainted bracelets and necklaces for Target. In the red one, I have a scar on my arm from the time I was making a Dia de Los Muertos pinata at 3 am and burned myself with the glue gun. The brown and tan numbers saw me through years of production for Spanish Market.

Here is a confession – I’ve picked up the kids from school in my paint clothes, even went through Starbucks drive thrus numerous times. God forbid if my car ever broke down! My neighbors have even seen these wearables, because I run out to get the mail in them. Yah, I think I’m all slick and ninja-like, sometimes I even carry the Chihuahuas in my arms thinking it will cover the messy shirts. The neighbors must be thinking “That crazy Mexican lady with the paint rags for clothes is carrying all her dogs to the mailbox again!”

One time during a kamikaze weekend marathon crafting deadline a few years back, I donned the black shirt/pant combo. I had a latex paint emergency and needed a run to Home Depot. I had to make the most of every minute, so I thought I’d dart in and out real quick.

“Shouldn’t you change your clothes? You can’t go out in public wearing that! What if you run into someone you know?” Patrick said ominously as I slung my purse over my shoulder.

“It’s Home Depot! Everyone goes there in paint clothes, I’ll look cool!” I answered as I closed the door behind me.

I got to Home Depot, hustled in, ordered my paint color, waited for it to be mixed, didn’t dare make eye contact with anyone, as to not be noticed. I thought I blended in pretty well. Low key. When I had my paint, I was about to head to cash register – when I heard it.


After my inital shudder, I slowly turned to face my mystery greeter. Turns out, it was one of my favorite editors from the newspaper, Dave. I’d already humilated myself in front of him before. Once when I biffed it in the downtown street while wearing a (paintless) dress, the asphalt scraped some flesh from my chubby knees. I shivered from shock, ran back to the office and cried! Dave saw my bloody knees and my tear-stained face, and sat me down at my desk. He retrieved the office First-Aid kit, knelt down, cleaned my wounds, bandaged my knees, wiped away my tears with a damp cloth, no questions asked.

So yes, it was a relief to see that, of all people, it was him. Ahhh, he knows me, he would expect me in paint clothes at Home Depot, I thought. No biggie. We hugged, chatted about my weekend crafting session and I mentioned my paint clothes. He looked up and down at my outfit. his eyes widened. And then he covered his mouth and giggled. I raised an eyebrow, confused, and giggled back, not knowing what was so funny.

“Kathy – your pants are on inside out!” he whispered, gesturing his face at my bottom half. I gasped. I shoved my hands down the sides of my hips to see if he was right. I felt not only the seams, but the pockets sticking out. Dave’s face turned bright red, he couldn’t talk because by this time he was doubled-over laughing. Always the cooler to any stressed out situation, he noticed my expression and gave me a huge hug. I think he patted me on the back too.

OK, I’m glad I just recalled that memory. I don’t feel as sentimental about letting these goofy paint shirts go. They are just things. There are plenty more where they came from. A picture will do just fine, thank you very much.

(Besides, I still have 22 left! Hello, Starbucks drive-thru!)

Love & light,

8 Responses

  1. great post. it was fabulous. Loved your transparency, and girl you are not the only one to leave in paint clothes.. At least yours are clothes.. all my favorites are old pajama pants that are now covered in paint and glitter… and yeas Ive been forced to get out of the car when picking up the kids at school…
    It was my new years resolution this year to not go out of the house in them… imade it February….
    the life of an artys fartsy girl!

  2. That’s not just paint on your clothes, that’s paint ALL OVER your clothes. . .and so many!!
    I can understand getting some paint on you during marathon crafting sessions, but how do you get SO MUCH paint on them?
    I totally admire you for going out in them, you are THE Crafty Chica after all!!

    Lastly, if you have so many memories of them, why not cut some of them into strips and weave them into a wall hanging or something? Just a suggestion. I any case – I love the paint clothes.

  3. I just cleaned out my craft room. Paint clothes for every season there! I, too tried to get rid of them. Why can’t I??? I might need them, REALLY? I love your story. Reminds me of when a guy told me I had a napkin from the restaurant stuck between my legs at the cash register. ARGGHHHH!

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Kathy Cano-Murillo

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Hi, I’m Kathy, The Crafty Chica! My specialty is creative motivation. I’m an artist, author, and speaker and this is where I share my craft tutorials, artwork, articles, books, product lines, and workshops!

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