Paint-By-Numbers Needlepoint

Posted by mrssmythe on July 20, 2014 in Art, Marriage, Out & About, Tag Sale-ing |


Of course I went tag sale-ing this weekend. And on my way to an estate sale I’d been especially looking forward to, I stumbled onto another sale that looked very promising. So, I stopped there too, and the first thing to catch my eye was what looked to be a very large paint-by-number painting of horses.

I love paint by number paintings! I don’t love doing them myself, mind you. But I do like the finished product…the more vintage-looking, the better.

So, anyway, I’ve learned a few things since I started tag sale-ing – mostly from my tag sale-ing neighbor. And one of the first things she taught me was to avoid looking too eager.

“Never go directly to something you’re interested in buying,” she told me.

So, I did not immediately go over to the painting. Instead, I paused to check the prices on several things I was not at all interested in – and then I zeroed in.

The first thing I noticed was that it wasn’t a painting at all. It was a needlepoint.

No matter. I still loved it.

Now, CPT America is not a huge fan of crafts for the home. And, he happened to be with me on this particular morning. But, I was pretty sure that since it was my birthday week, and since I really liked the “painting”, he probably wouldn’t complain too loudly if I bought it.

So, I picked the thing up and carted it around with me for a bit. Then, when I wanted to browse the books, I handed it to CPT America. He looked pained, but held it none-the-less.

A moment later, a woman approached him, asking if he was going to buy it.

Now, I’m fairly certain that at that moment CPT America wanted to tell that woman, “No.” He wanted to hand that needlepoint to her with his blessing. But he did not do that. He controlled his impulses and, instead, looked to me.

“I am definitely buying it,” I said. (And, if I’d been feeling any hesitation, it vanished the moment I realized someone else wanted that needlepoint too).

CPT America gave the woman a weak smile and shrugged. “Sorry,” he said.

She looked at the needlepoint wistfully. “How much are they asking for it?” She asked.

“Five dollars,” I said.

She gasped. “If only I’d gotten here five minutes earlier,” she said.

Shortly afterward, I paid for my treasure. It was early in the day and the seller didn’t have a lot of change, so she threw in the books I had wanted for free. Gosh, I love tag sales.

Anyway, as we walked back to the car, I said, “Somebody worked very **** this,” to CPT America. “Needlepoint takes a long time.”

CPT America nodded. And, because he is a loving sort of spouse, he slid that needlepoint into the back of the car without a word.

Because that’s what love does. Love puts up with needlepoint horses even when love would much rather have a highbrow painting.

(Love did, however, draw a firm line at the set of matching floral-print wing chairs I was eyeing).


From the dining room table, still hoping to find a vintage paint-by-numbers painting someday,

Mrs. Smythe


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