It started innocently enough, as most things do. My friend Barb brought in a painting she had just done of a tree during its four seasons. It was so pretty. However it wasn’t done with paint. No sir, it was done with diamonds. I had never heard of painting with diamonds.

Keep in mind I did not need one more hobby to get involved with but I wanted that picture so I hurried home and googled it. After ordering it and two others because it looked so fun, I happened upon another site that was offering kits for four dollars each. That was less than half what I paid at the other site. Leery that it would be chintzy, but urged on by Barb that it was worth the gamble, I ordered yet two more sets a few days later. Then I sat back and waited because they were coming from China.

Meanwhile I bought a child’s version of it for my granddaughter Celia and almost drooled on myself as she expertly designed a unicorn in front of me. Loving it, she asked for another and I bought her the dog. She allowed me to put one piece in place to “get the feel of it” as she was the expert now. She even offered to help me with mine, and considering I had five coming, I was willing to let her do more than one diamond.

Believe it or not the second, cheaper sets came before the other. The one I opened first was a sewing room scene. It looked way more complicated than Celia’s kits. It was twice as big with three times as many colors to work with - the colors being diamond chips and the size of them being somewhere between 1/8th and 1/16th of an inch in diameter. Where would I even begin?

My brain wanted to start with color one and work my way up to color 18. However, the mat is very sticky – which is what makes the diamonds stay in place, so unless you want to keep peeling your arm off of the mat, you really need to start at the bottom and work your way to the top.

I worked on it every night for a few hours and had it done in less than two weeks, which is way faster than the paint by number my daughter had gotten me for Christmas that took six months. Even though the whole tedious process of placing one diamond at a time into a teeny tiny square gave me a stomach ache and shoulder misery, I couldn’t wait to start the second one.

It was a picture of a big fat blue cat with other colored kittens around it. Adorable if you like cats as much as I do. Yet there was something different about this kit. The numbers on the mat did not correlate with the color number of the diamond chip. Like the number four on the mat required the number three chip which made it terribly confusing for me and worse yet, the symbols they used for the double digit numbers are nearly indecipherable from each other. There are two shades of white to be used: one with the symbol 1 and the other with a T. I can’t tell which is which. The same goes for the blues. I’m likely to go blind here.

They suggest a light box which I’ve tried but not sure it’s helping. I mean the symbols are so tiny to begin with, and so much alike that I want to smack whoever designed this one. I have no choice but to make it up as I go. Well, I do have one other choice, but tossing it in the trash will leave me feeling like a failure. So it’s onward and upward until it’s done and if it’s hideous, I’ll give it to Celia.

The other three kits just arrived and frankly I’m afraid to open them.  If they are like the one I’m working on now, someone on my naughty list might very well be getting a kit for Christmas.

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