In the run-up to Christmas, I ordered some picture fromes from Wilko online. The local branch seems to mostly stock empty shelves and I need three identical ones. When filling in the order, I stuck a couple of emulsion match pots in the virtual basket since I wanted to add to my stocks.
To my surprise, my favourite shade "Nutmeg Spice" wasn't in the list. I use this "dog poo brown" as the basis for all my scenery as it's a nice mud colour. I'd hoped to bag a couple more pots as I was down to my last 3/4.
Not to worry, obviously an online thing - but dropping in to the physical shop last week, they not only didn't have any, but there's no longer a space on the rack for it.
Nutmeg spice has been discontinued!
My search for a replacement saw a quick trip to Homebase. There I could have endless shades of beige, but brown? Farrow and Ball do a nice "London Clay", but it's a fiver a pot. Four quid gets you "Cecily" from Craig and Rose. That's still over twice the price of the proper matchpots.
On Saturday, my parents were heading to Stratford, a town much better supplied with shops than Leamington, with a dried up pot of the "spice" and instructions to look for colours like mud, or dog poo.
They returned with Johnstone's paint "Mocha" which looks like an even better earth colour than "Nutmeg Spice". And B&M stock it for £1.49 a pot. Result!
You might wonder why this matters - well, when I produce a project for a magazine, the whole point is the readers can replicate my work. That means easily available products, not poncy paint. It's why I stick to Humbrol as much as possible, and why I wasn't interested in mixing colours for this job. Keep it simple, and the projects are accesible - which is the point of what I do.