Monday, April 18, 2011

The *Long-Winded* Story of a Sign ...

Once upon a decorating-time, there was this crazy lady who woke up one day and decided to attempt a Pottery Barn-ish makeover to her traditional sitting room.  Her plan included switching out furniture, smothering said furniture with white slipcovers and pouring paint on her bookcase and mirror.  She also knew that she wanted a simple sign above the bookcase to finish it off.  Of course, this sign was nowhere to be found at her usual haunts.  Bummed, but not giving up, she forged ahead. 

As she was prepping her room to paint the bookcase, she had to slide the bookcase out from the wall.  Lo and behold, a *gabillion* (yes, a gabillion) holiday signs came crashing down from behind the bookcase (and, yes, said crazy lady hides holiday signs, as well as prints that currently aren't being used, behind there ... she *knows* some of you do that, too, so please don't judge).  The one sign that came crashing on her foot (literally), came with a subliminal message that said "paint me ... paint me!"  Yes, folks, this "Happy Holidays" sign became the sacrificial lamb to crazy lady's attempt at making a sign in something other than white chalk ink removeable markers.  There she is, in all her glory, from last Christmas:

She studied tutorials in blogland; however, most of them included fancy Silhouette machines, which she doesn't have ... (yet).  And, then, she found a tutorial that might actually work!

So, she sat down at her computer and typed the simple word she wanted: GATHER.  She then selected a font (Cambria) and font size (400) and printed away.  She then cut out the letters and set them aside.

Next, she cleared off her kitchen island, gently laid the holiday sign on painter's construction paper and then surrounded it with sandpaper, leftover paints in shades of grey, blue and white, along with used paintbrushes. Together, they then said the official decorating prayer, which is "please let this work!"

Then, the fun began.  She slapped a coat of white on the wood and allowed it to dry.  Then came layers of two different blues, grey and finally, dry brushed a coat of white again (in a fancy "v" pattern she might add). 

Then, came the hard part ... lining up the letters on the newly painted wood.  She channeled energy from all of you crafty folks and traced away with her son's Spiderman pencil ... HOPING that the letters were even and aligned properly.

Once that was done, she turned to her black chalkboard paint (as that was the only paint in her stash).  She was a bit worried, though, that the chalkboard paint might not like being sanded down after it dried ... thought it might smear or rub off too much.  She was willing to take the chance ... all in the name of decorating!

Once it dried, she held her breath and sanded away.  It was actually working!  It wasn't smearing ... it was removing pieces of the black paint and the various spots she was sanding.  Yippee! 

Her little block of sandpaper started hitting places all over the wood, not only revealing the layers of grey and blue, but also the dark paint that once used to cover it.  Woo Hoo!

Finally, the crazy lady stepped away from her new creation ... blew the black sandpaper off of her hands (and off of her face and hair) and cracked a cheezy smile!  Despite her steady hand skills in need of help ... despite one letter being lower than the others ... and despite it not being perfect, it.was.done!  And, the best part is that this project was FREEEE!!!!  The only cost being blood, sweat and tears (and, okay, maybe a manicure)!

And, here she is today, mounted in all of her imperfect glory:

Lesson learned and passing along ... go grab a piece of wood that you aren't using and make a sign for your home (oh, and to invest in a Silhouette machine) lol !!

Have a great day and thanks for hanging in for her story!


Linking up to:

Dittle Dattle/Amaze Me Monday 
Boogieboard Cottage/Masterpiece Monday
The Stories of A to Z/Tutorial & Tips Tuesday
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia/Tuesday's Treasures