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Friday, July 15, 2011

Go Jump In The to stencil :)

I wanted to make a sign for my parent's very best friends. After almost 50 years at the same address they moved to a lake home this week. Many family vacations were shared with them...on lakes... in northern Minnesota. It's awesome that they can drink coffee with a lake view EVERY day! I only wish my parents were here to share that with them :( 

They LOVED their new sign. It even matches the color of their house---I didn't even plan that. I love happy accidents, don't you?

How'd this happen, you ask?  I know you are smart and picked up that the sign is fence pickets. Well, my daughter's bed needed new slats. We dug around in the garage and came up with some picket fence pieces. I had purchased them at Menards for another project, about a dollar each. We cut them off, put them on the bed....perfect! I had the 10 end pieces left....about 18" long. HMMMM, what to do????

They became a house warming present...a sign....well, with some sawing, brad nailing, painting and was a sign.

Here's the painting process.

Each picket was painted before it was joined together.

I used Rustoleum's Colonial Red.

I painted all the edges. Then realized they were not all the same length (who cut those slats anyways?). I evened them up and repainted the ends!

While the paint was drying I went to my wonderful lil craft room!

Using scrap paper I used my Cricut and the Doodletype cartridge to "practice" my letter placement and sizes. Having those other 5 pieces of pickets came in handy to work on while the REAL sign's base coat was drying.

 I knew how I wanted the Go and the Lake, but I had to play with the size of the Jump and I moved the "in the".

Now remember how frugal I am...yeah, I wasn't going to buy the expensive vinyl and use it as a stencil and throw it away. Nope, I wasn't...I used this---

I put it in the Cricut and started cutting away. Remember to take notes when you are practicing. Then you will have the sizes and how you made all your practice letters WRITTEN down. Then there is no guessing how to make your stencils...I speak from experience....learn from my mistakes. WRITE IT DOWN!

I measured and marked lines with white chalk so my letters would be straight.

Now, let me share a little problem I had...the contact paper WAS NOT VERY STICKY!!!!!!!! It was "easily repostioned"...darn it all anyway! PLUS the pickets, yeah, they are kinda rough wood. It was kinda tricky, but with care, it worked.

I used Rustoleum's famous Heirloom White as the top coat.

Very, very carefully, without a lot of paint on your brush, brush out from the middle of the stencil letter. Hold the letter down with your free hand...IT TRIES TO MOVE ON YA!!

WHOOT, worked for the GO....carry on!

Take the contact paper off....that's sticky!

Pretty much successful....look at the K up close

I had a little paint that bled under the contact paper. I thought I had a bunch, but then I realized it was my chalkline to keep everything straight. No worries...I didn't even touch up the paint bleed.

I grabbed my sandpaper and started sanding. The left side is sanded and the right is not. I didn't sand hard enough to get past the base coat. I might on the next sign. I also thought about putting a coat of walnut stain on it to age it. However, it has that cottage-white washed feel, so NO stain.

I sawed 1 X 2's about 1 inch smaller than the width of the sign. When you buy a house that isn't finished you collect some wonderful tools and the skills to use them :) Gotta look for the positive in all that work, right?

 I used the braid nailer to put the 1 x 2 on the pickets.

 The back...I flipped it over and poly'd it. All of the wood is treated so it can go outside :) It measures about 26 1/2" wide by 17 3/4" tall.

So now, you can do it too! Even if you don't have a Cricut. Use your computer to make your letters. You can trace them onto your wood and paint them's just coloring inside the lines :)


Hugs from Iowa,

PS. There are many, many talented bloggers who have made signs. I try to read all that I see! Here are just a couple of my fav's and one copied the other and they are both in, that is sharing :)

Ana White's laundry here to learn about it and visit Ana.

She used Donna's tutorial from Funky Junk Interiors to make here to visit Donna and her how to!

Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special
I'm joining the show and share party at Just a here to visit the party!
Come visit Beth at A to here to come on over.

Do you stencil?

These things I warmly wish to you-
Someone to love
Some work to do
A bit o' sun
A bit o' cheer
And a guardian angel always near.

This saying was on my mom's funeral card. It's an Irish blessing, but mom could have written it. It's what she wanted for everyone. I put it on our living room wall in our prior house. It circled the room, repeated over & over...a gentle reminder of her love.
In my house prior to that I stenciled flowers---three layers, three or four colors...a couple rooms.
This house, not so much....keepin' it simple!

The word JOY is special to me. I have used it in my decorating here to remind me that I have much joy in my life!

This was an easy one...just stenciled "the" and "of..." JOY is a metal Christmas the three D of it!

We had a big dose of Joy added to our family this week....let me introduce my new granddaughter, Renn Christine.

My daughter, Christy, and her hubby became a family of FIVE. Big brother, Henry, is 18 months and big sister, Nora, is 3. Renn is VERY loved! They make my life very joy--filled!

My grandpa gave me an old school desk chair. Last year I spruced it up a bit....a bird and my favorite number, 3, and favorite colors---aqua and red.

On a thrifting journey last fall I found this cute little desk for the grandkids to play on....I painted it and stenciled on it.

I used a bird stencil from Hobby Lobby and an alphabet stencil I have had for years.

 BUT the Cricut has changed my stenciling life! WOW, WOW. I'm looking forward to using the software -Sure Cuts Alot- and the Cricut design software. But for is what I made this week for some friends of my folks...they moved after living in the same house for almost 50 years. When you sit on their deck you look at a beautiful lake. SO now this is sitting on their deck....

I am writing a step-by-step about this sign, so check back for more info. edited to add link to how to post...Click here for your lesson!

I have also stenciled on fabric....a step-by-step is being written on how to do that too :)
Here are a couple fabric projects.

a canvas bag I did and SOLD at this store....The Changing Season, click on store name for more information.

a drop cloth curtain for my brother's laundry room says Wash, Dry, Fold, Repeat.

I love the birds and saying HAPPY TOGETHER. It shows up more than once in our house!

a plain table and chairs got a makeover 


I used the Hobby Lobby bird stencil on the chairs and the birds on the wire....I put a piece of paper on my computer screen and traced some birds from an online picture, cut them out, traced around them, and painted them in. I love birds on wires and last night when I drove home...the wires were full of them!

The alphabet stencil I used is from Susan Branch. I picked it years ago at Michael's on clearance. I LOVE it, but look forward to my Cricut providing me with many fonts to choose from!

I love how inexpensive stenciling is....yet it gives things a punch of personality and color---a lot of bang for your buck ;).... like wallpaper, but low $$$.
Don't be afraid to try can always paint over it!

Please check back for the how to posts!

Hugs from Iowa,

PS. As I read over this and think about linking to Donna's party about birds/nests this week I realize...we have Renn to show off...not only our newest blessing but her cute little name fits into the theme too!!!
Be sure to read about Donna's latest accomplishment...MAGAZINES love her! She is my inspiration/teacher for making signs :)

Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special
I'm joining the party at Just a Girl...Click here to visit the show and share party!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Walk with me up Pine Needle Hill's driveway

Five years hubby said, "Dad needs us to help with the business. We need to move. " 

We found this hill of pine oasis of green in amongst Iowa cornfields. We fell in love with it.

The house...well, it's big and we are approaching an empty nest...and it wasn't finished...but we were in love with the trees:)

I mean really...we don't need five bedrooms, three bathrooms, 4 garages! REALLY we don't! But 8 months after my hubby said those words we took possession of Pine Needle Hill (well, she wasn't called that then, but she is now). We had NO idea the amount of work, time, and money she was going to suck out of us......oh the lessons we have learned!

This is how the kitchen, living room, dining room looked when we first saw the house. There wasn't even a front door....what WERE we thinking!  He took his tools and left it just as it was.....we are STILL working on it :)

BUT we aren't going to talk about that right now...we are going to walk up the driveway together!

last fall

last week :)

Take a deep breath....those pines SMELL wonderful!

You knew I had to decorate it...didn't you?
AND of course it was on a budget....either it was free, we had it, or it's from a garage sale.

Mr. Tree moved with us. There is ONE non-pine tree on the driveway and this is his home.


looking to the east

looking to the west 

Last year I put a plant in this old wheelbarrel, but these guys like to drink out of it...unless it just rained and there is a puddle....

Looking to the north is a little clearing in the pine trees, the sunshine is beautiful there....

AND my favorite trees....THE TWINS....

I know there are lots of pictures....but the driveway is long...we haven't even gotten to the front of the house yet...saving that for later! Thanks for walking with me. I sure wish you could smell it too :)

 I close with these words....

Hugs from Iowa,

Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special