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Sunday, May 11, 2014

Free Art, Spell Check Not Included

Happy Mother's Day to all you moms out there!  You moms, you're just the best.  Keep up the good work, making the world go 'round!  
If you follow me on Instagram or saw the picture I posted on Facebook, you probably already know that my sister became a mom for the second time two weeks ago! But this time, to a little girl named Caroline Sue.  

And we just love you little Caroline Sue!

So Happy Mother's day to all the ladies that wipe noses, pack lunches, proof read papers, sacrifice, sacrifice and sacrifice some more.  We wouldn't be here without you! 
Remember when I told you I was working on some art for our dining room?  And then on Easter, I had a post about the special meaning behind that artwork? Well, today I want to tell ya all about how we made the art for $0!

It seems that pallet wood is all the rage these days, as is typographic art.  So I thought I would put my own twist on the trend. 

And the best part is, this art was 100% free. 
Many of you probably have some pallet wood laying around or can get some cheaply, so chances are, this could be a free project for you too!  
My pallet wood connection is a guy I like to call ma dad.  He's great.  He farms, he runs a busy business, he watches Curious George with his grandson. He wears many hats.  One hat he does not wear is DIYer.  So when I had the idea for this DIY project, he had a little bit of a hard time envisioning what I was talking about.
When I said, "Dad! I need some old pallet wood.  Can you take me back to your stash?"
He said, "Why?"
Then I said, "Because I'm going to paint words on it and hang in on my wall."
Flatly, he said, "Well its not going to be very nice wood.  It has a lot of splinters and a lot of it is broken."
Then, smiling really big, I said "Yeah!! That's what I want!"
Dad looked very confused.
"It's a look dad."  I said looking to my mom for support.
"He doesn't get it, he probably won't get it."  Mom said
Without any further explanations, we were off to the secret stash of beautifully weathered pallet wood.  

Sure enough! Broken, weathered, and perfect.  
Dad continued being confused - Especially as I got overly excited going through what he obviously considered trash.  It didn't matter, I just packed up my jems and drove on home, eager to get started.  
After covering the kitchen island with a drop cloth, it was time to check out the loot which quickly made me realize there were some occupational hazards to this job.  I made a mental check to ensure I was up to date on my tetanus shot (... Every ten years people.  And I'll just be stepping off my nursing pedestal, now.) and then I put on some work gloves.
I proceeded to bang/twist/snap off the nails in order to get a flat (and safer) surface.  And look! My favorite demo tools made a come back!
Once you are done with that job, wash your hands and place the banana bread muffins in the oven... I mean that's what I did!
 And following that, I laid all my pieces of wood out, and like a puzzle, pieced them together to make it approximately the size I needed for the wall. 
Of course, none of it really fit together neatly like a puzzle so we fit it together as best we could and then cut some of the pieces down to size.  We made sure that the cut edges would be hidden by other pieces of wood - so you would not see the edges of unweathered wood.
We also cut some scrap wood that we planned to use to secure the pieces of pallet wood together.
It's puzzle time again.  We fit it all back together again, but this time, right side down.

We used Gorilla Glue to glue the scrap pieces down first, then Michael screwed them in tight - he is nothing if  not serious about things being secured securely. 
Now that the wood was secured :-) I could proceed with eating a muffin

With sustenance in my belly and excitement in my heart, I moved to the next step.  The letters! 
A couple years ago, I got a Silhouette Cameo.  It's basically awesome.  It's a paper cutting machine similar to a Cricut, but better, because you don't need to buy expensive cartridges.  And you can use/make your own images and fonts that are already on your computer.  So, using some fonts I already had, I cut out some letters and laid them out on my wood.  
I traced around the letters with a pencil and then painted the letters with some of our left over trim paint.  
(victory music playing, and then screeching to a halt).
What's that you say? A Typo?  Oh c.r.a.p.
Yes, you see I missed a critical step in all my excitement.  I didn't have my husband spell check it before I painted.  Oh when will I learn?... or become a better speller?

What were we to do?
Try to paint over it?... No it would be noticeable.

Try to sand it off and paint it on correctly?...  No, that would expose un-weathered wood and would draw attention to it.

Really, the only solution was to remove that board and replace it with a new one, and repaint the correct spelling.  Lets practice shall we?

"Laura, how do you spell thirst?"    
"Very good.  And what will you always do when you are painting words permanently onto something that took you a long time to put together?"
"Have Michael spell check it..."
"That's right."

Oh the shame.

Except, now it's pretty.  And spelled correctly.
 In order to hang it on the wall we were very brave and used the 3M Damage Free Hanging Strips.  We use these things all the time so the only reason I say that we were brave is because this things weighs 18.4 lbs (yes Michael weighed it).

But I married a structural engineer for a reason and he was confident that if we used 8 strips, that it should hold, no problem.

 And I quote, "Well I calculated it out and it has a safety factor of 1.5."   

And that means...?

"I feel very confident that that should hold.  It's a conservative safety factor."

Just in case, we placed some cushions underneath it for 48 hours.  So far, the safety factor is satisfactory.  Or whatever...

I'd say its been a pretty fun project to work on from start to finish! Runnin' around on the farm with my dad, banana bread muffins, typos, and safety factors.  This is the kind of stuff that makes little (big) crafts projects like this even more meaningful.  It's the process as much as it is the final result, don't you think?

Oh and also, look what I managed to catch a picture of in our front yard this week!!!!

 Baby Geese!!! They're so flufffffyyyyyy!!!

Don't miss a beat.  
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