Thursday, September 16, 2010

It's A Sign

In case you were wondering what I was up to during that lengthy period of time in August when I was not posting on the blog regularly, here's the answer: projects. Oh, sure, I did I certain amount of reading, suntanning and swimming (with the occasional wedding thrown in for good measure), but for the most part, when my mom and I get together, we end up doing projects. It's probably a good thing that we don't live in the same town because JM and my dad would forget what we look like without sawdust in our hair and paint on our faces. And this summer, one of our projects was creating signage. My family's lake cottage is in an old self-managed association where most things have a lovable, decaying, well-used quality to them. This year, we decided to class the place up a bit by replacing some of the more decomposed wooden signage that had been around since the (first) Roosevelt administration, and had become, essentially, unreadable. I like old signs as much as the next guy, but here's a tip: When you can't read them anymore, it's time to throw in the towel. But why hire a sign-maker, when you can easily make your own professional(ish)-looking painted signs yourself? With simple materials you can easily find, you can make signs for whatever your heart desires- house names, street numbers, "keep out- no boys allowed" for your treehouse- the possibilities are endless. Here are the easy-peasy steps we took to make our fancy new signs. And may they happily point the way and rot until my great-great-grandchildren replace them.

What you will need:
A piece of wood, cut to size
A computer print-out of what you want the sign to say, sized to fit
A piece of graphite transfer paper
Acrylic paint and a small flat-sided paintbrush
Varnish and a disposable sponge paintbrush

What you do:
  Step 1: Using your computer, print out the lettering for the sign in the size and font that you like (you may have to print it in several pieces and tape together, as I did). Place a piece of graphite transfer paper, graphite down, on your wooden board. Place the print-out on top, aligning how you like, and attaching it with tape to secure.
Step 2: Carefully trace the lettering on the print-out with a sharp pencil, pressing firmly. In case the photo at left has you perplexed, I do not have teeny-tiny hands- that is just an abnormally large pencil. For your purposes, any size pencil will do. Even a pen would probably be fine, come to think of it.
Step 3: Remove the print-out and graphite paper. I could have omitted this photo, and almost did, because it doesn't really illustrate anything and reveals that I messed up the placement of my graphite paper, and didn't transfer the top half of the word "courts". But I didn't because I wanted to show that everyone makes mistakes when doing projects, and it's no big thang- just fill in the tops of the letters freehand, and get on with it.Or, just place your graphite correctly in the first place.

Step 4: Using a thin paintbrush and your acrylic paint, carefully fill in over the lettering. The paint will cover the graphite. If you smudge, you will be able to wipe up the paint as long as it is still wet, so keep a rag at hand. Also, imperfections are part of the charm of homemade signs, so relax.

Step 5: Allow paint to dry completely. Cover entire piece of wood with varnish, and allow to dry until set. Hang or place your masterpiece and revel in your handiwork.


Brittany said...

Hi. I just came across your blog via your yahoo article. Kudos to you for being a housewife. It's a dying profession that too many people disregard. I'm not quite into sewing but you blog definitely has some interesting stuff on it!

Shelli said...

Hi! I came across your blog through yahoo as well. Congrats on being a housewife! There are a few of us around, but not many, I agree! I look forward to reading more of your posts...

Anonymous said...

Hello Lily, I am a 54 year man. I am glad to see that there are still girls proud to be a great house wife. You are a true American! Home and Family are what America was all about when it was still a great country. Those days seemed to have been taken away from us, but you are inspiration for us!
Stay sweet,

missionarymomma said...

No greater honor or joy will you ever know. God's desire is that a wife find her fulfilment at home.

Sad that yu do nt know any other 29 year old housewives. Come visit Lancaster County, PA there are plenty of us around. Most married ladies by 29 have 4- 5 children at least and are very happy working by keeping a house.

Keep it up!

Sara said...

While I certainly appreciate the new sign, I must write about my attempt to show my Boy Wonder the trail to Artemis. We walked passed the trail about three times, looking for the signs, until your Father saved us by explaining you & your Mum snatched them for bettering.
On the upside, during our travels, we did managed to meet several middle aged men looking for housewives and gave them your name.
Good times.

Nan said...

I can't wait to come back and read more of your newly found blog when I get time. I love this idea of the signs, thanks for posting. BTW I've been a housewife for 49 years now taking just 6 years total out of that to work at an outside job. The thing is our housewife job never ends really, our husbands retire but we go on doing the same laundry, cleaning the house, cooking, shopping, know what I mean.

Mister Sharaf said...

:) nice nice...

supporting :)

Luna said...

Lily, I am a housewife although I work. I love your blog. It's quite amazing :)

Anonymous said...

I'm more old school. Even though I'm only 27 I want one day for my gf to be a housewife. I want her to enjoy life more and not always be on the go. she supports it 100%. one day I hope it will happen

Anonymous said...

Just saw your new sign last weekend and have to say that I never even noticed the old one, so you're right... It was high time for this lovely replacement!