thursday afternoon i decided i was going to get crafty. i have been seeing these beautiful, simple, rustic looking pieces of art everywhere lately. they are all over pinterest in different styles, with different quotes, colors, and stains. they are in the art gallery in northampton and i have been eyeing them for at least a year now, but their price tags of over $200 just haven't made sense to me. and that is saying a lot, because usually if i like something somewhat expensive for longer than a few days, i usually buy it.
so anyways, i KNEW i wanted one of these signs. i knew exactly where i wanted to hang it (over the couch), i knew what i wanted it to say (lyrics from one of my favorite songs: home by edward sharpe and the magnetic zeros), and i knew i wanted it to be big enough to cover the space that our previous "wall hangings" covered.
to give you a little background on my artistic 'talents' if you would even call them that, i like to paint. i usually paint on stretched canvas or canvas paper with acrylics. my paintings as of late are mostly of dogs. it sounds kind of silly, but i will write a post about those soon! so everytime i saw these pieces of art on wooden pallets, my mom, boyfriend, or whoever i happened to be with who was watching me covet these things would say, "you can TOTALLY make that!" all i had to figure out was HOW.
so thursday afternoon, i grabbed the tape measure and roughly measured the area above the couch that i thought should be covered in the future piece of art. i rounded it to a clean 4ft wide x 3ft tall and the next thing i knew, i tossed the tape measure in my coach bag (as if lowes wouldn't have plenty of measuring tools around) and i was off.
i will save myself you the embarassing, boring details of myself wandering around the lumber aisles in lowes trying to understand the different measurements of the boards and do the math on my iPhone calculator in my head. finally i loaded my little dolly thingy with three 2"x6"x8' boards that would each be cut in half, and one 8 foot long skinny board (not sure about the exact measurements) that would be cut in thirds and used to support the pallet i was going to build.
to speed things up here, a nice old man at lowes cut the boards for me and i left with all my wood pieces. i got home, tossed them in the garage, and was determined to have them put together and resemble the beginnings of the piece of art i wanted to create before my boyfriend got home from golfing. so i laid the six 2"x6"x4' pieces on top of one another and laid the 3 smaller pieces the opposite way on them and nailed them all together. sorry to kind of skip this whole step, but i dont really know any terminology for this stuff!!
i quickly flipped it over, and made sure all the ends looked relatively even (i wanted it to look a little rustic and natural, so i wasn't overly concerned with perfection). then i literally painted on a thin coat of white paint in 2 minutes and let it dry. i liked that some of the knots in the wood (see, there is a term i know, so i shall use it!) showed through the paint and it looked slightly streaky. i did not want this to look perfect at all.
then i ran inside and tried to get our printer to magically work, but failed miserably. so my impatient self decided that i would not wait until the next day to simply print out the quote i wanted to trace onto the pallet. and no, i would not drive the five minutes over to my parents' house and print it out there. nope. i decided to trace each letter onto white copy paper right from the computer screen. actually, there were a lot of duplicate letters in the quote, so i did save some time :)
luckily i am a very "spatially intelligent" person (have to use my teacher-lingo where i can) and figured that size 650 font would work perfectly for the layout i was dreaming up. so i roughly laid out the letters that i had and planned for about 30 seconds before i traced the letters onto the wood carbon-copy-style. YUP. i traced the back of each letter with pencil and then traced the front of each letter to get the lead marks onto the wood. i may be crazy. or maybe i just do things the hard way. somewhere in the midst of this tracing/carbon copying step, my boyfriend (let's call him by his real name from here-on-out) mike, came home from golfing, gave me a kiss and a really weird look, and made dinner. i carried the 39.6 pound pallet into the living room and laid on the ground working on it.
finally, all of the letters had been traced on and fit *perfectly*. then the suckiest part came... painting in each letter. i chose to paint the letters in dark gray and i just used my acrylic paint. i did not worry about making them look perfect, but i wanted the edges of each letter to look pretty clean. so it took awhile. and my neck may never be the same. but i could not be happier. i think i am seriously in love with a wooden sign. and i kind of get teary eyed looking at it, thinking about how those words are finally so true <3.