Wednesday, March 5, 2014

FOCUS ....on a Sign

Following a trend to select One Word for the year instead of making a list of New Year Resolutions, I chose focus. In addition to other areas of my life, I want to focus on one art/craft project at a time. With that in mind, I made a sign for my studio. (We will see how this works with my AADD!)

I used a technique I learned a couple of years ago in a Subway Art workshop at Kijsa Houseman’s studio. In the workshop we used precut, adhesive stencils; very nice but a bit expensive. Last year, I chose strength as my word. Wanting a visual reminder and not wanting to spend a great deal of money,  I printed the letters on a large mailing label, cut them out with scissors, adhered them to a painted board , painted over the letters and board with a contrasting color; when dry I peeled away the label. This worked but the paint soaked through the paper and I had to do a bit of touch up painting.

I tried it again using a phase I associate with my son; this time I put contact paper on top of the printed letters on the mailing label (to prevent the paint from soaking through), cut the letters out with scissors, stuck the letters on the painted board, painted over with contrasting paint and let dry. When I peeled the letters, the contact paper separated from the mailing label and it was quite messy. Again I had to do an amount of touch-up painting and outlined with a black Sharpie to cover the rugged edges.

In searching for tutorials for using my Silhouette Portrait, I found it would cut Contact paper. Okay! Inexpensive, no scissors needed, one eight steps; a no brainer to giving it a try! So, here is how I did it.
Step one, painted a board with left over latex paint. Let it dry over night


Step two, in the Silhouette program, using Comic Sans MS font, I typed the word focus. I re-sized the letters to about 3-inches in height.
Step three, I cut a piece of Contact paper (already had on hand) to fit the Silhouette mat, placed it on the mat (leaving the backing on the Contact paper) and burnished with an old credit card.


Step four, placed the Silhouette mat with the Contact paper in the Silhouette (keep the Contact side up,) chose the vinyl setting speed 8, thickness 4, blade 2 and cut.



(This is where I lost focus and forgot to continue photographing.)

Step five, peeled the Contact letters (which cut very nicely) from the mat and backing, and placed it on the previously painted board, burnished with a credit card.

Step six, painted across the letters with the same latex paint I used to paint the board in order to seal and prevent seepage (a very important step.)Let dry.

Step seven; painted the board and the letters with a contrasting color (I used Annie Sloan Chalk paint as I had it on hand in a color I wanted.) Let dry.

Step eight, peeled the Contact letters from the board. Nice, crisp, no touch-up needed.

Optional, apply a wax like MINIWAX Paste Finishing Wax.


Such fun and so easy! I want to make a sign for the door of the studio and one for the new screened porch! I bet the granddaughters would like one for their bedroom doors! I must raid HR’s scrap lumber box! And I think I need some new fonts! Just saw SilhouetteSchool has a new tutorial on downloading and installing fonts. How convenient!
Will the sign help me stay focused, probably not; but I think having these signs throughout my studio is pretty cool!
Want to make a sign, but don’t own a Silhouette, you can buy alphabet stencils at a craft store (lot less expensive than a die cut machine), attach to a painted board with removable adhesive and pounce on paint; use purchased stencils, draw letters and hand paint; free hand paint letters onto a painted board; or come by the studio and we will make one together!

By the way, another area on which I want to focus this year is healthy eating. I found this delicious chocolate shake on Beautiful Mess blog; so easy and healthy!

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