A Custom Order for a Dear Friend

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A custom order for a dear friend. I love the message, too!

I had a dear, old friend get in touch and ask me to do a custom order for her. In addition to getting to connect (we don’t live close to each other anymore) I also got to make something for her, too. Yay! I really love how after sanding the wood grain showing through makes each piece unique.

This was also the first thing I photographed in the new house. I am thinking I should start to get my husband to take the photos for me since he did such a great job with the ones of my knit/crocheted items. I also think my other photos I have done to date are just meh. Maybe they should be redone, too? Anyone have any thoughts or opinions?

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I Have Become Too Attached To One of My Signs (and My Signs Are in a Local Shop Now)

I talked in my last post about our move and how I felt like everything was falling into place. I feel like this is where we are supposed to be right now.

On the day we first came to look at the house we had to wait another 40 minutes before we could get in to see it so we went for a walk to the beach while we waited. On the way back I spotted a little shop that had lovely painted furniture in the window. My kind of shabby chic refurbished furniture. The shop was closed but I really wanted to go back and visit when it was open. It is called Cottage Living and it is lovely (have I said that already?).

So, of course, we ended up getting the house but all the events of the move put it out of my head while I concentrated on controlling the chaos. And then after we were settled a bit the girly and I headed out on a gorgeous Fall day (my very favourite kind) for a walk to the beach. And on the way back, lo and behold, the shop was open! Well I just had to go in. So we did and I didn’t really want to leave but the girly had other ideas. So I had a quick chat with the shop owner, Linda, who seemed a little excited when I told her I painted signs. She asked about my process and then told me she had a way quicker method and invited me to come back when I had some time. She also asked if I wanted to sell my signs in her shop which, of course, I did. I took her card and emailed her my Facebook page when I got home.

Almost a week later I was able to get Grandma to come hang out with the girly and back I went. I enjoyed every minute I was there and had the time to find out more about their clay based paint and milk paint (yes, they sell paint, too and other lovely household goodies). I was also able to see her working with the milk paint as she paints right in the back of the shop. I had just recently read about milk paint and am eager to try it out. It gives a bit of a different texture than chalk or clay paint …more of a chipping effect to give it a really old vintage feel. Linda also showed me a recent piece she did which was originally old, ugly bifold doors. She added molds to it, painted it and now it’s a beautiful room screen. It looks amazing. Anyway, I am starting to babble here. Can you tell I am excited?

I really enjoyed being in that shop, inspired by Linda, and all the creations around me. I found myself putting off leaving but eventually it was time to head home to the girly. Linda and I talked about me bringing some signs and arranged for me to bring some down in a couple of days. That night I started to look at all my signs trying to decided which ones I would bring. I ended up picking out 18 of them and typed up a price list for Linda.

But when it came down to it there was one sign I found I just couldn’t part with. I talked to my hubby about it and also to my sister (because sometimes talking out loud just lets you know how you really feel but I also value their opinions, too) and in the end I have decided to keep it. I just love it, too much. Can you guess which one? Yes, it’s the “oh, to be by the sea” I painted on driftwood. So I will have to delist it in my Etsy shop, too before I have to explain to someone why I can’t sell it to them.

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The sign I just couldn’t part with.

A Fellow Etsy Shop

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Signs I made for my sister-in-law’s Etsy shop. She will be at the Nanaimo Etsy Made in Canada pop-up market this weekend.

I have mentioned my sister-in-law before. She has kindly donated her old fence boards to us when my husband replaced her fence. I use them for my signs. She has also kindly donated that fabulous piece of driftwood I made into my current favourite piece, oh, to be by the sea.

Well, my sister-in-law also started an Etsy shop called Sea Salt Company and she is going to be at the Nanaimo Etsy Made in Canada pop-up shop market on Saturday, September 27, 2014 from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. It will be her first market so she is madly getting everything together and trying to come up with her display. I feel her pain because I have been contemplating setting up shop at a market for some time. The complexity of getting it all together is dizzying: a new display (including tables and whatever else you might need depending if it is indoors or outdoors), enough product (how do you know if you even have enough?), ways to accept payment, and is there anything else? Oh, yes, a sign with your shop name on it.

She had two new pieces of driftwood for me and I couldn’t help but think they would be perfect to make a sign with her shop name on it. With a little discussion and a look at her banner on her Etsy shop I set to work to make her a sign for her display. After all isn’t driftwood the perfect sign for a beach themed shop? With two pieces I was able to use the first one for her shop name and the second one for her byline.

And now I will have somebody who has market experience to go to for guidance when it is my turn to set up shop at a market. (Hopefully soon). I can’t wait to hear how it goes for her.

Busy days

We have been busy, busy, busy. We are moving at the end of the month which is BUSY all in itself. It was also the girly’s birthday this week. She turned 4 and we took her on a super adventure. It was great fun! Four is such a great age (although I have been saying this about each age she has been, ha ha).

Last week I was working on a big custom order but I haven’t had time to write about it yet due to the busy-ness. The order was for two pieces …one was 25″ by 25″ and the second one was for 22″ by 28″. These are the biggest signs I have done to date.

First, after having the hubby cut the wood to the right size, I glued the wood together. I also put cross posts on the back and hubby stapled them in with his (super scary …have I told you about my fear of power tools?) staple gun.

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The boards glued together are finally dry and ready to paint.

 

Then I painted them with CeCe Caldwell’s Dover White to give it a white wash effect. I love it for the background to my rustic signs.

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CeCe Caldwell’s Dover White paint drying on the signs.

Then it’s time to paint the words on. Here is the first sign finished before I hand sand it for the warm, well-loved rustic finish.

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The words are painted. Time to let them dry before sanding.

Both signs are done! They took way longer than I originally estimated. Estimating is hard to do the first time round. (In this case, I hadn’t yet done a sign this big and with this many words). That is all part of the learning curve in doing business though.

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And, the lady who ordered them loved them so much she sent me pictures of them in her home (and she nicely agreed to let me use them in this post)! She is the first person to do that for me and I absolutely loved seeing them. It kinda made my day. It really makes me love what I do when I can make someone so happy with what I have made custom for them!

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Oh, and I almost forgot. Fall is nearly here which means I have broken out the hook and yarn and have been crocheting up some cowls. Look for those coming soon …as soon as I can rope hubby into taking some pictures for me. (I think it looks better if cowls are displayed being worn by somebody).

A Gorgeous Piece of Driftwood

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My sister in law found the most amazing piece of driftwood. And, she gave it to me! When I received it I thought it was such a great piece that I felt like it was an important task to come up with just the right thing to do with it. I mean really it is a one of a kind piece so I didn’t want to just paint anything on it.

It has sat propped beside where I work for the better part of two months now. Sometimes I would take time out just to stare at it and wonder about what I should do with it. Sometimes I would google beach sayings or things like that to give me inspiration. At some point the phrase “oh, to be by the sea” started making circles in my head whenever I looked at the driftwood. I have no idea where the words came from. I even tried to google it to see if that told me anything. It didn’t. I must have made them up.

Finally, this weekend I decided that “oh, to be by the sea” was exactly what should be written on it only I needed to find a worthy font. I started to scour the internet and after much searching I found it and I think it is perfect. I have fallen in love with this piece. I don’t think the picture does it justice. It is actually over two feet long.

Ah, Fall …Glorious Fall

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I love Fall. Partly because it means an end to Summer which is actually my least favourite season. I can’t seem to handle hot temperatures which means a lot of Summer days I am stuck inside until it gets cool enough to be bearable. I actually try not to complain about rain or snow or any other weather because my real weather complaint is hot sun. I would take anything else first.

I don’t actually like the extreme cold either, though. (It’s a good thing I live on the West Coast because the weather really isn’t that extreme, not when you compare it to other places). So this is another reason I love Fall. It is an in between temperature season. I would say I love Spring, too except Spring means hay fever so Fall definitely wins.

But really, the reason I love Fall most of all is for those sunny, clear, cold, crisp days that smell so fresh. There is something about those days that make me feel so happy. Those are the days that I will drop what I am doing so I can be outside and enjoy it knowing there aren’t many of those days until the next year comes around. That’s when the piles get backed up around the house but I don’t really care as long as I can be outside.

Labour Day is really exciting for me because that is when the anticipation starts …the anticipation for Fall. I have to admit I got excited when I saw Halloween in the stores in the beginning of August …anticipation of Fall! So this past weekend while others were out having their last summer fling before the seriousness of the new year started (September, not January, always feels like the beginning of the new year for me) I made a couple of Fall/Halloween signs. I couldn’t help myself. And, I want to keep them all. I think I will display them on my shelves rather than add them to the cupboard of signs for sale …at least until someone else buys them to love. I also plan to make some more, too.

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Wedding Date Custom Order

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I received another request for a custom order and they just picked it up today. Any time there is personal information on a sign I like to make sure that I ask if it’s okay to post it on my blog. You never know.

I had seen a couple of these signs with the Mr. & Mrs. and established date before and think they are great.  What better way to commemorate your coming together than a piece of art to hang in your home? I have a vision of the couple looking at that sign fondly many years in the future. Plus, it provides a great reminder for those prone to not remembering anniversary dates.