Saturday, October 8, 2011

Catching Up

If you are waiting for the rest of the subway art- I have the pics ready, and I will be adding that soon!

I just need to catch up on some pictures I've not posted, like, since August.  I wish I could have a do-over on summer.  This cold snap is killing me.  It was 40° cooler today than last Friday, and just cold, rainy and gray.  Sad.

So, since there is nothing better than curling up in a blanket and going through photos that is what I am going to do!

 My baby is not a baby, or even close.  Back to school pics for 5th grade.  It is so exciting and so sad all at the same time when they get older.
 Bryn took these pictures the day before, I think.  I didn't take them the morning of school starting.  So I am not sure if it was late that same day, or if they were testing the outfit's awesomeness the day before. The pictures turned out pretty cute though!

 5th grade Dual Immersion, here she comes!

Josh was in a hurry to get to school.  First day back after a year and a half of home schooling.  But we got him in the school we wanted, and with the teacher he needed!  Josh has never in his life been excited to go to school until this year!  So, here is a shout out to awesome men who choose to teach.  Most of my kids' best teachers in elementary school have proven to be been men. I think it is a harder age for men to teach, but the ones who do it do an incredible job!

 So, I didn't take Bryn's pictures before school, I wasn't thinking ahead very well.  So, I have pictures of her after school at her meet.  That counts, because it is still the first day of school.  Hard to believe she is a sophomore!

This was a hot and dry race.  The JV girls were running in the upper 90° temps with no shade.  These are some seriously tough chicks!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Subway Art Tutorial- Part 1

So I have totally been loving the Subway Art I keep seeing.  I wanted some of the signs for my house, but I had to change them up to fit our family better.  I needed the phrases to be more gospel oriented, and some signs had nice themes but horrible grammar.  I couldn't display that on my wall without it glaring at me every time I saw it.  So, I whipped up a few more suited to me, and have been in love with the creating process!

I decided to try to do a tutorial as I was going along because I am also teaching a class on how to make them.  Might as well write it up at that point.  So, here is my first attempt at a tutorial since I did rubber stamping write-ups for an online magazine!

Here is what I am showing you how to make:

This sign is 2'x 4' and it is my favorite size so far.  It takes some time, and that will depend on how confident you are with a paint brush.  If you aren't super confident in your hand painting skillz then just go slow!  It's just paint, right?!  You can always paint over mistakes, so don't stress too much!

Part 1 of the tutorial will get through the board prepping.  I will be back with the rest of the instructions!

Supply List:
*Wood Panel (I bought one of Home Depot's pre-cut panels).  It needs to be pretty smooth and at least 3/8" thick so it won't warp.  Check you rwood and make sure it isn't warped to start with!

*Trim (for the frame): In the trim section you have a lot of options.  I chose unfinished hardwood, in a really thin size.  Mine is about a half inch wide.  I bought it in the 8' length and cut it myself.  Make sure you measure out the total needed for all four sides!

*Miter Box/Saw

*Wood Primer: (House primer works well, and it doesn't have to be super thick and expensive)

*Wood Glue
*Sand paper or sanding blocks- somewhere between 80-160 grit

*Painter's tape

*Acrylic Paint brushes- I get the cheap craft type, but not the kid types.  I prefer the round brushes in 0, 1 and 2 sizes.  Some lettering I will go up to a 6, but better to go smaller than too big!

*Foam Brushes (for the primer, sealer and base coats)- I prefer the 3" size, but you can get whatever you like

*Acrylic Craft paint for the base coat

*Acrylic Craft paint for the lettering

*Transfer/Graphite Paper (I make my own, but you can get this at most art supply stores.  If you are painting a dark base color look for white transfer sheets so they will show up, the graphite ones will work but may be harder to see well.

*You will also need a big copy of the wording.  I have a local shop by me with a copier that can do blueprints, so that is where I went for the giant size copies.  They are inexpensive, less than $2 usually.

 So, let me just explain- I have no real wood working skillz.  I wish I did, I love wood.  But, this tutorial is from a completely untrained carpenter.  Ha!  So just beware, I don't even know the names of the saws.

  This saw, was bad.  Well, the blade was.  I used this saw on my first attempt at cutting my trim.  It took AGES!  And I couldn't get a good miter cut.  I needed my trim to be at 45° angles, and I couldn't find my hubby's handy box for that.  I am certain it was in the garage, but I didn't want to spend all day looking for it.  So I eventually ran to Home Depot and grabbed a new saw that came with a new miter box.  Whatever saw you use, it needs to have a super fine blade so the trim won't get shredded.  I learned that by trying a jigsaw (bad idea), a chop saw (again, bad idea), and then I decided it was really worth getting the right tool for the job, go figure!
 You can see the wood panel I used for this sign, it is some type of masonite.  I did get a wood panel look by using a paintbrush instead of a foam brush when I did the primer and base coats.  If you want to get a wood panel with natual grain just avoid anything really rough.  It will catch your brush as you paint the letters and really be frustrating.  It will require a lot of prep-sanding to smooth it for hand painting letters.  So, just really be on the lookout for smoother wood!  

This is what your trim will look like after you miter the corners to 45° angles.  I pre-marked them before each cut so I would know I was cutting the angle in the right direction.  I had to see it on the panel first to be sure.  You may be less challenged in that department than I am!

After I had the trim pieces cut I laid them next to the board to make sure I had them ready for gluing.

 I used wood glue to attach the trim to the board.  I held these pieces, but you could use soup cans to hold each piece down while it dries.  Drying time is really quick, maybe 10-15 minutes, and it is tacky in about 3-5 minutes, so holding it wasn't a big deal.  Clean the glue drips up as you go so you won't have to sand those out later.  And don't press all the glue out by pushing too hard!  You just need to hold it down, but leave room for the glue to stay in between the pieces of wood!

Here is a closeup of the corner.  I filled a gap in with extra glue.  I did wipe the extra back off.   But I wasn't super concerned with perfectly fitted corners.  Just relatively close worked for me!

 After the trim was all in place it looked like this (Although this was a different sign and I didn't use masonite on it.)

Here is the masonite picture.

Okay, part two will be priming and base coating!  Hopefully I can get it up tomorrow before art classes.

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