Sunday, August 28, 2011

Honoring a great man

It's been a week since my last post..and a whirlwind at that! I worked on a custom piece (that I gave you a sneak peek of on the last post) that is almost finished. I will post that in a few days- I promise.

Besides the first week of school for the kiddos, I worked on a hand painted sign to donate for silent auction at the James Justice Memorial Golf Tournament. A truly great man and my husband's best friend of 30 years, James gave his life for our freedom in April of this year. We had a wonderful time golfing and spending time with friends and family while honoring his life and the sacrifices he made for our country. (Never forget to thank a soldier!)

Ok, before I fall apart totally- back to the painted sign. I found a really cool website that displayed this sign and I LOVED it and I think James would have loved it, too (he was a wonderful, rowdy, fun-loving guy) so I thought it appropriate for this occasion. I did "borrow" ;) this idea so I have to give credit to Marty Mummert for this nice design  

                                                                 Now on to the how to...

First I decided how big I wanted the sign to be. It is meant to look like the top of a whiskey barrel. So I found a good template (a large garbage can we use for pop cans :) ), then gathered several pieces of scrap wood that were the same thickness (1 inch in this case) but could vary in width, for added interest. I laid them out together, put the template on top and drew around it. My wonderful assistant (aka my mom), helped me cut out the separate pieces with a a jig saw. We then turned the 'barrel top' over and screwed in two parallel 1x2 pieces into the back to hold the pieces together, ensuring to put a screw into each individual board.
I then used the hand sander to soften up the edges and remove any rough spots. Followed by a coat of paint. Not sure of the color because I got it for free at a garage sale and it doesn't say the color. It is a sort of dark/slate blue. I then printed out the picture from the web (in black and white) but the copy was sort of gray looking and the lines weren't very vivid, so I traced around the lettering in a dark pen. Next I went to the copy store and had a transparency made. Then was the tedious work- measuring the middle of the sign to line up the image. After doing that..several hours of handpainting the image (but totally worth it!) using acrylic paint in white and shadow letters in a dark yellow. The end result was very nice, but looked too 'new,' so I wiped on Minwax Dark Walnut stain and wiped off immediately. That gave it the darker, aged look I was looking for. I finished her up with a coat of clear wax and voila- complete!

It went over very well and James' wife ended up buying it. So James will have it after all, which makes me very happy.

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