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Hello Spring Prep

April 9th, 2015

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It may appear that I have either A: Abandoned craft projects and this blog all together or B: Am still on the road headed home from Texas. Neither is actually true, but the first one seems kind of true. The truth is I was in “prep mode”. And “prep mode” is a stressful mode to be in therefore blogging once again fell by the wayside.

You see our first Spring sale at Willow Station (the awesome little seasonal pop up shop I’m involved in) was held two weeks ago so my every waking hour was spent painting, glueing and panicing.

I started late once again. I just can’t seem to shake this procrastination bug and in all honesty I had a lot of basketball games to go to and don’t regret that for a minute. I did however give my Design Assistant his assignments plenty early. I had to, I had been hearing rumblings of a strike ever since I overloaded him on marquee letter orders following our Home for the Holidays Sale. I am afflicted by the procrastination bug but I obviously didn’t inherit it from him.

His first big assignment was a batch of oversized dominoes made out of wood. Once we figured out dimensions and pip assignments (a pip would be the spot on a domino according to the Old Man) he quickly set to work…

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and immediately turned into a “sawdust monster”…

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and his clean-up routine turned me into one as well…

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in no time at all he had a couple of stacks of giant dominoes….

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and some huge piles of wood shavings. Now if I were a “green” person I would have saved all those wood shavings and recycled them. They would have made great packaging filler.

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While the Old Man was making a mess in his wood shop I was doing the same in my studio… but at least it was a colorful mess…

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Once my Design Assistant was done making his giant dominoes I set him to work on some wooden signs so I could get my paint on. I gave him my order, dimensions, styles, number of signs and one day when I came home from work I found this in my utility room…

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oh boy, I guess I’m now in the wooden sign business. I debated on whether I should turn them into chalkboards or just paint them to look like chalkboards. I love the vibrant colors of chalk but no matter what I do to try and seal the chalk it still ends up smearing so I went the paint route.

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Here’s one of my many signs in progress…

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and one that’s actually finished.

In addition to my wooden sign order I had to get my wooden word order in to Mike at Custom Wood Products. Mike is the owner of a giant wood router (I think that’s what it’s called) that almost met it’s maker trying to process my order.

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I texted him a couple days after dropping off my order wondering when I could expect them to be finished. He responded by texting: “Kerri, letters are done as of last night! We did experience some “dead kill” though. The router didn’t like those tiny letters. I even managed to start the machine on fire!” OH MY GOSH! I almost started his recently purchased business on fire! I suspected those letters were too tiny but sent them on their way anyway. I felt terrible and apologized profously. Luckily he’s a really good guy and responded by saying “If it burns I’m planning on collecting insurance $ and moving away.” This was followed by the “chattering teeth emoji”.

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Not all of the letters were tiny, my “smile” sign letters were plenty big. And luckily they just fit on the white chippy wood I had been tripping over in my garage for the past six months. I think it used to be a barn door of some kind and someone had cut it in half and then dumped it in the dry creek bed next to one of my brother-in-laws cornfields. Following our previous sale, Kris, Steve, Kelli and I went scavenging in that creek bed and found all kinds of treasures. I’m hoping someone has dumped some more garbage out there… I’m out of white chippy wood.

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Once I picked up all of my wooden letters I spent an afternoon plotting out my signs in the Old Man’s shop, I’m kind of a fly by the seat of my pants designer, I have things cut out without really knowing what I’m going to end up doing with them. Once I had that stuff all figured out the letters (some of them sporting burn marks) moved on to Design Assistant No. 2 and her trusty paint brushes.

But first she had to finish up the big domino order. Dad had already set up his paint shop in the garage and gave everything a coat of flat black paint and then sanded all the edges to make them look rough. That left the pips…

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lot’s and lot’s of pips. While Mom was painting pips I was working on canvases.

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I doubled the number of small canvases this time around and tried something new with the rainbow background. I did so many small canvases that I ended up not getting many big canvases done. I simply ran out of time. I’m hoping to have more big ones at the next sale.

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After painting, painting, painting my little red cart of finished products was starting to fill up. And the whole time I was trying to figure out where I was going to hang them.

JoAnn and I had discussed opening up a second building at Willow Station, primarliy so we would have another counter to check customers out. Stacy would once again have her food booth set up in the second building and there was plenty of room for that extra counter and overflow merchandise. The problem was, the walls were already full of amazing advertising signs. Where would I hang all of my stuff? After dicussing the display issues with the Old Man I was telling Kris over the phone that we had decided to build some kind of room divider that I could hang all of my posters and prints on. I said, “You know, kind of like one of those Sunday School room dividers at church.” Great idea right?

Well obviously it was because the very next day I got a text from JoAnn asking me if I had checked the “leftover room” at church. Some members had spent the past month cleaning out all of the upstairs Sunday School rooms and everything they wanted to get rid of was piled up in the “leftover room”. We were all given the opportunity to go through the room and take what we wanted. JoAnn said there was only one day left before they hauled it all to the dump so I skedadled over there the next morning and lo and behold… they were getting rid of a Sunday School room divider. Ahhhh…. the heavens opened up and I heard angels singing.

The middle section had a shelf on one side and then there were two panels, covered in cork board, that attached to either side of the middle section. Dad took out the cork board and replaced it with a wood insert and then sprayed the whole thing white.

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And without me even asking, he added a little shelf to the backside of the middle section… brilliant. I then painted the wood inserts on both sides with black chalkboard paint so that I could just write my prices on the chalkboard next to my prints. All in all, we got a free display piece… that ended up costing almost $200 in the end. Which was fine, it was a great investment… I’ll let you see the finished product along with all my other stuff in my next post… hopefully coming soon.

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