I’m baaacckkk

October 16th, 2014


EEK! I haven’t posted for over a month and a half! That’s ridiculous! I mean my last post was on my birthday and I am well into my 44th year (Believe me, I feel all 44 of those years every morning when I get up). So here I am again, making up excuses for disappearing on you, but this time I have a really good excuse. Really I do.

You see I’ve had a little side project brewing in the background for a few years now. It started percolating back when JoAnn, Andrea and I redecorated the Youth Room at my church. The seed was planted at the final meeting of our Youth Room Committee. JoAnn mentioned that she and her husband Mike had been toying around with constructing a building on their farm. A building that would make JoAnn’s dream of becoming a shop owner come true. She wanted to know what we thought of the idea and Andrea and I both immediately said we were on board. If she was going to build a store we wanted to be a part of it.

It would be a seasonal store, open maybe four or five times a year, and we hoped to convince Stacy to join us along with her sugary sweet confections. My Texas connection was in as well. Kris and Steve agreed to make the trek home with a truck full of products to peddle. All that was left was to simply build the building… oh, and about a million other little details.

We planned on having our first sale last Spring but building and weather delays thwarted that plan. So we set the first sale date for Sept. 11, 12 & 13. The dates were set back at the beginning of summer so I had three full months to craft and create. But I also had some prior job commitments plus that pesky full time job and don’t forget about that procrastination gene. So technically I didn’t get to crafting and creating until exactly one month before the sale. So of course the first thing to fall by the wayside was this little ‘ol blog. But never fear dear reader for I am back and about to give you a peek at what I came up with for the first official sale at Willow Station!

Willow postcards

First I drew up some Fall and Halloween-ish sayings and sent them over to Custom Wood Products where they have a nice big router that can be programmed to cut out letters and shapes. I came home from work one day to find my Design Assistant had stopped to pick up my order of wooden words and letters. Sitting on the table in my studio were two medium-ish sized boxes that looked something like this inside…

Wooden words

“Holy crap!” I though, “Now I have to paint all of those little letters!” Poor over-worked me. Come to find out my Design Assistant had already sanded each and every one of those little letters. You see, they didn’t come to us all nice and smooth like that. He’s a sanding machine my old man. I decided to let the boxes sit and taunt me for a while, after all, I wasn’t even sure of my plans for them.

So I started striping canvas’.

Fall stripes

I found this awesome line of chalk paint at a very cool, in fact that would be “Cool & Collected Antiques”, antique store in Lincoln. I loved the color selection, they would be perfect for my fall projects. So I striped and striped and striped some more…

Fall Stripes 2

and while I was striping 8×10 and 11×14 canvas’ I was also painting sticks. Sticks like this…

striped sticks

I had seen a project on Pinterest where they used paint stir sticks and painted them all different colors for a background. I felt it would be a little suspicious if I started dropping by my local hardware store on a daily basis requesting yet another free stir stick so I showed the project to my Design Assistant and in a few days he had a big stack of sticks whipped up for me.

I then bought several lengths of wood chair rail at Home Depot. Hint: When buying 9 ft lengths of chair rail borrow somebody’s pickup. I did not adhere to this helpful hint and was only able to fit my chair rail into my Trailblazer by the grace of God and some creative positioning. On this same trip I also bought about 10 cans of primer spray paint… it was time to face that box of wooden letters.

I set up a makeshift paint lab in my garage one sunny Saturday morning…

Wooden words 4

Wooden words 2

and started priming…

Wooden words 3

and priming some more. Then I moved on to painting them. Next time around I’m skipping the priming part. Just don’t tell my Design Assistant. He’s a big believer in prime-paint-sand-paint again. I don’t have time for all those steps. While I was priming he was turning my chair rail into frames. I then laid my painted sticks in the frames and attached my wooden words with good ol’ Gorilla Glue…

Framed Give Thanks

Framed Welcome Back

I snuck some Halloween words in there as well…

Framed Boo

The Old Man only made me nine frames and if you remember, those boxes were really full, so I had a lot of leftover letters. What to do, what to do? Suddenly it hit me… SCRAP WOOD! JoAnn had given me all of the tiny little scraps leftover from the walls and laying the floor in the store so once again I got out the Gorilla Glue…

Barnwood Fall

and threw some of these together. Isn’t it cute?

I also had some talk bubbles cut out, why talk bubbles you ask? Scroll to the top of the screen and that’s why. Kind of my thing I guess. I wasn’t sure of my plans for the bubbles,  I thought I might just paint some swirly words on them, but then I realized my leftover wooden words would fit so I did this…

talk bubble

Painting all those little letters was starting to eat up all my time so I decided to farm the work out. But instead of sending them to India I called on my Design Assistant No. 2.

mom painting

Look at her neat little workspace all filled up with paper plates. Mine always looks like a tornado struck. Soon she graduated to bigger letters. I had the words “gather” (because it seemed Thanksgiving-ish) and “hello” (because, well because I think you’re technically required to make something with the word “hello’ on it these days) cut out…


I turned these into signs using the awesome chippy paint planks I had acquired from an old shed door…

Gather 2

Hello sign

I later draped some felt bunting across the top corner.

I also made a bunch of my “Home” signs. This required more painting of letters. I was slaving away on them one Saturday night when Ang popped in after work and said “Give me a brush.” Well, I’m not going to turn that down.

Home letters

What we didn’t get done Mom finished up. After that all that was left was to stick them on some barnwood planks.

Home signs

In the midst of all these projects I was constantly working on my canvases. I’d get a couple done a day…

give thanks canvas

harvest moon

and soon ended up with a crateful…

Crate of Canvas

While I was working on these my Old Man was making wooden trays like this…

Wooden tray

JoAnn suggested the trays. Trays always seem to go over.

Then I decided I needed to make something big and because I love any kind of old painted sign I made a couple of “Farmers Market” signs…

Farmers Market

again, it felt fall-ish. When I took it to the Old Man to figure out how to adhere hangers to it he gave me a pleasant surprise. After leaving it with him in the morning I stopped by after work and he told me he had made a frame for my “Farmers Market” signs. “O–kaayy.” I said, with thoughts of some perfectly constructed frame running through my head, thus defeating the purpose of trying to make the signs look aged. “Come check it out.” he said. So I followed. Imagine my delight when this is what I saw…

Farmers Market 3

He’s starting to get it. He really is. Being a woodworker he kind of finds it a sin to work with old beat up wood but he’s finally starting to give in.

And finally, I had promised in an early Facebook post for Willow Station to have chalkboards for sale so I decided I had better follow through. I went to my Sanford & Son junkpile of wood and found several old kitchen cupboard doors that had been donated to me and proceeded to paint them with chalk paint. I then scribbled some Fall words on them like this…

grateful chalk

and this…

grateful thankful blessed chalk

and this…

harvest chalk

and finally this.

smel of autumn chalk

which is still available by the way.

Finally it was time to get everything hooked up.

hooked up

I cleaned Wal-Mart out of their picture hanger stock. All that was left was to haul everything out to the store. So you see, I was actually very busy, I really do have a good excuse for not posting. But I’ll try not to let it happen again.  Stay tuned because next up is a peek inside the sale.

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