Sunday, March 22, 2009

Suddenly sleepy!

Nothing like a contagious yawn to make one think about cuddling up for an afternoon nap on a crisp and blustery, spring, Sunday afternoon... Well, WAKE UP! There's too much crafting to do! Tee Hee

Besides, this project isn't for you... It's for BABIES! Wee-little, super small, wonderful, brand new babies! Twins! My life-long, dear friend, recently gave birth to baby girls! I'm getting ready to send her a care package and I decided to paint these plaques for her nursery (if she wishes) or door, or wherever she decides to hang them!

What IS for you, is my instructions: this project is totally do-able! I'll share some secrets, if you are so compelled to make something like this for someone you love!

Here are some things you'll need:

Hit your local craft stores for:

A wood plaque (they usually come beveled and pre-sanded!)
Acrylic paint
Assorted size brushes (detail - approx 1in')

I'm betting that you already have much of this! If you don't want to mix paints, those cute little "Delta" pre-mixed bottles are great: they come in hundreds of shades and they're extremely affordable! I prefer "Liquitex" heavy body paints only because I can control the viscosity, but just about any type of acrylic paint will work!

I chose images from an OLD (out of print) children's book, but you could use an image from just about anywhere (old cards, plates, furniture...!) I love those ancient decals from the thirties or forties, I believe... that's the look I was going for here.

If you're handy with a pencil, just lightly draw the image on the wood. FIRST: prep the wood with a light primer or even light coat of paint in a neutral color. When dry, THEN draw the image directly onto the wood. Don't worry about mistakes, as long as you are "light-handed" they can be erased or covered with paint. If you're worried about accuracy in replicating the image, you can make a photo copy, reduce or enlarge to appropriate size, and then just trace it onto the wood. The pressure from a pencil or embossing tool can create a dent in the wood that can be retraced with pencil or directly with paint. Another tip is to use "graphite paper". This goes behind the image and transfers on to the wood. It can be a little messy, but is easy to see when you're done. Block in the image with one color, but leave the pencil lines exposed so you don't lose your drawing. Slowly add color, including shades and shadows. Hopefully, you've chosen an image based on your painting experience level. Simple shapes are the best place to start: you can do it!!!

Similar to my card making philosophy... Why waste ALL the time of painting such a beautiful keepsake if you're only doing one!?! DO five! I'm not kidding. You'll probably hate the first one, but you'll get better! The wooden plaques are inexpensive and you can even get them with a coupon: Hello! Sand paper is a great friend in the repair department. Start with a quality fine art eraser and if that makes a mess, SAND! I will confess that I have been painting similar baby signs for years! At one time I had them stock-piled! Now that most of my friends have had babies... Well, I needed to "stock up"... but they were much easier to paint because I literally had a drawer, filled with wood plaques, my original copies and drawings! I do the EXACT same thing with paper craft projects that I'm doing in multiples! Crazy! (I'm not exactly ready to confess to the fact that I hoard materials.... DOH! Maybe when we know one another a little better... Hee Hee) It's good to be prepared!

Here's the finished artwork! Apply as much or as little to the background as needed. I kept it simple since I have MANY more projects on the TO-DO list (and I'm not even counting TAXES! Yuck!). Next, some pretty "hanging" materials...

This funky looking, yellow-handled contraption is my new favorite tool! Husband brought me an industrial staple gun from work for a recent home dec project, but much to my disappointment.. it was BROKEN! In denial, I searched around the garage, hoping to find something to solve my problem. I've tossed this thing around so many times, usually on my way to find something else... No idea what the heck it was... THIS TIME I noticed that is said "Arrow" on the side. The SAME name as the staples! Joy of joy! It's a staple gun that operates like a hammer! My NEW FAVORITE TOOL (did I mention that!?!)! I love what scrapbooking and paper crafting has done for me in the carpentry department! I just don't look at those foreign looking "man tools" the same any more: there's so much possibility!

Anywhoo, I used it to secure ribbon (Yep, it's from Stampin' Up!) to the back of the wood plaque and it was so much faster! The end result was much more pleasing than the old eye-hook and wire hangy thingys of the past! Then, I decorated the ribbon a little so it will be even more sweet in the nursery! Lookee!

The ribbon embellishment is composed of felt flowers from Stampin' Up!, layered and then secured with "filigree brads" (S/U!). I completed the flower, secured the brad and then sewed the piece to the crossed point of the ribbon. I think it looks juicy like this, but the top loop of the ribbon could also be cut and then tied in a bow!

That came out so cute... It could ALMOST make me want another baby..! No. On second thought: I'll just take a nap.

Tee Hee


Dana Gustafson said...

Sigh! These are a beautiful and heartfelt project. Wish I knew you when I was "having babies" becasue these would have had a place of honor in the nursery. YOu are simply amazing :)

Karen said...

YAY!!!! This is the first time I've seen your painting(s) outside the scrapbook & stamping world.....and of course, its worth the wait! Those are so stinkin' cute and sweet. Any nursery would be so much more special with them in it!

Tracey said...

Hi Elise, These are sooo cute!!! What a nice gift for someone.

tg said...

Very cute. Your instructions are awesome too. tfs.

Kate Riley said...

Are you the darlingest lady ever? Y-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-s. (Said like "baaaaah")