Feb 5, 2012

The writing on the wall...err canvas

I don't even know how to start this particular post. I guess the best way to start is by saying that I have an amazing husband. He is gracious and kind and so very patient. I have faults, and he probably counts my desire to do DIY projects one of them. Okay, so not really but I'm betting this particular project would be one that he would consider a fault of mine to even consider. What can I say - I'm just nutty sometimes!?

So what was this massive project that took us all day - yes all day - to complete? Seriously, people, you really think I'm just going to reveal that so easily? It took us all day, so you have to hear all about what went into it before I show you the finished project. You're lucky I'm not just going to leave you hanging at the end of the post. That would be just plain mean.

Okay, so in short, this project was a big canvas with a saying from our wedding on it. But we had several steps to take before we could have the final product that is currently hanging on the wall. First, we had to find a canvas, paint, and stencils. Which we did all of at Hobby Lobby and Michael's - those stores really are great. I knew I wanted to use something from our wedding and I'll even admit that our wedding song was a bit of an odd one. Don't get me wrong, I loved our wedding song. It was perfect for us, but I wanted something a little...more romantic, love-cetric....on the wall. So I decided to use the quote I had on our programs.

"Love is a shelter in a raging storm. Love is peace in the middle of war. And if we try to leave, may God send angels to guard the door. No, love is not a fight but it's something worth fighting for."

That was originally from the movie 'Fireproof' and the chorus from the song, 'Love Is Not a Fight' by Warren Barfield. It's a great song actually. And it was the quote I wanted to use, so now we had all the materials and the quote so we were ready to go.

We had decided that we wanted to make the first letter of the quote larger than the others, which meant we needed to make our own larger stencil for it. So that we did. What we learned here is that Rob is much better at cutting out things like this than I am. Steadier hand, maybe? Probably a good thing considering one of his jobs. Having a steady hand - shooting straight...draw straight line...whatever it is that he does - might be handy. I have always considered him my rock - I guess he kinda is literally then.

But we discovered a problem pretty quickly that our stencil was not all that great. We could paint it just fine but when we lifted up the stencil, it stuck to the other paper and the paint smeared. That was definitely not the look I was hoping for. So we traced the letter with a pencil then hand-colored the letter in. We even had a paint-off, and whoever did it better was the lucky winner who got to paint in on the canvas. Rob won by the way.

Now we were ready to turn our attention to the canvas but we wanted to make sure it looked the best we could get it. So we traced all the words and cut them out so we could fit them on the canvas like a puzzle. This part was a pain. But definitely a necessary evil. We needed to make sure we had the spacing right because it would have been really bad if we got to the end and we still had words left but no room.

So once we had all that figured out, it was time to start. So we started, funny enough, with the first letter on the first word. No pressure to Rob to do the first letter, by hand with no stencil and just basically coloring in. Which he did beautifully.

So now it was time to start using the stencils for the rest of the words. And this part was a killer - especially the first line when we didn't plan it out all that well. We had to skip around because the paint would be wet on one letter so we couldn't the one right next to it because we didn't want to put the stencil in the wet paint. Well, we did a horrible job of actually planning it out as we went, so it took us way too long for the first line, but by the second line we figured out the best way to do it and we were sailing right through. (Probably not as fast as Rob wanted though - it definitely was a slow process!)

So that's what we did all afternoon/evening/night. He figured out what letters we could do next and would tape them down, then I would paint. As it turned out, I was better at painting. He always seemed to get too overzealous and have too much paint on the brush and then we would have paint outside the lines. Not that I didn't have a few of those too, but I just had less. I would get too nervous and every time I would say something to that extent, but the letter would turn out good.

So now fast forward to past midnight (after starting this project just after noon), so you definitely have it easy with this post. Here is the finished project:

Pretty cool, huh? I think so. We worked hard on this and even better, we did it together. Hey, if our marriage could survive this very long project than it can make it through anything right? Okay, so this was pretty minor on the scale of things, but it was nice to be able to do it together and be able to see the finished result. So now because we worked so hard on it, here's three more pictures of it, in the bedroom above the bed (I even made the bed for the pictures - it's okay to be impressed).

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