Signs- I think they’re my thing. I have this Virgo compulsion to create signs free-hand as close to my perfect as possible. Each sign has it’s own unique character.
It all started when I met my future husband. He knew I wanted to be able to pay my bills by selling my own art. In order to sell my art, I had to make more of it. He has been collecting building materials on his property for almost 20 years now (one day I’ll get that house 😉 ) and unfortunately some of those little flying bugs that drill pin holes in your wood got into a stash. Fortunately for me, my sweet hubby offered them up as canvas 😀 So, I started painting 🙂
I first started painting different flower designs on them, then expanded my repertoire from there. I was really into working with wire at the time and even accented a few. Each piece when finished got a few coats of polyurethane to preserve the paint from the weather and to keep the bugs from thinking it was tasty. My husband eventually screwed them all onto the house 🙂 That was fun.
I finally made my first sign. The Backwoods House of Art. The name I came up with in order to market our work (he welds and does rock work that is baaad to the bone! (I’ll need a whole other post to show you all about that!)). We live in the backwoods… and we live in a house of art…………….
I would share a pic of that sign… but the pictures are terrible…. The sign is too long to fit in a picture right. Any suggestions on how to take a good picture of something long? I would love some advice!
Then an opportunity fell from the sky, and I jumped on it. That’s when I started The Backwoods Visitors’ Center & Community Shoppe (see “Hello World!” to see how I came up with that name! 😉 ) We started with only $100 in the bank and needed a sign. After some research on signs, I came to the realization… that signs are expensive. And our bank account by that point was not going to handle that purchase well. So I decided we needed to build our own sign. Luckily, my husband is handy with such building tasks and took these three impressively large boards he had, cut them in half, framed them with sides, and created a double sided sign surface approximately 5 feet by 5 feet. I designed the sign and drew out my letters on plywood for my hubby to cut out for me (he doesn’t let me use his tools 😛 ). The sign got delivered to the shoppe so I could paint and finish it up. It took up a good portion of the workshop area for a while…
I painted the background with my all-star craftin’ buddy at the time, Mary, teaching her how to blend colors as we go. Then I finished up painting the letters and logo and nailed them on both sides. After we were through, we sealed it with a couple layers of a clear coat. My husband came by and we got it stood up and displayed for all to see!
Following that sign, I created two large produce signs for a guy, one of which I traded for some black gold (good compost dirt) for our new community garden that had just been excavated 🙂 I wish I would have taken a picture of those signs, but I forgot 😦 they had lovely fruits and veggies around the lower border. Yum yum! I created a few more small signs for folks around town….
Then I got a job repainting the signs at our General Store. Roy Rogers would have been proud 😉 Our general store is modeled after a Roy Rogers toy from the 1950’s. Not many people know that, but since I love Roy Rogers as well as Antique Roadshow… I knew 😉 Oh man, I was so excited about that job, and I was pregnant at the time, so I was looking forward to having to money to pay my midwife. Unfortunately that job fell through after I did a couple signs. I was so upset! … Oh well, that’s over. But at least I remembered to take some pictures before they painted over my work (which was kind of insulting, especially when he told me to make them exactly how they were, and now they look nothing like the originals… Roy Rogers is rolling in his grave 😉 ). The Weekly Journal sign was an EXACT replica except for the border color (On the toy, the building it is on was blue, so the border of the sign was blue, but the owner didn’t want a blue border, which is fine, it looks much more attractive with an antique-y white border).
I would have to say I love to make up my own signs, but I am best at replicas… but I love to design and create new signs, and I guess I’m not too shabby at those either because people compliment their owners all the time on them from what I hear. I know for a fact that I LOVE MAKING CUSTOM SIGNS! If you like my work, please place your order through our Etsy page, our store is called LongcreekBackwoods.
My aunt also makes some awesome signs, she works out of her garage in Arizona, therefor she only works in the wintertime 🙂 but check her out when you get a chance, she usually sets up an Etsy shop come winter, it will be called Pretty Rustic: