Thursday, January 26, 2017

Reclaimed Wood Sign - Project Challenge 2017

Hymns rock.

They just do.

I fear that hymn's are going to become obsolete.

Maybe they are already.

When I was a little girl my family attended a very large Southern Baptist church in Little Rock, Arkansas. This was way before the times of the mega-church. I don't know if it was as big as I remember - you know how things seem larger than they are when you are small. My memory says that weekly attendance was over 1000. I would see that on those signs they always put up in churches.  I'm pretty sure that that is big even under grown-up standards.

The best part of attending a good sized Southern Baptist church is the congregation is large enough to do justice to the singing of hymns. Squeaky old lady voices are covered up by the large crowd. Most of the crowd was singing at full voice, because they knew the hymn - practically by heart.

The second best thing about attending a good sized Southern Baptist church was the investment they made in my music education. That was what Wednesday night church was all about. Choir. Every age - from age 4 - had choir on Wednesday night. We learned age appropriate songs about loving one another, the goodness of god, and of course, Jesus. We learned notes, sight reading, and music theory like none of my non-Baptist friends had access to. 

And we learned hymns. Once we were in first grade there was a hymn memorization contest. Every week we could go a little early to choir and one of our teachers would listen to us sing the hymns we had memorized that week.  I liked this contest.

I memorized hymns to my hearts content. And I won the contest. There was a prize for the one who memorized the most hymns.  A Baptist Hymnal with my name embossed on it. In my mind, I won this contest 3 times between 1st and 5th grades. Maybe it was only two? Maybe it was four? I'm not absolutely certain. But there were several Baptist Hymnals in our home with my name on them.

To this day, I love hymns. 

They are in my mind like no music that I've ever been exposed to (well possibly I know my Carpenters music as well). They are there when I do yoga. They are there when I see signs that use lines from hymns as their message. I hear them in Hobby Lobby. Did you know that the music in Hobby Lobby is always renditions of hymns? I find myself singing in the isles every time I am there. I hear them when I walk outdoors. They are in me all the way to my gut.

My sister Stephanie loves hymns, too. Maybe more than I do.

And she has a space on the wall in her new house that needs something. 

I had been carrying around the thought of making her a sign for a while. It was going to be a "hymn sign". It was to have two lines in it from the hymn Blessed Assurance. 

The wall and my imagined sign are made for each other. It would fit perfectly in the space.

But I hadn't made it yet.

Then I was asked to participate in a challenge group. You've seen stuff like this before. A group of bloggers get together and do a monthly challenge together, each of them creating something along the guidelines of the challenge for that month.

I'm excited to work with these talented bloggers. It's going to be great working with a different material each month - seeing what the other ladies create. I hope you will visit each of them to learn how they met the challenge.

Our material for January is reclaimed wood. I am sparing you the picture of the two containers of reclaimed wood in my garage. One container is filled with pieces of a fence that one of my neighbors removed because it was rotten in many places and needed to be replaced. These are the boards I decided to use for this project.

This fence was a picket fence so the pieces were fairly short. A lot of them have an abundance of rot, but I managed to find enough for the sign.

I cut them all to the same size on my chop saw.

Then lined them up face down for the best fit.  I used the boards that I was going to use to hold the boards together to make sure everything was flush at the sides.

Then I laid those long strips of 1''x2" on the back of the board and used my Ryobi AirStrike Nailer to attach the support strips to the board.

I used the most distressed side to for the front of the sign. I discovered that this was perhaps a mistake.

Now I just needed to do the lettering. I don't have any magic machines to cut out letters or stencils to make sign making easy.  I usually print out the verbiage for the sign in the font that I want then draw it either on the sign itself or on a piece of paper in the size that I want to use on the sign. I mess around with the lettering until I have the shape right and I cut it out. Then I trace it on the board. I was lucky on this sign because some of the words were identical so I only had to draw and cut them once, then reuse them for the second phrase.

I picked out what I thought would be the best colors for the sign. I used acrylic paints for this because they go on easier than any of my chalk paints. Mr. Quirky kept walking by while I was painting telling me that I picked to the wrong colors, that you couldn't see the words. Since he often throws out comments about my projects to try to pick at me.  I always just roll my eyes and move on.  This time, he was right. There is something wrong with this sign. Any glare at all on the sign washes out the words in the light green.  In person it's a little better, but not quite enough better.

So. I'm going to have to fix something. First I'm going to try wiping a medium tone of stain over the whole thing. This will change the color and perhaps provide more contrast to the whole thing. If that doesn't work I will just repaint the light green letters. 

Oh well. Sometimes you get it perfect the first time...

Sometimes you don't!

I want to introduce you the other Challenge participants for the month

Our fearless leader is Michelle Alger at Shelstring Blog. She made a bench from some reclaimed wood - a project that she originally started in 2011! That cracked me up, since I often stretch out projects for years myself.

Then meet Emily at Domestic Deadline. She made me realize how much I need to start planning my meals again.

Molly Wagner at Just A Little Creativity made something I've been meaning to make for like - years. Maybe this one will motivate me.

I love this towel holder made by Colleen Pausley at Life On Kaydeross Creek

And then there's me...

Remember me?

Let me know if you have a special trick or idea to help those light green letters to show up better.

And Stephanie, this is for you. I hope you like this hymn. It reminds me of you. Your life. Your story. Your song.

Did you forget to pin?


Emily said...

I too love hymns. I love the way the wood looks as it is, maybe try outlining the green with a gold paint pen? I'm so enjoying this challenge. I'd love for you to link this up to the #HomeMattersParty this weekend!

Connie said...

I truly miss the old hymns . . . they are becoming forgotten and it is a crying shame. I love your sign, if I were to make a suggestion, it would be to add a black shadow to the green letters, that would make them show up better. It would only take a thin dark line, maybe on the right-hand side and the bottom of each. I really hate advising people on their work . . . it is lovely :)

NanaDiana said...

What a GREAT idea for a sign! I love that- it is one of my favorite old hymns, too. I do like the new hymns but I really LOVE those older hymns, too. The Old Rugged Cross, Battle Hymn of Republic , Lamb of God-I come- I come....In The Garden. You seldom hear any of those anymore. If you don't know the song Ancient Words listen to it. It is a wonderful spiritual song. xo Diana said...

Hi Karen,

I love any sign! They add such character to a space. I don't know Hymns that well but I love that one! Nice job!

stephanie said...

Awww. I love it!

Susie @ The Chelsea Project Blog said...

Speaking of hymns, here's something you might be surprised to learn about me. I grew up playing the piano for the singing of said hymns at a Southern Baptist church in Southern Kentucky. Reading your post brought back some precious memories. Hope you are recouping and getting that knee back in the game. Susie from The Chelsea Project

ibshell said...

Karen! We are kindred spirits. I love the hymns and knew that was what plays at Hobby Lobby, cause I sing along too. Then I was thrilled to see you love the Carpenters...I have a blog post about that. You ought to search it on my blog when you have time to kill. Anyway, thanks for the wonderful post and project. I think I would just paint all the letters in black. I know what effort this is too, since I hand paint a lot of my signs too. Your lettering is amazing!! I love the fencing!! ;)

Art and Sand said...

I too love hymns and I love your sign. I wish I had an idea for how to get the green to stand out.

I love all the ideas you shared by other bloggers.

Bliss said...

I've had that happen as well that a color I determine should work does not. All you can do is paint over, or you could try outlining the green with black maybe?

Leslie Harris said...

Wow I loved hearing about your southern baptist background, especially your hymns contests. Does singing ability matter because I'd be kicked out if it were about that. The sign is awesome too, made special because of your own story!


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