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Monthly Archives: March 2013

Homemade Sign

A friend of mine recently threw me a wedding shower out at her families blueberry farm. I wanted to do something to thank them so I thought I could make them a sign for the farm. Their last name is Gates. I knew I wanted it to say “Gates Berry Farm” but I wanted it to be different so I thought Gates in the background with block letters and Berry Farm over it in cursive. Here’s the steps and pictures if you wanna make one, its not hard.
I used a pallet and cut the two bottom pieces off.

I used a saw and cut right thru the nails where the boards were attached to the pallet. This is the most time efficient way I have found so far to do this.

I screwed a board on the back to attach the two boards and keep them together and left two of the screws raised up a bit so you can twist wire around them and hang the sign.

Now paint it. This will be your own decision on colors and how much but I wanted a little blue and a shabby look so I just used what I had. Oil paint and acrylic and just mixed it. The white is oil paint I had the the light blue, and pearly white were acrylic. I had to take some brown and smear it in a bit when I was done because I cover up more of the wood than I planned and wanted that exposed wood look. Just work with it.

Next print out your letters backwards on a printer. So I printed out Gates backward or flipped or mirror print. This can actually be the trickiest part but in my first home sign tutorial there is a how to on this. Or google it ūüôā

Tape it down and go over the outline of the letters really hard with a pen or pencil to make an indention in the wood.
I then traced the indention with a pencil. (Make sure your letters are straight)

Now this parts a little time consuming. Take a razor or wood tool and carve out the letters. The wood is really soft so it was pretty easy it just took time.

Now I can’t believe I didn’t take pictures of this next part but print out your cursive letters and tape them on and do the same thing. I didn’t do mirror print this time because there isn’t any reason to. Go over the letters hard the same way and make an indention.
I got a dark blue sharpie paint pen and pushed it down until the paint came out. I just used a styrofoam plate. Then I took a ink pen with a good tip and dipped it in the ink and outlined the cursive indention of the letters.

I would recommend spraying it with a protective coating or putting a light shalque on it so the wood doesn’t discolor.

I have to say i love the way this turned out. Originally I planned to burnish the ink on the wood like I did in the last sign project that I made for my cousin. However it didn’t burnish, I think because the paint was a little more oily vs matte and the wood was different. Probably treated. Anyhow, ended up having to cut out the Gates part with a razor blade which was very time consuming and if I do this again I will just tape off the letters before I paint the wood then remove the letters and let the wood show because I like the way it turned out.


A random snapshot turns out to be a good photo

I like the way this photo of Nick turned out. He’s not a cowboy he was just dressed up in a thrift store find he found. I worked with it a bit but the natural light coming through a window he was facing helped.


Follow up on “don’t put onions and garlic in a crock pot raw”

Ok I made the EXACT same stew I made in my crock pot the day that turned out so awful but this time I saute’ the onions and garlic BEFORE i put the into the crock pot¬†and¬†oh my gosh it made such a¬†difference! ¬†I cant¬†believe¬†how amazing it¬†taste¬†I was so scared it was¬†going¬†to be awful again but it amazingly good. ¬†Also something I did¬†diffident¬†is I put the carrots in whole but I¬†don’t¬†think¬†that would have made that huge of a¬†difference. I mean¬†this is night and day people. ¬†We had to throw the other stew out it was so bad and Im¬†eating¬†this stuff like its cake or something. ¬†Anyways why didnt someone tell me. ¬†Actually after I posed my last one about the awful mess i made a really nice guy named Jerry let me know to also never saute in stainless steel and you can use the¬†stainless¬†steel reaction to your advantage by rubbing your hands with something stainless to get¬†the¬†garlic smell off of them after you have cooked. ¬†Thanks Jerry!

Always: Saut√© onions and garlic before adding to crock pot dishes

Well crap, here is something I just learned. I have really been having great luck with cooking lately but after making a big crockpot full of food it just tasted weird. I thought it might be because the crock pot was new and maybe that was some of it but i got to digging around a bit and found out you can’t just throw raw onions and garlic in a crock pot, you have to saut√© them first to avoid getting this funny flat weird twangy taste that’s not really describable. It the science of how they react to slow cooking. I don’t know how to explain to you all the science stuff I read but I can tell you I have whole pot of food that taste weird and strange and just not right. Don’t let this happen to you! My poor husband to be just ate it anyways and said it wasn’t that bad. How very kind of him because its pretty bad. If anyone knows more about this strange little phenomenon that happens in crock pots I would be interested to learn if there are other things I just shouldn’t cook in a crock pot or put raw in one.
Link to the article I found about weird tastes in crock pots

Grace… now, Please!

Grace… now, Please!

You make my heart beat like a kick drum, I feel like I would be juggling razor blades with my hands numb

My throat is tight and my stomach is flipping like a circus side show.

My hearts racing and cannons are pounding in my ears. I feel like if I move land mines will explode for years.

There is a tingling at the base of my spine, probably where my good sense used to reside.

I’m likely two prayers away from a loosing this straight face, one decision away from walking out of this place.

One request: God send me Grace.



Teaching a heart to pronounce the word goodbye

If you start shaking
And you feel me screaming
And you feel tearing and ripping
It’s just my heart hugging yours goodbye
If you wanna hold your breath and kick and scream and die
It’s just my soul kissing yours goodbye
And I don’t want to stutter stammer or cry but I probably will a thousand times.
I don’t want to trip and fall and make a mess
but I already see my chalk outline and bloody steps.
And I’m not cool, calm or collected
Im needles ripping through flesh.
I’m yanking out invisible cords that make me sick and ache
And honestly at times this emptying is more than I can take.
So if you start shaking
And you feel me screaming
This is just me teaching my heart to pronounce the word goodbye.

Grateful & thankful & aware

I though I already posted this last week but found it in my “draft” folder so I’m posting it a week later but right on time:

This morning sitting on the porch at my parents farm I watched a group of small birds land and peck around in all their bouncy beauty. I remembered a scripture. Mathew 6:26 “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” This fell perfectly on my heart because yesterday was my wedding shower and as I opened many of those gifts they were replacements for either things that had just broken or were on their last leg. Most of my kitchen stuff is hand me downs from my parents from the 70’s. My mixer, as amazing as it is, is from my great grandmother and is on the verge of being a fire hazard. (One of those great big old sunbeam mixers) I didn’t even realize it until I started opening all those blessings how bad off what I have been making due with is. Now why in the world would God want me to go into a brand new marriage with stuff that was old and falling apart. So many times I have received just what I needed right on time that I know it’s God supplying not only my needs but abundantly more. Because I’m that much more valuable to him! I wish it was so easy for me to always blindly trust without worry like those simple birds. But with knowledge it seems trust must be learned as much as earned. I am grateful and thankful and aware.

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