Thursday, June 13, 2013

Adding some whimsey!

I am taking advantage of an full day off from the public library to work on a project for the school library.  I have been inspired by this:

I love this!  But I am an elementary librarian, so I have to consider where would I put it that it wouldn't be constantly getting touched, or even worse, fallen on!  I decided to originally make it using a thick wooden dowel and cutting the "planks" from foam core.  Then my husband would build a base and I'd find a place for it.  But then, inspiration hit me!  I have a large metal post running from my desk up to the ceiling.  I'll make the planks from foam core and then use magnets to attach them to the post up where no one can touch them but everyone can see them.

My destination list includes:
Emerald City (can't forget Oz!)
Wonderland (I considered a two-pointed arrow with "Tweedle Dum's House & Tweedle Dee's House")
Ink World
Never Never Land (this one will point a little up, since it's first star to the right and straight on 'til morning)

I cut the foam core using scissors when I realized they weren't going to be straight and perfect.  The scissors crimped the edges and gave them nice texture.  I tried to vary their shapes.  The base coat was just a simple brown acrylic that I used a dry brush to apply.  I left the brush strokes visible because I thought they looked like wood grain.  After I painted both sides brown, I then applied a thin coat of Elmer's glue to each piece on one side.  Wonder where I'm going with this?  Go to the Elmer's Glue website to see a tutorial of how to use their glue to make a very inexpensive crackle finish!

While waiting for the glue to get tacky, I worked on my computer to find a unique font for each of my destinations.  I found that after I cut the 8 arrows from the foam core sheet (purchased inexpensively at Wal-Mart) letters around 2 inches high would be about right. 

I then attempted to paint each one a different color.  What I learned from the 1st coat:
1.  colors clash.  Yeah, I know, duh.  But at least I know which ones I really like, and which ones I don't. These might end up being the back sides of the arrows with a coat of the new paint colors over the top.
2,  thinning the paint just a touch with water (acrylics are water based) helps the top coat glide on smoothly.  One blog I read said that you should try for long straight strokes, not small broken ones.  I, being the infinitely wise crafter I am, chose to paint the length of the arrows instead of the width. Note to self: try the other direction on the other side.
3.  Pastels will be easier to see the destinations.  I have 8 arrows so I think I'll narrow my colors two 4 colors - pale blue, pale pink, pale yellow and pale green.  I'd have gone with blue and yellow completely but I feel the Emerald City needs a green sign.

So as of right now, I'm leaving this at To Be Continued until I get a chance to buy more paint and work a little more.  I promise pictures!  I haven't been to the school in almost 2 weeks and I will put Before pictures on my priority list as well as After pictures whenever I finish up a project.

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