When I got up this morning, it was already getting light out. At first I thought I overslept, but in looking at the clock I realized that it was somewhere around the normal time I get up and it is just becoming light out earlier. Yes, spring is well on its way and soon winter will be behind us. Did we even have a winter?
I hear of the fury of storms and tornadoes sweeping the US and I remember why spring is probably my least favorite season of the four. Growing up near Chicago, there were many times when we would experience violent storms during this time of the year and apparently this year is no exception. I wish those of you who live in areas hit by storms all the best and hope that all are safe and damages are minimal. I suppose that is one thing good about living near the ocean – storms of that nature are rare and while we do have our own issues living so close to the sea, we do escape this type of weather in the spring.
We have had our own ups and downs here though. A couple of days ago we had about six inches of snow along with cold and icy winds. That soon passed however and yesterday it rained most of the day, washing away all but a few traces of snow drifts and leaving a muddy mess. But I can tell we are on the end of the cold. While we still may experience another bout or two with some snow, there is a definite change in the air and it is each day seems to be getting warmer. I even find myself thinking about getting the car ready for the road and longing for the days of road trips and trips to the beach. I vowed to myself that I was going to spend more days at the beach this summer – whether working or not, as living so close to the water and not taking advantage of it would be a shame. My mind drifts back to that day last year when I packed up my drawing supplies and spent the sunny afternoon writing and preparing for the scroll saw class on the warm sand with the sun shining and the gulls flying all around. It is something I want to do more often.
I worked yesterday in several directions and did accomplish much of what I had intended. I worked on the pattern packets that I mentioned yesterday in between coats of paint and allowing glue to dry on the new project. I hope by today to have the instructions finished for both the chalkboard projects and have the kitty one ready to go out the door. Finding a box for it that is efficient for me to send to the magazine is a challenge, as it is not heavy, but it has a lot of surface area and is bulky. I am probably going to have to fashion my own box out of a bigger one so that it fits comfortably, but not too snugly and will arrive undamaged.
I am happy with the second chalkboard project that I made. I decided to make it in the shape of a bear:
I wanted something that would appeal to a lot of different people, and wildlife always seems to be a good theme.
This would be cool for someone who has a cabin or summer camp, or even would look nice in a shop.
I used the same method for the eraser as the cat. I wrapped a small piece of plywood with felt and tucked in a magnet so that it would also stick to the refrigerator as the board does.
I like the chalkboard paint, and think it does a good job. I do find though that when erasing it, it tends to leave a little chalk behind. It has been so long since I have written on a chalkboard that I am not even sure if this isn’t all that unusual. I also am taking into consideration that the paint that I have on mine is quite fresh and perhaps it needs a bit more time to cure. In the instructions, I recommend several thin coats of paint to be applied, and I also think that sanding after the first couple coats offers a smoother surface that will allow the chalk to be removed more efficiently. But even as mine is now, with about three coats applied within the last 18 hours, I find that by simply sprinkling a couple of drops of water on the pad the chalk is removed completely. I suppose it depends on how clean you want it to be when it is done.
I wrote DecoArt to find out if they would be offering the paint in any additional colors. It is now available in the black shown here, and also a bubblegum pink and a medium blue. I was told that both the pink and the blue were not strong sellers and that they were going to be discontinuing them. As a replacement though, they are developing a clear varnish that will accept chalk and we will be able to use it over any acrylic color we choose. I think that would be an interesting concept and I am anxious to use it and see how it performs. While I wouldn’t want to choose many colors, I do have some ideas in mind for some cute chalkboards using colors other than black. I was told I would be sent some samples as soon as they were ready – in the next month or so – and I will do some experiments and see how well they do. That will be fun.
I like this project and it looks kind of nice on my refrigerator. While it was somewhat simple, it still is the type of project that I feel will have a broad range of appeal. It is something that even the beginner woodworker/scroller and painter can do in a short amount of time and have something nice to sell or give. We will see how things go.
I am going to continue to work on these packets today and try to finish them, and then finish up the pumpkin patterns. I still need to add the faces on the eight pumpkins and also write out the packets. Realistically, I doubt I will get everything finished, but at least I will push the pile. I would love to get a site update done in the next few days, as Keith has some new things too.
I hope you have a good day today. Soon the birds will be singing and all the critters will be coming out of hibernation. Spring is almost here. Stay safe and do something fun!
-- Contributing Editor, Creative Woodworks and Crafts Magazine, If you like reading my blog, come visit at Sheila Landry Designs http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com "Knowledge is Power"