On the flip side, we all have those projects that didn’t turn out quite like we had envisioned, do you have such a project and picture to share? Most of the time I don't take pics of my mistakes. I just sand them away and move on. Sometimes I will put them aside and come back to them but when working with wood you can simply make your mistakes disappear. Too bad life is not like that. I will share a sketch that I was not totally happy with. One that was met with different opinions but it was personal to me. I like to sketch gnomes. Some turn out cute, some not so much. I had and idea to create a group of girl gnomes based on some friends that were very dear to me. You don't see many drawings of female gnomes but I wanted mine to take on the characteristics of us and yes two of the friends are now Angels and were drawn as such. It is not my best sketch, they are quirky, but personal. One of the gnomes thought that two of the girls looked like bad clown gnomes (One of them being the Peggy Gnome). I told her that was fitting because they both were clowns. When I have time I will work on redrawing them but for now they are what they are, you can't sand away paper and colored pencils. So they remain, quirky, clown faced, and silly. Not the best but they make me smile.
You seemed to have found your niche market of beachy décor – and quite honestly, I see why your signs sell as they are very different than the average painted wood sign. What made you come up with the idea of using putty to give dimension to your signs? I came across a product being used to create texture on furniture with stencils. I thought what a great idea to add detail to signs. I had trouble finding the product locally. When I did finally get my hands on some I thought that it looked a lot like the wood putty I used to make some ugly cabinets look better. I decided to give it a try. It worked! Since then I have tried using joint compound and spackling. They both work and give a different look. What I use depends on the look I am going for but my favorite is the Elmers wood filler putty. I still have a couple of other products I want to try for texture so stay tuned. I will share when I do.
I’m not asking for trade secrets here, but do you have any tips and tricks on sign making for our readers? Don't ever be afraid to try something new. If you have an idea, try it. You just might like the results. I have never had an art lesson. I am self taught. I have been told before that things I am doing is not a new technique, that it has been done in the past. I just know that it is new to me. I may see a piece of work that I like and use it as inspiration, try to create a similar background. That being said, don't be afraid to try something new, make mistakes, try again, improve your skills, and work with what you have.
Do you have any recommended products that you find makes making painted signs easier to do? While I use a lot of different paints and products, I recently discovered Debi's Design Diary DIY Paints and I love them. They are a Clay based paint and I love the way I can blend the colors with water for backgrounds, you and layer the paints for different looks. I think I have just tapped the surface on what I can do with these paints. I have some other ideas for things to try with these paints. I even save the powder when I sand the designs I paint. I just know I can do something with the fine powder. My friend, Linda Till, owner of The Leaning Farm House sells DIY Paint and you can purchase through her link here I also love using Finnabair Gilding Waxes with my texture. I have used many different waxes but these are my favorite by far. And then of course awesome designs! SFM Designs are awesome. A good design that cuts like a dream is worth gold. When I first started I did not know the difference, to use a reliable source. And fonts! Good fonts are a must. I get most of my fonts from Fontbundles.
If someone was interested in purchasing one of your signs, where can they do so? Do you have an online shop? I have a Facebook page Sandy Porch Studio and you and contact me there. I also have a booth at Alyssa's in Pace. I have been with Alyssa for approximately 3 and a half years. I started out in the Alyssa's Etc store and after a year and a half I transitioned into the main store. I am very proud to be a vendor in one of the most successful stores in our area. You can also contact the store to place a custom order for a sign. I can make a sign to your specifications. Just talk with a member of the staff to place an order with vendor 512. I also will be helping my friend with a DIY paint class on May 9th. It is a free class so if you are in the area call Alyssa's to reserve your spot. I have also been fortunate to display my artwork at another local venue. If you are ever in the Pensacola area please stop by The Apple Market. The Apple is a very unusual grocery store that supports local vendors. That includes anything from local farmers, food vendors to artists! You can come by and have a cup of coffee, breakfast, lunch, dinner, buy groceries, view beautiful artwork in the gallery or just sit a spell in the lounge, use the internet and work on your laptop in the lounge. Be sure to try some of the best bread pudding in the world while you are there!
One other thing I would like to add is that I have recently started using Iron Orchid Products to add extra elements to my signs. I love the IOD Moulds and their stamps. You will continue seeing different signs that I incorporate IOD into. I am fortunate that we have a vendor at Alyssa's that sells IOD products. I was so excited when I found out that IOD was coming to the store. I have since become good friends with Vonda Youngkin and have enjoyed creating with her. She also carries the gilding waxes I use! You can find a lot of good information from her website The Painted Heirloom.
I hope you have enjoyed reading about our first "Meet the Maker", Peggy Cole. She has quite a few tutorials listed on Jess's blog "Crafting While Adulting" if you would like to take a peak and see her work in action.