Scrap Wood Made Good

So last week was a good ole play around with photographs and editing apps. There has been more of that, thanks to more apps, more time messing around, and more chocolate. The muse likes chocolate.
But this week I’ve also been getting my hands dirty (or at least dusty & roughed up a bit) with woodwork. Nothing fancy! I’d better establish that from the get go. We’re talking veeery basic – chopping & sanding, since I haven’t done any projects with wood since Year 8 (i.e. a while ago). I think I’ve even still got the money box I made, somewhere…
But why wood? Why now?
Well, I found a piece. At the side of the road. Just an old shelf with four bonus screws poking out dangerously underneath. [Insert jump for joy here] Coz one thing I’ve been wanting to try for a while is making rustic, artsy little signs (you know the ones; currently breeding like rabbits in a homewares store near you). I think they’re great. And I wanted to create some with my own sentiments and quirks, rather than the usual ones you see.
So I lugged this plank home, ignored it for a couple of weeks, and then finally decided it was time to play. (Stars aligned and stuff like that.) Thanks to Dad being a hoarder of all kinds of tools and handyman shit, I had access to: circular saw, drill, sandpaper, ruler and pencil. The last two I could’ve provided but hey, package deal.
The result: a pile of pieces to sand.

Site supervisor - Nut

Nut decided to supervise.

Actually very enjoyable. And I found the stain on this particular wood created an awesome effect when sanded around the edges only. Bonus!
At this point I was also thinking about ideas and effects. The experimental piece reveals some of my discoveries so far:

Sacrificed for the greater wood. Erm, good.

Sacrificed for the greater wood. Erm, good.

Scratching letters in (channelling the high school vandal I never was), looked great but took too long. Metallic gouache that I had lying around, was shit. No, really. It needs to be chucked. Should’ve known there was a reason for the markdown price. White acrylic paint looked alright but I wasn’t completely sold on it.
Then enter the hero: Ink. Precious ink! that I’d snubbed all these years for no apparent reason in favour of watercolour and acrylic and graphite. I was introduced to this marvellous medium a month or so ago by a graphic novelist at a workshop he was running. Nothing beats ink and brush for creating a damn sexy line, he’d said. I have to agree. Line work, filling in, all of that, it just feels so good with ink. Which led to this morning’s trial run on my first little sign: Hero sign
A bit of free hand calligraphy that fit – thankfully. I’d sketched it first (good idea) coz I’m notorious for just charging in, which doesn’t always work but seems to work enough that I do it more often than not. (Gambler! Rebel!)
I’m currently deciding if I’ll add anything else before finishing. As I said, this is all experimental, and I’m really hoping ink remains the hero by staying permanent and shiny and neat.
If not, well, maybe it’ll be onto plan B. The wood burning kit. Which hoarder Dad remembered (and found!!) last night. Gotta love Dad. But it does mean I’ve gotta cut him some slack re: the overflow of stuff. For now. At any rate I’ll be experimenting with wood burning next!

In other creative news: note pad fail! I’d painted pics on little notepads to sell in gift packs for Christmas, applied clear nail polish over the acrylic paint to seal it, and then this happened:

Oh nooooo!

Oh nooooo!

The whole thing has peeled off like a big sticker (which I can use for something else, I guess) – but ack! Glad I found out now rather than later. Must’ve been the particular plastic cover coz that’s never happened before.

Which leads me to a thought for the week: giving oneself permission to fail. I never used to. I’d have sooner keeled over than made a mistake, let alone tell anyone. But that’s no fun and scares the muse away (chocolate or no chocolate). So I’ve given myself permission to mess up and laugh about it. Even share it with the world. o_O
Be sure to watch this space for future f-ups, triumphs, and the joys of being creative!

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