DIY: Hand-Painted Photo Props

You all have already learned our officiant, Don Hughes, is a multi-talented gentleman.  If you did not catch our blog post on Don, read all about it, then keep reading below: What was not mentioned is that Don got his degree in Art and Design from what is now Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA.  So that made him JUST the person to execute the next DIY project: hand-painted photo props! I met Don at his art studio – a beautifully converted shed in his backyard which he named “The Chateaux”.  The well-organized space was filled with art supplies, drafting tables, and his own art pieces he swears he needs to carve out time to “fix”. Don explains to me the tools he’ll be using: really high-end lettering sign paint called 1-Shot, squirrel hair brush (with metal ferrule or quill), and good ole cardboard for his palette. As Don worked the paint to a consistency he felt was smooth enough, he told me a few stories.  I would have been disappointed if I didn’t get a few new stories out of my visit.  Don remembered his first lettering job in 1959: He was commissioned by the local rescue squad to letter their emergency vehicle.  With a cheap brush and green paint, he worked slowly and meticulously and painted “RESCUE SQUARD” onto the vehicle.  He had trouble living that one down!  He mentions his pen and ink calligraphy class with teacher Katie Blackwell.  And punctuates his stories with tips as he paints.  Freehand. With just a little tape as his guide and some light pencil guiding, he steadies his hand...

DIY: Framed Chalkboard

“A man’s got to know his limitations.”  Wiser words were never spoken (thanks Clint Eastwood).  And this (wo)man’s limitations stop at crafts.  So I brought in some serious experts: the Briarwood Boys – our fantastic florists at Briarwood Florist – to help with my first DIY project: a framed chalkboard. Gregory (one of the Briarwood Boys) gave me a list of the materials I would need for this project.  I shopped in town for the items and met them at their store around the corner from the Holladay House Bed and Breakfast. Armed with gloves (because I happen to be a messy painter), a small roller brush and tray, black chalkboard paint (there are other colors, including clear), a stir stick, 220 grit sandpaper, a few tools, a cleaning agent and my junktiques framed picture find at D+J Thrift Shop, I set up shop behind-the-scenes at Briarwood Florist. Gregory and Chris skillfully lead me through the steps of creating a framed chalkboard.  The project was so easy I was able to repeat the process at home (I mean, I have all this paint left – there’s no telling what I’ll paint over!)  Below I’ve detailed the steps – and great tips from Gregory and Chris – so you can create your very own framed chalkboard. Gregory suggested painting the glass in a frame would be best for this project.  Cardboard backing just doesn’t work well.  So make sure when you pick out your frame, it’s easy to dismantle and pull out the glass.  And, of course, make sure the whole frame is able to be put back together. Make...