Monday, February 20, 2012

Bus Scroll Art project

I love my new Southern California affiliation.  It's exciting to think that we live in one of the biggest cities in the US - one of the most famous cities in the world. It's fun to watch movies that are filmed out here and realize we know where lots of places are.  And, as a big detective mystery novel reader, there are TONS of great mystery series that are based out here, and whose plots revolve around places whose names I've read for years, but now have been to.  So in the spirit of my honeymoon love for LA, I decided to create a "bus scroll" project for my Southland home.

I've seen vintage bus or subway scrolls on ebay and in decorating magazines - the signs that change to indicate where the car is going when it pulls up to the stop.  But I can't spend the money on the authentic ones I really like, and I ran across this great project on a blog called Mama With a Dash of DIY Drama.  And it's budget minded (my polite way of saying CHEAP!) and that's right down my alley.

So the first thing I did was make a list of streets and places in the LA area that bring to mind some of those mystery novel associations - as well as well-known LA streets.  I made this on a Word document, putting in a black shape and then typing text into it.  I used Roadway font and varied the font size and sometimes bold, sometimes not. I've seen others that used a variety of fonts, but I like the uniformity.  Then I saved it as a pdf file, and sent it online to the local Staples copy center.  Choosing an engineering print, I had it printed out at 24" x 36" for 2.99.  Which was my total cost for this project (yay, cheap!).

Other places have done this project mounting the print on a stretched canvas, but I scrounged around in my garage - which I spent most of Saturday cleaning - and picked up an old piece of plywood paneling that I cut to size with a utility knife, then sanded the edges. I liked the old flaked look of the paneling for the background.  I trimmed the print to the black edges, then spritzed the back of it with a spray bottle so the paper would not wrinkle as I glued it to the wood.  I watered down the glue and spread it all over the plywood with a paintbrush, then applied and smoothed down the print.  I rubbed it a bit with a very slightly damp rag, so it would adhere well and also to get it to look a bit aged.  Because the plywood was thin and there was a lot of moisture added with glue, I sprayed the back of the plywood with water so that it would not buckle. 

Now it's all dry and I love it.  I have a great cabinet in the living room that it's going to sit on top of -- we have to get some glass cut for the cabinet so I can fill it and get it all 'styled out' - more pictures later of the finished look!

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Yard work Sunday!

While the rest of the country is watching the Super Bowl, we spent the day working in the yard.  Actually, today was supposed to be a drywall day, but last night I saw an ad on  Craigslist for some free agapanthus if we dug them up, so we started off with that.

And after we got those put in the ground, Dale looks at the bird of paradise that is overgrown and hanging over the path and says, "maybe we should go ahead and dig that up while we're out here..." and THAT was a major job!  We had to dig a HUGE hole around it, then divide it and replant it.  Our yard has a lot of trees --too many! -- and there are roots everywhere, which makes it even more of a challenge.

So we got that divided and transplanted, and cleaned up.  Looked around, and realized how much bigger the backyard looks now -- yes, it's still a hot mess grass and weed-wise - but we'll get that going soon, too.  We also took out two small volunteer trees - more like overgrown weeds, and that opened it up. 

So we came inside (and I had to clean the sliding glass window so we could admire how large the backyard looks), and we sat down, had a nice cool drink, and started talking about how badly the lemon tree was overgrown, and maybe we should just cut it down and get a dwarf lemon.  So Dale puts his shoes back on, and says, "I'm going to go out and trim a few branches right now."  So back out we go!

After digging, sawing and raking all afternoon, we're beat!  But the yard does look lots better.  Oh, if only I could afford to get a pool put in before summer!  Dream on!
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