Y’all, Mary Poppins. She’s never cross. And kind, but very firm. Rosy cheeks. The whole nine. Practically perfect in every way.
So when I saw the blank office wall of my wonderful, always-cheerful, funny, sweet Mary Poppins-esque friend, I knew it needed something… And since she’s a curriculum specialist in a school setting, I thought this project’s quote would be just right for her. Practically perfect in every way, in fact?
I started by grabbing a canvas from Michael’s. [Well, actually, I started MONTHS ago thinking on what would be just right for this spot on her wall. Free reign can be a bit daunting for me--sometimes I work better with limitations, anyone?]
I painted the canvas pinks and aquas blended together into a sort of sunset effect… but it was all too much (especially knowing her office feature wall is bright minty aqua, so that could have been a bit of an overload). Then I painted it white with hints of pink blended in.
After getting the layout right in my verse doodle journal, I drew eight or so faint angled guide lines a few inches apart on the canvas. [sidenote: I know this is not a bible verse, but it still ended up in that journal, along with a very few other non-scripture inspirational quotes. I'm not a purist, I guess. Or too OCD... Go fig.]
Using a pink paint marker, I wrote in the quote.
But the whole thing was feeling muddy to me. The paint on the canvas was looking a little dingy compared to the soft pink of the lettering. And I really wanted a hot pink in the same intensity as the wall paint, but that paint marker up and died on me…
So I did the whole stand back and tilt my head thing that I do… And then I painted the canvas a chalkboardy grey color, mixing in a little white to get a bit of a residual eraser dust look. And I redrew the guide lines and rewrote the quote, this time in pink chalk.
Now we were getting somewhere.
And with chalk, all I needed to erase or tweak was a damp paper towel. Jackpot.
[Tip: If your chalk is too hand with sharp edges, you can run it under a faucet for a moment and then it will draw beautifully in soft chalky lines.]
So once I felt pretty happy with it, I was ready to seal it so it didn’t just rub right off again.
So I grabbed my clear gloss paint (yes, the same stuff I use to preserve my hydrangeas), and headed outside.
Ah! Sunshine! Hoorah! And the snow had receded to the shadows, so I had a spot to work.
But then–sigh–disaster! The spray gloss “erased” the chalk as I sprayed. I might as well have spritz the canvas with water.
Back to the drawing board.
So, undeterred, I wrote the quote out uh-gain, this time in white. Really, the sealing fiasco was a blessing in disguise because I wasn’t totally sold on the pink chalk… The piece still felt like it needed more contrast. So yay! It also gave me another chance to tweak the layout (like above you can see the eraser marks before I cleaned them up around “snap,” which was much neater and less muddled after the fact.
I might have gone a smidge overboard on trying to make it just right, using q-tips to clean up any spots I felt needed a little extra attention. [So maybe I can be a little OCD after all? Anyhoo...]
I was ready to seal it at last. Again. Would disaster strike a second time?
I used an old tip I picked up along the way and misted the canvas with hairspray (I’ve heard of people doing this to temporarily set a chalkboard message, so I figured, why not!). THEN I sprayed it with the same clear gloss paint again to seal and secure it.
And it worked, YES! Jackpot.
So–SNAP–this job was a game. And I won!
Sis was very excited to deliver it.
And how lovely is the grey against that wall color?