A Thing of the Past


What is love anyway?

My summer. Geez. This picture sums up the bulk of my summer. 


Back in May, my husband was trying to think of a gift to give to the top producers he works with. (He works in finance; don't ask me to explain it, I can't.) Anywho, I was chatting with him, Googling all the while, suggesting barbecue kits and bar kits and the like when he suggests that I make signs for him.

(I pause here to say that if ever there was a supportive husband, mine is. He was the one that believed in me when I didn't and talked me into starting this business in the first place. He is my greatest cheerleader and my most honest mirror. He'll tell me if something doesn't look right, or just won't work. And of course, he wrangles our three boys so I have time to do this gig.)

The initial idea was to do each advisor's company logo with his or her name along the bottom. All of them would be done in the style you see here, which is not one I do very often. When he asked, I thought, why not? It'd be a fairly easy project and it would be an awesome, unique gift. And off we went...

You know that adage about doing business with family and friends? Yeah, me too. Let's just say Murphy's Law was in full effect for this one!

First, the logos. Try as I might, I could not get each advisor's logo to work. Some did, some didn't. I was working with low resolution files and I'll spare you the details, but sometimes I can get them to work and sometimes they just won't. In this case, most wouldn't. 

After days of attempting different approaches, we moved on. What about a quote? (Brian's idea.) Perfect. I did some searching and found a quote that we thought would work, "Many receive advice. Only the wise profit from it." It was fitting and he loved it, so I came up with a design and started again. 

Things were moving along pretty well. I got the boards all cut, sanded, and stained and was ready to start working on the lettering. As I mentioned, this is a style I don't typically do. I love it, but it's tricky. The lettering is a different type of stain. Let it dry too long, and the words rip right off with the stencil. Pull the stencil too soon, and the stain will bleed. Tricky.

Let's just say the first few did not go so well. I ended up having to sand eight boards off and start all over with the stain. *sigh*

All the while, we were getting ready to move. We'd found a house, we were working on getting ours on the market, I was cleaning closets and rooms out like a madwoman, I was working my corporate gig, and I was taking care of our three boys while Brian traveled. It was insane. And then the move came to a screeching halt, which ended up being even more insane. 

So, it was a summer. With all the personal craziness and being faced with these signs that I just couldn't get to work, I couldn't move forward. When I have trouble with a project and I feel like it's never going to go well, I tend to avoid it. And that was sure the case with this one. I have no idea why Brian didn't fire me, but I'm grateful he didn't. (Have I mentioned how patient and supportive he is?)  

A few weeks ago, I was FINALLY ready to tackle this project. With a little patience and some more thought, I got them to work! Woo hoo! Fifteen signs ready to go! Toward the end, I started to feel like that scene in The Shining. You know, "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy." 

all work.jpg

"Many receive advice. Only the wise profit from it." Fifteen times. Same feeling by the time I was done. But darn it, they sure turned out pretty! 

This was one for the books. I learned so much from it, but one of the most important things I learned was just how supportive Brian really is. He's a keeper! Meanwhile, I'm so excited to be back doing my regular signs, I can't even tell you! Nothing like a challenging project to make you appreciate the easy ones even more!

More soon!



Jenny McKelvey