Hey there! I am beyond blessed to be the wife of Mark Andrew and the stay-at-home-mommy of Quinn and Morgan! I love to decorate, create things, and generally make life more beautiful! Come join me, and let's see what we can make today!

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« Back to school and a mantle | Main | A perfect afternoon at Graham's 318 »

Directional Pole

I have been busy, and I am sure you have too!  My short people started school the week following the workshop, and I will post about school starting next week!  My daughter had her sleep study, and we are waiting on the results from the study.  Last week we found out that Mo has pneumonia, so she pretty much missed her entire first week of school. My art was on display until September 1, and I sold an astonishing (to me!) 23 pieces!  Plus, I have received four orders in the last week from people who wanted pieces that were already sold, and they have asked me to make similar pieces for them. Crazy, but fantastic!!!

Also last week, I received a call from one of my new favorite peeps at Graham's 318, and she asked if could finish an art project for the shop.  I was very familiar with the project, since I have been keeping an eye on its progress, but I was incredibly intimidated!  I told her I would meet with her the following day, and I would let her know what I thought I could do.  

What is this project?  Well, behind the coffeeshop is a tree that had to be cut down, but they left about 20 feet trunk.  Last spring, a local artist was hired to turn the trunk into a piece of art, with the main focus on a bunch of signs for locations all around the world that have significance to the owners.  The artist did some amazing carvings, scupltures, and painting on the tree, but got busy with other projects and the tree has sat, unfinished, for six months. Here is what the tree looked like yesterday.

Our little town is kinda crazy about festivals, and one of our most popular festivals is the Festival of the Vine, which is this weekend. (You may remember that I had a booth for my tutus at the Festival a couple of years ago...) The coffeeshop owners really wanted this tree to be finished in time for the festival, especially since they have an awesome chocolate and wine tasting tent that is literally right next to this tree. At our meeting, they asked me to make the signs for the tree, and I agreed to do it. 

The next day, I found out Mo had pneumonia.  Good thing she is such a trooper and loved sitting at the table and "doing art" with me.  

Here's a close up of those beauties.

The owners gave me  a bunch of locations and a brief summary of their significance.  They asked me to be creative and come up with signs for all of them.  You know how I like to be creative... In just over a week, I had completed 18 signs!  Check it out!

Despite the fact the people have been referring to me as an artist for the last six weeks, I do not consider myself an artist--at least in the traditional sense! (I can only draw stick people. Seriously!)  This project was a HUGE stretch for me, and I loved every minute of it!

One of the hardest pieces for me was the one for Japan, but it turned out to be one of my favorites!


A former employee, Ali, now lives in Kashiha-shi, and they wanted a sign in her honor.  I was really stumped on this sign, because all of my ideas seemed too hard/way out of my skill level. In the end, I decided a very basic cherry blossom branch and Japanese characters would work.  The bold characters in the center say "Ali".  (If you can actually read/write in Japanese, you may think this is a very poor job.  Forgive me! I used Google for my translations. ;) The characters on the bottom right side are the numbers 6, 3, 7, 4.  That is because it is 6,374 miles from 318 to Kashiha-shi, Japan.

The sign for Niagara Falls is funny.  Actually, most of them are kinda funny, in my opinion...


The shop owners like to vacation in Nantucket.  The nautical flags on this sign spell out their last name.

The French sign is another of my favorites.  Croissy-sur Seine, France, is Geneva's sister city.

I do not speak, read, or write French, so I just scribbled some letters and called it "French".  That works, right?!

I won't post individual pics of each sign, but I will list a few of my favorite "distances".

Florence, Italy 99,686,403 gelato dishes

Sydney, Australia 55 days, 19 hours by kayak

Soldier Field 72,160 yards

Pittsburg 6,336,318 pieces of sidewalk chalk

Here are some pics of me installing the signs.

Actually, I only did that one.  Well, one screw.  My hubs did the rest while I directed!

It was really fun to install these yesterday afternoon, because, while I thought we could sneak in there and be our of the way, the place was BUZZING with festival set up!  Plus, I got to talk with lots of my new friends (translate, 318 baristas!) about the signs.  And you know how I love to talk...;) It was another picture perfect day, as far as the weather goes, and it was made even more lovely with Berry Lem-Dogs on the house! 

By the time we finished installing all of the signs, the sun was blazing right on the tree, so I only took a few photos.  I will take more soon and update this post when I do!  For now, here are a couple of pics of the finished product.

Sooooo fun, right?!

Oh! I almost forgot.  The kids LOVE to see themselves on the blog, and Quinn has pointed out that Morgan is on the blog more than he is.  He is correct, but that's only because many of my posts have involved tutus or dresses that Mo was the model for, or she happens to be around when I am taking photos for a post!  Anyhow, I thought this would be a cute one to post of Q.  We are trying to teach him the value of a dollar, so we have started putting small (very small) dollar amounts on chores that he is able to do.  Like, ten cents for making your bed.  Bringing in the garbage can and recycle bins is worth 25 cents for each one, and he LOVES that chore!

They grow up WAAAAAAAY too fast!

Praying you are all well!  Enjoy the Son!

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Reader Comments (1)

Those signs are awesome! You could easily sell those! (And I would buy them if I lived closer...) Now, you need a stepstool next to the tree so people can read the top ones! :)

September 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLeah Z

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