Celebration of Life

Moving beyond my pain and celebrating life.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

We don't sell plums!

I have had several projects going on lately and found myself in a time crunch. The condo sign project started out innocently enough. I was at a Condo Owner's Board meeting when I asked about getting our sign on the main entrance repainted. Previously, I had noticed some of the lettering was missing and the paint was peeling and it bothered me everytime I drove by it.

I was informed that only one person in the sign business would look at it and when they did they said that they were not interested in the job. "For Pete's sake," I exclaimed, "all it would take is purchasing some new letters and slapping some paint on it!" After all, I thought, my boyfriend could make the letters easily enough! I received approval from the board to repaint the sign and the next weekend, Gary and I took the sign to his shop. That was only the beginning of two weeks worth of back breaking work.

On the main part of the sign, the lettering was not attached but had been carved and routered out of wood. The letters weren't breaking and falling off they were rotting out where knot holes had once been. "Oh boy, now I have a mess." I thought. Gary was a trooper through this whole project. He assessed what needed to be done and off to Home Depot we went for supplies.

We bought stripper and sand paper, wood putty, scrapers, brushes, paint and $120.00 later we were back at his shop. Now this is where the fun began or I should say the long nights and back breaking agony began. After I applied the stripper and let it do its thing, I started peeling the 3 layers of paint off. This took a long time. I forgot to mention that the sign is 4' x 8' and made from four 2x8s. I could tell in a very short time that this was a bigger project than I thought and I was over my head. Gary was patient with me as I whined just a little bit. The carved lettering was a special font and intricate in places. By the end of the first day, I had most of the paint stripped off.

The next day, I started sanding. I am so thankful that Gary has a nice shop to work in and all the tools a girl of high expectations of projects needs! I recruited Gary's son, Bud, to help me sand. I must say, Bud is a worker and managed to get all of the paint off the big sign by the end of the day. I never saw him after that...he never came back! I don't blame him, I would have left too if I had the choice.

The sign was originally yellow and brown but I thought that the Plumtree Village lettering needed to be plum since the letters have leaves! Yeah, right! I didn't realize how much work those letters would be because I had to be very careful so I didn't accidently get the wrong color of paint where it wasn't supposed to be. Ugh!

To make a long story short, here is the finished sign. I will not be volunteering for this project again! Thank you Gary and Bud for all of your help on this project!


  • At August 14, 2008 at 9:37 AM , Blogger Lynetta said...

    Wow, I'm impressed! Only an artiste' such as yourself could have accomplished that. If I would have tried, it would have looked like a kindergartner painted it...LOL. Nice work!

  • At August 14, 2008 at 10:24 AM , Blogger A.Bananna said...

    wow! I so could see all of this going on in my head! I was laughing my bumm off! lol. Bud is smart! He knew you would have put him to work again! LOL.

    The sign looks great! :) I love you~!

  • At August 14, 2008 at 10:29 AM , Blogger San said...

    It's beautiful, Jo! I completely agree--a plumtree sign should be plum-colored. Your results are most lyrical. And your determination is most commendable! And yes, thank goodness for Gary and Bud. And the proper tools.

    When we moved into our house in Pacifica, California, the home had been redecorated in the 70s and their color scheme for the exterior was--yes, you guessed it--brown and yellow. Not a sunny yellow. A muddy yellow that just looked terrible with the brown. Our new color scheme--sage green and rose. Not quite plum but close. Vast improvement.

    The grounds at Plumtree Village look lovely. Trees! Grass!

  • At August 14, 2008 at 11:12 AM , Blogger Ms. Creek said...

    and you thought i was bad about getting people involved in my projects! haha

    i LOVE the sign! nice job!

  • At August 14, 2008 at 12:32 PM , Blogger Jeni said...

    Holy Rip! I would never have thought fixing a sign would be so detailed! (I'd have been just like you -how hard can painting a few letters be, LOL)
    Looks like you and your work crew did a very nice job on it though.

  • At August 14, 2008 at 12:56 PM , Blogger Velvet Ginger said...

    That sign is so Beautiful now!!!!
    So much better than before, the Purple was a great choice! I didn't know those were leaves before ffs!
    There is also a lesson to this...about walking in another's moccosins....you thought there was "nothing to it" you walked in teh moccosins of a sign maker and did an excellent job!!!!

  • At August 15, 2008 at 8:20 AM , Blogger Paula said...

    A job well done.

    Sometimes things can be more complicated than we first think. Glad you stuck with it though, as the sign looks great.

  • At August 15, 2008 at 9:43 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Stripping and sanding is not fun at all. Plum colored makes much sense. All you effort is evident, the sign looks great!

  • At August 18, 2008 at 7:48 AM , Blogger Katney said...

    It looks good.

    There are always the questions when attending ameeting: What will I be volunteered for if I don't show up? When I open my mouth, will I insert foot?

    I've opened mymouth a couple of times in the last week. Imight have been better off it I had just not showed up. Who know what I would have volunteered for that way.

  • At August 18, 2008 at 9:03 AM , Blogger Deb said...

    I could totally relate to this post! I have lost track of the times I have jumped right into the middle of a project without looking. Or I take on much more than I can handle - frequently! It is good to know I am not alone. The finished sign looks fantastic!

  • At August 18, 2008 at 4:00 PM , Blogger Louise said...

    As my husband would say, "No good deed goes unpunished." Had I done such a thing, I would have definite had to have help like you did. I'm just glad you got it done and didn't have to, with a red face, take it back unchanged!

    Ingenuity at work!


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