A few weeks ago I was in a craft store and found these large wooden letters on clearance. I considered getting a few for the library at school, but the letters that spell out READ were not available. I started thinking about something for the studio or house. SEW- no EW... CRAFT- no CAF... Well, darn. QUILT- nothing there at all. In fact, I realized, there were no vowels left, which meant forget spelling any word!
So it was time to buy a couple of letters and have some fun. I finally found an ampersand (&) of a different size and tossed it all into the basket. When I told Richard that they would cost me less than $3, he gave me one of those husband looks. You know that face? The sure-it's-costing-only-$3-now-but-how-much-later-? looks. Well, that's what a stash is for, am I right? I had everything else: paint brushes, stencils, paint, gold leaf and talent.
It turns out that the talent isn't all that. I started out by painting the letters this pretty, dark blue just because I liked the color. I intended all along to add a little gold leaf scroll using the stencils. (I had not opened the gold leaf although its been around for ? years!)
Gold leaf, I did not know, is difficult to paint with. I made a mess. On both pieces. It was just, well, a mess. So I tried to save the letters and made a bigger mess. My theory is that anything can be saved with a bit of distress. That's the kind of distress that makes a thing look old and well-used. So distress it was!
I brushed gold leaf over the whole letter, wiped off some, let it dry and scraped off more, then sanded the edges just a little. The blue shows through the gold just a little in some areas, so the untouched ampersand works with the other two pieces. Interestingly, the little scrolls are also barely visible. The surprise is that they don't look quite so...odd. The letters are sitting on the kitchen window but I may move them. Who knows? For now I'm enjoying them every time I go to the kitchen for a snack.