“Amanda, no syndicate will ever want your stuff because of your crystal-gripping hippie handwriting.”

A friend told me this once – a friend who is also a cartoonist.  I’ve had a few years since that was said (probably like, nine years or more?) to hone it into something less spastic. It’s still under construction – always will be, I’m afraid.

I bring up the subject of my less-than-desirable penmanship because recently I had to (painstakingly) hand-letter a plaque for my husband’s Christmas present.  This was not my original intention, actually.

I had found a DIY project (ugh) that gives instructions on how to print out an image (or in this case, words) from a laser jet printer, mirror it, and then transfer it to the wood plaque with some gel transfer medium (or something).  The paper should, after being moistened, roll right off and your transfer should be on the wood.

I am not a good crafter, for the most part – I try, I really do.  I put the gel medium on the print side of the paper, “adhered” it to the wood plaque, waited eight hours or more, took a damp rag after the paper, and tried to roll the paper off with my fingers.  The instructions said the rag might scrub off the print, which it did – but that didn’t seem to matter, as I had placed the paper on the plaque in a crooked fashion.  D’OH.

So, I ended up scrubbing it all off with the rag – that took a while, but whatever.  I really really really didn’t want to hand-paint the letters on, so I tried this process again.  This time, the image (words) didn’t really adhere at all.

After I had scrubbed the board clean for a second time, I got out my ruler and made a guide for the letters.  It took a while – and I botched it up at the very end, so I had to erase a few lines and re-do.  But, I hand-lettered it all – you can see here why I didn’t want to do this by hand, because it’s lengthy:

danny-sign

It actually took LESS time to hand-letter than to mess around with transfers.  But it was worth it, as it was a gift for Dan. And he liked it, so that’s really all I was going for.

[This, by the way, is the invocation that Fr. Kovash gave at Dan’s investiture (when he was officially sworn in as a judge). Dan’s court recorder had typed up the transcription of the whole ceremony and had it bound into a book for Dan as a gift, which is how I was able to do this. I love to read it once in a while, as the words are so lovely and have the ability to move one to tears. I heard.]

My hand-writing wasn’t too bad!  My advice is, always measure out guides for your letters. I’ve done other hand-painted sign plaques, and they are kind of crooked and goofy looking (which I guess is okay, since they only hang in our home).

It could be worse – I could dot my “i”s with hearts.

ric-flair-on-dans-sign
Ric Flair wanted to “help”. I let him.

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