February 18, 2010

Mudroom Art (sort of)

Ever since I read this post at Apartment Therapy, I've had the itch to do a piece of art similar to their Beatles tribute. Maybe not so big, as Will is constantly telling me, we don't need new art because we have tons of it sitting in a (safe, dry and no where near the basement) portfolio just waiting to be hung. But still, I really liked the look of it, and the idea of paying tribute to something, some expression, that you love. And since I have free reign of the mudroom I decided that it was my chance to indulge.

But what song to use, what artist to mimic. Herein lies the problem folks.

I am not musical.

Now by not musical, I don't mean that I cant play any instruments (although that is true as well) I mean that I am horribly, woefully, ignorant when it comes to music. No I'm serious. In eight grade I went to a dance and the only song I had EVER heard during the whole, three hour torture was Kokomo. And that's only because I loved the movie Cocktail (What, I was 12!)The rest of the time I stood there watching the rest of the girls sing along in a big group (because we did not dance with boys, oh no!) . Pretty early on I learned that any song can be lip synced by mouthing the word "watermelon" over and over. Hey it works, give it a try! But I never really got any better at music. Will will occasionally ask me "Who sings this song." Knowing full well I have no idea. I always answer Hall and Oates (whom for a long time I thought was called Haulin' Oats, I told you. I'm PITIFUL!). You would be surprised how often it is Hall and Oates actually.

What's even worse is that I now have friends who are music people. Meaning people in the music industry. And STILL I suck at music. I like music, I listen to music most of the day, I'm just incapable of knowing different bands or even moving on from the few groups I do know and listen to all the time.

So really, a line from a song was never an option. Who was I kidding.

But while I may not be a music person, I am a book person. In fact I am a 18th and 19th century English novel type of person. And if we want to get really specific, I'm a Jane Austen type of person.

One of my two regrets from college is that, try as I might, I could never get into the Austen Lit Class. Even though it counted as nothing toward my degrees (and I was the queen of making every class count for at least two things) I wanted to take it. Eventually I had to satisfy my self with 19th Century Literature where we read eight novels (including Middlemarch!) in the ten week term. And it was bliss. (my other regret, by the way, was that I waited until my last term of college to take trampoline. Best class ever, even better than 19th Cen Lit I think. Oh how much fun I would have had if I'd started taking it from my freshman year. sigh...Who knows, I could have been training for the Olympics RIGHT NOW, if only I'd thought to take it earlier)

So back to Jane. I'm not even a Jane Austen snob. I like the books, I like the movies, I like the Bollywood versions. I loved Lost in Austen, I'm cool with the fake sequels. I'll take it all. And even though I did watch Pride and Prejudice while I was in labor with Briton (ok, and Evelyn, but I did at least watch different versions) my favorite is Emma. No joke, I used to listen to a tape of Emma while I worked out. I'm a dork, what can I say?

Last week I watched the new PBS version of Emma and after I called my friend Kim who is at least as much of a Jane Austen fan as I am. We both agreed that it was good. Sweet, funny, beautiful. We liked it. But it was missing something. It was missing that "I rode through the rain." moment. If you don't know what I'm talking about, well, go watch the Gweneth Paltrow version of Emma and see if you don't just fall in love with Jeremy Northam when he says that. I dare you.

So when I started thinking about that sign idea again, well. I decided that I'm never going to be one of those cool music people, but I'll always be an Austen girl, so I might as well own it.

If you want to make something like this for yourself (and I wont be offended if you turn to music, I'm sure you are far better at songs than I am!) paint a canvas (or a board) with the color you want your letters to be in.

Arrange vinyl peel and stick letters to get the layout you want (and by the way, don't be fooled into thinking that you are getting a deal with the whole alphabet pack instead of buying single letters because they don't peel off their background and you'll have to cut out EVERY SINGLE LETTER. I'm just sayin)

Paint over the letters and then remove while they are still slightly damp (You can try to wait till their dry, but paint always seems to bleed when I do things like that)

And Voila, you have a sign. I wont call it art since I don't think I can say my painting over stick-on letters is really art, but it's art-ish, and I love it. So whatever.