I love to collect unusual treasures in Garage sales, so when I stumbled on a large wooden shield discarded from a boy’s castle-themed bedroom, I grabbed it. Painted in glaring blocks of primary colors and standing almost 4′ tall, I received several head-scratching queries from the family when I lugged it home. I shoved it against a wall of our garage for months, wondering what on earth to do with it, and waiting for inspiration.
One of the teenagers suggested target practice, the other just shrugged and walked away (hoping not to be recruited to work on it probably…) The Love of My Life suggested I paint our family crest on it:This beauty was created by my very talented brother-in-law, Eric Staalsen. He is the talented artist of the family, I’m just the wanna-be. It took me all of two seconds to realize that my (lack of) painting skills would massacre this noble design, So the shield gathered dust as it leaned against the wall and served as a frolicking fort for the barn cats.
As I began designing a couple of other wooden signs for customers, I stumbled on an interesting font at Fontsquirrel.com. And did I mention it was FREE? (Always a prerequisite for me!) The font, Floralia, was an elegant version of wingdings–no letters, just symbols. And this one was full of flourishes and geometric designs ripe for my wooden sign and furniture embellishments. (click on the link to see what I mean)
I toyed with several of the larger flourishes, and ended up expanding my favorite to 999 points to make it fit. I LOVE how it turned out.
I added our family name and “number” to a scroll beneath as a tribute to my late father in law. Towards the end of his almost 26 year battle with a brain tumor, he struggled to recall the names of his sons. Instead, he referred to them by birth order number. He used this method even with his grandchildren, calling for 3.1 or 1.2 as their given names eluded him. And this habit of his has become a not-so-secret code we’ve all adopted.
I think I may have just created our own special family heirloom, thanks to a garage sale, poor painting skills, and a great free font from FontSquirrel.com.