October 23, 2013

Monogram Madness and the Final Countdown

Monday, at the very latest, Courtney, Campbell and I will welcome a baby boy to the family.

Coming up with a name for our second child seemed harder than it was for the first. Well, being confident in our decision was harder, anyway. We decided fairly early on that he would be named after me. So, Gaines Alley Conaway, Jr. But, I'm not totally sure why we struggled with it after the fact. 

One big reason is that it should come as a surprise to absolutely no one that there are a lot of creative nicknames kids, then teenagers, and then college friends can come up with from the name "Gaines." "Losses." "Gainesburger," a popular dog food brand in the 80s and 90s, for those that remember. "Gaynes." "Gay-ness." The opportunities are endless - just trust me on this one. (Editor's Note: If you start calling me any of those, you might get punched in the throat.)

Then, there was the purely selfish reason...it's been my name for 32 years and will hopefully stay that way for many more to come. 

But we like the idea of a Gaines Alley Conaway, Jr., childish nicknames and household confusion from duplicate names be damned. 

Try as we did to look for a good alternative - any alternative - that we liked to supplant it, we just kept coming back to it. 

A name doesn't define you, and when someone loves you enough to make you their namesake, then that's just gravy on the biscuits, baby. Screw it...he'll be my mini-me and I've been blessed thus far with a beautiful family and some exciting life experiences, so if his life turns out as good as mine has thus far, he'll be one lucky kid.

All that was an admittedly wordy intro into the centerpiece, or thesis project if you will, for the nursery: a custom wooden monogram. As always, the details of how I did it are below.

Let's get this out of the way right now - a monogram for the wall was Courtney's idea. But, she gave me certain creative freedoms with it being for a boy.

Obviously, a fanciful curly script font wasn't going to work, so I chose a classic circle monogram style. Finding the complete alphabet set on Google, I blew up the letters in Photoshop to the size I wanted, printed them, cut them out, then traced them onto 3/4" plywood.

Using a jig saw, I carefully cut along the lines I traced until I had three separate letters.

To add some texture, I decided to cover the front of each letter with burlap fabric (super cheap at Michael's, and probably Hobby Lobby). Using hot glue sparingly, I pressed the burlap down onto the front of each letter.

Then I used an X-actto knife to remove the excess. I probably don't need to tell you to be careful - those things can bite, and you'll bleed for days.

After dry-fitting the letters onto the background I made, I realized pretty quickly that it needed a splash of color.

Courtney advised against any drastic color choices because, as you might have already surmised from previous projects, she tends to err on the side of whites, off-whites and creams. But, since I'm a rebel (read: she wasn't around at the time), I stepped it up a notch. For plausible deniability's sake, I included white as a base color.

But I didn't stop there. Using vaseline as a paint resist in certain spots, I added a yellow-ish color.

Then I kept the party going with yet another layer, this time a duck egg blue, using a little more vaseline in select areas so the paint would adhere randomly. And, after some light sanding, here is how it turned out.

A little closer.

Me likey.

1 comment:

  1. Oh my gosh I LOVE this! I especially love the way the paint effect turned out, it looks great with the burlap monogram. Congrats on your future new baby!