DIY decor, crafts, design, and my creative life!

Adventures in Sign Painting

Happy Friday to you! I hope you’ve had a great week.

Today I’m sharing a peek into my latest hobby – sign painting!

Remember my family name sign painting post from way back when?

Since that post, I’ve been doing a lot of experimenting with different sign painting techniques, and I’ve fallen in love with it. As I’m writing this, there are about 12 different signs “in progress” all over the floor, work table, and countertop in my craft room!

I painted my first family name sign for my brother and his wife when they were getting married last fall, and then I decided I’d make some more for Christmas gifts. I ended up doing quite a few, and I had a lot of fun (and learned a lot) in the process!

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The red “Ramsey” one was for my own home. It’s hanging above my kitchen window now.

kitchen window

At the end of the school year last year, I decided I’d make some signs for teacher gifts, too. Instead of family names, I did a couple of variations of “dream big” – which one is your favorite?

dream big helvetica

dream big cooper

Lately, I’ve just been doing whatever comes to mind, like this bright, hopeful one.

hope

(I have needed this reminder, more often than not!)

And here’s a tribute to my favorite beverage.

coffee

This one is based on the lyrics to the Lumineers song “Stubborn Love.”

head up distressed

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I’ve done several variations of this design – here are some that are “works in progress.”

head up WIP

I am especially fond of these with the stained backgrounds. I like how the wood grain shows through. It’s been interesting experimenting with different colors of stain, too – these are (left to right) Minwax Ebony, Varathane Weathered Gray, and Minwax Red Oak.

I have also done some vintage-inspired signs.

This one is my favorite – I have it hanging in my kitchen:

hand vintage

hand vintage kitchen

Here are some more that I made, that are for sale at a local boutique in Smyrna, Georgia called The Dragonfly. (If you are in the Smyrna area, you should definitely check them out – here’s their Facebook page!)

grouping

There’s also a vintage hand sign like the one in my kitchen at the Dragonfly.

hand sign large

Here’s a custom order I did for a friend that uses lyrics from an Avett Brothers song.

long view

long view 2

These were a custom order for a friend in Texas – Keep Your Head Up, and a “mini” vintage hand sign.

mini hand + head up

And here’s another custom order for a friend that will be hanging in her kitchen soon.

blessing

Here are some of my works in progress that are scattered around the floor in my craft room now.

(WIP signs photo here)

I’m getting ready to do a show locally in October, so I’m in massive sign painting mode right now. The show is called Rev Fall Fest, at a wonderful coffee shop in my area called Rev Coffee. Here’s the flyer if you’re going to be in the Atlanta area that weekend!

rev fest flyer

I have a growing interest in learning “real” sign painting, too. (Check out this video for an amazing example.)

I don’t have the right paint, tools, or lettering technique for that yet, but maybe I’ll get adventurous and try it.

I’d really like to take a trip to San Francisco to New Bohemia Signs, where they host a monthly sign painting workshop. I am plotting ways to make that happen sometime soon.

On a recent trip to Tybee Island, I was able to photograph some of the great hand-painted signs I saw there. Good eye candy and inspiration!

{Click on any of the photos for a larger, gallery view.}

I am available for custom sign orders, so if you’re interested, send me an email (ramseydesigns@gmail.com).

Have you tried any sign painting?

If you like this post, then please head on over to my Facebook page and like me there, too! You can also follow me on Instagram and Twitter

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*Disclaimer: The signs I posted here are designed and hand painted by me (other than those shown in the Tybee Island gallery). Please be respectful of my work and creations. I’d love for you to “pin” them, but please link them back to my page. If you admire my designs, I’d appreciate hearing about it, but please don’t copy them or claim them as your own. Thank you! 

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Moving Day is Here!

moving day

Just a quick update to let my readers know that moving day is here. Today my blog will be moving to my new place, itcomesfullcircle.com.

It’s exciting and new!

The only downside is that the blog will be down for a while – most likely 1-2 days while everything is transferred and we work out the kinks.

The good news is, the new site is going to be so much better!

I can’t wait to share it with you – I have some exciting things planned.

See you on the other side!

Thrift Store Refashion: Fall Infinity Scarf!

scarf refashion pin

It’s August, school is back in session, and the smell of newly sharpened pencils is lingering in the air.

This will soon be followed by a crisp, cool breeze and crimson, orange, and yellow leaves falling and crunching under our feet.

When it comes to prints, there is little else that says “Fall” like a good plaid.

Scarves are a great way to accessorize – so why not take a thrift store plaid shirt and turn it into an easy infinity scarf?

I picked up this shirt at the thrift store for around three dollars – it was fun and retro but it needed some mending. I really loved the plaid print, so I decided I’d refashion it into a scarf.

shirt before

The good news is that thrift stores tend to have an abundance of plaid shirts, and you could use any plaid or any pattern that you like, including a men’s shirt – to make a scarf like this one.

First, you need to go out thrift shopping and pick up a shirt with a fabric that you like. Better yet, take a shirt from your closet that you don’t wear anymore and refashion it to make yourself an easy accessory.

Do you want to know how I did it?

Let me start by saying that this project took me about two hours. It should not have taken anywhere NEAR that long. It was one of those times when it seemed like everything that could possibly go wrong DID go wrong.

My new (to me) fancy digital sewing machine that my grandmother passed down to me had a problem with the dog feed so it would only sew in one spot without moving. I finally gave up on it and pulled out my old machine, but when I tried to sew with it the foot pedal wouldn’t work. It turns out there is some kind of short in the electrical cord to the pedal so it will only work if the pedal is turned upside down!

So, if you’re having a day where things go your way, it should only take you about a half hour or less to complete this project (aside from shopping time).

To begin, you take your shirt, lay it out flat on a table or the floor, and cut out the front two panels and the back panel into big rectangles. You’ll end up with three pieces, slightly different in size.

shirt laid out

3 pieces together

Mine were about 14” x 17” but this will vary slightly based on your shirt, and that is a-okay. It’s not an exact science.

Trim your rectangles down so they are all the same width, then sew the short sides together with a simple straight stitch so you end up with one long piece of fabric.

If your fabric has a right side and a wrong side, be sure to put the right sides together (facing each other) before sewing.

After you have your long strip, fold it long ways (AKA hot dog style) with the right sides together and sew down the long edge, so that you have a big tube of fabric.

long fold

Turn the tube right-side-out so all of your raw ends are on the inside.

turn right side out

On one end of the tube, fold the raw end in about ½ inch and iron the fold down so that you have a nice edge. An alternative to this is to have one of the hemmed ends of the shirt be at the end of the scarf piece, so you already have a finished edge.

tuck in

Tuck the unfinished edge of your fabric tube into the finished or folded edge, overlapping them by about ¾ inch. Then sew straight down the overlapped area, closing the scarf neatly.

That’s it – you’re done!

Now you’re all set for Fall with your new plaid infinity scarf, made for under $5!

finished scarf short

finished scarf long

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Have you refashioned a thrift store find? I’d love to hear about it!

Change Is Coming!

Thoughts on blogging and having a plan

Image: Five Words

There are big changes coming for It Comes Full Circle and I wanted to share an update with you here. You’ll see a significant difference in the blog in the next week or two as I make the switch from the free WordPress to “self-hosted” WordPress.

This will allow me to have more control over my blog, from design and layout to plugins. I’ll have a whole new blog design and an easier to navigate page.

I can’t wait to share the new look with you!

In the process, I am becoming more disciplined as a blogger and I’m committing to be more consistent and post more often. I made an editorial calendar this past weekend with a detailed schedule for the next four weeks.

That may not sound like a big deal, but let me tell you, for me – it is. This is not at all like me! I would much prefer to fly by the seat of my pants – but I’m learning that for the most part, the things I don’t plan – just don’t happen.

I can have loads of inspiration and the best of intentions but my time gets used up on other things if I don’t make it a priority to schedule and plan the things I really want to do.

As a full-time working mom with two school-age children and a home to manage, my cup overflows with a lot of life and it can leave me wiped out on the couch on Friday night from the whirlwind if I’m not careful.

So I’m intentionally making a game plan, a schedule, and setting goals for myself as a blogger.

I hope you will like what you see as the changes materialize.

If you want to keep up with the latest happenings, please take a second and “like” my Facebook page here.

You can also find me on Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter. You can even subscribe to my blog by typing your email address into the box on the right so you’ll get an email whenever I post.

Be on the lookout for exciting things to come!

Elegantees is having a sale!

Remember my post about Elegantees? (If not, you can read it here.) This is a company that rescues women from trafficking, teaches them to make clothing, and pays them a fair wage to do it. Not to mention, they make beautiful shirts and dresses!

FYI: They are having a fantastic end of season clearance sale right now.  I wouldn’t want you to miss out!

Check out these deals:

The Syuzanna is marked down to $8.00.

Photo: elegantees.com

Syuzanna shirt, photo: elegantees.com

The Kelsie is $10.00.

Kelsie shirt, photo: elegantees.com

The Lexey is also $10.00.

Lexey shirt, photo: elegantees.com

Lexey shirt, photo: elegantees.com

And that’s not all! Check out all the end of season clearance items here.

I’ve already placed my order.

Have you tried Elegantees yet?

*Disclaimer: I was not paid to write this post. The opinions are mine. I just really love this company!