Monogram Canvas Tutorial

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As promised, I have created a little tutorial post about the monogrammed canvas I recently hung in O’s room. Its no secret that I love almost anything monogrammed but this is my first go on making my own.

I like the look of a square canvas so I started with a 24″x24″ square gallery wrapped canvas and painted it with a sample container of beige I had from a friend who had given me samples after deciding on an exterior paint color- jackpot. I have at least 5 Sherwin Williams test quarts of greys, tans and whites.

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I waited a few hours for it to dry well before doing the next steps. Next I traced a large bowl for the circle shape in the middle. Its hard to see in this picture but I just eyeballed the middle and traced. This is where the monogram will go. Then I taped off stripes for the background. I had considered chevron but went with stripes after realizing chevron would be more precise, time consuming and a little more visually busy than I’d like.I didn’t measure the stripes- just too impatient today I guess. Then I gave the stripes 2 coats of a paper bag brown acrylic craft paint… painting around my faint circle mark.

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After the brown dried I peeled the painter’s tape back. Inevitably the paint had bled in a few spots under the tape. Canvas is an uneven surface so I had kind of expected that to happen. I touched up the spots and got to work mixing the pink for the monogram. I used the creamy beige paint from the base coat and a liquid red acrylic craft paint to make the pink so it wouldn’t be bright pink and would instead be a softer almost mauve color. I freehand painted the circle according to my tracing lines and where I had stopped painting the stripes.

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Then I started on the lettering. I highly recommend doodling around with your monogram a ton before deciding the style you want and putting brush to canvas. I had originally really liked the script look but after a bunch of failed attempts on paper plates I knew I just didn’t have it in me. I also realized that we tend to like cleaner lines and more modern designs around here so straight typeface was more our style anyway. Now don’t hate me but I didn’t trace this… I just went for it freehand with the brush. Sometimes I work best under pressure. I started in the middle with O’s last initial and went from there. I had a few smudges as I went but I just touched up afterward with the beige again.

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After an afternoon of painting I had this cute monogram!

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We hung it centered above her bed. We were sure to hang it high enough that she can’t reach it. We also used 3M Command Strips instead of a nail. That way it can’t swing or bump off of the nail. The strips say that 2 should do for a piece this size and weight. I used four- one on each corner. It’s not going anywhere. I have massive faith in the 3M Command Strips. We hung everything in our plaster walled apartment with them. Nothing ever fell off the wall and they were easy to rearrange and came off clean when it was time to move out (5 years later).

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Things I’m Loving

Ah, April. I’m so happy to see you. And thanks for bringing our old pal Sun. I’ve missed you both. March was a “lion” in so many ways. We bounced between snow storms and 60 degree days and back again. And my migraines followed. Oy. O started talking even more… I’d say she has about 20 clear words. No walking yet but she constantly babbles to her toys and in her carseat. Pretty much everywhere. Even in her sleep. Yes, my 16 month old talks about cookies, the dog and her friend Z in her sleep. Cute, except for that if she’s talking then I’m not sleeping. In addition, I had an entire week off of work. While the kids frolicked in the sand I was busy at home with projects for Hilda. I did a bunch of little things and a few larger projects and they will all be posted as I write them. For now I have a handful of things that I’m just loving. They made my day, sometimes even my week. Here are a few of my little treasures.

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Shoes. What girl doesn’t love shoes? Even O is into them. She finds shoes all over the house or in the mudroom and brings them to me saying “Schlooes!”… She’s totally my kid. These are a recent Target find (Surprise, surprise). I am always looking for work shoes that aren’t flip flops, Nikes or Uggs. Most of spring and fall I live in flats. They just slip on when my hands are busy with baby, bags, dog, keys and door. I also love that I can toss them on with just about anything: jeans (skinny or otherwise), crops, skirts etc. So easy. I need easy in my life anywhere I can put it. These babies are a pewter tone with a black toe covered in rose gold studs and some bad-ass spikes. I’ve been asked by the 7 year old not to wear these when we play kickball.

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This is the gorgeous St. Xavier Catholic Church in Cincinnati. Although I’ve attended many masses here as well as weddings, I’ve now also watched the St. Patrick’s day Parade from it’s front steps. I couldn’t help but admire all of this architecture from my seat on the steps. Incredible.

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I’m not embarrassed to admit that this was rescued from the curb only a couple blocks from my house. In a heavy downpour of snow. Molly and I saw it, stopped in the middle of the road and reversed to grab it. Even through the snow we saw that it was a solid piece (dovetail joints!) and had beautiful shape and character. We carefully tossed it on top of my beloved stroller (cringe!) and brought it to the garage. This was one of my vacation week projects. And just you wait… the facelift is pretty awesome.

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One of my favorite things is to catch O totally off guard. Her face is always hilarious. The other day at work, I watched from the other side of the kitchen as she examined the open dishwasher. She played with the racks and looked under the door and after much exploration I watched as she climbed on in. I whipped (I think that’s where the blur effect is from… the whipping action) out my iPhone and snapped a pic. Then I took her off and told her she can’t do that anymore. I don’t want to buy a dishwasher… especially for someone else’s house.

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I shouldn’t have to remind you that I’m a big kid. Last week I was playing with Z and he was meticulously lining up all the lego action heroes. He very particular and takes it pretty seriously. These guys are like 2 inches tall. Batman and Robin are always side by side. And they both look so serious. And look at that Gotham City behind them!

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Oh Em Gee. This is a spectacular creation I made as a snack (you know, to go with a glass of wine of course). I used Blue Oven Bakery’s Potato Rosemary Squares to make a grilled apple and goat cheese sandwich. It was beyond delish. Too bad it was my last square, but I plan on buying them again and creating a few more culinary delights. If you haven’t made it to any of their market locations (Findley, Clark Montessori and such) then you are missing out. I order you to go get a loaf of Bad Girl or Sourdough.┬áLike, now.

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A sure sign of spring is always in fashion. I found some great peach, deep mint and berry jeans on a run to Target and TJMaxx. They are often my first stops when trying a new trend I’m not sure about. Then I only spend half to see if I can swing the colored jean look. And by the way, I’m in love and I now believe that anyone can swing it. And if you’re scared just try a colored jean with a black top and a statement necklace. You’ll believe in yourself in no time.

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On a quick run for coffee at Caribou I decided to stay and enjoy my cup near their fireplace. These little guys were on the mantle. How adorable! I want some for myself! No worries, I didn’t smuggle them home with me. I will, however, keep an eye out for something similar to use as winter decor next year. Maybe even add a red nose to one? He he.

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In an alleyway between Hyde Park Square and the pay lot I noticed these colored bricks. They are clearly remnants of an old painted building billboard from when the building next to it (that makes the other wall of the alley) didn’t yet exist. I’m thinking more than 80 years ago? I’ve walked through this alley countless times over the last 10 years and I’m shocked I’ve never noticed them before. How awesome is that old typography! Pretty cool.

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Well I am Hilda Gotrocks. While I was working on a project bracelet I fumbled through some tumbled crystals. I forgot how much I love these. They are cool, dense and heavy in my hand. I just love the light they reflect and how much they resemble ice. An old favorite for me.