Friday, February 15, 2013

Fonzi say: Aaaaaa

so as i mentioned in the previous post, i made a little personal gift for us last night for Valentine's Day.  actually, we both made it.
i was inspired by a post earlier this week from Dina at Honey & Fritz.  the original post can be found here.  originally it was going to be a surprise, but my usual procrastination brought me to a better idea.  Nacho & i love to do puzzles, especially at Christmas time, so why not use a puzzle we'd actually done & why not have BOTH of us contribute to this little art project?  so Nacho pitched in while also managing dinner.
i started with a trip to HobbyLobby & bought an 8"x8" frame & a couple of pieces of white card stock for backing (i always buy an extra in case i mess up).  then i tried printing out a large lowercase "A" from MS Word.  that was not going well.  i know, i should not have used a word processing program to begin with, but it's what i know most.  i never could get the sizing or vertical spacing right.  when i got the letter the size i thought i wanted, it would not print on a single piece of paper.
enter, OpenOffice Draw!  i love OpenOffice.  1 because it's free, yes, but mostly because it doesn't have all that heft that the MS products have - nothing against MS products, i just don't need all the bells/whistles at home.  so in Draw, i just created a lowercase "A" using the text tool & was able to size & position it perfectly - Arial Black 24 btw!  i did practice runs with just an outlined A (like Erin's "M") then thought to color the "A" in (like Erin's "A").  after playing around with a couple of blues, i found the one i thought worked best with our puzzle pieces as a whole - blue8 in OpenOffice Draw.
the smartest thing i did:  i printed the color "A" out on regular paper & played with the layout.  glad i did this because i was waaay too anal about this.  i have no idea how Erin laid hers out, but it didn't need near as much attention as i was giving it.
tip:  you do not have to, nor do you really want to, cover every square inch of the "A" in puzzle pieces during the 1st layer.  as a matter of fact, some of that color showing through is nice!
and then i was off!  here is the official "a" printed on sturdy card stock so any glue would not warp the paper too badly (that's another tip!).
i'm not sure what Erin used to secure hers, but Mod Podge worked great for me & allowed me to brush it on instead of the strings that a glue gun can leave.  
another tip:  i actually MP'd a few pieces to one of my paper print outs just to get a feel for how it would brush on the puzzle pieces.  since this was going to create a useless puzzle that i'm not willing to donate anyway, might as well practice!
and so Nacho & i created the 1st layer!
i let it dry for a few minutes & held it up to make sure all pieces were secured.  success! then i just repeated with layers 2 and 3 - Erin has a lot more layers than i do, so use your own judgement!
the next 2 layers were a little less straightforward.  at times, i brushed the MP onto the back of the puzzle piece, at others onto the pieces that they would be sitting on.  it just depended on how the "standing" test went & if they held or not.
and in about 30 minutes i had a work of art!
and i am happy to say i don't think this will make it to the Pinterest Fail site!

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