Saturday, February 20, 2010

At Long Last...Subway Art

Well, my {laptop} decided that yesterday would be as good a time as any to up and die. And I do mean {DIE}. I'm pretty upset by this latest development for several reasons. The enormous stash of digital scrapbooking supplies I had is now gone, as are the full-sized files of all of the digiscrap pages I've made. I do have some of them printed, but not all of them. And, even though I *just* moved a bunch of pics to my external hard drive earlier this week, I'm fairly certain I'm still missing all of the pics from at *least* Feb, if not Jan, too. There are web-sized versions of some of the more recent pics, as well as web-sized versions of the scraps, thanks to photobucket and facebook ~ other than that it's all {POOF!} gone. Makes me ill, but I do realize that it could've been sooo much worse, so let this be a friendly reminder to you all...BACK UP YOUR FILES ~ BURN YOUR PICS TO DISK ~ PUT THOSE DISKS SOMEPLACE SAFE & FIREPROOF. In the meantime, I'm using the Hubband's laptop, being that he's out of town right now on an ice fishing adventure. He'll be back tomorrow & who knows if I'll lose access to the computer again when that happens. Sadly, I don't have photoshop on this computer and he'd probably consider {killing} me if I installed straight off the camera pics is what you're gonna get. OUCH. NO idea how long it will be before we can afford to get me a new computer. I'm so so so so sad.

Making me slightly happier...the finally finished (though not yet hung) Subway Art! I took pictures throughout the process, but what with the whole no photoshop thing, I can't show them to you b/c I took them in RAW format, and I can't do anything with them until I have PS back. I cannot even {tell} you how much this SUCKS. So, I took one more of the finished product & I'll share it with you now...with more to follow some day.

OK, so a few things to talk about first if you're going to try this project. I originally saw it on Tatertots and Jello, and she offered a great {tutorial} ~ which you can find a quick link to on the right hand side of her blog. I followed it pretty closely, but there are a few suggestions I'd like to add.

1) Black poster paint is NOT the same as black craft paint. Trust me. After 3 coats and a very navy blue appearance I searched the basement (again) for black craft paint and was thrilled to no end that I actually had enough left to finish the project. {Whew!}

2) I took another look at the original {inspiration} for the project (from Pottery Barn) and noticed that the background in the original is not pure black. I think that part of the charm of the original comes from it looking a bit worn and aged, so...after the last coat of black had dried I brought out the white craft paint and I dry brushed (go gentle here, folks) some white on top of the black. I went stronger around the edges, lighter across the canvas, and then went in and left some larger blotches randomly on the canvas. I think it's closer to the original and I like it ~ but if you like the pure black look, by all means, stick with it!

3) I chose to cut out each individual letter rather than whole words. I just prefer to see the {texture} of the canvas showing through. It seemed like a shame to cover the canvas to the point that no one would be able to tell it was a canvas...especially knowing that it's a decent-sized canvas and it wasn't all that cheap.

4) It's about the Mod Podge. This was my first experience with using it and I'm now a fan. As in an "Ooooh, what can I do with this stuff {next} I wonder" kind of fan. One thing I will say, though, is to be careful when you're using it with a black background. I noticed very quickly that the MP was starting to show a bit of a purple tinge. I don't know if it's from the black paint or the black ink (b/c I did cheat a bit by not going into the middle of the letters {like a and o} to cut out the black parts). DEFINITELY pour some MP out into a cup rather than dipping directly into the jar and contaminating it. I was using a cup anyway b/c the sponge brush I was using was too wide to fit into the jar, and I'm glad I was. I used one coat of MP to hold the letters down, and only one coat of MP on top of the letters/whole canvas once the words were placed, and I can see a slight purpley tone to some of the letters. It's not terribly obvious, and probably no one else will notice it, but I can imagine how much darker it would be if I hadn't noticed and used fresh MP every so often while I was applying my coat.

So there you have it! For those who are curious, {Wooster} is a street in Bowling Green...the main street that runs along the campus at BGSU, and the Hubband & I were introduced on the front porch of a house on Wooster while we were at a party way back in 1996. I chose street names that were meaningful in our relationship ~ our first date, the streets our parents lived on when we first went to each other's homes (and where they still live now), where we got engaged and where we got married...the street our first (and current) home sits on, and the street where you'd find the hospital where I gave birth to both of the tiny people. The Hubband hasn't seen it yet ~ I just hope he likes it....and that we can figure out where the heck to put it!

I'm {linking up} at Tatertots and Jello...and I'm telling you ~ if you're looking for some inspiration and some amazing craft & DIY projects, check out the other blogs that are linking up. L.O.V.E.


  1. Sarah -- it is so amazing! I love it! You did a wonderful job. It's true that the original is distressed and I love what you did with it! I just bought a huge frame this week to make a permanent subway art project. I love yours!!

    Thanks for linking up -- I appreciate it!!! I'm going to post a link to it on my FB page so people can come and take a look!


  2. Turned out great! I feel for you on your files being gone...I just went through that a couple of months ago! It just make you sick. The ironic husband is a Computer Scientist that does programming and software...hmmm...I wonder why he wasn't having me back up on my computer. You know...I am not the computer scientist in our family, I just use it. lol :) Nice to meet you and now following your blog. Great job on you sign!


  3. Looks great! I can't wait to see it in person someday...when you and the Hubband agree upon a place to hang it. Funnily enough, I stumbled across this blog earlier today! It may feed your new addiction, so beware!

  4. Nice job! Good luck with your files.

  5. Sarah, it is beautiful! I was going to tell you about Modge Podge Rocks, but Sissy beat me to it! Happy Modge Podging! :)

  6. I love your version of this fun project! And Mod Podge is FAB!!!!

  7. This is awesome. I saw it on Tatertots and Jello. Did you live in Bowling Green? I went to BGSU for grad school and lived on the corner of Manville and Lehman. What a fabulous idea!

  8. Omigoodness - I saw this on Tatertots and Jello and love it! I lived in BG for 6 years for undergrad and grad school, and as soon as I saw your finished product, it brought back a million memories! Thanks so much for posting - I think it looks fantastic!



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