Chalkboard Art...finished for now

 Here we go...this is how my project ended up
but just to be sure....
I thought I would just sleep on it and see how I felt about it in the morning

It's only chalk right?

I wonder If Dana Tanamachi does that?


Just as a reminder this was my original graphic design

 about 1/2 way through...
I do like the banner
and Dana uses lots of banners in her work
 and this is the final project...the next morning, I removed the little knives I had added, re-worked the area where the banners was
 and enlarged the lettering on 
"petit cafe"

 I put my basket of bread boards underneath it 
but it just needed something a bit higher
 I have a nice little collection of old bottles 
that I use for vinegars and oil for cooking
 This is a great little bamboo shelf...a nice size for a smallish I gave it a try here
just in case you are wondering about the old bottles...I actually sterilize them like you would a canning jar prior to using them and if there is even a question about cleanliness I don't put any thing in them except maybe a flower for the garden

 a few little dishes, some fresh lemons 
and an old baguette basket on the chalk shelf
Here is a little peek of the kitchen with the new chalkboard

this little sign reads:

the daily bread
petit cafe
open daily

I hope you give this a try....
it is so much more fun 
than spelling and arithmetic 




I didn't seal it 
because I have a feeling I will find some new things to draw 
as Spring approaches...
and I agree with Dana
that there is something interesting and simplistic
about just erasing it
and doodling a new idea

Chalkboard Art Project: details

So lets get started...

Here is how I thought I should approach this:
I started with a simple design 
using a graphics software program 
for Mac called 
The Print Shop 

My cafe styled artwork is called
The Daily Bread
and it lists all of the things we can serve you 
at our little French Cafe!

The finish graphic was printed  out on standard
 8 1/2 x 11 inch paper
 and I left the spacing grids in 
to help with placement

 I started by dividing the board up into quadrants 

 I used simple rulers and a tape measure for this

The font I chose is called Infilto, 
which is one of my favorites !

You can find lots of great fonts just like this one
that can be downloaded for free or there are millions of sites 
 you can purchase great fonts 
for just a few dollars.
 Here we are 
beginning  to add the largest elements 
and some of the type

I really just loosely sketched  
the words and art into the areas that were consistent  
with my computer created graphics
 the banner at the bottom says 
"open daily"
 One of the biggest issues I had was dull chalk wouldn't fit into my pencil sharpener 
so I used a paring knife, 
but it was not the best solution either

Looking at the board at this point
I realized that: 

1.  my bread looked like a Thanksgiving turkey 
2. there was no way I could fit all of those food items 
on to this chalkboard ....
way to much wording
 So I narrowed it down to just three words,
moved the wheat sheaths to the sides of a new bread sketch 
and kept right on going....
 reworking as needed
 Adding a crosshatch border 
was a nice element too
 It took a few times
to get the style of the font 
translated using chalk 
 I have to say, one of the best things about this type of project 
is the ease in which you can wipe off your mistakes
 and try again...awesome!
so here we are...
not finished yet, 
but getting close.... even though my bread now looks like a baked potato

but the basic design is in place
and I learned a lot about the actual process of chalkboard artwork

I will share the finished board on my next post...

Did I mention how much fun this is!!!!?

Chalkboard Art Project


Last year at some point, I remember seeing so many wonderful images of art and typography used on blackboards.  
Some were themed for the holidays, others were inspirational quotes or messages
 about family and friends.
all of them have that wonderful quality 
of being made by hand 
 perfectly imperfect 
as only chalk can be

Even Oprah

 and Time
hopped on board with a magazine covers

The incredibly talented person behind some of these images is Dana Tanamachi
seen here with Oprah
Dana initially worked for a Graphic Design firm, 
but found her calling in the interesting world of chalkboard art and Typography
while doodling on a blackboard with friends...
and the they just plain amazing


She has worked for quite a few firms in the Silicon Valley...
a made a mark on the Fashion world with store and
window display chalkboards

She has created labels,  
home decor products, corporate office slogans 
and event signage

All of which feature her hand created typography
that is beautiful, thought provoking and original
and to some degree
temporary...which she finds part of the creative aspect of using chalk

here is a clip of Dana:
sharing the process of creating and designing for her clients

and her website 
event and magazine graphics
 magnets for West Elm
Ralph Lauren windows
private interiors
what I love about her work is how freely 
she designs and completes a project without grids and templates 
She is really inspirational!
I purchased a vintage slate chalkboard
and would like to have a little art like Dana's in my kitchen
 I doubt it will be all that impressive  
but it's a fun idea 
and there is always and eraser near by!

Hope you enjoyed seeing Dana and her work....



It's That Time Again


There is still time left to get spring bulbs 
and a few choice flower seeds in the ground 
for harvest between February and April

If you're on the East Coast it may be too late... : o (
but here in the West 
we still have a few weeks left
I like all flowers really... but I love 
the romance of a bouquet of Sweet Peas
It is the scent and the soft ruffles of the flowers 
that just can't be duplicated 
Sweet Peas are really easy to grow that part!

  a large pack of seeds 
will only set you back 
about $5 dollars
One seed packet will yield enough flowers for your arrangement's 
for the entire month of April and on into May
 There are many ways to stake your peas...I think I have pretty much tried them all
 This was my "Sweet Pee Tee Pee"
It work well...
until my peas were literally taking over the entire structure...
but at some point I just let it all go 
and just kept snipping and enjoying 

 You can buy your seed packs in a variety of color choices 
but I happen to love the purple and pink varieties

there was burgundy and red in this mixed packet of seeds too

I look for seed packets with clear bags,
 where I can actually see what I am buying
and choose the biggest most plump seeds
 This year I picked up a packet that has salmon in the mix...
can't wait to see that

 This was my  Pea structure from last year 
which I am using again 

I have moved it to a slightly different location  because it just didn't get enough sun. 

My preference now is a Southern exposure 
but Sweet Peas are pretty hearty once they get going 
in about any location with decent sunshine 
 Soak the peas seeds for a day or two before direct sow planting and give them plenty of water 
to prevent the seedlings from drying out

 The peas are a beautiful addition 
to other Spring blooms and bulbs

This year I planted yellow Daffodils...
I found a really bid bag of 50 bulbs at Home Depot for $15 dollars 
and the bulbs were huge!  

White and Purple tulips got planted too

and a  special Darwin hybrid tulip variety called 
which I have planted before

 The Tulip flowers are huge!  
And it's a beautiful shade of orange with streaks of yellow
I lucked out and found large quantities of Tulips on Sale
right around Christmas time 
and all the big sacks of bulbs were 1/2 off 

 I have a big yard so the bulbs really get lost 
unless I plant a large quantity...
 I planted while it was raining 
so my soil was super soft which made the job much easier

 And the English roses start to bloom in April too

It all sort of happens at once 
and the variety and scent is amazing
So what ever you choose for your garden....
you can plant seeds, bulbs and bare root roses right now...
rain or shine 

 the end result 
is nothing short of beautiful!

Happy Gardening