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Monday, May 30, 2011

A Memorial Sign

My sweet Uncle Jim died on April 6th.  He suffered with cancer the last eight months of his life. 
During his 63 years on Earth, Uncle Jim was many things.  I wanted to create something, that represented his life.  With my Aunt Esther's help, I came up with a list of words that were important to Jim's life. This was my memorial to him.

First, I chose to do the names of the most important people in his life: Jim, Esther, and William. Then, the relationships he had: husband, father, friend, brother, uncle, cousin, and son. Next, I wanted to represent the roles he had in his life:  a veteran, missionary, writer, believer, friend, and counselor. Finally, I wanted to choose the adjectives I felt described him best: gentle, caring, and kind.

Using a variety of fonts, I cut these out of vinyl, on my Silhouette. I used the negative part of the vinyl to create a stencil.  I carefully arranged the words to the board I'd prepainted navy blue.

After attaching all the vinyl to the board and rubbing it down well, I painted the words cream.  I let the paint dry completely and then removed most of the vinyl.  I decided to add a pop of color, and emphasize the red, white, and blue Memorial theme by painting some of the words red.  So, over the cream paint, I painted red.  I wanted some cream to peek out, and it did.

Here's what I had when I removed all the vinyl.

I distressed the sign with an orbital sander. This was a mistake.  The sand paper was fresh and the sander fast.  There are a couple of places that show the circular marks. I was so disappointed since this was a time consuming project and I didn't have time to redo it.  I decided it just added character (or I hoped). I then drilled holes in the top and added wire to make it easy to hang.
Here's the sign I presented to my aunt and cousin.  I think remembering all the special people we've lost in life is a special way to spend Memorial Day. I will miss my Uncle Jim. He will not be forgotten.
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