Monday, January 13, 2014

2013 In Review - Custom Orders {Amanda G Designs}

I was very blessed in 2013 and filled hundreds of orders through my Etsy shop, Amanda G Designs where I sell hand painted wood signs. Many of my favorite signs were unique custom orders. Several of them were a real challenge, but I enjoyed the process of getting to the finished product. Here is a round up of some custom orders in 2013.

This huge and very heavy sign was a fun project that was requested by my brother-in-law.

A previous customer ordered two more signs for her living room.
Live a Life worthy of the calling you have received.  Eph. 4:1
 photo untitled-1040.jpg

He is before all things. And in Him all things hold together. Col 1:17
 photo untitled-1028.jpg

This mama sure has her hands full. I love the two signs she ordered.

Let them be Little

A family name sign is one that can be treasured for a lifetime.

Warren contacted me with a vision for a 5 year anniversary gift for his wife. Since the traditional 5 year gift is wood, he asked me to paint the South Carolina flag emblem with their names and wedding date on five boards. What a sweet guy - I'm sure he scored some major points with this gift.

 photo untitled-1078.jpg

This bride had a design in mind for her guest seating sign.
Today as two families become one We ask that you please choose a seat not a side.
 photo untitled-1019-2.jpg

Custom state signs are very popular in the shop right now. This Tennessee sign for Luke and Julie was first state sign I made, followed by many others.

 photo untitled-1003-8.jpg

 photo untitled-1075-2.jpg

This Oregon sign was probably one the the most unique signs I painted in 2013. Nissa & Megan sent me a picture of the White Stag sign and asked if I could recreate it for their guest book. 

 photo untitled-1026-3.jpg

I love when customers think outside the box and ask about custom orders. These signs were created using the couple's wedding invitation as inspiration. 
At Last
 photo untitled-1013.jpg

Love Birds 
 photo untitled-1006-3.jpg

Laurel wreath designs.
 photo untitled-1025-2.jpg


Pale pink heart and brown monogram.

This sign was ordered as a gift for the couple by a relative. It was a challenge but I love how it turned out.

I've also had the pleasure of making themed guest books. 
Paul and Tim had a rustic wedding.
 photo untitled-1073.jpg

David and Ally's wedding was at a vineyard.
Grape vine sign photo untitled-1036.jpg

I also started making custom arrow signs! These signs are adorable and can match any guest book order.

You can find a couple of the signs and much more in my shop. Let me know if I can make something special for your home or wedding. 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Amanda G Designs - Christmas signs in the shop!

There have been many changes to my Etsy shop since the last time I posted about it.  Wedding season was incredibly busy. I couldn't have imaged the response I would receive from my guest book designs. Now that wedding season has slowed down, I'd like to introduce the Holiday signs that are in the shop.

This "Silver Bells" sign looks amazing on our mantle. Visiting NYC during Christmastime is on my bucket list. We won't be able to make it this year, so I thought I'd bring the skyline to our living room.

silver bells Amanda G Designs photo untitled-1004-5.jpg

"Silver Bells" also comes with gray wood stain and black wording.

Silver Bells Amanda G Designs photo untitled-1017-3.jpg

"Fall on your knees." This elegant sign will have you humming Oh Holy Night all winter long.

O Holy Night photo untitled-1035-2.jpg

I've been adding Luke 2:11 signs to the shop all month long.

Luke 2:11 wood sign Amanda G Designs photo untitled-1134.jpg

This lovely sign is in our gallery wall in the living room. It's also a wonderful sign for any Thanksgiving mantle or hanging in the dining room.

Thankful Grateful Blessed Amanda G Designs photo untitled-1023-4.jpg

I know it's only mid-November but it's full-on Christmas at the Gardner house. We won't be hosting Thanksgiving this year, so why not? It's our favorite time of year so if we can stretch it out a few extra weeks, then we are all for it!

Stop by Amanda G Designs and look around at the new items in the shop. And let me be the first to wish you a Merry Christmas!


Friday, July 5, 2013

Strawberry Shortcake Party - Noelle Turns FIVE!

My girl is five. I look at my baby - fun-loving and shy - but gracefully maturing into a beautiful little lady. She starts Kindergarten this year and I'm terrified. When we talk about it and she sees the tears welling up in my eyes she reassures me with this speech, "Mommy, it's going to be okay. It will just be for a little while and you can go to Target while I'm gone. I have to go to school to learn stuff." I've heard it a dozen times already. She's so brave.

In May we went on our annual Disneyland trip during Mother's Day weekend to kick off the summer and celebrate her birthday. She agreed to have a small birthday party but insisted it have a Strawberry Shortcake theme. I grabbed her Strawberry Shortcake doll and we headed to JoAnn's for a few supplies. Six yards of fabric, a box of 12 mason jars, a string of Martha Stewart pom-poms and we were pretty much ready to party.

 photo strawberryparty-3-2.jpg

Since it was June and the day heats up quickly we decided on a mid-morning brunch. The menu included Sausage Quiche, Muffins, Strawberry Greek Yogurt with granola, Fruit Salad and Cinnamon Rolls. 

 photo strawberryparty-7.jpg

For the backdrop, I cut the fabric into 5-inch strips and tied them using a slip knot onto a birch tree branch. I had the crates but painted them white and added the strawberry to the inside of the large crate.

The table was very quick and easy to set up. I found vintage Strawberry Shortcake fabric at Walmart for $3/yard. 

 photo strawberryparty-3.jpg

At Walmart I also picked up a couple bundles of cheap flowers and a bag of limes. 

 photo strawberryparty-4.jpg

Noelle's refinished desk was used as the beverage table. 
 photo strawberryparty-5.jpg

Mr. G drilled holes into the mason jar lids just big enough for the paper straws. It's a one time deal since the lids will rust if they are washed. 
 photo strawberryparty-6.jpg

In the dining room I set up the dessert (strawberry shortcake and cupcakes) along with Noelle's previous birthday party invitations. 
 photo strawberryparty-8.jpg

When frosting cupcakes, I always whip a half teaspoon of vanilla extract into the frosting and pipe it onto the cupcakes for a bakery-style look. 

 photo strawberryparty-9.jpg

For the craft, the friends decorated a clay pot with foam stickers and then planted a flower. 

 photo strawberryparty-11.jpg

I'm certain that no flower made it more than a day but it kept them busy for 10 minutes. 

 photo strawberryparty-12.jpg

It was a lovely morning! 
 photo strawberryparty-13.jpg

 photo strawberryparty-4-2.jpg

My girl. 
Strawberry Shortcake hair bow from The Palmetto Baby on Etsy
 photo strawberryparty-10.jpg

Noelle's Strawberry Stand was an easy project that she loves and plays with every day. The total cost was about $20. 
 photo strawberryparty-15.jpg

Here's what you need from Michael's:
(2) Crates - They were half off for $7 each
(2) 24" sticks
4"x 24" plywood
From Home Depot:
Berry Pink Spray Paint
Wood Screws

Once all the pieces are sprayed with paint, stack the crates and line them up. Then drill the screws through the top crate into the bottom crate. 

The 24" sticks fit perfectly snug in between the gaps on the side of the crate. Mr. G used wood glue to hold them in place. You can touch up the glue with spray paint when you're done assembling the stand.

Lastly, paint the plywood slab and use wood glue to secure it to the top of the sticks. Done! Such a cute little stand that can be used as a ticket counter for a circus party, lemonade stand, grocery store play, etc.

 photo strawberryparty-2-2.jpg

A family photo for once!
 photo strawberryparty-14.jpg

Happy 5th Birthday sweet girl! I love you so.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

DIY Race Track Tutorial

DIY Race Track Tutorial
 photo racetrack1-11x.jpg

Mr. G built this awesome race track for Noah's Race Car Birthday Party. He made a quick sketch of the  track and headed to the hardware store for supplies. He tried using things we had in the garage (screws, rails, finishing nails) to keep the cost down. Including the spray paint, the total was around $60.  Here's a (mostly picture) tutorial of how he and his little helper built the track.

 photo racetrack1-22.jpg

1x12x8 - race track ramp
2x3 pieces:
(4) 12"
(2) 3' side rails
(2) 21" side rails
(2) 14" side rails
(2) 7" side rails
(2) 7'9" ground beams
(5) 3/4 x 8ft red oak decor shelf edges
Finishing nails (for lanes)
Dry wall screws or wood screws
17.5" Large dowel
6 Small dowels
Spray Paint - Yellow, Orange, Red, Blue
Flame Stencils (I made with my Silhouette Cameo)
*Pre-Drill all holes

1. Take the 1x12x8 ramp and brace it with the four 12" 2x3s at 2ft, 4ft, 6ft & 8ft (8ft will be the top of the ramp). These will act as supports for the track. Drill through the 2x3s into the ramp.
 photo racetrack1-1x.jpg

2. At 2'2" (we used this measurement because it was perfect for Noah's height) drill the 3ft 2x3 side rails into the top support.

 photo racetrack1-2.jpg

3. Place the 16" 2x3 piece on top of the side rails and drill through the 2x3 into the rails.
 photo racetrack1-3x.jpg

4. Now drill all side rails (6) into the support pieces (6ft, 4ft, 2ft). Keep a leveler on the ramp and continuously check to make sure the ramp stays level.
 photo racetrack1-4x.jpg

5. One of the trickier parts is the 7'9" ground stabilizer beam. It goes on the inside of the side rails, underneath the ramp.

 photo racetrack1-21.jpg

Drill through the side rails into the ground beam.
 photo racetrack1-5x.jpg

 He angled the end of the beams so they fit semi-flush with the ramp in order to drill the ramp to the beams.

 photo racetrack1-6x.jpg

Making sure that the ramp stays level while drilling.

 photo racetrack1-20.jpg

6. Use the 8.5" 2x3 piece and place it between the ground beams. Drill through the ground beams into the 2x3.

 photo racetrack1-7x.jpg

7. Using a hammer, nail the rails into the ramp to act as the lanes. We tried a nail gun but it didn't puncture through the rails. Space them evenly across the ramp (roughly 3 inches apart, compensating for the width of the rails).

 photo racetrack1-12.jpg

Last step is to paint the track. The flames were made in a few steps.
1. Spray yellow on the track
2. Add orange
3. Add red all the way to the bottom
4. Place stencil over the yellow & orange and spray the top portion blue.
5. Repeat for the side rails of the track.

Once it was painted and completely dry, I added "START" and the lane numbers using a stencil.

8. Optional: Car release lever.  Drill holes just larger than the width of the large dowel (approx. 3/4") through the two front side rails.

 photo racetrack1-8x.jpg

Drill 4 holes into the large dowel and push in the small dowels. The small dowels length will depend on the distance from the large dowel to the ramp. Then drill a hole at each end of the large dowel and push two small dowels through to act as the release levers.
Spray paint the dowels before adding them to the track.

 photo racetrack1-9x.jpg

And there you have it! A race track any little boy would love to have! I took these pictures 5 months after the party and it is still in good shape - just normal boy wear and tear. He plays with it every day! I'd also recommend to spray the entire track with a couple coats of clear lacquer when it's finished.

 photo racetrack1-10.jpg

Please let me know if you have any questions.