Anyway, that certainly doesn’t stop me from making new art for any sliver of wall space I can find. There are so many fun examples of string art — not to be confused with string theory, Big Bang Theory fans — and I knew I had to try it.
I started with a scrap of wood from the basement, and gave it two quick coats of chalkboard paint — mainly because I just love that soft black shade, but also because it meant I could do chalk lettering instead of painted lettering. I was really into an episode of Suits, so I didn’t want to miss anything.
While the paint was drying, I hopped online and Googled “Nova Scotia silhouette.” In no time at all I was printing out a simple outline of our fair province. I cut it out a centimetre away from the border, so I could make it a little larger than the original. My apologies to any seaside towns that might have been lopped off by my sloppy cutting!
I traced the paper template onto the wood with a pencil, using tiny markings so I didn’t have to erase anything later.
Then I grabbed a package of teeny-tiny nails (that’s a technical term) and started hammering them all the way around the outline — starting at key parts of the shape, and then filling in between until I got bored. Then I drew a heart over our general area (Truro) and hammered nails all the way around it.
I used leftover grey yarn to outline the province by wrapping a strand around a nail for a full loop, and then stringing it to the next one. Then came the tricky part!
I have a beef to pick with Nova Scotia — its shape, more specifically. In the string art on Pinterest, it’s always of simply-shaped states like Alabama or Wisconsin. Nova Scotia’s tricky shape mean it was hard (impossible?!) to neatly string red embroidery thread from the heart to the perimeter. I eventually gave up and switched to a random pattern, but it’s still bugging me.
After I threw the thread aside, I taped off the edges of the wood and used white paint to give them a faux “frame.”
Then I grabbed a piece of the kids’ chalk, sharpened it, and wrote “Home is where the heart is.” I briefly considered printing out letters and tracing them, but who has time for that? My favourite trick for free-hand lettering is to find a cool font on a free website (like Dafont.com), type in your word or phrase, and then copy it as best you can directly onto your project. In this case, the letters were very simple — but making the horizontal strokes in H, E, R, and A extra-low gave it a more polished look.
I haven’t decided where to hang this project yet, but I’m sure there are a few gallery walls that could use a friend. I’ll just have to make sure it’s hung nice and high, or else my darling children might decide it’s a free-for-all chalkboard!