August 20, 2013

Do you know the way to

San Jose?  No, not really, but I bet I could Google Map it and find out!  But long before Google Maps, direction apps and GPS trackers (why do our rental car GPS systems always say only one word--"recalculating. recalculating"??) there were directional signs to help us find our way.  The ancients found a way to steer travelers in the right direction:

 and perhaps even aliens navigated with a little signage help?

Sailors relied on compasses to chart their path:
or set their course by the night sky:
And when my husband and I were first married we thought we were cool and hip, setting out on a road trip with our handy-dandy AAA triptiks:
All of this is my roundabout way of introducing my latest craft project:  a garden directional sign.  I saw a couple of signs on Pinterest and with the usual enthusiastic and overly optimistic naiveté I bring to projects and crafts, I jumped at the idea of making a sign for my garden.  Fortunately, I wasn't thinking quite this large scale, but my son (who helped me with this project and dug the hole) and my husband (who wrestled the pole into the ground and secured it) assure me that next time they'll help me keep my enthusiasm in bounds.
For this project I wanted boards that looked old and weathered, and fortunately I had just the right thing.  In 1998, while I was still living in South Dakota, a devastating tornado virtually wiped the town of Spencer, SD, off the map.  One craftsman took scattered boards from the various barns and outbuildings and used them to make small garden fences.  I bought one at a craft fair simply because I liked the fact that an old barn still existed, even if altered in form and function. Over time the fence grew wobbly and was finally relegated to the garage.  The first step was to disassemble the fence:
and cut down the length a little (this is NOT my most flattering picture, but of course I chose to do this on a really hot day!):
And finally I laid them in order and decided on paint colors.  For this step I used outdoor paint to make sure the project is waterproof. 

Then came the fun part--deciding where I wanted to go!  Because what is the point of a directional sign if it doesn't list a destination?  I'll save that part for tomorrow, but I'll give you a little won't find these places on a real map! 

“Still round the corner there may wait
A new road or a secret gate
And though I oft have passed them by
A day will come at last when I
Shall take the hidden paths that run
West of the Moon, East of the Sun.”
---J.R.R Tolkien

1 comment:

  1. Such a neat idea! I may have to steal it.

    I miss Triptiks! I use to love going to AAA and ordering up my very own Triptik for the journey ahead!