Saturday, July 2, 2011

Free Hugs...

Hug [huhg]:

to clasp tightly in the arms,
especially with affection; 

I found an old sign in the basement recently
that I had kept throughout the years.

It was roughly painted with an ugly royal blue color.

On it was a hand painted "Welcome".

Hmmmm.....that was pretty boring.

Thinking immediately of all of my intensely creative blog friends out there,
I knew that I could make something more interesting out of it.

What, though?

Well, I had been wanting to try my hand at a little distressing,
so why not try it with something that I really didn't care if it turned out good or not?

I remember Donna at Funky Junk Interiors posting about how she made her
signs look old.

So, I scrounged around in the basement some more
until I came up with some pale blue/gray paint 
(Wyeth Blue by BM - the color of my small wicker chairs in the kitchen)
some black paint,
and some white paint.

 I started glopping the paint on.
First the Wyeth over the royal blue,
then the black.

Not coating the entire thing.
Just slapping splotches of color here and there.

I stood back.

Blech!  It sure looked terrible!

But I knew that "ugly" was part of the process.

Ever watch paint dry?

I tried to keep myself busy with other projects while the paint dried in the shade.
I was just itching to get my hands on it to start distressing!

In my excitement
(or was it old age...?)
I danced my way inside with the board,
laid it on the table amidst my lovely stencils
and paint and brush and....


The distressing!
How could I forget about the distressing???
Good gravy.
Back outside with the board.

I couldn't find any rough sandpaper anywhere,
so hubby gave me....

a power tool!!!

Yup.  A power tool!!

Can I get a Woot woot?!!

Don't ask me what it was.

(Don't tell Donna I didn't know what it was, either.)

It was some sort of power drill with a round wire brush on the end.

(Can I please have a little electric hand sander for Christmas, Santa...
and maybe a sewing machine, too....?)

I went to work on the sign.

Scruffing it up
beating it up
distressing it to deliciousness.

Took out alllll of my aggressions on it.

Sure felt good.

Ok...back inside to detail it.

Does that distressing not look just yummy?

The next dilemma was trying to center the two words I wanted to stencil on it.
I didn't have a whole lot of room for letters,
but I wanted the sign to have a big impact.

I came up with this. it was supposed to say "FREE HUGS",
but I ran out of room.

Guess my centering technique has a little to be desired...

But in my mind's eye
it kind of looks like the "U" is hugging the "G", doesn't it?

(make me feel better and just go with me here....)

I hung it over our frig in that spot where you never quite know what to do with.

Just know that you are guaranteed at least ONE free hug 
when you visit Heaven's Walk.

Any more than that....


you just gotta pay for.

{ free hug }

Linking up with the parties on the lower right of my sidebar.
Just click on the buttons and be whisked away to a world of inspiration!


  1. Perfect!, Laurie.

    May her flag fly high & proud forever over this great land ... may God see the changes we need & grant us that blessing.

    Happy 4th, sweetie.

    TTFN ~

  2. Sending you a big hug too Laurie, what a great job! Love the sign, you have done such an amazing job, i just love it! Love your pretty peonies too! Have a fabulous day Laurie!
    Laura xxx

    Love your new sign. Love the stencils. I have a few big ones with sayings that I haven't used yet. I just hand paint it all- easier for me than stencils, but now I may just have to try some of these out!
    Hugs- or Hug- Tete

  4. Why, I think the promise of a FREE HUG is just about perfect...Now, of course..................
    I WANT ONE,TOO. So, gotta go lookin' for a board. :))

    Years ago, I almost painted my vintage blue picnic basket youngest grand said "O no, Memaw, it will never be the same..." so OF COURSE,
    it still has that vintage chippy blue on it and ALWAYS WILL. :))
    xo bj

  5. What an adorable sign! I love it! And a fantastic job of distressing it! You must make more! You have inspired me to do something with a few wood pieces that have been sitting around here for uh ever!

    Hope your weekend is wonderful! We're working on our 13 yo daughter's bedroom. Can't wait til it all comes together!!

    Hugs :oD

  6. A Beautiful post like this is just calling for a "HUGE HUG"!!!!!!
    Thank you for the inspiration...
    Have a wonderful 4th of July weekend!
    BIG HUGS to you,

  7. Laurie, your hug sign is adorable! I love how you distressed it! I am coveting your pretty, old fan too.

    Happy 4th of July!


  8. That is very cute, and all from a repurposed sign, that's my kind of project!

  9. That is so great sign !! did you make one???...hahahahhhah!!...i love it !! have a nice blessed sunday

  10. That turned out soo cute! Now, I bet you are thinking about signs and more signs:)

  11. Gee, Laurie...You might want to re-word that ending just a bit there girl. I mean you end with a free hug and if you want more than that you gotta PAY FOR IT! Did you think you were on Match.Com there or something?;>)

    Love your sign! Great job. I hope Santa brings you a sander AND a sewing machine too. Watch ads because lots of times you can get sewing machines for almost nothing-people get them and never use them and eventually sell them.

    Hope your 4th is Happy and that you don't overdo it on the MadDog/ know how you are around Holiday time! Big HUG(s) to you- xx Diana

  12. ...hey there beau-ti-ful one!!
    i adore this ~ free hugs ~ sign
    can you imagine using this at a great cause fundraiser?? the "free hugs booth"
    who, at any point in time, would simply NOT want a positive, squeezy hug i ask you?!
    as they walk away with a glowing soul smile!

    i'd pay good $$ to watch that line:)

    xo, Rosemary

  13. I love your sign!! It looks fabulous.


  14. Well people shouldn't be greedy. One hug is plenty! ;) (lol)
    I love your sign. It's lovely!

  15. What a beautiful blog! I love it! Thank you for visiting me yesterday and for leaving such a kind comment. Happy July fourth to you and to yor family!

    simply...this that and the other

  16. Your sign turned out amazing and I like the saying:-)



  17. You've transformed it beautifully...just like a pro!
    I had a friend give me an old sign from the 80's....yuck. He misguildedly thought I would love it. I've been thinking of redoing but not sure what saying I want to use. Guess I could always use more hugs around


  18. of your hugs is worth it's weight in gold! I really liked the sign when I saw it last weekend. Glad you posted it.
    Luv ya.

  19. A hug right back your way, my friend.

    I love your sign and think you did great on it!

  20. It looks great Laurie ~ and I needed one today!
    Happy Fourth!!

  21. I love it!! Nicely done, and what a sweet sentiment.

  22. What a delightful idea!! Love your project and I think it turned out great. Thanks so much for visiting me over at faithgracecrafts and for your lovely comment. Blessings!

  23. So cute!! It is so wonderful to have a blog family to learn so much from each other. I love the stencil letters too- adds some nice style1

  24. That came out really great! thanks so much for visiting our blog.

  25. Love, love, love how you wrote this post Laurie...a BIG HUG to you! You have a great sense of humor and of style. But you know that.

    Ciao bella,

  26. Hi Laurie

    I am a hugger and would love this in my home. My girls would probably roll their eyes and say Oh! Mommmmmm because I am always hugging them. You did a great job - distressing and all. I just love it. Here are a few hugs for you - O O O.

    My best- Diane

  27. Big hugs to you, Laurie. Your sign turned out great! I'm not one for watching paint dry either. I usually get out the blow dryer to speed things along :)

  28. Watch out! The girl's got a power tool and she knows how to use it! lol Love your sign! Happy White Wednesday. Drop by for a visit!

    Waving from Our Back Porch,

  29. This sign turned out really well, Great spot for it too ! xx Ava

  30. Very cute Laurie! And you know, one good hug tight is better than a few quickies. hehe
    Thanks for the well wishes, you did a wonderful job on the sign, love the letter style you chose.

  31. One hug ought to be enough, as long as there is no time limit ;) Love the sign. It's supa cute!

  32. Looks good. Like the words. Something different than the norm you see floating around at craft fairs, stores and such. Good choice.

  33. Beautiful...and the end of your post made me laugh. (any more than that you have to pay for) LOL! And to answer your question, yes...I used a stencil but what I did with that one is this... I fasten the stencil onto the surface, then outline the letters of the stencil with a special paint pen...then I take the stencil off and hand paint in the letters. Sometimes I do actually use the stenciling technique with a stencil brush. Just depends on what material I'm working with. Hope that helps.
    Blessings & Hugs,

  34. Laurie,
    Your sign project turned out so cute! Love the stencil letter style. Good job with the "power" tool! I told my sister I wanted a small power palm sander for Xmas year before last which she got me but I have yet to try using it! So, maybe if you can do it, I can do it! Thanks for visiting, I'm your newest follower and will be visiting often!

  35. Hi Laurie!!
    I LOVE YOUR SIGN!!! Just one question... Did you or did you not feel just a little empowered when you were using whatever power tool you were using, lol??? If your answer is anywhere near a yes then be warned!! It's only the beginning!! You're hooked!! And distressing... OMGosh!! You'll never look at anything the same again :)) Correct me if I'm wrong but you've probably been thinking about (even dreaming about) what else you can paint, beat up, distress and feel good (and quite proud) about it, lol?? I know, It's ok. I'm right there with ya!! Welcome to the club ;))
    Thank you so much for visiting my blog and leaving such a sweet comment!! It was the icing on my cake today!! Please stop by anytime!

  36. What a lovely sign! You did real good with the distressing and the stenciling. Looks great. Thanks for sharing a free hug at Beach Cottage Good Life Wednesdays and for also joining the linky party.

  37. Beautiful job! I love the old look of your sign.

  38. Love all you did to make this a beautiful sign with big impact!

  39. Laurie, that's the prettiest free hug I've ever come across! You did an awesome job! I do hope you are enjoying the summer and your pond!!!...Donna

  40. Hey, Laurie! Love the way this turned out. Isn't it great how the distresing just makes it? Very cute.

  41. I just love this! what a great project :)
    & thanks for your wonderful comments today on FFL!


  42. Love your sign. S or no S, I think it gives a great message of love. I'm really into signs lately and love all the great ideas out here. Yours is perfect.

  43. love simple and sweet...thanks for sharing at fridays unfolded!

    stuff and nonsense

  44. LOVE how this turned out. The whatchamacallit tool did a fine job of distressing.
    Wish I could visit for a free hug!
    - Susan

  45. Hi laurie, I hope you are having a wonderful summer. The sign turned out great and I had to laugh at you describing your paint technique.

  46. Laurie,
    What a cute sign. I love how that turned out. It is charming. Thanks for linking it up at Home Sweet Home!

  47. My first time on your blog, and I must say, it is a delightful read. Like your style. I am visiting from Funky Junk where I saw your project. You did a great job, and it is something I have been trying to muster up the courage to try. From you, it sounds like once we get started, there no stopping us, right??!? May I please ask where you bought the lettering stencil, and what the font style is called? TIA Linda S. in NE

  48. Love this sign Laurie! Such a charmer!! :) Thanks for linking it up!

  49. Another fabulous project! And I love your selection on your playlist (Enya). And the name of your blog is perfect for you. I am now following you. xo,

  50. I'm having so much fun here.
    Can I have my free hug now? =)

    barbara jean


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