All Things Inspired By Desert Living & Loving ~ Big Bend Country, Far West Texas ~ Graphic Designs

My Craft Loves to Spray Paint Birds!

Big Bend Ranch State Park could always use a volunteer.
I guess I could volunteer – so I passed the inspection process. Not much competition, *phew*.
Now, the question became what could I do? Its lovely when everyone’s too busy to actually tell me what to do.
I’ll step back and admit that I did have an agenda. I have a bit of merchandising in my background – my main job is child- and housekeeping so with the words of my hubs “You’re not cleaning the park, if you’re not cleaning our house” – avoid the housekeeping most definitely. So merchandising . . . my eye was always on the gift shop, the nearly empty one that always needed TLC. I stepped in lightly though. Didn’t want to ruffle any feathers.
“We could use some new ideas for t-shirts.” Not sure whether I said that or they did – I guess that’s how the best ideas are born.
They gave me a few topics and flew off and came back with around thirty ideas overnight.
A couple made the cut . . .
Tshirt custom designs for Big Bend Ranch State Park by My Desert Love
The park’s budget is not a generous one, especially since the retail shop was more of an afterthought. They were shelving some of my other ideas for another day, another budget.
But the ideas kept coming, so I try my hand at putting together postcards . . . and greeting cards . . . and coordinating stickers and envelopes. Ideas feel like almost a madness sometimes. When the spout’s on, just let it flow until it runs empty.
“Would . . . could I donate my cards to the gift shop?” The card rack was nearly empty. In the beginning, you find yourself asking the most ridiculous questions, because you’re just so insecure. Are they good enough? Is it silly to think someone would actually pay for something like this? Something that little ole me figured and tinkered out?!
Such a waste of brain-space, but the repercussions of original thinking – in my world that is.
So, they said “Yeah, sure. Why not!”
I brought in my stack of cards. Organized them on their rack. The rack was dusty, it was rickety.
It didn’t give me a “happy dance” feeling when I stepped back and looked at my creations. Not yet anyway.
“Is it okay if I take this rack and freshen it up a bit?”
Once again, another silly question and of course they said “yes”.
My Desert Love display at Big Bend Ranch State park 01

My materials were

::: A can of metallic bronze spray paint
::: Kraft paper
::: Hot glue gun
::: Scissors & X-acto/Fishars general purpose knife
::: Cardboard
::: Printouts on photo paper
::: Glue stick
::: Textural interest – rocks/pebbles & branches that I knew would dry well.

I took all the cards down and wiped down the rack. There were rather haphazard wooden slats that needed some uniformity with a bit of glue and a few added wooden pieces. The overall frame needed to be tightened from the bottom with a handy screw. When the rack was structurally sound and reasonably functional, it was time to give it a little shine and distinction! The gift shop has mostly rustic brown fixtures, so this silver business was too bright. A warm bronze made the frame less distinctive, which showcased the cards better.
For some added detail, I turned to one of Lia Griffith’s paper creations. Specifically her template and tutorial on a paper bird came to mind as a sweet critter to perch on the rack:

My Desert Love display paper birds


Click the paper bird images for the link to Lia Griffith’s tutorial.

You can see “Baby No Shine” is simply Kraft paper, whereas “Mama Shine” has the fun sheen of metallic bronze spray paint. My newest fun thing! I knew the hardware store was a dangerous place to peruse through . . . So many wonderful projects to be imagined! A simple spraying – and rather haphazard I might add – really turned that Kraft paper and hot glue “ok” bird into something more substantial. Almost faux-metal — who needs a welder?

Here are some more close-ups of the display. I cut off the image at the very top unfortunately where the largest paper bird perches over all there is to see . . .

My Desert Love display at Big Bend Ranch State park 02

This was really a necessary exercise for when I eventually prep for a craft show. Displays are invaluable to merchandise items like cards that would just normally fall over on their own. So, I had this idea of making an accent that surrounds the base of the display rack.

I printed out my digital images on photo paper and then glued them down. Using a simple glue stick to the card board and the photo paper and scraping them flat. Then I used by sharp Fiskars utility knife to outline the images on my rubber cutting board. The 11 inches width of the paper was not wide enough to match the rack base, so I just centered the image and left cardboard on either side. I used a generous amount of hot glue to apply the stones and branches to decorate the remaining cardboard on either side. **Make sure to leave an inch or so to attach the side that continues around.

LESSON LEARNED . . . I left one side open and placed the rack within the surround. It looked good. So, let’s take it for a little spin! Nope, not spinning. I did not provide enough clearance for the turning of the rack! Exclamation points are not dear at this point. I am just glad that I left one side open. It is definitely not perfect, but it is something. The crew at the Sauceda Ranch Station said that it was better than it was . . . There I go. I was creative – but I will need a “Take Two” for perfection.

Check out my next posting for the fun display I made – out of next to nothing – for my Desert Wings birdie postcards.

I have to order nearly all my crafts online & these are always on my “Saved for Later” list:


@ 2015 Vi Dotter/My Desert Love Designs & Blog All Rights Reserved.

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  1. September 17, 2015    

    This is so creative. I’m not crafty at all; I wouldn’t be able to do all this 😉
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    • September 18, 2015    

      Aw really? We all have things that we could spend hours playing with. I am sure you have your bag of toys. Mine just happens to have a hot glue gun, spray paint and cardboard! Thanks so much! 😉

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