Windy DIY

To get from Chicago to Cincinnati (a multi-year occurrence to visit friends and family back home), you’ll have to pass the most drop dead gorgeous wind farm ever. Not that I’ve seen a lot of wind farms, but sheesh – this particular field of mill after mill (a quick Google search told me it was named Fowler Ridge) is breathtaking. Scott will eagerly wake me up – because don’t you know I’ve fallen asleep in the passenger seat after all of 10 minutes in the car – just for the views. We love it.

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The above photo was taken on my phone’s camera (whilst living on the wild side, no less). You see, while following my man back home in our old ‘Rolla – the multi-city trip that included bringing home a wall and a wagon – I flung my arm out the car window and snapped as many shots of the farm that I could. Considering my phone is laughable (no smart phone here), the process was likely not the safest (I do not condone phone usage during driving! A slap on my own wrist for that one), and I had to wait forever between shots for the images to load. But in a happy twist of fate, my hipstamatic-less un-smart phone produced some pretty darn hip, grainy photos. Perfect.

I never told Scott (remember, he was driving our wall home in that wagon ahead of me), and I knew I wanted to use the best image to create some mini art for him. Never having used Mod Podge before (I know!), I had been itching to give it a try, and so an easy project was born.

Using our home printer and a sheet of cardstock, I printed my favorite image (above) twice. One was for testing the smudge-level of the Mod Podge, and the second was for the final product. As you can see below, only a baby bit of the blue sky smeared on to the white paper, but I was happy to see that smudging – if any – was non existent on the print iteself.

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I printed the final image 1/4″ larger than the wood panel I’d be mounting it on, then I used a foam brush to spread the podge like glue. I may have dipped my pen in the company ink, so to speak, with the panel (it may look a bit familiar from the Pet Shop, yeah?), but that’s the perks of being your own boss (or so I say!). Any small canvas or hard panel from art and craft stores would work, too.

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After the image was smoothed on, I turned it over and trimmed the excess. Because the image was printed a bit larger than the panel, I was able to get that perfect, flush edge.

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But on to the most gratifying part – sealing that sucker on there. I started by applying the first coat of Mod Podge only to the image. Once that was dry (about 15 minutes), I applied a second coat, but this time, I went over the sides, too. Remember that itty bitty smudge of blue in my initial test? By skipping a first coat down the sides, I eliminated any chance of a blue bleed on the pale wood tone. In total, I applied 4 coats, and I alternated between horizontal and vertical strokes to give a criss-cross texture.

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And that’s it! Done. As a full fledged Mod Podge convert, I’m dreaming up more ideas for things to stick to things. I’m thrilled with the result (and how darn easy was that?). The smooth, matte sheen looks polished and sleek, and you know it’s totally going on that small art wall.

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Although it’s a bit difficult to see the fine details over this great, wide web, you might notice some of that texture I mentioned:

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There you have it – our own little sentimental, DIY reminder of our favorite view between our home sweet homes. But perhaps you’re wondering why I gave Scott a gift? Aside from all the obvious reasons that he’s so awesome (duh) and adorable and pretty much the coolest kid I know, my man turned thirty yesterday! He’s all grown up. My birthday man. Sigh.

Since I’m new to the lean, mean Mod Podge scene, what other tips and tricks do you guys know? How do you use it? Or maybe you’ve made your own mini (or not so mini) masterpieces lately? Let’s see what you’ve got.

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  • catie - June 10, 2011 - 8:36 AM

    I’m so glad I’m not the only one that thinks wind farms are amazing to look at! We have a wind farm that we drive past every time we go to visit my husband’s grandparent’s, near Montezuma, KS. Aren’t they just gorgeous!?! Here’s a link to a couple of photos I found online of the farm:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/marvinok/1323987659/ right before milo harvest.

    http://www.planetware.com/i/photo/montezuma-stauth-memorial-museum-ks114.jpg during storm season.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - June 12, 2011 - 6:29 PM

      Hi Catie! Your comment got stuck in spam (grumble) – sorry ’bout that! That Flickr photo is GORGEOUS. Wow! Thank you so much for sharing. I’m glad you share our love!ReplyCancel

  • Amanda @ Our Humble A{Bowe}d - June 10, 2011 - 9:40 AM

    Oh, love it! Happy Birthday to Scott, too!!ReplyCancel

  • Anne - June 10, 2011 - 10:28 AM

    Looks great! I like the crisscross texture. I’ve done a few mod podge projects, my favorites so far is my two canvases with scrapbook paper pieces. Then I painted a bare tree on each.ReplyCancel

  • Susan @ Jubilee Furniture - June 10, 2011 - 10:34 AM

    Gorgeous! Love!

    Oh, and a very Happy Birthday to Scott!ReplyCancel

  • Susan @ Jubilee Furniture - June 10, 2011 - 10:35 AM

    Gorgeous! Love!

    Oh, and a very Happy Birthday to Scott!ReplyCancel

  • Ashley @ DesignBuildLove.co - June 10, 2011 - 12:06 PM

    GORGEOUS!!! LOVE it!ReplyCancel

  • Two Pitties in the City - June 10, 2011 - 1:54 PM

    I envy your creativity; it looks amazing! And Happy Birthday to Scott!ReplyCancel

  • Cait @ Hernando House - June 10, 2011 - 2:23 PM

    Love it! So cut!! And happy birthday to Scott!ReplyCancel

  • Scott - June 10, 2011 - 3:17 PM

    Thanks for the kind birthday wishes everyone! I feel like a real-life adult now!ReplyCancel

  • Kim @ Life Analytical - June 11, 2011 - 9:13 PM

    I like to do the same thing with photos I purchase from Etsy. It tends to be cheaper than matting and framing things and lends a different spin on presenting art that’s not too precious to Mod Podge.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - June 12, 2011 - 6:26 PM

      Kim, that’s a great idea!ReplyCancel

  • Terese - June 15, 2011 - 1:51 PM

    i’m also a cincinnati native who lives in chicago! i can make that drive with my eyes closed and those windmills are always a happy sight…they mean chicago is getting close. beautiful photos.ReplyCancel

  • Kelly - June 16, 2011 - 3:55 PM

    I cannot believe how well that turned out! (Not that I doubted you but a cell phone picture?!?) Well done my friend (per usual)!ReplyCancel

  • Rachel @ I'm Loving Today - June 16, 2011 - 4:26 PM

    Ahhh, I love this idea! As a current Milwaukeean who ALSO drives to Southwest Ohio multiple times a year to visit family and friends (originally from the Dayton area), I know the exact windfarm you’re talking about! It makes the drive through Northern Indiana a bit more bearable :)

    What a cool idea! The photo turned out fabulous.ReplyCancel

  • Kim - June 16, 2011 - 4:31 PM

    Thank you! For all my friends that doubt my stupid old school phone – it was good for something, at least!

    Rachel, I spent a large part of my childhood in Dayton! Small world.ReplyCancel

  • Carole - June 18, 2011 - 6:27 PM

    Love that wind farm–once uploaded a pic to facebook with the following status “just passed huge wind farm”… well, the last word of the status was cut off in the news feed, so everyone thought I just had a huge gas attack!

    I think this is such a fun project!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - June 19, 2011 - 7:54 PM

      Carole – oh no! That is too funny.ReplyCancel

  • Jackie - June 20, 2011 - 12:57 PM

    there’s a wind farm outside Palm Springs, CA that is breathtaking as well. Something about it! I love your art.ReplyCancel

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