Thursday, July 9, 2009

Sharon Briss: Mom & Daughter Checker Board

I really got into the spirit of Fun & Games with our new Gingersnap Creations GC15 Theme Challenge! I made a checker board. Of course, I had a lot of help, both with ideas and production, from my 9-year-old daughter!

You can theme your checker board any way you want. I think 2 different but complimentary themes work well. We chose hearts and faces for our board. My daughter chose the colors. Her first choice was copper - yes, she is another redhead!

For supplies, I started with:
1 willing and creative 9-year-old daughter (optional)
3 different colors of Lumiere paints (Jacquard)
1 wood plaque (Michael's) - I used one that was 11" x 14"
Post-It Labeling and Cover-Up Tape (or other masking tape)
3 foam paint brushes
a variety of stamps as desired
StazOn or other Solvent ink pad
24 wooden shapes - 12 per side (we got packages of discs and hearts from Michael's) - I picked 1" diameter pieces

I should begin by mentioning that I am by nature an impatient person, so making a checker board did not rank high on my to do list as I assumed it would take FOREVER.... it didn't, who knew?

The whole thing took about 3 1/2 hours of active time not including the drying time overnight.

For the first step, you need to layout your board. A standard checker board is 8 squares by 8 squares. I decided to make my squares slightly larger than my pieces which had a 1" diameter. After getting my daughter to do the Grade 4 level math required, I marked out my board on the plaque in 1.25" squares leaving a 1/2" border across the length of the board and a 2" border on the sides.

To work with my dimensions, I then marked the 10" x 10" board area at 1.25", 2.5", 3.75", 5.0", 6.25", 7.5" and 8.75" on each side and drew lines across with a straight edge to make a grid.

I masked every other row as shown and painted my lightest color (metallic gold) into the squares. Remember to make sure that your masking is firmly in place before starting.

While I was waiting for that portion to dry, my daughter painted the first set of wooden shapes on one side using the same color.

By the time she was finished, I could remask the board and do the next set of squares in the same color. I chose to do all the squares separately but you could paint the entire 10" x 10" area in your lightest color and then just mask for the second color. Live and learn!

We continued this way to complete the rest of the board, using the drying time to work on the playing pieces. While it does not matter as much for the lightest color, ensure that for the darker color you brush away from the masking rather than into it to avoid any paint bleeding underneath the tape. I used Super Copper for my second color.

Once we had the checker board somewhat dry (did I mention I am impatient), I masked off the edge of the completed board and painted the outside areas with my third color (Pearl Turquoise). I am also lazy as well as impatient so instead of carefully masking the entire square, I just ran a strip along the vertical edges, painted, waited, remasked the other side and did the remaining portions.

We set everything to dry properly overnight and took up our task again in the morning.

I started by stamping the faces onto the disc-shaped wooden pieces. I placed my stamp image-side up on my work surface, inked it with Jet Black StazOn, placed the disc where I wanted the image to appear and pressed firmly down with your fingers. You can also use an acrylic block to create even pressure and to keep from getting completely covered in StazOn.

I repeated with the remaining discs. I then stamped background stamps onto my hearts to give them a totally different look. As the hearts had a distinct shape, I didn't want to make them too busy so I just used patterns rather than images.

The result:

Stamp credits for the playing pieces and board: Beeswax, Cornish Heritage Farms, Firecracker Designs by Pamela, Hampton Art Stamps, Heart Art Stamps, Inka Stamps, Inkadinkado, Magenta, Paper Inspirations, Paperbag Studios, Renaissance Art Stamps, Stampers Anonymous, and Stampington.

To finish up the board and to cover my less than perfect masking job, I used a straight-edge and a black marker to run lines along my grid. The black marker tied in well with the black ink on the pieces and made it all look like I had intended it to happen that way! As for the drip and flecks...well, that's just art!

I added a quick but simple border to the ends to just give it that finished look.

The final piece:

A few possible variations:

- make it a Tic Tac Toe or chess board instead
- stamp on the squares instead of the pieces - or both
- use only one image per side for a more uniform look
- save time and use collage "bottle-cap" size images on your playing pieces

Other Themes to consider:

- beach, men, flowers, animals, backgrounds, birds, shoes, stars & stripes, leaves, fruits & vegetables, travel, postage, butterflies, stars & suns, holiday, sewing... the possibilities are endless.

So have some fun with this idea or any other game-related flight of fancy you might wish to create and join us in our Chestnut Theme Challenge - Fun & Games!

1 comment:

  1. Wow - this is so gorgeous! What a fun project to do with your kids and there are so many directions you could take it. Thanks for sharing this awesome project.


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