31: In Christ Alone

We had a nice normal school day today that also included  waxing fall leaves with the kids and this ‘glad-I-finished-it-without-ruining-it’ craft for me. I originally saw it here and was so uncertain of my lettering ability that I went to Michael’s and looked to see if there was some kind of stencil that could help me out.  Finding nothing for a reasonable price, I bought a sharpie maker and just plunged in.  Well, kinda.

First I begged my husband for an old fence board, which he obligingly produced.  It has a dog-ear on one end, and the other end is all ragged with dry rot.  Love it.  I lightly sanded the center of the board where I was going to write.  I wanted to leave the weathering on the wood, but I also wanted to take down the highest ridges in the board so that it’d be easier to write smoothly.

Then I spent a long time looking at every font available on my computer.  I wanted a nice rectangular one for most of the words, and then a pretty scrolly one for the words ‘Christ’ and ‘Hope’.  Once I found what I thought I liked, I printed them huge (like 200-point font, or something along those lines) on several pieces of paper, and set the words on my board to test for fit.

I actually ended up later downloading and using a different scrolly font. But getting it all laid out on the wood got me started. I figured where to place the letters to make them equidistant from the top and bottom of the board. Then I basically just copied the shape of each letter.

I began by doing all the rectangular words, using a ruler and penciling in the straight and diagonal lines of each letter first and then filling in with marker. Once the straight lines were drawn and filled in with Sharpie, it was easier to add the curved embellishments at the corners of each letter. Each letter took many passes with a Sharpie. I wore out three for this little project.

Once all the ‘easy’ words were done, I had to get up the gumption to do the fancy words. I’m not really artistic in this way, and I was really afraid I was going to mess it up. I decided the first font I’d chosen wasn’t fancy enough, and ended up downloading a cute free font called “Shelter Me”, designed by Kimberly Geswein.

Then I printed the words off in an appropriate size, and began copying the design in pencil the best I could, erasing when I goofed, and filling in with Sharpie once I liked the flow of the shapes.  I decided that I wanted to place the two highlighted words at an angle on the board to make them stand out even more.

Although it’s not perfect, I really like the way it turned out.  I ended up feeling like maybe I’m a teensy bit more artistic (in a copy-cat sort of way) than I thought I was at the start of this project.
But the thing I love most about this project– and the reason I decided to attempt this project in the first place– is the message.  So many times in life I feel disappointed with how things are going at the moment.  The garage door breaks.  The kids fight.  My best efforts at all sorts of things don’t seem to be making a difference.

But here’s the truth:  my hope is in the Lord.  Yes, I’m called to be faithful, to carry on to the best of my ability.  But– my hope is found only in Christ.  And no power of hell, no scheme of man, can ever pluck me from His hands.

And once this little reminder sign is mounted above my kitchen sink, I’ll have even more reason to be remembering that truth and humming this song.

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  1. I love it! It’s perfect!!

  2. Oh, wow, Mary – I love it! And I so agree with the sentiment at the end – so often things go wrong, and I know it is only in Christ alone that there is hope. Maybe I need to make one too……

  3. tia bennett says:

    Great job! I started humming the song as soon as I read it! What a great reminder.

  4. I love it, Mary. I prefer how you put more emphesis on Christ and hope also. I will gladly hum this song all day, thank you.

  5. Love it! You did a great job.

  6. Tip for similar projects: after you print the words, color the back ofthe paper in chall or pencil, then use a stylus of some kind and trace the letters. Voila- a light outline you can paint or Sharpie in!

    • Laura, Thanks for the great hint. I saw that another incarnation of that idea that suggested using charcoal, which I didn’t have. I wish I’d known that pencil or chalk would also work!


  7. That is one of my all-time favorite songs. Immediately points my heart and mind in the right direction.

    I have seen some beautiful signs I would love to have hanging in our home, reminders of how I want us to live. But I wouldn’t be happy with my handwriting and didn’t now how else to make them. Thanks so much for the idea!

  8. I love it, Mary! Great job!

  9. Love the project and love the blog post! Such a great reminder the He is our hope…always!

  10. Beautiful.

    Thanks for crediting the font. I immediately had to go on a search to see if that was the same Kimberly Geswein I used to chat with on some stamping and crafting boards, and it was. Last I’d heard, they were moving to China and I didn’t realize they had come back. She and her sister Emily are both enormously creative people. That was a fun little flash-back. Six degrees of separation…