treat yo’ self

Raffle 5

Every year, as part of the girls’ elementary school soiree (the biggest fundraiser of the year), I help put together the auction items – live auction, silent auction, and four to five incredible raffle baskets. The raffle items are collections of donations that can be worth as much as one thousand dollars – not a bad haul for the price of a few tickets!

Because the visual aspect of the items varies so much – many of them are big ticket gift certificates rather than big flashy items that would show up well in a physical basket – we opt to make posters to display behind the big fishbowls the tickets are dropped into. The event program has more detailed explanations of the prizes, but the posters are a fun way to organize this part of the event.

I’ve done many types and styles of posters throughout the years, but this year’s ice cream social theme seemed to lend itself to watercolors. I purchased four watercolor boards a week ago, so I wouldn’t have to worry about mounting them on sturdy backings, but it’s been so busy around here that I didn’t get a chance to start on them until the weekend.

On Friday night, after the kids were in bed, I finally had a chance. But I couldn’t do it. I was spent. Instead I sat down in the living room with a book and took a deep breath. The room was quiet, the flowers my mom brought the past weekend were fragrant and still hanging on, and I was admiring this watercolor that F made for her teachers recently. So even though I wasn’t technically working on the posters, my mind was churning through some ideas. And that painting gave me a good one.

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Saturday afternoon, armed with a second cup of coffee and some masking fluid, I got to work. I painted out “treat yo’ self” in masking fluid and let it dry. Then I set to work, layering in different colors, in an effort to get something that looked a little like melted summer treats.

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I took the lids from the large yogurt containers I was using for my water, and painted the rims with color and made a few “glass rings”. I built the colors up in several layers until I got the look I was going for. After everything was good and dry, I rubbed off the masking fluid, and voila!

Raffle 1

A second basket was titled “Goodie Two Shoes” – this basket had lots of shoes and handbags, as well as some great gift certificates for items to share with a friend. I took the idea of pairs into the ice cream realm and landed on these popsicle shapes – and just repeated them over and over again.

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I cut out a chipboard template, made a few measurements, and then traced the pattern around the board. I outlined each pop in masking fluid, and then tapped a full brush gently to get some perfectly round drops all over the board.

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I moved around the board again, layering colors in pools of water to create various popsicle flavors.

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Pulling masking fluid up when you’re finished is really fun – E helped me do this, her favorite part. I love the way the color seeps to the edges, and the white dots were just perfect scattered about. This turned out just like I imagined it in my head. It would be fun to do a set of summer-y cards with this technique – or maybe I’ll use the idea for the girls’ party invites this summer.

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I scored real popsicle sticks with an x-acto blade, snapped them in half, and laid them out on the board. E thought they were too long – and she was right – so I scored and cut about 3/8″ inch of each one. Thirty-two of them if you are keeping track. Because I’m crazy.

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That purple one looks EXACTLY like the blackberry yogurt breakfast pops I made last summer. Yum. These boards make me hungry.

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“You Can’t Top This” was supposed to look like a tower of ice cream scoops – but it sort of looks like marbles. Oh well. I used the circle theme to add details related to the prizes – this one included Disney World passes, so there are the ears!

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For the “I Scream, You Scream!” poster, I turned a waffle cone into a megaphone and “shot” out a mass of ice cream colors and sprinkles.

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E cut the sprinkles for me, and I glued them on by brushing on light coats of glue and then blowing the sprinkles across the board.

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Colorful, fun, and the four boards took about seven-eight hours total, with drying and cleaning up time. Not too bad for last minute ice cream fun.

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The party was so much fun – the weather cooperated, and the venue, decorations, food, ice cream, people – everything was just perfect. A good way to mark off another great year, and an even better way to support the year to come. Summer’s almost here! Grab your popsicles – I’m ready!

6 Responses to treat yo’ self

  1. Those posters are amazing! I especially love the ice cream cone and its sprinkles! And I had never heard of masking fluid before so I am off to order some on Amazon- will be so fun to experiment!

  2. Those posters are awesome! you should sell them. I would totally buy one!

  3. Posters is such a great alternative to trying to make the baskets themselves look equally enticing.

  4. these are amazing — adore the ice cream cone and sprinkles!

  5. These are stunning works of art that I’d hang in my home. Well done.

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