Much prayer went into this new idea, and one day Emily saw a "For Lease" sign on the farmhouse lawn. She called the number and a woman named Rosalie answered the phone. Rosalie and her family had lived for years in the home, but she and her husband always thought it would be a great site for a coffee shop. (Isn't it just the best to watch God working?)
Emily and Rosalie were able to get their idea off the ground, and their dream became reality in May of 2018! The Cracked Pot Coffee Shop was born, designed to provide job skills to those in and aging out of the foster care system.
A few weeks before they opened their doors, I was asked to do some chalkboards for the shop. Besides a small rotating chalkboard that would provide customers with merchandise prices, they had four boards that would hang from a rail above the counter. These would, at a future time, list the lunch menu. (They also wanted a chalkboard-painted wall to show off their drink menu, but that'll be my next post!) In the meantime, Emily just wanted the hanging boards to welcome new customers and mention that a lunch menu was on the horizon. One day I swung by to see the space and get a feel for the decor, and brought all the boards home with me.
I had zero experience working with chalkboard paint or chalk (outside of childhood artwork!), but I wanted to be able to offer it as a service so I was super grateful for the opportunity to get my feet wet and bless a great ministry! This would give me a solid idea as to how much time and planning really goes into a chalkboard job.
Previously I'd asked around and learned that before one writes on a board or painted wall for the first time, one should "prime" the surface by wiping the whole thing down with chalk. That will fill the tiny nooks and crannies with a light dusting and make erasing easier. I'm so glad I learned this, because it really did make a difference! Just for my own learning experience, I tested a few lines of writing on a non-primed surface and it truly was harder to erase!
The first piece I worked on was the small merchandise board. I primed it on both sides and checked out Pinterest for some basic font ideas, then sketched out my general plan. I really like font contrast, but this board was also very small and would need to hold a decent amount of text. Fortunately Emily said I could use both sides.
Then I started, erased, started again, erased a few times more until I was happy with both sides. (I'm quite annoyed at myself for not having a picture of the other side! Sorry about that!)
That done, the next thing to tackle was the larger menu boards. I determined that, based on their size, it would only use two to write what Emily had requested: "Welcome to the Cracked Pot Coffee Shop!" and "Lunch Menu Coming Late Summer!" I figured I would just put something fun on the other two boards. I went back online to get some chalkboard-style inspiration, and got to work.
Washi tape proved very helpful guidelines for me, plus they made an awesome way to get a very clean and crisp border line (you can just see the tiny space between the two pieces of tape; I filled it in and when I pulled the tape away I got a fabulous straight line).
I experimented with a few different styles and ended up with this:
Some more ideas from the Internet yielded different elements which I incorporated into some fun designs for the other two boards:
I was rather pleased with those cute little coffee beans... you'll see them again on the menu wall later! Also, you may notice a weird flourish going through the H of "Hot Coffee" in the right picture. This was because there was a scratch in the paint right there, so I wrote the H as I would and then tried to incorporate the white of the scratch. You must work with what you have, right?
These boards were a lot of fun, and it was so rewarding to see them hanging above the coffee shop counter! I couldn't wait to do the wall!