Thursday, March 15, 2012

A Vinyl Lettering All-Call

I'm thinking of hanging this over my front door.
Anyone know what it says?
I'm kind of embarrassed to say that, not only do I know,
I googled the translation to get this picture.

As you no doubt recall -- because let's face it, you hang on my every word -- I moved to Utah six months ago.  So far, so good.  I've had more fun in the last six months than I ever could have imagined in a world without regular doses of Dawnie.  And it's time I confessed that during my first month here, I once said the following prayer:  "Please, Lord, whatever happens, don't let me be assimilated." 

That prayer has been answered, to the point that I am every bit as annoying in Utah as I was in Las Vegas, San Juan, or Seattle.

Be careful what you pray for.

Another thing I did in those early days was fire off a cry for help to Momza  as I wandered through Wal Mart.  I had come thisclose to purchasing a giant picture of a chicken for the sole reason that it was a wall hanging and I was desperate.  She ordered me to back away from the chicken, and even offered to help me decorate my walls if I would just send her pictures and dimensions.

But I was too ashamed.  Hold up a piece of tan construction paper.  Imagine that it's the size of your wall.  That's how I've decorated so far.  So there was no way I was sending those construction paper photos to Momza, the queen of home d├ęcor.

Instead, I took Jana to IKEA, and she had me take pictures of entire walls of decorating ideas.  That's right.  I dragged a world class artist through IKEA so she could say, "There.  Those frames, that mirror, these little dangly thingies."

And still my walls are barren.

Except for two things:  A picture of Christ and a little child, painted by Simon Dewey.  And what is fast becoming my least favorite painting of all time -- Arnold Frieberg's "George Washington Getting His Knees Wet".  Or something like that.  George Washington looks for his contact?  George Washington promises never to spread super-glue all over his hands again?

I know, I know.  Half of you are now miffed.  I'm sorry. Truly.  But that painting is in every LDS home across the globe.  Honestly, there are entire branches of aborigines, living in trees and speaking only in clicks, with that painting on their walls.  They're using that painting as their walls.  They think Americans really pray this way.  "Please, Lord, don't let Martha see what I've done to my knickers."

So this spring, I'm determined to replace the tan construction paper with something of merit.  Something with taste.  Or, in lieu of that, something that says, "In case you hadn't figured it out yet, DeNae lives here."

But here's the thing, the most baffling aspect of living in Utah since billboards advertising LDS Foreclosure Experts:  Vinyl Lettering.

Everywhere I go, the houses have these messages on their walls spelled out in fancy vinyl letters, offering all sorts inspiration and encouragement, so that the simple act of walking into someone's living room could produce the kind of existential paradigm shift normally associated with psychedelic pharmaceuticals.

And I want me some of that. 

So.  Here's the call to action (as is the current buzz-word in blogging, second only to 'why don't people comment any more?'):

Send me your inspirational quotes, thoughts, sayings, bromides, or anything else you've ever seen spelled out in vinyl lettering, on a bumper sticker, or in your higher end fortune cookies.

Like that "learning to dance in the rain" one.  That seems to be a popular favorite, but I can't remember how it goes, exactly.  Only six months in, I'm still a neophyte.

Please.  Comment as many times as you can.  I'm begging you, on behalf of Momza and Jana and any other hostages I may take in my nearly-unhinged state, give me something to stick on my walls so I'll have an excuse to escort George and his steaming steed out of the family room and into the garage where they can't cause any more pain.

I realize that doing this will move me that much closer to assimilation.  But it's a small price to pay.  And resistance, as they say, is futile.

Hey, that's a good one.  Maybe I'll write that over the laundry room. 

(p.s.  The quote says "Speak friend and enter" in Elvish.  I'm not proud of this.)


Momza said...

Vinyl Lettering site for Inspiration:

Go there. You will get some great ideas! And they make it made to order--the font, the color, the size.

And seriously, I'd come to your house and help if you'd have moved to Colorado instead of Utah. But you can still send pics of tan walls too.

Mary said...

One I see all the time is "Live Well, Laugh Often, Love Much" or something like that. I also see "Love is spoken here" and "Return with Honor" in many homes.

I recommended "There with my love, I'm home" (from Fiddler on the Roof) to a family member. But to you, I say go with the old classic:

"Don't squat with your spurs on."

Momza said...

P.S. We have "Loathe Is Spoken Here" in vinyl lettering. I'm thinking of getting "Remember Who You Are And Don't Be That Person" OR "Return With Tacos"...either would work for us. Whatever you choose, make it your own.

L.T. Elliot said...

Oh dude. Momza has me in freaking stitches.

And you about killed me with that George Washington "is a wall" thing. LOL! Seriously. You make the whole day better.

Let's favorite sayings...

"Give a hoot, don't pollute."
"What's up, chicken butt?"
"I'm Lord of the Manor."
"Cast not pearls before swine, or in other words, you're NOT welcome here."
"Everyone brings joy to our house: some when they enter, others when they leave."
"We're the awesome family in this neighborhood."
"Don't go there! Go over THERE. Farther...farther..."

Truthfully, I don't have a single vinyl letter on my wall. I have a few "signs" bossing my husband around. ("Always kiss me goodnight" or "Forever. Always. No matter what." Which basically means he's trapper whether he likes it or not.)

L.T. Elliot said...

Ooh! "An apple a day keeps anyone away, if thrown hard enough." Yay!

The Short Italian said...

"Lives - get one"
"Let's put the FUN back in dysfunctional"
And although I know nothing about vinyl lettering, I love all things by She sells framed prints (get a hammer and a nail and your credit card and you're good to go), or you just be inspired. My favorite of hers (which I pretty much liken unto you), is "I am fairly certain that, given a cape and a nice tiara, I could save the world."

Garden of Egan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Garden of Egan said...

I think you should put


I dunno RETURN WITH TACOS is pretty awesome.

seashmore said...

There's so many options here, I'll have to limit myself to a few from The Princess Bride (and commend Momza's "Remember Who You Are And Don't Be That Person").

I wonder if he is using the same wind we are using.

Life's not fair. Anyone who says differently is selling something.

Death cannot stop true love. All it can do is delay (DeNae) it a while.

We'll never survive.
Nonsense, you're only saying that because no on ever has.

Life's not fair. Where is that written?

Yes, you're very smart. Shut up.

I could be bluffing. Then again, maybe I have the strength after all.

Stephanie said...

Vinyl lettering is actually a Utah tradition I can appreciate. I only have one now, but I see more in the future. I think I embrace it because as much as I like art, I really love words.

Anyway, I'm sure you'll get a lot of hilarious suggestions here, and maybe that's what you were really looking for, but I'm going to give this a little thought and come up with a couple quotes that really might be a perfect fit for you. I'm a quote maven, so prepare yourself for something awesome. :)

Scooby and Jon said...

"The song of the righteous is a prayer unto me"
Since you like music and all. Or there's what my sister has above her girls bedroom doors: "I will never marry a jerk."

Shawna Faye said...

"If you listen very carefully, you will hear the sound of no one caring."

"Return with tacos" is pretty good too. Though maybe you could change tacos to fudge.

In the bathroom, over the toilet: "This too shall pass"

Kristi said...

Ooh, I wish I could remember the sign I once saw in a thrift store. Something along the lines of "Strong drinks are not for the belly. D&C 89:7 Eat chocolate M&Ms 24:7"

NatureGirl said...

How about...
"Look, I have been around a long time, okay? I wore leggings the last time they were trendy. I knew Tom Hanks when he was a Bosom Buddy. I have lived, and I have learned."

I know...A little long, right?

Josh said...

I saw one once that was all sorts of heavy handed imperative statements. I wish I could find it...It was something like:
Your know the gospel: SHARE IT!
You believe in God: LIVE IT!
You have a testimony: BEAR IT!
It was about 10 feet by 4 feet hanging over someones counch in their living room. Painful.

While googling to try and find it I did see one that said "I'm just a Bella, waiting for my Edward" that made me want to kill myself. As if that is something aspirational for your little girls room...

Unknown said...

mom...don't do it...sooooo cliche... :( just cover the walls in pictures of me!

Jillybean said...

We're kind of behind over here, we don't have any lettering on the walls, however, I do have a big sign in my kitchen that says "Thou Shalt Not Whine" I made it at Super Saturday. I got some strange looks from the other ladies who were all using really nice sayings.
I'm pretty sure they think I'm weird.

I would like to put some vinyl lettering on the wall between the bathroom and door to the garage that says "NEVER pass up the opportunity to pee!"

For the wall of my kids rooms "Hoarders. Is it in your future?"

I like "Return with tacos" however, "Return with cheesecake!" would be good too.

Michelle said...

I saw this quote on a blog today and thought it was a good one. Of course it's not an entertaining, funny, sarcastic one, but it's inspiring without being cliche. Then again, I haven't lived in Utah for 20 years, so what do I know? Here in CA people wallpaper with their used lotto tickets and EBT receipts.

"faith is believing that one of two things will happen: that there will be something solid for you to stand on or that you will be taught to fly."

Soozcat said...

I'd go with the advice of my Viking ancestors: "First pillage, THEN burn."

Beka said...

A few favorites of mine these days are, "If you're going to act like a turd, go lay in the yard" and "I hope you step on a Lego" and also, "You don't have to attend every argument you're invited to."

...Perhaps my home could be happier?

Dixie Mom said...

I got nothing. But thanks for making me chuckle today.

Jeannie said...

My favorite for the bathroom (if you have boys in the house) is, "My aim is to keep this bathroom clean. Your aim will help me immensely in this endeavor."

brudcrew said...

I have intentions to put this one in my office.
"A room without books is like a body without a soul." ~Cicero
If I ever get around to it.

annie valentine said...

I can't Compete with all this funny, so I'll say in all seriousness I love Abe Lincolns quote, "Whatever you are, be a good one." it would look great next to George.

Kimmie said...

BTW...I was introduced to your blog by Tauna (as I carpooled with her to the Story@Home Conference last week). She had nothing but WONDERFUL things to say about you!!! I'm so glad I stopped by and look forward to getting to know your better this year.

All I can say is you are HILARIOUS and your musical talent is out of this world amazing!!

Here are some of my favorites... (Vinyl wording that I have on wooden plaques, thoughts that I have spelled out in blocks, OR, stitched sayings on Muslim that I have framed around my house ).

"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it's learning to DANCE in the rain".

"The fondest memories are made when gathered around the table".

(this is great to put in a room that you have large bookshelves)
"The Love of learning, the sequestered nooks and all the sweet serenity of books".

"In a world where you can be anything, be yourself"!

"I have learned that being with those that I love is enough".

"Always look on the bright side of life"

"Live your best life"

"Because Nice Matters".

"Always take time to smell the flowers".

"I love you to the moon and back!"

"Live Life Joyfully!"

"Sit Long, Talk Much"

Becca said...

Our family theme is: Knock it off. We're a happy family whether you like it or not.

You like?

(Alternately, "Shut up and be nice.")

AS Amber said...

"Always kiss me goodnight. Even if I'm already asleep."

"I can do hard things."

"There is a time where you must choose between what is right and what is easy." ~Dumbledore

"Just your guts, sir."

"Who's a mob wife?" "I'm a mob wife."

Can't wait to see you tomorrow!!!

Ryan and Mistie said...

I like one from Christopher Robin to Pooh...

"Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think."

(Stolen from a Signals catalog - page 59)

also on page 52... "The HOKEY POKEY Clinic. A place to turn yourself around."

Karen Peterson said...

"Be grateful, for it could always be worse."

Brittany said...

I think you've got to go with Return With Tacos. And Don't Forget the Diet Coke.
I don't have that George Washington picture. I almost said I didn't have any vinyl lettering either, but then I remembered that damn Family Home Evening sign I made at Super Crappy Craft Night. So I'm not getting kicked off the membership rolls yet.

Stephanie said...

Ok, I have a few, especially sought out with DeNae in mind:

"“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Hide not your talents, they for use were made. What's a sundial in the shade?

- Benjamin Franklin

The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant.

- Albert Einstein

There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort. -
Jane Austen (ok, maybe I just love that because it's Jane Austen)

At the height of laughter, the universe is flung into a kaleidoscope of new possibilities. ~Jean Houston

Mirth is God's medicine. Everybody ought to bathe in it. ~Henry Ward Beecher

When people are laughing, they're generally not killing each other. ~Alan Alda

There's more where these came from, but I'm trying to learn brevity.

Stephanie said...

Ok, so this one IS a joke, but wouldn't it be hilarious if you were empty nesting, and your kids come home to find this in cute font on the walls?....

But whoever gives birth to useless children, what would you say of him except that he has bred sorrows for himself, and furnishes laughter for his enemies. -Sophocles

Smart guy, that Sophocles.

Stephanie said...

Another good one:

“We cannot really love anybody with whom we never laugh.”
Agnes Repplier (1855-1950);
Author, Social Critic

Ok, shutting up now. Really.

wendy said...

I don't have a single vinyl anything in my house. But hey, I'm in Canada, where the heathens and eskimo'ish lamanites live.

However, you know the saying people have iin their houses , sometimes by the front door, so when their children leave the house they see this"
Return with Honor

I wish I could have done that...I had 4 sons, I (if they had vinyl wall thingy's in those day)
Keep Your Hands in Your Pockets
And your Pecker in Your Pants
(yes I know, I rule.....get to the heart of the matter)

(well maybe that's not the HEART of the matter....I digress)

I think that sign you had at the beginning of your blog looked kind of like some Arabic something or other
Wouldn't that make your neighbors think Terrorists live there
Would be a great visiting teacher or NuSkin sales person at deterrent.

One summer when visiting my folks, they had a HUGE, I mean HUGE hornet nest right at the top of their front door. (they never use that door, ever)
I asked them, if that was to keep visitors away.

sorry.............these were not helpful ideas for your "home vinyl slogan"

Ness said...

Hey! I have a whole journal dedicated to awesome quotes... I'll e-mail them to you sometime.

Kel said...

I have two inspirational absolute truths decorating my house. For some reason, they don't seem as popular as some of the other inspirational sayings. I rarely share, but I am inspired to do so this time:

1) Dull women have immaculate homes

2) Age has done what religion could not

InkMom said...

Speak, friend and enter would actually be a great one.

But I'm partial to this one:

"If your babies are cryin' they're not dead."

(That's what my sister told me when my twins were born. And she was right.)

esbboston said...

I put a lot of effort into figuring out what your sign translated to, but couldn't find a match. What is it?!?!?

Linnae said...

I currently don't have any sayings in vinyl in my home. (Then again, I live in Washington, not Utah...) However, two that I've considered for the laundry room:

"Drop your pants here." or
"Laundry today, or naked tomorrow."

I know, they're both kind of scandalous, aren't they? Maybe that's why I haven't taken the plunge yet.

Or perhaps it's because our washer and dryer share space with the water heater and furnace in a very small room, so the only place to put it would be behind the door...

Melanie said...

WOW, laughing was good for me today, thanks for the post, ("Live long and Prosper")
AND the comments, what a riot!

Momza said...

It's been nearly three years, woman. What did you end up putting on your walls?

Leslie Lim said...

I read your blog.I thought it was great.. Hope you have a great day. God bless.