Category Archives: wood maps

wood maps

Word Art Stencils – InfoBarrel

More than ever before, creative people are gift ideas for boaters finding tools to help them make custom stencils for messages, phrases, or simple one word statements to express their thoughts and their personality.  At stores like Joann’s and Michael’s aisles of merchandise are devoted to just this craft.  The words are applied to projects using a brush, a gifts for nautical lovers sponge applicator, or airbrush.   The finished art can be applied to coffee mugs, tee shirts, baby bibs, walls, wood plaques, greeting cards, and a variety of other projects.   The finished messages can also be used extensively in scrapbooking and other paper crafts.  Gifts personalized with someone’s name, their special event, or a quote that is meaningful to them, can have a huge impact.  Besides being a special treat for the recipient it’s also a way for the giver to share their creativity.

A web search will immediately reveal many sites offering word stencils in various sizes and styles.  You can even find sites that will make them to your specifications.  These one-of-a-kind products are generally pricey because they are not mass-produced so the cost may not be practical if the item is intended for only one project or a single event.  One time use may be the best argument for coming up with your own creations.  But you might take on the project simply because you have a favorite font and you know it will be ideal for the message you want to create.

Your Own Creations

With or without a specific font in mind simple preliminary messages for your print out can easily be created in word processing programs like Microsoft Word, where you will have the option of changing the font size, line spacing, or applying bold and italic effects. 

Photoshop, Photoshop Elements and programs like them offer far more options for creativity.  The spacing between each letter can be adjusted so they can be overlapped or spaced further apart than normal.  You can work with individual letters or whole words and apply effects like stretching, arching, adding perspective, curving, twisting, distorting and manipulating the selected letters in many more ways than time may allow you to explore.   

It might seem that once your message is created and printed out, the rest is a pretty straightforward job.  But in fact, it requires thorough planning before the cutting begins.  And it all has to do with the font style. 

Font Styles

Look at the example below bearing in mind that white represents the stencil and the blue represents a sheet under it.

If you were to cut out the word Arial, which is one of the most popular fonts used for Internet websites, you would end up with this result.

The interiors of letters are cut away with the letter outlines making an incomplete image. 

Fonts that help you avoid this problem are often times ornate or unusual in some way with letters that are open, allowing the interiors to remain connected to the overall page. You may find fonts like “Curlz” below would involve more cutting time than you would like to devote.  But here are four examples of fonts that eliminate the problem.

  Portago ITC

Curlz MT



You’ll also find many fonts that incorporate both open and closed letters.  Bickley Script is a good example.

Note that the letters “a”, “o” “p”, and “d” are open but the ascending loop of the “d” is closed.  This open/closed combination clearly demonstrates the planning necessary when cutting fonts.  Whether you’re working with a script font or not, creating usable pages involves finding a way to prevent the interior of letters from dropping out in the cutting process.  You can search and find fonts that adapt well to the art you are creating and maybe fit your particular project.  But if you want to try working with fonts you have available, here are some solutions. 

Manual Placement

A simple way to cut fonts when using a craft knife, card stock and adhesive spray is to first spray the back of the printed page with adhesive.  Flip the page over and cut out the lettering without lifting it from the work area.  Use a pen to number the interiors of the letters.  Doing this will help you identify the top and bottom and front and back of the die cut pieces once they are removed.  Now transfer the page and the die cut pieces to the project.  Replace the die cut pieces to their original position. 

If you use freezer paper rather than card stock, you can still use this method.  Instead of spraying adhesive, you will be ironing the shapes into place.

Building Bridges

Another solution for interiors that drop out is to manually create a bridge to connect the letter’s interior to the rest of the page.   This is done most often when you are working with plastic or mylar.  You can create fonts with bridges in a computer program like Photoshop using a white pen or brush.  A bridge can also be made manually with a marker after the message is printed out.  This may require a lot of patience if the lettering is very small.  For crafters using a digital cutting machine, the bridges can be created within your machine software.  Keep in mind that wide bridges may distort the letters, making them difficult to read.  The size of the bridge should be narrow enough to maintain the integrity of each letter. The bridge should also follow the font’s natural slant, which is generally to the right in script fonts.

Image Bridge

Sometimes a small image can be used in place of a plain bridge.  This works best when the message contains one or two words with few letters and when the image complements the topic.

If you would like a larger font collection than you currently gifts for people who live on the lake own, you can download free fonts for Mac or PC at several websites like fonts101 and font-styles.   Some of the specialty font categories include:






















Della Robbia









Golden Web

















Old English

Old School








Sci Fi












See The Kinds Of Projects You Can Create With Stencils


On Keystone pipeline, consider Canada

The Oscar for Finest Photo last month went to Argo, the Ben Affleck film regarding the Canadian federal government’s help in spiriting UNITED STATE diplomats out of Iran throughout the captive situation-which underscores the United States’historic relationship with its closest ally, Canada. Back in the real globe, nevertheless, the Obama management is on the brink of seriously damaging this critical collaboration with its inadequate handling of the proposed Keystone XL pipe.

The State Department’s beneficial draft ecological evaluation, released on Friday, must lead the means for last management approval of the pipeline. Obviously, the State Department has currently gone through this process as soon as before. Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton regarded Keystone XL to be in the national interest – just to have Head of state Barack Obama shelve the project in January 2012, throughout the run-up to his re-election project.

If Secretary of State John Kerry gets to the very same conclusion as Clinton, as anticipated in coming weeks, the sphere will certainly be back in Obama’s court as well as the utmost choice on this important task will be in his hands.

Obama must consider the thousands of high-paying production and also construction works that Keystone XL would certainly produce in the USA versus the stress to decline the task from environmental groups, consisting of the Sierra Club. If the Obama administration offers Keystone the thumbs-down, not just would the White Home needlessly forgo a job that would bring about significant task production, domestic investment and also reduced federal government financial obligation however it would certainly additionally do great damage to Washington’s partnership with our next-door neighbors to the north.

Canadian Head of state Stephen Harper has actually called authorization of the $7 billion pipeline a”no-brainer.”Which offers you a clue just what he would think of Obama if the UNITED STATE president rejected the bargain. Various other upper-level Canadian authorities have actually made it clear that such an action would be a polite put in the face. They have actually insisted that the oil-sands manufacturing would certainly then be given market somewhere else. On the other hand, they say, the UNITED STATE can proceed purchasing petroleum from Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela, which Keystone XL can have changed.

Regardless of Keystone opponents’ hopes that U.S. rejection of the pipe will certainly imply the oil would stay in the ground in Alberta, Gary Doer, the Canadian ambassador to the U.S., has actually made clear this is a fantasy.

“The truth is the oil is going to be collected,” Doer stated in a speech last loss. “Oil obtains to market. It’s an inquiry of just how it arrives. Yet oil comes with to market.”

If Obama turns down Keystone XL, Canadian oil might most likely be refined in China. This would certainly imply crossing the Pacific using vessel, a distribution method much more eco dangerous compared to using pipeline, and also one that requires a bigger carbon footprint. The oil would then be created by Chinese refineries, which lack U.S. refineries’ strong anti-pollution laws.

So being rejected of Keystone could be the worst result for the setting – no matter whether Susan Sarandon, Darrell Hannah, Mark Ruffalo, and also other protestor actors are objecting the deal by cuffing themselves to the White House fencing.

Obama’s Keystone choice, anticipated this spring, will certainly additionally give difficult evidence regarding whether his management is significant concerning increasing the economy, boosting works and improving the lives of ordinary Americans. Which is it, Mr. Head of state? Yes or No?

Keystone’s financial benefit is well recorded. The pipe is projected to develop approximately 20,000 high-paying jobs – a huge reason the task has labor union support – and generate about $7 billion in investment in the UNITED STATE economic climate. Construction and also operation of the pipe would additionally cause a windfall of tax earnings for states expanding from North Dakota to Texas.

In a letter to Obama, Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall kept in mind that favorably of the Keystone XL pipe, “UNITED STATE imports from Canada, an autonomous good friend and ally, could reach 4 million barrels a day by 2020, twice exactly what is currently imported from the Persian Gulf.” As Wall reminded Obama, “Keystone XL Pipeline might additionally provide the crucial infrastructure required to carry growing U.S. domestic manufacturing from the Bakken shale area to market.”

That Canadian officials have to beg with Obama to identify Keystone XL’s economic advantages to his very own country’s people is troubling, to state the least.

The Movie Academy of Arts as well as Sciences identified the importance of the U.S.-Canada alliance at the Oscars last month. Allow’s wish Obama doesn’t damage the various other way by rejecting Keystone – as well as in the process, annoy an essential ally.

IMAGE (Top): President Barack Obama satisfies with Canadian Prime Priest Stephen Harper at the G20 Top in Los Cabos, Mexico, June 19, 2012. REUTERS/Jason Reed

PICTURE (Insert Top): Ben Affleck directed, co-produced and also stars in Argo.

PICTURE(Insert Middle): Map illustrating the Keystone XL pipeline project connecting Alberta, Canada, to southern USA

PICTURE (Insert Bottom): Authorities detain starlet Daryl Hannah as well as various other ecological protestors opposed to the Keystone XL tar sands pipe task throughout an objection outside White Residence in Washington, February 13, 2013. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst