This blog hasn’t been living up to its name lately, has it?  It’s been lacking a whole lotta everything, particularly in the the artsy department, and I can’t change the name to “Fartsy” because then it becomes a whole different blog altogether.  So let’s bring back the art, shall we?

I’d like to share with you a project I started last November.  It involved a salvaged piece of Gator board (fancy foam core), a little leftover paint, and about 5 jillion clear push pins.  (Actually, it was just under 4,000, but it felt like 5 jillion.)

I watched a documentary called Art & Copy about the world of advertising (it was fascinating!) and during the film, I saw this amazing wall at the agency Wieden + Kennedy, covered in clear pushpins, spelling out “Fail Harder” in fancy script.  It was awesome and I wanted one of my own.

I found this great, big piece of Gator in the trash at work so I took it home and gave it a coat of flat blue paint.  Then I decided on a fancy ampersand as my symbol and sketched it lightly on the board with chalk.  Then I went to every dollar store in the greater Manchester area and bought them out of clear push pins.  I started with 1,000 because I was in denial and didn’t really think I’d need THAT many.  I was trying to complete the project on the cheap so I resisted going to Staples which was almost twice as much as the local Dollar Tree stores, which means that I spent most of November and half of December hunting down cheap, clear pushpins.  I could write a guidebook of all the local Dollar Tree stores (Vernon is good, but the Manchester Parkade store is better) but I finally bought enough and managed to finish my project by Christmas.

Here it is nearly finished.  I thought I had a shot of the final, hanging on the wall but I can’t seem to locate it.  And speaking of hanging on the wall, you know what I didn’t think about?  4,000 pushpins are HEAVY.  Also pointy and sharp where they stick out the back.  Luke is a saint for hanging it up for me.  So anyhow, for a total investment of about $40, several many hours of obsessive pinning, a few bruised fingernails and a touch of carpal tunnel later, I have this awesome, sparkly, one of a kind piece of artwork hanging on my wall.  And…I love it.



  1. […] So when a client once told me that they wanted to keep the ampersands in running their text even though the CMS–approved style is to use the word and in written text, my stickler-grammarian side cringed. But when the client told me they thought the ampersands added flair, my creative-writer side shrugs and accepts it. (Ampersands do have great stylistic interest, don’t they? I happen to love this ampersand art piece from Artsy Fartsy.) […]


  2. I love this! I have done a bunch of pieces with gold and/or silver thumbtacks but nothing with the clear pushpins. Also I’m itching to do a piece like this where the pins are in the “negative” space. What were the dimensions of the board you used? I want to get a better idea of how many pushpins I’d need.


Leave a Reply to Which Word Wednesday: Flair vs. Flare « filling my patch of sky Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s