Well, if I had a dollar for every time I was asked that question, I probably could have retired by now, and spend all of my remaining time enjoying life, reading review of casino luck, or even focusing most of my time in sports! Any definitions of the word “such”, according to Webster, Oxford or Wikipedia are, quite frankly, boring. There’s meanings for the word based on it being a pronoun, an adverb, an adjective… like I said, “boring”. We at Signs ‘n Such like to think of “suches” as “fun”. Quite simply, we define a “such” as “anything we make that isn’t a sign”. And many a such we have made over the past 25 years. Some of them simple; some of them a lot of work; but all of them… fun.
I think the most fun we had was creating our entries for The Dr. Noble Irwin Healthcare Foundation “Festival of Trees”. Several years ago Lyn Johnson, then CEO of the Foundation, invited us to participate in the Festival of Trees. This annual event was a fundraiser for the organization, to help with healthcare throughout the southwest. Participants provided a decorated Christmas tree which was on display at a mall, and later sold to the highest bidder at a gala auction. Being the “creative” (some may refer to us as “twisted”, but we prefer “creative”) people that we are, we decided to step outside the box and do something out of the ordinary. We came up with a plan to make a “Charlie Brown” tree, which soon became an entire “Peanuts Gang” Christmas display.
I am proud to say that our effort was sold for several hundred dollars and then donated to the Children’s Ward at our local hospital. I like to think that in some small way we brightened the lives of sick children who were unfortunate enough to have to spend part of the Christmas Season in the hospital.
The next year, not to be outdone, we again came up with a rather unique idea for a tree. This time it was a palm tree, as part of a jungle scene. One of the features of this entry was a big pink hippo, whom we affectionately named “Howie”. This display, like the previous year, was also donated to the hospital.
The final year of the Festival of Trees presented a bit of a challenge for us. But, we came through with “flying colours”. We created the “USS Santaprise”, complete with flying saucer and alien elves.
This time our entry was purchased by the community of Vulcan, Alberta, even though (according to our directional sign post) it was over 3 million light years away! I believe they did their bidding online. Puts a whole new meaning to the term “cyberspace”.
Many of our “suches” (is that even a word?) were in the form of hand painting. A very time consuming, but once again fun, project was painting graphics on the walls at Irwin School.
Another fun “such” was painting a full wall mural down the stairs and at the entrance to the “Silver Saddle Saloon”, located in the basement of the former Lyric Theatre. Many hours were spent at the library researching this and getting ideas. I am forever grateful to my good friend Helen Gauvin for her tremendous help with this one.
We even included a wanted “Dead or Alive” poster for “Dangerous Delaine”. He was the bar’s owner, and come to think of it, I haven’t seen him around for years… hmmm.
There’s more… wall murals that is. My summer student, Shelley McGillivray-Holmes, whom we affectionately called our “Executive Gopher”, led the way on the painting of beach scenes at the then newly opened Swift Current Mall. Shelley was the first ever Signs ‘n Such summer student, and is a very talented artist. I fondly cherish the four summers she spent with us.
The mall job led us to painting similar scenes on the walls of a residential building which housed an indoor pool. Once again, great fun, especially when the owner came with fresh out of the oven peach pie!
Over the years, our suches included lettering on helmets, satellite dishes, bug deflectors, casino wheels, toy tractors, little red wagons, soapbox cars, and gas pump tops, to name a few.
We usually have lots of suches on display at the annual Frontier Days Parade.
We’ve painted and lettered on little kids’ lawn chairs; made picket fences, originally for part of the decorations for a curling event, but later lent out to various organizations, “such” (there’s that word again) as the Prairie Pioneer’s Lodge for their annual Spring Ball; painted a wizard on a draw drum, and a peacock on a screen door; and lettered a life preserver for the local Cadet Corp.
We even got into the brewery business for a short time and made the biggest can of Pilsner beer you’ve ever seen. Well, not exactly… all we did was make a rather large decal for the front of a beer fridge that was raffled as a fundraiser for a local car club.
A rather challenging such project presented itself when we were asked by a travel agent to replicate a Buckingham Palace guard, a beefeater, and the Eiffel Tower. Whew! What a lot of work. Okay, so our Eiffel Tower wasn’t as big as the real one. It was still a lot of work, but, you guessed it, FUN.
Almost 5 years ago we got our CNC router “Marvin”. Well, talk about fun! Now we can make dimensional suches (and animals) including our dog and even a buffalo!
A favourite such is the “Coffee News Guy“. What great fun! Thanks Sheri!
If you ever need a “thumbs up”, boy have I got a deal for you!
Some suches we’ve made for ourselves, some for others. We’ve made Rubik’s Cubes to wear on our heads during the Ability Bowl, and nickels to wear on our backs.
Oops! I just got done saying that the carnival booth was a surprise. Please ignore the fact that I’ve said anything, and just come out on anytime between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. to help us celebrate our 25th Anniversary. Don’t worry, there will be more than one surprise! Hope to see you then.