A little day job show and tell and an upcoming event


 When you think of firetrucks, the image of big red shiny vehicles generally comes to mind.

Well, I’ve had the pleasure of working on a black and white truck over the past little while and it turned out real purdy. 🙂

My day job is running my own graphics company. Lately most of my work has been at a local major firetruck manufacturer and it’s my job to pretty up those trucks. 

 This particular truck chose a gold leaf and black vinyl combo for their lettering.

The end result is a pretty high end slick looking truck! 

 The client requested a triple stripe which worked wonderfully with the scale of this large truck.

When I install these stripes, I place the largest stripe first, then follow along with the two smaller. So basically put, I striped this truck 3x per side.

Getting everything perfectly straight is an art in itself. And I’m fussy. But so is the firetruck manufacture, so we make a great team which greatly benefits the client. 🙂

 The gold leaf popped really nice against the deep black.

Lots of thought goes into font choices as well. In this case, something with a bit of interest as well as just the right boldness for roadside readability added to the elegance of it all.

 New regulations require loads of reflectivity for emergency vehicles so I’ve been ‘wallpapering’ the backside of firetrucks for some time now. It was just fun to use black and white instead of red and white for a change!

 Working over top roll doors is a little tricky. You apply the graphics as usual, however you have to very carefully cut above and below each slat, removing the scrap in between. I use a straight edge and exacto stainless steel blade to do the work. Not all installers do the double cuts but the outcome not only looks better, but it wears better too.

 I design and output all the graphics in my own shop at home, then bring them to the vehicle to be installed.

The end result was a pretty high end looking truck!

Another previous post about my work is HERE.

I’ve been using these same kinds of decals for more than firetrucks though.


crate stairs

Farmers Market sign

I use them in the form of stencils for pumping out my vintage styled signs. Because of that, I’m frequently asked what kind of sign making equipment I’m running.

But I’ve never really felt great about that topic because my equipment isn’t something that is feasible for the novice DIYer.

Until now.

I am SO HAPPY to be able to review a product that IS affordable for all DIYers!

What intrigues me even more is that The Silhouette can do a lot more than just cut decals.

 Ohhh… one blog themed t-shirt comin’ up! Cool.

Hmmm… wonder what a junker could create with all these options…. this ought to get real interesting.

PC and Mac compatible!

AND… you’re gonna get a chance to win one too. 🙂

Know what? This will make all the difference in the cringing factor I feel when I make signs. Because I want you to have the option to be able to do the same. And now you will. Let the signs begin once again!

Stay tuned for more on this one mid June. I need to crack open that manual and get to work!

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51 thoughts on “A little day job show and tell and an upcoming event

  1. I’ve really been wanting one of these….because I’m sure I could think of some interesting ways to use it. I just redid my kitchen using glossy white sign vinyl. My kitchen looks gorgeous…I just covered all my black tiles with the sign vinyl. I’ll be linking it up to your party this weekend. So far I’ve just put a peek on my blog…I’ll show all probably Friday. I just cut it all out by hand. And it worked fine. I transformed my kitchen for $15.

  2. For a firetruck…that is FABULOUS!! I too love the black and white and with that touch of gold…wowzers! It really pops!!
    I have a Cricut but have never really cracked it open yet. So much to do…so little time!!
    Love the truck

  3. Cool looking truck, but I wonder why they chose that color scheme. Generally fire trucks are painted with high visibility in mind. Black and white, while very sleek looking dont seem like high visibility colors to me…

    But hey, the client asked, you provided!

    Nicely done!

  4. I never thought I’d be saying this, but that firetruck is GORGEOUS! Wow! And your graphics are the icing on the cake!

    Confession: I got a brand new Silhouette that I’ve had for many months, and I haven’t even opened the box! I’m such a procrastinator!



  5. It’s funny how you look at something like a firetruck and would never think that an actual person did all that work on it. We live in an age of machines and forget that even in big manufacturing there are some jobs that still need the human touch. Thanks for showing us your work (it’s a beautiful truck by the way!).

  6. That is one awesome looking fire truck..such a professional job on it. I’ll bet you love your job.

    If you have time, come by and see the sign table I just finished. It is no where NEAR as pretty as yours but I am happy. :))
    xo bj

  7. Wow Donna ~ You do fabulous work! You are such an inspiration. That Silhouette program looks very interesting.

    Happy Living Life each day.


  8. Hello Donna,
    I grew up in the sign business; my parents owned a sign shop. Things in that trade have come a long ways over the years. I now do graphic design by day but still whip out a few vinyl lettering jobs myself from time to time. Nice work! Thanks for sharing.
    Smiles, Paula

  9. That is one of the best looking fire trucks I’ve ever seen. It’s so different than the typical red one. You do great work!

  10. I love all the photography…I have never seen a firetruck painted anything other than red…I love this one! 🙂 I wanted to let you know, I am having a Chalk Paint Giveaway (2 cans)…Stop by and check it out…And I have a few finished projects…a slipcover with ribbon ties down the backs, a chalkboard I revamped and a new piece of furniture that orig. was $2300 that I snagged for $200…and the story about trying to get it home! lol 😀

  11. The truck looks fabulous! I love how the gold pops against the black and white.

    Can’t wait to hear your review of the Silhouette.

  12. That firetruck looks amazing!!! I love getting a glimpse into your “day job”. I can’t even imagine the amount of patience it takes to do such a huge job like that, and to get everything so perfectly aligned. I’m impressed!! I would be completely overwhelmed at the thought of having to do a job like that….and incredibly nervous.

  13. Awesome fire truck. Have never seen a black fire truck. No wonder your neck hurts sometimes. Can’t wait to see what else you are doing.

  14. While I was reading the post and came to a photo of the roller doors I thought “how in the world does she do that”! After you explained the double cuts I still thought “how in the world does she do that”! You have a very steady hand for sure!!
    The truck looks amazing and I’m sure the firehouse was very pleased.

  15. What an amazing firetruck. As for the silhouette, it is a fantastic piece of equipment – so much more useful that the Cricut or Slice for us paper crafters.

  16. Donna did you get the “r” crooked? {{{SIKE}}} just kidding. You do awesome work. That is one good looking firetruck. I have never seen one that color. Ours are red and blah. That is one snazzy truck. I can’t wait to see how you use the Silhouette.

  17. I’m in awe of your sign-making abilities! Great job with the gold and black.

    With all the capabilities of the silhouette, I don’t think I can wait until mid-June to win one…will just have to get a discount bundle and get started on having fun 🙂

    Jill @ JunkyVagabond

  18. The truck turned out great. I would never be able to get it straight.
    I have seen quite a few of the silhouette reviews and have been intrigued by it. I think it would be a lot of fun!

  19. I see, and see all over blogland the amazing signs people create for kitchen, living room, craft room…decor, and find myself upset that we do not have the kind of technology to do so here! I can do signs myself, stenciling letters, but cannot go beyond that; it would be too complicated. Cannot wait for this giveaway! I would go crazy around home making signs for everything. And I mean EVERYTHING! ha! :o)

  20. Ive been saving and saving for one of these and it seems like something else always comes up. Would love a chance to win one! Could you imagine the possibilities ? Love!

  21. Oh, is THAT what you do during the day??? LOL Just kiddin’! There are days when I miss working along side you on those lovely trucks… Nothing quite like this black beauty though – nice post!

    There are people who ask if I use a cutting machine (Silhouette, Cricut) when scrapbooking and I have to say, “No, I’m used to the “big guns”. har har har

  22. What a cool job! Well done. It’s so pretty. I have been looking into purchasing a silhouette. They seem to have a lot of creative flexibility. With four girls it’s totally on the end of the wish list, but I’ll be sure to stay tuned. You never know…

  23. Wow! That is one upscale looking fire truck! Great Job Donna!

    I have been looking into the Silhouette. It is amazing what can be created with the use of one.

    ~ Tracy

  24. That is the sharpest looking fire truck I have ever seen! WOW! I would be afraid someone would call a false alarm on a fire just to see this awesome thing running down the road. Great work! Can’t wait to hear about that giveaway too!

  25. That truck is awesome 🙂 I´m really looking forward to here more about this cool giveaway. I´v wanted to have something like this for a long time. . . so now I´ll stay tuned………. TY

  26. You did a great job on our engine. Looks amazing. I can’t wait until it’s delivered in less than 2 weeks now. It seems to have taken forever from when we started deciding what we wanted to getting it completed took somewhere around a year.

    Really enjoyed reading your story as well.

  27. Great job on the firetruck. I love the choice of colors, it’s just like my favorite NFL team, the New Orleans Saints. Now don’t judge me because I picked them for their uniforms. Nothing like black and gold and fleur de lis! Looking forward to your giveaway.

  28. Your work is impeccable and I’m sure the clients were thrilled with the results. I always told my children anyone can do a sloppy job but your attention to those little details are what makes it exceptional. Congratulations!

  29. Pictures and Words can not show or tell you how Exceptional and Time Consuming Donna and her work is. Trust me when I say it is Impeccable and her Passion shows in everything she touches in her work and world. Everyday she gives you all a peak into her behind the scene world and mind and work that is like no other. She is like no other and her future holds what only a very few could ever dream of or imagine. If any of you ever get a chance to watch her work and create her magic on anything she touches please take a minute and do so, it will be a minute you will never forget. She truly has a special gift!

  30. Donna, that is awesome! How the heck to you get the lines/letters straight? It’s not like you can use pencil lines and a straight edge or chalk a line….tell us your secret!
    #45…wow, wow, wow. I would love to live closer to Donna. I KNOW by her words/pictures that she is a very special person.
    Hugs from Iowa,
    Michelle at Pine Needle Hill
    PS. silly google, I have to be anonymous to comment.

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