Creative Provocations during Lockdown

Okay, so I’ve been stuck at home, harvesting and preparing or preserving food, as normal. I deem myself an Essential Services worker. Every day I have to go to work! In my own backyard! But of course, I get a whole heap of extra time on hand, so I took up a challenge to Pimp my Berm, promoted by our local village FB page, called Superb Curb.

I have long had two upright wooden posts standing sentry duty in my driveway, a relic of when I was doing reflexology from home. Since that sign came down, it’s just been those two odd wood guys Just standing there. They have always called out to me……what do you want to share with the world passing by? I love signs that point out directions, and I was inspired by a Pinterest post to make my own many years ago….. simple directions for good living.

Our very own Direction Sign greets us as we step outside our door.

I knew that I still had some (probably very crusty) old test pots of paint left over from my old directions signage (above) and other small projects, so a quick fossick in the garden shed, I came up with several jars of paint and some long bits of cedar offcuts Mike collected from a shutter making company. A couple of layers of newspaper, some paintbrushes and some good music, and I was good to begin.

Prepping the background colour.


  • So to begin with, I measured the width of the old sign posts, which determined where my screws would have to go. I counter-sunk some holes so the screws would sit flush with the cedar wood strips.
  • Then each cedar strip was given a coat of white undercoat (learned from my previous project, paint prefers something to stick to rather than bare wood).
  • Paint each strip the background colour, give it a second coat when the first dries.
Allow your sign to dry completely.
  • Write your provocation for a good life spaced out on the newspaper, so you can get the spacing of the letters correct.
  • Using the newspaper written letters, copy them onto the painted wooden strip with a permanent marker.
  • With a steady hand, paint the letters, I find a smaller brush is helpful for tidying up the messy end bits when finished.
  • Once your lettering is dried, (I allowed about 3 hrs), it is time to screw them into place on your sign post/support beam.
Add any imbelishments. I used little reflective mirrors on this one.

When thinking up provocations, I wanted them to be long lasting, not just applicable to Lockdown Time. “Wash your hands”, and “Keep your distance” are overplayed on every other platform and are not needed for this project! I wanted my messages to be positive, and the last provocation will, I think, be particularly applicable post Lockdown; “Support Local”.

The final piece of the sign is added to the post. Will passers-by reflect on these?

I decided before my project began, that I would add one provocation per day, this way, there would be less pressure on me to get it all done. I must say, painting lettering by hand is NOT my favourite as it requires a steady hand and good eyesight, both of which are in short supply post menopause! So if I can do it, you too can!!

Day 1 – 8 of sign installations.

So each day I duly finished and screwed the next line of messages into place. We have now Level 3 weeks of Life in Lockdown…..right, let me get my hands on some other projects now!! Marie Kondo-ing my clothes cupboard should be next, not as exciting, but nevertheless necessary since it’s a change of seasons. Maybe some good music will help me get motivated. And maybe I’ll just zhoush up some ole clothes, to create new masterpieces. Challenge accepted. 👍🏽

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