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How to Pick and Paint a Boat Name

paint boat name

You name your kids. You name your cat. You may even name your houseplants. It thus only makes sense that you name your boat. Tradition says you not only have to pick a name for your boat, but you have to paint that name on the boat before you head out on the wild blue waves.

Skip these important steps, and bad things can happen. Your boat may sink, crash, smash, capsize or fall off that flat edge of the earth that sits just below the horizon.

Basics for Picking a Boat Name

Boats have long been given women’s names, so you might get strange looks if you name your boat “Gus” or “George.” Two theories are behind the female names used to adorn boats, and one is pretty boring. So I’ll mention the cool one. The cool theory stretches back to ancient times when watercraft were named for female goddesses and other mythical beings.

The tradition kept going, with female names expanding to include important historical figures, popular female names, or names of the women near and dear to the captain’s heart.

When naming your boat, you want to avoid:

  • The most popular names, such as Serenity or Serendipity, which make it look like all you did was review the most popular boat names instead of using your imagination
  • Names that indicate sinking, crashing, smashing or falling off the earth, like Disaster Dame or Sinking Sally
  • Names based on someone or something you may not like in a year or two, although boat names are easier to cover than a tattoo
  • Names you’d be embarrassed to paint on the back no matter how endearing they may be, like Cuddle Bear, Honey Boo Boo or Pumpkin Butt 

Basics for Painting the Boat Name

A few quick dos and don’ts I picked up from painting the name on my beau Bob’s boat take care of this one.


  • Pick the proper paint for the job, such as a hearty marine paint or no-nonsense sign paint
  • Practice a bit so you know what you’re doing
  • Sketch out the name in colored pencil first so you don’t run out of room
  • Adjust the letters as needed as the paint drips when you lay it on too thick
  • Cover the deck below your paint job, unless you’re a fan of paint-splattered decks


  • Pick a color that easily fades or is not immediately visible
  • Make your letters so little you need a microscope to see them
  • Try to fit too many letters into too small a space; shorten the painted name if the official name is too long
  • Try to paint the boat while you’re cruising down the lake

The Final Results

When the picking and painting of your boat name is done right, you can end up with glorious results for years to come. As you can see, the wonderful Captain Bob picked a name based on a woman near and dear to his heart – and then threw in his sweet sense of humor giving sirens a nod so they wouldn’t sink his boat. Betcha this vivacious vessel named SyRyn won’t be falling off the edge of the earth anytime soon. Love it!

boat name painting tips
One last tip: Only go in the water once the paint is dry.

Got a house, boat, houseboat or other large item you wanted groovily painted? Contact Rynski.

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The Joy of a Rusty Rustic DIY Fireplace Screen

DIY creative fireplace screen

It’s happened to the best of us. We toss, turn, kick and moan, unable to sleep at night because so many fireplace screens tend to be:

  • Chintzy
  • Cheesy
  • Boring

This anguish over fireplace screens is so strong and unrelenting, it can hit even if you don’t have a fireplace.

What to Do about It

The roaring fire is so gorgeous. You need something just as gorgeous to compliment its beauty. That’s where my pal Mary came in. Actually two pals, both named Mary, came in.

Mary 1 had a delightful idea some time back. She asked me to create a fireplace screen out of upcycled metal stuff. Since she only needed the screen for aesthetics, any type of fastenings and material would do. I don’t have a photo on hand, but it came out fabulously.

Mary 2 wanted to expand on the idea. But she needed a cool fireplace screen that was functional. That meant it must:

  • Stand firm against the roaring flame
  • Have a back screen to stop shooting embers
  • Withstand the high heat of a fireplace fire

That was a whole ’nother ballgame. And Ryndustries scored a home run!

The Fireplace Screen Foundation

DIY fireplace screen
Foundation was an old gate. Had to remove hinges and add feet.

It all starts with some sort of foundation, in this case a metal gate. Mary’s instructions included making sure the gate scroll stuff at the top was covered. She also hates symmetry. One more move was to amend the blechy black color by providing a ravishing rust coating.

Mary and I had headed to Gersons, a used building material shop here in Tucson, where she had picked out the foundation and other parts for the project.

The Parts and Supplies

DIY fireplace screen feet
Metal brackets, nuts, washers, bolts for fireplace screen feet
  • Thick sheet of metal cutouts from pile of metal cutouts sold at Gersons
  • The back screen, also from Gersons
  • Metal brackets for feet; nuts, washers and bolts to secure feet, hardware store stuff
  • Metal screws for attaching screen and metal cutouts
  • Paint kit that includes specialized primer, paint, oxidization solution, coating to create rust effect on non-rusty pieces, Modern Masters Metal Effects is where it’s at
  • Fire proofing for final top coat
  • Dremel metal cutting wheels to cut metal

The Tools

  • Flat-headed hammer for pounding
  • Drill for making holes and inserting screws
  • Snips for cutting metal screen
  • Various pliers for bending metal
  • The almighty Dremel

The Final Result

creative fireplace screen
Final result of creative fireplace screen.

Wow. I loved it. My beau Bob loved it. Dog Elmo loved it so much he even tried to pee on it (Note to Mary: I stopped him!). Most importantly of all, Mary loved it.

With all the research, supply gathering, sanding, drilling, attaching, bolting, priming, painting, screwing in screws, bending, pounding and flameproof coating, total time spent was a shade under 9 hours.

One look at the rusty rustic metal fireplace screen in action makes all the effort worth it. It’s amazing what creative minds can do when you put them together. Thanks, Mary, for one of the most amazing projects I’ve ever had to pleasure of creating.

Back of creative fireplace screen.
Top view of creative fireplace screen. All attachments were made with screws and bent metal. No welding involved.
DIY creative fireplace screen
Close up of creative fireplace screen.
DIY creative fireplace screen
Night shot of creative fireplace screen in action in front of tiki chimenea in rynski magic garden.

Got a groovy project idea you want me to help you create? Go for it. Shoot me an email. Let’s make something coooool.

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Will I See You in Phoenix Nov. 4?

local first az fall fest 2017

Come one, come all. C’mon – the drive from Tucson (or New York or Michigan) can be fun, especially if you discover trance driving where you get to meditate while watching the road.

Check out the Local First AZ event page for more info.

Can’t make it? Will miss you. But you can still shop rynski online.

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9 Things I Learned from My First Art Sale Open House

rynski magic garden

Selling art online is dandy, but it doesn’t give folks a hands-on feel for your work. Getting your art into local ships is OK, but retailers tend to take a hefty chunk of your profits. Sitting in your living room and hoping people will magically order things through osmosis doesn’t work (I tried). This leaves one more option: holding your very own art sale open house.

Since my backyard doubles as my studio, triples as my serene oasis, and is already packed with examples of my art, I agreed to give it a whirl when a pal suggested it. And I’m glad I did, as the Rynski Magic Garden Open House was officially a success (wheee!).

I’m extending a massive thank you to all who came by – and a handful of tips for anyone who may want to give an art sale open house a go in your own home or yard.

Take Photos of the Event

While I took several shots of my backyard setup before the event, the camera was promptly forgotten once the open house was in full swing. Oops. Photos of the event serve several purposes. They give you:

  • A way to publicly say “thanks!” to those who attended, by posting their pix online
  • Plenty of people to tag on Facebook
  • A reminder of how you arranged things in case you want to do it again
  • Automatic blog content following the event
  • Fond memories you can pass down to your grandchildren (or grand-dogs, as the case may be)

My apologies I am unable to tag any of the fabulous attendees on FB. And I forgot to get a pic of the food table or my shirts hanging in a tree.

Scan for Dog Poop – Twice

While you can skip this step if you don’t have dogs and the event is not being held in your backyard, you still want to make sure things are spic and span. Hose down your patio furniture. Spruce up any artwork that looks like it’s been hit by a Mack truck.

And for goodness sake, make sure anything you’re selling is free of dust, dirt, detritus and other debris. No one is going to want to buy something that looks like it’s been stored in the corner of the basement since 1982.

voodoo dolls
lucky voodoo dolls

Ask Someone to Help You

Sharon gets a huge thanks here, as it’s essential to have someone on hand who can help man the event. Not only did she bring a bastion of delicious snacks, but she moved them into the house when an equal bastion of flies discovered them. She likewise helped showcase my work, answer questions, provide suggestions and otherwise was a joy to have on hand.

In addition to about 62 rounds of verbal thank yous, I’m also giving her a “No Soliciting” sign as tangible appreciation for her assistance.

Choose Snacks that Make a Good Stir-Fry

Speaking of snacks, we had waaaaay too many of them. Take note of when you’re holding your open house. Ours was 1 to 3 p.m., or right after lunchtime. Guess people weren’t all that hungry. Or maybe they just saw the bastion of flies moving in (kidding). In any event, the leftover shrimp and veggie platters made a scrumptious shrimp and veggie stir-fry.

Oh yeah, I also ended up with a full pot of coffee no one touched. It may have helped if I would have remembered to actually offer it to the guests. Make that a scrumptious shrimp and veggie stir-fry with a big caffeine buzz.

rynski business cards
business card magnets

Don’t Forget the Coffee, or The Other Extras

In addition to forgetting about the coffee and as-it-happened photos, I also have a slew of business card magnets I meant to hand out with every purchase. Here comes another oops. Thankfully, some folks did notice them and I was able to hand out a few. Like the shrimp and veggies, they certainly won’t go to waste. But it’s still a good idea to make a checklist of things you don’t want to forget as the event is going on.

Be Prepared to Sell the Shirt off Your Back

Literally. Sharon and I both wore Rynski shirts, along with a sign that said: “Want the shirt off my back? Order one today!” While the open house was mainly geared toward taking orders for art I would then create, I was also OK selling a shirt and art right off the trees.

Sure, there was one item made out of junk drawer debris I wasn’t ready to part with, but I was delighted one of the coolest gals I know wanted to provide several other items with a new home on the spot.

rynski art
stocking stuffer alley

Get a PayPal Card Swiper

Officially known as PayPal Here, the setup involves downloading the PayPal Here app, ordering a card swiper from PayPal, and then being able to take credit or debit cards for payments. This is an absolute must in a society where many of us carry very little cash.

And I would have purchased at least four knit scarves and hats at the Nordic Fair instead of the single head warmer if the Nordic Fair lady would have had one.

Have a Catalog of Your Work On Hand

Having photos of your work that’s for sale online, custom orders you sold, and other goodies that may not be on hand is a huge help for giving your attendees a better feel for all you can do. Taking the time to sift through your photo files and print one up will definitely be worth your while.

art open house tucson
yard sign display

Follow Up Promptly

Post-event follow-up needs to be done pronto. Heck, I’m writing this blog the evening after the open house – even before I unwind with the final season of “Sons of Anarchy.”

I’m also about to pick the winner of the Rynski Magic Garden Open House raffle and then pen a “Thank you” email to all who entered and attended. You want to keep the momentum going, connect while the event is fresh in people’s minds, and make sure they know how much they’re appreciated.

Don’t worry. The excitement of a successful open house will help you achieve all of the above soon after the event. Well, that, and the full pot of coffee you forgot to serve to your guests.

Thanks again to all who came by. You absolutely rock!