Tag: Paper

The Announcements: Part Two

Years ago, I went through a phase where I made every card I sent out. Again, it was my sister who introduced me to this phenomenal way to exploit my creativity – and my husband’s pocketbook.

But, as with the entire idea of scrapbooking the memory book for my son’s wedding, I chained myself to the announcement-making boat.

My future daughter stopped by at regular intervals to show me the ideas she had for her wedding invitations. They were amazing. But complex.

As I admired the card stock she’d purchased for the project, she talked about the design.

“I’d really like to emboss this flap,” she said (or something similarly benign), “but I don’t know anything about that.”

“Oh, I used to stamp and emboss all the time.”

Apparently, that means I’m qualified to help her invitations look professional by showing her the proper method of embossing. Of course, I volunteered to show her how to do it, help her even.

And then she showed up with this enormous stamp. And reminded me that she had a list of 166 names, so she was making 175 invitations – to be safe.

Before the Embossing

I wouldn’t need a meme like I’ve used with this post if making these wedding invitations was a simple three-step process.

I probably wouldn’t even share such a dire warning to all my readers if it was a five-step process.

Before I became involved in the stamping and embossing part of this project, this is what the bride had already done:

  1. Cut the 12×12 sheets into the correct dimensions
  2. Scored them in three places for easy folding
  3. Folded them along the lines
  4. Glued down the edges of the pocket for the RSVP card and envelope
  5. Cut the purple paper into two different length strips
  6. Punched the shorter strips with the snowflake/swirl design
  7. Glued the short purple strip onto the top of the pocket

Remember what I said about the number of steps in a reasonable invitation-making process?

The bride's mother still smiling while helping with the invitations
The bride’s mother still smiling while helping with the invitations

Fortunately, the company she ordered her silver paper from (yes, she has tri-colored invitations) cut it into the size she needed for the inside of her invitation.

The Embossing Extended

She hauled a cardboard box into the dining room. It held a case of copy paper in its former life.

Out came the paper cutter, two brown-wrapped parcels of card stock, a heat gun, bottles of tacky glue, three small snowflake stamps, a silver stamp pad and the large stamp for the outer flap of the invitations.

Earlier, she’d bought a plastic embosser. It made an indentation in the paper.

It was too short for the invitations. Plus, those little grooves would have been hard-pressed (literally as well as metaphorically) to make a dent in the heavy card stock anyway.

The little guy was the perfect size for the RSVP return envelope flaps. And a job was created for the groom. Not like he’d be using the rolling pin for anything else – ever.

We stamped a flap with the silver ink. It looked okay. Now, I sprikled on the silver foil embossing powder, tapped the excess powder onto paper and aimed the heat gun at the snowflake design on the aquamarine card stock.

Presto-chango! If you’ve never watched this process, I highly recommend it. It’s the closest thing to magic that an average person will ever see outside of a movie theater.

Yes, the embossing was perfect. Time to do this.

But wait! The silver stamp pad wasn’t very efficient for inking up the large stamp. And since we were embossing those flaps, clear ink would be better.

So off they went to the craft store. She came back with a bottle of ink with a sponge so she could just rub it on the stamp. It worked perfectly.

Four hours later, all 175 cards were beautifully embossed.

Now to stamp the inner page with the three different snowflakes. I did this while she cut more purple strips to glue onto the inner pocket.

Little did we know, the ink wouldn’t dry on that special paper she had. She rubbed off an edge of the snowflake while putting the pocket in place. Now what?

You guessed it! All of these needed embossing. That’s three snowflakes – small, medium and large – on the inside of 175 invitations.

And she thought we wouldn’t use all the embossing powder.

Stuff and Stamp

Actually, the correct order is stamp and stuff.

Aren’t you glad postage stamps are self-stick? I sure am. I remember licking the stamps for my wedding invites. There may have been less than 100 of those, but my food tasted like glue for a week anyway.

invites1

Before we began this process (which happened along with the second phase of embossing), the bride, her mom, and one of her bridesmaids had already:

  1. Cut the RSVP card stock to the correct size
  2. Glued the announcement portion onto silver backing
  3. Glued the printed RSVP cards to the heavier silver card stock

Now to peel and stick stamps on 166 envelopes. And TWO stamps on the larger invitation envelopes (because they require extra postage).

Stuffing these beauties into the pocket on the hand-crafted and quite beautiful announcements wasn’t an easy process.

The RSVP cards would have slid in easily. Unfortunately, they weren’t a traditional size so getting envelopes to exactly match them would have been expensive.

No problem. She ordered envelopes slightly larger that were considered a standard size. They should still fit. They were smaller than the pocket flap.

Except for the glued seams. Which made it a tight fit.Envelopes

The groom stuffed these cards into their pocket – into the night. His response to this, “That was the worst time of my life.”

While he moaned about that, the bride used an razor to cut the embossed flaps into a perfect angle. 175 x 2 = 350 cuts.

Finally, the last purple strip could be punched with the lovely snowflake swirl, folded around the closed announcement and glued in place.

Stuff this lovely piece of perfection into the already addressed and stamped envelopes, and the post office will do the rest.

The wedding will have guests.

Now, to get on with scrapbooking the showers and other memory-making events.

Scrapbooking a Wedding – Part 2 – The Engagement

In the wake of one whirlwind wedding, the memorabilia for another waxed and waned. Without an engagement, there would be no wedding. Right?

Engagements are epic. Entire movies have been plotted around popping the question.

Why was it so difficult to put this spread of pages together?

Call me creatively stifled. Or dumbfounded by the over-abundance of information.

The Plan

Never let it be said that my youngest son doesn’t have a plan.

It may look like haphazard meandering. Especially if you’ve seen how he keeps his clean clothes *frowns*

He had everything set up. Reservations at the restaurant he wanted, buddies lined up to set the proposal site in order.

Even video and photo equipment.

So – he was early for the reservations. Better than late though.

The dinner was excellent. The dessert a delicious “enjoy me later” delicacy from The Cheesecake Factory.

Flower petals were strewn with obvious care in the private glen on campus.

Perfect.

The Photos

Darkness curtained this romantic setting. And someone didn’t have a flash. Or something to add light for the video.

Pictures were taken. Filming progressed.

In the end, the Dark Side prevailed.

The only remaining proof lay in the minds of those in attendance.

It’s pretty hard to use that for scrapbook images.

And then there were two

The all-important question was posed. The lovely girl said, “Yes.”

So they are engaged.

Both of them blogged their side of the story. And posted pictures taken with their camera phones at the restaurant. (One of those moments when a phone that is also a camera is a wonderful thing.)

Those images and recollections are all the fodder I had to make a memorable page layout in their keepsake book.

Thankfully, the weather turned wet. The man worked late.

Messing up the table with all my paper paraphernalia seemed like a profitable use of time.

And the project continues. Now, my creative future daughter is planning on making 200 wedding invitations.

Talk about some scraps for the book…

Scrapbooking a Wedding – Part 1 – The Dress

Things are changing in my world. One of the biggest changes that I’m relishing is being the mother of the groom. Of course, this calls for a scrapbook.

As mother of the groom, I don’t play an integral role in most of the planning. I’m okay with that. I want to be kept in the loop, though. Offering to record the event in a scrapbook gave me a perfect reason.

Life events should be enjoyed while they’re lived. But they should also be documented. This way the joy can be revisited through the years.

When we had our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary, I enjoyed flipping through the wedding albums I made. The memories rushed back in vivid detail once more.

Time fades our recollections in the same way sun leeches color from our curtains.

We can’t bring our curtains back to full-color. Our recollection of events? It can be revived through visual stimulation.

As for the upcoming wedding, only a few plans have been set solidly in place. One of those – the dress – has been written about before.

Fading quote

Pages

Anyone who puts together a scrapbook, realized the paper makes the book. Seriously.

This is why any craft store will have an entire aisle of single-sheet specialty paper. And another aisle loaded with books of assorted papers.

It should have been easy to find a wedding-themed book of paper I loved, right?

Someone isn’t crazy about lace. Since this book is for her, I tried to avoid the books with mostly lacy-looking backgrounds.

Apparently, most brides ADORE lace.

Once I found a book with enough pages, I had to decide which backgrounds fit with which events I’d be documenting. Good thing I can always pick up more papers. After all, a scrapbook is designed two pages at a time.

The shopping excursions and final dress selection is the content shown on the four pages which record the hours days-long search for the perfect dress.

Pictures

During those escapades, the bride and her mother snapped photos with their phones. (What did we do before our phone could take snapshots?)

After the shopping trips, they forwarded the pictures to me. It was my job to sort through them, deciding which ones represented the overall experience of the day.

Since only one trip involved most of the bridal party, I chose many pictures from that day. After all, bridesmaids are an important piece of the successful wedding pie. (Or would that be cake?)

This bride went through the process of selecting a dress in a methodical manner. I must say, I was truly impressed. What happened to trying on every single dress until you fell in love with one?

If you know what you want, why waste the time and effort?

An assortment of pictures comes from the rejected dresses. Generally, there were parts of the dress that met the criteria. The pictorial rendering points out those sections, in hopes of reminding the bride of her genius.

For the bride, the dress is a HUGE portion of her wedding day. That’s one of the reasons it’s one of the first things my lovely future-daughter and son will see when they open their wedding scrapbook.

Next year when it’s finished – or ten years from now when they want to stroll down memory lane.

Next in this series is The Engagement. Guess I should actually put those pages together before I write about it.

Analyzing Literature

circling sharks

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I’ve read a prize-winning novel, and now I have to analyze it for my Seminar in American Literature. My analysis should run six to eight pages in length.

What is making this paper so difficult to write? I have two answers for this question:

  • I didn’t like the book – I did like the writing and I was amazed by Egan’s ability to break so many rules and still win a Pulitzer. There was no struggle to keep reading because I kept thinking, “This is all going to make sense in the end.” Wrong! This is what I didn’t like about it. Sure, that made it gritty and realistic, but I expect more from a book. I can get all the bad news I want from the newspaper – or my classroom. A writer needs to deliver closure in some form, even if it isn’t a happy ending.
  • Focusing in on loss of innocence is depressing – It sure hasn’t added any happy moments to the past five weeks. Even without writing about the “failed” characters in my paper, I couldn’t offer much hope or cheer. Since my thesis states that every bad choice is redeemable and no dream is unreachable, I forced myself to narrow my view to those characters that were able to turn it around. Still, it’s not a happy picture.

Actually, I think my difficulty might be because there is no way to support my analysis. Since the book is so new, there aren’t any journal articles published that deal with it. I can find book reviews, but that’s not the same sort of analytical thinking that comprises those peer-reviewed journals.

I feel like I’m in the middle of the ocean, fully dependent upon an orange life jacket. Swallowing the sun, the horizon stretches for eternity. Somewhere below me, I’m sure the sharks are gathering.

In this scenario of sink or swim, it feels like swimming will zap all my energy, and the end result will be the same. Shark bait Slipping beneath the salty waves to sleep forever.

Wow, a paper that makes death look restful.