Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I think I say that on this blog every year.
But it’s true. And time has not changed this fact.
Why do I love thanksgiving so much? Let me see if I can show you with a few pictures.
The best part of Thanksgiving is gathering with my family. This year, we’re celebrating in Lincoln City at my sister’s new home.
Bluster. Beach. Baking.
Sounds like a perfect setting for the annual thanksgiving feast.
That brings me to the food.
I love thanksgiving food. Turkey is healthy, too.
The things I love? Not so much. Cornbread stuffing slathered with turkey gravy. I could have an entire plate of that ambrosia.
And don’t forget the dessert. This year, I baked my sister’s favorite – cherry pie. Next year, it will probably be my father-in-law’s favorite – apple pie. Pretty much, if it’s pie – and there’s ice cream – I’m in.
What about you? What do you adore about Thanksgiving?
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:
Cut the 12×12 sheets into the correct dimensions
Scored them in three places for easy folding
Folded them along the lines
Glued down the edges of the pocket for the RSVP card and envelope
Cut the purple paper into two different length strips
Punched the shorter strips with the snowflake/swirl design
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?
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.
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:
Cut the RSVP card stock to the correct size
Glued the announcement portion onto silver backing
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.
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.
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I’ve mentioned this several times, but it bears repeating. I’m even looking forward to it this year when I’m going to be the hostess.
I’m not the hostess with the mostest, I can tell you. I’m the hostess who serves crunchy baked potatoes. Or doesn’t have enough of the main dish to go around. Or stresses out so much about every little thing that she can’t enjoy the moment.
Not this time. This time, I’m counting on my sister to bring her awesome cornbread stuffing and taco dip. My mom will bring green bean casserole and pumpkin pie. My husband will help me hoist the hefty turkey into the oven at the appropriate hour so it finishes cooking by 2:30, when everything else can then go in the oven to be cooked.
It’s not about the stuffing. I love stuffing. I could eat turkey and stuffing slathered in homemade gravy and nothing else and feel extremely thankful. I repeat: it’s not about the stuffing.
I love Thanksgiving because it reminds me to be thankful. I may be thankful to the many people in my life who love me, but most of my thanks go heavenward. After all, I wouldn’t even be breathing if it weren’t for the Almighty God who holds creation in the palm of His hand.
I’m thankful for my husband. He’s a great provider for our family: financially, spiritually, and physically. That’s why I call him Mr. Wonderful.
I’m thankful for my sons. They work hard in their endeavors. They have brilliant minds and entertaining personalities. Watching them conquer the world makes every sacrifice I made for them worthwhile.
I’m thankful for my sister. After all, she’s the one bringing the stuffing. No, kidding aside, she inspires me to be my best, to try things that scare me and most of all to follow my dream of becoming a published author.
I’m thankful for my mother and stepfather. Mom has been fighting cancer for several years and she inspires me to keep going forward when things seem impossible. Her strong personality is the cornerstone of my own willfulness. (Really, that’s a good thing.) My stepfather has stood by her and loved her through all of these trials. Thank you.
I’m thankful for my nephews and niece. They’ve faced difficult times these past few years and it hasn’t stopped them from becoming the people God wants them to be. They make me proud to be an aunt.
I’m thankful for my home. It’s big enough to host this host for Thanksgiving dinner.
I’m thankful for more than I could list in this post without losing the interest of my readers. Suffice it to say, I’m thankful that Jesus Christ is my Savior. I’m thankful that God plays an important role in my everyday life.
I’m thankful that I can pursue my dream to be a published author. I pray every day: “Lord, let me use this gift for your glory.”