Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Fun Mail and Other Mail - OR How I Spent My Weekend
I received my Mug Rug in the Mug Rug Swap Adventure from Wendy (how ironic that I've had 3 Wendy partners this spring!) Isn't it adorable? I love the 3-D kite and the cute "tail" with the button streamers. So darling. Wendy has had a terrible battle with carpal tunnel syndrome this summer, and as a sufferer myself, I know how painful that can be. I really appreciate that she took the time to make me something so wonderful through all that.
And in case you're wondering how I spent my weekend, well, here's the thing.... I picked up the invitations from the printer on Saturday morning. Creating these custom invitations was such a struggle, I thought I would share some of the resources to perhaps make it easier for someone else. Think of it as a custom wedding invitation tutorial?
The printer did a great job. We got custom invitations for wayyyy less than anything I found on the internet - HUNDREDS of dollars less. We even had to have the background page printed ourselves because we couldn't find paper we liked. I spent literally hours on the internet and running to our local scrapbook stores looking for aqua and white print paper. As popular as aqua is in fabric, I was surprised that I couldn't find anything similar in paper.
I found a great resource at http://www.canstockphoto.com/. They have literally hundreds of images (luckily they're sort-able) for amazingly reasonable prices. They come in vector and jpeg formats, and their site was really easy to use. I found a few other sites, but most were vector images only or required a subscription.... No matter how reasonably priced the subscription might be, I only wanted ONE image, folks!
Ok, I feel better now.
So the printer printed the orange invitation and the aqua and white background as separate pieces. (He offered to print it as one page, but we opted not to do that - but know that it was an option.) So, the first task was to put them together. I stressed about this for days and nearly drove the poor printer nuts, but he was (thankfully) very patient with me, answered all my questions, made great suggestions, and I was so pleased with the results.
I used photo splits to attach the orange announcement to the blue background paper. I searched for days for the perfect ribbon, and finally found just what we wanted at Paper Mart and the ribbon was so reasonably priced. Some of the places I looked wanted $1 or $1.50 per yard. Paper Mart offered a 25-yard spool for just $5-something. Amazing, huh? And the ribbon was surprisingly good quality for the price. I don't think I would sew with it, but for paper crafting? Oh yeah! And they had an great collection of colors and styles.
I put the "packages" together assembly-line style. The reception invitation, reply card, and return envelope were printed (oh-so-reasonably) by Printers of Pensacola. Ray was wonderful to work with and I highly recommend him. (Unfortunately, it appears that they don't have a website.) I really like the fact that I was able to work with a local small business though. If we don't support our local businesses, they will cease to exist, and it will be a Wal-Mart, Bank of America World... But I digress...
Moving on... Of course, addresses had to be obtained and envelopes addressed. My address book hadn't been updated in awhile, mostly because I haven't sent Christmas Cards for the last two years (in 2009 we had a baby, but I'm not sure what my excuse was for 2010!) My calligraphy was also a little rusty, not really having been used since BD#1 got married 7 years ago, so I muddled through. The first 20 envelopes probably resulted in at least 10 wasted ones, but I finally got into the groove, and it was smooth sailing after that. Glad I bought some extra envelopes!
The wax for the wax seals was another supply challenge. Our local JoAnn's doesn't carry calligraphy supplies or sealing wax. Michael's had silver, gold, black and red. So back to the internet I went. I finally found what I was looking for at Nostalgic Impressions. They had a great selection of colors and options. I chose a glue gun wax that said it was flexible and worked well in postal machines. It was a bit different to use than traditional wax. I liked that it worked in my glue gun and didn't leak out like glue sometimes does. I also didn't have to worry about a flame, like with traditional wax. It was a bit trickier to use, though. I found that I needed to hold the wax seal stamp into the wax until it cooled a bit, or the image wouldn't fully imprint, and the wax would stick to the seal. Live and learn, I guess.
So, now these little guys go into the mail today. Yesterday, I mailed a huge box to the groom and his mom so they can send them to their folks. Looks like it's coming together.
Happy wedding, Mitch and Arielle!