Saturday, September 12, 2009

"Would Ya Update Your Blog, Already!!"

"What's going on with your blog?" "Have you stopped doing your blog?" "Would you update your blog, already!!"

Yes, I've been hearing about my long absence from posting. Why does it seem I have to write one of these "apology" posts about once every 6 weeks?!! Probably because I still haven't figured out how to squeeze 30 hours of projects into the 18 waking hours of each day! Of course it would be better if I could learn to pace myself, delegate or call 1-800-Handyman, but no, that probably won't happen. I'm too stubborn, haven't outgrown that toddler trait of " I do it!!" or some darn thing. Guess you'll just have to take me as I am!

What I have to share today are some of the samples I generated in August in preparation for meeting with a bride-to-be about making wedding invitations. Whenever I talk to someone who is interested in stamping wedding invitations, I collect a little information about the wedding theme and colors, pull out some stamps that may work and then just start trying this and that, until I have a pile of samples that we can use to design exactly what the bride wants.

In the case of this wedding, my information included "Mediterranean" colors and big flowers. My interpretation of those colors included many of the new In Colors so I happily pulled those and three "big flower" stamp sets: "Fifth Avenue Floral," "Kind and Caring Thoughts" (a hostess set) and "Wedding Sweet" (and the coordinating wheel "Sweet Swirls") and set to work.

I try to provide variety in the size and styles of samples I do, since everyone likes different things, and because the size and style is closely tied to the cost of the project.

This first sample is sized to fit in a business-sized envelope and is stamped using the baby-wipe technique. The nice size of the "flower-y swirl" stamp in the "Wedding Sweet" set makes quick work of stamping the cards that get printed on the computer. I used Melon Mambo, Crushed Curry and Bermuda Bay reinkers to make my own stamp pad with a couple of baby wipes, and then after stamping, layered the piece onto Bermuda Bay and Basic Black card stock.

This sample is sized for an A6 envelope and uses Bermuda Bay and Naturals Ivory cardstock. The Bermuda Bay piece is rolled with Bermuda Bay ink. The Naturals Ivory piece features Bermuda "stamped off" leaf images from the "Kind and Caring Thoughts" hostess set. A piece of Very Vanilla Taffeta Ribbon graces the center.

Although it's hard to tell, this version uses Shimmery White cardstock, which always adds a classy touch. To further that theme, I added two narrow strips of the Groom Specialty Paper, a new addition to the catalog this year. It has glossy "embossed" swirls that coordinate so well with the "Wedding Sweet" stamps. This invitation measures 8-1/2" X 5-1/2", a good size if you need more space for your information. It could also work as a wedding program.

A 6" X 6" square version that also uses the Groom Specialty Paper, but traded the Shimmery White for Whisper White cardstock--

Lotsa flowers, a little Groom paper and the happy couple's names peeking out--

I gave it a shot without the Groom paper (and a different stamp), but personally like the little punch of "formal" the black paper adds--

This sample uses vellum cardstock to make a tri-fold wrap for the invitation information. The Bermuda Bay "belly band" is actually the white "Bride Specialty Paper" that has been colored with Bermuda Bay ink and a dauber, a cool way to get the design in any color you desire.

I stamped the inside card with a single image (baby wipe technique), but had a piece of cardstock stamped with an alternate design, just to show an option.

After showing these ideas, and a few others that I had in my files to the bride, we separated them into the yays and nays, tried this and that, chose the stamp set, switched the colors, added the information elements that were needed for this particular wedding, and came up with this A6-sized prototype:
It uses Whisper White cardstock, the Fifth Avenue Floral stamp set, and Real Red, Summer Sun and Lovely Lilac ink. The monogram stamps in the center of the card were just those I had in my retired collection and aren't quite right, but you get the idea.
Inside the invitation a flap folds up to make a pocket to hold the response postcard (that will be made using Summer Sun cardstock) as well as cards giving information on out-of-town guest accommodations, the reception and where the couple is registered.
The whole process is quite fun, and it's rather exciting knowing that the invitations are personalized down to the last detail. If you have a special event invitation you'd like me to help with, just let me know! My services are provided free of charge when you purchase all of your supplies for the invitations from me.

Hope you're enjoying your weekend!

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