Friday, February 22, 2013

Evolution of a "Save the Date"

Artists have it tough. They have it tougher when they're getting married and the bride-to-be asks the artist to (no pressure!) render their likenesses in watercolor form for the sake of a save the date announcement.

 And thus began Tobe's task. I believe this was his first attempt at me.

 His second effort resulted in his own likeness, which I think is spot-on, and a painting of me, which looks sort of like me. Nonetheless, I approved of the likenesses and asked if those likenesses could be placed end to end--like a playing card. I also asked for certain information to be placed in the corners.

At this stage, all hell broke lose, as we encountered communication problems from trying to text about the idea and proposed changes. Thus, when I suggested that he place a banner between us, the result was 4 small banners...which I hated. And it was permanent.

 This led to him cutting out our images and vowing that he would do the playing card look and then sort of graft our heads onto the design.

 Disembodied Head #1
Disembodied Head #2
Once he had the playing card designed, he realized there was no way those large heads would fit with the playing card composition. And thus, our final design was born. The design we sent out is a graphic, rather than complex like the watercolors. I like how it showcases our colors (aqua and red) and how the faces are most definitely us.

Friends have joked and asked why Tobe has a sword running through his head, and they have implied that it's because he's getting married.

People laugh when they see that the lady in the card is rocking my signature Cindy Crawford-esque mole, and she has my prominant chin.

They turned out well, I think. There were a few bumps in the printing I forgot in our head count to order the number per household and not for every individual in each household. Thus, I think we ordered 150, when really 50 were called for.

Also, I'm detail-oriented and painstakingly punched each corner in order to achieve the rounded playing card effect. It was worth the sore hands.

And now I'm into the invitation process. We agreed that I would be the artist in charge of the invitation fronts. Thus you'll see some sort of collage and probably some tactile elements--perhaps some sewing or some ribbon or buttons, etc.

And, in the spirit of fairness,  Tobe will have every right to drive me mad with requests for revision.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Re-Used Bride

 Any research into weddings will reveal that brides often have a theme. The theme can be color-driven or it can be a means of revealing the likes and interests of the bride and groom. I hadn't really given much thought to a particular theme other than color, but it strikes me as I work on a most recent batch of craft projects that the wedding DOES have a common strand running through it: DIY, shabby chic and a need to recycle, reduce, and reuse.  So far, that has meant:

*buying my dress on Craigslist from a woman who didn't wear the dress because she became pregnant
*trying to use the supplies I've amassed through my business, Re-Used Muse
* using old buttons from my grandmother's collection
*making banners and signs out of the refuse from someone's matting/framing project
*making pennants/prayer flags from old sample books that design companies regularly throw away
*snagging an old suitcase and making it new again

I'm slowly but surely making flower balls, which will sit atop vases. I'm hoping to put battery-operated lights inside the vases.

 Here's a batch of kusudama paper flowers. I find it really relaxing to make them. As I run out of paper in our wedding colors, I will turn to painting papers, so that I don't have to buy anything. Eventually, I'll group them in bunches and put them in cones, which will punctuate the aisle.
 I bought this suitcase at a cool little shop on Monroe Street. The lady recycles items and makes them new again by painting them with chalk paint. This suitcase was painted aqua, so it was perfect. I bought $4 worth of red fabric and set about reupholstering the time-ravaged insides. This was kind of time intensive. It resulted in multiple hot glue gun burns and some cursing, but it also resulted in a lovely project that I'll use to hold cards people bring to the wedding.
Here's the finished inside. I also glued some satin piping around the edges. That, too, had been hanging out in my craft stash for quite some time. It felt good to use what I had. This is the cardboard sign I made from the matting/framing cardboard stash I found at a thrift store. I simply painted them. Soon, I'll string them together, and they'll hang above the cargo space, letting wedding guests know where to put things.

Also, in keeping with the recycle, reduce, reuse idea, I'll likely turn around after the wedding and try to sell these items to some other bride who scouts out wedding items on Craigslist or other yard sale-type sites. After all, why should every bride be going out and trying to buy this stuff brand new? It strikes me as a sisterhood, and I like the idea of handing things down to the next girl who is taking this big and important life step.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Let Them Eat Cake

 Our colors are apple red and aqua. When I began researching cakes, I was, of course, attracted to color and all of the possibilities that exist with fondant. However, Tobe requested that we stay away from highly colored fondant. He reasoned that it would discolor guests' teeth. As such, I decided that ribbon would be the best way to incorporate color.
 This is the vintage cake topper I just bought. I think this couple is adorable. What's not to love about those red lips and long eyelashes? As seen in the photo above, I will make a little background for the couple, so they don't seem so lonely and small on the cake.
 I asked our cake artist, Tashil, to imitate the icing patterns on this cake. Each layer will be a different flavor: red velvet, chocolate, and vanilla. The cake will be frosted in cream cheese frosting and will have a complimentary filling.
The top layer--the layer the couple traditionally freezes and keeps for a year--will be decorated in these delicate ruffles.

In the coming days, I will be doing the following cake-related activities:
* Shopping for a cake stand (the cake artist rents them, but I don't want to worry about returning a cake stand or it getting damaged or broken)
* Making the background for the topper
* Working with the cake artist on one of the unique cake flavors: macha (green tea). See a recipe HERE