I’m alive! My blog has gotten neglected in recent weeks (eeks – months!) as I traveled across the country and back no less than 3 times. Even my grocery shopping was neglected as Dave and I lived off of frozen or fast food whenever we had a minute for dinner (yuck!). But now I am back, the rain has started in Oregon, and I’m hoping to settle down a bit until Christmas.
We just got back from my best friend’s wedding in Buffalo, New York. The wedding was absolutely gorgeous – full of love, sunny blue skies, amazing dancing, and a beautiful and happy couple. Hooray!
Dave and I designed and letterpressed their invitations a few months back. It was a fun project because the invites were so different from our own!
All of the letterpressing was done on our Adana 8×5. The swirl images are from Cloudniners on istockphoto, the gorgeous monogram was designed by foryoo on etsy, and the map is from Retrospective Design on etsy.
It was my niece/god daughter’s 4th birthday party this weekend, so we went home to visit my family for the last time before we move. Look at all of those little girls!
The theme of the party was “hearts,” so I just cut out some heart stencils from wax paper and sprinkled her birthday cake with pink sugar. It was super quick and easy and made for a cute presentation.
See how cute! I made the cake using my absolute favorite chocolate cake and vanilla frosting recipe. Unfortunately for all of you, it is a secret recipe from my best friend Sara’s family, so under no circumstances am I allowed to publish it. (Aren’t you jealous?) But, to make up for it, I will post the most delicious carrot cake recipe ever at the end of this post. It is also a recipe that comes from Sara, and she somehow can always find the best cake recipes in existence. Dave and I made it for my birthday a few weeks ago, and it is delicious!
I made this little lamb for Alicia as part of her birthday gift. She asked for a lamb on her birthday wish list, which I imagine meant she wanted a real lamb as a pet. Since they live in a city and not on a farm, I hope she can love this little stuffed animal just as much. I used a pattern from Tiny Yarn Animals: Amigurumi Friends to Make and Enjoy.
And this has absolutely nothing to do with the birthday party, but I would love to share this with you all. My cousin/friend/bridesmaid is an amazing musician and wrote and performed this song for me at my wedding reception. It’s been stuck on my sister’s camera until this weekend, so I’m extremely excited that I can finally watch it again. I cry every time!
Okay, don’t forget to check out the amazing carrot cake recipe below. Yum!
One reason I haven’t been posting much to my blog in the past few weeks is that I was working hard on letterpressing these “Save the Date” cards for my good friends Sara and Chris. (Remember Sara? She taught us all how to make homemade vanilla extract.) This is a fun project for me, because their wedding has a very different vibe and theme than our wedding did. Ours was naturey and full of browns and blues. Sara and Chris are planning a classy (although comfy!) wedding in black and white with red accents. Sara can’t get enough of black swirls, which work oh-so-beautifully on the letterpress.
Here’s the letterpress all inked up in black. Isn’t she a beauty? The chase is only 8″x5″, so we can’t make anything too large.
Closeup of running the black ink plate. We get these plates made from this great company Owosso Graphic Arts, Inc. out of Michigan.
Lots of “Save the Date” cards!! Sara packaged them up in cute red envelopes and stamped the backs of the envelopes with a “Shuffle off to Buffalo” rubber stamp. I hope her guests all marked their calendars accordingly!
It’s our 3-month anniversary, and I spent the afternoon looking through old Martha Stewart Weddings with Dave’s cousin’s fiancee, so I’m feeling quite nostalgic for our wedding. I’ve been wanting to put all of our wedding crafts together in one post, so here goes!!
While I’m on the topic of weddings, here are a few of my favorite wedding blogs. You should definitely check them out for some amazing inspiration throughout the planning process:
Dave and I went to the Wedding Ring Workshop in Chicago and spent a day in the workshop making our own wedding rings. It took about 6 hours for us to cut the platinum, form it into circles, solder them, round the edges, sand them, clean them, and engrave “Annie & Dave” on the inside. Dave made mine and I made his, and even though they aren’t absolutely perfect, I love them more than anything!
This was probably the quickest and easiest craft, and one that we were most happy with how it turned out. We bought a custom stamp in our wedding fonts. Then we just stamped onto brown cardstock with a gold ink pad. The inside pages were designed by my wonderful brother-in-law and were full of the music, readings, and people involved with the wedding. We just copied those pages on a regular copy machine and stapled them inside.
Dave’s dad grew the blue flowers in his greenhouses, and bought the rest of them fresh from a store. Two of my amazing bridesmaids spent the day before the wedding arranging all of the bouquets and boutinneers. They couldn’t have been more perfect! I loved how each girl had their own individual bouquet.
Funny story – Dave’s dad just told me that when he went to pick up the sunflowers the day before the wedding, they all had green centers. He was convinced that I definitely wanted brown centers, and ran all around town trying to find sunflowers with big brown centers. When he wasn’t successful in his search, he came home and spray painted the centers brown! Wow!! No one noticed – not me, not my bridesmaids who arranged them, not anyone who came up and talked to me about my bouquet. Amazing! I can’t even tell in the photographs.
Here’s another of our letterpress projects. We made menus in blue and brown.
These were our escort cards. I got the idea from a Style Me Pretty DIY contest. We just used beech sticks we found in the woods, and containers we found for $5 at Joann Fabrics filled with fake flowers. We pulled out the flowers and shoved the sticks in instead. Then I hung little cards that I had letterpressed with a bird and calligraphied with the names and table numbers for all of our guests.
We collected a bunch of photos of us growing up, some old family wedding photos, and just some great photos of us with our friends. We strung them up on twine with clothespins for everyone to enjoy at the reception. It was super easy and quick, and so nice to have a bit of “home” decorating the reception hall.
Our last name is (now) Amos, so we gave Famous Amos cookies as our favors. I bought some rubber stamps from Michaels and stamped in brown onto cardstock for the little “thank you” notes.
Dave’s amazing mom baked all of our wedding cupcakes in the days before the wedding. She spent the whole year before perfecting recipes for chocolate with a cream cheese center, pumpkin chocolate chip, and vanilla. They were so incredibly delicious and beautiful!!! His dad built us the cupcake tower, which looked so huge until it was full of cupcakes. We bought the cupcake liners from fancyflours.com.
Dave loves Lego, so we thought these would be the perfect cupcake toppers. Dave dug through his Lego collection and found the perfect pieces.
Whew! All right, those are all of the ones that I can find good photos of. If you’re interested in seeing more of our wedding photos, you can see a slideshow of our professional photos.
It was just so wonderful that we (and our friends and family) were able to make so many things so the wedding truly felt like us. Plus we had my sisters and brother-in-law do all of the music at the church, my cousin/bridesmaid’s CD played during dinner (and during the reception she sang a song she wrote for me – see below), and our friends from college decorated the hall for us. I definitely recommend using the talents of everyone you know so that you can really make your wedding personal!
I decided to make Valentine’s Day cards as my first gocco project. I’ve been working on the drawing, but Paper Source put the blank cards I ordered on back order, so I’ll have to wait a while before I can print them. I did get my box with envelopes and cute heart paper today, though, so I figured I could start on the envelope liners. This is a project I wanted to do for the wedding invitations, but ran out of time before the invites needed to be sent.
1. Trace envelope onto cardstock and cut out to make a pattern piece.
2. Cut ~3/4 inch off the bottom of your pattern. You will also need to cut a tiny bit off the sides so that the liners will slide inside the envelope.
3. Trace pattern onto back of your pretty paper. Since my paper has a 1-way design, I wasn’t able to creatively fit them together like a puzzle. If you have an all-over design, you should be able to fit more per page.
4.Cut out liners.
5. Slide your liner into an envelope, and crease along fold line.
6. Use a gluestick on the top flap of your liner.
7. Press closed, and voila!
Aren’t they cute? I can’t wait to make the cards that will fill them!
I finally got around to letterpressing “Thank you” cards for all of the wonderful wedding gifts that we received.
When we first got engaged, Dave and I decided to make our own wedding invitations and learn a new craft in the process. We started with letterpress classes at the IPRC in Portland, Oregon, but soon moved to Wisconsin. Since there were no letterpress studios in the area, we bought our very own tabletop press, an Adana 8×5, from www.briarpress.org (basically a craigslist for all things letterpress) and got started on designing. I love the results of all of our hard work, and am so glad that we were able to take this project on.
The thank you cards finish our wedding paper suite – phew! Just for fun, check out our invites below.
My name is Annie, I’m married to a wonderful boy named Dave, and we have the cutest kitty cat in the world named Cricket. We are new transplants to Oregon, and by day I am an environmental educator. In my free time I like to sew, bake, cook, letterpress, and do any crafty thing that I can get my hands on. I hope I can inspire others with my projects! You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.