August, 2009

Our Wedding: A Handmade Celebration, Part 3 – Potato Stamps!

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

The week before the wedding I wanted to get my hands dirty in a messy craft project, so I decided to potato stamp the welcome bags for our out-of-town guest. The project transformed significantly from what I had originally imagined once Rufus’s little sisters got involved – it turned into a real Crafternoon. They started with the stamps, but then moved on to painting designs on the bags. And the end result was way more awesome than I expected.

For potato stamping, all you need is pen and paper, a few potatoes, a knife, some paint, and a surface to stamp on.

Step One: Get a potato, wash it off, and then slice it down the middle. (The knife-related parts of the project must be done by an adult. My mom did it for me.)

Step Two: Draw the image that you want to stamp on a piece of paper. Cut the shape out of the paper and stick it to the potato as shown.

Step Three: Cut the stamp shape out of the potato with a knife.

Step Four: Choose a color of paint that you like. We had forgotten to buy paint, but luckily Rufus’s mom is a painter and had some acrylic paint that she was willing to part with. I mixed the colors together until I got a shade I liked. Using a paintbrush, apply the paint to your potato stamp. This helps you control the amount of paint that ends up on the paper, because too much paint on the stamp makes the stamped image look sloppy.

Step Five: Take your painted stamp and start stamping!

Sometimes your stamped-on image won’t be perfect, but you can always use your paintbrush for touch-ups.

And to make the project more fun, get other folks to help out! Almost all of the family members hanging around the house that day lent their artistic skills to the cause.

I highly recommend having a Crafternoon with your family in the days leading up to your big day. It’s a great way to relax, get your creative juices re-flowing, and get everyone involved. And the end result is a craft project that will be enjoyed by all of your handicraft-loving guests.

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Our Wedding: A Handmade Celebration, Part 2 – Invitations

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

The largest-scale handmade project we did was to print our own invitations on our home printer. Our friend Steve Alvarez , who is wildly talented, drew the illustrations. It was his wedding gift to us.

I’ve always thought it was such a waste to spend loads of money on invitations that you respond to and then toss. So we put the illustration on one side of our invitation, and the information about the event on the other. That way, if you liked the illustration, you could frame it. It was a limited printing of a work of art.

We had our friend Betty help us get really nice paper at a discounted price from a fancy paper store, and that saved us a bundle. And then we did the layout on our computer and the printing on our little HP color home printer. It took two long nights to print everything, but well worth it.

I know many of our friends still have the invitation on display. And it’s nice to know that something from our celebration is always a part of their lives.

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Our Wedding: A Handmade Celebration, Part 1

Monday, August 24th, 2009

On September 6th, 2008, I had the best day of my life. My true love Rufus and I got married on a field in Maine, in the company of our wonderful family and friends.

Rufus and I met at on December 31st, 2003, at a New Year’s Eve party in the woods. We kissed at midnight, just like in the movies and the fairy tales and the very best daydreams. It was a swoon-worthy start to our life together.

Another swoon-worthy thing that occurred early on in our courtship? Rufus attended a Crafternoon. This was just a few weeks after we started dating, and I certainly didn’t expect him to attend a lady-heavy crafting event with my friends and my mom. So I gave him the soft-sell, warning him of the gabbing and knitting that was scheduled to occur, and I assured him that he certainly didn’t have to be there. But he showed up at my apartment on a cold January Sunday, and then he started knitting. The sweet boy already knew how to knit. I think the crafting ladies let out a collective gasp, and I knew right then and there: this one is a keeper.

We got engaged on Christmas Day 2007, just a few days before our four-year anniversary, and we immediately knew we wanted to get married in Maine. Rufus grew up in Maine, and his mom lives in a gorgeous spot that’s just perfect for a celebration. We also knew that we wanted to have a creative wedding with lots of handmade elements that reflected our own creativity. And that’s exactly the sort of wedding we had.

So in celebration of our (almost) one year anniversary, I’m going to post little tales of the handmade things that made our wedding weekend so blissful. So many people contributed their talent and hard work so our day could be magical, and we are truly thankful. We celebrated our decision to join our lives together surrounded by arts and crafts and friends, and that’s exactly how we want to live our life.

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