Monday, April 30, 2012

Thank You, Thank You

Today is a non-knitting day! Quel surprise! I actually had half a post written about the loot I picked up in Alaska, which I will post tomorrow because it's on my other computer and I don't want to rewrite it (it never comes out as well when you have an enforced do-over). But, this weekend I took up my ink pads and paper cutters, which have been much neglected since I learned to knit. I'm hoping to get a little bit back to my scrapbooking and other, non-knitting crafts thanks to the reorganization of my craft room, so this is a good start.
Of course weddings mean wedding presents, and I have gotten many generous gifts. This means the writing of many many thank you notes. But once you go craft it's hard to go back - especially when people know you are a crafter. I have a reputation to uphold, after all. And thus, I made the decision to drive myself absolutely crazy making my own thank you notes.
I absolutely wanted to do something simple and easy to assemble, not too time consuming. Originally, I thought to pick up a monogram stamper from JustRite, but they don't appear to be making their "Special Occasions" font anymore and I didn't care for any of the current fonts, so I ended up having to scrap that idea. Ultimately, even though I did spend some money at my local stamp store (LSS?) I mostly ended up using materials I already had.
In the interests of saving time and labor, I started out with precut, prescored plain white cards from Michaels that came with envelopes of the appropriate size. On the outside of the card, I used my Color Dusters, which are basically little coarse bristled brushes, with two Tsukineko Memento ink pads to do a color wash over a white card. I think the two colors I used were Grape Jelly and Perfectly Plum. It's an easy technique, you just dip the brush on the ink pad and swirl it over the paper, but it turned out much more work-intensive than I remembered. I'm not sure if there was a problem with my ink pads (which were brand new), my technique, or if it was because the colors I was using weren't all that dark or intense (although the Grape Jelly one was pretty dark). It's also possible that it's just been so long since I did one of these that I just didn't remember how long it took.
The Thank You stamp is from my existing stash, and I recruited CodeNinja (who had been told that since he did nothing at all on the invitations that he had to participate in the thank you cards) (this was not his fault, because I fake caligraphy better than he does, but still) to cut me some strips of paper on which I stamped four "Thank You"'s, and then he cut the squares from the strips once the stamps were on them. Once that was finished, he cut some dark purple squares for the matting.
Don't worry, he didn't have to use the scissors in the picture, I let him use my paper cutter.
I felt like the inside of the card needed something as well, so I took out some stamps from a wedding collection I had purchased from Stampin' Up many years ago, and put the scroll on the bottom of the inside of the card, and on the top I alternated between the wedding bells shown here and a pair of hearts in the same style. I stamped some of them in the darker Grape Jelly and some of them in the Plum.
Assembly was easy, as all I had to do was use my tombow adhesive to stick the Thank You to the matting and the matting to the card. Then I folded the card along the prescored line and used my bone folder to get a good clean crease.
I finished 25 cards yesterday, and I have enough "Thank You"s cut to get through another 50 or so. I may try to think of another option for the background besides the color wash because it was kind of tedius, but we'll see.
I wrote and mailed 4 notes. Um...I have kind of a long way to go on that. I don't know that I'll have time to make a hand-made card for everybody, but I'd like to do as many as I can this way. It just makes me a little extra happy to use my own cards, and makes me feel a little bit less like I'm just checking off the etiquette box!