Hey, hi!! What was that I said about “see you in September!?” Welp, here we are at the end of the year and nary a peep from me. Till now. How are you??
Did you all have a good Christmas!? I hope you enjoyed some days of family, friends, food and festivities. Or whatever version of that you like best!
Where to start? So we had the craziest summer of our lives and prepping for our daughter’s wedding at our cottage was only one of the things we had to focus on. For sure, the wedding was the happiest and most rewarding of the summer’s things on the to-do list, and I’m going to share some photos here, but we survived it all and found a reason to smile most every day! I do feel though, like the whole summer just zipped by (and it was a beautiful one!) that I didn’t have enough time to enjoy! Do you think next summer will give me a do-over?
What I mostly want to share with you today are the items that were conceived and created for us by Love is in the Details, and their laser cutting division.
I scripted the word “cards” and sent Lori a screenshot so that she could cut it for me with the Silhouette machine, from frosted vinyl so that it looks like it was etched in the glass sides of the plant terrarium we got from Ikea.
We did something similar with the guest book sign, where I scripted the word “guestbook”, added the other words in a basic type font and sent it to Lori who had it actually etched in to the acrylic sheet that is sitting in the log base. The talented folks who do the laser cutting for LiitD even cut the log slice for us!
As well, I created this sign after I made up a cut file combining regular font words with one of Lori’s purchased commercial fonts for the word “adventure”, and had it laser cut. I wrapped the backing board of the frame (Ikea) with burlap fabric and glued the laser cut design to the burlap. The best part about this particular item, is that I’ve kept it and will either re-use it for a baby shower decor item or gift it to a pair of new parents for a baby’s room.
As well, I used one of the Wedding Words cut files from the packages I designed last year, and had Lori’s people cut the “Mr&Mrs” cake topper, slightly larger and from thicker wood, with a poke on the bottom.
I made the cakes a few days before the wedding and they were your basic white cake with a lemon curd filling, a chocolate layered cake and a cookie cake which was to be for the children at the dinner, but the caterers ended up cutting the pieces small enough that everybody got a small slice of each cake. I’m so glad it worked out that way because I couldn’t have made the decision which cake to eat and I’d made them.
Decorating them just a short while before the wedding when the flowers finally arrived wasn’t the least bit nerve wracking. Not a bit. (ha)
Besides taking on the making of cakes, we kept the budget down by ordering only the floral bouquets for the bride and bridesmaid and the chair boughs which did double duty on the tables for the reception, and then using the things that grow plentifully all around us at the cottage for all the rest.
The afternoon before the wedding I drove the backroads around our lake and cut whatever was still green and healthy looking. From all this I made some basic greenery arrangements for the tables, two crowns for the flower girls, little bouquets for the flower girls to carry, the boutonnières for the guys, and a bough for the welcome sign.
I made the sign by lettering the “welcome” and the ampersand with white paint, and then penciling the names and date so I could draw over them with a white Signo Uniball pen. This job was therapy after all the building and painting and moving and planning I’d been doing!
The other area where we were able to economize (obviously) (because I am a paper crafter, after all) was on the wedding invitations. I watercolor painted the blue/green leaf bough which my smart kids turned into a vector that could then be printed on each invitation, announcement and information card. We bought grey envelopes and cut liners for them from wrapping paper with similarly colored leaves on them. My son Jeff designed the maps and we printed them on vellum paper. And all of that process was FUN!
Another area where we were able to cut costs was in making up our own cheese boards for snacking on while photos were being taken and before the caterers arrived. We had consulted with a posh company in Winnipeg and very quickly realized we could do as nicely for 1/10th of the price they quoted us.
Let me show you some of the setting for the big day. Our cottage is right at the water but we have a steep (what’s the opposite of a ravine??) behind us. So because there was a wedding planned this summer, my brother and husband spend two weeks of 12 hour days, 6 days a week building stairs that go from the cottage where the reception was held, up to the spot where the ceremony was held – the furthest point we can drive in and where we usually park our vehicle. 102 steps. I had no need of going to the gym this summer!!
Here is just a partial view of the stairs. At no point can you see both the top and bottom at the same time. And when they finished, the guys strung them with lights and when you come in at night and they’re all lit up it’s MAGICAL I tell you! (And this is why, when your daughter asks if she can plan her wedding at the cottage, you inwardly rejoice because it means you will actually get the job list finished after all these years!)
This is the view of the clear topped tent from about 30 steps up the stairway! We lucked out with weather and had the one perfect day in the middle of 10 cold, grey, rainy days! When it cooled off in the evening, the sides closed up and it was so snug inside!
The view from the water later in the evening.
The next day, it was all over and everybody was gone and when we look at the site where it all happened, we’re not entirely sure we didn’t dream the whole thing!
So then, where have I been till now, the end of December?? Well, curveballs and all that.
There was a time I used to say that retired folks who move to where their grandchildren live, should really get a life of their own. Then I had a couple of grandchildren myself and I’m eating my words. They’re delicious, so I don’t mind. You might remember that we had a little grandson, Archie, born in Feb of 2017. Do you also remember that a little sister came quick on his heels just 16 months later?? And that their Mama still has two years of her emergency medicine residency left? And their Daddy is the lead parent? I distinctly remember my own experience; that of all my four children, adjusting to having TWO was the biggest and hardest. And mine were a full 23 months apart! Anyway, we could see this summer, that help in any form was welcome (and needed) so we made a decision in Sept to find an apartment in St Paul, MN, near where they live, and spend two weeks of every month there, and the other two weeks at home (resting) in AZ. We plan to do this as long as necessary or until residency is done, whichever comes first. You ones who have grandchildren will understand why we feel that this is the most delightful if exhausting opportunity and privilege and one that we love!
However, it comes at a cost. For me, that means less available time for crafting. And that translates into having to give up some of the paper crafting commitments and responsibilities I’ve accumulated over the last few years. Love is in the Details is one of the hardest. Very understandably, because Lori and so many of you have become my friends over the years and this feels a little bit like goodbye. I want to say it’s not goodbye though. Did you notice the title of this blog post? Aloha and Salut are two words from other languages that are used to express both hello and goodbye. So while I have to say goodbye to regular posting at LiitD, I still want/NEED to do crafty things (especially memory keeping) and I still need to share them with you…so as time permits, and with Lori’s blessing, you can consider me a guest designer at LiitD. One that will pop up when you least expect it! No fixed schedule, just a “hey, check this out” presence on an irregular basis. In fact, I hope you’ll check back here again in two weeks when I have some Travelers Notebook layouts to share with you. An actual photo representation of what (who) it is that’s taking up my former cutting and gluing hours!
Please accept my apologies for disappearing without a word, like I have for so long, and thanks for sticking with me to the end!
Aloha and salut!