Thursday, May 27, 2010

Paper Parasol

******Maids...  don't read this...  unless you want to know what one of your little wedding gifts will be....  ;)******

As a child I was always fond of paper parasols... I even had a small yellow one with....  flowers?  I think it was flowers that were painted on it.  At any rate, I was looking at my friend Betsy's wedding photos again and fell in love with the idea of using paper parasols for wedding photos.

But as our wedding lacks the oriental flair that hers had...  =(  If I wanted to do parasols, they would have to be simple.  So I googled paper parasols and found Luna Bazaar and this beauty!

I'm in love with the green and contrasting white fine pattern that appears to be batiked on.  But as our wedding is taking place in a park and my dress is covered with green, I need a different color to contrast.  An alternative is to do me with a bright fuchsia and the maids with an orange... all in the swirl design.  In a bit of a reversal of this real wedding.

But that might be a bit too much bright color...  In the picture the maids have light dresses that contrast well with the bright parasols.  My maids on the other hand have very bright green dresses that might scream Easter Eggs if I infuse too much color.  I have nothing against intense colors but besides being too much color, the orange isn't part of the wedding theme of sunflower colors (yellow, green, & chocolate brown) with a fuchsia accent.  This led me to the idea of finding a stunning parasol for me and simple lighter parasols for the maids.  Possibly something along these lines of white for the bride and the maids with a touch of light color.

I could do this gilded beauty from Luna Bazaar!  It's simple and classy.  But then I have the problem of which color for the maids...  I'd like to have them with a yellow parasol to contrast against the green dresses.  But Luna Bazzar has 5 different yellows, which will vary in color as they are hand-colored.  I also have two friends who are serving as my DOCs that I want to get parasols for as well.  As they will be wearing yellow sundresses of their choosing then I'd like a color to contrast their dress but nothing too dark.  This sent me into a bit of color overload until I saw these wedding inspiration photos.

This bride has everyone with white parasols.  White would contrast any color the maids and DOCs are wearing.  And if I still go with the gilded sunburst parasol then I would stand out among them.

I ran across real bride, Mia, who added a bit of flair to a plain white parasol by adding flower petals and ribbon.  (Her parasol was done for her flower girl and depending what we decide for the flower girls... it might be a really cute idea to mimic her design for ours.  This being that even though we are in a park, we aren't allowed to throw petals all about)  I could likewise spice up a white parasol by adding a little artsy decoration to it on the top with something small or large such as the petals...

and at the base with a cute bow.  All could be in colors matching the girl's dresses.  And to make the parasols special for each girl, I might monogram a 2-3 inch Spencerian Script Initial on the edge of each parasol.  Rather than get the simple white parasols at Luna Bazaar, I found that I can pick up 3x as many parasols for the same price at the Oriental Trading Company.  With excess parasols (6 to be exact), I can test design some monogramed petal parasols and even attempt to watercolor a light yellow parasol.  I'm also going to use some of the spares to paint in the following flowing script fashion that I found on Pamela's Parasols

and iDoOriginals's etsy store for some really cute cozy photos with the future hubs!  I might even get him to pull out his artsy side and help me paint them.  ;)

I can't wait until all my parasols come in...  Stay reading for which ones I bought and how I end up DIYing my own unique designs.  Has my parasol fever worn off on anyone else yet?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Take some "PAWS" for the cause

I saw a post the other day on Christiana's blog "US meets UK" that pulled on my heartstrings almost as much as those Sarah Mclaughlin humane society commercials.  It was asking photographers of all walks of life (amateur to pro) if they would consider volunteering to photograph shelter animals.  

What inspired Christiana's post was an adorable picture of a pug up for adoption on  She followed the watermark trail to a photographer by the name of Mary Swift.  Mary is a pet photographer who, since 2004, has been doing pro bono professional photography of shelter animals in an attempt to help them attract potential adoptions.  As you can see below and if you visit her website, her photographs do an amazing job of catching that glimmer in a needy pet's eye!  For her to donate her time this way is such a wonderful idea that I'm sure many of us had never thought of (at least I never had).  Mary also has a blog ( that features photographs and short stories about Baltimore Humane Society animals available for adoption.  For instance...  

(Mary was kind enough to send me this photo of Petey)

This is Petey!  He is currently in a foster home and waiting for a forever home...  look at those sad brown puppy dog eyes and don't tell me you wouldn't want to adopt him!  =)  "Petey is a handsome young American Bulldog mix who lost his home when his owner left for college.  Since October 2009, he has been charming his way into the hearts of the staff and volunteers at the Humane Society… and while he’s an incredibly happy-go-lucky dog whose tail is always wagging, nothing would make him happier than a permanent home with lots of love and attention!  Petey is just over a year old, and is very active.  Does anyone out there need a hiking buddy?  If so, this is your guy.  He’s already housebroken, he walks well on a leash, and he’s been going through some obedience training at the shelter, learning lots of new commands.  Please visit Petey at the BHS and see for yourself what a great dog he is! "
~ An excerpt quoted from Mary's blog

For more about Mary's adventures and the adoptable pets she photographs please visit her site ( or that of the Baltimore Humane Society (

Now I'm sure you are asking why would these shelters need pro photos...  Having volunteered at the Butler County Humane Society (BCHS) for a couple years, you tend to get more animals in than you have room for.  And to ensure that you stay a no kill shelter, you have to market your prospective pets.  You take them out to local events, you have adoption days at local pet stores, you hold your own charity fundraising events to raise money support them during their stay.  But at the end of the day, you still end up with more animals than the shelter has room or funds to care for long term.  To make matters worse, if you aren't a highly active shelter in the community, your adoptions into forever homes depend on the "cute factor".  These animals are often crudely photographed and end up looking more undesirable than they would be in real life.  Check out a comparison photo that Christiana put in her post of a pup who just looks rather unhappy.  =(  And as the cuteness factor goes...  The cuter the animal, the faster they adopt!  It's sad as there are plenty of sweet and loving animals out there but if they weren't looking cute on the website, they won't be considered or even clicked on.

After reading Christiana's post and then Mary's blog, I was reminded why I loved volunteering at the shelter and how when my life starts to settle down, I will consider to do so again.  Maybe by offering my photographic eye for free pet photos...  as I have a little nack for that.

Our Ft. Riley rescued critters (Alice and Scout)

Boos my pillow thief caught in action and Roscoe patiently waiting for a treat

Or even doing as I had before by volunteering my time helping local shelters with their fundraising efforts.  For instance, I love the pawcasso event that the BCHS did in 2004.  It combined my love of animals and art as it involved having the dogs paint.  Yes, dogs and paint minus the brushes.  I wish I got photos of the painting sessions.  They put kid safe paint on a drop cloth and got the dogs to walk through the paint then onto a clean sheet of paper.  By doing this you got a paw print art work from each shelter dog at the time.  One dog named bettie boop actually sat in the paint and did a butt print.  ;)  The most recent Pawcasso was held in November 2009.

Sadly I was only able to find this photo of the show from the caterer Jody (who might I say makes amazing spreads from the additional photos she posted...)

I hope this post and my inspiration via Christiana via Mary may inspire other photographers out there to throw a little of your talent towards a good cause.  Even if you don't think you are the most amazing photographer, a needy shelter will take whatever help you can give.  =)  Plus if anyone out there is looking for a good pup and lives in the Baltimore area...  please go check out Petey!  He's so cute that if we had a bigger house, we'd drive from the Burgh to Baltimore for him.  ;)

Monday, May 24, 2010

All that sparkles

Ok...  enough family drama venting....  now back to more cheery posts of good wedding stuff to pull me ought of this funk.  This one I wrote last friday while still in a chipper happy mood!  =)

A month or so back I came across a really fascinating way to send the bride and groom off for the night... Sparklers!   (Miss Buttons at Weddingbee mentioned them here while Miss Frog mentioned them here...)  I know our guests will love the idea as everyone loves sparklers...  It can bring out the child in anyone!  =)  Plus who doesn't love a company centered around selling sparklers for special events called Sparkle!

Photos from Sparkles homepage and gallery

A kiss in a mist of sparklers seems surreal... while the contrast of sparklers against the night in a black and white photo is just amazing.  For some reason it makes me think of older vintage photos.

And there are so many ways to get some great wedding pictures with sparklers!

I love how they spelled out LOVE here!
From Sparkle's creative section of their website

Or sitting in a heart...
Another from Sparkle's creative section

The bride and groom making a heart here!
From wild bill's fireworks site 

I also adore this beautiful photo by 6:8 photography of the circle of sparkles with the bride and groom holding one in the center...

And with all of the unique ways Sparkle has shown for you to display your sparklers and matches, who doesn't want sparklers!

I just LOVE sparklers!

Now just to see if I can convince my bridal party to help us clean the lodge so we can have a sparkle send off!

Anyone else allured by sparklers?  If not... just play with a few this 4th of July then come back and tell me you still don't like em.  =)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Alcoholic... updated.

For years I've hoped and wished that my father would be the parent he should have been while we were growing up.  I've given him the benefit of the doubt and thought he was a good person somewhere inside.   That he could be rational and logical.  That he, without alcohol, could be the dad he always had the potential to be.  I always assumed me getting married would bring out the good dad despite if he's begun to drink again (which he has).  That he would be overjoyed about the wedding and falling all over himself to give me away.  All I want is a real dad who loves me for me...  who's proud of me for what I've accomplished rather than the man who at my undergrad graduation rather than praising my achieving magna cum-laude stated that I should have been suma cum-laude.

Instead I get a father who makes me cry over my wedding.  Who has me bawling my eyes out because once again I have the feeling that nothing I do or plan is good enough.  He's not offered to help to pay with the wedding, yet I never expected financial support from anyone.  When it came to our choice of BBQ for catering, he had nothing but complaints.  And when I asked him about renting a suit or tux to walk me down the isle, he let me down by giving me that tone as he said he was going to wear a suit he had because he didn't have the money (or rather didn't want to spend $) to rent one.  But today's conversation has pushed me over the line.  Until now, I've dealt with his complaints and dismissed them aside as being irrational.  But today with all the stress I've been dealing with and how behind I am with plans, I just couldn't handle him.

His conversation started out oddly in that he was asking if we were still planning to wed in September.  I thought this was an absurd question as it's 4 months away, we've put deposits down, have the permit for the park...  it's a point of no return.  So I told him just that.  He asked if we had talked to a minister yet and I told him we were still discussing if we wanted a minister closer to our age or this other one that I've known from childhood.  Then he turned irrational stating he didn't see why we were having the September wedding, having the girls buy dresses and doing everything then if we were already married (referring to the city hall legal marriage that I told him about on mother's day).  I explained that the September wedding was to be for all of our family and friends.  It was to be the big religious ceremony whereas city hall was just for legal purposes.  I told him the September wedding was the important wedding where he was to give me away.  He stated that he didn't see the point for it as we would already be married.  And that he wouldn't actually be giving me away if we got married months earlier.  While I understand his point, the cultural and religious aspect of this marriage is in September...  and culturally he would still be giving me away for the important ceremony.  (Additionally in todays society, the significance of giving away your daughter is already tainted as there is no virgin bride or crazy dowry anymore.)  City hall is just the legal binding, you go in and say "I do", ceremony.  But he wouldn't budge and wouldn't listen to reason.  He wouldn't even let me explain that besides the legal aspects, we had only told the family in the case that we would need to do a rushed ceremony due to Josh's grandma's failing health (which I had explained also on Mother's day to him).  At the point during which he started to make me cry over the phone...  I promptly told him that I can't talk to him anymore.  Told him goodbye and immediately hung the phone up.  He hasn't called back and I refuse to call him.

Now I know that telling him of city hall was a huge mistake.  Had Josh's grandmother not had another stroke, we were planning on telling a soul...except for the few people that we could grab at a moments notice to be witnesses.  But I can't change the past and make what I told him go away.  I can't hide it now.  That being so, he also doesn't need to be so irrational and get me crying uncontrollably like he had when I was a child and he was an angry alcoholic.  I hate feeling this aweful...  I hate crying to the point where I can't catch my breath and my whole body wants to shake.  I hate the fact that I still let him get to me the way he does.  In the end I'm still the little girl praying for a real father and being let down by my religion to find that my father has not and will never change.  Nothing I ever do will be good enough in his eyes and I have to stop hoping that it will.

****Update  5-24.
Through outside channels and not directly talking to my father, I've come to find out he's bothered because he's very traditional and feels that we need to have a Lutheran ceremony for it to be a legit marriage.  In all honesty...I find this a bit absurd.  Growing up, he rarely came to church as we got older. And now as far as I know he's like the rest of us... a Chr-easter who only goes Christmas and Easter.  So why now is there this issue of us "needing" a religious ceremony by a lutheran minister?  Plus he ought to know by now as we've mentioned it many times before...  Josh is Buddhist.  Unless we find a rebel of the missouri synod, I don't think they'd be keen on marrying the two of us as obviously we aren't practicing the same religion (and I don't really see going to church anymore as religion has failed me when I most needed it).

So why now all this religiousness?  Is he using it as an excuse for why he's upset as to us doing city hall instead of just stating the fact that he did when I talked to him... that he doesn't see the point of walking me down the isle if I'm already married?  Or is it that he truly doesn't no accurately recall the 14 years he was a drunk?  And he thinks he's been religious all this time?  Alcoholics have a rose colored view of the world when remembering things.  They don't remember the pain they cause towards those closest to them.  For instance...  one of my worst memories he recalls as if it were a funny story.  He's actually brought it up the last two times I have visited and I haven't had the nerve to yell at him for doing so.  See when I was a teen and had enough of his drunken verbal abuse, I told him off and called him a jackass to his face (thinking he was too drunk to get off the couch).  Unfortunately for me, he wasn't drunk enough.  He chased me up the stairs and when I thought I had cleared the last step, he caught me by my ankle and dragged me down each stair step.  Dazed and confused at the bottom, I was sure he was going to beat me to death.  On the norm he was more of a verbally abusive man but at this moment of time I saw pure anger and evil in his eyes.  So I cringed, closed my eyes and waited for what awaited me.  Luckily for me, my mom heard the commotion while doing laundry in the basement.  And before he throw one punch she caught his wrist and told him if he ever laid a hand on anyone of us or hurt a hair on our heads... she would kill him.  She told him to leave me be and go back to the couch.  This he willingly did... She then told me it would be best not mouth off at him ever again because she would not always be there to protect me.  I did my best and shortly after that...  we were able to force him into AA rehab as he left a mark on my mother during another instance of drunken rage (The only way you can force an alcoholic into rehab is if they leave physical evidence of their violence and you can press charges.  By getting it legally documented, you can then force them to stop drinking.  Otherwise the only alternative is to pick up and leave them... which my mother did not make enough to raise 3 kids alone.).

Now remembering that story is not one of joy... not one of fun... not a silly story to be retold.   For me, that is one of my worst memories, if not the worst memory.  One of the most painful.  Every time I think about it, it makes me sad and angry.  I usually cry when retelling it... (right as this moment my eyes are filled with tears).  Originally the crying was because of such emotional pain... now it is more because of the fact that he hasn't and will not realize what a truly terrible mean mentally abusive drunk he was.  He will never realize how badly he hurt us or how much he damaged us in the long run.   How during the most influential times of our emotional and psychological growth, he did more damage than any other horrific event could have ever done.

I suppose my next course of action is to seek a source such as Al-anon (a support network for those affected by alcoholics) to find the best way to get a mediator.  To find a safe environment where us kids can confront him and set things straight to make him realize how really was... and to make him realize that the past was all rainbows and sunshine.  That he had an alcohol problem and should never touch the stuff again.  How if he doesn't wise up and make amends for his past... he may loose us forever.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

A bit of luck, random magic and fairy dust!

When we originally planned to get hitched in city hall, I decided I wanted to wear the star and petals necklace I picked up on Etsy as an impromptu spring pre-birthday gift for myself.

The necklace is a hand-forged silver star with two sets of teeming petals (glass enamel).  It sits on a really delicate ball chain that rests around my collar bones.  I just LOVE it!

Once it was decided that this was going to be the necklace for ceremony #1, I realized I needed earrings to go with it.  I found matching teeming vine earrings on Kathy's (the artist who made the necklace) etsy site.

But as I have 9 earring holes (6 of which I switch out), I would also need some studs.  Due to my laziness, it took me near to a month to email Kathy.  But as luck would have it, she perfected her technique of making stud earrings that morning before I emailed her!  (Is that kismet or what?)  As it turns out, she's been playing with the idea of making studs for several months now.  But it's a bit more complicated than the teeming petals as she not only has to make the tiny enamel dot, she also has to solder it to a post.  She offered to make me some custom studs and was uber excited that I was planning on wearing her necklace for my wedding (apparently friends have been giving her pouty faces for selling the star).  I told her the colors I wanted and she got to work making me 2 sets of studs to go with the teeming vine earrings and my teeming petal necklace.  Under a week later she sent these photos of the finished products...

And on mother's day, I sported my new jewelry!  

(please pay no attention to the really really white legs...  I need to make a date with the beach to see some sun!)

I just love my new found enamel artist of a friend and can't wait to see what she comes up with next!  For more on Kathy's wonderful enamel jewelry visit her Smashing Etsy shop ( or her blog (!

Don't you just love when things just seem to happen perfectly and by chance?

Friday, May 21, 2010

A Twitchy Ball of StReSs

Yep... I'm a twitchy ball of stress.  It's one of those points where I have so much to do, not enough time, no desire to act, and I'm down right exhausted.

Always a ball of stress/anxiety... Lucy!  I <3 LUCY!

My first issue and #1 enemy right now that will remain that way for the next 4 months is the wedding.  Yes, the wedding!  And yes we hit the 4 month mark 3 days ago on May 18th!  FSD!  There is so much to do and plan.  So much to be decisive on.  So many people I want to make happy which shadows over the whole reason of the wedding.  I actually made the dental hygienist at my 6 mo exam today laugh when I said I just wanted the wedding over.  I didn't care how I got there, what happened in the in between... I just want it over.  And that's the truth.  While I can't wait to marry future hubby, I am also not an event planner and this whole tiny budget blows donkey balls!  But no one has a large wad of cash to give us and I ain't taking out 30k in loans.  So I need to pony up and get to work on the Wedding To Do List and DIYs ASAP!

My next issue is future hubby's first bio test is coming up.  While he was planning to cram the day before the test, I managed to convince him to start studying ahead.  Let's face it... someone with short term memory issues should not depend on cramming to pass a test.  I've also been asking him if he wants any help studying from me to test his bio knowledge.  He took me up on it last night and then has spent the day taking Ebook tests feeling like those are helping him.  I hope he's right.  As I told him earlier this week that if he needs my help, I need a night to read through the chapters on his test to review basic bio as I haven't had it in...  something like... hmm.  11 years!  (Damn I'm getting old!)  Sigh.  At any rate, I have my fingers crossed that he will ace this.

My third issue is finances...  I'm slacking on bill pay this month because of all the schedule changes due to me adjusting my schedule to hubs classes.  I totally keep forgetting to pay until right before bed or while I'm on the bus.  Both times, I can't or refuse to get to the internet...  I'm also slacking because I don't want to see how in the RED we are.  I dread dipping further into the wedding fund and having to get a line of credit to pay for the wedding.  =(  To make matters worse... there's a dress that I really really want from modcloth for the engagement shots that I don't see me being able to afford.  Bye Bye pretty...

My last and final issue is that I can't say no.  When I know I should tell friends that I can't do something like visiting our elderly neighbor from the old apartment multiple times a week.  I still end up attempting to schedule time with her because at those moments I really want to see her.  Then later when I realize how much I have on my plate to still do, I'm kicking myself for doing so.  Other instances involve helping friends prep for their master's comps.  I'm thinking.. oh it's only an hour or so.  But forget that I have to read the paper they are presenting which will take an evening.  And I often put it off till the last moment as I forget to print the paper...  Then end up kicking myself again because I don't want to hurt their feelings by saying no.  Plus I also feel inclined to help them as we all were in their shoes 3 years ago and were counting on our elder students to guide us on how to prepare for a royal educational ass kicking (which for some brought tears).  And while I bitch and complain about time...  I realize I waste so much of it doing things (such as blogging) rather than dealing with the To Do list.  =(  Yet another sigh.

So enough yellow bellied whining and time to just begin to get things done.  First item on the agenda...  read that journal article and pay the electric bill!

Anyone else overcome by the piled higher and deeper anxiety?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Diamond Dash

Of all random things for future hubby to mention on the shuttle ride in this morning, he brought up the Henne Jewelers' Diamond Dash...

          ~It's this high tech (via cell phone text message) scavenger hunt around the city of Pittsburgh in search of finding a $15,000, 1.5 carat Diamond Ring.  When you solve the riddle and go to each location, you get a new clue bringing you one step closer to the ring.  From WPXI's story, it would appear that the dash is Henne Jewelers' way of saying thanks to the city for their support.

Oddly enough Josh mention that him and his fellow classmate from the History of Pittsburgh class joked that their class would serve as prep for the riddles as they are learning odd little facts about the city such as market square was originally in the center of the city instead of it's currently location.  Sadly, Josh has class at 10am and I lack the wealth of trivial knowledge he has.  I joked that my little sister and I could text him the riddles and he could tell us the answers so we could find the diamond...  =)  Yet, while finding such an expensive ring would be great (to sell off so we could afford our wedding as this ring is a little too much bling for my dainty paw), I'm sure this event will be reminiscent of a crazy running of the brides.  And I don't think I'd want to deal with some bridezilla trying to scratch my eyes out if we both found the ring together.  ;)

Any one out there doing the diamond dash?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Brown Bag Lunches and Big Yellow Buses!

Well...  more like skipping lunch and taking a shuttle but still exciting none the less.

Future hubs has started school at the University of Pittsburgh for summer semester!

I think I'm as excited if not more than he is for this transition in his life. Partly because it will give him a routine and schedule, which is key for TBI (traumatic brain injury) patients when it comes to improving short term memory.  It makes sense...  As when I am on vacation or break from school for more than a couple days, I (without a brain injury) have a tendency to mix up when I did something or forget to do things.  But once I'm back on my routine, I'm good as gold again!  The other reason I'm so excited is because of all the things that went wrong along the way impeding him getting here.

See hubs is a transfer student who was 13 credit hours away from getting his degree at the college on Ft.  Riley.  Sadly his medical discharge came before he could finish his associates.  But shortly after getting back to the burgh, he decided that he wanted to go to Pitt.  He would finish the associates in general studies and then work on his b.s. with the idea of working towards a MS in either social work or physical therapy. He planned on applying for spring semester as fall was too soon to begin while still trying to transition back to civilian life.  Unfortunately his transcripts didn't make it in until classes had already started.  By the time he was to be approved for classes, he would have missed a week or two and didn't think that was wise so he waited for summer semester.

As summer approached, he sent in his postcard for summer acceptance and received his acceptance package.  He went about determining what he needed to submit for the GI bill and enrollment to only find out that he had to pay out of pocket the application/enrollment fee (eventually the GI bill would repay him that money).  Tuition was luckily covered by Pitt until the GI bill kicks in.  At this point, he thought he was all set for school but as the date to schedule classes got closer, he still was not appointed an advisor.  He persisted enough and finally got one but wasn't given a meeting until a week later.  By the time he got to see his advisor, classes he needed were filling (Hello!  Transfer student!  with most of his electives filled!).  To make matters worse, the hold somehow didn't get taken off his account by his advisor and it set back his registration another day.  By the time he got to register, all second session classes he wanted were filled so he ended up piling all his classes into first session.

This worries me as I don't think he understands yet how much he's overloaded his schedule.  His classes involve a bit of reading and a 6 week long bio class is going to be really intense.  I just hope he manages to get through this and do well.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that he won't burn out and won't be too overwhelmed that he second guesses going back to school.  With any luck, anything he doesn't understand from his teacher I should be able to explain (I did graduate with a bio major and now am doing molecular/microbio).  I'm just hoping that we have the time to get him to understand it all as with these classes there tends to be a test every other week, if not every week.  Hopefully I'm just over worrying and he's going to be fine.  Plus second session being so open will serve to let him recover a bit from all this first session madness.  =)

Anyone else have a non-traditional undergrad in their household as well?

Monday, May 17, 2010

An "oh so special" Thank You

When Weddingbee had a shutterfly giveaway, I came across something new... Wink photostrips!  You can get a combo of pictures put together in the style of the old fashion photo booth strips!  How cool is that?  It gave me the wonderful idea of placing one in each of the thank you cards we send out after the wedding.  The strip could contain 3-5 different photos of us from the wedding or even mock photo booth pictures taken by our photographer.  On the back, we could put a cookie cutter "Thanks for celebrating our big day with us!".

The only problem is that it appears they don't do bulk strips.  Their new wink photostrip site is set up to make and send each strip out using snail mail to an individual address for exactly $2.50.  And while I could sit down and personalize each strip with a unique thank you on the net...  If I'm sending out 200 of these, that's $500!  That's more than what it will cost to make and send our wedding invites!  So Wink is not an option.

My first alternative to Wink was the idea of printing them myself.  But with the cost of my photo ink, that would equal about the same as the photostrips or maybe even more.  So, my next plan was to look at other printing sites to see if they offered prints of similar dimensions.  I lucked out at

They sell bookmarks in 2 different sizes (1.5" x 7" and 2" x 8" while Wink is 2" x 6").  Plus pricing for 500 bookmarks with glossy UV coat (color front, b&w back) is around $25 ( a huge reduction in price compared to wink).  If I go for the bookmarks that are 2" x 8", I can set up the photo booth image set as a 2" x 6" photostrip with a tear tab image at the bottom requesting guests to upload their own personal photos to our wedding photo sharing site (still determining best site).  GotPrint doesn't sell the bookmarks with the tear tab but my rotary cutter has a perforating blade that I can use to do that.  =)  Also as I'll be making the strips in photoshop, I can arrange the photos exactly as I want rather than having to fit them into predesigned templates.  This is looking to be the more feasible option as I can directly give many of our guests the Thank You cards to save on postage costs.  Also if there are more than one guest per household, we can give them multiple strips in one envelope.

With this in mind, I ordered a sample pack from GotPrint to check out all the papers and coatings they offer.  While I've used their postcard sized prints for show cards in the past (2009 Oil and Ink Exhibit), I hadn't the chance to check out the entire variety of papers and sizes offered.

Oil and Ink show card

They send you a folder with all sorts of brightly colored goodies.  From looking at the paperweights for the business cards, I'm glad that I got the sample pack.  I was planning on getting the bookmarks made in recycled paper (I heart reused/recycled items) but the 100lb recycled weight is too pliable for photostrips.  It also is only available in matte finish and the photostrips ought to be glossy.

So I'm going with the 14pt gloss coat UV covered paper in 2" x 8"!  =)

Who else out there has just fallen in love with the little photostrip ideas?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Laundry Day Finds

I just love cleaning!  Well...  I don't clean nearly often enough but when I get on a roll, I love the feeling of accomplishment when it's all done.  Plus when sorting through and cleaning an area that I haven't touched in months, I tend to find many things that were either lost and/or forgotten about.  Yesterday's washing of the exponentially growing delicates/hand wash basket proved quite beneficial.

My first find was a set of purple sheers.  These are perfect to swap out the blue bathroom curtains with to give the room a more vibrant look.  =)

Next I stumbled upon a tube of Bert's Bee's.  I thought it was my pomegranate flavored stick to only realize later it was the stuff bought years ago for skiing.  (It's the lifeguard opaque white stuff...)  This was a bit of a disappointment.  But that only made the last find even more exciting.

My final find of the night was a handful of "naughty-wear".  Ok...  Not really so naughty but along those line of intimates.  They were a mix of drastically reduced lingerie from the semi-annual sale at Vicki's last fall.  Apparently I had set these on the hand-wash pile (as I refuse to wear any sort of underwear without washing first...just in case someone tried them on before me) and over the last 8 months they became lost in the pile.

Silk Pattern

French Maid...  with lace on the rear...  ;p

Lace and Fleur De Lis details...

This find was my (and future hubby's) favorite find of the afternoon.  For me it was the fact that I found possible honeymoon undergarments without having to spend anymore $$$$.  I also found a corset like item that has a built in garter which would be perfect under the city hall dress.  That is if I decide my legs are in need of thigh highs due to their stark white appearance.  For him...well, he's a guy so I'm sure his mind went to the horny little boy place when I pulled them out of the basket saying "Hey, look what I found!".  ;)

Any one else out there have some laundry finds lately or is it just me being a clutter-bug?
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