Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Stationary That Almost Was

It seemed easier and like a more affordable choice when we started. It really did. I loved the idea of sitting around with all of my girlfriends, drinking wine, and glueing envelope liners, tying ribbons, affixing vintage stamps, and, finally, seeing a box of tidy, beautiful DIY invitations ready to be carried off to the post office.

The ranch-y feel I love:

But after all of the exchanged e-mails and lunch meetings I had with my (very pregnant) friend who happens to be a graphic designer, I realized that A) No matter how many times she said she could work on them after the baby was born, I just didn't want to be responsible for putting that pressure on her during that amazing time in her life, B) My friend and I were having trouble nailing down a design and focusing on the project on lunch dates because we are two chatty Cathys and, C) Making my own invitations wasn't proving to be cost effective.

My font inspiration:

During our design process, my friend suggested I look into Papeterie's DIY invitations--you choose the shape, colors, graphics, and style from a myriad of options for an affordable rate (invitations from $187.50). They print them and you put them together. It seemed like a good option, but I really wanted something custom.

Papeterie's DIY Invitations:

My fiance drew a gorgeous picture of a horse that I wanted to incorporate into our design somehow. The horse matched our ranch-y wedding, especially since we'd bonded with a colt named Doc who lives at Devil's Thumb Ranch during our last visit. Papeterie mentioned they could use our drawing, but I was hungry to find out what else was out there.

My fiance's horse:

I started calling in paper options. I wanted something textured and pulpy. Sustainable would be nice (either recycled or made from cotton pulp) and handmade would be even better. I ordered in a piece of Stardream Metallic paper from JAM Paper. It was too shiny and too thin for save-the-date postcards and cost me $3.25 just for a sample. Papel Vivo's handmade paper seemed perfect but we were worried it would be too thick to go through the printer. Crane's Lettra collection hit the mark pretty well and they were generous enough to send me every color in every weight paper for free. That's 17 pieces of paper!

The handmade feel I'm going for:

That's when I stumbled upon Sarah Parrott on I found her by typing "gocco" into the search engine on the site. Gocco is a Japanese-printing method that I don't fully understand, but basically stamps ink onto a page giving it a very handmade look and is completely customizable. Kind of like screenprinting. Her prices beat my DIY invitation's pricing, she was extremely communicative, and thus, she was hired. Stay tuned to see what she dreamed up for our save-the-dates.

Did you have any projects that went from DIY into a professional's hands?

Images 1, 2, and 5 courtesy of Martha Stewart
Image 3 courtesy of Papeterie
Image 4 courtesy of Ian Troxell

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