August 20, 2014

Hand Stamped Wedding Invitations for Kenzie & Abe

Hellooooooooooooo! (elloooo, ello, ellllo, elllloooooo) and welcome to my sporadic blog. It's funny, I'm ALWAYS making something. I have no shortage of projects I could share, but sometimes I can't stop my making long enough to take pictures and write about them. My maker minutes are limited and 90% of the ideas I have will never turn in to real things because I have more ideas than time. This is why most of the things I end up sharing lately have some sort of a deadline. I work well with deadlines- deadlines get things done around here!

My next deadline is September 5th. My youngest sister is getting married and I'm making her wedding dress, so right now my evenings are filled with lace appliqué. I'll get it done, and luckily my sis is laid back and doesn't mind that she won't actually try on her wedding dress until the week before her wedding when I fly out to Utah. Don't worry, we did a muslin fitting, so hopefully it will fit like a glove and all that will be left to do is hem. I'll share more about the dress (and pictures!) after the wedding. But before dressmaking commenced, Matt and I designed and made their wedding invites. Yes, sometimes I make things that don't involve a sewing machine. I don't profess to be any sort of graphic designer, but I am really happy with the way these turned out so I wanted to share. 

PS my sister is gorgeous. 

I thought that a hand carved stamp would make these invites special and fit with the rustic theme, so in true Holli form I made things exponentially more complex by suggesting that we hand stamp all the invitations. All three hundred. Three, zero, zero. Yes, it took forever, and yes, this was quite ambitious for a novice stamp carver (I've really only carved a couple small ones before this) but after some trial and error we made it happen. Obviously they aren't perfect, but that is part of the charm of handmade, right? 

I designed the stamp by hand with this sketch and then rubbed the pencil drawing on to the stamp block. This was part of the error- it really didn't transfer well so I had to re-draw it on the stamp. I also had some issues with the letters carved in to the tree. I knew they needed to be reversed in order to come out the right way when they were stamped, so I reversed them on my drawing. But then I flipped the drawing over on to the stamp and rubbed it, which essentially reversed them again, making the letters readable as I carved. I should have caught that mistake before carving, but it wasn't until I made my first print that I realized my mistake. My solution? Carve the letters out and make another small stamp with the letters on it- properly reversed, instead of double reversed. I used this to stamp the letters in each heart, on each invitation (300!) after they had all dried. Eek. 

As for supplies, I used a speed ball linoleum cutter (like this one, purchased from Amazon a while back), a combination of screen printing ink and block printing ink, a speedy cut block, and a hard rubber brayer for applying the ink. (None of these are affiliate links, by the way, they just link to where I happened to buy them)

Like I said, I'm novice, so I won't do a tutorial here for how to carve your own stamps, but I learned a lot and was inspired to try it out by Miriam from Mad Mim (this one, this one, this one and this one are some of my faves) and I found a good basic tutorial here.  

The text part of the invitation and the enclosure for the ceremony invite were designed using InDesign. We used Photoshop to design the invites for my sister Chelsie's wedding (whose dress I also made, blogged about it here) and let me tell you, I sure wish I'd had InDesign then. It is much more intuitive for text design, at least for a novice like me. It came together so quickly, it almost made up for all the time the stamping took! :)

And just for kicks, here's Chelsie and Tyler's invitation from their wedding- I guess I never took a picture of the printed invite so I just have the files, but we had them printed on matte paper at vista print.

invite front

invite back

enclosure card front

enclosure card back

I know, I know. My sisters are beautiful. The two above are twins, but my sister Erin is just as gorgeous. They are funny and kind and awesome too, so, I kinda lucked out in the sister (and brother!) department. Can't wait to see my family in a couple of weeks!! 

July 29, 2014

Beach Day Bonnet

We returned from our quick beach weekend, and while the sea worked her magic on my cranky kids, it is good to be back in the swing of things. Vacations aren't so much about relaxation when you have young kids, ya know? On our drive back, while Caroline cried (she's not a car napper, so cranky pants just wailed when she got too tired) Matt commented on needing a vacation from our kids after our vacation. Maybe next year:)

July 25, 2014

Flora and Fauna V neck dress

I'm at the beach. That has nothing to do with this post or this dress, but you guys. The beach! It's been a week with a cranky teething baby and the beach is the only remedy. We went and collected shells before dinner, and I tell you, the ocean worked her magic on my sweet Caroline, because for that half of an hour, she was filled with delight. I miss delighted (and delightful) Caroline.

Before we left I did two more projects for Kids Clothes Week. One is to-be-photographed still- a beachy bonnet for my babe, and the other, this dress.

July 24, 2014

Triangle Swing Tank

So, we just got an iMac. It is quite possibly the most expensive thing we've ever bought together to date, which is pretty crazy when you think about nearly 6 years of marriage. We have old cars and haven't bought our own house yet (but plan to buy both in the next year, so help me), but I digress.  I tend to have crazy bad buyers remorse for even silly little things, so I thought surely I'd have some buyers remorse over this beautiful beast of slick machinery, but so far I'm totally smitten. I'm totally lost, seeing as how I've only ever owned PC's, but I'm googling it all and figuring things out. Unfortunately, what I didn't figure out until it was too late, was that Adobe Bridge and iPhoto don't work so well together. Yes, we got a new computer, and some fancy new programs (upgraded to CS6 from CS3- woo!) and then I mindlessly tried to navigate, assuming surely it would work similarly to a PC, and somehow I ended up messing things up real good. I lost all the pictures from this photoshoot, but luckily everything else we have is hanging out on an external hard drive. I'm still not sure what I did, but I did manage to recover these pictures, so all is well for now.

Long story long, I'm happy I didn't have to retake these, because although my model is adorable, she's not always super cooperative:)

July 22, 2014

Mini Blinging Prefontaines

It's Kids Clothes Week again!! Which means I'll be busily sewing all the things, and actually posting about them in almost real time. I prepped for Kids Clothes Week by cutting out most of my projects ahead of time so I could bust them out real quick like. It's immensely satisfying to finish up multiple projects in a matter of days, so the prep is well worth it, particularly since I'll be heading to the beach at the end of the week (HAAAALLELUJAH!) so I won't be able to sew the entire week. I did start a day early though, to make up for my beach weekend, so I made these shorts on Sunday.

June 10, 2014

Metallic Dot Bombshell

Yep, it's another bathing suit. I'm a little obsessed. It's just such an immensely satisfying project! Maybe it's because I never thought I'd make a bathing suit, or maybe its all those years of ill fitting suits, but I just can't help but feel rockin when I put on my self made suit and head to the pool. So I made another, using the same fabulous Bombshell pattern by Closet Case Files. Because why not?

June 4, 2014

Gingham Bombshell for Perfect Pattern Parcel

Hello again, friends! I'm back with another project made using the patterns sent to me by Perfect Pattern Parcel from Parcel #3. Sewing a swimsuit has been a secret goal of mine ever since I saw the one Miriam made (I've been a long time fan of hers) so when I saw the Bombshell Swimsuit pattern in the patterns sent to me I took it as a sign and worked up the courage to give it a go. It didn't hurt that the design is exactly my style- in fact, I already own a swimsuit that could be mistaken for a Bombshell that I LOVE but doesn't fit my current hip size. Anybody else feel like they need at least four different wardrobes through the childbearing years?? Swimsuits just don't bridge the gap between pre-pregnancy and postpartum like other clothes can. They either fit or they don't. Too loose and it's hanging off and dragging in the water, too tight and it hurts!  That's the plight I'm in this summer- I've got a great suit that is too tight to bear, and a great suit that is hanging off of me. We've got an awesome pool close by and two girls who love water, so dealing with an ill fitting suit just aint gonna cut it this summer!

Enter, my Gingham Bombshell: